Monday, April 20, 2009

Purps Medical Marijuana

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April 20th Marked With First Ever Pro-Legalization Ad

Once again 4/20, the holiday for pot smokers everywhere, is upon us, and with it comes a new television ad (below) that is set to call for the legalization of marijuana.

The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws has long since been advocating the legalization, taxing, and easy access to marijuana for years. But for the first time a television ad has been released to the public, making it the only pro-weed commercial in the history of the U.S.

It's a refreshing change from the public service announcements demonizing the plant. For instance, I think we have all seen the commercials meant to increase fear of the drug, such as the men in the smoky car who hit the little girl riding her bike, or the toddler who drowns in the swimming pool as her babysitter sits getting high in the living room. Or who could forget the two teenage boys in the basement, where one is so high that he shoots his best friend in the head with his father's gun?

Now, I am not standing on either side of the issue as I write this. However, I think we can all agree that the other side deserves a chance to be heard at this point, and now, on this day that celebrates those that choose to smoke pot, it finally can be.

YouTube - Legalization: Yes We Can

http://www.420magazine.com/forums/international-cannabis-news/92666-april-20th-marked-first-ever-pro-legalization-ad.html
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U.S. Asked to Stop 'False Information' on Medical Pot

 
Citing "overwhelming" evidence that marijuana eases pain and anxiety for the chronically ill, medicinal pot advocates told a federal appeals panel Tuesday that the federal government should be stopped from spreading "false information" about marijuana.
 
As was argued in the debate over whether stem cell research should be resumed, Americans for Safe Access cast the Bush administration's opposition to any legalized use of marijuana as being shaped by conservative sentiments instead of hard facts.
 
President Obama has signaled to Cabinet members that science should be guiding government judgments in controversial matters of medicine and technology, not the prevailing political mood. On Tuesday, however, a government lawyer told three judges of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals that the administration wasn't required to explain or retract its statements that marijuana "has no currently accepted medical use."
 
Marijuana is banned under federal law but is legal for cancer patients and others suffering chronic illnesses in California and a dozen other states. Safe Access sued the federal government under a law that prohibits it from disseminating inaccurate information.
 
U.S. Atty. Gen. Eric Holder signaled last month that the administration wouldn't interfere with medical pot dispensing in states where it is legal as long as users abide by state law.
 
Since California became the first state to partially legalize medical marijuana 13 years ago, the federal government has prevailed in all challenges to the state's practice, including a 2001 U.S. Supreme Court decision upholding the federal government's right to prosecute offenders.
 
Safe Access argues that the federal government needs to update its assessment to conform with the reality of marijuana's broadening legal use as a pain reliever.
 
"The science to support medical marijuana is overwhelming. It's time for the federal government to acknowledge the efficacy of medical marijuana and stop holding science hostage to politics," said Steph Sherer, director of Americans for Safe Access.
 
The group petitioned for revision of the federal judgment in 2004 but was ignored by Bush officials, who also sought and won federal district court dismissal of a 2007 lawsuit filed by Safe Access.
 
Justice Department lawyer Alisa Klein told the appeals court panel that the government shouldn't be forced to defend the accuracy of "countless pieces of information" in its massive archives. U.S. Circuit Court Judge Marsha S. Berzon, an appointee of President Clinton, said the law at issue in the case was "amazing" because it did appear to require the government to correct all inaccurate statements, a result she called "troubling."
 
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Herbal Holiday

Hashing out the History of 420 and the Marijuana Subculture

By Bram Fulk

This Monday, April 20th, marijuana enthusiasts around the globe will collectively burn in celebration of the day that has become unofficially recognized the world over as the most important date on the pot smoker's calendar. And though most people think of April 20th as special because of this attributed holiday status, it isn't really the day that's important, it's the numbers making up the date: 420. The number 420 has been associated with the marijuana subculture for years and doesn't just refer to the twentieth day or April, but is used as a general term for all aspects of marijuana usage. But what significance does the number 420 hold? Where did it come from and why is it so important to the marijuana subculture?

There are many different myths about where the term 420 actually originated. Among all the legends and superstitions and incorrect claims (e.g. "420" is police code for marijuana"), no one can say with 100% certainty where the term came from. The likeliest source, however, is from a bunch of teenage smokers in the 1970s. The story goes that several Californian high school boys would get together every day at 4:20 PM-because that's when their detention would let out - and smoke together. They referred to smoking pot by using the time they met each day and would even write it on and carve it into various places for fun. Years later, some of the boys were surprised when they noticed that 420 was being used as a prevalent term in the marijuana subculture.

