Colorado: Moms For Marijuana Activist Jenny Kush Killed By Drunk Driver


By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

A widely recognized marijuana activist was killed on a highway near Denver, Colorado, early Saturday morning, by a drunk driver with a long record of DUI arrests.

Jenny Kush, 34, the mother of four and a founding member of Moms For Marijuana, died after an SUV in which she was a passenger was struck head-on by a vehicle driving the wrong way in the HOV lane on Interstate 25 in the Denver area, reports Jonathan Vankin at Opposing Views.

The drunken driver, Rebecca Maez, 27, was reportedly too intoxicated to notice she had gone the wrong way up the exit ramp onto I-25. She was driving south in the northbound HOV lane when her car hit the vehicle driven by Kush's boyfriend just after midnight as the couple returned home from a concert.

Maez now faces charges of vehicular homicide in addition to another drunk driving violation.

"I had actually just talked to her about 10 minutes before the wreck happened," Paul Garrett, a friend of Kush's, told CBS Denver. "They were at a concert downtown. She was telling me about the t-shirt she got and how much fun she had had."

Kush's boyfriend, identified by activist "Rx MaryJane" as Jeremy Charles, was injured in the crash been has been released from the hospital.

New Zealand: Sentence Halved for Medical Marijuana Activist


By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

A medical marijuana activist in New Zealand has had his home detention sentence cut in half after a hearing in the Court of Appeal.

Activist William McKee, 58, was originally sentenced to 12 months' home detention, reports the Aeotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party (ALCP). He promoted the medical use of marijuana through a website called GreenCross, which seeks a change in the law to make cannabis available for medicinal purposes.

A police investigation was reportedly prompted by activity on the site about selling and distributing cannabis.

An undercover police officer made several cannabis purchases, totaling $305, over four months after initially contacting McKee in February 2010.

McKee has known the value of medical marijuana for 37 years now, since the amputation of one leg after he was injured in a hit-and-run accident just after his 21st birthday. Before and after the amputation, he found that self-medicating with cannabis brought him the most effective relief.

According to McKee, the undercover officer had talked him into selling the cannabis by claiming severe headaches. McKee had unsuccessful tried to get the officer to become a GreenCross cardholder, which would have given the policeman a medical exemption.

McKee told the court the small sales he made, after much "wheedling" from the undercover officer, should have been regarded as entrapment.

New Zealand: Cannabis Advocate Runs For Mayor


By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

New Zealand cannabis legalization advocate Dakta Green, who's been jailed two times for possession of marijuana, has entered the race for mayor of the Ruapehu District.

Green, 63, is back in his home town of Taumarunui after a 40-year absence and said he wants to make a mark, reports Merania Karauria at The New Zealand Herald. The activist has bought the former freezing works administration centre, and wants to turn it into a museum.

The mayoral candidate is also the founder of New Zealand's most visible cannabis club, The Daktory. His motto is "Live like it's legal."

"Alcohol and tobacco are dangerous drugs but are legally available," Green said in 2010. "Cannabis causes less harm to our community."

"The cannabis laws are wrong," Green said. "They are fueled by a pernicious prejudice and perpetuate harmful stereotypes that adversely affect users and their families."

According to Green, cannabis is more natural, healthier option than other drugs, and does not fuel crime. "You smoke a joint right now, you're not going to all of a sudden going to be overcome with the urge to go out and rob a bank or belt somebody over the head," he said. "There's nothing within cannabis that turns you into a criminal."

Global: Unveils Mainstream Cannabis News and Information Section


By Steve Elliott
Hemp News has introduced a cannabis news and culture section, covering topics ranging from industry news to advocacy efforts and resources for people new to cannabis, including FAQs, how-to guides, advice for choosing a dispensary, and a dispensary patient "bill of rights."

Described as "Yelp for medical cannabis patients," Leafly is designed to help patients find the marijuana strains and dispensaries for their medical needs through an online environment. The site features more than 50,000 patient-generated reviews of more than 500 strains of cannabis, along with 22,000 patient reviews of 3,300 dispensaries in the United States, Canada, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Israel.

"This is a big step forward for cannabis patients," said Christian Groh, vice president of sales and Leafly and partner of Privateer Holdings. "Expanding Leafly's education and information resources will allow patients to make informed decisions about their treatment in a mainstream, professional environment."

To lead the expansion, Leafly hired Rebecca Kelley as its new Content & Community manager. Kelley brings almost a decade of experience in online content development and marketing to the Leafly team.

