On Wednesday, June, 3rd, California State University Fresno hosted Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom and his Blue Ribbon Commission on marijuana policy. It was a big day for a lot of Central Valley cannabis activists and almost everyone seeking sensible regulation in regards to Cannabis Hemp. Quite a bit of the Central Valleys hardest pavement pounders for legalization where in Attendance. Diane Valdavinos, Jeffery Faure, Dawn Marie Jobe, Jeff Clark, Brenda Linder, and Derek Payton. At least we all thought it was going to be. We all had to endure quite a bit of Reefer Madness at the Blue Ribbon Commission On Marijuana Policy. It started with Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom beautifully pandering to all the various different groups, organizations, and different Initiatives in the room. He really did a great job speaking to the crowd in attendance. Which is also why he has had such a successful political career.
After Gavin Newsom was done giving his introduction to the audience he then began to introduce the rest of the panelists. You can find the entire list of panelists below.
Speaker and Working Group Commissioner Bios
Gavin Newsom is the Chair of the Blue Ribbon Commission on Marijuana Policy. He was elected as the 49th Lieutenant Governor of the State of California on November 2, 2010. His top priorities are economic development and job creation, improving access to higher education, and bolstering California’ environmental leadership. Newsom came from a successful background in both the private sector, starting 15 small businesses and creating more than 1,000 jobs, and local government, having served as a Supervisor, and later, Mayor of the City and County of San Francisco.
Elizabeth Cox is a Research Specialist at UC San Francisco’s Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education, where her focus is on state and local tobacco control policymaking. Ms. Cox recently authored a comprehensive report on tobacco control efforts and tobacco industry tactics in California.
Rick Crane is a Strategic Programs Coordinator for UFCW 8-Golden State. Based in Bakersfield, he has been in the retail business for 46 years and a contract negotiator for UFCW for over 20 years. The UFCW represents 160,000 private sector workers in retail food, agriculture, retail drug, non-food retail, cannabis and healthcare industries in California.
Joe Garza is the Chief of Police for the City of Reedley. He has 25 years of experience as a law enforcement professional beginning his career as a patrol officer for the City of Reedley and rising to the position of Chief of Police in 2012. He serves as a board member of the California Police Chiefs Association and in a number of regional law enforcement and civic groups in the Central Valley.
Mihae Jung is Prevention Education Manager at KYCC, an organization that provides comprehensive community services in the Koreatown, Westlake and Pico-Union neighborhoods of Los Angeles. In addition to policy work on alcohol outlets, she has worked directly with youth through organizing, restorative justice, and treatment. She is part of the Los Angeles Rethinking Access to Marijuana collaborative.
David Lampach is the Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Steep Hill, a leading cannabis science and technology firm. He is a leader in the technological and business advancements of the cannabis analytics and testing market. He has also advised a number of jurisdictions on local and state regulation of marijuana, including in California, Washington and New Mexico.
Rob MacCoun is a Professor at Stanford Law School. He is a social psychologist and public policy analyst who has published numerous studies on illicit drug use and drug policy, including a major recent study for RAND Corporation. He is a preeminent scholar working at the border of law and psychology.
Pat Oglesby is a tax lawyer, and former Chief Tax Counsel, U.S. Senate Finance Committee and the former International Tax Counsel, Joint Congressional Committee on Taxation. He has also at the law and business schools at the University of University of North Carolina. Pat serves as the co-chair of the Regulatory and Tax Structure Working Group of the Blue Ribbon Commission.
Ben Rice is a criminal defense and medical cannabis attorney. He has represented cultivators, dispensaries and doctors involved in medical marijuana, as well as advised policymakers. Ben serves as a member of the Regulatory and Tax Structure Working Group of the Blue Ribbon Commission.
Abdi Soltani is a member of the Steering Committee of the Blue Ribbon Commission, with Lt. Governor Newsom and Stanford professor Keith Humphreys. He serves as the Executive Director of the ACLU of Northern California. Abdi worked previously as a community organizer on issues of educational opportunity and civil rights.
Steve Worthley is the Chairman of the Tulare County Board of Supervisors, and represents the northern portion of the county. He is active on the California State Association of Counties and the Rural County Representatives of California. In his private practice as an attorney, he previously represented the forest products industry, including in relation to public lands.
Here You can view the Blue Ribbon Commission on Marijuana Policy at California State University Fresno in its entirety.
Well if you went to this panel and discussion expecting to hear sensible regulations and cannabis policy reform you were probably sadly disappointed. The very first guest speaker on the panel Mihae Jung started out the conversation with dropping the “Oh the Children” fear tactic without referring to any specific data or polls supporting her claims. Her argument pretty much boiled down to we have to over tax, and over regulate in order to keep prices high to protect the children, because low costs equal greater access for children. She worries that all collectives, clubs and dispensaries will end up in the migrant and low-income areas and the dispensary owners will offer up 3x to 4x the going rate and will make it very attractive to low-income property owners to permit the dispensaries in these low-income communities.
She claims it will put a huge strain on the local police, Schools and families in those areas and already has in some areas. In which all cases mentioned it has not and will not. It actually lowers crime in the surrounding areas due to increased security and video surveillance. I also hate to break it to you but most collective owners move into the lower-income parts of the cities or counties because they know the city most likely doesn’t care and won’t come into that area if hardy ever. They also find tenant hungry property owners looking for anyone to fill their vacant properties in these lower-income areas. They do stimulate and boost local economies in those impoverished areas. They also employ people.
Not to mention most local governments view them as a nuisances and only permit them in those specific areas. If they permit them at all. You know? The forgotten parts of town that the city has long forgotten. Nor do they even pretend to care about the people who inhabit those areas. That speaks to the fact that most cities and counties can care less about safe access for qualified and valid medicinal cannabis patients any more than they do about the homeless and impoverished, the hungry and struggling working class families. Especially the ones on a low or fixed income who need the most assistance in obtaining quality organic medicinal cannabis versus the alternative Over-prescribed toxic pharmaceutical industry that does kill our children every day.
