Category: Drug War / War on Drugs


ReasonTV ReasonTV

 

Published on Feb 26, 2014

While Washington State is still adjusting to many changes since legalizing recreational marijuana—from growing space size to the number of licenses to give out—one of the biggest changes may be Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) employees going to work in the private sector. Reason TV sat down with Patrick Moen, a former supervisory special agent with the DEA, who now works as compliance director and senior counsel at Privateer Holdings, a private equity firm that invests in cannabis.

“The more law enforcement officers acknowledge that prohibition [of marijuana] is wrong, the better off society is going to be,” said Moen. At the DEA he specialized in wiretaps and worked on cases varying from busting heroin and methamphetamine rings to rooting out pot and painkiller dealers. “Taking that first step is often the most difficult one, it just so happened that I was the one to take it.”

Moen says that he got a lot of support from friends and former colleagues, the latter of which privately asked him for jobs. He says people may be surprised to know that an overwhelming majority of agents he interacted with didn’t feel marijuana should be a priority for the DEA.

“Well, my own personal point of view is that drugs like methamphetamine and heroin have legitimate, observable, harmful effects to the user and people around the user and you definitely cannot say the same thing about cannabis,” says Moen.

Reason TV presented Moen with numbers from the Department of Justice’s 2013 National Drug Threat Assessment indicating an increase in the availability of methamphetamine and heroin in the U.S.

“There are some cases of mine in particular that I am very proud of that I can look back at and say that I had a measurable effect on this community for some period of time before it bounced back,” says Moen. “I don’t think anyone was under the illusion that we were going to stop it, that we were going to win the war on drugs.”

Moen is aware of the criticism of the DEA and the war on drugs in general.

“I think there is a certain subset of the population that views DEA agents as jackbooted thugs, that have an agenda to oppress them…. But it’s just another job, and there are guys there that are competent, and there are guys there that are less so, but they are all trying to do the job the best that they can.”

Privateer Holdings is looking to invest in businesses that surround the legal marijuana industry like the cannabis review site, Leafly.com, which also helps users find different strains and locations of cannabis around them. Leafly claims to have a website and app that generate more than more than 2.3 million visits a month.

The private cannabis industry isn’t without worries though. CEO at Privateer Holdings, Brenden Kennedy, told Bloomberg TV on January 28, that banking in the marijuana industry was nearly impossible because banks were concerned with the taboo nature of the product. “We have been kicked out of two banks, two large banks, very unceremoniously,” said Kennedy, who also said at least one employee at Privateer Holdings had experienced trouble with his personal bank account.

“The biggest risk we see is from the federal government. Bureaucrats and politicians are always the last ones to accept change,” said Kennedy.

Approximately 10:07.

Produced and edited by Paul Detrick. Shot by Alex Manning. Music is “A Freak” by Moby.

Visit http://reason.com/reasontv for downloadable versions and subscribe to Reason TV’s YouTube Channel to receive automatic updates when new material goes live.

Enhanced by Zemanta
About these ads

democracynow democracynow

 

Published on Jan 6, 2014

http://www.democracynow.org – As we continue our conversation on the nationwide shift towards liberalizing drug laws, we are joined by the groundbreaking neuro-psycho-pharmacologist Dr. Carl Hart. He is the first tenured African-American professor in the sciences at Columbia University where he is an associate professor in the psychology and psychiatry departments. He is also a member of the National Advisory Council on Drug Abuse and a Research Scientist in the Division of Substance Abuse at the New York State Psychiatric Institute. However, long before he entered the hallowed halls of the Ivy League, Hart gained first hand knowledge about drug usage while growing up in one of Miami’s toughest neighborhoods. He recently wrote a memoir titled, “High Price: A Neuroscientist’s Journey of Self-Discovery That Challenges Everything You Know About Drugs and Society.” In the book, he recalls his journey of self-discovery how he escaped a life of crime and drugs and avoided becoming one of the crack addicts he now studies.

Enhanced by Zemanta

• Andrew Cuomo in surprise reverse of hardline position

• Small but significant change to highly restrictive laws

Governor Andrew Cuomo
Governor Andrew Cuomo at the inauguration of New York City’s Mayor Bill de Blasio on January 1, who has set a liberal agenda. Photograph: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

New York is poised to become the latest US state to relax its laws covering marijuana. Governor Andrew Cuomo will make a surprise turnaround in policy later this week, to allow limited use of the drug for medical purposes.

As Colorado residents continue to flock to their local pot shops, after their state became from 1 January the first to allow the sale and possession of cannabis for recreational purposes, signs have emerged that New York will now make a small but important amendment to some of the strictest laws on the drug in the US. Cuomo is expected to announce an executive action in his annual state of the state address on 8 January, to permit a small number of hospitals to prescribe marijuana for medical use in the treatment of serious illnesses including cancer and glaucoma, the New York Times reported on Sunday.

Cuomo, a Democrat, has always been staunchly against legalising cannabis, including for medical use. Even though the likely announcement would only loosen restrictions on the drug very slightly, it will be seen as a significant move at a time when a number of states are liberalising their laws in ways ranging from the use of medical marijuana to decriminalising basic possession of the drug, up to full recreational use. Voters in Washington state have also voted to allow recreational marijuana and it is expected to follow Colorado later this year and become the second state to implement such laws.

More than 20 states currently have laws allowing a variety of medical uses of marijuana.

