I just returned from Los Angeles where I attended the national conference
for the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana laws, NORML.org.
While there I learned that the DEA was raiding a cannabis dispensary on the
edge of downtown LA. I grabbed a taxi and got there in time to see a platoon
of about 18 LAPD officers standing guard while the DEA stole the cash and
cannabis from this state sanctioned facility.
Thousands of taxpayer dollars were frittered away, LAPD was kept from their
real job of protecting us from aberant behavior and after the DEA and the
cops left the cannabis club began selling their wares again.
I invite you to peruse a series of videos I produced while in Los Angeles.
The videos include a look at the police tactics, a gathering of protesters
from Americans for safe access and a look at the wreckage left behind by the
DEA. I have also produced 3 other videos from interviews conducted with national
and California activists working to end the war on some drugs.
link to the DEA bust is here:
Dispensary video one features Land Use Atty. James Anthony of Green-Aid.com
and Cliff Schaffer of MarijuanaBusinessNews.com discuss the burgeoning medical
Dispensary video two features a discussion of cannabis dispensaries by
Jeff Jones who runs a dispensary, Steve Dillon, chairman of NORML and Superior
Court Judge James P. Gray, author of Why our Drug Laws have Failed, a Judicial
Indictment of the war on drugs.
Dispensary video three features Dr. Mitch Earleywine, author of Understanding
Marijuana and Rebecca Saltzman Chief of Staff of Americans for Safe Access
discuss medical marijuana.
I invite you to watch the videos and to realize that the war on marijuana
is over for most of California where it is said to be the number one cash
crop. California cities and counties have embraced the idea of cannabis dispensaries
and willingly accept the taxes generated. The populace sees it as no big deal.
Producer - Drug
Member - Law Enforcement
More current letters
you want your e-mail address published with your comment, please say so. Only
your name will be published unless you specify otherwise or ask for an anonymous
post. I reserve the right to edit but will upload all comments fit to publish.
While FDA "overseers"
allowed more pharmaceutical killers on the market, suppressed the truth
about cannabis and failed to grant the terminally ill access to investigational
drugs. Both FDA and DEA exacerbate problems instead of solving them.
They should be disbanded.
You can help downsize
big government. Write your US Representatives and Senators asking them to
refuse to authorize these agencies, disband them!
Vioxx Reversal Illustrates
the Danger of Immunity for Drug Companies
June 10, 2008
Recently the Supreme Court
held that any medical device approved by the Food and Drug Administration
was immune from lawsuits no matter how badly the product injured the consumer.
The Court will soon be hearing a similar case in which the drug companies
are also seeking immunity for their products.
In May, a court in New Jersey
overturned a jurys verdict against Merck & Co., the makers of the
withdrawn painkiller Vioxx, leaving victims of that harmful drug without justice.
Like the Supreme Court, the New Jersey court strangely found that FDA approval,
no matter how flawed, gave the manufacturer immunity. Results such as this
show how harmful this immunity (based on whats often called federal
preemption) is to victims who are harmed by negligent drug and device
was withdrawn from the market after a study showed the drug increased the
risk of heart attack and stroke. Merck ignored persistent warnings from its
own researchers that Vioxx presented unnecessary dangers to its users yet
delayed placing a warning label on the drug because executives calculated
the wait would earn the company an extra $229 million. In testimony before
the U.S. Congress, an FDA official said that Vioxx was responsible for as
many as 55,000 deaths.
Even with all that, by finding
federal preemption the court was able to ignore the verdict of
a jury which, unlike the Supreme Court, heard all the evidence first hand.
Complete immunity results in even less incentive for corporations to ensure
the safety of their products, because they know they only need to meet the
minimum federal safety requirements.
The Senate is planning to
hold a hearing in the Judiciary committee on Wednesday, June 11th at 11:00
am, which will examine the Supreme Courts recent penchant for placing
the interests of big business over consumers. Among those testifying will
be Bridget Robb who was violently shocked by her malfunctioning. (Continue)
Habeas Corpus -- the fundamental constitutional right that
allows citizens to challenge the lawfulness of their imprisonment. President
Bush currently has the power to declare anyone, including U.S. citizens, "enemy
combatants" and throw them in jail indefinitely without any explanation
for their imprisonment.
In October of last year, the
Republican-controlled Congress passed the Military Commissions Act of 2006
(MCA), which suspended the right of habeas corpus for the first time since
the Civil War.
Without habeas corpus, we've
taken the first step on a very slippery slope towards dictatorship. So
e-mail your senators today..
Please share this message
with anyone you know who cares about saving our Constitution.
Thank you for working to build
a better world.
Will Easton, Manager
Bonnie Colleen McCool ©
URGENT ALERT; 10/18, 2007
Raitt: There's something happening here. Watch The Video -- Sign The Petition!
Working Assets has joined with musicians Jackson Browne, Graham Nash, Ben
Harper and Bonnie Raitt on a petition to Congress to prevent a costly bailout
of the nuclear power industry.
Please act now to help us
remove a clause from a pending Energy Bill that could force taxpayers to underwrite
of an unknown number of new nuclear power plants. Instead, the bill should
fund the renewable and efficiency technologies that can solve global warming,
guarantee a secure economy, and create millions of jobs.
the petition to Congress and stop the pending nuclear power industry bailout.
Bay: Help Amnesty tear it down.
You can make Guantánamo Bay disappear - and help tear down detention
camps that have become synonymous with torture, injustice, and an utter betrayal
of human rights. Tearitdown.org
is a powerful new Amnesty International project dramatically visualizing the
commitment of 500,000 people to tear down Guantánamo Bay.
See for yourself. Act right
now to tear down a piece of Guantánamo Bay!
Join Amnesty International
in this powerful display of commitment to human rights. Strike the final blow
to the Administration's failed policies at Guantánamo Bay. Get your
More current letters!
pixels and counting
when I got mine. - McCool
December 5, 2008
You Can Make a Difference
Today marks the 75th anniversary
of the repeal of Prohibition. Please read my op-ed in today's Wall Street
Journal, and encourage others to do the same. And if you really like it, then
please empower our efforts to reform todays drug prohibitions.
Id welcome your thoughts
on the piece.
Very truly yours,
Policy Alliance Network
Follow this link to see my article in today's Wall Street Journal -- you
can share it on Facebook, MySpace, Digg, del.icio.us and other sites.
Let's End Drug Prohibition
Most Americans agreed that
alcohol suppression was worse than alcohol consumption.
Today is the 75th anniversary
of that blessed day in 1933 when Utah became the 36th and deciding state to
ratify the 21st amendment, thereby repealing the 18th amendment. This ended
the nation's disastrous experiment with alcohol prohibition.
It's already shaping up as
a day of celebration, with parties planned, bars prepping for recession-defying
rounds of drinks, and newspapers set to publish cocktail recipes concocted
especially for the day.
But let's hope it also serves
as a day of reflection. We should consider why our forebears rejoiced at the
relegalization of a powerful drug long associated with bountiful pleasure
and pain, and consider too the lessons for our time.
The Americans who voted in
1933 to repeal prohibition differed greatly in their reasons for overturning
the system. But almost all agreed that the evils of failed suppression far
outweighed the evils of alcohol consumption.
The change from just 15 years
earlier, when most Americans saw alcohol as the root of the problem and voted
to ban it, was dramatic. Prohibition's failure to create an Alcohol Free Society
sank in quickly. Booze flowed as readily as before, but now it was illicit,
filling criminal coffers at taxpayer expense.
Some opponents of prohibition
pointed to Al Capone and increasing crime, violence and corruption. Others
were troubled by the labeling of tens of millions of Americans as criminals,
overflowing prisons, and the consequent broadening of disrespect for the law.
Americans were disquieted by dangerous expansions of federal police powers,
encroachments on individual liberties, increasing government expenditure devoted
to enforcing the prohibition laws, and the billions in forgone tax revenues.
And still others were disturbed by the specter of so many citizens blinded,
paralyzed and killed by poisonous moonshine and industrial alcohol.
Supporters of prohibition
blamed the consumers, and some went so far as to argue that those who violated
the laws deserved whatever ills befell them. But by 1933, most Americans blamed
When repeal came, it was not
just with the support of those with a taste for alcohol, but also those who
disliked and even hated it but could no longer ignore the dreadful consequences
of a failed prohibition. They saw what most Americans still fail to see today:
That a failed drug prohibition can cause greater harm than the drug it was
intended to banish.
Consider the consequences
of drug prohibition today: 500,000 people incarcerated in U.S. prisons and
jails for nonviolent drug-law violations; 1.8 million drug arrests last year;
tens of billions of taxpayer dollars expended annually to fund a drug war
that 76% of Americans say has failed; millions now marked for life as former
drug felons; many thousands dying each year from drug overdoses that have
more to do with prohibitionist policies than the drugs themselves, and tens
of thousands more needlessly infected with AIDS and Hepatitis C because those
same policies undermine and block responsible public-health policies.
