The Bill O´Reilly´s of the world, obnoxiously refuse to consider the facts, of which the main one is, that if there is a demand for something even if it’s illegal, someone will provide the service needed in order to get the product to the final consumer. It happened during the time of alcohol prohibition and it is happening now through the gangs and cartels used to cultivate and provide the product to the final user.
A real case from the Mexican Drug War
From the streets of the inner city to the hidden cannabis fields in the heart of Mexico violent crime is the factor that provides the competitive advantage needed to dominate the market. Recently I spoke to a man who was victim of the current state of things, the man got kidnapped by one of the major cartels in Mexico and then transferred to a hidden plantation with a bunch of illegal immigrants and other people who were just, a couple of hours ago, minding their own business, and now they are forced to work naked on these field during the day on one meal a day, at night they slept tied by the ankles with their feet in the air so that they can’t run away. For three month this man was lost his family desperately looking eventually started to think that he must be deceased due to the normality of violent crime when it comes to trafficking cannabis in Mexico. Then one day the man showed up on his mother’s doorstep after he managed to miraculously escape, frightened out of his mind due to the torture he endured over the period he was trapped as a slave to work on the plantation, I think the story can be summarized by the fact that this 30 year old has to sleep in his mother’s bed every night due to his trauma.
This is just the beginning of the chain of production when it comes to getting some cannabis to the final user, so we would have to add up all the wrongs that are committed in order to allow people to enjoy a product that at the very least has numerous proven medical benefits that need to be considered. But in the example exposed below we realize how the legalization of cannabis will undoubtedly reduce violent crime along the entire chain of cannabis production and distribution. Why? Because it would no longer be psychopaths that cultivate and distribute the product, it would be businessmen that have to follow regulations and laws, which unequivocally will have an effect on the violence related to illegal cannabis.
If this is not enough for you then here are some facts about the reduction of violent crime in Colorado only three months after recreational use was made legal:
Why could cannabis legalization have to do with this? When it comes to trafficking it’s not the kind rule bound business owner that has success but rather the rabid drug dealer who scares the excrement out of his competition.
The Cannabis effect
When people begin to smoke cannabis there is an effect that occurs within their mental structure. They tend to become more “open” to the ideals of liberty, they tend to frown on the use of violence to push your doctrine and they begin to reflect more on their own lives.
Of course, this isn’t true to all cannabis smokers; however, a vast majority of consumers experience this at some level.
What is it within cannabis that produces this effect? Whether it is the slight shift in perspective, increased cerebral activity and cannabinoids making connections in your brain, the effect remains consistent.
Cannabis for meditation
When it comes to meditation, you want to submerge yourself within the stillness that lies within. Some cannabis strains will light your brain up like a Christmas tree, making it difficult to concentrate on not thinking at all. Thus, Indica dominant strains are preferred when it comes to meditation.
The deep body sensation will allow you to relax and let go of thoughts running through your brain. If you wish to reach a state of absolute stillness, using cannabis can help you achieve it quicker.
Questioning your ego
When you smoke cannabis, you really begin to ask the big questions in life. What makes me happy? Who am I really? Is what I believe truth or am I just stuck on old ideas?
The progression of this train of thought opens up new realities to your own life. You might suddenly realize that things you liked before are not to your liking anymore. Does this mean cannabis changes your preferences or does it mean cannabis breaks down pre-conceived ideas allowing you to choose what YOU really want?
Cannabis in ancient times
Cannabis was used in the very oils that were used to “anoint” people in the Old Testament of the Bible. The oils were rubbed all over the body of the anointed, which would induce a “euphoric feeling” which helped them achieve deeper spiritual realizations.
Shamans in many other cultures also knew of the “spiritual connection” of the plant.
