A personal letter from Shona Banda (Please help Shona Banda!)

 

 

https://scontent-atl3-1.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xfl1/v/t1.0-9/12809521_1144793475553189_3397047631895080291_n.jpg?oh=8d2f91f06249e7c9e3e5b1ce193884a2&oe=57796DF4

 

 

Shona Banda’s ~ Live Free or Die·

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

 

I want to personally thank you from the bottom of my heart for your contribution that has helped so far in this struggle. The GoFundMe money was raised for legal fees and expenses surrounding the case, the money has been allocated and the site taken down. A new funding site will be made as further legal contributions are needed, and will be handled as the case continues. Legal funds do not account for living expenses. I prefer to work for the money I earn and have been able to get my book “Live Free or Die” ready for a reprinting with a projected date of the first week of April or sooner to be available worldwide.

I believe in persistence, perseverance, and working hard to achieve goals.

Many of you have seen what has happened in my life over the course of the last year, when police surrounded my home after my son spoke out in class. You have followed me in the past year as I have attended many court dates, struggled with pain and anguish, and watched me face this court system with my head held high.

I have a certainty, a clarity in my fight against these unjust laws. I fight with no fear, I hold my head high, knowing I am in truth. Knowing that I have a basic right to life, a basic right to live! I have faced death head on, I have struggled and felt torturous pain inflicted upon me by the barbaric medical system our society clings to and calls normal. I know I can stand tall and proud in truth, knowing it was all foretold.

Knowing that my journal, of finding how beneficial this cannabis plant was, and being able to share my personal thoughts, feelings, and experiences had to be written and published in 2010. I explain, in detail, my sickness, my life, my family, and how I teach my children; all surrounding the cannabis plant and how this plant made me feel as my body regenerated and healed.

“Live Free or Die” is a book that has already helped so many worldwide take back their own lives, and folks have been inspired to share their own stories and testimonials to help spread this knowledge.

Purchasing a signed copy of Live Free or Die helps me and my family in this very hard time, immediately, right now. I wrote this book to help others. I wrote this book to empower anyone who picked it up. I wrote this book to show everyone that LIFE truly matters. History is being made. Now. Own a piece of it, personally signed.

Purchase your pre-ordered signed copy of “Live Free or Die” here paypal.me/ShonaBanda

Hardcover $45

Paperback $35

Donations of gratuity are also accepted.

Thank you all for your continued support in this fight.

Shona Banda ,,

You can contribute today at https://www.gofundme.com/shonabanda

www.shonabanda.org

Email: [email protected]

����R+�!g

 

MORE INFORMATION

 

 

FACEBOOK PAGE “LIVE FREE OR DIE”

 

PLEASE DONATE TO THE GOFUNDME.COM ACCOUNT for Shona Banda’s personal expenses

 

 

 

SOURCE LINK

A personal letter from Shona Banda (Please help Shona Banda!)

 

 

https://scontent-atl3-1.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xfl1/v/t1.0-9/12809521_1144793475553189_3397047631895080291_n.jpg?oh=8d2f91f06249e7c9e3e5b1ce193884a2&oe=57796DF4

 

 

Shona Banda’s ~ Live Free or Die·

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

 

I want to personally thank you from the bottom of my heart for your contribution that has helped so far in this struggle. The GoFundMe money was raised for legal fees and expenses surrounding the case, the money has been allocated and the site taken down. A new funding site will be made as further legal contributions are needed, and will be handled as the case continues. Legal funds do not account for living expenses. I prefer to work for the money I earn and have been able to get my book “Live Free or Die” ready for a reprinting with a projected date of the first week of April or sooner to be available worldwide.

I believe in persistence, perseverance, and working hard to achieve goals.

Many of you have seen what has happened in my life over the course of the last year, when police surrounded my home after my son spoke out in class. You have followed me in the past year as I have attended many court dates, struggled with pain and anguish, and watched me face this court system with my head held high.

I have a certainty, a clarity in my fight against these unjust laws. I fight with no fear, I hold my head high, knowing I am in truth. Knowing that I have a basic right to life, a basic right to live! I have faced death head on, I have struggled and felt torturous pain inflicted upon me by the barbaric medical system our society clings to and calls normal. I know I can stand tall and proud in truth, knowing it was all foretold.

Knowing that my journal, of finding how beneficial this cannabis plant was, and being able to share my personal thoughts, feelings, and experiences had to be written and published in 2010. I explain, in detail, my sickness, my life, my family, and how I teach my children; all surrounding the cannabis plant and how this plant made me feel as my body regenerated and healed.

