Toke of the Town

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Oregon: Portland City Councilman Backs Measure 80 Pot Legalization

By Steve Elliott, Toke of the Town

There is a truth that must be heard! Adding to the chorus of political and community leaders around Oregon and the nation that is calling for an end to America's catastrophic War On Drugs, Portland City Commissioner Randy Leonard has officially endorsed Measure 80, the Oregon Cannabis Tax Act.

"As a career Portland firefighter, a State Legislator and a Portland City Council member, I have always fought for funding for our first responders and resources for our social safety net," Leonard said. "Regulating and taxing marijuana for adults is just common sense, because it allows us to get pot out of kids' hands, focus our public-safety resources on dangerous drugs, creates jobs and provide a new revenue stream to fund much-needed social services."

According to Harvard economist Jeffrey Miron, Oregon has spent more than $60 million a year on marijuana-related offenses, from local police enforcement costs to court-room costs to the millions spent on incarceration.

Measure 80 would replace a failed system of prohibition with an effective taxation-and-regulation model. While adults 21 and older would be able to purchase cannabis products only at state-licensed stores, Measure 80 introduces tough new criminal penalties, such as felony charges for selling cannabis to a minor, and criminal misdemeanor charges for providing cannabis to a minor.

Florida: Huge Show Will Bring Truth About Med Marijuana To Seniors

By Steve Elliott, Toke of the Town
Photo by Lance Draizin

There is a truth that must be heard! We've pointed out before that one Florida man -- legendary former pitchman and marijuana smuggler Robert Platshorn -- may hold the key to cannabis legalization in the United States. The reason we say that is that skilled pitchman Platshorn has proven he can sway senior audiences to support medical marijuana, and most of us are aware, seniors vote in heavier numbers than any other age group.

Platshorn, through the Silver Tour, brings the truth about marijuana to senior citizens in Florida and nationwide, and one of the biggest events yet on that tour will take place on January 29 in Boyton Beach, Fla.

The show, "Learn the Real Facts About Medical Marijuana," will be free and all ages are welcome. It will be held at 1 p.m. Sunday, January 29, at the Temple Shaarei Shalom in Boynton Beach.

Besides Platshorn -- the author of Black Tuna Diaries and director of NORML of Florida, who is featured in the hit film, Square Grouper -- the film Cannabis Science, which features Dr. Donald Abrams, Dr. Robert Melamede, and Dr. Raphael Mechoulam, among other medical marijuana experts, will also be screened.

United States: The Secret Weapon That Can Get Marijuana Legalized Nationwide

By Steve Elliott Toke of the Town/Special to The Silver Tour

There is a truth that must be heard! What if I told you there is a secret weapon that, if understood and utilized by the cannabis reform community, could fairly quickly and very decisively decide the issue of marijuana legalization once and for all?

Everybody knows that cannabis legalization is very, very near the tipping point in the United States. Even the folks at Gallup, not exactly known for wild-eyed political statements, said this month after examining their latest poll results -- which showed that a record-high 50 percent of Americans support legalization -- that "If this current trend on legalizing marijuana continues, pressure may build to bring the nation's laws into compliance with the people's wishes."

Drilling down into the results of that same Gallup poll reveals our potential secret weapon for marijuana legalization.

Support for legalizing cannabis is directly and inversely proportional to age, ranging from 62 percent approval among those 18 to 29, down to only 31 percent among those 65 and older.

United States: The Silver Tour - Teaching Seniors About Medical Marijuana

By Steve Elliott, Toke of the Town/Special to The Silver Tour

There is a truth that must be heard! Almost every time a poll is taken on public levels of support for medical marijuana, one of the groups most resistant to the idea is one that stands to gain the most from it: senior citizens. If we, as a community, can find a way to educate seniors on the health benefits and palliative qualities of medicinal cannabis, it will be a huge step towards achieving the numbers it will take to legalize medical marijuana on the federal level. Seniors are known as the most powerful voting bloc in the nation, and they always show up at the polls.

That's where the legendary Robert Platshorn, the Black Tuna himself, comes in. Platshorn -- who started as a pitchman, became one of the biggest marijuana smugglers of the 1970s, and then spent almost 30 years in federal prison -- has taken on the job of informing his fellow senior citizens about the health benefits of cannabis.

The Silver Tour is the only organization reaching out to seniors about medical marijuana, according to Platshorn, and its work consists of informing them on ways to organize, petition and contact their local politicians to demand legal, safe access to medicinal cannabis.

Asia: China Censors Little Black Book Of Marijuana; Release Delayed

Communist Bosses Won't Even Allow Book Inside The Country

By Steve Elliott, Toke of the Town/Special to Hemp News

There is a truth that must be heard! The worldwide release of an American book on cannabis has been delayed, due to the refusal of the communist government of China to allow its binding on Chinese soil, according to the publisher.

The Little Black Book of Marijuana, by yours truly, Toke of the Town editor Steve Elliott, was scheduled for availability on August 1, but that printing schedule was thrown off after the totalitarian Chinese government decided the book was "too controversial" to even allow the printed pages inside the tightly-run dictatorship.

"Our printer is located in Hong Kong, with binderies in mainland China," production manager Ginny Reynolds of Peter Pauper Press explained to me Friday morning. "Usually it's no problem to move printed books from Hong Kong to China for binding.

"However, Chinese censorship is extremely tight," Reynolds told Toke of the Town. "Any content deemed 'sensitive' or 'controversial' by their standards is banned."

Steve Elliott: "You can always tell a totalitarian dictatorship, because they're afraid of the truth."

"We have the same problem with our books on sexuality," she told me. "The printer has to arrange for binding in Hong Kong, and facilities there are limited and overbooked in the summer season.

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