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Colleen,------------------------------------------------------10/19.2007

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.

The link to the DEA bust is here:

Cannabis Dispensary video one features Land Use Atty. James Anthony of Green-Aid.com and Cliff Schaffer of MarijuanaBusinessNews.com discuss the burgeoning medical marijuana industry.

Cannabis 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.

Cannabis 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.

Sincerely,

Dean Becker
Producer -
Drug Truth Network
Member - Law Enforcement Against Prohibition
713-849-6869

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Our DEA overseers have harassed the sick and dying, shamed and destroyed families, locked up and killed many (including enforcement) over one of the safest therapeutically active plants known to man. 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 and treatments. Both agencies 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!

US SENATE  contact
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PEOPLE OVER PROFITS

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 jury’s 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 what’s often called ‘federal preemption’) is to victims who are harmed by negligent drug and device manufacturers.

Vioxx 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 Court’s 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)

Aaaaahhhhhh! Frustration!!!

Webmaster Bonnie Colleen McCool ©
Drug Policy Central
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Act for Change

URGENT ALERT; 10/18, 2007

Bonnie 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 construction 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.

Sign the petition to Congress and stop the pending nuclear power industry bailout.

Guantánamo 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 pixel today.

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51,000 pixels and counting when I got mine. - McCool
Uncle Sam SUCKS American Blood & Liberty
Current letters!!!!

Ethan Nadelman letterhead

December 5, 2008

You Can Make a Difference

Dear Colleen,

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 today’s drug prohibitions.

I’d welcome your thoughts on the piece.

Very truly yours,

Ethan Nadelmann
Executive Director
Drug Policy Alliance Network

P.S. 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 prohibition itself.

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

Drug Policy Alliance
Foreign Policy Magazine

MPP Marijuana Policy Project

Washington, D.C. - June 11, 2008

Dear Colleen:

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 will prohibit
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)

Proud member of the Read the Bills Act Coalition
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 deliberative body."

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' website

Sen. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma elaborates:
"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." Source: Coburn's website

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 Read the Bills Act.

Tell 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.

Sincerely,

James Wilson
Assistant to the President
DownsizeDC.org

Foreign Policy Magazine

Voters For Peace

September 15, 2008

Dear Colleen, 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 up today.

Million 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 Continue

Marijuana Policy Project

October 21,2007

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.

Your friend,

Thomas Thompson*

#1271133 Ellis Unit T/C

1697 FM 980

Huntsville, TX 77343

*Dear 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! More Current Letters

ACLU Drug Law Reform
Law Enforcement Against prohibition

Criminal Justice Professionals Speaking Out Against the “War on Drugs”

Amnesty International USA

JUNE 26, 2008

Sunglasses…beach towel…freedom to take action? Take this summer’s challenge and gain more than just a great suntan.
Bring hope to human rights defenders around the world by writing letters on their behalf.

Dear Colleen,

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 women’s 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 Action.

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 you’re doing for summer vacation this year, tell them you’re bringing hope to where it’s needed most.

Sincerely,

Michael O'Reilly
Campaign Director
Individuals at Risk
Amnesty International USA


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Jenni Williams, coordinator of Women of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA) is currently in prison. Other WOZA members face charges for their peaceful demonstration.  © AI

Dear Colleen, -------------------------------------------Dec. 14,2007

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 services—services that would have saved the lives of my friends. I feel passionately about changing that, which is why I work as DPA’s 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 you’ve lived this experience, you can’t ignore it. And that’s why I love DPA. We’re 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 can’t fully embrace a public health response to drug use.

This is the most meaningful work I’ve 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 ideas—I 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 don’t already agree with us.

But the only way I can do those things is with the financial support of people who believe in what I do. As you’re deciding on your year-end contributions, please think about my work and make a donation to DPA.

Thank you,

Meghan Ralston
Harm Reduction Coordinator
Drug Policy Alliance Los Angeles

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Drug Policy Alliance
Below pictures of New Orleans and the mighty Mississippi! - 2007 International Drug Policy Reform conference.
Photo credit: Colleen McCool and Leonard Minter.
ACLU Drug Law Reform

August 20 ,2008

Dear Colleen,

Question: Who’s 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 raid.2

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 it’s obvious such tactics are not justified for routine drug raids.

