Friday, April 20, 2018

Koch Brothers Encourage Republicans To Support Federal Legalization of Marijuana

Since the Koch brothers’ call for a repeal of federal marijuana prohibition, more Republicans have felt emboldened to stand up to the current administration.

The Koch brothers are one of the Republican party’s biggest donors. In fact, they have pledged to donate up to $400 million to Republicans running for office in the 2018 midterm elections. That kind of money carries a lot of weight with the party.

In January, the brothers began throwing that weight around in favor of states’ rights, the legalization of cannabis, and the end of the War on Drugs.

Sent in response to the Attorney General’s ditching of the Cole memo, the statement had some harsh words for Sessions.

“That Attorney General Jeff Sessions, a Republican appointee in a Republican administration, is undoing a Democratic appointee’s work from a Democratic administration is irrelevant,” the letter stated, adding, “Republicans and Democrats alike have criticized the decision, and for good reason: It does little to improve the lives of people in our communities.”

Going beyond just defending states’ rights, the statement also labels the war on drugs “misguided” and calls for a “new, smarter approach to drug policy.”

“The administration would be better suited working with members of Congress to reform outdated sentencing laws,” the statement reads. “However well-intentioned these laws were upon implementation, they have ruined lives, torn apart families and communities, and have burdened taxpayers, doing little to keep people safe.”

Republican support is growing

Since the Koch brothers’ statement, more and more Republicans have felt emboldened to stand up to the administration in this matter without fear of losing the support of GOP donors such as the Koch brothers.

Just last week, a bipartisan bill meant to replace the protections provided by the now-defunct “Cole memo” was introduced jointly by Representatives Lou Correa (D-CA) and Matt Gaetz (R-FL). The bill is entitled the “Sensible Enforcement Of Cannabis Act.”

Earlier this month, Senator Thom Tillis, another powerful Republican from North Carolina, in a letter addressed to an advocate for the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) wrote, “Proposals to legalize marijuana should not be taken lightly. As you may know, I am a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and this issue will likely be discussed this Congress. If this issue comes before the Judiciary Committee or the full Senate, I will carefully consider everything you have said in making a decision on what is best for North Carolina and the country.”

And in late January, a bipartisan group of 54 lawmakers sent a letter to President Trump urging him to call off Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who seems intent on harassing states which have legalized marijuana for medical or recreational purposes.

That letter was not the first action taken by joint members of Congress in reaction to Sessions’ threats. Just days after Sessions announced the death of the Cole Memo in early January, 69 members of Congress signed onto a letter proposing an amendment to the current spending bill that would include recreational marijuana protections.

Top Republicans support ending federal prohibition

In a recent article on Civilized entitled “8 Republicans Who Broke from the Party on Marijuana Legislation,” cannabiz journalist Joseph Misulonas wrote, “The Republican Party tends to adopt the old-school philosophy that marijuana is evil and legalization will be the downfall of society. But there are a few members of the GOP who are willing to speak out and break with the party on the issue.”

In the story, Misuloans discusses the stances of several Republicans, including Senator Bill Cassidy (Louisiana), a former doctor who supports legalizing medical marijuana, Senator Steve Daines (Montana), who once prominently supported a bill that would prevent the DEA from interfering with states with medical marijuana laws, and Senator Orrin Hatch (Utah), one of the oldest members of Congress, who recently came out as a pro-cannabis politician.

Also mentioned in Misuloans’ piece are Senator Lisa Murkowski (Alaska), one of the first people to denounce Sessions’ trashing of the Cole Memo, and Senator Cory Gardner (Colorado), who has been blocking the Department of Justice from receiving any new nominees until Sessions’ reverses his marijuana policies.

In at number one and two on the list are Senator Rand Paul (Kentucky) and Dana Rohrabacher (California). Paul supported legalizing medical marijuana nationally while denouncing the War on Drugs. Rohrabacher was a co-author of one of the most important pieces of cannabis legislation currently in play, the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer amendment, which prevents the federal government from interfering with states that legalize medical marijuana.

While Republicans seem to be warming up to the idea of ending federal prohibition and the War on Drugs, according to a report in Forbes, marijuana legalization “is quickly becoming a mainstream consensus position in the Democratic Party.”

Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ), who introduced the Marijuana Justice Act last August, says that “Legalizing marijuana isn’t a matter of if, it’s a matter of when.”


Source

Now you are going to see some major changes. For those of you who remember the '80's drug war. You know it was no fun and we also knew that the tide went the other way in favor of prohibition. People losing their homes and families over marijuana,a plant that is lot safer than alcohol and anything the pharmaceutical companies put out.