In her new role, Kelley will oversee a team of four content creators tasked with developing Leafly into a news and culture resource for cannabis patients. Previously, she served as content marketing manager for Intego (an industry leader in Mac antivirus and security software), and also held similar positions at This or That Media, and SEOmoz.

Hempstalk Is Coming To Portland September 7-8


By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Portland Hempstalk, one of the best loved cannabis festivals in the Pacific Northwest, is scheduled for September 7 and 8 at Kelley Point Park, at the confluence of the Willamette & Columbia Rivers in Oregon.

Hempstalk is in a bucolic, rural setting just outside the city; Kelley Point Park is quite secluded, and attendees must traverse trails to get to the event itself, but golf carts run a constant shuttle service between the gate and the event.

One striking thing about Hempstalk is the degree of enthusiasm shown by those who have attended; if they’ve ever been one time, folks plan to go back.

“Hempstalk is awesome,” Seattle activist Jared Allaway, known for giving out “Marijuana Is Safer Than Alcohol” t-shirts, told Hemp News. “They have a great location on the water with multiple stages for entertainment, great vendors, and great info debates. The hospitality is awesome!”

Another prominent Seattle activist, Renae Ely, agreed; 2012 was her first experience with Hempstalk. “Coming shortly after the mind-blowing hugeness that is Seattle Hempfest, I wasn’t sure just what to expect,” Ely told us. “After a long and leisurely stroll into Kelley Point Park, I was pleasantly surprised to find a sizable (yet not overwhelming) hemp and cannabis event happening!

Washington: Marijuana DUI Patrols Planned for Seattle Hempfest


By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

With up to 200,000 expected in Seattle this weekend for Hempfest, cops looking to make "marijuana DUI" arrests -- whether those charged are actually impaired or not -- are going to have a target-rich environment.

The world's largest pot rally, hits the Seattle waterfront this weekend -- and it's probably not a coincidence that Washington state's "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over" campaign starts at the same time, according to the Washington Traffic Safety Commission.

The Drive Sober campaign runs from August 16 through September 2, reports Ben Livingston at SF Gate, and it will especially focus on catching drivers who have been smoking marijuana.

"Officers can tell when a driver is experiencing other effects of marijuana influence such as relaxed inhibitions, altered perception of time and distance, disorientation, incomplete thought processes and increased pulse," a clueless press release from law enforcement, customized county by county for the state, tells us.

Uruguay: Sting and Richard Branson Accused of Using Nation as 'Laboratory' For Legalization


By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Sting and Sir Richard Branson have been accused of using Uruguay as a "laboratory" for marijuana legalization after backing a campaign to regulate cannabis in the South American nation.

Uruguay looks to be a sure bet to become the first nation in the world the fully legalize marijuana, reports Tom Gardner at the Daily Mail. The changes were set into motion after a campaign by the Drug Policy Alliance (DPA), for which Sting and Branson are honorary international board members.

The involvement of the America-based drug law reform organization is being branded "meddling" by the Uruguayan opposition to cannabis legalization, who are attempting to inculcate a backlash against the planned changes.

Gerardo Amarilla of the opposition National Party accused the two celebrities of risking the health of Uruguayans with their "meddling," and turning the entire country into a "laboratory" for reform. "They should be meddling in Uruguay," Amarilla said.

"They should be lobbying in their own country because they're not going to suffer the consequences here, the security and health problems," Amarilla said, ignoring the fact that both men actually do lobby in their own country for drug reform.

Time 4 Hemp To Host 'Global Cannabis Summit' Each Friday In August


Each Friday during August, "Time 4 Hemp - LIVE" will be hosting two-hour specials to produce a 10-hour Global Cannabis Summit with some of the most brilliant minds and amazing leaders of the industrial hemp and medical marijuana movement. These presentations will be broadcast live on American Freedom Radio as well as on AM/FM stations across America and the ROKU Broadcasting Network at 9-11 a.m. (PST), then made available for free download from the archives at American Freedom Radio and in iTunes.