They love to permit the Clubs and dispensaries in those forgotten and underfunded areas of the city or county. Why? Because where there is a higher concentrations of poverty, there is always higher amounts of criminal activity. If the only place you permit those establishments is in the areas with the most criminal activity. You can then always turn around and say they attract a lot criminal activity just by simply having a presence in that specific pocket of the community. Even if the establishment was never vandalized, robbed or broken into. Even if the establishment has an impeccable record and is in good standing with the surrounding businesses. Even if it was actually shown to decrease crime in the immediate surrounding area. They would never talk about that nor research into it. They will only cite the high amounts of criminal activity in the only area they permitted them to be in. Which also just so happens to be the epicenter for criminal activity in their town or county.
That was just the first panelist. Im afraid it only got much more disappointing as the panel continued. The second Panelist to totally blow everyone’s minds in regards to over taxation was Rob MacCoun a Professor at Stanford Law School who’s fantasy would be to see a scheme where Californian cannabis consumers are taxed specifically to the THC to CBD ratios in the cannabis they purchase. He also suggested a higher tax on more potent strains of cannabis. Why? To prevent people from breeding and consuming more potent strains of cannabis? Yes! He thinks it is a very serious public safety issue and he doesn’t believe people have any will power. Nor will they be able control their own limitations of consumption. Which will in turn equate to an epidemic of cannabis pandemonium and everyone’s tiny infants and sweet children will actually be exposed to ample amounts of highly potent killer cannabis that will apparently be the first cannabis in recorded history to ever kill someone.
Or maybe we will see the first strain of cannabis to actually impair people to the point of not being able to operate a motor vehicle and millions of high drivers will hit the road and kill millions. Oh the Horror! Anyone that is to high to drive, doesn’t. That is the difference between alcohol and cannabis. I have never came across a cannabis consumer who just got so stoned he could barely move off the couch tell me, ” I’m so high right now, I think ill drive home.” It is always, “I am to high to drive right now. I need to chill for a bit.” Not to mention they are never impaired to the point of intoxication. Mainly because there is no toxic substances in the natural non toxic cannabis plant. Everyone likes to say, ” You just never know. The science and studies are still out on the subject.” Well, I’m pretty sure we know! We have a pretty long track record of coexisting and evolving with the cannabis plant. To the extent the Human Species has developed an intricate Endocannabinoid System to process, distribute, and utilize the many compounds that come from only one place in nature, the cannabis plant.
Nobody has ever died from the consumption of Cannabis! Nobody! More potent strains, means less overall consumption, while receiving the same health benefits or effects. Every doctor or physician that recommends cannabis will tell you that, the more potent the concentrate the patient consumes means they will find faster relief and have to consume far less carcinogens than through the traditional ways of smoking the medicinal cannabis. Which perfectly ties us into another guest panelist who is actually from and apart of the cannabis industry, David Lampach of Steep Hill Labs. Who did not refrain from using scare tactics to insist that all cannabis should be properly tested. I wonder if it has anything to do with the fact that the company he works for just so happens to be the largest private industry cannabis testing company in the United States and possibly the world? Maybe!
I mean this kind of harkens back to the previous point that, Nobody, I mean nobody has died from the consumption of cannabis. David Lampach tried to play a very a shady game of connect the dots. He cited a recent incident at the UC Davis school of Medicine where, ” Several Immune Compromised patients had died of fungal pneumonia after recently using medical cannabis.” He followed that up with, ” It was unknown if the medicinal cannabis use contributed to the cause of death, and due to current federal restrictions the doctor was unable to drill down further on the matter.” He then went on to push blame towards the dispensary and owners that ran the establishment from which they were purchasing their medicine.
Where he said, ” However one of the doctors was able to recall one of the locations of the dispensaries where the patients had been getting their medicinal cannabis, and as it turned out, sadly, they where not testing for mold.” So there you have it folks. First people to ever die from cannabis ever and its all that dispensary owners fault. Eureka says the owners and proprietors of Steep Hill Labs! So? Because these immune compromised patients, ( Already really sick people ) who decided to try a homeopathic natural alternative died of fungal pneumonia they are all dead from the moldy medicinal cannabis they bought from a dispensary that was not using Steep Hill labs to test their medicine? Wow! What a perfect storyline and product pitch for your company.
You could end up just like them if you don’t test everything. Dead! All because a Cannabis Testing Company and their rep found the perfect case scenario where, maybe, and we are talking about a really huge maybe, that some already very ill patients may have possibly died from using moldy medicinal cannabis. And don’t forget his statements earlier. ( ” due to current federal restrictions, (That is pretty Convenient for claims ) the doctor could not drill down further on the matter.” ) Are these the first recorded cases of deaths associated with cannabis in human history? I highly doubt that is the case. People have been consuming cannabis for thousands upon thousands of years and there is no recorded deaths associated with its consumption. That would even have to include the nastiest, pesticide, fungicide, herbicide laden cannabis that’s ever been sold on the legal and illegal markets.
Show me one single recorded, documented, and factual case of anyone even dying from just the poisoning of consuming badly grown, herbicide and pesticide laden cannabis. Please! I have looked and I can’t find one. I may be wrong. please prove me wrong. But, guess what? Even if you found one. I could just use the very same vague reply he uses to defend his argument. I can turn around and say, ” Well, sadly, federal restrictions deny factual testing and statistics on this subject matter, so,,,,, we will never truly know if the moldy cannabis did in fact kill those poor people.” Death and the fear of death equals sales, sales, sales! Even though there has never been a legitimate fear or reason to believe that any moldy cannabis has ever killed anyone ever. They make millions insuring that you believe it has, it can, and it will continue to kill people unless every single bud, and every single leaf of cannabis cultivated is tested for everything. Preferably done by them, at Steep Hill Labs of course.
Then like a breath of fresh air enters Ben Rice from Santa Cruz, Ca. Ben has been a Criminal defense lawyer for 30 years. He was one of the few sane voices on the panel that day. He pointed out the huge disparities between Fresno county and Santa Cruz in regards to cannabis regulations. When (WAMM) The Wo-Mans Alliance for Medical Marijuana was raided in 2002 the city and County of Santa Cruz actually came to the defense of the collective after being raided by the DEA. He represented the city and county of Santa Cruz along with the ACLU and some other fine lawyers in federal litigation concerning WAMM. The city and county both embraced and supported WAMM. I doubt we will see the fresno city or county board of supervisors educating themselves about Cannabis let alone supporting and embracing a collective here anytime soon.