Cannabis isn’t a magical plant that will suddenly reveal who you are but rather a facilitator on the path of constant self-discovery. The plant can allow you to achieve deeper spiritual states and will allow you to view life from a “different perspective” which in many cases is all you need to discard paradigms that are detrimental to your pursuit of happiness.]]>
The controversial Tax code explained
The obscure tax code I’m referring to is called “Section 280E” which denies tax credits or exemptions to businesses “trafficking in controlled substances”. Since cannabis is still classified as a Schedule I substance under the Controlled Substance Act, this means that every legal cannabis business is subjected to 280E. This amendment was added to Federal Tax code in 1982, well before any state actually legalized cannabis for medical purposes.
One can only assume that the purpose of this tax code is too “catch criminals” and within the legal realm of cannabis to discourage cannabis based businesses from opening up shop.
While many cannabis businesses complain about this, and they should, the IRS is actually expanding the cannabis industry because of a very simple reality.
Cannabis Businesses forced to expand their businesses
Any good business man will find away around the tax loop, and while this is still very difficult to achieve, this tax code forces cannabis based businesses to “re-invest” into their own businesses. No one wants to pay all that money to the Federal government, especially if you had to go through all the hassle of opening up a legal cannabis business in the first place.
Thus, many are simply taking the revenue generated from their sales and pumping it back into their business. In turn, this increases the quality of the store, creates massive budgets for advertisement and expansion of the product line. In other words, the IRS is forcing these businesses to expand their businesses with an antiquated tax code amendment that should have been removed a while back.
Cannabis is big business, generating millions! If the Federal government wants to stifle the growing cannabis industry, they should immediately think about removing all this Federal “hoo-ha” from the tax code because all they are doing is fueling the cannabis industry with the revenue generated from each sale.
It seems that the Federal Government is desperately trying to cling on to the Drug War except everything they do convinces the public that proliferating the drug war is a bad idea! It’s time to treat cannabis businesses like any other legal business in the US.
Cannabis based businesses should be able to operate like any other business fiscally and if we have cannabis legal in four states, it’s time they change their tune soon.]]>
The US army has a strict policy against soldiers using cannabis, recreational and medical, and those who test positive for cannabis can face serious repercussions.
The benefit of marijuana for soldiers
There is a range of medical benefit in regards to marijuana when it comes to our soldiers. From treating psychological disorders like PTSD to afflictions such as chronic pain, depression and the hundreds of other conditions that cannabis treats.
More importantly, there are over 20 states that currently have some sort of medical marijuana program in place. And now with the states of Oregon and Alaska, as well as the District of Columbia, but recently passed recreational marijuana bills soldiers and any of the states are placed in jeopardy.
For pain, soldiers are forced to take addictive opiate-based medications, which in many cases are not as effective as medical cannabis. In many cases, soldiers find themselves addicted to the very medicines that are supposed to make them better.
A recent study found that opiate based overdose rates dropped by as much as 25% in states that have legal medical marijuana programs in place. Why are we subjecting our soldiers to potential addiction when a superior medication is available?
The Will of the People
America has spoken and they want cannabis. Every year more people support the idea of legalizing cannabis and even red states are now moving towards medical cannabis. The ignorance surrounding cannabis can no longer be sustained by the Federal government and though the Army is subjected to Federal laws, to persecute people who are actually risking their lives for your very freedoms is atrocious to say the least.
Once cannabis is de-scheduled from the Controlled Substance Act, the policies within the Army can follow suite. However while we wait for the Federal government to remove their clutches from this plant, our soldiers are still in danger of facing horrific consequences and being dishonorably discharged over their use.
Fighting for our Soldiers
There are definite medical benefits for US soldiers in regards to cannabis. We believe that it is our duty to fight for their freedom as much as they are fighting for ours. There are so many social issues tied to cannabis and so many people affected by prohibition.
To reverse this draconian policy would offer our soldiers the opportunity to opt for a medical option that is far safer to their physical and mental stability. We must continue to push the legalization efforts until everyone has access to this life saving medicine, including our soldiers!]]>
The question then: Is “Big Marijuana” Possible?
What is Big Tobacco and why should it be feared?
The term “Big Tobacco” refers to multi-billion dollar companies such as Philip Morris, R.J Reynolds and Lorillard. These companies, back in the mid 1900 has sold their product as medicinal. Doctors recommended it, kids smoked it and you could even smoke in public enclosed spaces and airplanes.