“Live Free or Die” is a book that has already helped so many worldwide take back their own lives, and folks have been inspired to share their own stories and testimonials to help spread this knowledge.

Purchasing a signed copy of Live Free or Die helps me and my family in this very hard time, immediately, right now. I wrote this book to help others. I wrote this book to empower anyone who picked it up. I wrote this book to show everyone that LIFE truly matters. History is being made. Now. Own a piece of it, personally signed.

Purchase your pre-ordered signed copy of “Live Free or Die” here paypal.me/ShonaBanda

Hardcover $45

Paperback $35

Donations of gratuity are also accepted.

Thank you all for your continued support in this fight.

Shona Banda ,,

You can contribute today at https://www.gofundme.com/shonabanda

www.shonabanda.org

Email: [email protected]

����R+�!g

 

MORE INFORMATION

 

 

FACEBOOK PAGE “LIVE FREE OR DIE”

 

PLEASE DONATE TO THE GOFUNDME.COM ACCOUNT for Shona Banda’s personal expenses

 

 

 

SOURCE LINK

As A Big UN Drug Policy Summit Draws Near, Will Marijuana Activists Become Global Drug Reformers?

By Joel Warner @joelmwarner On 03/29/16 AT 7:56 AM

GettyImages-95578731

Ethan Nadelmann, executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance and one of the most recognized speakers in drug policy circles, doesn’t mince words when he gets up to talk at marijuana industry events. “Frankly,” he often says, “I am not interested in meeting most of you.” The only people he wants to talk to, he tells his audiences, are those who are going to make a lot of money in the new marijuana industry in an ethical way and are interested in certain social issues that could make them ideal foot soldiers in the wider struggle against the global war on drugs.

That’s because Nadelmann and DPA aren’t just interested in marijuana legalization — they’re interested in wider drug policy reform in the United States and beyond.

Lately, calls for such reforms have reached a fever pitch, thanks to the upcoming United Nations General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS) on the World Drug Problem on April 19-21, the first time the U.N. has held a special session on drug policy since 1998. Broad coalitions of nongovernmental organizations are pushing member nations like the United States to advocate for bold changes at the meeting. The latest issue of Harper’s Magazine is calling for the legalization of all drugs. And a report released last week by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and The Lancet condemns the global war on drugs for contributing to myriad public health crises.

Meanwhile, targeted efforts are afoot to shift drug policies in the United States. Groups of lawmakers in Maryland and Hawaii are exploring the decriminalization of low-level drug offenses, and Ithaca, New York, is considering opening a heroin injection center in response to the city’s growing drug crisis. “Things have changed enormously. There was no legalization on the horizon when I got involved in this,” said Dave Borden, executive director of StoptheDrugWar.org, who has been advocating for such reforms since the early 1990s. “At that point, there were tough-on-drugs bills all the time. Today, reforming drug sentences is one of the few partisan issues on Capitol Hill. There’s been a total reversal of politics on this issue, even though the changes are still slow to unfold.”

Marijuana legalization is helping to drive these changes. The fact that four U.S. states and the District of Columbia have legalized cannabis underpins the tough international drug policies the United States has championed for decades, while demonstrating the social impact of such reforms is far from catastrophic. And some marijuana advocates and industry stakeholders are already wading into the global drug policy debate; major marijuana groups such as Marijuana Policy Project and the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, plus cannabis business interests such as the ArcView Group and Denver Relief Consulting are among members of an ad hoc coalition of organizations calling for narcotics law reforms in the lead-up to the UNGASS. Not only that, but the medical marijuana advocacy group Americans for Safe Access just submitted a lengthy report to the United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs outlining potential international medical cannabis reforms.

The growing push for drug law reform beyond marijuana legalization could also lead to divisions among cannabis advocates. Should the U.S. marijuana movement, which has become a political and financial force to be reckoned with, help lead the vanguard in changing drug laws around world? Or should cannabis activists and industry stakeholders stay focused on national marijuana reform, since that could be their best shot at changing the global dialogue on drugs?

“There is no way one cannot want to engage in these UNGASS efforts,” said Allen F. St. Pierre, NORML’s executive director. “But my own political horse sense says it doesn’t equal a hill of beans compared to what is happening on the ground for marijuana right now.”

For some marijuana organizations, the answer is simple: Since their mission is squarely focused on U.S. marijuana legalization, that’s where they need to focus energy and resources. “I think that the work our organization is doing is significantly impacting the international discussion,” said Mason Tvert, MPP’s communications director. “But we are not ourselves working on changing drug laws in Spain. We are focused on marijuana policy, and given the history of the United State being a driver of drug policies worldwide, our work is having an impact on the rest of the world.”