This story is generally considered the most plausible and widely-accepted of all the theories concerning the source of 420. But whatever its origins, 420 has grown to symbolize not only the act of smoking marijuana, but the entire marijuana subculture as a whole. The fact that a term used by a few guys nearly 40 years ago in California (if that is the true origin of the term) can be passed around (no pun intended) by pot smokers until it becomes internationally recognized as a symbol of an entire subculture is in and of itself a testament to the strong communal connectivity of that counterculture. But this isn't really an unusual phenomenon for subcultures that involve illicit activities. Subcultures based around an illegal activity have to be secretive by nature. Often specialized vocabulary must be used and established rules of etiquette must be observed, not just out of practice, but to keep those involved from getting in trouble with the law.

http://uweekly.com/newsmag/04-15-2009/10881

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Cannabis and the Christ: Jesus used Marijuana

Part 4 of "When Smoke Gets in my I" a series on the history of cannabis and human consciousness.
Jesus_Fu.jpg


"If you know the truth, the truth will make you free." (John 8:32)

Jesus used Marijuana

As doubtful as the following hypothesis might first seem to the reader, I might as well boldly state my case right from the start: either Jesus used marijuana or he was not the Christ. The very word "Christ", by the implication of its linguistic origins and true meaning, gives us the most profound evidence that Jesus did in fact use the same herb as his ancient semitic ancestors, and which is still used by people around the world for its enlightening and healing properties.

The Greek title "Christ" is the translation of the Hebrew word Messiah, which in English becomes "The Anointed" D. The Messiah was recognized as such by his being anointed with the holy anointing oil, the use of which was restricted to the instillation of Hebrew priests and kings (See CC#5). If Jesus was not initiated in this fashion then he was not the Christ, and had no official claim to the title.
D The title "Messiah" is much older than Christianity, as all the ancient kings of Israel are referred to as the "Messiah". "Christos - Anointed One, a title of many Middle-Eastern sacrificial gods: Attis, Adonis, Tammuz, Osiris. . ." 12


The ancient recipe for this anointing oil, recorded in the Old Testament book of Exodus (30: 22-23) included over nine pounds of flowering cannabis tops, Hebrew "kaneh-bosm" B, extracted into a hind (about 6.5 litres) of olive oil, along with a variety of other herbs and spices. The ancient chosen ones were literally drenched in this potent cannabis holy oil.
B The "m" is a pronounced plural, and the singular kaneh-bos sounds remarkably similar to the modern cannabis. Although often mistranslated as "calamus", the word has been translated as "fragrant-cane" in most modern bibles, and specifically designates the fragrant flowering tops of cannabis.



From the time of Moses until that of the later prophet Samuel, the holy anointing oil was used by the shamanic Levite priesthood to receive the "revelations of the Lord". At the dawn of the age of Kings, Samuel extended the use of the anointing oil to the Hebraic monarchs by anointing Saul (and later David) as "Messiah-king". These kings lead their people with the benefit of insights achieved through using the holy anointing oil to become "possessed with the spirit of the Lord."

"Anointing was common among kings of Israel. It was the sign and symbol of royalty. The word 'Messiah' signifies the 'Anointed One', and none of the kings of Israel were styled the Messiah unless anointed."1 The title was clearly only given to those "having the crown of God's unction upon them" (Leviticus 21:12).

After the fall of the Jewish kingdoms, and the bloody purges following the forged discovery of the Book of theLaw (1 Kings 23), the cannabis holy oil was prohibited as associated with pagan worship. Yet it seems that certain sects retained the topical entheogen, and continued to practice the older religion, silently awaiting the return of a Messiah-king in the line of David.

The ministry of Jesus marked the return of the Jewish Messiah-kings, and thus the re-emergence of the holy oil. Jesus was called the Christ because he violated the Old Testament taboo on the cannabis oil and distributed it freely for initiation rites and to heal the sick and wounded.

Although there is some evidence of Jesus' use of this Judaic cannabis oil in the traditional New Testament, we get a clearer picture of its importance when we also look at surviving Gnostic documents. The term Gnostic, meaning "knowledge", refers to a variety of early Christian sects which had extremely different beliefs about both Jesus and his teachings than those which have come down to us through modern Christianity.

Other Christian Sources

For the first four hundred years after Jesus' birth, the term "Christian" was used to describe a wide variety of sects and a large volume of different documents. Through the acceptance of one of the more ascetic branches of Christianity by the Roman ruling class, Christianity eventually became the state religion of its former persecutors.

In an effort to unify the faith into a controllable mass, the newly formed Roman Catholic Church held a number of councils. These councils prohibited not only pagans, but also differing Christian sects, and edited a wealth of Christian literature down to the few meager documents which have survived as the modern New Testament. Z
Z The New Testament in its present form was composed and edited between 367-397AD, about twelve generations after the events in question.


In an attempt to save their manuscripts from the editorial flames of the Roman Catholic Church, certain Christians, now considered Gnostic heretics, hid copies of their scrolls in caves. One of these ancient hiding places was rediscovered in our own century, and the large collection of early Christian documents was named the Nag Hamadi Library,2 after the Egyptian area where it was found. Prior to this discovery, what little was known of the Gnostics came from a few fragmentary texts, and the many polemics written against them by the founders of the Catholic Church.