Cuomo is expected to emphasise that medical marijuana will only be allowed for a tightly circumscribed list of illnesses, to be drawn up by the state Department of Health.

By announcing a unilateral executive action, the governor will sidestep the legislative process in the state capital, Albany, where the senate has repeatedly struck down bills passed in the lower assembly to permit medical marijuana.

Ethan Nadelmann, the executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance, told the New York Times Cuomo’s move was “bold and innovative”.

Even limited medical marijuana use is banned under federal law but the Obama administration has signalled that it is not interested in actively pursuing prosecution in states that have relaxed their laws around the drug. Whether there will be any clash between federal law enforcement and state authorities in Colorado and Washington state remains to be seen.

 

Read More Here

Enhanced by Zemanta

 

The New American

Written by 

 

In the latest explosive twist to the Obama administration’s deadly “Fast and Furious” gun-running scandal, one of the key whistleblowers has now identified the FBI as a crucial player in the infamous 2010 murder of U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry. According to Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Special Agent John Dodson, the criminals responsible for murdering border agent Terry were actually working for the two FBI operatives at the center of the Obama administration’s deadly plot to arm Mexican drug cartels.

As The New American and other sources reported in early 2011, the ATF was linked to Terry’s murder almost from the start. Indeed, two of the weapons found at the murder scene in Peck Canyon were traced back to Fast and Furious. The slaying of the elite federal border agent, who was killed near the U.S.-Mexico border by drug-cartel operatives armed by the Obama administration via the ATF, was the last straw for some of the officials involved in the scandal.

After learning that the murder weapons were from Fast and Furious — and that disgraced Attorney General Eric Holder’s Justice Department was engaged in an attempted cover-up — brave federal agents knew it was time to go to Congress and the press to blow the whistle. Now, Special Agent Dodson, a key figure who helped expose the administration’s gun-running scandal, has added even more scandalous revelations to the mix: The bandits who shot Terry were likely working for two FBI operatives at the time.Of course, it has been common knowledge since at least early 2012 that the two Fast and Furious “drug lords” supposedly being “investigated” by the Obama administration were working for the FBI all along. Official documents revealed that the FBI operatives, who were using U.S. taxpayer funds to purchase weapons for cartels, were considered “national security assets,” “off limits,” and “untouchable.” In all, thousands of high-powered American guns were provided to cartels by the administration through the deadly scheme.

The latest revelations suggest the rabbit hole goes even deeper. According to allegations made by Dodson in a recent interview with the Arizona Republic, Terry’s killers — employed by the FBI operatives in question — were sent to the border for a “drug rip-off” mission based on “intelligence” from the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). The alleged goal of helping the FBI’s men steal the large drug shipment was supposedly to increase their clout among the duo’s fellow criminals, the whistleblower argued.

“I don’t think the [FBI] assets were part of the rip-off crew,” Dodson told the newspaper, echoing accusations made in his new book about blowing the whistle on Fast and Furious, dubbed The Unarmed Truth. “I think they were directing the rip crew.” (Emphasis added.) In his book, which the Obama administration unsuccessfully tried to censor by blocking publication, Dodson also argues that the DEA had and shared information on the massive drug shipment going through Peck Canyon the night Terry was killed.

In fact, the whistleblower says, the federal drug agency may have even orchestrated the shipment, an allegation unlikely to surprise analysts who follow the issues. The DEA — investigated by Congress last year for laundering Mexican cartel profits — also allegedly shared the information it had on the shipment with its counterparts at the FBI. Then, Dodson suggests, the FBI proceeded to tip off its own operatives with news that the drugs would be “theirs for the taking.”

“Stealing such a shipment would increase the clout of the FBI informants in the cartel organization they had penetrated,” Dodson argues in his book, “and thus lead to better intel for them in the future.” All of the agencies implicated in the scandal have refused to comment thus far. The Obama administration, meanwhile, has been working furiously to unlawfully conceal documents and evidence from congressional investigators.

Read More Here

…..

  Guardianlv

Operation Fast and Furious Twist, DOJ Involvement Deeper Than ATF

 
Among the many serious scandals that have plagued Barack Obama’s presidency and for which nobody in charge has ever been held accountable, Operation Fast and Furious was one which the White House had hoped was forgotten, but the original ATF whistleblower has revealed a new twist. Attorney General Eric Holder, who previously lied to Congress about his knowledge of the botched illegal gun-running scheme, cannot escape the obvious fact that he is still responsible, ultimately, for the entire tragic and criminal enterprise.

Fast and Furious was an ATF sting operation that allowed associates of Mexican drug cartels to enter the United States and make straw purchases of firearms in US gun stores, before returning to Mexico with the weapons and selling them to the cartels. The stated objective was to track and apprehend senior cartel members but this never happened; the weapons were not tracked effectively – if at all – and most of them disappeared; some being recovered later at the scenes of numerous murders.

Since an ATF agent blew the whistle on the operation – which began in 2009 – congressional hearings have failed to reach any actionable conclusions; the Justice Department (DoJ), of which the ATF is a branch, has refused to hand over most of the documentation relating to this criminal enterprise. The Attorney General himself lied to Congress when he told the hearing that he had known nothing about the operation until just a couple of weeks before the hearings. The oversight committee later acquired internal documents that proved Holder had known about the operation much earlier.