Send 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.

Take 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 your support!

Sincerely,
Bill Piper, Director National Affairs ----Drug Policy Alliance

MPP (continues)

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 doctor's approval.

Thank you.

Please take 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.

Sincerely,

Ben Morris
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.

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Acrylic Watercolor 17"x13"

 

Women and the Drug War.

Join the discussions!

My portrait, "Chics Rule" is dedicated to these and other hip chics all over the world; who help spread the freedom philosophy!

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 don’t mind waiting, DPA will also eventually be making the audio available on our website.

 

Strike the Root

VotersForPeace Continues

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 minds.

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 of history.

Sincerely,
Kevin B. Zeese
VotersForPeace.US

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."

Where 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

Colleen: --------------------------------------------------------------------3/27/2008

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 drugs.

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 them.

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)
303-440-7877

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Sherry Nance #544805
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:

TDCJ Ombudsman
P.O. Box 99
Huntsville, TX 77342-0099
Phone: 936-437-8035
Fax: 936-437-8097
Email! : ombudsman@tdcj.state.tx.us

Correctional Institutions Division Ombudsman
P.O. Box 99
Huntsville, TX 77342-0099
Phone: 936-437-6791
FAX: 936-437-6668
Email: ci.div@tdcj.state.tx.us

Deputy Director Rodney Cooper
Texas Department of Criminal Justice
Correctional Institutions Division, Region VI
4616 West Howard Lane, Suit 200
Austin, TX 78728
Phone: 512-671-2575
FAX: 512-671-2579

Warden Lorie Willis
TDCJ Lane Murray Unit
1916 N. Highway 36 Bypass
Gatesville, TX 76596
Phone: 254-865-2000

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.

In Solidarity,

Sherry Nance

More Current Letters

Lead Poisoning Due to Adulterated Marijuana

April 10th issue of the

New England Journal of Medicine

 

 

29 patients (16 to 33 years of age) were admitted to four different hospitals in the greater, Leipzig Germany area.

A regulated 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 of law.

Members of Congress in both the House and Senate will be introducing legislation to correct the Supreme Court’s decision. As soon as that happens, we will let you know so that you may contact your elected officials.

STAY TUNED!

Jill Burke
People Over Profits Campaign More Current Letters

Stop The Drug War.org

6/18/08

Dear Colleen,

You've probably heard of Timothy Garon.

He's the musician who died recently because he was denied a
liver transplant for having used marijuana prescribed by his
physician.

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.

TRUTH 08 campaign

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 part of
StoptheDrugWar.org. And thank you for giving your support to the TRUTH 08 CAMPAIGN. Your contribution has never been more important.

David Borden
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 current letters

2008 Rebel With Just Cause Award
Dad Gives Toddler Battling Brain Cancer Medical Marijuana
A Drug Free World - Could We Do It?

Prohibition Triggers Violence, Save the Children!

FYI…Below is Joy Strickland's (CEO, Mothers Against Teen Violence) rebuttal to James Capra’s 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 original article:

To read - James Capra: Legalizing pot in no way makes us safe - his rebuttal:

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 agency’s 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. Capra’s 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 FBI’s 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 venture—and 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, TX 75204

214-565-0422 - 214-565-0504 (FAX) More current letters

Marijuana Saves Lives

P.S. Check 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

3. "Casualties of the Corrupt Drug War," FOXNews.com, November 20, 2007

4. "Overkill: The Rise of Paramilitary Police Raids," Cato Institute, July 2006

More Current Letters

SO WHAT'S IT ALL ABOUT: Revenge or

Rehabilitation?

The Frank Councell Story

9/9/08

Colleen, Frank 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 Lee.

Kay Lee, Making The Walls Transparent (MTWT)

The Frank Councell Story

More Current Letters

Making the walls Transparent
Making the walls Transparent

Retaliation and Intimidation Grow Against Frank Councell 9/16/2008

Dear Friends,

The reason I am writing this is not for a good thing. Frank’s 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. Frank’s condition is deteriorating rapidly. Thank You, L. Scott Phillips

First, Frank and I thank you for reading Frank’s 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, I’ll 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 Frank’s 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 someone’s 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 every step.

Frank’s 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 won’t live through two and a half years of this torture. I break down when I think about what he’s 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.)