He also spoke to the fact that California was actually the first state to prohibit cannabis. While later being the one of the first states to pioneer reforms in cannabis regulations and laws. But the absolute best moment was when Ben Rice kind of looks over at the Reedley Chief of police and pauses, ” Well, Santa Cruz being, well, Santa Cruz we had a Sheriff who had seen that our district attorneys office was not interested in losing in court anymore. And they stopped filing the cases or they were resolved for next to nothing.” Wait it gets even better. He then says ” Our Sheriff said, look my budget is limited.” pauses and looks directly into the face of the Chief of Police and says, ” and he decided to eliminate his marijuana eradication team and use those resources for more serious crimes in Santa Cruz.” Like a Boss!
The next panelist to hit the mic was Rick Crane. He is the Strategic Programs Coordinator for UFCW 8-Golden State. He discussed the importance of legitimizing cannabis workers. He also closed with saying, ” Proposition 215 is now settled law. If California moves forward with outright legislation next year, it will only underscore the urgency that we believe is needed to regulate an already big industry that could thus grow exponentially.” So let me decode that for you. He does not care about legalization one bit. Him and his handlers do not favor legalization. They want the unregulated medicinal cannabis industry fixed before addressing legalization. Sound familiar? Do you remember Americans For Safe Access claiming the same thing during the prop 19 campaign ? Well The UFCW 8- Golden state is (ASA) Americans for Safe Access. Same tent. They are only concerned about the collectives they own and operate and securing restrictive permitting that insures they maintain a healthy leg up on their competitors.
Hold on to your butts it only gets worse from here folks. The next Speaker on the Panel was Tulare county board of supervisor Steve Worthley who started out his reefer madness by stating, “In Tulare county we chronicled over 600 grow sites and contrary to many of the speakers I’ve heard this morning many of ours are really wrapped around organized crime.” Then he went on to say “With over 440,000 residents in Tulare county its safe to say the number one business is export and marijuana is no different.” He then insisted that, ” People are even growing in backyards.” Oh the horror! He then pulled the same card as the first speaker and claimed, ” People are offering poor families and migrant workers $5000 if they can grow on their property or backyards and they will receive another $5000 when they are done.” He pretty much bragged about how extreme Tulare county is in enforcing Tulare’s unconstitutional bans on valid, legal medical cannabis patients. So that just goes to show the two extremes. In Santa Cruz the entire county and city rise up in defense. In the Central valley the cities and counties invent new ways of scapegoating state law by using code enforcement.
Now the next speaker Joe Garza is the Chief of Police for the City of Reedley and he actually got booed and it was well deserved. If he is in fact a father of four children than he does a lot of lying to his children to defend his job, title and income. He started his uneducated and non factual rant with, ” Although this is a forum on taxation and regulation it needs to be known that, California Police Chiefs association DOES NOT support ANY legalization or decriminalization of MARIJUANA.” No kidding? Cant take away the California Police departments bread and butter. He has to know that even after the passing of prop-215 there are actually 14 times as many cannabis prisoners in California then in 1980. This does not include federal prisoners like Eddy Lepp, Dale Schafer and many more.
He goes on to say, ” Legalization of MARIJUANA is just bad public policy because the DRUG is addictive and significantly impairs bodily and mental functions.” Even though its cured cancer and he knows it’s never killed anyone. Cannabis is no more addictive than sugar or caffeine and it is a non toxic plant. If Cannabis impairment is such a serious issue? How come we are not seeing this epidemic of stoned drivers crashing and killing people on California highways and byways ? Mainly because Cannabis is a natural non toxic plant that does not intoxicate or impair motor skills. In fact for most people it increases motor skills, brain activity and even helps regenerate new brain cells.
Now prepare yourself for this one. It is a huge jumble of lies. ” Policies aimed at legalizing marijuana have resulted in unintended but predictable consequences. Including increased use amongst minors, additional drug trafficking by criminal syndicates, and an increase of crime.” Here is the stretchiest of stretches for you though. ” Despite claims to the contrary the social cost of legalizing marijuana will dwarf the meager taxes that it raises.” Seriously dude? He then added, ” Unfortunately at a certain point those high taxes will simply encourage an illicit market that can come in, under grow, and undercut the high-priced legalized market.” Your killing me smalls. Do you understand your job? At all?
Ok lets start with his absurd claim that increased usage amongst minors is an unintended consequence of legalization. WRONG! Lie #1. Teen alcohol and drug use — including marijuana use — was down across the board in 2014. Click here for the full story. Now to prove him wrong on his quack pot theory that despite contrary beliefs the social cost of legalizing Cannabis would cost more than it would actually generate nonsense. You have to really be living under a central valley rock to believe this. Colorado raked in 76 Million dollars in marijuana taxes and business fees last year alone last year. These allegations are largely based upon the premise that present taxes on alcohol and cigarettes fail to adequately pay for the social costs associated with these drugs’ use and abuse.
His premise is all but irrelevant to the cannabis legalization debate. Do you Know why? Cannabis is 1000 times safer than alcohol! According to US Centers for Disease Control, alcohol plays a role in about 41,000 fatal accidents a year and in the commission of about 1 million violent crimes annually. Worldwide, the statistics are even grimmer. Stated a February 2011 World Health Organization report, alcohol consumption causes a staggering 4 percent of all deaths worldwide, more than AIDS, tuberculosis or violence. Cannabis deaths ? Not a single recorded or documented case of death from consumption of cannabis has ever been recorded or catalogued. Not to mention 94 percent of social costs for cannabis are linked to law enforcement.
