2010: A Year to Remember; Ten Stories on Hemp and Cannabis Reform
"There is absolutely nothing wrong with the responsible use of marijuana by adults and it should be of no interest or concern to the government. They have no business knowing whether we smoke or why we smoke." Keith Stroup, NORMLCON 2010
Compiled by Hemp News
1. Global: U.S.-Mexico Drug Summit Fails to Acknowledge Obvious Solution to Violent Drug Cartels
Ending Marijuana Prohibition Would Deal Crucial Blow to Mexican Drug Cartels, Drastically Reduce Border Violence.
(WASHINGTON, D.C.) - Today, high-ranking officials from the United States and Mexico concluded a three-day conference meant to outline ways the two nations could reduce the illicit drug trade-associated violence that continues to plague the U.S.-Mexican border.
Unfortunately, officials concluded their talks without making any reference to the most sensible and guaranteed strategy for reducing that violence: removing marijuana from the criminal market, and depriving drug cartels of their main source of income and strife.
2. Canada: Research for the Production of Cellulosic Ethanol from Sustainable Feedstock Begins
Naturally Advanced Technologies Agrees with the National Research Council of Canada to Collaborate on Research for the Production of Cellulosic Ethanol from Sustainable Feedstock
This Research is Intended to Develop New Enzyme Technology for Cellulosic Ethanol Manufacturing
By Michael Bachara, Hemp News Staff
Naturally Advanced Technologies Inc. (NAT) amended its agreement with the National Research Council (NRC) of Canada to include collaboration on cellulose technology research for the production of cellulosic ethanol from sustainable feedstock, such as corn stalks and straws, the unexploited byproduct in agri-food production. In my opinion, this is a huge step toward sustainability and mankind's ultimate survival.
This writer knows, hemp is truly a wonder plant with endless possibilities for its use and, given time, will evolve to become a "trillion dollar crop". Take the time to learn more about Dr. Sung's research and you will be not only more informed but also amazed.
Related: Hemp has a large number of potential uses
3. New York: CBS Reverses Decision, Agrees to Run Pro-Marijuana Ad
By Te-Ping Chen
Was it Margaret Mead who said, "Never underestimate the power of 8,809 readers who care about criminal justice?" Okay, maybe not quite that. But I'm excited to announce that one story we've closely tracked here at Change.org -- CBS's refusal to accept a pro-marijuana legalization ad -- resulted in a victory this afternoon.
4. United States: Recycling Reefer Madness: Why It Still Doesn’t Work
By Steve Elliott, NEWS JUNKIE POST
It happens with an all-too-familiar regularity: Another “scientific” study that attempts to draw some connection, however tenuous, between smoking pot and schizophrenia.
Just this week, the findings of a study allegedly indicating that smoking marijuana can “double the risk” of psychosis received heavy publicity. Of course there were the inevitable “sky is falling” reactions on the part of faux-horrified commentators who already decided, years ago, that they were against pot and are all too happy to trumpet what looks like confirmation of their prejudice.
Problem is, those findings are in conflict with previous reviews and ought to be interpreted with caution – but you won’t be reading that in mainstream news outlets.
5. Michigan: WalMart Fires Associate Of Year, Cancer Patient For Medical Marijuana
By Steve Elliott, Toke of the Town for Hemp News
Despite medical marijuana being legal in Michigan, WalMart has fired a cancer patient and former employee of the year who tested positive for the drug, which was recommended by his doctor.
"I was terminated because I failed a drug screening," ex-WalMart employee Joseph Casias told WZZM-13.
In 2008, Casias was Associate of the Year at the WalMart store in Battle Creek, Mich., despite suffering from sinus cancer and an inoperable brain tumor.
WalMart fired cancer patient Joseph Casias for following his doctor's instructions and using medical marijuana. At his doctor's recommendation, Casias legally uses medical marijuana to ease his pain.
Petition Targets: Michael Duke (Walmart CEO)
Take Direct Action: Walmart, Board of Directors
Aida M. Alvarez, James W. Breyer, M. Michele Burns, James I. Cash, Jr., Roger C. Corbett, Douglas N. Daft, Michael T. Duke, Gregory B. Penner, Allen I. Questrom, H. Lee Scott, Jr., Arne M. Sorenson, Jim C. Walton, S. Robson Walton, Christopher J. Williams, Linda S. Wolf
6. History: Jack Herer - 1939-2010
"Hemp will be the future of all mankind, or there won't be a future." Jack Herer
By Michael Bachara, Hemp News Staff
Friends and family have confirmed that Jack Herer, known throughout the world as ‘The Hemperor,’ passed away on Thursday, April 15, 2010 in Eugene, Oregon. Herer was 70 years old, and a dear friend to CRRH and THCF, he will be greatly missed.
"No other single person has done more to educate people all across the world about industrial hemp and marijuana as Jack Herer. His book is translated into a dozen different languages, it's a bestseller in Germany. His legacy will continue to inspire and encourage for generations to come. I honor his memory." Paul Stanford, CRRH/THCF
"He was one of my personal heroes." Madeline Martinez, Oregon NORML
"The one and only Jack Herer will be missed forever." Bonnie King, Salem-News
Despite not being introduced to cannabis until he was 30 years old, Herer spent most of the rest of his life speaking out for the cannabis cause. He is often referred to as the father of the cannabis legalization movement, and his passionate speeches and bombastic personality were infectious throughout the world.