Secretary Walter McNeil

Department of Corrections

2601 Blair Stone Road

Tallassee, Florida 32399-2500

(850) 488-7480

More Current Letters

Inspector General Paul Decker

Department of Corrections

2601 Blair Stone Road

Tallassee, Florida 32399-2500

(850) 488-9265

9/26/08

Hi Collen,

Decision time is close. The Day after the Red Mass.

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 6, 2008.

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?

Michael 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 Letter

Ron Paul LOVE Revolution!
"Let Freedom Ring!

October,11,2008

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
D.A.R.E.

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 website 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.!!!!!

Regards,

Barry N. Cooper & Candi Cooper

More Current Letters

Law Enforcement Against prohibition__________________________________10/21

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 include kristin.daley@leap.cc 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 policy.

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 approach, we
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 Current Letters

 Poetry of the Spirit & Gallery

Our current Drug Czar, John "Pinocchio" Walters

Our current Drug Czar, John "Pinocchio" Walters

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

2009 Rebel with Just Cause award
Dear Colleen,-----------------------------------------------------------------November 26th, 2008

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 Ponn #677544

1697 FM 980 Huntsville, TX 77343 ----------- More Current Letters

Tony Ponn, prisoner of the Drug war
The FAILED Drug War on TV
Emperor of Hemp, every revolution needs a hero!
Is HEMP the Tree of Life and healer of the nations in the Bible?
Add to Digg, Facebook, Stumbleupon, etc.

Aaaaahhhhhh! Frustration!!! (Continues)

One rebel with just cause, Daniel Ellsberg co-founded the Freedom of the Press Foundation. “A cantankerous press, an obstinate press, a ubiquitous press must be suffered by those in authority in order to preserve the even greater values of freedom of expression and the right of the people to know.” Judge Murray Gurfein is quoted from the Pentagon Papers case on June 17, 1971.

All who follow a code of ethics or principles are self-governors. Our system is meant to protect the self-governors from those without ethics and principles; perpetrators of fraud, rape and violence. The state does not run the affairs of people in a free society. It upholds justice between people who conduct their own affairs.

"Attorney General Eric H. Holder, Jr. asked me to thank you for sending him a copy of your book, To End The War on Drugs - A Guide for Politicians, the Press and Public. He thought the Drug Enforcement Administration might find the book an interesting read, so he has shared it with us. Thank you for sharing this publication with us," wrote Gary R. Owen, Acting Chief Office of Congressional And Public Affairs for the DEA.

Creator of the Drug Truth Network - Dean Becker's new book: To End The War on Drugs, "eviscerates the logic of drug prohibitionists,"exclaims April M. Short, AlterNet Drugs Editor. An alphabetical outline of all the experts who are quoted in the book can be found here. Please like and share. Thanks!

Hubba, Hubba!! The American Public Health Association did adopt a sweeping resolution last November calling for “a full reorientation” of U.S. drug policy “toward a health approach to drug use.” The resolution condemns the drug war as “an engine of mass incarceration” that has only amplified the harms of drug misuse, such as fatal overdose and disease, while causing or contributing to frightening levels of prohibition-related violence."

“A man" (meaning our species) "does what he must — in spite of personal consequences, in spite of obstacles and dangers, and pressures — and that is the basis of all human morality,” writes true American hero, John F. Kennedy in Profiles in Courage. It takes fearlessness to openly buck the system.

"It was a passage from Herbert Agar's book The Price of Union about an act of courage by an earlier senator from Massachusetts, John Quincy Adams, that gave Kennedy the idea of writing about senatorial courage. He showed the passage to Sorensen and asked him to see if he could find some more examples. This Sorensen did, and eventually they had enough not just for an article, as Kennedy had originally envisaged, but a book.[2] With help from research assistants and the Library of Congress, Kennedy wrote the book while bedridden during 1954 and 1955, recovering from back surgery."

Kennedy was elected to the House the year I was born. As I began to attend school he began serving in the Senate. He was Senator Kennedy from Mass. from '52 until he was elected president in 1960. His life and death will always be tied to memories of my high school years. It is hard to believe; there are still unanswered questions, unresolved issues about his death. Have you watched Dark Legacy and Dark Legacy II? II is concerning John-John's death.