What’s left unsaid is that some of the strategies that operations like MPP are using to reform marijuana laws are ill-suited for wider drug policy debates, such as promoting the idea that marijuana is safer than alcohol. That approach has proven a potent tool, but it wouldn’t work so well in other drug-reform efforts, which are focused not on the relative safety of various narcotics but on the notion that prohibition-based laws combating these drugs make the potential harms even worse.

“I agree with Mason that if people realize marijuana is safer than alcohol, they are more likely to legalize it, but that is not going to fly in the broader drug-policy debate,” said Tom Angell, founder of the cannabis advocacy group Marijuana Majority. “If everything the American people have heard about why we should legalize this one drug hinges on its relative safety, it makes the transition to reforming other drug laws problematic.”

Then there’s the fact that while the marijuana industry is growing by leaps and bounds — the market is estimated to top $20 billion in sales by 2020 — organizations in the scene are still struggling with limited budgets, so they have to make tactical decisions on where to direct their efforts. And right now, for some activists, targeting marijuana legalization might seem like a smarter move than tackling wider drug policy.

For example, while the organization Law Enforcement Against Prohibition works to reform all drug laws, a good portion of their work these days is focused on cannabis issues, says executive director Major Neill Franklin, a re
tired police officer. “If marijuana has all the attention right now, if it’s where the media and conversation is, that is where we are going to be,” said Franklin. “We would be fools to not get into that conversation. It helps us move the conversation on heroin, cocaine and other drugs.”

Another major problem is that drug-reform efforts beyond marijuana are still a very hard sell for the American public. Support for cannabis legalization, for example, just hit an all-time high, with 61 percent of Americans in favor of it. On the other hand, while a majority of Americans now support less-stringent narcotics laws like a shift away from mandatory drug sentences, roughly 10 percent or less want drugs such as cocaine, heroin and LSD legalized. That’s less than the percentage of Americans who wanted marijuana legalized in 1970, when the cannabis movement first began gearing up.

“I hope [DPA’s Ethan Nadelmann] lives a very long life,” said St. Pierre at NORML. “He’s laid the groundwork [for wider drug policy reform]. But it will happen much slower than marijuana. These are drugs that at their core are more pharmacologically dangerous. And as a culture, we don’t reaffirm their use. We don’t have heroin magazines or Cocaine Times.”

So for both tactical and financial reasons, many marijuana activists might be wary of engaging in wider narcotic policy reform in this country and beyond. And that could prove to be a liability for those whose activism depends on drawing attention to drug issues beyond marijuana in the United States. “The debate [around marijuana versus general drug policy reform] among international activists was very active when Colorado and Washington first legalized marijuana,” said Joanne Csete, an adjunct public health professor at Columbia University and member of the John Hopkins-Lancet commission that recently released the report on the global drug war. “There were some people dealing with real draconian drug laws in their countries who were worried that marijuana legalization would tick off the box for people. The concern was really all of drug policy would be defined around cannabis. And that would be the end of it.”

But so far, said Csete, those fears have proven unfounded. Instead, she said, “With the international crowd, I see there is a much greater coming together around the idea that, ‘Let’s learn from these legal regulated marijuana markets.’”

And not only is the marijuana movement bolstering drug reform efforts through successful cannabis legalization efforts, but also some activists and entrepreneurs who got their start in marijuana issues are now looking beyond cannabis to other drug reforms. “I think in general the industry is not overall super supportive of drug policy reform because like most industries, there is no economic drive for it that they see in front of them, but I also think that our industry was built from a grassroots activist movement,” said Aaron Justis, CEO of the Buds & Roses dispensary in Los Angeles and board member of the National Cannabis Industry Association. “It’s why we need to set a good example and put drug policy reform in our budgets now, and not just wait until we have extra money to spend on it. By setting a good example, we can push forward against the global war on drugs.”

It’s not just about setting a good example; for some marijuana activists, getting involved in other reform efforts could be key to their political survival. “I ask my board of directors, ‘As we move through these successions of success, as NORML achieves more and more of its mission statement, what do we do next? Do we continue to exist?’” said St. Pierre. “Can you pivot the marijuana movement — once it is successful — into the drug legalization movement?”

Such considerations are why, according to Nadelmann, among the lines in his speeches that garner the most applause at marijuana events are those that call for global drug policy reform. And it’s why, after such speeches, there are always a few individuals who approach him and say, “I am the person you were interested in talking to.”