And look abroad. At Afghanistan,
where a third or more of the national economy is both beneficiary and victim
of the failed global drug prohibition regime. At Mexico, which makes Chicago
under Al Capone look like a day in the park. And elsewhere in Latin America,
where prohibition-related crime, violence and corruption undermine civil
MPP Marijuana Policy Project
Washington, D.C. - June 11, 2008
The Marijuana Policy Project
is thrilled to announce that we are working closely with members of Congress
to propel a brand new piece of legislation in Congress this year. The legislation
the federal government from prosecuting terminally ill medical marijuana patients.
Dubbed the "terminally
ill patients amendment" by MPP and supporters on Capitol Hill, this legislation
provides narrower protections than what we would ultimately like to see. However,
its effects would be
nationwide and it would protect the most vulnerable members of the medical
marijuana community, those with little time to live.
Due to the amendment's narrow
scope, it has garnered significant support in Washington, D.C., but we need
your help to get it passed. Your member of Congress sits on the Appropriations
Committee and will be voting on this legislation next week.
Would you please visit MPP's
online action center and send a letter to your member of Congress today?
If you would, please also
make a call to your congressperson's office and ask him or her to support
this important legislation. You can
reach your member's office through the congressional switchboard at (202)
225-3121. A staff member will answer your call and pass your
message on. You can say: (continue)
Quote of the Day:
"Frankly, it is too
easy to pass bills. Bills flow through this body like water."
-- Sen. Jeff Sessions
In our system of government,
Senators have longer terms than Representatives. In theory, this gives them
freedom to be more far-sighted and more statesmanlike than Representatives,
who are constantly seeking re-election. Sometimes, democratic passions cause
the House to pass popular but seriously flawed bills, and the framers of the
Constitution created the Senate so that cooler heads would prevail. It seemed
to work: for generations the Senate was considered the "world's greatest
But today, the Senate passes
most bills unread and without any deliberation. In fact, bills are often rushed
through without Senators even knowing about them. Their "consent"
to a bill is assumed, and this leads to bills being passed by "unanimous
consent." It is a process called "hotlining." Paul
Jacob has a good column on it this week.
A Senator's office is notified
by phone of a bill that both the majority leader and minority leader would
like to see passed without debate. The Senator's staff is given a deadline
to place a "hold" on the bill. A hold can be placed for any number
of reasons - the Senator may want to obstruct passage of the bill, as Sen.
Stevens famously tried to obstruct the Legislative Transparency and Accountability
Act last year. Or, a Senator may place a hold if he or she wants to introduce
an amendment. Or maybe the Senator just wants time to read and consider the
bill. But there are many occasions when Senators aren't even given a fair
chance to place a hold. As Sen. Sessions of Alabama tells it:
"In each Senate office
there are three telephones with hotline buttons on them. Most evenings, sometimes
after business hours, these phones begin to ring. The calls are from the Republican
and the Democratic leaders to each of their Members, asking consent to pass
this or that bill--not consider the bill or have debate on the bill but to
pass it. Those calls will normally give a deadline. If the staff do not call
back in 30 minutes, the bill passes. Boom. It can be 500 pages. In many offices,
when staffers do not know anything about the bill, they usually ignore the
hotline and let the bill pass without even informing their Senators. If the
staff miss the hotline, or do not know about it or were not around, the Senator
is deemed to have consented to the passage of some bill which might be quite
an important piece of information." Source: Sessions'
Sen. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma
"During the 109th Congress (2005-2006), 341 bills and joint resolutions
were passed by the Senate. According to the Congressional Research Service,
only 21 of those bills received a roll call vote on the Senate floor. That
means 94 percent of law making measures that were passed through the Senate
were passed by UC or by voice vote. A large majority of these were hotlined
and therefore excluded from full and open debate and the amendment process.
In the 109th Congress, 1,408 bills, resolutions, or nominations were attempted
to be hotlined, with as many as 40 measures being hotlined in a single day."
No wonder government grows
so quickly. A Senator may have a headache and call it a night, and when he
returns to his office the next day he finds out he "consented" to
several bills he knew nothing about. Calling the Senate a "rubber stamp"
is an insult to rubber stamps.
And it is we the people who
suffer. We are the ones who must pay for the government's wasteful programs
and obey its unnecessary laws. The least we should expect is that our representatatives
in Congress read and understand the bills they pass. The least we should expect
is that all bills actually come to a floor vote, and are not "passed"
via telephone messages. That is why we must pressure Congress to pass the
the Bills Act.
Congress you are disgusted by procedures such as the Senate's hotlining
process. Tell them that they should read and understand every bill they want
passed, and that bills should actually be voted on in both chambers. Tell
them to pass the Read
the Bills Act.
Finally, last week the Senate
passed 8 bills amounting to 462 pages of legislation. The House passed 17
bills and 295 pages. Almost all of them are worthy of comment, but we just
don't have the time. The list of bills can be found at the bottom of the
blog version of this Dispatch.
Thank you for being a DC Downsizer.
Assistant to the President
Be part of history.
This Tuesday, Voters for Peace
will be participating in a historic press conference with 19 other national
organizations announcing "Million
Doors for Peace." Nearly 10,000 people have already signed up to
participate in exponentially expanding the peace movement. On September 20,
2008 we all talk to our neighbors and sign them up to tell their elected officials
to end the Iraq war and occupation now.
Be part of this effort. We
need you to help build a peace movement that cannot be ignored by the next
President and Congress. Sign
Doors for Peace will be the year's largest anti-war mobilization. It is
different from previous anti-war mobilizations because volunteers will be
talking to people where they live instead of gathering in one place - such
as the National Mall in Washington, D.C. - for a traditional protest. Most
Americans oppose the war in Iraq, but have never been directly invited to
participate in an anti-war action. By engaging people where they live, neighbor-on-neighbor,
Million Doors for Peace will elevate the debate over the war and its costs.
We will be asking our neighbors to sign the following petition to Congress:
The five and a half years
of war in Iraq has been an exercise of misplaced priorities:
Draining U.S. taxpayers
of at least three trillion dollars which could have gone towards investments
that strengthen our economy, such as: health care for our families, ensuring
the best education for our children and youth, and addressing the energy crisis.
Resulting in hundreds
of thousands of American and Iraqis dead and wounded.
And undermining the
United States' standing as a worldwide symbol for democracy and justice.
Because of these reasons,
the majority of American and Iraqi people want the United States to begin
a withdrawal of American troops from Iraq as soon as possible, with a date
certain for completing that process.
Therefore, we, the undersigned,
call on [Rep. / Sen. NAME] to immediately support and pass legislation that
will set a specific date to bring U.S. troops home from Iraq within a year.
Voters for Peace
Dear Colleen and Leonard,
You are right about Ron Paul,
man I wish I was out there to help him. He amazes me with his honesty and
truthfulness. I'd like to see his campaign catch on. Send info on him if you
can. Put my address on the web.
#1271133 Ellis Unit T/C
1697 FM 980
Huntsville, TX 77343
Reader, through our years of correspondence I have learned: Thomas is in prison
for robbing banks because he became so frustrated by the corruption in law
enforcement in the Permian Basin area. He claims he was targeted for his alleged
help in busting his cousin, a crooked sheriff. When he found out these same
people had made sure he received 75 years for 2 joints and seven pain pills,
he ran, living underground around Austin for 19 months pulling bank jobs.
He alleges his wife (now deceased) was raped by a member of law enforcement
and at one point his probation was revoked for an overdue library book!
Justice Professionals Speaking Out Against the War on Drugs
JUNE 26, 2008
to take action? Take this summers challenge and gain more than just
a great suntan.
hope to human rights defenders around the world by writing letters
on their behalf.
The extraordinary thing about
human rights defenders is just how ordinary their desires are. They want what
so many of us take for granted A safe place to live and work. Free
and fair elections. The right to speak out without the fear of arrest or torture.
This summer, your mission is to bring hope to human rights defenders and prisoners
of conscience around the world.
Recently, a womens rights
group, Women of Zimbabwe Arise! (WOZA) organized a peaceful demonstration
to protest the worsening social, economic and human rights conditions in their
country. Members of this group frequently report harassment, intimidation
and other extreme treatment from police officers. Right now, Jenni Williams
and Magadonga Mahlangu, leaders of WOZA, are in prison. Other members of WOZA
face charges against their peaceful activities. Send
a letter of support to the members of WOZA as a part of our Summer Solidarity
The struggle for human rights
continues even during what is for most, a relaxing season summer. For
our summer solidarity action, you can provide moral support to human rights
defenders in Zimbabwe, China, Belarus, Mexico, and Libya. Your action can
help bring much-needed support and justice to these courageous men and women.
When people ask you what youre
doing for summer vacation this year, tell them youre bringing hope to
where its needed most.