What these companies failed to instruct their consumers was:
This is just a short list of the atrocities caused by “Big Tobacco”. Tobacco is the number one killer in the US from substances and causes the country billions of dollars each year.
Recreational Cannabis in Colorado
Some people argue that the “edible industry” in legal cannabis states are telltale signs of “big marijuana’ on the rise. They say that the product targets children by coming in the form of typical candies. Yet, these candies are not sold or marketed to children at all.
It’s painfully obvious that the people who scrutinize this form of consumption are not “consumers themselves”. Every cannabis consumer knows that the “munchies” is something very real and that consumers tend to develop a “sweet tooth” to candies, chocolates and other edibles.
To assume that the industry is targeting their products to children would be to ignore that “stoners” like candies. Throughout prohibition, this was the constant “go to stoner joke” by mainstream media in reference to “stoners and junk food”.
Marijuana is not Tobacco
Finally, when you compare the two substances they are nothing alike. Cannabis has the potential to cure cancer while tobacco causes it. The addictive rate of tobacco is roughly 30%, which is on par with cocaine, yet cannabis is said to have an addictive rate of roughly 9%.
Even if Philip Morris one day gets into the cannabis business, the general ‘non-stoner’ population would probably indulge in their product since they wouldn’t know what real cannabis is.
However those of us who have been smoking for decades, we know artisanal cannabis when we see it, and the culture of cannabis is a very close-knit group of people. We know posers from real people.
If cannabis becomes the next big tobacco then we should all celebrate. That would mean more people would start smoking cannabis instead of tobacco. This could mean that we could curb the tobacco mortality rates significantly. People don’t die from cannabis use directly, that’s a fact!]]>
That’s because cannabis is the most abused illegal substance in the world. Due to the multitude of cannabis smokers out there, the governments of the world are quickly losing the battle in cannabis prohibition. Nevertheless, it is vital that every cannabis smoker becomes a cannabis activist to push this movement past the tipping point!
Not just a stoner, an agent of change!
People assume cannabis consumers are lazy by nature, not because it is true but rather because they have been taught to believe a stereo type produced by the agents of prohibition. Throughout the past two decades, the image of the cannabis smoker has changed from stoner to patient to businessperson. These days anyone can be a “stoner” and this is a good thing.
Nevertheless, it is more important that we push past this stereotype and create awareness that the cannabis consumer is “just like everyone else”. It is important that you change the public perception of cannabis smokers in your area, and that each cannabis consumer does the same where they live.
Make pamphlets; organize debates, flyers and what have you to create awareness on the real issues. Be an agent of change!
Focus on the Issues
People think that cannabis consumers just want to legalize so they can smoke. While this is true for one part, it is not even entirely close to the real issues surrounding cannabis prohibition.
Issues such as:
It is important to keep people focused on what is really happening. Is “allowing some people to get high” as bad as everything I listed right here? Of course not! Any rational human being can see that, but unless you get off that couch and spread the word. People will not be able to differentiate the inflated issues with the real issues.
I am working on some pamphlets and graphics for you guys so that when Election Day comes, you can go out and spread the news. These will be available to print as well as online for sharing purposes. Sign up to my email for updates on all the activities I am doing and how you can help change the tide towards cannabis legalization today!]]>
Throughout the past seven and a half decades of cannabis prohibition, the term “stoner” and all synonyms have changed within the realm of social perception.
Watch out for the “reefer man!”
In the beginning of prohibition, cannabis was demonized. Only degenerates partook of such an atrocious deeds (Blacks and Hispanics according to the Official Government Position of the time). Here the terms ranged from Dope Fiend, Peddlers, addicts, criminals and so on. As you can see the public perception of the cannabis smoker was pretty grim and that is precisely why those pushing for prohibition had no resistance, the general public didn’t care about scumbags who smoke weed.
The proponents of prohibition perceived cannabis users as being “violent” or “insane” due to the yellow journalism and propaganda.
Cannabis users, the Pacifist Communist supporter!
