Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Section 702 destroys your civil liberties

From Campaign For Liberty (Ron Paul):

Unless we act now, grassroots liberty activists across the country could suffer the same fate as General Michal Flynn, President Trump's former national security advisor.

As you may know, General Flynn was forced to resign because of leaked information. . .

Information obtained by warrantless wiretapping authorized by Section 702 of the FISA Act.

Section 702 is supposed to only apply to warrantless wiretapping of foreigners, but snoop state agents have used it to gather information on American citizens who have contact — or may have had contact — with foreign citizens.

It’s a definition so broad that it encompasses almost every American!

Section 702 was even used to justify the mass surveillance program exposed by Edward Snowden.

For years, critics of warrantless wiretapping and mass surveillance warned that these powers could — and would — be used to harass and silence critics of the government. . .

Now with the takedown of General Flynn, our worst fears have been confirmed.

Prominent politicians and mainstream media figures are celebrating the use of unconstitutional surveillance which forced a member of the President’s cabinet to resign.

And they are calling for the "Deep State” — the network of "intelligence” agencies, their defenders and allies on Capitol Hill, and the “mainstream” media — to step up their efforts to undermine the Trump Administration. . .

If the Deep State can successfully target a prominent public figure like General Flynn, then what is to stop them from targeting grassroots Americans working to restore the government to its constitutional limits, end our hyper-interventionist foreign policy, and strike directly at the heart of the welfare-warfare state and crony capitalism by auditing — then ending — the Federal Reserve?

We have already seen attempts at the state level to silence pro-liberty activists by imposing burdensome regulations on them.

And of course, we have also seen the IRS's targeting of pro-liberty groups under the prior administration, as well as the IRS’s ongoing efforts to force Campaign for Liberty to divulge the names of some of our most loyal supporters.

We have even seen efforts to silence groups like Campaign for Liberty by preventing us from talking about a politician’s record in the months before an election.

Considering these ongoing efforts to criminalize Campaign for Liberty, is it really so unbelievable that the Deep State will also work to quash the liberty movement?

. . . Especially if they can do so with the enthusiastic support of establishment politicians and mainstream and (neo) conservative media?

The threat that the Deep State will use Section 702 and other surveillance powers to intimidate the liberty movement makes it all the more imperative that we act and act NOW to force Congress to restore the Fourth Amendment.

The good news is that we have an opportunity to do just that. . .

You see, unless Congress acts, Section 702 expires this year, guaranteeing that Congress will debate the future of warrantless wiretapping and mass surveillance rule in the coming months.

Campaign for Liberty is already working to take advantage of this debate to not just kill Section 702, but also force Congress to further limit the ability of government bureaucrats to spy on us without a warrant.

Make no mistake: this will be a difficult battle.

Deep State allies on Capitol Hill and in the media, aided by lobbyists for the crony capitalists who profit by helping government take away your rights, will use every bit of their considerable influence to continue the ongoing assault on the Fourth Amendment and your liberties.

So is there any way I can count of you to help stop the Deep State by ending the surveillance state with a contribution of $15?

With the Flynn case demonstrating the real threat that warrantless wiretapping and mass surveillance poses to the liberty movement, we must not let the opportunity to kill laws like Section 702 slip through our hands.

The fallout from the use of information obtained via warrantless wiretapping to take down General Flynn may have gained us new allies in or fight to end unconstitutional surveillance, both in Congress and in the administration.

Campaign for Liberty must reach out to potential new allies and make sure pro-liberty Americans are ready to stand with you and me in this battle.

We must also target wavering Senators and Representatives with targeted emails and banner ads on popular websites like Google and Facebook.

Campaign for Liberty members like you have already defied conventional wisdom in battles against unconstitutional mass surveillance.

In 2015, my son, Senator Rand Paul, successfully, if only temporarily, blocked renewal of three of the worst PATRIOT Act provisions. . .

The only reason Rand was able to do this was because Campaign for Liberty members like you helped us turn up the heat on Senators by flooding their offices with phone calls, faxes, and emails. . . plus we were able to target key Senators with Banner Bombs in their states.

If we can duplicate this effort — but on a much larger scale — I am confident we can repeal Section 702 and other unconstitutional laws authoring government spying on innocent citizens.

So if $15 is too much, is there any way I can a can count on you for a special contribution of $10?

Tell Ajit Pai to leave net neutrality alone

From Free Press:

Yesterday was the two-year anniversary of the FCC’s historic vote to pass real Net Neutrality rules.

But while more than 4 million people, organizations and businesses urged the FCC to pass the open internet rules, Net Neutrality is facing its biggest threat yet under the Trump administration.