Individuals at Risk
Amnesty International USA
Dear Colleen, -------------------------------------------Dec.
I was a drug user. My friends,
musicians and artists in southern California, were drug users. So I saw firsthand
what happens when people who use drugs are denied access to health care and
drug education. Two talented, creative people I knew died.
At that time, there was no
voice out there advocating for us to have basic harm reduction servicesservices
that would have saved the lives of my friends. I feel passionately about changing
that, which is why I work as DPAs harm reduction coordinator in Los
Angeles, implementing a program to provide access to clean syringes in pharmacies,
which prevents diseases like HIV/AIDS and hepatitis C and saves us all money
in health care costs.
When youve lived this
experience, you cant ignore it. And thats why I love DPA. Were
a sane, rational voice working against the de-humanization of drug users and
fighting the prejudice systemic to the war on drugs. I believe educating people
about harm reduction is one of the first steps in creating change, because
until we break down stereotypes and stigmas about people who use drugs, we
cant fully embrace a public health response to drug use.
This is the most meaningful
work Ive ever done, and I feel blessed that I get to do it. I care so
much about the value of the life of a person who uses drugs because I walk
around every day with the ghosts of people I knew and loved.
But in order to keep doing
what I do, I need your help. I have so many ideasI want to build partnerships
with organizations and people who can bring harm reduction messages back to
their own communities. I want to do an ad campaign to raise awareness of the
fact that a person can be both an injection drug user and a contributing member
of society. I want to bring our message to people who dont already agree
But the only way I can do
those things is with the financial support of people who believe in what I
do. As youre deciding on your year-end contributions, please think about
my work and make
a donation to DPA.
Harm Reduction Coordinator
Drug Policy Alliance Los Angeles
pictures of New Orleans and the mighty Mississippi! - 2007 International
Drug Policy Reform conference.
credit: Colleen McCool and Leonard Minter.
August 20 ,2008
Question: Whos safe
from the brutal tactics of the zero-tolerance drug war?
Answer: No one, apparently.
A couple weeks ago, a D.C.-area
sheriff's office SWAT team and county police narcotics officers in Maryland
burst into the house of Berwyn Heights Mayor Cheye Calvo after they saw Calvo
take a suspicious package inside. (The package, which contained marijuana,
was intended to be intercepted by a drug smuggling ring that exploits unsuspecting
addressees.) During the raid, they shot and killed the mayor's two Labrador
retrievers.1 In the ensuing investigation, it was discovered that the police
did not even possess a "no-knock" warrant for the botched SWAT-style
In November 2006, the Atlanta
area was shocked when 92-year-old Kathryn Johnston was gunned down by narcotics
officers who kicked down her door (an incorrect address was supplied by an
informant) in another bungled no-knock drug raid. Protecting her
home from the sudden intrusion, Ms. Johnston fired one round before being
shot 39 times by police; they then handcuffed her and, as she lay dying, planted
marijuana in her basement to cover up their mistake.3
Each year, SWAT teams across
the country conduct an estimated 40,000 raids, many of them directed at people
suspected of nonviolent drug law violations.4 These brutal tactics -- heavily
armed police in military-style attire breaking down doors and tossing flash-bang
grenades -- have become routine. But its obvious such tactics are not
justified for routine drug raids.
a note to the U.S. Conference of Mayors, a national organization that
unites mayors around policies and goals, and ask them to support an end to
these tactics. Now that one of their own has been vicitimized, urge our nation's
mayors to start a conversation in their communities about "no-knock"
warrants and routine SWAT-style raids for drug investigations.
action now. If you are as outraged as we are, please take another moment
to forward this request to your friends and family. Thank you so much for
Bill Piper, Director National Affairs ----Drug Policy Alliance
Hello. My name is [your name]
and I'm calling from [your town, your state]. I understand Representative
[last name] is a member of the Appropriations Committee. I wanted to ask him/her
to support the
terminally ill patients medical marijuana amendment that will be offered in
committee this year.
The amendment will only apply
to patients who are terminally ill and who use medical marijuana with their
action today and help protect terminally ill patients from arrest. These
sick and dying people are some of the medical marijuana
community's most vulnerable members. Please help them by
taking these simple actions right now.
National Field Coordinator
Marijuana Policy Project
We are required by federal
law to tell you that any donations you make to MPP may be used for political
purposes, such as supporting or opposing candidates for federal office.
More Currant Letters
Be in the room
and find out what you missed at NOLA DPA Conference. . HMR Recordings
can still take your order for CDs or mp3 files of conference sessions and
plenaries. Discounts are available for full sets or ordering 4 or more CDs.
If you dont mind waiting, DPA will also eventually be making the audio
on our website.
For five years the anti-war
community has protested, written letters, sent emails and made phone calls,
and we haven't ended the war. We need to grow the anti-war movement, find
NEW people who we haven't met yet, and those who haven't already made up their
You'll be provided with a
script, talking points and a walk list in your neighborhood. And, you will
be part of a coordinated effort to build a peace movement that elected officials
will be unable to ignore.
Sign up today and be part
Kevin B. Zeese
Take the VotersForPeace
Pledge! "I will only vote for or support federal candidates who make
a speedy end to the war in Iraq, and preventing any future war of aggression,
a public position in his or her campaign."
does U.S. militarism fit into the General Election?
The military has become much
larger and more deeply embedded throughout the federal government. Neither
of the establishment party candidates is calling for shrinking the U.S. military
indeed, both are calling for expanding the military with tens of thousands
of more troops.
What can peace advocates do?
No matter whom you are planning to vote for you can take action today. Write
to all the candidates Urge them to end the occupation of Iraq and prevent
future wars of aggression.
Also, please donate to VotersForPeace
today. More Current Letters
The "war on drugs"
is a propaganda slogan to divert attention away from the war over who is going
to control and profit from the international trade in designer drugs and natural
I recommend you see a film
entitled Amazing Grace, about the slave trade of Western powers of the 17th
and 18th centuries. It shows what nations will do for commerce and economic
security, only the objects, the commodities of trade change. Look at the arms
races of this century and the ideologies and propaganda that created and justified
Only the slavishly obedient
to our current drug policies buy the idea that there is anything like a war
on drugs. The warfare emerges from dividing up the drug trade into the wild
west version of "the good drugs" and the "bad drugs" and
them going to war over who gets the money.
I send this in the possibility
of making the last 100 years of drug scams and protection rackets that sustain
such division and destruction comprehensible; and we have a way of seeing
the big picture and informing other people who could have that policy and
that warfare ended.
How could people who have
nothing but propagada to inform themselves be able to be responsible for their
own health, safety and well-being?
If you want more information,
let me know.
War is a way of having.....
Peace is a way of being....
I also refer you to War Dance,
a study of the psychology of way., by Dr. Eric Graham Howe
Russ Shaw, MA, Lt. Col., USAF(Ret)
TDCJ Murray Unit K-2A-64
1916 N. Highway 36 Bypass
Gatesville, TX 76596
March 29, 2008
Ladies and Gentlemen:
My name is Sherry A. Nance,
and I am serving a life sentence at the
Murray Unit in Gatesville, TX. Building K where I am currently housed is known
as the "Old Ladies Dorm" because it is the dormitory where older
women like myself, many of whom have various kinds of chronic illnesses and
are disabled, are assigned to sleep. I am appealing to you for help because
the Murray Unit has recently started what is the equivalent of a chain gang
for elderly women. Until this newest form of state-sponsored torture was introduced,
I, like many other older women at the Murray Unit, had a regular prison job
inside the facility, but they changed the job assignments for many of us.
And we are now being ordered to perform hard manual labor as an outside work
gang as well as being forced to work in cold, wet, and unseasonable weather.
This came as a total surprise not only to myself but also to the other women
that live in the same dorm as I do.
There has been some conflict
in Building K between staff and older
inmates who are disabled and can't respond during head count due to
being deaf, legally blind, speech impaired, and mentally challenged. Some
older women who are senile were sleeping on each other's
bunks because they couldn't
find the bed they were assigned to, and one mental case was sleeping under
the bed of another inmate because she was paranoid and afraid to sleep by
herself. There was another situation where one mental case was found setting
in the shower area playing in her own menstrual blood after repeatedly creating
numerous disturbances in the dorm. All these and other things are regular
happenings in the so-called "Old Ladies Dorm," but they are incidents
that need to be addressed as they apply to the problematic individuals, not
to all of us just because certain inmates in here are prone to create problems.