There is going to be a lot of flip flopping. GOP prohibitionists are going to be scared shitless. They will see that times have changed and that they must make a choice. Side with the Koch brothers and abandon Jeff and Pete Sessions or side with Jeff and Pete Sessions and say goodbye to that Koch brother money. GOP candidates who do not receive Koch brother money don't do so well on election day and it's a little hard to run a campaign when you're broke. Times have changed and they've changed for the better when it comes to marijuana reform.

62 Percent Of Americans Oppose Jeff Sessions’ War On Weed

The current U.S. administration’s stance on marijuana makes us feel like we’ve travelled back in time to the Nixon-era War on Drugs.

In fact, Donald Trump has expressed an interest in reviving the drug war, citing the Phillipines as an example of a place where strong penalties have worked to reduce the amount of drug-related crime (except it really hasn’t).

But almost two-thirds of Americans don’t agree with the position that the federal government has taken on marijuana enforcement federally.

According to the 2018 Civilized Cannabis Culture Poll, conducted with market research company PSB, 62 percent of Americans either oppose or strongly oppose Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ war on weed.

This is something that is evident when you look at the strides that individual states have made with regards to decriminalization and legalization, as the substance is still highly prosecutable under federal law.

Surprisingly, 27 per cent of cannabis users in the United States actually support the position that the federal government has taken with regards to marijuana, although it certainly seems like they’re shooting themselves in the foot there.

But it seems that Jeff Sessions doesn’t really need our permission: he’s still working at a total crackdown of marijuana usage and distribution, even though it’s not what most Americans want.


Source

I suggest sharing this with our elected officials in the House,Senate and even the Donald himself. Especially Trump because Trump has the power to snap Sessions back into line. The more of us they hear from the better so let's contact them right away.

There may be hope

Like I said there may be hope. Congressman Pete Sessions (R-TX32),Chairman of the Congressional Rules Committee,has power but not absolute power. There is a way to defeat him. The following will explain it all:

The House may under certain rules remove the bill or measure from committee (known as "discharging the bill from committee") if the committee fails to report the measure to the House Rules Committee or to the full House and a negative report to the full House does not terminate the bill. The phrase that a "bill has been killed in committee" is not completely accurate as the full House always has options under the rules to remove the bill from Committee and to take action.

Source

Contact your Congressional Representative and tell them to take pro-legalization bills out of the hands of Pete Sessions. We've got to get serious about this. The more of us they hear from the better so contact them right away.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Kevin Sabet-Sharghi royally steps in it

Marijuana legalization is up for a vote in Illinois. Both sides are present in Illinois to lobby for or against marijuana legalization. Guess who else was out there? Our old friend Kevin Sabet-Sharghi. Leader of Smart Approaches to Marijuana aka SAM. Using the word "smart" to describe this group is like using the word "tiny" when discussing a large person. To prove it the Kev himself made the following statement:

“We think marijuana is taking cues from Big Tobacco,” Sabet said. “This is not about mom and pop stores growing weed, this is all about Wall Street and Silicon Valley, rich white guys who want to get richer off marijuana.”

“I hope we’ll have more balance in this debate, we talk about both revenue and cost, we do a comparison,” Sabet said. “We’re advocating to slow down legalization, smarter policies, more prevention, a holistic way to look at substance abuse.”


Source

2nd paragraph: IOW blah blah blah.

I don't usually take this route but it is difficult to take this guy seriously. Yes he made both a racist and sexist statement. Has anyone else brought this up? As of right now at posting time: no they haven't. I guess the anti-choice,anti-freedom types like the Kev and his cohorts have to rely on both racism and sexism to promote their cause. The more things change the more they stay the same.

Top Senate Democrat Pushes Bill To End Marijuana Prohibition

In one of the clearest signs yet that the politics of marijuana are rapidly shifting in favor of those who support legalization, one of Congress's most vocal longtime proponents of the war on drugs is filing legislation to end federal cannabis prohibition.

Democratic Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York announced on Thursday that he will soon introduce a bill to remove marijuana from the Controlled Substances Act altogether so that states can set their own policies.

"The legislation is long overdue," he said in an interview with VICE News. "I've seen too many people's lives ruined because they had small amounts of marijuana and served time in jail much too long."

The news comes on the same day that Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) joined two other potential 2020 Democratic presidential candidates in sponsoring even more far-reaching marijuana legislation.

That bill, the Marijuana Justice Act, would not only exempt cannabis from the Controlled Substances Act, but would also withhold funding from states that have racially disparate marijuana enforcement rates.