He is not done dropping the Reefer Madness bomb on you. He then says, ” However before we can really speak about the legalization of marijuana we have to look at where will it be sold? Will our neighborhoods become red light districts like in Amsterdam? Accompanied by the same crimes and social disorder? ” Yes folks he really said this nonsense and yes last I checked this was the modern age of technology and the 21st century. Just to finish off all the crazy BULLSHIT this man spewed off that day. He then followed that up with, ” Lets not forget the nuisance caused by the powerful odor of mature marijuana plants.” I actually find the smell of his bullshit wafting from his mouth to be a bigger nuisance than the lovely perfumes of the cannabis plant. Now hear is the part where everyone in the room bursts into laughter or boo’s him. ” In my 26 years of being a police officer, I’ve known it to be a gateway drug, and it is a gateway drug.” The room erupts into giggles and laughter and the host has to ask the guests to refrain from doing that again. So he again states, ” Again as a police officer this is a well-known fact.” Room erupts into laughter once again.
All I can say at this point is please just watch the video and decide for yourself. This Panel and discussion took place on the 3rd of July and I just finished this article today. There was one more panelist. She talked about the similarities of the Tobacco Industry. Just like Before Cannabis is not Tobacco. All this Reefer Madness makes head want to explode. Look for a detailed article about the Central valley Reform meeting that took place in Goshen just an hour after this panel and discussion took place. Not in Visalia, or Fresno like some had advertised.
P.S —-> Please listen to the Comment and question sections in the video. Some serious and good questions were asked from dedicated activists from the central valley.
BY: Dustin Frazier Lowery
The most recent polls taken in California this month in regards to cannabis legalization show the numbers are in the cannabis communities favor. Not that surprising if you ask me. The most surprising is the recent uptick in support. It jumped from 51% in support of legalization in 2014, to 55% in favor of legalization in 2015. That is a big jump for a single year. In another poll they also discovered if cannabis were legal, 53% of California voters would not mind if a cannabis retailer opened in their neighborhood, while 44% said they would be bothered.
( Excerpt ) – ( Fifty-three percent of Californians told pollsters this month that marijuana should be legal, a record level of support since the Public Policy Institute of California began asking the question in 2010. According to a poll released this week, 45 percent of adults said the drug should remain illegal. Among likely voters, 55 percent favored legalization and 43 percent do not. If cannabis were legal, 53 percent of adults told PPIC that they would not mind if a cannabis retailer opened up in their neighborhood, and 44 percent said they would be bothered. Considering the question across political lines, most Democrats (63 percent) and Independents (57 percent) favored legalization, while a majority of Republicans (54 percent) did not. When PPIC asked the question in fall 2014, 51 percent of adults were in favor. When the organization asked in 2013, 52 percent of adults were in favor.Unsurprisingly, young people are more likely than older adults to favor legalization. Sixty-one percent of 18-to-34-year-olds said yes, 47 percent of those 35 to 54 supported, and 52 percent for those ages 55 and older. )
( Original Link and Author ) Thank You –Allen Young Staff Writer – Sacramento Business Journal http://www.bizjournals.com/sacramento/news/2015/03/27/poll-support-for-legalizing-marijuana-in.html
This is great news, if we allow it to be. This means we are finally winning the hearts and minds of the average people of California. Though it is very important that the California cannabis community seize upon this large uptick in momentum and steer it to all the proper channels, initiatives and groups fighting for real, 100%, Re-Legalization of cannabis in 2016. Why is it so important? We simply cannot allow this momentum to be wrangled in, or divided by industry leaders, phony patient activist groups, and middle men suppliers protecting their own self interests and black market profits over the interests of 99% of our cannabis community. In which case if this is your first cannabis legalization rodeo, it happens every cycle.
Don’t be hoodwinked. The wealthiest and most successful within the California medical cannabis industry like to test the waters with what they call, reform discussions and legalization roundtables. These are not about real legalization efforts. These gatherings are more about checking up on the enemies progression, gathering intel, and creating division amongst already united fronts. When the wealthiest and largest tycoons in the medical cannabis industry really want to know just what their up against in regards to future legalization efforts. Who do they turn to? Take a wild guess. They turn to groups like, MPP, Cal-Norml, ASA, and DPA to poll and question the information out of their members for them. They also love to host events and invite everyday patients and consumers to these events. They really want your insight and concerns for writing future legalization initiatives don’t ya know. Why? I will tell you why. So they can author an initiative that gives US the very LEAST of what WE all want, and gives THEM the majority of what THEY all want. They really do an excellent job at painting a picture of pure concern and motivation towards legalization, while acting against our own interests. I’ve seen it first hand.
But wait, don’t go all negative Nancy on me just yet man! There is a way out of this perpetual spiral of doom. And it starts with YOU, ME, and the entire cannabis community as a whole coming together, and the other 55% of Californians who agree that Cannabis Hemp should be 100% Re-Legalized. It’s up to us to liberate ourselves from mental slavery and reclaim the natural. Jack herer’s California Cannabis Hemp initiative of 2016 is the primary key to achieving real legalization that encompasses everyone. It addresses almost every major concern that has constantly plagued our community and culture since its inception. It also does a great job insuring that the everyday needs of the consumers are equally as important as the industries needs. Before I go into the details of why I support the CCHI 2016 initiative, and why I believe you should also. Lets delve into a little background and history of the initiative itself. Because I feel it is very crucial to know and understand the past, in order to truly understand the vision of the future. I still come across people to this very day who say, Jack Herer?, oh yeah, he was one of the best growers ever, I love that strain. I Also feel it is very important for the new generations to know the legacy of jack Herer.
Captain Ed and jack Herer met each other in 1974. They were both working together on the California Marijuana initiative. They both worked tirelessly toward educating the masses about the benefits of cannabis hemp. Ed actually made Jack swear a pact that he would fight for legalization until he was either dead, it was legal, or he turned the ripe old age of 84. They both agreed to the terms, shook on it, and smoked a joint to seal the deal. They had made this pact because they both knew they had accumulated vast amounts of knowledge through their own personal research and studies of Cannabis Hemp that this single plant could in fact, save and change not just California, but the World. They knew its amazing benefits and potential. They also knew that most of this knowledge was not commonly known to the average citizen. Both Jack and Ed worked tirelessly around the clock 24 hours a day, seven days week to educate, and liberate Cannabis 100% for everyone.