There is no reason to consider these ancient Gnostic documents as less accurate portrayals of the life and teachings of Jesus than the New Testament accounts. In a sense, the rediscovery of the Nag Hamadi Library marks the resurrection of a more historical Jesus, an ecstatic rebel sage who preached enlightenment through rituals involving magical plants, and who is more analogous to the Indian Shiva, or the Greek Dionysus, than the pious ascetic that has come down to us through the Bible's New Testament.

The Anointed One

Contrary to the depiction given in the New Testament gospels of Matthew and Luke, Jesus was likely not born as the Messiah. He received this title through his initiation by John the Baptist, and so it is not surprising that both Mark and John are conspicuously absent of the virgin-birth mythology, and begin their stories of Jesus' short career with his initiation by John.

Although their version of Jesus' baptism by John describes it as involving submersion under water, the term "baptism" has connotations of "initiation", and Gnostic scriptures indicate that the original rite was performed in conjunction with the kaneh-bosm anointing rite, "the annointing taking place either before or after the baptismal ceremony."3 Some Gnostic texts also specifically state that Jesus recieved the title Christ "because of the anointing,"4 not because of a water baptism.

Conceivably, the washing off of the oil with water would have been a means to begin the termination of ritual and the oil's effects.

The description of the after-effects of the rite clearly indicates that Jesus underwent an intense psychological experience, more than one would recieve from a simple submersion in water.
Jesus_Part_2.jpg
K The reference to a dove may have connotations of the Goddess tradition, which was continued by the Gnostics, who paid special attention to Sophia, Goddess of Wisdom. In earlier times the dove was sacred to Astarts, Aphrodite, Ishtar and other forms of the Goddess. "Gnostic Christians said Sophia was incarnate in the dove. . . that descended on Jesus at his baptism to impregnate his mind." 12


Jesus came from Nazareth Galilee and was baptised by John in the Jordan. As Jesus was coming up out of the water, he saw heaven being torn open and the Spirit descending upon him like a dove. K And a voice came from heaven "You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased." At once the Spirit sent him out into the desert, and he was in the desert for forty days, being tempted by Satan. He was with wild animals, and angels attended him. (Mark 1: 9-13)

It should be noted that the vision and words described were seen and heard only by Jesus, as it specifically states that "he saw".

The role played by John the Baptist, as priest and prophet, is very similiar to that of the Old Testament prophet Samuel. Just as Samuel's annointing of Saul and David marked them as Messiah-king, so did Jesus' initiation by John make him the Christ.

In the events after Jesus' vision and his overwhelmed recluse into the desert, there are clear parallels with the story of the prophet Samuel's initiation of Saul with the cannabis-rich holy ointment, and Saul's ensuing madness in the form of possession by the Spirit, and wandering off to make nabi (act in a frenzied ecstatic manner) (1 Samuel 10).

The tale of Saul's possession by the spirit is an example of how the ancients interpreted the effects of cannabis and other entheogens. What we perceive as being "high" or "stoned" the ancients called "possessed by the Spirit of the Lord."

"As a result of the spiritual 'anointing' Jesus expected to be different; and he was different. The prophecies had said that the Messiah would recieve from God wisdom and insight, the power to heal and to subjugate evil. The faith of Jesus was so strong that he did not question that these capacities had now been conferred upon him." 6

The entheogenic effect of the cannabis annointing oil would have immensely magnified both Jesus' own expectations, and the ensuing experience with John.
Jesus_Part_6.jpg
J The same proclamation is stated of the Anointed One, or King in Psalm 2: 7.


In some authorative texts of the Gospel according to Luke, after the Baptism the voice of God declares, "This day I have begotten thee." J This indicates that the event of Jesus' encounter with John marks the true beginnings of Jesus' mission and his acknowledgement as the Messiah.

The importance of the anointing, and Jesus' own acknowledgement of it, is again exemplified in the gospel of Luke.

According to the New Testament Jesus began his ministry in Nazareth, by reading the following passage from the scroll of Isaiah and proclaiming, "today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing" (Luke 4:16)

The Spirit of Yahweh God is upon me, because Yahweh has anointed me to bring good tidings to the afflicted; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound... (Isaiah 61:1-2)

The Anointed Ones

Unlike the shamanistic priests and kings of earlier generations, Jesus did not follow the strict Old Testament taboos that limited the holy cannabis oils use to Yahweh's chosen few (Exodus 30:33), but broke tradition and began to liberally use it in both healing and initiation rites.

Through this open distribution the singular Christ, "the Anointed", was extended to become the plural term "Christians", that is, those who had been smeared or anointed.
 