Read More Here

Obama False on Fast & Furious: Wrongly Claims Operation Started Under Bush

oversightandreform oversightandreform

 

 

Published on Sep 21, 2012

Learn More at http://www.FastandFuriousInvestigatio…

In a Univision interview, President Barack Obama discusses Operation Fast and Furious and Attorney General Eric Holder’s role in the operation. Obama falsely states that Operation Fast and Furious started under the Bush administration. A recent report by the Inspector General of the Department of Justice reveals that 14 top officials in the DOJ and ATF were involved in the gunwalking operation, and 2 officials resigned following the release of the Inspector General report.

9-17-12 Univision interview with President Barack Obama

…..

ATF tries to block whistleblowing agent’s Fast and Furious book

1st Amendment battle over ‘gun-walking’ expose

By John Solomon

-

The Washington Times

EXCLUSIVE:

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is blocking the main whistleblower in the Fast and Furious case from publishing a book, claiming his retelling of the Mexico “gun-walking” scandal will hurt morale inside the embattled law enforcement agency, according to documents obtained by The Washington Times.


PHOTOS: Eye-popping excuses in American political scandals


ATF’s dispute with Special Agent John Dodson is setting up a First Amendment showdown that is poised to bring together liberal groups like the American Civil Liberties Union and conservatives in Congress who have championed Mr. Dodson’s protection as a whistleblower.

The ACLU is slated to become involved in the case Monday, informing ATF it is representing Mr. Dodson and filing a formal protest to the decision to reject his request to publish the already written book, sources told The Times, speaking only on the condition of anonymity.

The battle also could have repercussions on Capitol Hill, where the two lead investigators who helped uncover the Fast and Furious scandal, Sen. Chuck Grassley, Iowa Republican, and House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell E. Issa, Calif. Republican, had written a foreword to the book, the sources said.

ATF Special Agent John Dodson warned his superiors of the Fast and Furious investigation, "I think it's going to end bad. Are you prepared to go to an agent's funeral?" He tells the story in a newly published book. (Associated Press)

Enlarge Photo

ATF Special Agent John Dodson warned his superiors of the Fast and … more >

ATF officials declined Sunday night to discuss Mr. Dodson’s specific matter, citing personnel privacy. But the officials said it was possible for an agent to be rejected for publishing a book for pay but get permission to publish it for free. No manuscript for any Fast and Furious book has received approval for unpaid publication, however, the officials said.

A source famiiiar with Mr. Dodson’s book request told the Times that ATF officials never inquired whether he was seeking to publish the book for pay or free, and that the rejection came only after his superiors in Washington and Arizona asked to read the manuscript.

Mr. Dodson was the first ATF special agent to go public in 2011 with allegations that his supervisors had authorized the flow of semi-automatic weapons into Mexico instead of interdicting them, touching off a scandal that toppled most of the top leadership of ATF in Washington and Phoenix. The controversy also led to angry recriminations in Mexico, which dealt with a wave of violent crime linked to the weapons, and high-profile congressional hearings that embarrassed the Obama administration.

 

Read More Here

…..

Enhanced by Zemanta

Medical Marijuana

Published by Jan

Bell’s Palsy-

Bell’s palsy, or idiopathic facial paralysis, is a form of facial paralysis resulting from dysfunction cranial nerve VII (the facial nerve) that results in the inability to control facial muscles on the affected side.  Several conditions can cause facial paralysis, e.g., brain tumor, stroke, and Lyme disease.  However, if no specific cause can be identified, the condition is known as Bell’s palsy.  Named after Scottish anatomist Charles Bell, who first described it.  Bell’s palsy is the most common acutemononeuropathy (disease involving only one nerve) and is the most common cause of acute facial nerve paralysis.
Bell’s palsy is defined as an idiopathic unilateral facial nerve paralysis, usually self-limiting.  The hallmark of this condition is a rapid onset of partial or complete palsy that often occurs overnight.  In rare cases (1%), it can occur bilaterally resulting in total facial paralysis.
It is thought that an inflammatory condition leads to swelling of the facial nerve.  The nerve travels through the skull in a narrow bone canal beneath the ear. Nerve swelling and compression in the narrow bone canal are thought to lead to nerve inhibition, damage or death.  No readily identifiable cause for Bell’s palsy has been found.
Corticosteroids have been found to improve outcomes while anti-viral drugs have not.   Early treatment is necessary for steroids to be effective.  Most people recover spontaneously and achieve near-normal to normal functions.  Many show signs of improvement as early as 10 days after the onset, even without treatment.
Often the eye in the affected side cannot be closed.  The eye must be protected from drying up, or the cornea may be permanently damaged resulting in impaired vision. Causes, incidence, and risk factors
Bell’s palsy affects about 30,000 – 40,000 people a year in the United States.
Bell’s palsy involves damage to the seventh cranial (facial) nerve. This nerve controls the movement of the muscles of the face.
Bell’s palsy is thought to be due to swelling (inflammation) of this nerve in the area where it travels through the bones of the skull.
The cause is often not clear.  A type of herpes infection called herpes zoster might be involved.  Other conditions that may cause Bell’s palsy include:
? HIV infection
? Lyme disease
? Middle ear infection
? Sarcoidosis                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

