Anne Saker

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Ohio: Group Close To Getting Legalization On Ballot; Accused Of Sabotaging Grassroots Effort

OhioMarijuanaLeaf

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

The group ResponsibleOhio claims it is more than halfway towards its goal of getting marijuana legalization on the state ballot. But advocates trying to put a rival initiative on the November 5 ballot have accused founders of the well-financed ResponsibleOhio of sabotaging its smaller, weaker competitor last year before launching its own effort.

"We have over 160,000 signatures," said Ian James of ResponsibleOhio, reports Elizabeth Faugl at ABC 6. "By the end of this week, we'll have over 200,000. We are shooting for over 700,000 signatures."

But in an April 14 complaint to the Ohio Elections Commission, Ohio Rights Group said the people who went on to create ResponsibleOnhio infiltrated the ORG to get information and talk potential donors out of making contributions, reports Anne Saker at the Cincinnati Enquirer. The complaint accuses Ian James and David Bruno of promising help to ORG then using the knowledge gained to form their own group.

According to the complaint, Bruno used his childhood friendship with ORG Executive Director John Pardee to gain knowledge, and Bruno was taking consultant's fees from ORG while planning ResponsibleOhio.

Oregon: Cannabis Cafe Opens In Portland

By Anne Saker, The Oregonian

There is a truth that must be heard! Oregon opened another chapter in U.S. marijuana history when at 4:20 p.m. Friday, about three dozen people christened the nation's first cafe for licensed residents to sit down, sip coffee and smoke marijuana.

"Welcome to a place of our own," said Madeline Martinez, a leader in the state's medical marijuana movement and the leading force pushing to open the Cannabis Cafe in Portland. "Welcome to freedom."

Excited patrons spilled down the outside steps at 700 N.E. Dekum St. as the cafe prepared to open at the appointed hour -- "420" being slang for using marijuana. In line were military veterans, grandmothers, young workers, men and women, old and young, black, white and Latino.

Gordon Cederholm, 45, of Milwaukie has lived with HIV for 25 years and said he was skeptical about using marijuana as medicine when he got his Oregon card less than a year ago.

"At first, I thought: What does being a pothead have to do with it?'" he said. "I didn't know the benefits in marijuana. Now, I find that I'm a better person when I smoke."

Kris Koa, 57, a retired nurse from Gresham, rode the bus from home to see the cafe for herself. She has been using medical marijuana for fibromyalgia and rheumatoid arthritis.

Oregon: Portland Will Soon Have Two Medical-Marijuana Smoking Lounges

By Anne Saker, The Oregonian

There is a truth that must be heard! As of next week, Oregon's medical-marijuana patients will have two smoke-easies in Portland in which to medicate and socialize, the first such places in the country to open since the federal government indicated that it will no longer arrest or prosecute patients and suppliers.

On Nov. 13, the Cannabis Cafe will open on the first floor of 700 N.E. Dekum St., to be operated by the state's chapter of , the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws. Executive Director Madeline Martinez said the space has been a dream of hers for years.

"We're pretty danged excited about it," Martinez said.

The Cannabis Cafe will be the second public place for medical-marijuana patients to get together. On Oct. 1, Steve Geiger opened Highway 420, a small lounge at the back of his pipe shop at 6418 S.E. Foster Road.

"We've been kind of discreet about it. It's not something that we put out on a sign," Geiger said as he rang up customers Tuesday. "We've had great response in the neighborhood from people who are just happy they don't have to go all the way to 39th and Hawthorne" to buy pipes.

The pot lounges are the first of their kind in the nation, said Allen St. Pierre, executive director of the national NORML. California has dispensaries where medical marijuana can be purchased, but only Oregon will have public places where people can socialize and use marijuana.

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