 
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Legalized Medical Marijuana Company Now Public Stock, Really (CVIV)

If you thought that the legalized Marijuana for medicinal purposes was a controversial, imagine how controversial it would be if a company was public in the sector of legalized Marijuana. Forget the "if" in the equation. This week, a small and formerly unknown company called Club Vivanet announced that it is the first public company to enter the legalized, medical Marijuana business. The company even changed its name to Medical Marijuana, Inc. While it does not trade on the NYSE nor on the NASDAQ, the stock does trade over-the-counter under the ticker "CVIV" and is listed as Medical Marijuana, Inc. (OTC: CVIV) on the pink sheets.

This morning the company filed a patent application for an invention that the company says "potentially satisfies various governmental and the medical Marijuana dispensaries' needs for tax collection in the medical Marijuana industry." This is to identify the dispensary's tax ID number and tax rates for state and local taxes.

Medical Marijuana, Inc. is currently undergoing a 1-10 forward split and a ticker symbol change to reflect its new name in the stock market. The company is spinning off two subsidiaries on a share-for-share basis (pre 10 for 1 forward split) of the shares of Club Vivanet, Inc. (a Florida corporation) and MyNewPedia Corp (a Colorado Corporation).

The company's description says that it is positioned to take advantage of opportunities as they appear in the emerging legal medical Marijuana industry through an enhanced payment gateway introducing verifiable levels of enhanced security. It also states that a trend is in place that clearly indicates medical Marijuana is quickly becoming a legal enterprise in need of various solutions in numerous areas.

Bruce Perlowin is serving as the company's new Chairman and CEO. He has been referred to as the "King of Pot" in various articles and was recently interviewed on CNBC's most popular feature called "Marijuana, Inc." Here is a link to that video interview.
Marijuana Inc: Inside America?s Pot Industry, Poll, Legal, Legislation, Decriminalization, Usage, International, Business, Government, Drug, Medicine - CNBC.com

Whether or not this one takes off is something we won't speculate on. If you ever thought that cannabis, pot, weed, or Hemp were not going to be applied to a public company, it looks like that has changed. The Mustang Ranch, a brothel in Nevada, had tried to come public before. A brothel in Australia did manage to go public at one time. It seems that even for a legalized medical Marijuana company coming public, stranger things have happened.

Track this stock here: CVIV.PK: Summary for CLUB VIVANET INC NEW - Yahoo! Finance

From the Editor: When we were approached by Mr. Perlowin at Medical Marijuana, Inc. to disseminate their press release, we were truly excited and anxious to get to work with them. Having such respect for Bruce and his team, we decided to give a below cost quote to help them get started. This was our way of saying thanks and instigating a special bond between us, in hopes of building a long term relationship. We quoted Mr. Perlowin the price of 1,000 shares from his new company, in exchange for sending out the company press releases for a period of 6 months. He replied by stating the cost was too low and that he did not feel we were charging him accordingly for the work being done, so he bumped the offer up to 5,000 shares without hesitation. He began speaking about the "Outlaw Code", saying this was more of a fair deal, going on to say, "I'm not inclined to take advantage of anyone in any business deal - quite a refreshing change from the way public companies are run today and very different from the old days when we ran around with suitcases full of money and did deals on a hand shake." Bruce Perlowin and his team are real life Cannabis Warriors and very dear friends who we are truly grateful to be associated with. Not only is Bruce true to his word, he's even printing the shares on Hemp paper!

Thank you Brother Bruce and everyone at Medical Marijuana, Inc.

Please visit these websites for more information
Bruce Perlowin, An Unusual Entrepreneur - Marijuana Smuggler
Medical Marijuana, Inc.
 
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Drug traffickers move underwater

"Semi-submersibles" become the transportation of choice for drug smugglers.

BOGOTA, Colombia — Only a few years ago tales of traffickers plying the underseas world aboard cocaine-laden submarines struck anti-drug agents as a Jules Verne fantasy.

Not anymore.

Today, smugglers are moving tons of drugs towards the United States in so-called "semi-submersibles," homemade vessels that travel just below the ocean's surface and cover distances of up to 2,000 miles.

Because they leave tiny wakes, the crude subs are extremely difficult to detect visually or by radar. Even when they are spotted, crew members quickly sink the vessels to get rid of the evidence and avoid being prosecuted for drug trafficking.

Authorities seized 14 semi-submersibles last year, and another six have been captured this year, according to Colombian Navy Capt. Mario Rodriguez.

Most of the vessels move between Colombia and drop-off points in Mexico and Central America. But in 2006, police discovered a scuttled 33-foot-long semi-submersible off the northwest coast of Spain.

Colombian authorities now believe that up to 70 percent of the cocaine leaving the country's Pacific coast is packed aboard semi-submersibles. U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg, a New Jersey Democrat, estimated that the vessels this year would ship up to 480 metric tons of cocaine.

"They went from being an urban legend to some sporadic seizures to a flurry in the last two years," said an official at the U.S. embassy in Bogota. "Semi-submersibles are the transportation of choice for maritime drug traffickers."