.
Symptoms

Sometimes you may have a cold shortly before the symptoms of Bell’s palsy begin.
Symptoms most often start suddenly, but may take 2 – 3 days to show up.  They do not become more severe after that.  Sudden weakness or paralysis on one side of the face that causes it to droop.
Symptoms are almost always on one side only.  They may range from mild to severe.
The face will feel stiff or pulled to one side, and may look different.  Other symptoms can include:
? Difficulty eating and drinking; food falls out of one side of the mouth
? Drooling due to lack of control over the muscles of the face
? Drooping of the face, such as the eyelid or corner of the mouth
? Hard to close one eye
? Problems smiling, grimacing, or making facial expressions
? Twitching or weakness of the muscles in the face
Other symptoms that may occur:
? Dry eye or mouth
? Headache
? Loss of sense of taste
? Sound that is louder in one ear (hyperacusis)
? Twitching in face

Treatment

Often, no treatment is needed.  Symptoms often begin to improve right away.  However, it may take weeks or even months for the muscles to get stronger, and this may be frustrating.
Your health care provider may give you lubricating eye drops or eye ointments to keep the surface of the eye moist if you cannot close it completely.  You may need to wear an eye patch while you sleep.
Sometimes medicines may be used, but it is not clear how much they help.  If medicines are used, they should be started right away.
• Corticosteroids may reduce swelling around the facial nerve
• Medications can fight the virus that may be causing Bell’s palsy
Surgery to relieve pressure on the nerve (decompression surgery) is controversial and has not been shown to routinely benefit people with Bell’s palsy.
The goal of the treatment is to eliminate the source of the nerve damage.  Patients with less nerve damage have better chances of recovery.
Medications are often used as part of the treatment:

• If  infection is the cause, then an antibiotic to fight bacteria (as in middle ear infections) or antiviral agents (to fight syndromes caused by viruses like Ramsay Hunt) may be used.

• If swelling is believed to be responsible for the facial nerve disorder, steroids are often prescribed.

• In certain circumstances, surgical removal of the bone around the nerve (decompression surgery) may be appropriate.

Physiotherapy
Physiotherapy can be beneficial to some individuals with Bell’s palsy as it helps to maintain muscle tone of the affected facial muscles and stimulate the facial nerve.   It is important that muscle re-education exercises and soft tissue techniques be implemented prior to recovery in order to help prevent permanent contractures of the paralyzed facial muscles.   Muscle re-education exercises are also useful in restoring normal movement.   To reduce pain, heat can be applied to the affected side of the face.   In individuals with unresolved facial nerve paralysis, transcutaneous electrical stimulation can be an effective treatment strategy(TENS).

• Exercise the facial muscles in front of a mirror.
• Massage the face.
• Apply gentle heat to reduce pain.
• Using a finger, regularly close the eye to keep it moist.
• Tape the eye closed for sleeping.
• Use protective glasses or clear eye patches to keep the eye moist and to keep foreign materials
from entering the eye.
• Use doctor-recommended artificial tears or an ointment to keep the eye moist.

Read More Here

…..

Medical Marijuana – Cerebral Palsy (Jacqueline Patterson)

Luke Slisz Luke Slisz

Published on Jul 2, 2011

Cerebal Palsy is an umbrella term encompassing a group of non-progressive, non-contagious motor conditions that cause physical disability in human development, chiefly in the various areas of body movement – Wikipedia

At some point very early in life, either while a baby is still growing in the womb, during birth or shortly after, something happens to interfere with the normal development of the brain or to injure the brain tissues. This abnormal development or injury disrupts the nerve signals between the brain and the muscles, leading to problems with movement, posture and coordination as the child grows up. While some people are severely affected, others have only minor disruption, depending on which parts of the brain are not functioning properly. It’s estimated that as many as 1 in every 400 children may have cerebral palsy. – BBC Health

After Jacqueline was reported for cannabis possession, she moved to California after succeeding in a court case that the consumption was strictly for medicinal purposes: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y–pjK…

These clips are taken from the documentary ‘In Pot We Trust’ which displays a range of medical, social and political views and the medical purposes of marijuana in relation to Glaucoma, Leukaemia, Multiple Sclerosis, Multiple Exostoses and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7qTsS6…

…..

Dr Sanjay Gupta Apologizes For ‘Systematically Misleading Americans’ About Marijuana Cannabis

MrCensorMe3

Published on Aug 7, 2013
Aired May ,2013

…..

In Pot We Trust – Marijuana Cannabis

thepotroast thepotroast

………

Enhanced by Zemanta

pt 1

humanrights2u humanrights2u


Published on Nov 16, 2013

Clip 1 from November 12, 2013 – guest Mia Pope on the Jeff Rense Program.

http://www.renseradio.com/signup.htm

Obama EXPOSED- Mia Pope pt 2:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B2msHP…

Obama’s Female Classmate Tells All?

http://www.helpfreetheearth.com/news9…

Obama Turned Dictator – Beware:

http://www.helpfreetheearth.com/news9…

 

Clip from November 12, 2013 – guest Mia Pope on the Jeff Rense Program. Full program available in Archives at http://www.renseradio.com/signup.htm

 

Enhanced by Zemanta

Mexican vigilantes take on drug cartels – and worry authorities

Mexico militias take on drug cartels

Self-defence forces gather near Buenavista in Michoacan, Mexico, part of a growing movement of militias taking on the drug cartels. Photograph: ZUMA/REX

 

With their scuffed shoes, baggy trousers and single shot hunting guns, the eight men preparing to patrol their hillside barrio in the southern Mexican town of Tixtla hardly looked like a disciplined military force. But this motley collection of construction workers and shopkeepers claim to have protected their community from Mexico‘s violent drug cartels in a way the police and military have been unable – or unwilling – to do.