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai wants Net Neutrality gone. Since Pai became chairman a month ago, public interest groups, the New York Times and the Washington Post alike have lambasted him for making moves that will harm the people who have the least power.

Net Neutrality is NOT negotiable and we need Chairman Pai to hear this.

While Pai claims he supports a free and open internet, he’s been one of the most vitriolic opponents of the rules that were put in place to keep it that way. When the FCC passed its rules in 2015, Pai offered a lengthy dissent, arguing they were part of an elaborate Obama conspiracy to “regulate the internet.”

Talk about alternative facts.

In truth, the rules don’t regulate the internet; they keep broadband providers like AT&T, Comcast and Verizon from messing with what we do online. The FCC simply reclassified these companies under an existing law that preserves the rights we’ve always had to defend ourselves against communications carriers bent on interfering with our speech.

Tell Chairman Pai to back off and leave Net Neutrality alone.

We’ve been fighting for the open internet for over a decade and have no intentions of stopping now. Last week we delivered nearly 200,000 signatures in support of Net Neutrality to the FCC’s open meeting. And today we’re co-sponsoring a briefing with the Congressional Progressive Caucus and the Voices for Internet Freedom Coalition to discuss the threats and opportunities that lie ahead.

Pai needs to know we aren’t going anywhere. Send him a message today.

Thanks for all that you do—

Candace, Dutch and the rest of the Free Press team
freepress.net

P.S. Don’t let Chairman Pai destroy Net Neutrality: Urge him to leave the open internet alone.

P.P.S. Fund the fight at Free Press: We're on CREDO Action's ballot this month and every vote we get = more money to support our work. Thank you!

Monday, February 27, 2017

Trump’s Proposed Pot Crackdown Is Out Of Step With Voters, Including Many Republicans

The Republican Party controls the legislative and executive branch for the first time since the 109th Congress. Understandably, leadership is anxious to push forward an agenda that comports with longstanding conservative principles of limited government as well as with the President’s populist rhetoric. Advocating for marijuana policy reform ought to be part of this federal agenda. Here’s why.

The election of Donald J. Trump was not the only politically significant victory on Election Day. Somewhat lost in the media frenzy was that millions of voters went chose to put an end to America’s nearly century long experiment with cannabis criminalization.

Majorities of voters in eight states decided in favor of initiatives to permit the use of marijuana by either adults or by qualified patients, and to regulate those markets accordingly. Voters’ support for reform was essentially non-partisan. Blue states like California, Massachusetts, Maine, and Nevada voted in favor of legalization, as did red states like Arkansas, Florida, Montana, and North Dakota.

To those of us who have worked on this issue for some time, these results were hardly surprising. Outside of the Beltway, Americans’ support for enacting regulatory alternatives to pot prohibition is uniquely bipartisan. According to the latest national polling by Gallup, six out of ten Americans believe that the adult use of marijuana “should be made legal.” By party, Gallup pollsters found that legalization was most likely to be favored by Independents and Democrats, but also that support among Republicans had more than doubled over the past decade.

Support among Republicans for legalizing medical marijuana is even higher, with 85 percent of GOP voters endorsing its therapeutic use, according to nationwide survey data released this week by Quinnipiac University. But perhaps most strikingly, Quinnipiac pollsters also reported that nearly three-quarters of voters – including majorities of Democrats, Republicans, and Independents – “oppose the government enforcing federal laws against marijuana in states that have already legalized medical or recreational marijuana.”

Nonetheless, the Trump administration appears to be planning on doing just that. In fact, on the same day that Quinnipiac released its latest survey data, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer indicated that the Justice Department was intending to pursue the “greater enforcement” of federal anti-marijuana laws in the eight states that now regulate its adult use.

Such a move by the federal government would be a stark departure from the position of the prior administration, which largely let these voter-initiated laws move forward unfettered. It also represents an about-face in Trump’s own position, as he previously said that he would not use federal authority to target adult use laws. For instance, while campaigning in Colorado in August, Trump responded to the question “[Do] you think Colorado should be able to do what it’s doing?” by stating, “I think it’s up to the states, yeah. I’m a states person. I think it should be up to the states, absolutely.”

And so it should be. According to a 2016 report by the CATO think-tank, these adult use regulatory schemes are working largely as voters intended. They are not associated with increased marijuana use among young people, or rising rates of crime or accidents in the workplace. “The absence of significant adverse consequences is especially striking given the sometimes dire predictions made by legalization opponents,” the report’s authors concluded. Further, tax revenue derived from the regulated markets now exceeds initial expectations.