The smugglers are trading speed for stealth.

They used to prefer go-fast boats, high-speed fiberglass watercraft that can carry 2 tons of drugs and travel up to 80 miles per hour in calm seas. But those crafts leave huge wakes and anti-drug agents, using helicopters and their own racing boats, have become far more adept at spotting them.

So, the traffickers have moved underwater by making modifications to the go-fast boat design. A semi-submersible is, in essence, a go-fast boat with a fiberglass top fitted with air vents that stick out of the water.

Instead of high-speed engines, the semi-submersible is powered by a 200 or 300 horsepower diesel motor, allowing the vessel to move about 10 miles per hour. The resulting wake is so small that anti-drug agents or Coast Guard officials must get within 3,000 yards of the vessels to spot them.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/the-americas/090408/drug-traffickers-move-underwater

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The Emperor of Hemp: The Jack Herer Story

by Joseph
 
<a href="http://www.joost.com/249i7ew/t/Emperor-of-Hemp-The-Jack-Herer-Story">Emperor of Hemp: The Jack Herer Story</a>
 
It is suiting that a man you probably never heard of is the same guy who envisioned cannabis hemp saving the world from the problem of limited resources in 1974! You may have seen clips, read articles, or learned the theories this man was responsible for legitimatizing, but with time comes the amazing ability for some people's achievements to get lost in the shuffle.

The Emperor of Hemp: The Jack Herer Story (1999) is the documentary that includes segments that will make you go, "Ahhh, dude, I remember seeing that on YouTube a few years ago." While Obama would rather you just chuckle when he cracks jokes (i.e. like the way he calls welfare expansion a "tax cut"), this movie is no joke.

Jack Herer is the author of a 1985 best-selling book titled The Emperor Wears No Clothes. 30 years ago his life became a crusade against tyranny and the social acceptance of falsehoods, and he has, against the will of the mainstream media, produced new information on an ancient plant the world shunned in favor of fossil fuels, deforestation and destruction.

The first book Herer wrote was an animated book called Grass, and soon thereafter put together the deep-seeded connection mankind had with hemp and what followed was firestorm that opened the way for Jack to be the figurehead for a bandwagon few at the time were ready to jump on.

Shunned by zero tolerance laws that were highlighted by Ronald Reagan's claim marijuana resulted in permanent brain damage in 1980, Jack would eventually get arrested, which would lead to his masterpiece, The Emperor Wears No Clothes, in 1983, best described as "a part scientific document, part journalistic exposé and part holy crusade" must-read, currently in its 11th edition.

"Nobody has ever died from marijuana that wasn't shot by a cop."
- Jack Herer -

http://thefreshscent.com/2009/04/14/the-emperor-of-hemp-the-jack-herer-story/

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Legalize Industrial Hemp

Act Now!

by Peter Rothberg

It's hard to talk about hemp without hippie jokes but the plant is actually one of the world's most versatile crops, and has been used for centuries as a foodstuff, fabric, and fiber.

Grown in colonial New England and Virginia, hemp is today cultivated in every industrialized nation in the world other than the United States. While hemp seeds and oils can be safely consumed and hemp clothes can be bought and worn across the US, all of the hemp used to create these products must be imported from abroad.

Struggling American farmers have missed out on this growing market because, for over sixty years now, the Drug Enforcement Administration has grouped all varieties of the Cannabis sativa plant together in spite of the fact that industrial hemp contains only trace amounts of psychotropic THC--a fraction of what's present in marijuana.

The Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2009 would help to undo the plant's stupid misclassification. This bipartisan bill, proposed by Barney Frank (D-Mass) and Ron Paul (R-Texas), has been cosponsored by nine other house members and would allow the states that have passed pro-hemp legislation or resolutions (Arkansas, California, Hawaii, Illinois, Kentucky, Maine, Minnesota, Montana, North Carolina, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia), considered pro-hemp legislation or resolutions (Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Iowa, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Oregon, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Wisconsin), or where farm groups have advocated for a return to industrial hemp farming (Ohio and Pennsylvania), to choose whether to let farmers grow industrial hemp.

Check out the Vote Hemp Project for more info and ask your elected reps to support the Industrial Hemp Farming Act.

http://www.thenation.com/blogs/actnow/427382?rel=hp_picks

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Marijuana Advocates Point to Signs of Change

Allen F. St. Pierre, left, the executive director of Norml, speaking Sunday at a forum at the University of Colorado, Boulder.

SAN FRANCISCO — On Monday, somewhere in New York City, 420 people will gather for High Times magazine's annual beauty pageant, a secretly located and sold-out event that its sponsor says will "turn the Big Apple into the Baked Apple and help us usher in a new era of marijuana freedom in America."

They will not be the only ones partaking: April 20 has long been an unofficial day of celebration for marijuana fans, an occasion for campus smoke-outs, concerts and cannabis festivals. But some advocates of legal marijuana say this year's "high holiday" carries extra significance as they sense increasing momentum toward acceptance of the drug, either as medicine or entertainment.