The (CHI) was originally started by Captain Ed Adair and Jack Herer and was a 100% grass-roots, all volunteer initiative. They believed in the power of the people to come together and overcome there oppressive government and there draconian laws.
Unfortunately “Captain” Ed Adair lost his battle with Leukemia and died in 1991. Here is a dedication Jack wrote on his website in 1998 to his dear friend and mentor, Ed Adiar.
( Original Link ) – http://www.digitalhemp.com/eecdrom/TEXT/page5.htm
To Edwin “Captain Ed” M. Adair III
Born October 29, 1940;
Died August 16, 1991 of Leukemia
Father of Scarlet, Robyn, and Edwin Marsh IV
He was my teacher, partner, and friend; the most honorable man, and the bravest freedom fighter I’ve ever known.
He taught many of us how to save the Earth from ourselves and to laugh at and yet love its enemies.
In 1974-75, possession of under an ounce of hemp/pot was decriminalized in the state of California. Captain Ed (pictured above at right, with the author at the 1990 Minnesota Rainbow Gathering) was 33 years old and I was 34. We took a pledge. At that time, virtually every one in the California pot movement thought we’d already won. They’d begun to drift away from the movement and had gone back to their lives, thinking the battle was over and we’d won, and that the politicians would clean up the loose ends…
Captain Ed didn’t trust politicians to get the job done. And he was right.
Ed’s pledge that I took in 1974 and again in April 1980, 1986, and 1988, and finally in the hospital four days before he died in August 1991, was that we’d swear to work every day to legalize marijuana and get all pot prisoners out of jail, until we were dead, marijuana was legal, or we could quit when we turned 84. We wouldn’t have to quit, but we could.
When we first made that pledge we were 50 years away from becoming octogenarians (80-year-olds, that is). Incredibly, we thought that in the light of all the amazing information we had uncovered about hemp, that the battle for complete legalization of cannabis would easily be over in six months—two years at the most…
Captain Ed gave us and me hemp as one of mankind’s most honorable and most important saviors. I vow to continue the fight, and I ask my fellow Californians, all Americans, and the rest of the world to join us.
July 15, 1998
The legacy of Edwin “Captain Ed” M. Adair III shouldn’t be overlooked either. He played a very big role in educating, inspiring, and motivating Jack Herer, And did a lot himself for our cannabis community and culture. While losing his mentor and best friend surely had to be heartbreaking and traumatic. He pressed on and never gave up trying to qualify his and other legalization initiatives on the California ballot. He still went from state to state educating anyone who would listen. Sadly In July 2000, Jack Herer suffered a minor heart attack and a major stroke, resulting in difficulties speaking and moving the right side of his body. Jack Herer mostly recovered, and claimed in May 2004 that treatment with the Amanita muscaria, a psychoactive mushroom, was the “secret”. While that slowed him down for a awhile, he still kept at it. Sadly in September 12, 2009 Herer suffered another heart attack while backstage at the Hempstalk Festival in Portland, Oregon. He was discharged to another facility on October 13, 2009. Paul Stanford of The Hemp and Cannabis Foundation said “He is waking up and gazing appropriately when someone is talking… but he is not really communicating in any way.”He died aged 70 on April 15, 2010 in Eugene, Oregon, from complications related to the September 2009 heart attack. Jack Herer was buried at the Eden Memorial Park Cemetery in Mission Hills, California.
First let me say, I never had the honor or pleasure of meeting Jack Herer. We where not close friends or even acquaintances sadly. I only knew the legacy of Jack Herer. Simply because he was very inspiring, articulate, and very well-educated on the topics. I looked up to him. I had one of his 420 Beverly Hills wallets and owned a signed copy of his book. That is the extent of our personal relationship, none! But I can remember exactly where I was, where I was sitting, and what I was doing when his death was announced. I was listening to radical Russ Belville on the Norml Live radio show just before I had to go to work. April 15, 2010, Just as the show was wrapping up, Russ broke into the end credits and music at the end of his show to announce with a very saddened tone and heart, that Jack Herer had passed away due to complications related to the September 2009 heart attack. I honestly cried right there at my computer desk. I did not know him personally, though I was deeply saddened by his passing and the loss of such a pivotal man for the cannabis movement. He died five days short of 420 no less. The biggest holiday and celebration for our cannabis community and culture. The timing, and everything seemed so wrong. The truth of the matter is, if you only took one lesson away from the life and legacy of jack Herer it would have to be his persistence and dedication to the cause, and people.
They both never gave up on us, or the Cannabis Hemp plant, never! And sadly neither one ever saw real legalization in California in their lifetimes even though they dedicated there lives to it. Jack and Ed are why I write these articles, They are why I have made the exact same pact with myself. The legacy that is, and was Jack Herer and Edwin “Captain” Adair must not have been in vain, or simply forgotten. These men pledged themselves to lives of servitude for the greater good of all men and women. This is exactly why there visions and dreams of liberating Cannabis Hemp 100% for all Californians and the World must be brought into the modern age. The good news is, it has, and its up to YOU and ME to make sure it really happens this time around in 2016.
Now, lets take a look at what I think are some of the most important and crucial aspects of the CCHI 2016 initiative, and why I think you should not only support it 100 percent, you should volunteer, donate and do everything you possibly can to see that it succeeds for the future benefit of all Californians.
( 1. ) It allows for personal / recreational use, possession and cultivation. ) In which case, let’s be honest, almost all initiatives will do the exact same thing. But only to a certain extent. just like we saw with Prop-19. They tried to limit personal cultivation to a 5×5 space for personal use. And Prop-19 only protected 1 ounce of personal cannabis. Just like Jack use to say, ” Without cultivation, it’s not legalization.” I would say, “Without adiquite cultivation, that directly meets the needs of personal, and medical consumption, it’s not legalization either.” For the purpose of distinguishing personal from commercial production, 99 flowering female plants and 12 pounds of dried, cured cannabis hemp flowers, but not leaf, produced per adult, 21 years of age and older, per year shall be considered as being for personal use. No tax, No license, no permit is required for Non-commercial cultivation, transportation, distribution, or personal consumption.