Tribute to Jack Herer By Gatewood Galbraith
Jack Herer is a social and philosophical tsunami, the ripples from whose splash will forever grace the shores of human consciousness in every freedom loving nation.
He is a grand champion of “We the People” and a natural cycle in our battle with the synthetic subversion which threatens the very concepts of the sovereignty of each human individual.
Jack's tireless efforts to eliminate the facts about cannabis have furnished freedom fighters everywhere with the tools of knowledge with which to resist the fascism of the corporate state as it seeks to subject everyone to its economic bottom line.
Jack recognized that cannabis is a gateway to existentialism, which enlightens our existence and is the basis of our freedom of choice. He also recognized the miraculous healing powers of this herb and many sick and dying people have found comfort in its use after reading his wonderful manifesto "The Emperor Wears No Clothes". I am one of them.
Jack Herer's grand spirit may have left his worn out body, but he is entered into the hearts and minds of millions of us who will forever be grateful to have been educated by his commitment to the truth.
God Bless you Jack Herer.
7. United States: Hemp fans look toward Lyster Dewey's past, and the Pentagon, for higher ground
By Manuel Roig-Franzia, Washington Post Staff Writer
Hemp needed a hero. Needed one bad.
The gangly plant -- once a favorite of military ropemakers -- couldn't catch a break. Even as legalized medical marijuana has become more and more commonplace, the industrial hemp plant -- with its minuscule levels of the chemical that gives marijuana its kick -- has remained illegal to cultivate in the United States.
Enter the lost hemp diaries.
8. Global: Seattle Hempfest 2010: Paul Stanford - Work For Global Cannabis Freedom
Stop the Drug War, Before They Kick In Your Door
By Paul Stanford, Executive Director of THCF for Hemp News
My speech at the 2010 Seattle Hempfest is my effort to highlight the historical, scientific and philosophical importance of hemp and cannabis. I honor cannabis reform activists that have passed on, such as Jack Herer and Dr. Tod Mikuriya; those arrested for cannabis, such as cannabis minister Roger Christie of Hawaii, Marc Emery of Canada, and Eddy Lepp of California; and those sentenced to death for cannabis in Malaysia.
In this oration, I also specifically place emphasis on hemp as a precious gift from our creator for alternative energy (which could end toxic petrochemical spills); a 1916 U.S. Department of Agriculture study on hemp hurds used for paper making material (which could end global deforestation and protect the seventh generation); and hemp foods as a perfect balance of Omega, 3, 6 and 9 for our bodies. Cannabis is also a source of natural medicine that is contributing to the fight against cancer, multiple sclerosis and a multitude of other illnesses, including post traumatic stress disorder. Hemp would contribute to the return of economic control to the people and away from the monopolistic petrochemical companies.
In conclusion, I ask for everyone to work together to support California's tax and regulate Prop 19, Oregon's Ballot 74 regarding dispensaries and other upcoming monumental ballot measures across the country on the issue of global cannabis freedom.
Footage: Seattle Hempfest
August 22, 2010
9. California: Governor Schwarzenegger Signs Bill to Reduce Marijuana Penalties
(SACRAMENTO) - From California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, on September 30, 2010.
To the Members of the California State Senate:
I am signing Senate Bill 1449.
This bill changes the crime of possession of less than an ounce of marijuana from a misdemeanor punishable only by a $100 fine to an infraction punishable by a $100 fine. Under existing law, jail time cannot be imposed, probation cannot be ordered, nor can the base fine exceed $100 for someone convicted of this crime.
I am opposed to decriminalizing the possession and recreational use of marijuana and oppose Proposition 19, which is on the November ballot.
Unfortunately, Proposition 19 is a deeply flawed measure that, if passed, will adversely impact California’s businesses without bringing in the tax revenues to the state promised by its proponents.
Notwithstanding my opposition to Proposition 19, however, I am signing this measure because possession of less than an ounce of marijuana is an infraction in everything but name. The only difference is that because it is a misdemeanor, a criminal defendant is entitled to a jury trial and a defense attorney.
In this time of drastic budget cuts, prosecutors, defense attorneys, law enforcement, and the courts cannot afford to expend limited resources prosecuting a crime that carries the same punishment as a traffic ticket.
As noted by the Judicial Council in its support of this measure, the appointment of counsel and the availability of a jury trial should be reserved for defendants who are facing loss of life, liberty, or property greater than $100.
For these reasons, I am signing this bill.
Sincerely, Arnold Schwarzenegger
In the video below, California NORML Director Dale Gieringer talks about SB 1449 at NORMLCon 2010.
Related: Decrim In Cali! Schwarzenegger Signs Bill: Pot Now $100 Fine
Photo Source: http://Salem-News.com
10. United States: Arizona Becomes 15th State to Approve Medical Marijuana
By a narrow margin, Arizona voters have approved medical marijuana for people with chronic or debilitating diseases.
By The AP
The decision makes Arizona the 15th state to have approved a medical marijuana law. California was the first in 1996, and 13 other states and the District of Columbia followed.
The ballot measure on the issue, Proposition 203, won by just 4,341 votes out of more than 1.67 million ballots counted, according to final tallies announced on Saturday.
The approval came as something of a surprise. At one point on Election Day, the measure trailed by about 7,200 votes. The gap gradually narrowed until it edged ahead during counting on Friday. The final tally was 841,346 in favor and 837,005 opposed.