“If you want to tell people the truth, make them laugh, otherwise they'll kill you,” Oscar Wilde warned long ago.

The unconscionable lack of medical treatment of our courageous veterans boggles the mind. Shame on US!!

We must do more than grieve about the, "extended delays in health care appointments suffered by veterans across the country, some of whom died while waiting for appointments and care." Sen. John Walsh (D-Mont.), said in a statement to Business Insider. "It is our duty to come together for real solutions for our heroes." According to an estimate from Iraq and Afghanistan (Continue)

Lyrics to WE MUST TAKE AMERICA BACK!
The SPIRIT of 1776 was the HOLY SPIRIT and is our TRUE NORTH!
 
McCool accepts TIPS

Aaaaahhhhhh! Frustration!!! (Continues)

Veterans of America, ABC reports, "Nearly 1,900 military veterans are thought to have taken their own lives in just 2014 alone!" At an average of, "22 veterans per day..." Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki has ordered a "face-to-face audit" at all Department of Veterans Affairs clinics, a spokeswoman tells CNN.

“Nothing can bring you peace but yourself. Nothing can bring you peace but the triumph of principles.” Be a self-governor, a rebel with just cause, an active, participating patriot! Ralph Waldo Emerson encourages us to follow our heartfelt principles (those truths we find to be "self-evident") to peace and happiness.

Our founders knew big government would always mean a gang of evil doers, often hiding tyranny under the guise of good intentions.

We are all drug users. "...almost 100% of Americans use them" Many believe in self- government and self-medication! We take responsibility for our own health and research any legal drug prescribed before using.

Many so-called illegal drugs are available in pharmaceutical forms. Criminal convictions for black market legal drug activities and against legal drug manufacturers (for harm and deaths caused by their government (FDA) approved product) dwarf convictions for illegal drug use/enterprise. Addiction rates for tobacco, alcohol and prescription drugs soar far above the 1% of our people actually addicted to anything illegal.

Unjust laws blur the lines between the good guys and the bad guys, leading to a prevalent disrespect for all law. Unjust laws make folks feel justified in breaking them and other laws.

Speaking of our unethical, unprincipled laws: It is morally bankrupt to punish nonviolent adults for making a safer health choice, cannabis or marijuana, compared to other medicinal/social drugs. NO deaths from this botanical medicine!

This story draws attention to the questionable use of "swat" tactics to invade Texas homes to search for marijuana or other drugs, and shows that Texans know their rights and will "speak truth to power."

The tobacco, alcohol and prescription drug gangs cause more death annually than all illicit drugs.

Right now, really violent predators roam free and rape kits go unprocessed while our precious resources are depleted chasing nonviolent drug users. Treatment is seven times cheaper than prison. Get tough on violent crime! Show fiscal responsibility, demand morally correct policy! Restore Justice, the guardian of liberty!

Together we can save the American dream, self-government, freedom from big government tyranny, oppression. True patriots challenge the government when it’s wrong! Be a Rebel with Just Cause!

It's time to Restore Justice! “It will be of little avail to the people that the laws are made by men of their own choice if the laws be so voluminous that they cannot be read, or so incoherent that they cannot be understood.” James Madison noted. He would be appalled by some of our unethical, unprincipled laws that one can not defend on true scientific, factual or moral grounds.

How can law enforcement serve and protect under these conditions? Real warriors, true American heroes, fight for what is right! They are NOT robot enforcers or killing machines that just follow orders. They get their adrenaline rush making us all safer, catching child abusers, violent rapist and killers! Save lives instead of ruining them. Get tough on violent crime!

Stop the epidemic of “policing for profit!” Asset forfeiture changes police priorities to be more about gathering revenue than public safety. Forfeiture practices have gutted a number of core Constitutional and legal mechanisms important to the impartial administration of justice: the rights to due process and the right to a fair trial. It has victimized many innocent citizens!

I am really saddened that we are so overtaxed and over regulated that I can hardly see that we have improved our lot since Charles Dicken's wrote Bleak House exposing the lack of justice in England's courts and the treatment of women who have children out of wedlock. Have you watched, "Philomena"? It is just so frustrating, disapointing......how little things had improved for women in over a century!! Women are somewhat better off today but research how many rape kits go unprocessed.