For some of you this may seem like way to much. Actually it’s quite the opposite. It’s what we need. It will force cannabis costs to drop drastically. It will create greater access for medicinal and recreational users throughout the entire state. Anyone that has grown their own plants knows, 99 plants does not always equate to the presumed 1-3 pounds per plant ratio that most like to boast about. Nor does it mean all 99 plants will even survive the season. There are many factors that can affect a crop and plants that are simply overlooked by the laymen or average consumer. Not to mention a single cultivator working 99 plants is a lot of work for one person. Those who have been at this long enough know that the best buds come from small well maintained gardens. Not large over scaled and under appreciated ones. But that doesn’t mean that 99 plants is unreasonable for each individual person either. Concentrates, butters, oils, salves, and topical’s all require a lot of material to process as well. And I would argue that being able to provide yourself with your own edibles, butters, salves, topical’s and concentrates also provides a substantial drop in costs to the everyday consumer and patient. Currently under Prop-215 and SB-420 Doctors are already allowed to give exemptions that can exceed the state requirements already. They can even go above 99 plants. But most just go all the way up to….you guessed it, 99 plants. Now trust me when I say, “There will not be another initiative that meets the demands of the cannabis consumers and patients needs in regards to cultivation like the California cannabis Hemp Initiative does. Period! If you think the industry leaders and dispensary owners are going to write an initiative that effectively puts them out of business. you’re going to be waiting a really long time.
(2.) It will Repeal, delete, and expunge any and all existing statutory laws that conflict with the provisions of this initiative. 1. Enactment of this initiative shall include: case review for the purpose of amnesty, immediate release from prison, jail, parole, and probation, and clearing, expunging, and deletion of all cannabis hemp marijuana criminal records for all persons currently charged with, or convicted of any non-violent cannabis hemp marijuana offenses included in this initiative which are hereby no longer illegal in the State of California. People who fall within this category that triggered an original sentence are included within this provision. Within 60 days of the passage of this Act, the Attorney General shall develop and distribute a one-page application, providing for the destruction of all cannabis hemp marijuana criminal records in California for any such offense covered by this Act. Such forms shall be distributed to district and city attorneys and made available at all police departments in the State to persons hereby affected )
I have heard a lot of nonsense about this one. stuff like, That is so absurd the state would never be able to practically do that in actual reality. The hell they can’t! In fact, not only do they need to, they have to, by law. In August, a three-judge federal court ruled that California must reduce its prison population by approximately 40,000 in two years. California’s prison population is consistently one of the largest in the country. The California Cannabis Hemp Initiative will certainly help in relieving the current prison over population problem in California. They are also Non-Violent drug offenders who deserve their freedom. This to me is a no brainer.
( 3. ) It will help define and determine an acceptable and uniform standard of impairment based on scientifically acceptable performance testing, to restrict persons impaired by cannabis hemp euphoric products from operating a motor vehicle or heavy machinery, or otherwise engaging in conduct that may affect public safety. This is a very important issue considering the current test of impairment only tests for non active cannabis metabolites that may have remained dormant in your bodies fat cells for weeks, and in no way shape or form does it give an accurate level of impairment. Meaning you may have smoked three weeks prior and still test positive for non active cannabis metabolites resulting in a DUI. Forcing the state to address this issue through the initiative process is probably the only way these inadequate forms of testing will ever be changed.
( 4.) The term “commercial production” means the production of cannabis hemp products for sale or profit under the conditions of these provisions. Industrial cannabis hemp farmers, manufacturers, processors, distributors, medicinal collectives, and retailers shall not be subject to any special zoning requirement, licensing fee, or tax that is excessive, discriminatory, or prohibitive. This is a very important issue for me living Fresno, who has tried and used every trick under the sun to prohibit any all cultivation of medicinal cannabis indoors and out. This will prohibit cities and counties from imposing discriminatory, excessive, or prohibitive zoning requirements and fees on cannabis outlets. It also caps the excise tax for commercial sales at 10% of the retail price. It also caps the license fees for commercial production, distribution, and sales at $1000. you want to be a mom-n-pop cannabis shop? Or maybe you want to take your strain and cultivation skills to the commercial market, and up your production? $1000 dollars please, and you’re in the commercial cannabis industry.
( 5. ) It will effectively remove Cannabis from the California Uniform Controlled Substances Act, which currently allows the Federal Government to Regulate Cannabis as a Schedule I drug. It will also prohibit California Law enforcement from assisting Federal Drug agents attempting to enforce federal laws that are no longer illegal by reason of this legislation. Also any person who threatens the enjoyment of these provisions is guilty of a misdemeanor. The maximum penalties and fines of a misdemeanor may be imposed.
( 6. ) Allows farmers to grow industrial hemp and hemp seed, and allows industries and entrepreneurs to use the crop for the many uses and applications that hemp provides, both historically and modern. Restricts the use in California of genetically modified Cannabis seeds. This is probably one of the most important issues out of all them all. If we want to feed the fourth hungriest city in the nation, Fresno, it is as simple as planting the seed. We have an entire Central Valley of generation after generation of farmers. The Hemp plant requires far less water then corn and most vegetable crops, replenishes the Soil, Requires very little , to no pesticides, and would also help reduce the nations 2nd most polluted city in America, Second only to Bakersfield Ca. Hemp in the Central Valley of California makes perfect sense in more ways then one. It puts our farmers back to work, it also feeds the hungry with the most nutritional seed for human consumption on this planet. All while cleaning the heavily polluted soil and very air we breath.
Lets be honest with ourselves here folks. If you are looking for, or waiting around, and expecting the Industry leaders to create a more extensive, or better initiative then the California Cannabis Hemp Initiative of 2016. It is never going to happen. If you believe that Norml, ASA, DPP, and the MPP are hosting these round tables and conferences because they are going to craft an initiative that doesn’t favor the Industry leaders over the interests of the average consumer. Wrong again. I have even heard a few people suggest that ASA and Cal-Norml are on board with the California Cannabis Hemp Initiative 2016. Wrong again. This is Lip service at best to shoe you away from the real conversation. Unless Dale Gieringer, and Don Duncan are donating funds and coordinating future signature gatherings for the CCHI 2016 campaign to officially register it for the 2016 ballot. it should only be considered lip service at best.