“With this announcement, Senator Schumer has effectively made it clear that a legislative priority for the Democratic Party is to end the federal prohibition of marijuana," Justin Strekal, political director of NORML, said. "As Democratic Leader, it is his role to ensure that the caucus as a whole falls in line with this public policy position -- a position that is held by more than 60 percent of Americans."

Schumer's bill would also "create some funding for minority and women-owned marijuana businesses, provide money for research into overall effects of marijuana and its specific effect on driving impairment," VICE News reported.

In 2004, Schumer was recognized by the Partnership for a Drug-Free America as a "Guardian of a Drug-Free America" for his work on drug enforcement legislation. In 2011 he sought to crack down on Bitcoin, seeing it as facilitating illegal drug transactions on the Internet.

Schumer first showed signs he was shifting away from his support for outright cannabis prohibition in 2014, when he said during an MSNBC interview that he supported letting states enact their own marijuana laws without federal interference.

Describing states as “laboratories,” he said, "I think having the states experiment is a good idea.”

The next year, in 2015, he started turning that talk into action by signing on as a cosponsor of legislation to allow states implement their own medical cannabis laws without federal interference.

Earlier this year, the Democratic Senate leader criticized the move by U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions to rescind Obama-era guidance that has generally allowed states to implement marijuana legalization policies.


Chuck Schumer

@SenSchumer
6 Jan
The Attorney General’s decision to rescind the Cole memo was a very bad one & I oppose it.


Chuck Schumer

@SenSchumer
I believe that the States should continue to be the labs of democracy when it comes to recreational & medical marijuana. Jeff, this is one place where states’ rights works. Let each state decide.

1:27 PM - Jan 6, 2018
1,959
723 people are talking about this

Now, Schumer is introducing a bill to end the federal war on marijuana altogether.

VICE News

@vicenews
BREAKING: Senator Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) changes position and says he will submit a bill aimed at decriminalizing marijuana. See the exclusive interview on VICE News Tonight at 7:30PM on @HBO

1:17 PM - Apr 19, 2018
1,817
1,121 people are talking about this

By removing the drug from the Controlled Substances Act altogether, a process known as descheduling, states will be free to set whatever marijuana laws they want, and people following those laws will be protected from federal intervention as long as their cannabis activity doesn't cross state lines or violate local policies.

Schumer also told VICE News that he has no problem supporting legalizing marijuana on the state level in New York.

“My personal view is legalization is just fine,” he said. “The best thing to do is let each state decide on its own.”

But Strekal, of NORML, said that simply ending criminalization isn't enough, and that communities harmed by the drug war should be able to benefit from the newly legal economy.

“As states start dialing back their war on marijuana consumers, it is important that those who were impacted by this oppressive prohibition are able to see previous harms remedied, and be provided the opportunity to participate in the benefits that come along with legalization and regulation," he said.


Source

While I am not a fan of excluding white males this is a start and with Schumer leading the charge for the Democrats to legalize marijuana this is a tremendous boost. With Schumer backing this bill chances are it will get farther than it would otherwise. Schumer has done a good thing and for that we should thank him. Click here to contact Senator Chuck Schumer and thank him for backing this bill. The more of us he hears from the better so let's contact him right away.

Saturday, September 30, 2017

The Benghazi Attack Is Finally Being Properly Prosecuted

On the night of June 15, 2014, eight Americans—six Delta Force operators, an F.B.I. agent, and an Arabic translator—travelled in rubber boats across the Mediterranean and arrived on a beach in Benghazi, Libya. They hustled across the sand and snuck into a nearby safe house. Their plan was to lure and capture Ahmed Abu Khatallah, the alleged ringleader of the most politicized terrorist attack since 9/11.

Twenty-one months earlier, on September 11, 2012, Khatallah had, according to federal prosecutors, coördinated the assault on the American Consulate in Benghazi. Two State Department officials, including the U.S. Ambassador, Christopher Stevens, died in that attack, and two C.I.A. contractors were killed in a subsequent firefight at a nearby C.I.A. facility.

A day after the eight-man team beached on the coast, one of Khatallah’s associates unwittingly led Khatallah to the safe house. As soon as Khatallah stepped into the dark villa, several soldiers pounced on him. He tried to kick, punch, and bite his way free, without success. The F.B.I. agent present—who has been identified in court by only a surname, “Johnson”—brought Khatallah into a bathroom, where he covered the suspect’s eyes, plugged his ears, and stuffed a bit into his mouth. The team then hustled Khatallah across the beach, boarded its boats, and raced toward the U.S.S. New York, a twenty-five-thousand-ton* amphibious transport dock made, in part, with steel recovered from the World Trade Center towers, and waiting offshore.