“Since we got organised, the hit men don’t dare come in here,” said one young member of the group, which had gathered at dusk on the town’s basketball court, before heading out on patrol. “Extortions, kidnappings and disappearances are right down.”

Over the past year, vigilante groups like this have sprung up in towns and villages across Mexico, especially in the Pacific coast states of Guerrero and Michoacán. They make no pretence to be interrupting drug trafficking itself but they do claim to have restored a degree of tranquillity to daily life.

In a country where the police are commonly felt to commit more crime than they prevent, the militias have won significant popular support, but they have also prompted fears that the appearance of more armed groups can only provoke more violence.

Tensions exploded this weekend when a march by self-defence groups triggered a gun-battle between gunmen and federal forces in the city of Apatzingán, followed by attacks on power stations that left hundreds of thousands without electricity.

Nearly seven years after the government launched a military-led crackdown on the cartels, the weekend’s events have caused many to ask if the new government of President Enrique Peña Nieto is presiding over the first rumblings of an undeclared civil war.

“Perhaps the closest antecedent is the civil wars of central America,” said an editorial posted on the widely-read news site Sin Embargo.

The weekend’s violence began on Saturday when a group of militiamen marched on the city, saying they were responding to calls for support by residents there who want to set up their own self-defence group. Similar groups claim to have forced the brutal Knights Templar cartel out of smaller towns in the region, but Apatzingán, capital of the Tierra Caliente region, has remained largely in the hands of the drug barons.

Troops allowed the marchers into the city after they had disarmed, but when they gathered in the central square, they came under attack from gunmen on the rooftops – including some who were reportedly stationed in the cathedral belltower. A video shows people running for cover as federal police officers appear to return fire at the attackers.

At the end of the day, the marchers withdrew after the army agreed to step up patrols and include observers from the self-defence groups. But the movement’s leader, José Mirales, warned reporters that the fight was not over. “We are going to make sure that organised crime is expelled from Apatzingán,” he said. “They will try to respond.”

That response came just hours later, when, shortly after midnight, nine electricity substations were firebombed in a string of almost simultaneous attacks. More than 400,000 people were left without electricity. At least four petrol stations were also torched.

In a statement, Mexico’s interior ministry promised that: “The actions of the criminals will not stop the actions of the government to protect the population.”

But while the government claimed order had been restored to Aptazingán, the tension continued into Sunday when a second group of civilians marched on the local army base. The Knights Templar were widely believed to be behind this second march that demanded federal forces withdraw their protection from the self-defence groups. Also on Sunday, five bodies were reportedly found on the outskirts of the city, all wearing t-shirts identifying them as members of the self-defence groups.

 

Read More Here

 

……….

 

5 Dead as Mexican Vigilante Groups, Cartel Clash


Clashes in which self-described “self-defense” forces sought to oust the Knights Templar drug cartel from the western Mexico state of Michoacan left at least five men dead and hundreds of thousands of people without electricity.

The weekend confrontations followed a daring march by a self-defense force into the city of Apatzingan, the central stronghold of the pseudo-religious Knights Templar cartel that for years has dominated Michoacan, a state that sends a steady stream of avocados and migrants to the United States.

State Interior Secretary Jaime Mares said soldiers and federal police had taken over security in Apatzingan following the clashes.

Since rising up in February against systematic extortion by the Knights Templar, residents of a half dozen towns that formed self-defense patrols have lived without access to Apatzingan, a commercial and road hub that is home to the region’s main hospital and markets.

Self-defense leaders said they finally grew tired of the cartel blocking services and commerce in an attempt to strangle their uprising and showed up Friday on Apatzingan’s outskirts, armed and ready to “liberate” the city. They were turned back by soldiers who said they couldn’t enter with weapons.

A convoy of hundreds of unarmed self-defense patrol members returned on Saturday and successfully entered the city, where they were met by gunfire, presumably from the Knights Templar.

Read More Here

 

………

Enhanced by Zemanta

Colorado farmers harvest industrial hemp despite federal prohibition

Finished hemp, marijuana’s non-intoxicating cousin, is legal in the US, but growing it remains off-limits under federal law

Colorado Hemp

Volunteer walks through a hemp field at a farm in Colorado during the first known harvest of industrial hemp in the US since the 1950s. Photo: P Solomon Banda/AP

Ryan Loflin, a farmer from southeast Colorado, tried an illegal crop this year. He didn’t hide it from neighbors, and he was never afraid that law enforcement would come asking about it. Loflin is among about two dozen Colorado farmers who raised industrial hemp, marijuana’s non-intoxicating cousin that cannot be grown under federal drug law, bringing in the nation’s first acknowledged crop in more than five decades.

Emboldened by voters in Colorado and Washington last year giving the green light to both marijuana and industrial hemp production, Loflin planted 55 acres of several varieties of hemp alongside his typical alfalfa and wheat crops. The hemp came in sparse and scraggly this month, but Loflin said he is still turning away buyers.

“Phone’s been ringing off the hook,” said Loflin, who plans to press the seeds into oil and sell the fibrous remainder to buyers who will use it in building materials, fabric and rope. “People want to buy more than I can grow.”

Hemp’s prospects, however, are far from certain. Finished hemp is legal in the US, but growing it remains off-limits under federal law. The Congressional Research Service recently noted wildly differing projections about hemp’s economic potential.