The California Cannabis Hemp Initiative was literally written by OUR people, for ALL people in the 70’s and has been carefully cared for, adjusted and modified for the modern age by Jack himself up until his death in 2010, and has only been modified after his death by a limited amount of trusted associates who worked very closely with jack himself. I have witnessed the evolution and growth of the California cannabis Hemp Initiative campaign and grass-roots efforts in both the 2012 and 2014 attempts to register it on the ballot. I can honestly say with confidence, I really feel positive that we are going to put the CCHI on the 2016 presidential ballot. Another interesting side note is that the really bad voter turnout in the last California gubernatorial election actually means we require less signatures to qualify.
The real bottom line here is that unless we all take it upon ourselves to walk the walk, and not just, talk the talk, and actually get involved in OUR own future. We will constantly be disappointed with the alternatives they present us with. Sadly, both Jack Herer and Captain Ed died before they were able to witness real legalization in California. So here is my proposition to you and every other seriously motivated person in the Cannabis community. This upcoming 4/20, 2015, in loving memory of Jack Herer and Captain Ed. Make a pact with a friend, or yourself to dedicate yourself to getting involved in the upcoming fight to liberate and Re-Legalize Cannabis Hemp in California in 2016. Don’t forget to seal it seal it with a Joint! And remember, there is not going to be any large financial backing for the California Cannabis Hemp Initiative 2016. Nor is it required like most would have you believe either. What is needed and required is large amounts of dedication, motivation, and coordination from the Cannabis Community.
By Dustin F. Lowery
Please go to the website – http://www.cchi2016.org – Just Click the donate button and give whatever you can spare to the CCHI 2016 today.
If you are in the Fresno area or Central valley and want to get involved in the upcoming signature gathering process, or are just have questions please contact me @dustruction, or through the this E-Mail at- cchi2016Fresno@gmail.com
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Are you looking forward to the potential of Cannabis legalization in California come 2016? So am I! Have been for quite some time now. Since 2009 I have actually dedicated my life to sharing and educating people about the truths and potential of Cannabis Hemp. Its one of the main reasons I am writing this article today. The future of Cannabis legalization in California may seem almost destined to pass with flying colors in 2016. I assure you, it is not going to be as simple as it is perceived. What some may consider legalization, doesn’t necessarily equate to the legalization you may be expecting. Now with that being said, there are only a few ways to ensure that real legalization happens in 2016. And almost all of them start and end with you. Yeah you, the reader. Not just you, me and everyone else also.
First things first. If you’re sitting back waiting for the (DPA) Drug Policiy Alliance, (Norml) National Organization for Reform of Marijuana Laws, (ASA) Americans For Safe Access, and other so-called activists groups to deliver legalization for you. You probably would not get to excited about the final result. Do you believe they will form an initiative that favors the average patient, or consumer over the current medical marijuana industry leaders and stake holders? If you do, you have been sadly mislead. Why? Because these very organizations are ran and supported by, you guessed it, the very Industry leaders and business owners who enjoy their absorbent profits from the current unregulated model. How could I possibly know this? I have seen it first hand. I have traveled up and down this state to several cannabis events sponsored by these groups. I have seen the subversion they use to promote the Industry over the plant itself. I specifically recall the big ASA lobbying event at the state capitol a few years back. Where they specifically advertised the weekend as a patient lobbying day. So I wanted to check this lobbying day out for myself. I figured at least it would be an educational experience. Which it was, for several reasons.
When we arrived at this local union hall in the middle of nowhere in Sacramento one of the first things I noticed was there was a lot of dress shirts and Dockers. Everywhere! They all had their ASA lobbying day badges around their Necks looking professional. They had very nice and lavish charter buses they had rented to bus the “Patients” from other districts to Sacramento. Where were these patients? After clambering around during their meeting recording what I could with my camera I had seen virtually no patients. Every word out of their mouths was about lobbying there representatives the following day at the capitol building . All about regulating the medical marijuana industry. The thing I found most interesting was after the meeting I wanted to speak with some of these patients and get there take on the meeting. Almost every single person I spoke with was a patient in the legal sense, but not your everyday average patient. They were all Industry insiders, and Dispensary owners there to lobby their representatives for more restrictive regulations in regards to the medical cannabis industry. I think one of the most telling signs was how excited Don Duncan got once Stephan Deangelo and his Brother showed up at the capitol building. My point is, they tell you one thing to your face, and do another behind closed doors. They verbally promote legalization, regulation and reform. But not the kind that benefits the everyday consumer and patient. If you are relying on them to author something that will meet your needs as a Consumer or a Patient. Think again!
One of my favorite Hemp activists Chris Conrad wrote a really good piece back during the TaxCannabis prop-19 debate. ( http://weedactivist.com/2010/07/25/another-word-on-jack-and-prop-19-from-chris-conrad/ ) (Excerpt) – Initially Jack deeply hated Prop 215. He literally stumped up and down the state cursing out hemp activists who backed it. He screamed at us, called us traitors for working on medical use, and claimed that Dennis Peron was secretly against legalization. When 215 was filed, Jack filed the California Hemp Initiative (CHI) on the 1996 ballot to block it. and changed the name to “California Hemp _and Health_ Initiative” so people signing it would think they had signed Prop 215, to mess with the signature count. When I called him on it, he said he was trying to keep Prop 215 off the ballot because, among other things, “people will stop working for legalization and we’ll be stuck with medical forever. No hemp, no legalization; that will be the end.” Later he circulated the CCU petitions for pay, then before the election came to support it completely. Now some people actually credit Jack for ‘passing Prop 215. Jack vociferously opposed Senate Bill 420, but he loved the dispensaries it allowed to open. ( click the Above link to read the entire piece).