After a few years of Hemp being needed during World War II, cannabis and hemp once more became “evil” in the eyes of society. For one, it jumped from being a drug that makes you “violent and insane” to a drug that makes you a “pacifist, unable to fight the communist wave”.
The major reason in shift of public perception was due to the fact that the official position that “cannabis makes you violent or insane” couldn’t stand the scrutiny of science. Since the threat of communist invasion was ever present right after WWII, this was a great excuse to say the exact opposite of what the government’s official position on the substance was for close to twenty years prior.
The flip-flopping doesn’t stop here.
Nixon’s Pothead excuse!
The communist threat only continued to grow and eventually America went to war in Vietnam. Why? Nobody really knows but apparently, it seemed like a good idea at the time. That and the Gulf of Tonkin incident.
Anyhow, people were pissed to say the least. A new generation of kids with long beards and long hair started showing up, protesting the hell out of the government. These of course were the hippies (still a minority) and with them Cannabis jumped from the obscure back alleys to mainstream attention.
Nixon needed a way to subdue the protests and thus created the “war on drugs”. His first order of business was to get rid of those potheads making all that noise. Therefore, he did.
Nancy’s Hallucinogenic Policies
Twenty years later, we have the D.A.R.E programs step into the ring. Now the Pothead aren’t hippies anymore. They’ve evolved to losers, wasted space….”stoners!” Nancy Raegan pushed her “just say no” down the throats of everyone in America and helped strengthen the “loser” perception of the cannabis user.
The dawn of the Cannabis patient
In the mid 1990’s the first cannabis patients came into existence in California. Now of course there were “Federal patients” but there were limited and couldn’t obtain more patients. When California legalized, the “stoner” turned patient and a “patient” has rights. Public Perception continued to change as cannabis continued to heal the sick and provide help for the needy.
The Modern Day Stoner
Over the past 20 years, the public perception of “stoner” has changed a lot. People of all lifestyles smoke now, professionals, artists, the old and the young alike. A “Pot Head” these days can be anyone. As the taboo of cannabis fades, so will the prejudice that surrounds it.
A Cannabis user is merely a person who chooses to medicate or relax using a plant that just so happens to get you euphoric. Other than that, a “stoner” is just like you and me.]]>
A remarkable artistic demonstration that is, powerfully honest and brutally truthful, calling for the government to take a bow and admit that they are indeed the biggest drug pushers of all, getting us hooked on legal drugs while conveniently overlooking their subsequent overdose deaths. The prescription pill pandemic that is plaguing America is killing millions of people, yet inhaled or ingested marijuana has no known record of overdose… The government however is determined to punish its people for using pot, while sneakily laying claim to all the cannabis patents ultimately proving medical benefit.
This straight-shooting song also shames the corporate money trail that is leaving upstanding citizens of our community incarcerated, while frankly shaming the governments hypocrisy that is funding modern slavery through the system of privatized prisons. Ellen candidly points out that prohibition made it clear, when you turn a market black, its hard to turn it back, and that these days our taxes pay the FDA so the DEA can put us away. This non-violent offense devastates families, destroys lives, and encumbers on the futures prospects of the individuals too, making it hard to find employment, or earn a decent income.
Like Ellen sings, the war on drugs is a political joke. But as marijuana continues to make its way mainstream and public understanding evolves, perhaps the end of prohibition is not such a pipe dream anymore. As more people succumb to the deadly addiction of pain pills, public awareness is growing and people are finally seeing the truth for themselves, and realizing that big pharma is really the real power behind the president of America. Its time policy changed to prevent lobbyist from swaying our legislature, and its high time that cannabis be rescheduled to recognize its medical potential and benefits.