The cannabis legalization movement, according to Time 4 Hemp host Casper Leitch, has long wanted to have Congressional or Senate hearings, as well as the chance to meet with world leaders to present:

• The rational thinking and hard data that verify prohibition as a failed policy which ruins personal lives as well as the future of the following generations;
• The most significant scientific studies pertaining to medical marijuana and the need to stop arresting sick people and those who are caring for them;
• The hard data that verify the cost of arresting people for using marijuana (as well as other items found in the black market) is something society can no longer afford;

Minnesota: Lawmakers Look At Medical Marijuana Bill For 2014


By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Minnesota could legalize marijuana for medicinal purposes next year, if a bipartisan group of lawmakers gets their way. They plan to introduce a bill in 2014 that would allow doctors to authorize cannabis for patients with debilitating medical conditions.

Medical marijuana could bring much-needed relief to some patients, according to state Rep. Carly Melin (DFL-Hibbing), the bill's chief sponsor in the House, reports Tim Pugmire of Minnesota Public Radio. There is also a Senate version of the bill.

"The medical marijuana conversation really is centered around compassionate care and allowing for patients to be prescribed medication from their physician that will help them," Melin said.

Minnesota's Independence Party is going farther than that -- they say marijuana should be legalized overall. Delegates decided earlier this year to add a new plank to their party platform which calls for the legalization, taxation and regulation of cannabis.

"We're penalizing people for what is not a crime for stronger drugs, which could be alcohol or other things that can be abused," said Mark Jenkins, state chairman for the Independence Party. "And it's an opportunity to put more and better control on it. Also, a revenue opportunity as well, so there are a lot of different constituencies that like it for a lot of reasons.

Indiana: Marijuana Legalization Ad to Air at NASCAR Brickyard 400 This Weekend


Video on jumbotron will inform fans that marijuana is objectively less harmful than alcohol; ad reminiscent of a beer commercial characterizes marijuana as a 'new beer' with 'no calories,' 'no hangovers,' and 'no violence' associated with its use

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

NASCAR fans attending this weekend's Brickyard 400 races at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway will be greeted by a video ad in support of making marijuana legal for adults. The ad, produced by the Marijuana Policy Project, is scheduled to air dozens of times from Friday through Sunday on the jumbotron at the entrance of the speedway, which will be "the epicenter of American stock car racing and North American sports car racing" this weekend, according to the event's website.

The ad, which is reminiscent of a beer commercial, highlights the relative safety of marijuana compared to alcohol by characterizing marijuana a "new 'beer'" that is less harmful to the consumer and to society. It points out that marijuana has no calories, does not produce hangovers because it is less toxic, and does not contribute to the violent and reckless behavior frequently linked to alcohol use.

"Our goal is to make this weekend's event as educational as it will be enjoyable," said Mason Tvert, director of communications for the Marijuana Policy Project. "We simply want those adults who will be enjoying a beer or two at the race this weekend to think about the fact that marijuana is an objectively less harmful product.

Minnesota: Lawsuit Says Officers Gave Occupy Protesters Marijuana As An Experiment


By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Several videos taken in April 2012 of law enforcement officers interacting with Occupy Minnesota protesters at Peavey Plaza in Minneapolis have led to an officer being placed on leave, a state training program suspended, and now a federal lawsuit seeking more than $1 million.

Attorneys for Occupy Minnesota demonstrators who say police officers gave them marijuana to smoke as part of a Drug Recognition Evaluation (DRE) program squared off in a courtroom on Monday with lawyers for the counties and cities where the law enforcement personnel worked, reports Mark Albert at KSTP. None of the officers were charged, reported Laura Yuen atMinnesota Public Radio.

A motion to dismiss was argued by attorneys for 26 police officers in 18 agencies. The state has been dismissed from the lawsuit for now, even though the DRE was set up, run, and supervised by the Minnesota Department of Public Safety.

The counties' attorney, Jason Hively, told Magistrate Judge Franklin L. Noel during the 65-minute hearing that the 13-page complaint alleging constitutional violations of the First and Fourteenth Amendments should be dismissed because the participants volunteered and were not forced to take part.

"They all knew that they were using marijuana," Hively claimed. "There was no experiment here ... They knew exactly what they were getting into."

Cannabis Common Sense: Friday's, 8-9PM Pacific Time (Live Stream)

Presented by Campaign for the Restoration and Regulation of Hemp (CRRH).

Cannabis Common Sense Friday's, 8-9PM Pacific Time (Live Stream)

The show that tells truth about marijuana & the politics behind its prohibition.

Live call in show, Friday's, 8-9PM Pacific Time, (503-288-4442) Cannabis Common Sense is intended to educate the public on the uses of cannabis in our society.

Feel free to call the show.

Watch the show on Ustream!

Be sure to check us out on Youtube!