"It is the biggest moment yet," said Ethan Nadelmann, the founder and executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance in Washington, who cited several national polls showing growing support for legalization. "There's a sense that the notion of legalizing marijuana is starting to cross the fringes into mainstream debate."

For Mr. Nadelmann and others like him, the signs of change are everywhere, from the nation's statehouses — where more than a dozen legislatures have taken up measures to allow some medical use of marijuana or some easing of penalties for recreational use — to its swimming pools, where an admission of marijuana use by the Olympic gold medalist Michael Phelps was largely forgiven with a shrug.

Long stigmatized as political poison, the marijuana movement has found new allies in prominent politicians, including Representatives Barney Frank, Democrat of Massachusetts, and Ron Paul, Republican of Texas, who co-wrote a bill last year to decrease federal penalties for possession and to give medical users new protections.

The bill failed, but with the recession prompting bulging budget deficits, some legislators in California and Massachusetts have gone further, suggesting that the drug could be legalized and taxed, a concept that has intrigued even such ideologically opposed pundits as Glenn Beck of Fox News and Jack Cafferty of CNN.

"Look, I'm a libertarian," Mr. Beck said on his Feb. 26 program. "You want to legalize marijuana, you want to legalize drugs — that's fine."

All of which has longtime proponents of the drug feeling oddly optimistic and even overexposed.

"We've been on national cable news more in the first three months than we typically are in an entire year," said Bruce Mirken, the director of communications for the Marijuana Policy Project, a reform group based in Washington. "And any time you've got Glenn Beck and Barney Frank agreeing on something, it's either a sign that change is impending or that the end times are here."

Beneficiaries of the moment include Norml, the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, which advocates legalization, and other groups like it. Norml says that its Web traffic and donations (sometimes in $4.20 increments) have surged, and that it will begin a television advertising campaign on Monday, which concludes with a plea, and an homage, to President Obama.

"Legalization," the advertisement says, "yes we can!"

That seems unlikely anytime soon. In a visit last week to Mexico, where drug violence has claimed thousands of lives and threatened to spill across the border, Mr. Obama said the United States must work to curb demand for drugs.

Still, pro-marijuana groups have applauded recent remarks by Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr., who suggested that federal law enforcement resources would not be used to pursue legitimate medical marijuana users and outlets in California and a dozen other states that allow medical use of the drug. Court battles are also percolating. The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit heard arguments last Tuesday in San Francisco in a 2007 lawsuit challenging the government's official skepticism about medical uses of the drug.

But Allen F. St. Pierre, the executive director of Norml, said he had cautioned supporters that any legal changes that might occur would probably be incremental.

"The balancing act this year is trying to get our most active, most vocal supporters to be more realistic in their expectations in what the Obama administration is going to do," Mr. St. Pierre said.

For fans of the drug, perhaps the biggest indicator of changing attitudes is how widespread the observance of April 20 has become, including its use in marketing campaigns for stoner-movie openings (like last year's "Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantánamo Bay") and as a peg for marijuana-related television programming (like the G4 network's prime-time double bill Monday of "Super High Me" and "Half Baked").

Events tied to April 20 have "reached the tipping point in the last few years after being a completely underground phenomenon for a long time," said Steven Hager, the creative director and former editor of High Times. "And I think that's symptomatic of the fact that people's perception of marijuana is reaching a tipping point."

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/20/us/20marijuana.html?_r=1&ref=us

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Global Marijuana March 2009

248 cities have signed up so far for May 2, 2009.

For many more photo, video, media, and report links go to Global Marijuana March links. For a city list by region since 1999 go to Global Marijuana March.

The Global Marijuana March (GMM) is also known as the Million Marijuana March (MMM). GMM events worldwide are held the first Saturday in May, or thereabouts.

Global Million Marijuana March (GMM-MMM) - 554 different cities have signed up from 54 different nations since 1999. . Many links. GMM Wikipedia. Forums. Regions: Africa. Asia. Canada. Europe. Oceania. Russia. South and Central America. USA. News media reports: 2008. 2007. 2006. Wikia event categories. Videos. Marihemp gallery for posters, flyers, banners: 2008 GMM. 2008. 2007 GMM. 2007. 2006. 2005. 2004. 2003. 2002. 2001. 2000. 1999. Photo galleries (1999 to 2008). Wikia upload. Image uploading and use. Wikipedia upload. Marihemp gallery search: city, state, nation. Add name of city to searches: ~ Google: [9] [10] [11] [12]. Google maps: city, state, nation. Google News: [13]. Videos: [14] [15] [16] [17]. Photos: [18] [19] [20] [21] [22] [23] [24] [25]. Travel blogs with photos: [26]. Forums: [27] [28]. Blogs: [29]. Yahoo Groups: [30] [31] [32]. Portuguese (Portugal, Brazil) searches (Marcha da Maconha): [33] [34] [35] [36] City lists by year: Cannabis.wikia.com - 2009. 2008. 2007. 2005. WorldwideMarijuanaMarch.org - 2009. GlobalMarijuanaMarch.org - 2009. 2008. 2007. 2006. 2005. Other years: 2005b. 2004. 2003. 2002. 2001. 2000. 1999.