However, America is one of hemp’s fastest-growing markets, with imports largely coming from China and Canada. In 2011, the US imported $11.5m worth of hemp products, up from $1.4m in 2000. Most of that is hemp seed and hemp oil, which finds its way into granola bars, soaps, lotions and even cooking oil. Whole Foods Market now sells hemp milk, hemp tortilla chips and hemp seeds coated in dark chocolate.

Colorado will nt start granting hemp-cultivation licenses until 2014, but Loflin didn’t wait. His confidence got a boost in August, when the US Department of Justice said the federal government would generally defer to state marijuana laws as long as states kept marijuana away from children and drug cartels. The memo did not mention hemp as an enforcement priority for the Drug Enforcement Administration.

“I figured they have more important things to worry about than, you know, rope,” a smiling Loflin said as he hand-harvested 4ft plants on his Baca County land.

Colorado’s hemp experiment may not be unique for long. Ten states now have industrial hemp laws that conflict with federal drug policy, including one signed by California Governor Jerry Brown last month. And it’s not just the typical marijuana-friendly suspects: Kentucky, North Dakota and West Virginia have industrial hemp laws on the books.

Read More Here

Enhanced by Zemanta

CDC: Painkillers Kill Four Times More than Cocaine and Heroin Combined

Anthony Gucciardi

by
September 20th, 2013
Updated 09/20/2013 at 3:39 pm

A powerful report spanning 10 years from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has revealed that painkillers are actually responsible for a whopping four times as many deaths as both heroin and cocaine combined.

painkillers heroin cocaine deaths 263x168 CDC: Painkillers Kill Four Times More than Cocaine and Heroin CombinedThe admission coincides with the initial report I told you about back in 2011, in which it was exposed that painkillers were killing around 15,000 per year back in 2008 (still more than cocaine and heroin combined). But now, we’re not just looking at a single year of data. Instead, we’re looking through an entire decade of statistics that paint a picture of just how deadly our ‘legal’ drug industry is — and it turns out it’s even more deadly than the illegal drug trade.

Even more deadly than two of the most hardcore drugs that money can buy… or at least two of the most hardcore illegal drugs that money can buy.

While the previous report documented in 2011 found that 12 million were actually on prescription painkillers purely for the high it gives, the new CDC papers found that there was a massive 415% rise in the overall rate of fatal painkiller overdoses from 1999 to 2010. We’re talking about a higher fatality rate than those who are dosing up on heroin and cocaine. Specifically, the rate of painkiller fatality deaths is about four times higher overall than cocaine and heroin combined.

Read More Here

************************************************************************

Express.co.uk

More Britons killed by painkillers than heroin and cocaine

BRITAIN is becoming a nation of prescription drug addicts with painkillers killing more people than cocaine and heroin.

Published: Mon, September 9, 2013

Anna-Nicole-died-from-an-overdose Anna Nicole died from an overdose

Nearly 1.5 million patients are hooked on benzodiazepine tranquillisers, it is believed.

And new figures from the Office for National Statistics revealed that last year 807 people died after taking tranquillisers and painkillers, compared with 718 who fell victim to heroin and cocaine.

Cathryn Kemp, author of Painkiller Addict: From Wreckage To Redemption, said: “We are a medicated nation.”

Britain, painkillers, cocaine, heroin,  prescription, drug, addicts, killed, Anna NicoleMore people have died after taking tranquilliser and painkillers than class A drug heroin [GETTY]

Nearly 1.5 million patients are hooked on benzodiazepine tranquillisers

Read More Here

************************************************************************

Enhanced by Zemanta

by PETE YOST and GENE JOHNSON / Associated Press

Posted on August 29, 2013 at 10:42 AM

Updated today at 5:15 PM

WASHINGTON — Despite 75 years of federal marijuana prohibition, the Justice Department said Thursday that states can let people use the drug, license people to grow it and even allow adults to stroll into stores and buy it — as long as the weed is kept away from kids, the black market and federal property.

In a sweeping new policy statement prompted by pot legalization votes in Washington and Colorado last fall, the department gave the green light to states to adopt tight regulatory schemes to oversee the medical and recreational marijuana industries burgeoning across the country.

The action, welcomed by supporters of legalization, could set the stage for more states to legalize marijuana. Alaska is scheduled to vote on the question next year, and a few other states plan similar votes in 2016.

The policy change embraces what Justice Department officials called a “trust but verify” approach between the federal government and states that enact recreational drug use.

Document: Read guidance from the Justice Department about Washington’s pot law

In a memo to all 94 U.S. attorneys’ offices around the country, Deputy Attorney General James Cole said the federal government expects that states and local governments authorizing “marijuana-related conduct” will implement strong and effective regulatory and enforcement systems that address the threat those state laws could pose to public health and safety.

“If state enforcement efforts are not sufficiently robust … the federal government may seek to challenge the regulatory structure itself,” the memo stated.

The U.S. attorney in Colorado, John Walsh, said he will continue to focus on whether Colorado’s system has the resources and tools necessary to protect key federal public safety interests.

Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper said the state is working to improve education and prevention efforts directed at young people and on enforcement tools to prevent access to marijuana by those under age 21. Colorado also is determined to keep marijuana businesses from being fronts for criminal enterprises or other illegal activity, he said, and the state is committed to preventing the export of marijuana while also enhancing efforts to keep state roads safe from impaired drivers.

Under the policy, the federal government’s top investigative priorities range from preventing the distribution of marijuana to minors to preventing sales revenue from going to criminal enterprises, gangs and cartels and preventing the diversion of marijuana outside of states where it is legal under state law.