Mexico: President Vicente Fox - The HIGH TIMES Interview

There is a truth that must be heard! Interview by Justin Hampton, High Times
Video by Steve Payne, High Times

Former President of Mexico Vicente Fox sits down with HIGH TIMES for an exclusive interview regarding his global initiative to legalize marijuana. Alarmed by the Drug War that has been ravaging his country since he left office in 2006, President Fox has created a broad coalition that includes American pot activists to focus on a singular goal that will help curb cartel violence: legalizing pot.



New York: Staten Island Traffic Sign Hacked To Read 'Smoke Weed Every Day'


By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

A portable traffic sign in Staten Island, New York, invited motorists to "SMOKE WEED EVERYDAY" after someone apparently broke into the machine and changed its text.

That phrase apparently wasn't the only pro-marijuana sentiment to flash on the traffic sign last weekend, with at least one other passerby posting an Instagram picture of the sign reading something similar, reports Ryan Lavis at the Staten Island Advocate.

The text on the portable sign was soon restored to its original message, warning drivers of shifting traffic patterns.

The Department of Design and Construction is currently overseeing a large sewer project in the area, but responsibility for the sign itself falls on the contractor for the site, according to DDC spokesman Joseph Soldevere.

The contractor corrected the sign on Monday and put on new locks, Soldevere said. Construction on the project should end next summer, he added.

(Photo: Mike Tompkins/Staten Island Advocate)

U.S.: American Drug War II Is IMDB's Highest Rated 2013 Documentary


By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

"American Drug War II: Cannabis Destiny" is currently rated highest among all 2013 documentaries on IMDB, the Internet Movie Database, with a score of 9.7 out of 10, according to the film's makers.

The documentary focuses on the failed U.S. Drug War and its effect on a new generation. As IMDB states, "Director Kevin Booth navigates through the cutting edge of cannabis research while becoming a foster parent to a child ordered to take powerful mind altering drugs."

"It has been one of the greatest professional experiences of my life to work with Kevin Booth and his team," said Robert Kane, CFO and senior vice president of business development at X-Change Corp. "It is a privilege to be part of the project from the inception of the business plan, through production and release.

"To have it #1 on this year's IMDB highest rated documentary list is telling of the quality of production and the power of the film's message," Kane said. "This is important because the story speaks to our country's failed drug policy within a context of inhumane effects on children in need of treatment.

"We are thankful that the documentary includes the poignant story of little Cash Hyde," Kane said. "The interest in this film is a game changing moment for both the film and entertainment industry as well as the cannabis industry as the film's success establishes that the market is primed for further investment from media and entertainment giants to support, fund, and invest in related projects."

U.S.: Google Plans To Quietly Help Medical Marijuana Activists


By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Starting next month, Google searches for "chemotherapy nausea" will turn up an ad for medical marijuana, courtesy of the charitable arm of Google. Last week the internet search giant donated $120,000 worth of AdSense advertising to a Michigan medical marijuana advocacy group.

As part of its gift, Michigan Compassion will be promoting medical marijuana through the plain-text ads that pop up just to the right side of Google search results, reports Eleazar David Melendez of The Huffington Post.

Michigan Compassion doesn't sell medicinal cannabis, but instead connects patients with growers. The group said the ads will appear alongside searches likely to be made by cancer chemotherapy patients.

"The goal is to link the negative effects of chemotherapy and the positive effects of cannabis," said Amish Parikh, vice president of Michigan Compassion.

Google had previously maintained a strict policy against hosting ads for marijuana-related searches, even medical-marijuana searches. But its new friendliness towards the cause fits in with the culture of Silicon Valley, where tech companies and their employees have been quietly contributing to cannabis activism, according to attorney Lauren Vazquez, who is involved in the legalization movement.

"They're not the ones coming to the city council meetings to protest, but they quietly send in their donations," Vazquez said. "And they're definitely consuming the cannabis."

Michigan: Thousands Demand Release Of Patient Imprisoned For Medical Marijuana


An online petition is helping medical cannabis prisoner Jerry Duval’s request for Compassionate Release gain some traction. Duval is serving a 10-year mandatory minimum prison sentence for marijuana, even though he was legally registered and strictly complied with Michigan state law.

Duval’s prison sentence has become the focus of a media firestorm in recent weeks, including an article in Huffington Post that highlights the $1.2 million dollar price tag, just for Duval’s medical costs while incarcerated. The 53-year-old organ transplant recipient surrendered to a Federal Medical Center in Devens, Massachusetts on June 11.