Rather than picking an unnecessary fight with the majority of American voters, including a significant portion of Trump’s own base, the administration should consider embracing common sense marijuana law reforms. Endorsing bipartisan legislation, HR 975: The Respect State Marijuana Laws Act,” would be a good place to start. In accordance with the electorate’s wishes, passage of the act would prevent the federal government from criminally prosecuting individuals or businesses that are engaging in state-sanctioned activities specific to the possession, use, production, and distribution of marijuana.

Despite more than 70 years of federal marijuana prohibition, Americans’ consumption of and demand for cannabis is here to stay. It is time for politicians to acknowledge this reality and amend federal marijuana laws in a manner that comports with majority public opinion and the plant’s rapidly changing legal and cultural status. The Trump administration has the opportunity to take the lead on this issue. It would be an enormous political misstep for them to do otherwise.


Source

Tell the President what you want

From the White House:

Before President Trump delivers his biggest speech to date, he wants you to provide your input on the direction of our country.

He is taking the podium to voice your concerns, thoughts, and opinions about the state of our nation, and more importantly, to lay out a bold plan for our future as Americans.

Please take the STATE OF THE UNION SURVEY before 10PM EST TONIGHT to help shape the message of President Trump’s biggest speech yet. 

President Trump ran for president because he couldn’t stand to see what was happening to the greatest country in the history of mankind.

You -- and millions of other hardworking citizens who love America -- agreed that our country was on the wrong path and banded together to form a movement the likes of which the world had never seen.

But our fight to save America didn’t end on election night. It’s just now getting started.

It’s time to show the country that our positive America First platform can truly Make America Great Again!

Please take the STATE OF THE UNION SURVEY before 10PM EST TONIGHT to help shape the message of President Trump’s biggest speech yet. 

Thanks,

Team TRUMP
 
TAKE THE SURVEY

Saturday, February 25, 2017

5 Things Donald Trump Should Know Before He Shuts Down The Legal Marijuana Industry

Marijuana, like alcohol, can regulated, taxed and used in moderation by adults who choose it, like a glass of wine with dinner. The burgeoning legal cannabis industry wants Donald Trump to know five critical benefits to marijuana legalization.

1. Law and Order: Legalizing marijuana reduces the criminal activity of drug cartels and gangs, and reduces court, prison and police spending.

2. Public Health: Marijuana is safer in states where it has been legalized because it is tested, appropriately labeled, and packaged in child-proof containers.

3. Reduced Addiction: Marijuana is not a gateway to opiate use, it is an Off-ramp. Many prefer switching to marijuana for pain relief because it has fewer side effects than opioids and is not addictive. Marijuana is NOT a killer – it does not bind to respiratory cells, so an overdose does not stop a person from breathing. Opioids do bind to respiratory cells and overdoses do kill.

4. Fiscal Health: Taxing marijuana already produces hundreds of millions of dollars in tax revenue.

5. Job Creation: More than 100,000 have been employed so far. In Washington State, cannabis is now the 3rd largest cash crop.

Entrepreneurs in the legal marijuana industry believe that the plant should be taken off the federal schedule 1 (most harmful) list of substances, or at least continue to leave the issue of legalization up to each state. Recent statements by the Trump administration indicate that will not happen. Here, executives in the industry share their experiences and advice for the President and his advisors:

Isaac Dietrich, CEO of MassRoots: Colorado is one of the only states in the nation that is seeing a decline in opioid deaths — that’s not a coincidence. Cannabis is a healthy alternative to pain pills and heroin, not a gateway to it.

Derek Peterson, CEO of Terra Tech: “We have hoped and still hope that the federal government will respect states’ rights in the same manner they have on several other issues. We hope the new administration really takes the time to understand that the money is either going into the states’ coffers or making its way to drug cartels.”

Danny Davis, Convectium, Managing Partner: Many of the states who helped elect President Trump just voted to also support recreational marijuana; it is hard to imagine that he would push an agenda with the support ratings where they are.”

Christie Strong, Marketing Communications Manager of Kiva Confections: “Over 60% of Americans supports cannabis legalization. It is one of the few bi-partisan issues that actually has the potential to unite us right now.”

Jeffrey Zucker, President of Green Lion Partners: “I hope that the administration takes the time to truly immerse and educate themselves on cannabis before making any destructive decisions. The incredibly positive medical, social, and economic impact cannabis legalization has had on regulated states is undeniable. The cannabis industry will fight any pressure from the federal government to set back the significant progress that’s been made thus far.


Source

Let's tell the President about this article. You can email him or send him a tweet or both. I wouldn't stop there. Also let your Congressperson and Senators know as well. The more of us they hear from the better.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

FBI wants less transparency

From Free Press:

The FBI is planning to take a big step backward for government transparency.