Yes, the number of those people is usually small, but according to Nadelmann, it’s growing every day.

CONTINUE READING…

Article: From Democracy to Pathocracy: The Rise of the Political Psychopath | OpEdNews

Electing a psychopath to public office is tantamount to national hara-kiri, the ritualized act of self-annihilation, self-destruction and suicide. It signals the demise of democratic government and lays the groundwork for a totalitarian regime that is legalistic, militaristic, inflexible, intolerant and inhuman. So why do we keep doing it over and over again?
Politicians are more likely than people in the general population to be sociopaths. I think you would find no expert in the field of sociopathy/psychopathy/antisocial personality disorder who would dispute this… That a small minority of human beings literally have no conscience was and is a bitter pill for our society to swallow — but it does explain a great many things, shamelessly deceitful political behavior being one.”–Dr. Martha Stout, clinical psychologist and former instructor at Harvard Medical School
Twenty years ago, a newspaper headline asked the question: “What’s the difference between a politician and a psychopath?
The answer, then and now, remains the same: None.
There is no difference between psychopaths and politicians.
Nor is there much of a difference between the havoc wreaked on innocent lives by uncaring, unfeeling, selfish, irresponsible, parasitic criminals and elected officials who lie to their constituents, trade political favors for campaign contributions, turn a blind eye to the wishes of the electorate, cheat taxpayers out of hard-earned dollars, favor the corporate elite, entrench the military industrial complex, and spare little thought for the impact their thoughtless actions and hastily passed legislation might have on defenseless citizens.
Psychopaths and politicians both have a tendency to be selfish, callous, remorseless users of others, irresponsible, pathological liars, glib, con artists, lacking in remorse and shallow.
Charismatic politicians, like criminal psychopaths, exhibit a failure to accept responsibility for their actions, have a high sense of self-worth, are chronically unstable, have socially deviant lifestyle, need constant stimulation, have parasitic lifestyles and possess unrealistic goals.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re talking about Democrats or Republicans.
Political psychopaths are all largely cut from the same pathological cloth, brimming with seemingly easy charm and boasting calculating minds. Such leaders eventually create pathocracies–totalitarian societies bent on power, control, and destruction of both freedom in general and those who exercise their freedoms.
Once psychopaths gain power, the result is usually some form of totalitarian government or a pathocracy. “At that point, the government operates against the interests of its own people except for favoring certain groups,” author James G. Long notes. “We are currently witnessing deliberate polarizations of American citizens, illegal actions, and massive and needless acquisition of debt. This is typical of psychopathic systems, and very similar things happened in the Soviet Union as it overextended and collapsed.”
In other words, electing a psychopath to public office is tantamount to national hara-kiri, the ritualized act of self-annihilation, self-destruction and suicide. It signals the demise of democratic government and lays the groundwork for a totalitarian regime that is legalistic, militaristic, inflexible, intolerant and inhuman.
So why do we keep doing it over and over again?
Source: Article: From Democracy to Pathocracy: The Rise of the Political Psychopath | OpEdNews
PLEASE CONTINUE READING….

Gary Johnson predicts Obama will reclassify marijuana on way out of office

Gary Johnson, who ran for the White house in 2012 as the Libertarian Party candidate, now leads a national movement to allow third-party candidates in national presidential debates. (Associated Press) ** FILE **

 

By David Sherfinski – The Washington Times – Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Former New Mexico Gov. and 2016 Libertarian White House hopeful Gary Johnson says he thinks President Obama is going to remove marijuana from the government’s “Schedule I” list of narcotics considered particularly harmful and addictive on his way out of office.

“It’s going to be just like alcohol,” Mr. Johnson told The Washington Times Tuesday. “I’m going to predict that Obama, when he leaves office, is going to deschedule marijuana as a Class I narcotic. I wish he would have done that to this point, but I think he’s going to do that going out the door. That’s a positive.”

 

Marijuana is currently on the Schedule I list alongside drugs like LSD and heroin. The Drug Enforcement Agency defines Class I drugs as having a high potential for abuse and no currently accepted medical use.

Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton, among others, has suggested reclassifying the drug under Schedule or Class II. Those drugs include cocaine, but also certain painkillers like oxycodone that are available with a medical prescription.

Mr. Johnson’s campaign followed up by saying that the former governor would prefer that the president remove marijuana from the controlled substances list entirely, allowing states to legalize and regulate as they and their voters choose.