The predatory capitalists such as the morally bankrupt banksters, the military industrial complex and the drug companies including alcohol, tobacco and other empire builders with leaders in their pockets are the evil doers our founding documents are meant to protect us from. They make capitalism abhorrent with their predatory capitalism. Predatory capitalism due to big government interference and protection destroys people, benign or ethical capitalism, America's founders' vision of the free market, creates a world of abundance for all.

Choose love over hate. Practice the KISS method: Keep It Simple, Sweetheart; take the world's smallest political quiz!!

I salute all true patriots, rebels with just cause who do everything they are able to do to realize the American dream! A dream worth striving for: of self-government; freedom from big government tyranny and oppression! Strengthen our system, set it to rights! Escape from tyranny!

The real cause of this huge quagmire of failed policy is the beast, big government, that money hungry beast, Uncle Sam! Ma Freedom tells it like it is! The beauty of it is when we focus on down-sizing our government we regain our roots of self-government and secure the blessings of liberty for future generations and ourselves.

Together we will ...Restore Justice, the Guardian of Liberty! and Save the American Dream!!

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 it’s wrong, to be a Rebel with Just Cause! "Please "like" my Rebels With Just Cause FaceBook page if you have not already done so. I appreciate your encouragement more than words can say!"

Compiled and written by (my maiden name was Henry) Colleen McCool

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Dear Colleen

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 a
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
today.

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 offenders.

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 our children.

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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 them.

Ron Paul - who I greatly admire - is dumb as rocks when it comes to foreign policy.

Simon 8/19/10--- Power & Control

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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 income.

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.

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Tell our elected leaders to act against abusive militarism.
Safer Texas!
Hi 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

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Marijuana Discrimination in America
22 June 2010
Larry Talley
Make the FDA advisory, not mandatory !
Write your Officials!
Hi BC

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
many heroes!

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 do
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 create vast
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 Current Letters

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The madness can't continue without our support!
corrupted the nation’s system of justice, fostering a “legal schizophrenia” that harshly prosecutes the poor but practices selective leniency on Wall Street. How can it be?" He asks. "That a street drifter such as Tory Marone serves 40 days in jail after cops find half a reefer in his pocket, but not a single executive of HSBC faces criminal charges after the bank “admitted to laundering billions of dollars for drug cartels in Mexico and Colombia, washing money for terrorist-connected organizations in the Middle East, allowing rogue states under formal sanctions by the U.S. government to move money freely by the tens of billions through its American subsidiary, [and] letting Russian mobsters wash money on a grand scale”

It is a bitter pill to swallow, how different reality is from the American Dream of self-government... how often unreasonableness, despotism, even outright cruelty prevails and how slowly real, positive change takes place.

American's have great expectations! We will use our painful frustrations of the world today as steppingstones, motivating us to find our way to overcome big government tyranny and oppression. We will not "let the heroes in our souls perish in lonely frustration." True justice exists! It is real! It is possible! It is meant to be ours!

The drug laws are obstructions of justice. Prohibition is The New Jim Crow (by Michelle Alexander) reveals racists are alive and well in law enforcement and through out the justice system. The Divide "as infuriating as it is impossible to put down" shows the justice gap coincides with the wealth gap.

The Divide: American Injustice in the Age of the Wealth Gap by Matt Taibbi ..."offers the searing indictment that America’s wealth gap has

You don't have to be a genius IQ to tell there is NO JUSTICE in letting these banksters off with only financial penalties. The so called authorities did the same as the banksters,"they took money to look the other way."

America's prison population was 300,000 in 1972. Now we have 2,300,000!! Yikes! Abraham Lincoln remarked that "The best way to get a bad law repealed is to enforce it strictly." And we see with extreme prejudice here! It is way past time to Repeal drug prohibition!!

A declaration is an affirmation. Independence means self-government. They could have called it, The Affirmation of Self-Government. However I am sure we can all agree, The Declaration of Independence, sounds way more cool! It announces and asserts our affirmation of self-government; freedom and liberty for all.

Self-government is about transparency and responsibility. It's about keeping our government accountable and their power in check. Sometimes a great notion comes along that can save a great nation! (continue)

Make the FDA advisory, not mandatory !
Write your Officials!
 
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