Duval has filed for relief under the Bureau of Prison’s Compassionate Release program. In addition to his serious medical conditions, Duval points to sentencing disparities among similarly situated defendants.

Just this week, Edwin Schmieding received two years' probation after being convicted of growing 8,000 plants less than 30 miles from the Duval farm. A federal judge felt that Schmieding “deserves a break.” The indictment against Schmieding’s wife was dismissed by U.S. Attorneys.

Despite their strict compliance with Michigan’s medical marijuana laws, Duval and his son, Jeremy, were given no such breaks. The pair was convicted after deciding to stand trial and fight the charges, even though state law is traditionally not allowed as a defense in federal court. Jeremy is serving a five-year mandatory minimum sentence.

World Remembers Activist Peter McWilliams, 13 Years After His Passing


By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

On June 14, 2000, the world lost one of its bravest activists for medical marijuana and personal freedom. Peter McWilliams, author of Ain't Nobody's Business If You Do and many other books, passed away after a battle with cancer and HIV when the government took away the cannabis he used to control his nausea. More than a decade after his death, it's important to remember just who and what this man was.

McWilliams [1949-2000] lived a rich life. He was many things: author, publisher, photographer, poet and activist, among others. But one of the most important things Peter was, was an inspiration. His courage and charisma were and continue to be a source of strength to many who are struggling with illness and with the injustice of our marijuana laws.

He had a remarkable career starting in the 1970s, writing more than 40 books, including works on depression, losing a loved one, computers, and poetry (yes, he was a real Renaissance Man). Several of McWilliams' books made The New York Times Top 10 nonfiction bestseller list.

Peter's 1993 libertarian manifesto Ain't Nobody's Business If You Do remains one of the greatest affirmations of the right of citizens to act and live in any peaceful, honest lifestyle, including their inalienable right to drugs and especially cannabis. It emphasizes personal freedom and the responsibility that goes along with it.

Mississippi: Prince of Pot Emery Put In Solitary Confinement


By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Marc Emery, also known as the Prince of Pot, has been put into solitary confinement at the Federal Correctional Complex in Yazoo City, Mississippi.

Emery is serving a five-year sentence for mailing marijuana seeds to the United States from his business in Vancouver, British Columbia, reports Dana Larsen at the Vancouver Sun. He has about 14 months to go on on his sentence.

Emery writes a blog from prison, and in March, reportedly with permission, had some photos taken of his band practicing in the prison's music room. In the photo accompanying this article, Marc is seen with the prison band, which performs for other inmates.

Marc's wife Jodie Emery said that prison authorities were unhappy with the photos of Emery and the band. She reportedly said the investigation was to see if Marc had a cellphone to take the band photos. Emery's bandmates have reportedly been placed in solitary confinement, as well.

Emery is reportedly forced to wear a pair of 4XL shorts with string tied around his waist to hold them up, and has only one pair of socks with enormous holes in them, according to his wife. "I cried when I saw him, and he did too," Jodie told the Sun.

Prisoners in solitary confinement at the Federal Correctional Complex are locked down inside their cells for 23 hours a day.

Oregon: Two Marijuana Initiatives Filed For State Ballot


By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Hemp News and The Hemp and Cannabis Foundation (THCF) owner Paul Stanford has filed two new initiatives to legalize marijuana in Oregon.

One of the measures is similar to an 2012 initiative that fell short by just six points at the polls, but with a couple of major changes, reports Jeff Mapes at The Oregonian. The commission would no longer be chosen by cannabis growers, retailers and others in the marijuana community, but instead would be appointed by the governor, according to Stanford.

"In retrospect, [the commission proposal] was probably the most damaging thing in the campaign," Stanford said of Measure 80. The Portland-based president of the Campaign for the Restoration and Regulation of Hemp (CRRH) said that a governor-appointed commission, in the new proposal, would poll better with voters.

The other major change from Measure 80, which would have allowed adults to possess unlimited quantities of marijuana, is that the new proposal would impose limits of 24 plants and 24 ounces of dried marijuana.

Stanford's second proposed initiative would constitutionally allow those 21 and older to possess and grow cannabis. It would allow the state to "reasonably define, limit and regulate" marijuana.

Stanford said he is working with a broad coalition of cannabis activists and will go ahead with whichever of the two legalization measures they decide has the best chance of passage.

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