But the campaign said most discussion and a more likely near-term step has centered around reclassifying it to Schedule II, which would remove a barrier to prescribed medical uses, though they said that either move would be a step in the right direction.

Mr. Obama has said that Congress can move on such a reclassification.

“What is and isn’t a Schedule I narcotic is a job for Congress,” Mr. Obama said in a 2014 interview with CNN. “It’s not something by ourselves that we start changing … no, there are laws undergirding those determinations.”

Tom Angell, chairman of the advocacy group Marijuana Majority, said the attorney general and the secretary of Health and Human Services can move to get rescheduling done without further legislation under the Controlled Substances Act.

“It’s tough to predict what the president will do on this issue before he leaves office, but if he’s willing to uphold his pledge to set policy based on science, and he listens to the majority of Americans who support marijuana reform, he will exercise his administrative authority for rescheduling,” Mr. Angell said.

Mr. Johnson pointed out that there are still some “dry counties” in the country with respect to alcohol and predicted marijuana would eventually be in that same category.

“I think every municipality has to realize that all the planes to Denver every single weekend are filled up, and that they’re missing out, and Colorado is absolutely vibrant,” he said. “Is it due to marijuana? I think it’s a contributing factor.”

“I don’t know how long it’s been since you’ve been to Colorado, but I think you can sense vibrancy, and it’s there,” he said.

CONTINUE READING…

As A Big UN Drug Policy Summit Draws Near, Will Marijuana Activists Become Global Drug Reformers?

By Joel Warner @joelmwarner On 03/29/16 AT 7:56 AM

GettyImages-95578731

Ethan Nadelmann, executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance and one of the most recognized speakers in drug policy circles, doesn’t mince words when he gets up to talk at marijuana industry events. “Frankly,” he often says, “I am not interested in meeting most of you.” The only people he wants to talk to, he tells his audiences, are those who are going to make a lot of money in the new marijuana industry in an ethical way and are interested in certain social issues that could make them ideal foot soldiers in the wider struggle against the global war on drugs.

That’s because Nadelmann and DPA aren’t just interested in marijuana legalization — they’re interested in wider drug policy reform in the United States and beyond.

Lately, calls for such reforms have reached a fever pitch, thanks to the upcoming United Nations General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS) on the World Drug Problem on April 19-21, the first time the U.N. has held a special session on drug policy since 1998. Broad coalitions of nongovernmental organizations are pushing member nations like the United States to advocate for bold changes at the meeting. The latest issue of Harper’s Magazine is calling for the legalization of all drugs. And a report released last week by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and The Lancet condemns the global war on drugs for contributing to myriad public health crises.

Meanwhile, targeted efforts are afoot to shift drug policies in the United States. Groups of lawmakers in Maryland and Hawaii are exploring the decriminalization of low-level drug offenses, and Ithaca, New York, is considering opening a heroin injection center in response to the city’s growing drug crisis. “Things have changed enormously. There was no legalization on the horizon when I got involved in this,” said Dave Borden, executive director of StoptheDrugWar.org, who has been advocating for such reforms since the early 1990s. “At that point, there were tough-on-drugs bills all the time. Today, reforming drug sentences is one of the few partisan issues on Capitol Hill. There’s been a total reversal of politics on this issue, even though the changes are still slow to unfold.”

Marijuana legalization is helping to drive these changes. The fact that four U.S. states and the District of Columbia have legalized cannabis underpins the tough international drug policies the United States has championed for decades, while demonstrating the social impact of such reforms is far from catastrophic. And some marijuana advocates and industry stakeholders are already wading into the global drug policy debate; major marijuana groups such as Marijuana Policy Project and the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, plus cannabis business interests such as the ArcView Group and Denver Relief Consulting are among members of an ad hoc coalition of organizations calling for narcotics law reforms in the lead-up to the UNGASS. Not only that, but the medical marijuana advocacy group Americans for Safe Access just submitted a lengthy report to the United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs outlining potential international medical cannabis reforms.

The growing push for drug law reform beyond marijuana legalization could also lead to divisions among cannabis advocates. Should the U.S. marijuana movement, which has become a political and financial force to be reckoned with, help lead the vanguard in changing drug laws around world? Or should cannabis activists and industry stakeholders stay focused on national marijuana reform, since that could be their best shot at changing the global dialogue on drugs?

“There is no way one cannot want to engage in these UNGASS efforts,” said Allen F. St. Pierre, NORML’s executive director. “But my own political horse sense says it doesn’t equal a hill of beans compared to what is happening on the ground for marijuana right now.”