Jacks words – “people will stop working for legalization and we’ll be stuck with medical forever. No hemp, no legalization; that will be the end.” Jack Knew it then, and they also knew it then. Guess what ? They still know it now! This is exactly what we have been dealing with for the last 19 years. The industry leaders and club owners don’t want there quasi legal black market profits going anywhere. So enter the DPA, Norml and ASA with their attempts at dividing the legalization movement as a whole. They certainly don’t want the everyday average consumer to be able to cultivate their own Cannabis at home, over buying their middle man marked up products in their stores. Do you think (Norml), (ASA) and the (DPA) want everyone in California cultivating a possible 99 plants legally? Do you think they want to lose that revenue stream? Not just the dispensary owners and industry leaders but the activist groups themselves? No they don’t! and they are very active right now at subverting attention away from the CCHI 2016 initiative for other initiatives that have not even been written yet. Yet they all love to invoke the legacy of jack Herer. Like Stephan Deangelo of Harborside in Oakland Ca. One of the Worlds largest dispensaries in the world by the way. He constantly speaks of how good friends him and Jack were, and how they shared the same vision in regards to legalization and cannabis, Well I will have to beg to differ here. I personally asked Stephan Deangelo during the CCHI 2012 signature campaign, at Harborside’s yearly shindig called The Deep Green Festival if he supported the Jack here Initiative. He simply replied, I do not support any initiative until they have already registered for the ballot. So the man who makes the most money, and the most profits in California, from the Patients of the medical cannabis industry no less, won’t support or finance any legalization effort until it has already officially made the ballot. Share the same vision my ass!
The point is, if you rely on industry leaders, and activists groups to do the work for you, you’d better get ready for a heaping pile of disappointment. Trust me when I say they will let you down every time. In the words of Jack Herer – “You guys have to be warriors for your own freedom. You can’t depend on me or anyone else to do it for you. This freedom comes from our willingness to put our acts on the line and teach people all the comprehensive information we have learned about cannabis hemp.” We don’t need big money, we need big motivation and big determination from an educated base of citizenry. The CCHI 2016 is organizing up and down, and throughout the entire state as I write this article. We are organizing a base of volunteers and supporters to get the signatures necessary to qualify for the November 2016 ballot. Please click the link at the top right of the site for more information on how you can get involved with the fight to liberate cannabis 100% for everyone.
Here in California, the legal cannabis debate is often superseded by the fight for Medical Marijuana, which appears reasonable as ill patients are in need of medicine for their aliments more so than the casual user wants his civil liberties. However we should not forget that the legality of cannabis effects both our medical and civil rights.
While I hate to say that one right is more important than another. Rights are like our children or creations, we must love them equally or at least see them as equally important. Yes, the patient’s right for their doctor agreed upon medicine is more important than the wants of the recreational user. Yet, their want for open civil rights is still important and should not be overlooked.
Not to mention that the medical debate leaves the casual user stone cold sober, while the quest for legalization is all-inclusive.
To further the push for legalization, I give you five reasons why marijuana should be legal. They are not the only reasons for a legal cannabis country but a selection that I have deemed most shocking and/or logical to unlock the doors to a world of cannabliss.
#5 – End The Underworld’s Cannabis Profits
Currently, every week a news outlet somewhere runs a story about how the Cannabis trade is the largest profit maker for the Cartels. If we are to take these numerous reports to be true than One is left to assume that legalization is the only way to wrestle our marijuana money from the black market.
In the halls of history, we can find one example of how the largest profit maker for a black market was changed into an above-the-board non-profit organization that benefits society. I mean, of course, the lottery.
Long ago in the days when televisions had dials, one of the largest money makers for outlaws was to run illegal lotteries, or “running numbers” as was the term of the time. A Numbers racket worked like this:
How Numbers Ran:
1. A customer would walk into a bar / candy store / retail outlet.
2. They bought their numbers at the counter.
3. A mobbed-up “underworld type” would go around to the various outlets and collect the numbers.
4. On a prescribed day, a number would be picked and the customer with that number got cash.
This system worked for a long time. However since the 80’s, running numbers is no longer a profitable venture for the underworld. The lottery changed the game. You can no longer profit from running numbers as anyone, who is anyone, can now go into any convenience store and buy a lotto ticket. Yet, not only a lotto ticket but a legal, state verified lotto ticket.
How Lotto Runs:
1. A customer walks into a convenience store.
2. Customer buys lotto ticket at the counter.
3. Lotto Numbers are collected by state run machines.
4. Lotto numbers are picked and winning numbers collect cash!
As you can see from the example above, America did not stamp out the citizens ability to gamble. Instead we made the lotto legal. We took the profits out of the black market and put them to good use in our school and public health systems. Thus to END the machine of terror that collects our cannabis proceeds, we need to take the profits out of the black market and put them to good use in the general and legal economy.
#4 Cannabis Industry Means More Jobs
When we put the Black Market‘s cannabis proceeds into the general economy, then we also add all the jobs that once where part of the Black Market. Just look around the medical marijuana industry and see at all the different jobs that are created.
Sure, there are the growers and the dealers. On the farm, there are helpers, trimmers, and baggers, oh my. On the streets, there are wholesalers, drivers, and street-level traders. These are positions that directly trade over from the black market.
However, the industry in the medical marijuana industry create even more jobs. Here in California, there are bud tenders, security guards, and administration at all the dispensaries. There are labs, filled with scientist, that test the potency of cannabis. There are kitchens filled with cooks who make medicated snacks. Factories who make containers. And the list goes on.
Where the underground market sees marijuana as a commodity, with maybe three different levels; schwag, Beasters, and Nugs, with one basic effect. The medical marijuana industry sees an ever-growing list of strains and byproducts where each one comes with at least one taxable employment slot.
I was at the San Francisco Medical Cannabis Cup and I marveled at the number of booths and the range of products displayed. As from above, each booth and product is another job that was added to the economy directly from the impact of Proposition 215.
Cannabis Numbers #3, 2, and 1 to Come…
Our first two reasons to end cannabis prohibition are down. We need to end the black market’s cannabis profits. If we end the illegal profits by legalization, then we will create an industry from the ashes of our misguided past.
While these two reasons maybe enough of a justification for Legalization, we still have three more reasons to go.
Join us next time for Pot 5 Reasons: Marijuana Should Be Legal Part 2
By: Red Eyed Kracker