Some featured city pages with videos: ~ Amsterdam, Netherlands. Athens, Greece. Buenos Aires, Argentina. Cleveland, Ohio, USA. Florianopolis, Brazil. Moscow, Russia. New York City, New York, USA. Oslo, Norway. Prague, Czech Republic. Recife, Brazil. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Santiago, Chile. Seattle, Washington, USA. Toronto, Canada. Warsaw, Poland. ...

 
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Show your support for ending prohibition

LEAP logo

VIDEO:
20-Year Veteran Cop Shows You How to Help LEAP End the "Drug War"

LEAP's Peter Christ
Peter Christ
LEAP co-founder



Get Your LEAP Badge Pin Today!
LEAP Badge Pin
Get Your LEAP Badge Today!

Dear Michael,

Have you noticed that there's been a great awakening about the harms of the "war on drugs"? The media and politicians are paying attention like never before.

I'm writing to tell you about a new way you can help keep this wave going and show your support for Law Enforcement Against Prohibition at the same time.

When I co-founded LEAP seven years ago I used to say I would not see the end of the "war on drugs" in my lifetime. But over these past weeks I've changed my mind about that, because things are changing. And fast.

Just look at all the media attention LEAP has been getting lately: 30-year veteran federal anti-drug agent Terry Nelson was recently on Anderson Cooper's CNN show, Judge James Gray was on Fox Business Channel and CNN, and LEAP speakers have recently been featured in newspapers like the Los Angeles Times, the Miami Herald and the Houston Chronicle.

More people are talking about the "drug war" than ever before, and you can help continue this conversation by wearing an official LEAP badge lapel pin just like our law enforcement speakers do.  When you wear the LEAP shield, people will ask you about it, giving you the opportunity to talk about the harms of prohibition and invite them to join our movement.

Please go to http://www.CopsSayLegalizeDrugs.com/badge right now and make a donation of just five bucks (or more, if you can afford it), and we'll mail you a badge so you can start wearing it and helping to build our movement.

Of course, our efforts aren't just all talk.  LEAP is making a real impact on prohibitionist policies both on a national level and regionally:

  • On Capitol Hill, Senator Jim Webb of Virginia just introduced a bill to create a blue ribbon commission to investigate whether we should keep sending so many people to jail for drugs (you and I already know we shouldn't, but the commission will help more politicians to realize it). This is exactly what LEAP's education specialist Howard Wooldridge has been advocating in the halls of Congress; last year, he met with all 535 congressional offices, asking them to create a commission -- and now it's happening!
  • In November, LEAP was proudly involved in helping pass - by a two-to-one margin - a voter initiative to decriminalize marijuana in Massachusetts.  Now, citizens there no longer face arrest just for possessing small amounts.

These are just two examples of how our cops are making more of an impact than ever before. But we simply cannot do this important work by ourselves. We need your help.

Imagine for a moment what we can accomplish when thousands of citizens stand shoulder-to-shoulder with our law enforcers, not only with their dollars but by being advocates on the street and helping to build this movement through one-on-one conversations sparked by simple gold badges.

Please make a one-time donation or monthly pledge of just five dollars today to receive your official LEAP badge lapel pin.

Of course, it's great if you want to donate more, because we sure need it. It costs money to put our speakers in front of legislators, media and other audiences around the U.S. and the rest of the world.

Whether you can give $5.00 or $500.00 to get your LEAP badge, this type of grassroots effort is how this movement has gained so much momentum and it's how we'll win the war against the "drug war." We will succeed because no one can make a legitimate argument against what our law enforcers and civilian supporters have seen with our own eyes. 

So please, show your support for LEAP today with a donation so you can show your support for LEAP tomorrow by proudly displaying our shield on your lapel, shirt, backpack or hat. It's fast, it's easy and it's time.

Sincerely,

Peter Christ
Co-Founder
Law Enforcement Against Prohibition

P.S. Five dollars probably isn't a lot of money to you, but it adds up to a lot for LEAP when combined with generous donations of hundreds or thousands of other supporters just like you, especially if those gifts are sustaining monthly pledges.  So, please, go to http://www.CopsSayLegalizeDrugs.com/badge to do your part by chipping in today.

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9 Legal Drugs With Extremely Disturbing Side Effects

By Ben Popken

We asked for it and you sent them in, a smorgasbord of drugs with extremely disturbing side effects. Here's nine of the most disturbing we found. Jeez! Sometimes the cure really can be worse than the disease...