For some marijuana organizations, the answer is simple: Since their mission is squarely focused on U.S. marijuana legalization, that’s where they need to focus energy and resources. “I think that the work our organization is doing is significantly impacting the international discussion,” said Mason Tvert, MPP’s communications director. “But we are not ourselves working on changing drug laws in Spain. We are focused on marijuana policy, and given the history of the United State being a driver of drug policies worldwide, our work is having an impact on the rest of the world.”

What’s left unsaid is that some of the strategies that operations like MPP are using to reform marijuana laws are ill-suited for wider drug policy debates, such as promoting the idea that marijuana is safer than alcohol. That approach has proven a potent tool, but it wouldn’t work so well in other drug-reform efforts, which are focused not on the relative safety of various narcotics but on the notion that prohibition-based laws combating these drugs make the potential harms even worse.

“I agree with Mason that if people realize marijuana is safer than alcohol, they are more likely to legalize it, but that is not going to fly in the broader drug-policy debate,” said Tom Angell, founder of the cannabis advocacy group Marijuana Majority. “If everything the American people have heard about why we should legalize this one drug hinges on its relative safety, it makes the transition to reforming other drug laws problematic.”

Then there’s the fact that while the marijuana industry is growing by leaps and bounds — the market is estimated to top $20 billion in sales by 2020 — organizations in the scene are still struggling with limited budgets, so they have to make tactical decisions on where to direct their efforts. And right now, for some activists, targeting marijuana legalization might seem like a smarter move than tackling wider drug policy.

For example, while the organization Law Enforcement Against Prohibition works to reform all drug laws, a good portion of their work these days is focused on cannabis issues, says executive director Major Neill Franklin, a retired pol
ice officer. “If marijuana has all the attention right now, if it’s where the media and conversation is, that is where we are going to be,” said Franklin. “We would be fools to not get into that conversation. It helps us move the conversation on heroin, cocaine and other drugs.”

Another major problem is that drug-reform efforts beyond marijuana are still a very hard sell for the American public. Support for cannabis legalization, for example, just hit an all-time high, with 61 percent of Americans in favor of it. On the other hand, while a majority of Americans now support less-stringent narcotics laws like a shift away from mandatory drug sentences, roughly 10 percent or less want drugs such as cocaine, heroin and LSD legalized. That’s less than the percentage of Americans who wanted marijuana legalized in 1970, when the cannabis movement first began gearing up.

“I hope [DPA’s Ethan Nadelmann] lives a very long life,” said St. Pierre at NORML. “He’s laid the groundwork [for wider drug policy reform]. But it will happen much slower than marijuana. These are drugs that at their core are more pharmacologically dangerous. And as a culture, we don’t reaffirm their use. We don’t have heroin magazines or Cocaine Times.”

So for both tactical and financial reasons, many marijuana activists might be wary of engaging in wider narcotic policy reform in this country and beyond. And that could prove to be a liability for those whose activism depends on drawing attention to drug issues beyond marijuana in the United States. “The debate [around marijuana versus general drug policy reform] among international activists was very active when Colorado and Washington first legalized marijuana,” said Joanne Csete, an adjunct public health professor at Columbia University and member of the John Hopkins-Lancet commission that recently released the report on the global drug war. “There were some people dealing with real draconian drug laws in their countries who were worried that marijuana legalization would tick off the box for people. The concern was really all of drug policy would be defined around cannabis. And that would be the end of it.”

But so far, said Csete, those fears have proven unfounded. Instead, she said, “With the international crowd, I see there is a much greater coming together around the idea that, ‘Let’s learn from these legal regulated marijuana markets.’”

And not only is the marijuana movement bolstering drug reform efforts through successful cannabis legalization efforts, but also some activists and entrepreneurs who got their start in marijuana issues are now looking beyond cannabis to other drug reforms. “I think in general the industry is not overall super supportive of drug policy reform because like most industries, there is no economic drive for it that they see in front of them, but I also think that our industry was built from a grassroots activist movement,” said Aaron Justis, CEO of the Buds & Roses dispensary in Los Angeles and board member of the National Cannabis Industry Association. “It’s why we need to set a good example and put drug policy reform in our budgets now, and not just wait until we have extra money to spend on it. By setting a good example, we can push forward against the global war on drugs.”

It’s not just about setting a good example; for some marijuana activists, getting involved in other reform efforts could be key to their political survival. “I ask my board of directors, ‘As we move through these successions of success, as NORML achieves more and more of its mission statement, what do we do next? Do we continue to exist?’” said St. Pierre. “Can you pivot the marijuana movement — once it is successful — into the drug legalization movement?”