What's happening with the
elderly chain gang appears to be that TDCJ decided that all of us older ladies
need to be assigned to hard labor so that we will be tired enough to sleep
at night and not cause disruptions, but working us like dogs is not the answer
to problems concerned with handling deaf, speech impaired, blind, senile and
physically challenged inmates. We are being made to pull weeds, allegedly
to be used for mulch fertilizer, when mowing would accomplish essentially
the same thing. I have a bad back, and my medical profile states that I am
not to do heavy lifting, work in a
squatting position, or work bending over for prolonged periods of time. When
I told the CO in charge of the work gang about my the physical limitations
outlined in my medical records, he told me to set on the cold, damp ground
to pull weeds and push myself along on the wet grass. At least four other
women I am closely acquainted with who are in their early 60s, and one who
is 67-years-old, were told to do the same thing when they told the CO in charge
about their various handicaps.
Besides the dire degradation,
physical discomfort, ! and total disregard for our medical records, we are
not being furnished with gloves and are being forced to pull weeds bare-handed
in cold, wet weather. This constitutes cruel and unusual punishment because
the elderly women's chain gang that we have been assigned to is apparently
designed to punish us for being old, blind, and disabled. It represents nothing
less than an attempt at state-sponsored euthanasia, which is a violation of
our human rights, and it needs to stop immediately.
I would like to ask each of
you to contact the officials whose information is listed below and demand
that this abuse of prisoners in their custody stop and that they consider
other methods of dealing with the problem of what to do with the growing number
of elderly and disabled female inmates other than work us to death in inclement
weather. The officials I would like for you to contact and their contact information
are as follows:
P.O. Box 99
Huntsville, TX 77342-0099
Email! : email@example.com
P.O. Box 99
Huntsville, TX 77342-0099
Deputy Director Rodney Cooper
Texas Department of Criminal Justice
Correctional Institutions Division, Region VI
4616 West Howard Lane, Suit 200
Austin, TX 78728
Warden Lorie Willis
TDCJ Lane Murray Unit
1916 N. Highway 36 Bypass
Gatesville, TX 76596
Thank you for considering
my request for assistance. Please keep my sisters and I in your prayers because
many of us are getting sick from having to work outside in the cold weather.
29 patients (16
to 33 years of age) were admitted to four different hospitals in the greater,
Leipzig Germany area.
market is safer for our young people. Legalizing drug distribution would
immediately cut off the major source of funding for terrorists worldwide and
could increase our tax base.
Vioxx Reversal Illustrates
the Danger of Immunity for Drug Companies (continued)
Medtronic Internal Cardiac
Defibrillator (ICD) and cannot hold the manufacturer accountable in a court
Members of Congress in both
the House and Senate will be introducing legislation to correct the Supreme
Courts decision. As soon as that happens, we will let you know so that
you may contact your elected officials.
People Over Profits Campaign More Current Letters
You've probably heard of Timothy
He's the musician who died
recently because he was denied a
liver transplant for having used marijuana prescribed by his
You've probably also heard
of Rachel Hoffman, a young college grad who was coerced by police to act as
an informant after she was arrested for marijuana possession. She was killed
by drug dealers following a botched drug sting.
You may even know someone
personally whose life has been turned upside down -- or worse -- because of
our country's deplorable drug policies.
Because of extreme situations
like these and countless daily injustices, it's time to ramp up efforts to
end the Drug War and prohibition.
That's what the TRUTH
08 CAMPAIGN is about and why I'm asking you for support.
The Truth 08 Campaign -- is
a multi-pronged strategy from StoptheDrugWar.org to educate
more people about the Drug War and to:
* Expand StoptheDrugWar.org
resources so more people can get online, read Drug War Chronicle (the world's
leading drug policy newsletter), participate in Speakeasy blogs and take immediate
action through our Alerts and Latest News postings.
* Bring more elected officials
on board through targeted lobbying efforts.
* Empower more grassroots
organizations by giving them the tools, materials and exposure they need to
strengthen the drug policy reform movement.
* Reach out to local and
national media with the "other" side of the story -- prohibition
does more harm than good.
There is no better time to
open people's minds than during this election year when almost everyone is
focused on change. As people are taking a long, hard look at the policies
that are NOTworking in this country, the TRUTH 08 CAMPAIGN will prove that
the Drug War should be included at the top of that list.
Will you please contribute
to the TRUTH
08 CAMPAIGN today? Your gift will be used to get the word out to more
people, attract more media attention and build greater momentum for policy
change. Visit today.
We'll send you a free TRUTH
08 CAMPAIGN notepad to show you our appreciation, and so you can spread the
word, too. If you send $36 or more, we'll also send you a free padded folder
with clasp. And for a gift of $60 or more, you'll also receive a free copy
of Dying to Get High, a new book by Wendy Chapkis and Richard J. Webb about
the right to use physician-recommended marijuana that will be released, appropriately,
on July 4th.
Your help is needed to capitalize
on the tremendous progress we've already made getting the TRUTH out: this
past year over 140,000 people each month visited StoptheDrugWar.org
-- that's a lot of visitors.
Several months the number
of visitors topped 180,000 and the trend is continuing upward. We are very
excited about the new campaign and the new momentum we're generating.
Colleen, thank you very much
for your interest in changing this country's drug policies and for being a
StoptheDrugWar.org. And thank you for giving your support to the TRUTH 08
CAMPAIGN. Your contribution has never been more important.
Executive Director, StoptheDrugWar.org (DRCNet)
News & Activism Promoting Sensible Reform
P.S. It's time to stop the
senseless tragedies like those experienced by Tim Garon and Rachel Hoffman
-- and to bring an end to countless injustices occurring every day. Your donation
to the TRUTH
08 CAMPAIGN today will help spread the word to more people than ever and
build the momentum we need to change our country's drug policy and end prohibition.
Thank you! More
Violence, Save the Children!
Below is Joy Strickland's
(CEO, Mothers Against Teen Violence) rebuttal to James Capras article
published in the Dallas Morning News last week. The News informed Joy that
they cannot print the rebuttal below since they already published her article
two weeks ago.
To read - Joy Strickland:
Drug laws fertilize teen violence - the
To read - James Capra: Legalizing
pot in no way makes us safe - his
LEGALIZING POT MAKES US SAFER
By Joy Strickland - CEO, Mothers Against Teen Violence - July 29, 2008
James L. Capra, a Dallas Drug
Enforcement Agent, asserted in his article last week, The United States
has had tremendous success in our fight against drug use and abuse.
Anyone vaguely familiar with the war on drugs will concede that Mr. Capra
holds what is arguably a fantastic notion of success. His agencys outdated
arguments and misleading statistics are self-serving at best. Indeed, a DEA
agent promoting the drug war is perhaps less remarkable than a ringmaster
promoting the circus. Still, Mr. Capras arguments warrant a rebuttal.
Firstly, Mr. Capra refers
to the specter of prisons filled with drug users as an illusion.
Although an entire communtiy of African American men in Tulia, Texas and the
Hispanic men victimized by the fake drug scandal here in Dallas could liken
their experience to a bad dream, sadly these shameful stories are very real.
The FBIs Uniform Crime Reports (UCR) reveal that drug law violations
skyrocketed to nearly 2 million in 2006, of which: 82.5% were for possession
of a controlled substance; only 17.5% were for the sale or manufacture of
a drug; 43.9 per cent were for marijuana; and 39% were for marijuana possession
alone, shattering the myth that the drug war primarily targets drug smugglers
and king pins. We cannot separate the rise of the prison industrial complex
from our outdated an irrational drug laws.
Secondly, Mr. Capra inferred
that favoring decriminalization and control could be construed as favoring
underage use. Nothing in the original article warrants this disturbing inference.
Perhaps the point that Mr. Capra missed can be clarified by posing the following
questions: If a youth should exercise poor judgment by using a controlled
substance, should he be barred from obtaining a federal loan for college?
Should he be incarcerated? If he has a life-threatening reaction, should his
friends risk letting him die because they fail to seek medical attention,
fearing their own arrest? It must not be that the cure is worse than the ailment.
There is no accounting for
those studies showing the harmful effects of marihuana on the
body, since Mr. Capra cited no sources. There is ample evidence, however,
that marijuana is less dangerous (to adults) in many respects than nicotine.
In 2006 the largest case-controlled study ever conducted concluded that smoking
marijuana, even regularly and heavily, does not lead to lung cancer. Donald
Tashkin, a pulmonologist at the University of California at Los Angeles has
studied marijuana for 30 years. FDA officials have widely used his previous
work on marijuana to make the case that the drug is dangerous. Tashkin had
hypothesized that there would be a positive association between marijuana
use and lung cancer, and that the association would be more positive with
heavier use. "What we found instead was no association at all, and even
a suggestion of some protective effect," says Tashkin.
Finally, Mr. Capra alluded
to the Netherlands as evidence that liberalized drug policies increase rather
than reduce crime. A better informed DEA agent would know that marijuana remains
illegal in the Netherlands. Large-scale dealing, production, import and export
of all illegal substances are prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
The fact that Dutch policymakers make a distinction between hard drugs and
soft drugs is a step in the right direction. This distinction has led to dispensing
marijuana in coffee shops because a policy of non-enforcement has become common.