MIRAPEX - for "Restless Leg Syndrome"
"...hallucinations may occur..."
"...increased gambling, sexual, or other overpowering urges..."

ABILIFY - bipolar disorder, schizophrenia
"coma or death...And trouble swallowing."

FLOMAX - decreases symptoms from having an enlarged prostate (mainly frequent urination)
* runny nose
* dizziness
* decrease in semen


ALLI - weight loss aid
"These changes may include gas with oily discharge, an increased number of bowel movements, an urgent need to have them, and an inability to control them."

VERAMYSYT - "treats allergy symptoms with a gentle fine mist that is scent-free."
"nasal sores, glaucoma, cataracts and nasal fungal infection"
More disturbingly, ads for Veramyst used to say, "The way VERAMYST works is not entirely understood."

ORTHO-NOVUM - birth control pill
"...benign but dangerous liver tumors. These benign liver tumors can rupture and cause fatal internal bleeding. In addition, some studies report an increased risk of developing liver cancer."

ADVAIR - asthma treatment
"asthma related death"

CHANTIX - anti-smoking aid
"Nausea, sleep disturbance, constipation, flatulence, and vomiting."

http://consumerist.com/5213814/9-legal-drugs-with-extremely-disturbing-side-effects

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How does marijuana cause "the munchies?"

Dear Cecil:

I know that this really isn't the type of thing that is asked about frequently, but I gotta ask. When someone smokes marijuana, they get the much-fabled "munchies." I know that this occurs, I am just at a loss as to why it does occur. What is the physiological reasons for this to occur?

You need to slack off on the ganja, bro. What you meant to ask was what the physiological reasons are. Also, you used "occur" three times in two sentences. Besides interfering with cognitive function, marijuana impairs short-term memory. Looks like yours can be measured in milliseconds.

Last time the subject of the munchies came up, in 1977--I've been writing this column longer than a lot of you sumbitches have been alive--all I could tell you was that scientists had ruled out dope-induced fluctuations in blood sugar as a cause. Since then, I'm pleased to inform you, great strides have been made. As it turns out, far from being a mere curiosity, the munchies provide a clue to the workings of one of the body's primary methods of hunger regulation, the endogenous cannabinoid system.

Your body, it seems, contains specialized proteins called cannabinoid receptors. (Broadly speaking, receptors react to certain stimuli and produce certain results.) The best-known cannabinoid is delta 9-tetrahydrocannabinol or THC, the principal psychoactive ingredient of weed (aka cannabis). Far more important from the body's standpoint, however, are the endogenous (i.e., internally synthesized) cannabinoids, endocannabinoids for short, which work like neurotransmitters and are produced as part of the built-in apparatus by which peripheral parts of the body inform the brain that it's lunchtime. Endocannabinoids and cannabinoid receptors are abundant in the hypothalamus, the region of the brain that plays a pivotal role in appetite regulation. In 1992 researchers identified the first endocannabinoid and named it anandamide, from the Sanskrit ananda, meaning inner bliss. In other words, when you smoke dope, you're replicating (albeit with much greater intensity) an effect the body produces naturally for itself.

Hunger regulation isn't the only thing endocannabinoids do for the body. Though their action is still imperfectly understood, a 1998 research paper suggests that they help you "feel less pain, control your movement, relax, eat, forget, sleep and protect" yourself against stress. In fact, some scientists think they're an important part of the body's general stress-recovery system.

The significant role of cannabinoids in body chemistry has created great excitement about the therapeutic use of THC and related compounds. The most obvious beneficiaries are people who've lost the desire to eat--for example, late-stage cancer or AIDS patients. (In India, in fact, folks have used pot to treat loss of appetite since around 300 AD.) Though research is incomplete, it appears that (a) smoking marijuana is the best means of administering THC; (b) food consumption increases primarily in social settings; and (c) the foods consumed tend to be sweet. So it's possible that someday the recommended treatment for disease-induced anorexia may consist of lighting up a few joints, sitting around in a group, and munching Oreos. Lest you get the wrong idea, though, appetite-suppressed patients don't necessarily have to get high to enjoy the benefits of marijuana. At the lowest effective dose, test subjects report little or no euphoria, sleepiness, or dizziness.

Cannabinoids have a variety of other medical applications. The use of marijuana in the treatment of glaucoma is well-known. THC, under the name Dronabinol, has been used since 1985 to ease the nausea and vomiting caused by chemotherapy. Cannabinoid antagonists, which inhibit the effects of cannabis-type compounds, have been shown to suppress sugar and alcohol consumption in lab animals and are thought to hold great promise for obese humans, particularly those with a weakness for sweets.

While I'm not pointing any fingers, I'll bet that much of the research on cannabinoids has been conducted by investigators who were toking up in their dorm rooms 30 years earlier, which goes to show that vice can have its usefulness. Here our parents thought we were frivoling away our lives. Ha. We were on the frontiers of science.

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