Such considerations are why, according to Nadelmann, among the lines in his speeches that garner the most applause at marijuana events are those that call for global drug policy reform. And it’s why, after such speeches, there are always a few individuals who approach him and say, “I am the person you were interested in talking to.”

Yes, the number of those people is usually small, but according to Nadelmann, it’s growing every day.

CONTINUE READING…

Gary Johnson predicts Obama will reclassify marijuana on way out of office

Gary Johnson, who ran for the White house in 2012 as the Libertarian Party candidate, now leads a national movement to allow third-party candidates in national presidential debates. (Associated Press) ** FILE **

 

By David Sherfinski – The Washington Times – Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Former New Mexico Gov. and 2016 Libertarian White House hopeful Gary Johnson says he thinks President Obama is going to remove marijuana from the government’s “Schedule I” list of narcotics considered particularly harmful and addictive on his way out of office.

“It’s going to be just like alcohol,” Mr. Johnson told The Washington Times Tuesday. “I’m going to predict that Obama, when he leaves office, is going to deschedule marijuana as a Class I narcotic. I wish he would have done that to this point, but I think he’s going to do that going out the door. That’s a positive.”

 

Marijuana is currently on the Schedule I list alongside drugs like LSD and heroin. The Drug Enforcement Agency defines Class I drugs as having a high potential for abuse and no currently accepted medical use.

Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton, among others, has suggested reclassifying the drug under Schedule or Class II. Those drugs include cocaine, but also certain painkillers like oxycodone that are available with a medical prescription.

Mr. Johnson’s campaign followed up by saying that the former governor would prefer that the president remove marijuana from the controlled substances list entirely, allowing states to legalize and regulate as they and their voters choose.

But the campaign said most discussion and a more likely near-term step has centered around reclassifying it to Schedule II, which would remove a barrier to prescribed medical uses, though they said that either move would be a step in the right direction.

Mr. Obama has said that Congress can move on such a reclassification.

“What is and isn’t a Schedule I narcotic is a job for Congress,” Mr. Obama said in a 2014 interview with CNN. “It’s not something by ourselves that we start changing … no, there are laws undergirding those determinations.”

Tom Angell, chairman of the advocacy group Marijuana Majority, said the attorney general and the secretary of Health and Human Services can move to get rescheduling done without further legislation under the Controlled Substances Act.

“It’s tough to predict what the president will do on this issue before he leaves office, but if he’s willing to uphold his pledge to set policy based on science, and he listens to the majority of Americans who support marijuana reform, he will exercise his administrative authority for rescheduling,” Mr. Angell said.

Mr. Johnson pointed out that there are still some “dry counties” in the country with respect to alcohol and predicted marijuana would eventually be in that same category.

“I think every municipality has to realize that all the planes to Denver every single weekend are filled up, and that they’re missing out, and Colorado is absolutely vibrant,” he said. “Is it due to marijuana? I think it’s a contributing factor.”

“I don’t know how long it’s been since you’ve been to Colorado, but I think you can sense vibrancy, and it’s there,” he said.

CONTINUE READING…

Marijuana Activist, Shona Banda, Who Lost Custody Of Son Says She’s Suing So It Doesn’t Happen To Others

Shona Banda, shown here after she was booked into jail and then released after posting bond in June, has sued state and Garden City officials, claiming she has a constitutional right to use cannabis to treat her Crohn’s disease. Credit James Dobson / Garden City Telegram

 

By Dan Margolies

The Garden City, Kansas, mother who lost custody of her 11-year-old son over her use of cannabis oil says she wants to hold state officials accountable “so this doesn’t happen to people any longer.”

Shona Banda, who sued state agencies and officials late last week, is representing herself in the action, which asks the court to restore custody of her son, declare that she has a “fundamental right” to use cannabis oil to treat her Crohn’s disease and award unspecified damages.

“We need to restore actual liberties in this country,” Banda said in a telephone interview with Heartland Health Monitor. “The powers that be have gained way too much control when they think that they can do these kinds of things even with your children.”

Banda posted a draft of her lawsuit online as long ago as September but later said its filing had been delayed by the inability of her attorneys, one in Lawrence, Kansas, and the other in California, to agree on a mutual schedule.

In the lawsuit filed last week, however, she is acting on her own behalf. Asked what had become of her attorneys, Banda said the California attorney had a medical emergency “and we were coming on the statute of limitations to file the case. So I had to do what I had to do in order to make this happen.”