The problem is that there is no way for coffee shops to access a legal supply
of marijuana. By pursuing a schizophrenic policy coupling non-enforcement
with the failure to control cultivation and distribution, the Netherlands
has allowed illegal drug trafficking to remain a profitable ventureand
that is the source of the criminal activity.
In the information age, drug
war opponents and advocants alike could benefit from a public debate based
on facts instead of fiction or scare tactics. Anything less is a disservice
to the DEA and the citizens it purports to serve and protect.
Resilient Teens, Empowered
Parents, Strong Communities
Joy Strickland - CEO,
Mothers Against Teen Violence
2904 Floyd Suite F, Dallas,
214-565-0422 - 214-565-0504
out the resolution passed by the U.S. Conference of Mayors calling for
a new bottom line in U.S. drug policy.
1. "FBI to Review Raid
That Killed Mayor's Dogs," Washington Post, August 8, 2008
2. "Prince George's Police
Clear Mayor, Family," Washington Post, August 9, 2008
of the Corrupt Drug War," FOXNews.com, November 20, 2007
The Rise of Paramilitary Police Raids," Cato Institute, July 2006
SO WHAT'S IT
ALL ABOUT: Revenge or
Frank Councell Story
Councell and L. Scott Phillips are happy for you to put up the story as
am I. Everyone who reads it is one more who knows what we as a society are
doing to ourselves by allowing officers to overstep their bounds.
This is a fairly long and
detailed story so I'm only sending you my personal thoughts on the matter.
You can read the entire story for yourself at the above link - and I urge
you to do so, for this affects everyone.
Once again, the department
of 'corrections' has fallen down on it's primary and most important job as
stated in it's own mission statement: Safety of the guards, the prisoners
AND the public. It really HAS to be all about rehabilitation because if prisoners
don't come out better able to fit into society than before, what have we accomplished?
Where has our money gone? How are we safer? Yet every prison worker I've ever
asked about rehabilitation has responded, "Rehabilitation? That's not
my job." I don't understand it, but maybe not; but it is also NOT their
job to prevent rehabilitation.
Prison workers must be seriously
reminded that the courts, not the guards among them, decide the punishment
for people in prison.
The story is specifically
about an urgent situation for Frank Councell, but I know that the same guard-games
happen in many prisons, and it seriously impacts the prisoners, their loved
ones, the prison workers themselves and the entire general public in a very
real way. Frank Councell's story has been repeated to me over and over in
various forms by many prisoners and their families so I know that guard-revenge
happens often enough to make a big difference in our recidivism rates.
Since the current system is
apparently not dedicated to improving a prisoner's capabilities, it is up
to the individual inmate to be driven enough to rehabilitate himself, yet
Frank Councell's story is typical throughout the DoC: An inmate tries to get
himself ready for release, officers try to prevent that rehabilitation, for
whatever personal reasons they think they have, and the staff ignores it.
Can anyone wonder why recidivism rates are so high despite the unGodly amount
of money we spend on prisons in the USA?
Every prison worker who doesn't
do the job according to the book endangers you and I. Every administrator
who won't make them do their jobs professionally steals our future safety.
Can you see how important this situation is? If Frank Councell and all the
prisoners like him are not allowed to rehabilitate themselves, you, my dear
readers, or someone you love will eventually suffer because nobody else is
doing the job.
It is in the best interest
of the people to insist that the governor, legislators, administrators and
staff of correctional facilities utilize the many (and expensive) prisons
we have to prepare inmates to return to society as improved and more capable
citizens. This is the only way to make our streets safer for us and our children
and by God, that's what we pay for.
Sigh... So, where do we go
when prison workers are exacting their own revenge, the staff ignores it,
and the secretary of the department won't step in? Please, for society's safety,
if you have any similar stories, suggestions, any contacts who might care
or have influence, email either Mr.
L. Scott Phillips, or me, Kay
The Walls Transparent (MTWT)
Frank Councell Story
Retaliation and Intimidation
Grow Against Frank Councell 9/16/2008
The reason I am writing this
is not for a good thing. Franks situation is worsening. Please post
this update, and ask everyone to write the Secretary of the Florida DOC, Walter
McNeil, and the Inspector General, Paul Decker. Franks condition is
deteriorating rapidly. Thank You, L.
First, Frank and I thank you
for reading Franks story, and for the support that you have shown. When
I tell him about what people are saying and doing, he draws strength from
it. If you would like to read his story,
this link will take you directly to it:
Frank is an inmate in Florida
at Hardee Correctional Institution. He wants you to know that retaliation,
and now intimidation, are growing at an alarming rate. I know the names of
all the officers involved, and will expose all of them, when Frank tells me
to do it. But for now, Ill tell you what they are doing.
In the last week alone, Frank
has been shaken down FOUR times! Just Frank, no one else. This must stop.
Normally, shake downs may happen once a month, and to a whole group of inmates,
never just one. These cowardly officers get psychotic pleasure from abusing
those who have no power, especially when they think no one is watching.
Last week, Frank was called
to medical. Officers handcuffed him, put on a belly chain, and shackled his
feet, and was escorted by two officers. They shackled him so tightly that
they cut into him, and caused his ankles to bleed. Frank is not in administrative
or disciplinary confinement. He goes to work, the chow hall, and the canteen
without these precautions. Oh, he was not on the callout for medical, nor
he request to go, because he is not sick.
Inmates have access to prison
justice through filing grievances. In Florida, they are very strict
that inmates follow the procedures. Title 33-103 lays them out. Inmates have
the right to file a grievance, except Frank. Frank was called to a meeting,
attended by two assistant wardens, two classification officers, and a sergeant.
The purpose of this meeting was to tell Frank that if he filed one more grievance,
he would be put in administrative confinement, where he would sit for a very
long time. This is a clear violation of Franks rights, and of Title
33. These five officials are complicit in a crime.
Frank runs for exercise and
as a way to combat stress. For a few minutes, he closes his mind to the insanity
that is around him. But now, this is not a refuge. Officers stand to the side
of the track and stare him down. There is even a captain who joins in the
mad-dogging. They make their intimidation known to Frank to the point that
it is apparent to others the yard. This may seem to be a little thing to you
or I, because if someones stare makes us feel uncomfortable, we can
simply walk away. But Frank cannot do that. Most worrisome is that those who
are doing this are those with power over him. Intimidation follows him with
Franks area is set up
with the phones in a sally port. When an inmate wants to use the phone, an
officer in the control room must push a button. Calling me has become a gigantic
effort. The officers in the control room look at him standing by the door,
and turn away. This can go on anywhere from five to twenty minutes. Last week,
he had to wait until the officer pushed the button to let an inmate in the
sally port to come in.
Everything he does and anyplace
he goes has become a stress-filled ordeal. These petty, hate filled officers
are draining the life out of him. He wont live through two and a half
years of this torture. I break down when I think about what hes going
through, and wonder if he will come home to me.
Please help Frank. Please
write the Secretary of the DOC, Walter McNeil, and the Inspector General,
Paul Decker, and demand that they stop this mistreatment of Frank. You may
copy and paste this letter, but please add a personal note. (Click on their
names below to send emails.)
Department of Corrections
2601 Blair Stone Road
Tallassee, Florida 32399-2500
Decision time is close. The
Day after the
Most people I ask, do not
know why marijuana is illegal. I respond by saying What happened to the due
process of law? What happened to the rule of law?
I have two cases docketed
in the U.S. Supreme Court asking the court to review the decisions of the
Maine Supreme Judicial Court, 07-1534. http://ursm.us/5.html and the Wyoming
Supreme Court, 07-1535.
On September 29th my petitions
for writ of certiorari to The Supreme Court of the United States will go to
conference. The disposition of a case will be announced on an Orders
List that will be released at 10:00 a.m. the following Monday, on October
The Maine and Wyoming courts
are saying none of my rights protected by the 4th and 5th Amendments were
affected by the enforcement of the marijuana laws because marijuana is not
a fundamental right. Therefore it is rational for the government to have searched
and seized my person and my property for violating the marijuana laws.
Reasonable criminal laws are
to protect the rights of others from my activities. The private growing and
private possession of marijuana does not pose a substantial threat to the
rights of other, ie public health and safety.
If the US Supreme denies review,
well, what happened to the rule of law?
J. Dee Windham Maine 207-893-0287
Editors note: Check out Michael's
picture with the article, "On the Common, they like grass," in the
Boston Globe recently. More Current
This is a letter Barry
N. Cooper (running in the 31st District for US Representative
against incumbent, John Carter. ) sent with
his 5th grader regarding D.A.R.E.
Teaching your kids the truth
is paramount in terms of properly raising your child!!! My parents, teachers
and clergy lied to me. Don't lie to your kids. Feel free to copy this letter
and send it with your kid. Our current economic crisis, the 700 billion dollar
bailout plan, should be proof enough to confirm or convince you our government
cannot be trusted!