Read More Here

*********************************************************

How These 6 People — And You — Have Already Been Screwed By Obama’s War On State Weed Laws

The Huffington Post  |  By Posted: 08/29/2013 3:11 pm EDT  |  Updated: 08/29/2013 7:45 pm EDT

151
46
1
71
Get Politics Newsletters:

Attorney General Eric Holder announced on Thursday that two states will be allowed to go forward with legalizing recreational marijuana use, a major move that could reshape the federal government’s policy on pot. Colorado and Washington state forced Holder’s hand when they made all marijuana use legal in November referendums — while 20 other states have some sort of medical marijuana laws on the books — but every single joint is still illegal under federal law.

Many marijuana reform advocates are hopeful, but they’ve had their hopes dashed before.

Before he was elected, President Barack Obama said he would stop federal raids on growers operating under state medical marijuana laws. Marijuana reform advocates were further cheered by a 2009 DOJ memo that said the government wouldn’t use its considerable law enforcement and prosecutorial resources to target those who complied with state law.

Despite the friendly words and the welcome memo, the raids rolled on. The Drug Enforcement Agency and prosecutors claimed they were targeting medical marijuana growers and dispensary owners operating in violation of state laws. But because a Supreme Court ruling bars marijuana users from using the defense that they are following state laws, that side never gets heard in court. And even if some dispensary owners were breaking the law, advocates argue, prison is far too high a price to pay for a consensual crime.

All along the way, every year since Obama was inaugurated in 2009, the casualties of the war on weed have kept piling up: Growers, patients and you, the American taxpayer.

Jerry Duval

gerald

Jerry Duval was a registered Michigan marijuana patient who lost his family farm and whose son went to prison after refusing to testify against his father in the wake of a federal raid in 2011. But that wasn’t all: Suffering from juvenile diabetes, glaucoma and neuropathy, he was the recipient of both a kidney and a pancreas transplant. In 2012 a federal judge recommended he be sent to a special medical prison, a recommendation the feds initially ignored. Eventually, after months of stress for Duval and his family, the feds caved. Now he is serving out a 10-year sentence at the same medical prison where the accused Boston bomber is being held, for a term he estimates will eventually cost the feds $1.2 million.

Aaron Sandusky

aaron sandusky

(Photo via YouTube)

Aaron Sandusky of Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., was sentenced earlier this year to 10 years in federal prison for his medical marijuana dispensaries.

While medical marijuana is legal in California, federal prosecutors painted Sandusky’s business as a “criminal enterprise” that exploited “his customers’ good-faith search for pain relief.”

Prior to his arrest, Sandusky had received a letter from the U.S. Attorney’s Office warning that his stores violated federal law. Sandusky responded by closing two of them, but the following month, federal agents raided his remaining dispensary. They seized marijuana plants and $11,500 in cash, effectively wiping out Sandusky’s business.

Richard Flor

richard flor

Richard Flor was Montana’s first registered medical marijuana caregiver. In March 2011, he was providing medical marijuana to 300 patients in accordance with state laws. That’s when the feds swooped in, arrested him, his wife, his son, and everyone else involved in running Montana Cannabis.

Flor was given five years in federal prison — five years that turned out to be a death sentence. Afflicted with dementia and depression, the 68-year-old’s lawyer asked federal U.S. District Judge Charles Lovell to release his client from a private prison while they appealed his sentence.

“He is in extreme pain and still is not being given round-the-clock care as is required for someone with his medical and mental conditions,” his lawyer wrote. “It is anticipated he will not long survive general population incarceration.”

Flor’s lawyer was right. Flor died in a Las Vegas just weeks after the judge denied the request.

“I was sorry to learn of the passing of Mr. Flor,” Lovell wrote in a statement afterward. “Judicial ethics prohibit further response.”

Read More Here

*********************************************************

Bloomberg

Legal Pot Sellers Say Armored-Car Companies Halt Service

Steve DeAngelo says his staff may need to carry cash in personal vehicles to pay Harborside Health Center’s bills after his armored car provider told his co-founder that a federal agency ordered it to stop serving cannabis businesses.

“The only way we have to pay our bills is transporting cash from point A to point B,” said DeAngelo, executive director of the medicinal marijuana collective based in Oakland, California, with 128,000 patients.

Federal laws bar banks from offering accounts to pot shops, forcing medical marijuana firms to pay their sales taxes and other bills in cash. Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg

“This includes 15 percent of our $30 million-a-year gross that goes to the cities of San Jose and Oakland and the state of California for our taxes,” he said. “This is a huge threat to the safety of my patients and staff, and beyond that it’s a huge threat to the general public.”

DeAngelo isn’t alone. Several large marijuana dispensaries in California and Colorado received similar notices from their armored vehicle services, said Steve Fox, director of government relations for the Washington-based National Cannabis Industry Association.

The U.S. Justice Department declined to comment on the matter, Ellen Canale, a spokeswoman, said by e-mail in response to repeated requests. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration referred questions to the Justice Department, its parent agency.

The end of armored-car service to some marijuana dispensaries underscores ongoing tension between federal law, under which cannabis remains illegal, and laws in 20 states and the District of Columbia that legalized medical marijuana consumption, plus measures in Colorado and Washington that allow those 21 and older to possess up to an ounce of pot.

Federal Response

Attorney General Eric Holder hasn’t provided a federal response to the laws in Washington and Colorado that will also allow retail sales of pot next year.