Alaska’s Ballot Measure 2 would allow any person, 21 and over, to posses up to 1 ounce of marijuana, while making an allowance for each person to grow no more than 6 plants. The measure would also allow for the production and sale of marijuana, which the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board would regulate until such time as a Marijuana Control Board could be established. And it would be taxed $50 per ounce at the point of sale. Although Alaska was one of the first states to decriminalize marijuana in 1975, while further legalizing the drug for medicinal purposes in 1998, the Alaskan legislators have not been in favor of these judicial and electoral decisions, and maintain strict enforcement of laws that keep marijuana illegal outside the confines of anyones home. As such there is no dispensary system in the state, leaving patients with no place to safely access their medication, despite the fact that its been prescribed to them by their physician. “We have thousands of cardholders in the state who have no safe way to access their medicine. They’re forced to criminalize themselves and engage in the black market in order to gain access to the medicine that they have been prescribed by their doctor,” said Taylor Bickford, a spokesperson for the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol in Alaska. As a result, a big part of the initiative behind Ballot Measure 2 is reinforcing Alaska’s existing laws for decriminalization and medical marijuana, in itself adding momentum to the measure.
The ballot initiative in Oregon, Measure 91, would allow any person 21 and over, to posses up to 8 ounces, and grow no more than 4 plants. The initiate, to be regulated by the Oregon Liquor Control Commission, would also legalize production and sales, while taxing marijuana $35 per ounce at the point of sale, with a percentage of revenue allocated to enforcement and educational programs. Although the campaign in Oregon has drawn a lot of attention over accusations that federal taxpayer money was being used to fund anti-legalization efforts, the controversy highlights the federal governments problem in playing a key role as the chief enforcer of marijuana prohibition, while also acting as a major source of funding for anti-drug education campaigns. As a result, a big part of the initiative is proving to the voters that marijuana’s legal classification as a schedule 1 substance, which places marijuana in the same category as heroin, is inaccurate, unsubstantiated, and unfounded. Representative Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) who publicly supports marijuana legalization said, “Marijuana is big business right now. Its a multi-million dollar, huge industry in the United States. The problem is its illegal, so its not regulated, its not taxed, and there aren’t consumer protections.”
In Washington, DC, the ballot measure Initiative 71, would allow any person 21 and over to posses up to 2 ounces of marijuana, grow up to 6 plants, and also give marijuana to other adults 21 and older. But because voter initiatives in DC aren’t allowed to have a direct impact on the local budget, the initiative would not legalize, regulate, or tax sales. However with consistently strong support in the polls, it seems that DC’s legalization initiative holds the most promise of passing. Still the initiative faces some obstacles of its own, because Washington, DC, is the nation’s capital and a federal jurisdiction, proponents are concerned that the federal government will try to block the measure from becoming law, the same way they blocked local government from setting up dispensaries, nearly 12 years after the DC voters approved legalization of medical marijuana. Adam Eidinger, chair of the marijuana legalization campaign, expects Congress to respect the decision of the DC voters, however if they try to interfere with the initiative, he plans to lead a march on the Capital, “I expect them first and foremost to respect the initiative. If [the government’s actions] violate the spirit of the initiate in any way, thats what Im going to be focused on.”
Voters in Florida through Amendment 2, aim to legalize marijuana to treat “debilitating medical conditions”, such as cancer, multiple sclerosis, glaucoma, hepatitis C, HIV, AIDS, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Crohn’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, or any other conditions for which a physician believes that medical marijuana use would likely out weigh the potential healths risks to the patient. However, because the measure is constitutional amendment, Florida law requires that it get at least 60% of the vote, a challenge in a midterm election year when turnout among young voters is lower. Ben Pollara, director of the United for Care, the organization behind the medical marijuana initiative, said, “The people of Florida have been begging for a medical marijuana law for years.” But political scientist at the University of South Florida, Susan MacManus, stresses that young voter turnout is critical.
When interviewed on the subject, Jason Draizin, CEO of MarijuanDotors.Com, said that, “With 23 states currently allowing for medical marijuana, 2 states recreationally legal, and another 3 states considering following suite, it is overtly apparent that the tide has turned, and that the idea of marijuana legalization is no longer a pipe dream, but is becoming ever more of a reality as it continues to build mainstream momentum. To quote the new documentary from the makers of The Union, “Culture High“, ‘We have to break out of the fog… Its not rational or logical, its financial.'” Reference]]>