To Whom It May Concern, We
are the parents of ______________________ and this letter is regarding our
stance against D.A.R.E. We will allow _____________________ to "go through
the motions" of the D.A.R.E program without disturbing the class but
we teach him not to respect anything D.A.R.E. teaches.
I was one of our nation's
top drug enforcement officers for 8 years and along with thousands of other
ex-narcotics officers, we now realize the War On Drugsis unjust, bias, prejudice
and cruel. Please see Law
Enforcement Against Prohibition. We also know the War on Drugs is heavily
propagated by many government programs including
We believe in healthy drug
education and awareness programs and we teach our kids the truth about drugs.
Unlike the D.A.R.E. program your school is offering. D.A.R.E. teaches lies
based on fear and slanted government studies. A quick
review of the prestige Harvard's
versus D.A.R.E.'s website
will show these stark differences in the facts regarding drug use and/or abuse.
It is unfortunate we refer
to our current education system as, "public schools," yet we allow
government agents (police) to be the teachers! Government involvement has
taken our schools from the best in the world to 50% of our high schoolers
dropping out each year and our country ranking 42nd in the world in literacy.
Our family is very involved
in trying to change this system so thanks for understanding and we are proud
to send our son to _________________ I..S.D.!!!!!
Barry N. Cooper & Candi
Please copy and paste the
following message, fill in the politician's name and your own contact information
at the bottom, and send it via E or snail-mail to every candidate you are
considering supporting on Election Day. This is our chance to make LEAP known
to many politicians at a time when they are likely to reply to you. Please
as a bcc on any messages you send so we can learn how many politicians we
are contacting. Thank you!
Dear (Politician) :Before
I cast my vote in the upcoming contest for your election, I must first pose
a question to you: Do you support and agree with the following statements
and principles, based on the Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP) http://www.leap.cc:
After nearly four decades
of fueling the U.S. policy of a war on drugs with over a trillion tax dollars
and 39 million arrests for nonviolent drug offenses, our confined population
has quadrupled, making building prisons the fastest-growing industry in the
United States. More than 2.3 million of our citizens are currently incarcerated,
and every year we arrest an
additional 1.9 million more, paralyzing our prison and court systems. Every
year we choose to continue this war costs U.S. taxpayers another 70 billion
dollars. Yet, despite all the lives destroyed and money wasted, illicit drugs
are cheaper, more potent, and far easier for our children to access than they
were 38 years ago at the beginning of the war on drugs. Meanwhile, people
continue dying in our streets while drug barons and terrorists grow richer,
bolder, and more heavily armed. This is the very definition of a failed public
This is not a war on drugs-it's
a war on people: our children, our parents, ourselves.
The first thing we must do
is admit that most of the deaths, diseases, crimes, and addictions attributed
to drug use are actually caused by drug prohibition. Prohibition has paradoxically
increased the number of people in the US above the age of twelve who use illegal
drugs from 4 million (two percent of the 1970 population) to 112 million (46
percent of the 2005 population), according to DEA statistics. In June, 2007,
the US Conference of Mayors unanimously called for an end to the war on drugs
and for drug abuse to be dealt with as a health issue. Once we adopt that
can stop the horrors associated with prohibition by removing the profit motive
generated within the drug culture.
How do we do that? We end
drug prohibition. We legalize all drugs so we can regulate and control them
and keep them out of the hands of our children, who now report that it is
easier for them to buy illicit drugs than cigarettes or alcohol. As long as
these dangerous drugs are illegal, we relinquish control to the street thugs
and international cartels, which have
enormous monetary incentives to hook our children.
I look forward to your response
on this important issue. If I do not hear back from you, I will assume that
this issue is not important to you, or that you do not support the principles
of LEAP, and I will act accordingly on Election Day.
Thank You, Your name, Your
address, Your phone numbers Your email address ------More
authority and public safety,
and mindless drug eradication campaigns wreak environmental havoc.
All this, and much more, are
the consequences not of drugs per se but of prohibitionist policies that have
failed for too long and that can never succeed in an open society, given the
lessons of history. Perhaps a (continue)
Let's End Drug Prohibition (Continues)
totalitarian American could
do better, but at what cost to our most fundamental values?
Why did our forebears wise
up so quickly while Americans today still struggle with sorting out the consequences
of drug misuse from those of drug prohibition?
It's not because alcohol is
any less dangerous than the drugs that are banned today. Marijuana, by comparison,
is relatively harmless: little association with violent behavior, no chance
of dying from an overdose, and not nearly as dangerous as alcohol if one misuses
it or becomes addicted. Most of heroin's dangers are more a consequence of
its prohibition than the drug's distinctive properties. That's why 70% of
Swiss voters approved a referendum this past weekend endorsing the government's
provision of pharmaceutical heroin to addicts who could not quit their addictions
by other means. It is also why a growing number of other countries, including
Canada, are doing likewise.
Yes, the speedy drugs -- cocaine,
methamphetamine and other illicit stimulants -- present more of a problem.
But not to the extent that their prohibition is justifiable while alcohol's
is not. The real difference is that alcohol is the devil we know, while these
others are the devils we don't. Most Americans in 1933 could recall a time
before prohibition, which tempered their fears. But few Americans now can
recall the decades when the illicit drugs of today were sold and consumed
legally. If they could, a post-prohibition future might prove less alarming.
But there's nothing like a
depression, or maybe even a full-blown recession, to make taxpayers question
the price of their prejudices. That's what ultimately hastened prohibition's
repeal, and it's why we're sure to see a more vigorous debate than ever before
about ending marijuana prohibition, rolling back other drug war excesses,
and even contemplating far-reaching alternatives to drug prohibition.
Perhaps the greatest reassurance
for those who quake at the prospect of repealing contemporary drug prohibitions
can be found in the era of prohibition outside of America. Other nations,
including Britain, Australia and the Netherlands, were equally concerned with
the problems of drink and eager for solutions. However, most opted against
prohibition and for strict controls that kept alcohol legal but restricted
its availability, taxed it heavily, and otherwise discouraged its use. The
results included ample revenues for government coffers, criminals frustrated
by the lack of easy profits, and declines in the consumption and misuse of
alcohol that compared favorably with trends in the United States.
Is President-elect Barack
Obama going to commemorate Repeal Day today? I'm not holding my breath. Nor
do I expect him to do much to reform the nation's drug laws apart from making
good on a few of the commitments he made during the campaign: repealing the
harshest drug sentences, removing federal bans on funding needle-exchange
programs to reduce AIDS, giving medical marijuana a fair chance to prove itself,
and supporting treatment alternatives for low-level drug offenders.
But there's one more thing
he can do: Promote vigorous and informed debate in this domain as in all others.
The worst prohibition, after all, is a prohibition on thinking.----------
More Current Letters
Perhaps someone is interested
in my story. I'm 43 years old and have served 15 years of a 75 year sentence
for possession of less than a gram. I could use some legal assistance or just
some friendly correspondence. I look forward to hearing from you soon.
Your Fellow Advocate, Tony
1697 FM 980 Huntsville, TX
77343 ----------- More Current Letters
HEMP the Tree
of Life and healer of the nations in the Bible?
Politicians who use the, "they don't
want to be considered soft on crime" argument for continuing DWII are
ignorant of science and history or have minds like concrete: totally mixed
up and permanently set. Most of the unconscionable warmongers are profiting,
probably under the table, on the suffering of others with this demented, irrational
Who spilled the beans?
It is morally bankrupt to punish nonviolent
adults for making a safer health choice,
cannabis or marijuana, compared to other medicinal/social drugs. Cannabis
can help addicts get off hard drugs like alcohol, cocaine and heroine.
Less than 1% of US are actually addicted to
anything. Treatment is seven times cheaper than prison. Show fiscal responsibility,
tolerance and compassion!
Justice, the guardian of liberty!
Use resources to catch or prevent violent offenders like James Holmes and
kidnappers/sexual predators like Ariel Castro or Phillip Garrido. Incarcerate
more of those morally bankrupt, selling drugs to children or driving intoxicated.
Drug warriors can get their adrenaline rush chasing murderers and sexual predators.
Save lives instead of ruining them. Get
tough on violent crime! Drug Policy
Alliance offers a comprehensive Exit
Spirit of '76 was the Holy Spirit and is our true
north! Construction workers bolted
a spire into place atop One World Trade Center. The spire brings the iconic
building to a height of 1,776 feet -- referencing the year the US declared
its independence and making the building the tallest in the Western Hemisphere.
filled with the Holy Spirit, who believed in Christ's
teachings of freedom of choice, of free will, wrote our Founding documents.
They were not into forcing people to be good, they were into self-government
and instituted the people are grand and government
is small plan! They separated church and state to keep the government
out of moral issues.