The U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing on the conflicts between state and federal marijuana laws on Sept. 10, Chairman Patrick Leahy, a Vermont Democrat, announced Aug. 26.

Federal laws bar banks from offering accounts to pot shops, forcing medical marijuana firms to pay their sales taxes and other bills in cash. Cannabis businesses also are unable to obtain credit cards.

DeAngelo’s car service, Dunbar Armored Inc., didn’t return calls and messages for comment.

Fox, of the cannabis trade group, said that other medical marijuana dispensaries affected by the issue didn’t want to come forward because of security concerns.

Read More Here

*********************************************************

People Killed By The War On Drugs

Kathryn Johnston

In November 2006, a narcotics team from the

Atlanta Police Department apprehended a man with a known drug history. They planted marijuana on him, then threatened to arrest him unless he gave them information about where they could find a supply of illegal drugs. He gave them the address of 92-year-old Kathryn Johnston. Instead of finding an informant to make a controlled buy from the address, the officer instead lied on the search warrant, inventing an informant and describing a drug buy that never happened.
Ashley Villarreal

Ashley Villarreal, 14, was shot and killed by DEA agents in 2003 in San Antonio.

Ashley was attempting to show off her driving skills to family friend David Robles by taking a drive around the block. But at the time, the DEA was investigating Ashley’s father, Joey Villarreal, for drug trafficking. As Ashley pulled out of the driveway of the home where Joey Villarreal’s mother and Ashley lived, the federal agents were in the process of staking out the house.

Later explaining that they had mistaken Robles for Ashley’s father, the agents boxed in the vehicle the girl was driving. They claimed she then continued driving toward them, at which point they opened fire, shooting her in the back of the head. Robles and several witnesses said the agents never identified themselves, and that Ashley posed no threat, given that her vehicle was already boxed in. The police found no drugs or weapons in the vehicle, or in the house, nor did they find any evidence that Ashley’s father had been using the house for drug trafficking.

Nevertheless, the agents were cleared of any wrongdoing. Joey Villarreal was later arrested, convicted of drug charges, and sentenced to 19 years in prison.

Source: Pete Brady, “The Murder of Ashley,” Cannabis Culture, October 8, 2003.

Johnathan Ayers

In September 2009, Johnathan Ayers, a 28-year-old Baptist pastor from Lavonia, Ga., was gunned down by a North Georgia narcotics task force in the parking lot of a gas station. Police would later acknowledge he was not using or trafficking in illicit drugs. Instead, Ayers had been ministering to Johanna Barrett, the actual target of the investigation.

According to an interview Barrett gave to a North Georgia newspaper shortly after Ayers’ death, on the day he died the pastor had seen her walking near a gas station on her way back to an extended-stay motel where she lived with her boyfriend. Ayers had known Barrett for a number of years, and offered her a ride back to the motel. He also gave her the money in his pocket, $23, to help pay her rent.

The police were trailing Barrett at the time. But instead of apprehending her at the motel, they instead followed Ayers, who they saw hand Ayers cash.

They followed Ayers to a nearby gas station where he withdrew some money from an ATM. Shortly after he got back into his car, a black Escalade pulled up behind him. Three officers, all undercover, rushed Ayers’ vehicle and pointed their guns at him. The pastor panicked and attempted to escape. As he backed out, Ayers’ car grazed one police officer. Officer Billy Shane Harrison then opened fire, shooting Ayers in the stomach. Ayers drove for another thousand yards before crashing his car. He died at the hospital. His last words to his family and medical staff were that he thought he was being robbed. The police found no illicit drugs in his car.

A grand jury later declined to indict Harrison for any crime. District Attorney Brian Rickman praised the Georgia Bureau of Investigation for going to “very extraordinary lengths” to conduct a fair investigation. But a civil suit suggested otherwise. The complaint alleged that Harrison wasn’t authorized to arrest him. On the day Ayerswas killed, Harrison had yet to take the firearms training classes required for his certification as a police officer. In fact, Harrison had no training at all in the use of lethal force.

Harrison’s lack of training was later confirmed by local TV station WSB-TV and, after the fact, by the GBI. Harrison was suspended. The civil suit also alleged prior disciplinary problems with Harrison and another officer involved in her husband’s death, including alleged drug use.

Sources: Rob Moore, “Case File: Ayers Feared a Robbery,” The Northeast Georgian, December 29, 2009; Steve Huff, “Did a Good Dead Lead Pastor Jonathan Ayers to his Death?” September 10, 2009; Jessica Waters, “GBI Findings Outlined,” The Toccoa Record, December 28, 2009; Denise Matthews, “Grand Jury Declares Ayers Shooting Justified,” Franklin County Citizen, December 24, 2009; Charlie Bauder, “District Attorney Defends Investigation of Preacher’s Death,” Anderson Independent-Mail, December 22, 2009; Estate of Jonathan Ayers v. Officer Billy Shane Harrison, et al., complaint, filed in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, March 15, 2010; “Arrest Made in Pastor Death Case,” Actions News 2, WSB-TV Atlanta, June 18, 2010; Rob Moore, “NCIS Officer on Leave Pending Probe,” The Toccoa Record, March 29, 2010; Jessica Waters, “Ayers Federal Civil Case Updated,” The Toccoa Record, January 6, 2011.

*********************************************************

Raids on Legal Dispensaries

**********************************************************

Enhanced by Zemanta
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,572 other followers