The Benghazi attack has been thoroughly scrutinized. The Republican-led House of Representatives spent millions of dollars and held hearing after hearing on the matter during President Barack Obama’s second term. But the lawmakers leading the hearings seemed more focussed on Hillary Clinton and her colleagues—trying to find any missteps they made before, during, or after the attack that could be used for political purposes—than on the alleged perpetrators of the violence itself.

Meanwhile, the hunt for Khatallah was being pursued by operators and analysts from the C.I.A., Joint Special Operations Command, and the F.B.I. One of the biggest questions for them was what to do with Khatallah once they found him. Counterterrorism officials considered a drone strike or a lethal raid, a former military official told me, but President Obama and the Justice Department wanted to capture him alive and bring him to the United States to stand trial.

This was not a straightforward task. American officials did not have sufficient confidence in the Libyan police to coördinate with them for Khatallah’s arrest. And the F.B.I. wasn’t in a position to pursue Khatallah on its own. Moreover, the intelligence on Khatallah suggested that he could prove difficult to capture—he supposedly carried around a grenade like an explosive cyanide pill.

Officials hatched a hybrid plan: F.B.I. agents would accompany one of the military’s élite manhunting units on the mission for Khatallah. The agents would be present throughout the operation to preserve evidence, so that they, as law-enforcement officials, could later testify in civilian court.

This was a fairly radical concept. Plenty of terrorists had been indicted and tried in American civilian courts, but Khatallah would be the first known case of someone captured through a military mission, Mirandized by law-enforcement officials, and then tried in open court, before a jury. John Walker Lindh, the so-called American Taliban, was captured by military and intelligence officers in Afghanistan and charged in civilian court, but he pleaded guilty before going to trial. More typically, terrorists targeted during military raids have been either killed; detained in U.S.-run military prisons, such as Abu Ghraib; handed over, in the case of Iraq or Afghanistan, to local police or intelligence agencies; or, in the years immediately after 9/11, sent to Guantánamo Bay. Osama bin Laden was indicted by a federal court in 1998, three years before the September 11th attacks. But when American Navy seals finally confronted him in Pakistan, in 2011, they shot and killed him.

Donald Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions have been vocal critics of trying terrorists in civilian courtrooms. Trump described Obama’s stated desire to close Guantánamo as a “terrible decision,” and Sessions has called the military tribunals at Guantánamo the “perfect place” for terrorism trials.

After his capture, Khatallah was interrogated first by military and intelligence officials. Then, after five days, a “clean team” of law-enforcement officials took over. Michael Clarke, an F.B.I. agent, read Khatallah his Miranda rights and told him that he was entitled to an attorney. Khatallah asked if there was a lawyer on board. There was not.

Speaking through a translator, Khatallah gave Clarke a lengthy statement over the course of the thirteen-day trip across the Atlantic Ocean. In D.C. district court, Khatallah’s current attorney, Eric L. Lewis, has argued that his client’s “slow boat” extradition was unnecessarily drawn out. “The capture of Mr. Abu Khatallah was a spectacular logistical operation . . . [but] a legal failure,” Lewis said at a June hearing. He wanted Khatallah’s statement thrown out. The judge, Christopher Cooper, ruled against him.

Yet Cooper has set some limits to the proceedings. In the run-up to Khatallah’s trial, which is scheduled to begin on Monday, the judge decided that prosecutors would be unable to admit evidence purporting that Khatallah once told an associate that he was intending to kill Stevens’s replacement, too. Allowing such evidence, Cooper said, would heighten “prejudicial risk” and “do little to illuminate the formation and contours” of the actual 2012 attack. It seems, at long last, that someone is intent on paying attention to what actually occurred in Benghazi.


Source

I may disagree with Sessions on marijuana but we are on the same page here. The terrorists need to be held at Gitmo not in American jails.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Trouble brewing for the establishment

From Campaign For Liberty:

The Washington, D.C. media is warning that 2018 “spells trouble for the GOP establishment.”

Big Government U.S. Senator Bob Corker (R-TN) has already announced his retirement.

More retirements are rumored to be in the works.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has been severely wounded politically after watching his handpicked establishment candidate go down to defeat in Alabama on Tuesday.

But the media still doesn’t get why the American people are angry?

The last time GOP leaders delivered an offensive domestic policy victory to its base was the tax cuts of 2003. Many voters can’t even remember one!

But every week, it seems the GOP establishment breaks a new promise.

I get the anger. And I share it!