Drug prohibition is a war on the sacred family
unit. Too many rights
are already being trampled in the name of "child protection,"
yet kids placed in foster care when their parents are incarcerated for drug
use have four times the death rate of kids left with their parents.
Laws against moral issues, like suicide, drug
abuse and sex acts are mostly useless or worse counter productive as far as
prevention. They are against our founders and Jesus' teachings of freedom
of choice, of free will. Moral issues belong to the individual's beliefs or
church philosophy. The family is far superior to the state as a means of moral
development and social control.
Growing up in central Texas taught me a great
admiration for teachers and law enforcement. Many of my family and friends
are in these professions. Of course they are the rebels who work to maintain
individual liberty in a situation that seriously threatens it. Have you watched
War on Kids, a 2009 documentary film about the American school system?
Here's a strong indictment and extra good reason for why drugs must be a health
issue controlled by the individual, absolutely NOT under governmental/societal
Laurie Couture, author of, "Instead
of medicating & punishing" made a valid point. We make students
function 7 hours a day in a very authoritarian, almost fascists situation
in order to teach them how to live in and maintain a free world. Hmmm....
"All of the problems with public schools
today are blamed on the kids and are either medical, and need to be treated
with drugs or criminal, and need to be dealt with by police and the legal
system." This seems to be the rule these days that the film exposes.
War on Kids takes a look at public
of 1776 was the HOLY
SPIRIT and is our
Sam SUCKS! (Continues)
education in America and concludes that schools
are not only failing to educate, but are increasingly authoritarian institutions
more akin to prisons that are eroding the foundations of our republic.
"Students are robbed of basic freedoms primarily due to irrational fears;
they are searched, arbitrarily punished and force-fed dangerous pharmaceutical
Drug testing may blunt our school's educational
mission by advancing an atmosphere of control or containment over one of nurturing.
Drug testing is useless except as a money making scheme. It is another big
waste of our tax dollars.
Peter Bensinger former DEA head and former
drug czars, Robert L Dupont and Carlton Turner shamelessly promoted drug testing
as the solution to drug problems while they held office. Bensinger, Dupont
& Associates is now the world's largest drug testing company. This Association
formed by these same big drug warriors is reaping a fortune on the drug testing
laws they wrote.
The only beneficiaries of drug testing are
the makers of the tests. Statistics reveal that random student drug testing
doesn't work and can deter students from extracurricular activities; the very
activities that increase students' connection to their schools and to caring
adults. What's worse, studies even show that student drug testing does not
deter drug use.
Big business and big government have a scandalous
mutually beneficial love affair going on! The American dream is not only about
everyone being able to dream of being rich someday. It's about doing it ethically
(First DO NO HARM!) and stopping the success of those without ethics through
our courts and the free market. We, the people, the consumers, have all the
power in a free market. We can refuse to buy from morally bankrupt sellers.
We just have to love our kids, teach them
that their body is the temple for their soul and hope they make the right
choices. You can't live their lives for them; they will not allow it. Independent
individuals will eventually throw off the bonds of tyrannical parents and
big government tyranny and oppression.
Speaking of tyrannical parents, dear reader,
I was surprised to find this message in the movie Answer
This! about a trivia tournament held in bars across Ann Arbor (Michigan):
"The greatest power of God or man is to tell ones own story. Language
is life, it is in a word, holy."...not just the Holy Word but all communication.
A brilliant grad student's dissertation promotes this very provocative thesis;
that this is what Bible storytelling, as well as other works, generally accepted
as the most important and influential in shaping Western culture, are teaching
us. The greatest power of God or man is to live, write ones own story and
not follow someone else's plan for your life. To be a self-governor!
I remember many happy hours playing Trivia
with family at my Mom's house and she was really good at it. Missing Mom made
me decide to watch Answer
This! Thanks Mom for teaching tolerance and being about as close to perfect
as we humans can be.
When individuals remain in
control of their own bodies society benefits. However, have you noticed, opportunity
may knock once, but temptation bangs on your door forever! Or how forbidden
fruits create many jams? Sex and drugs, for both abstinence is safest
but few choose it.
"Every child is an artist. The problem
is to remain
an artist once he grows up," said Pablo Picasso. There are all kinds
of artists. Great artists paint from the heart. Some make living well an art.
Life is pure creative energy; the creative force dwells in each of us. United,
in just cause, we can create a better world.
How do you see the future of education? I
take the positive view that it's not too late to change this sad state of
affairs. In my view, we may always have to teach the basics we learn in grammar
school but then with modern technology a child would be able to just follow
their interests through reputable trustworthy online sources and may attend
"school" from home. Meanwhile choosing to socialize and attend the
extra curricular activities of their interest.
Thanks for your consideration if you checked
out The Declaration of Independence II included
in my last blog. Since it is almost word for word the original Declaration,
only exchanging our current servants of tyranny Uncle Sam for our past, King
George, I think it makes a valid point. We are about back where we started.
But I was not surprised that we did not get close to 56 patriotic citizens
ready to sign it. Since, "accordingly all experience hath shewn, that
mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to
right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed."
the FDA and DEA! The UL
model (the trusted source across the globe for product safety compliance)
might work better to protect us from unconscionable medical profiteers. It
is definitely safer to grow natural herb and vegetable gardens than to expect
the government or a pill to solve all our ills.
"Together we can break the two-party
system stranglehold and create an election process that is truly Free
and Equal!" Christina Tobin, Founder & Chair promises.
the root!" Be brave, that's how we end terror. All we have to do
is stop being afraid, and stop acting out of fear. True patriots never forget
America is the home of the free and the brave.
June 1st marks the beginning of Bradley Mannings
fourth year in prison and the start of his trial. Join the Ft.
Meade protest on that date for Bradley Manning! Stand tall for the Army
whistle-blower who risked everything to give the public real facts about our
governments wars in the Middle East and foreign policy worldwide. One
of the 2011 Rebel with Just Cause
portraits will be shared by Bradley Manning and Julian Assange: for posting
the Afghanistan war diaries on wikileaks. It is not a crime to expose war
Emery is our hero and wins the other 2011 portrait for taking
a stand for justice against a morally bankrupt, violence triggering, nightmare
In modern warfare 90 % of the casualties are
civilian. Our soldiers are coming home from war zones and committing
suicide because of the carnage of innocents they have witnessed or from
psychotropic pharmaceuticals induced side effects. "The number of Fort
Hood soldiers who killed themselves nearly doubled in 2012, jumping to 19
from 10 in 2011, and trending upwards even as the war in Iraq ended and troops
began withdrawing from Afghanistan. That echoed overall military numbers:
2012 saw 349 service members kill themselves, the Associated Press reported
recently, more than any previous year and outpacing battlefield deaths."
treat post traumatic stress successfully with cannabis.
Thunder is an Annual Memorial Day Event! Run
For The Wall,. they all rally to Washington, DC. on their bikes. My bud,
George Bolt, a Viet Nam Veteran is taking part this year. He said, starting
about 5 am the ground shakes from the rumble of the bikes. It, indeed, sounds
Thunder with thousands of motorcycles in a parade. Prayers for everyone's
is Easy! Exercising
your political might is just a click away. Thanks
for all you do for reform! You are a true patriot and my hero!
Since 2006 I have awarded two "Rebel
with Just Cause" portraits yearly, each dedicated to the freedom philosophy
or the American dream. True American patriotism
is a willingness to shoulder our duty, to challenge the government when its
wrong, to be a Rebel with Just Cause!
Please, if you haven't already done so, "like"
McCoo'ls Rebels With Just Cause FaceBook page.
Texas Lawmakers have failed to act on House
Bill 184, which would have amended minor marijuana possession penalties
for certain first-time offenders to a fine-only. Members of the House Criminal
Jurisprudence Committee had approved the measure by a 6-3 vote but the bill
never received a House floor vote. Activists expect to revisit this measure
"Annually, in Texas some 80,000 citizens
are arrested for marijuana violations; an estimated 97% of those arrested
and charged are for possession alone -- not trafficking, cultivation, or sale.
House Bill 184 would have significantly reduced state prosecutorial costs
associated with these tens of thousands of minor marijuana arrests and encouraged
law enforcement resources to be refocused on other, more serious criminal
offenses." National NORML
Members of the House Public Health Committee
also failed to vote on House
Bill 594, which sought to allow defendants to raise an affirmative defense
of medical necessity in court. The Committee heard testimony in favor of this
legislation marking the first time in over a decade that House lawmakers have
"debated?" (no one testified against the bill) the issue. State
activists expect to reintroduce similar legislation in 2015.
NORML and I thank those who stood up and testified
plus the thousands of you who contacted your House members and urged them
to consider these bills as well as our state affiliates TexasNORML,
Antonio NORML, and all our other Texas
Chapters for their dedicated work on this legislation.
Together we will ...Restore
Justice, the Guardian of Liberty! and Save
the American Dream!!
written by (my maiden name was Henry) Colleen
lives instead of ruining them. Join LEAP!
your Senators' and Representative's votes by e-mail.