The suit was filed a year to the day after Garden City police raided her home and seized marijuana, cannabis oil and drug-related equipment after her 11-year-old son spoke up about her use of cannabis at a school anti-drug presentation.

The Kansas Department for Children and Families subsequently took custody of her son, saying the home environment was not safe for him, and the Finney County district attorney filed drug-related criminal charges against her. The charges carry a maximum punishment of 30 years in prison.

Banda said she would represent herself in court until she could find “adequate representation.”

Her 20-page lawsuit, filed in federal court, names as defendants the state of Kansas; the Kansas Department for Children and Families; DCF Secretary Phyllis Gilmore; Gov. Sam Brownback; the Garden City Police Department and its police chief, James R. Hawkins; the Garden City School District; and Tyler Stubenhoffer, an employee of the school district.

The suit alleges that the defendants violated Banda’s constitutional rights under the 9th and 14th amendments and cites an “emerging awareness” of the medical benefits of marijuana and its increasing societal acceptance. However, legal experts say there’s little case law supporting a constitutional right to medical marijuana.

Under Kansas law, possession of any amount of marijuana is punishable by up to a year in jail and a $1,000 fine. A second conviction is punishable by up to 3 ½ years in prison and a $100,000 fine.

Theresa Freed, a spokeswoman for the Department for Children and Families, could not be reached for comment on Monday. But asked in September about Banda’s then-threatened lawsuit, she said that the department’s mission is to “protect children, promote healthy families and encourage personal responsibility.”

“Our social workers are trained to assess the safety of a home and make an appropriate recommendation to the court,” Freed said. “Marijuana is an illegal substance in the state of Kansas. It can have both direct and indirect detrimental consequences on families.”

Banda said her son is in the custody of his father and she has visitation rights. She said, however, that she and the father are getting divorced “and I’m fighting for sole custody of my son.”

Banda has another son, 19, who lives with her and whom she says “is working and trying to do what he can to be an adult.”

She acknowledged that the legal odyssey she’s endured over the last year has been “very difficult” but said her younger son was “doing OK.”

“But it’s been very difficult on our family as a whole, I will say that,” she said.

Banda has been a highly visible advocate of medical marijuana and self-published a book about her use of cannabis oil to treat her Crohn’s, an inflammatory bowel disease that can cause severe abdominal pain and other symptoms.

Her lawsuit says she has undergone 17 surgeries over eight years. It says that the cannabis oil she uses to treat her condition had “significantly relieved” debilitating symptoms that had prevented her from working and confined her to her home.

Dan Margolies, editor of the Heartland Health Monitor team, is based at KCUR. You can reach him on Twitter @DanMargolies.

CONTINUE READING….

 

ADDITIONALLY,

A personal letter from Shona Banda

Geoff Young to start running 1st radio ad on April 2

 

 

 

Media Release – For Immediate Release – March 28, 2016

Lexington-Fayette County, KY

Geoff Young, a Lexington Democrat who is running for the U.S. House of Representatives against Andy Barr (R-KY6), will start running his first radio ad of the Democratic primary campaign on April 2. The ad praises Bernie Sanders as a great potential President and condemns Hillary Clinton (D) and Andy Barr (R) for their ignorance of foreign and military policies and their warlike ideas.

 

“Hello, my name is Geoff Young and I approve the following message:
I’m a strong Democrat running against Andy Barr for the U.S. House of Representatives. For the last 37 years, I’ve been an expert in foreign and military policies. I’ve strongly opposed several strategic blunders by Washington such as the illegal invasion of Iraq in 2003 by Dick Cheney and George W. Bush. Andy Barr is as ignorant about foreign policy as Cheney and Bush were.
Here’s the good news: I can beat Andy Barr, and Bernie Sanders can beat Donald Trump in November. Here’s the bad news: Hillary Clinton is a certain loser against Trump because she is too warlike. Trump will crush Clinton because we are sick and tired of endless, unjust wars that make everything worse.
Vote for two WINNERS on primary election day, May 17: Bernie Sanders for President and Geoff Young for Congress.
Paid for by Geoff Young for Congress.”

Dropbox URL if you wish to download it:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/sw6lz0qng6qo3dl/RadioAd01%2060%202%20Winners%20Start%20Apr0216.mp3?dl=0

For more details or an interview in any format, please contact:
Geoff Young
454 Kimberly Place
Lexington, KY 40503
Phone: (859) 278-4966
Email address: [email protected]
Campaign web site: young4ky.com