The truth is, we should be angry.

We were promised our newly elected President and Congress would repeal ObamaCare “root and branch” -- not cook up one failed substitute after another.

We were promised Audit the Fed -- not more of the same as the Federal Reserve steers us off another financial cliff.

We were promised REAL, fundamental tax reform -- but Congress is looking to pass a plan that raises just as many taxes as it cuts!

We were promised fiscal responsibility and spending cuts -- not spending hikes that have sent our national debt soaring over $20 TRILLION.

We were promised things would be different this time!

We were told The Swamp’s days were numbered!

But the “Do-Nothing Congress” headed by scaredy-cat House Speaker Ryan and Senate Majority Leader McConnell has so far delivered. . .

Virtually nothing.

No matter how you slice it, 2016 was a LOUD-AND-CLEAR message from the American people that we’re FED UP with the status quo in Washington, D.C.!

Yet, The Swamp apparently thinks its “safe” to go back to their old games -- and you and I won’t notice!

It’s up to you and me to prove them WRONG, WRONG, WRONG.

That’s why I’m counting on you to sign your “KEEP YOUR PROMISES” Grassroots Directive to your Congressman and U.S. Senators TODAY!

And if you’d like, you can take advantage of the extra space I’ve left for you to write the message of your choosing.

I know it’s probably frustrating you and I even have to do this. . .

But it’s absolutely critical you voice your frustration today.

If we don’t, we could miss one of the best opportunities we’ve had in years to bring our country back from the brink.

But the good news is, after the entire political world was turned upside down in 2016, politicians in BOTH parties are still incredibly wary of the power of grassroots patriots like you.

They don’t trust national media “experts” who’ve done nothing but constantly make fools of themselves -- or party big-wigs who’ve accomplished nothing but record-low approval ratings.

They know that continuing to anger good folks like you could spell their political demise. . .

It’s time to show them you and I mean business.

It’s time to show them they can either KEEP THEIR PROMISES or find new jobs.

That’s exactly the message your Grassroots Directive is designed to deliver.

As you’ll see, it urges Members of Congress to KEEP THEIR PROMISES TO:

>>>REPEAL ObamaCare! For seven years, we’ve been told ObamaCare would be gone if the American people would give Republicans control of Congress. But instead they keep offering one compromise after another! This is flat-out UNNACCEPTABLE!

>>>Audit the Fed. You and I have spent the last several months gathering House cosponsors and even forcing a House hearing. Now, is the time for Speaker Ryan to bring the bill to the floor and pass it onto the Senate!

>>>Cut taxes. You should decide how the money you earn is spent. Not some bureaucrat in Washington, D.C. With tax reform on the move, many in BOTH parties are already attempting to water it down.

>>>Cut spending. The last debt ceiling deal with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer only punted the next fight until the end of the year. Instead of raising the debt ceiling again, it’s time for Congress to finally CUT SPENDING!

And as I mentioned, if you’d like, you can take advantage of the extra space I’ve left for you to write the message of your choosing.

The action of good folks like you can be THE difference if I can generate enough of a tidal wave of support.

But with all of these battles -- and the brewing fight over the possible expiration of FISA’s UNCONSTITUTIONAL Section 702, which allows all sorts of domestic surveillance on American citizens -- I hope you’ll consider a generous contribution today.

The more resources I can raise, the LOUDER our message will be in Washington, D.C.

There’s absolutely nothing I want more right now than to BREAK through the Big Government bubble and light a grassroots fire under this Congress.

But I’m counting on you to help Campaign for Liberty make it happen.

So in addition to signing your “KEEP YOUR PROMISES” Grassroots Directive, please be generous.

Even if all you can do right now is $10 or $20, it would make a tremendous difference.

But if you can afford more -- like $50, $100, $250, or $500 -- please give as much as you can.

The only way you and I don’t miss the opportunities we have in front of us today are if Members of Congress understand their days are numbered if they don’t deliver.

So please sign your “KEEP YOUR PROMISES” Grassroots Directive and agree to your most generous contribution at once!

For Liberty,

Ron Paul
Chairman

P.S. The “Do-Nothing Congress” headed by scaredy-cat House Speaker Ryan and Senate Majority Leader McConnell has so far delivered . . . virtually nothing.

That’s why I’m counting on you to sign your “KEEP YOUR PROMISES” Grassroots Directive to your Congressman and U.S. Senators and agree to your most generous contribution of $10, $20, $50, $100, $250, or $500 TODAY!

And if you’d like, you can take advantage of the extra space I’ve left for you on your Grassroots Directive to write the message of your choosing.