Send a friend
request to be Colleen's bud on FaceBook, follow on Twitter
or connect on LinkedIn.
A story you posted on
Drug Policy Forum of Texas from the AP, "MedicalPot
Can Cost Parents in Custody Disputes" caught my attention.
It featured Washington state dad Nicholas
Pouch, who lost custody of his
kids, ages 9 and 11, because he's a medical marijuana patient. His kids
aren't allowed to set foot on his property and he only sees his boys twice
month during supervised visits away from his home.
Julian Robinson, another dad featured in the
piece, feels Pouch's pain. A
judge ordered him to keep at least a quarter of a mile away from his
stepchildren because of his medical marijuana use, even though the kids live
under his roof and he has raised them for 13 years. Now he's forced to live
elsewhere. "It has torn my family apart," Robinson said. "We
used to do everything together."
In an unrelated incident, a Michigan Wal-Mart
Employee, Joseph Casias, was fired for his doctor's choice of medicine. He
was being treated for cancer and it was recommended by his doctor that he
use Marijuana to treat symptoms related to his Chemotherapy. Medical Marijuana
is legal in Michigan and he was in compliance with Michigan state laws.
In 2008, Casias was the Associate Of The Year
at the Wal-Mart store in
Battle Creek, despite suffering from sinus cancer and an inoperable brain
tumor. In an e-mail from headquarters, Wal-Mart spokesman Greg Rossiter explained
the company policy, "In states, where prescriptions for marijuana can
be obtained, we can still enforce a policy that requires termination of employment
following a positive drug screen."
The discrimination against Marijuana users
isn't limited to non-violent
acts. A case in point, in late 2009, Police in Florida are videotaped
tasing a man who has swallowed a baggie of Marijuana. They were aware of the
fact he had swallowed the Marijuana, but tased him in refute of their training
that specifically states if one tases a person with something in their mouth,
they will likely choke and die. Not only did the offers tase
him, one is seen laughing until he realizes that his suspect died. Nobody
served any time in jail for his death and, in fact, all of the police
officers who participated in his killing are still protecting the public
Another case in point, in February 2010, Colombia
Missouri police videotaped their armed incursion against a young family. They
plowed through a humblehome of a family with a young six year old boy inside.
The video displays an entire platoon of police dressed as paramilitary soldiers
busting into a house, shooting the pets (killing one), and rounding up a six
year old boy, his mother, and the father. What did the police find in the
house? A pipe that may have been used to smoke marijuana at one time in the
back of a closet.
The interesting link between these cases is
they demonstrate the conspiring of the both public and government persons
to discriminate against these people. In a simple Google search, one is easily
able to find thousands of examples where American Marijuana consumers, most
legal within their own states, are subjected to abuse by Law Enforcement,
Judges, Prosecutors, and even the general public with impunity.
As a retired member of our Armed Forces, I
believe the most important facet of American life is our freedom. Life in
America should be free from
discrimination for every social class, religion, and race. The police in
America are charged with the protection of our citizens, not
discrimination. Our courts protect our citizens, not encourage their
oppression. It is the responsibility of the Federal Government to protect
the citizens from these harms and we, the people, have the requirement of
holding them accountable.
It is my hope that as my home state of Texas
is thrust into the legalization debate that our legislators take into consideration
the need to reduce the harm associated with discrimination against its citizens.
We need to reduce the harm with sending trained law enforcement after non-violent
We need to reduce the harm by reducing the
number of non-violent offenders we send to prison. But most importantly, we
need to reduce the harms associated with youthful indiscretions and protect
A felloow blogger responds to Secure
Safer Foreign and Domestic Policy
Have you studied the origins of WW2? One of
the reasons for it was that Americans retreated from the world and the fascists
decided that since America would not fight it was open season on the rest
of the world.
Post WW2 our politicians decided to not let
that happen again. That what ever it costs to police the world it was cheaper
than another WW.
You count only the cost without counting the
risks. Some one will fill the power vacuum. Who to you think it should be?
The Russians? The Chinese? The Islamics? Pick one. Because if it is not going
to be us it will be one of them. Probably decided after a war between them.
Do you really want that?
As I said. You are not the first to think
America could opt out. Americans in the 30s thought so too. Look what it got
Ron Paul - who I greatly admire - is dumb
as rocks when it comes to foreign policy.
A reader who wishes to remain
annonymous wrote on 8/19/10:
THX! I enjoy reading your comments.
Would you support the US Social Security program
for 62 and over and oppose the transfer of SS to private institutions, which
would take the "Security" out of "Social security"?
Private retirement annuities and accounts went down 30-70% recently. If that
transferred to all SS recipients most would be on the street. No one is assured
and financially trustworthy, and only the backing of the US guarantees future
If the US did what you are proposing (changed
to a Secure
Safer Foreign and Domestic Policy),
we citizens would have the money put in by us and our employers, including
interest earned, as a reasonable annuity for 62 to 92 year olds.
Even Medicare is pointless if the elders do not have any income with which
to live. Strapping us to this Healthcare system will only make us slaves to
their monetary agenda. Change HC to individuals' payment and control, and
many major money and health issues will be solved.
BC McC ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------12/13/2010
I enjoy catching up with your blog from time
to time and I admit you've helped me see some things in a WISER light than
I did before. I'm sure a lot of others would agree.
But I have an easier way of ending the drug
war, everybody stop buying and the problem will go away. Simple huh? Yea,
I know that will never happen. So now I'm convinced the second best is LEGALIZE!
Sure are a lot of people suffering and dying
in the process that exist, now.
Robert Henry Davis
Venezuela, South America
Discrimination in America
22 June 2010
I so agree with what you are saying, but I
was surprised in a very approving
way, of how much your referring to Gandhi. One of the most important of my
Only a hopeless romantic could believe in
the idea, but I've been a
Zeitgeist long before I knew this organization existed. Maybe 20+ years ago
walking some of the same streets in Delhi as Gandhi, visiting the salt mine
in Gujarat where he single handedly faced the British Empire, at the same
time unifying his people through peace. Then sitting in the park where
thousands were massacred, blood flowing on that ground, only because their
culture was different. As well as seeing firsthand the effect on the people
of Ireland from the centuries long oppression of the Irish by the British.
Spiritual, naïve, or just a romantic? I don't know, nor do I care. I
believe (given our past as well as the world population explosion we are
experiencing) society cannot advance nor even continue to exist with our
outdated social structure.
All our hap-hazard systems of the past will
starvation/deprivation at the same time it will create mini kingdoms of very
wealthy. However, the Zeitgeist movement is in danger of being hijacked from
several fronts, including socialism, capitalism, and the Zionist. All these
with great powers!
Robert Henry Davis - Planet Earth-----------------------More
madness can't continue without
Uncle Sam has gotten too big for his britches!!
Declare your independence
from big government corruption and waste of our precious lives and resources.
The best way to spread the freedom philosophy is by being a shining example.
Uncle Sam sucks American blood and liberty!!
At Least 274 American Soldiers Remains
Discarded In Trash Dump!! Doesn't that make you want to declare independence
once more! This time from Uncle Sam!
revolution is one of the greatest cultural shifts in the history of mankind.
It is a global
political awakening! We will soon reach the tipping point, as more of
us refuse to remain neutral in these times of great moral conflict and work
for positive change!
Perhaps you thought Uncle Sam was a benevolent
spirit but harassing disabled, sick and dying citizens over their medicinal
drug of choice is despicable and the most un-American activity I can think
Recently I was talking to our mutual friend,
about that money hungry beast, Uncle Sam. Remember him, tall thin guy? Well,
have you seen him lately? He has become a bloated pig wallowing in a bloody
soupy quagmire of his own creation. It's sad.
Get rid of the oligarchy aka Uncle Sam! Restore
the Republic! Empirical statistical evidence strongly shows that a
republic (the American form of government) leads to less internal violence
and democide. Democide is a term coined by political scientist R. J. Rummel
in his book, DEATH by GOVERNMENT to describe "the murder of any person
or people by a government, including genocide, politicide and mass murder."
Be brave, that's how we end
the terror; by changing our intrusive, big-bully
policies, both foreign and domestic. The monetary and environmental costs
are staggering and the human suffering unconscionable.
In an Obamanation of our founding principles,
this administration ejected medical marijuana patients from the workplace,
threw them out of public housing, took away their ability to buy a gun, closed
down their dispensaries and has shown total disregard for the
safer choices of our injured veterans as well as some of their final remains.
The people believe in self-government and
self-medication. At least one Congressman is brave enough to admit, "The
colossal failure of marijuana prohibition," by Rep.
Dana Rohrabacher, R-Huntington Beach. He represents California's 48th
and other violent predators roam free, while we police nonviolent adult
and religious drug use. Duh! (continue)