As of March 1, the agency will no longer accept Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests via email. Anyone seeking public records from the bureau will have to use a new online portal — or send requests via fax or snail mail.

Online FOIA portals may seem like a good idea in theory, but in reality, government agencies make them difficult and cumbersome to use and they include unnecessary hurdles.

Tell the FBI to keep accepting FOIA requests via email and cut out arbitrary restrictions.

The Freedom of Information Act gives us a legal right to request public records, which allow journalists and watchdogs to hold the government accountable. FOIA requests uncovered harmful covert operations like COINTELPRO — an FBI program with the goal of dismantling civil rights groups, among others — and also exposed government surveillance of Black Lives Matter activists. Given the Trump administration's hostile attitude toward the press and activists, we need our government to be more transparent, not less.

Our friends at MuckRock, who help journalists and others access public records, raised the alarm when the terms of service of the new FBI portal came to light. These include arbitrary restrictions that aren’t consistent with the law:

• Requests can’t be longer than 3,000 characters.
• Individuals aren’t eligible for the reduced fees available to media outlets, meaning that freelance journalists, and others, will have to pay extra when filing requests.
• Memos, emails, and other internal communications appear to be off-limits to requesters — a restriction that undermines government transparency.

While these terms of service might be improved going forward, the FBI has shown that it can and will arbitrarily change them without public comment.

Tell the FBI to keep its FOIA email up and running and to drop the arbitrary restrictions.

Freedom of information advocates have been fighting with the federal government over FOIA for a long time. And this isn’t the first time a government agency has spent taxpayer money to make public records less accessible.

Our federal government is harming so many communities — we need government transparency now more than ever.

Thanks for all that you do—

Fiona, Mike, Lucia and the rest of the Free Press team
freepress.net

P.S. Urge the FBI to make our government more transparent, not less.

Thank you!


We as a democratic republic cannot tolerate this. The government has to be transparent or the government will become tyrannical. That is why I am suggesting we also contact our Congressional Representative and our Senators and let them know about the FBI's conduct. The more of us they hear from the better.

Tell Trump to leave recreational marijuana alone

From Marijuana Majority:

Let me get right to the point: White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer just said he believes there will be "greater enforcement" of federal marijuana laws.

This is not acceptable, and would go against President Trump's repeated campaign pledges to respect state cannabis policies.

We need you to take action right now...

Sign our WhiteHouse.gov petition telling the administration that they need to keep Trump's promise to let states implement their own marijuana laws without federal interference.

Tell The White House To Respect State Marijuana Laws.

Stay tuned for more details...

Thanks for doing your part and raising your voice,

Tom Angell
Founder and Chairman
Marijuana Majority

Sessions will crack down on recreational marijuana

From Drug Policy Alliance:

Today, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer strongly indicated that the Department of Justice will crack down on recreational marijuana programs.

When asked at a press briefing whether the federal government will take action in states that have legalized marijuana, Spicer said, “I do think you’ll see greater enforcement. The Department of Justice, I think, will be further looking into [the issue]. I believe they are going to continue to enforce the laws on the books with respect to recreational marijuana.”

Since 2012, the Obama Administration took a hands off approach to recreational marijuana. That’s about to change.

Jeff Sessions and the Trump Administration are on the wrong side of history. Almost 60% of the American people support legalizing marijuana, and support is growing.

It’s time for Congress to act and let states set their own policies. Send a message to your representatives now to support the Respect State Marijuana Laws Act of 2017.

We must fight back against the Jeff Sessions Justice Department.

It’s worth noting that thanks to the Rohrabacher-Farr amendment, which DPA and our allies helped pass in 2014, Spicer said the Justice Department will not intervene in medical marijuana states.

But that amendment does not protect the eight states with legal marijuana programs. There’s little that can be done unless we end the federal prohibition of marijuana once and for all.

Stand with us and send a message to your representatives now.

Trump seems insistent on pushing the marijuana market back underground, wiping out tax-paying jobs, and eliminating billions of dollars in taxes.

We can’t let this stand.

Sincerely,

Bill Piper
Senior Director of National Affairs
Drug Policy Alliance

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Obama's Shadow Presidency


Please don't. Just go away.

From Front Page Mag:

Well-funded Organizing for Action promises to crack conservative skulls to halt the Trump agenda.

February 15, 2017
By: Matthew Vadum

Former President Obama is waging war against the Trump administration through his generously funded agitation outfit, Organizing for Action, to defend his monumentally destructive record of failure and violent polarization.

It is a chilling reminder that the increasingly aggressive, in-your-face Left in this country is on the march.

Acclaimed author Paul Sperry writes in the New York Post:

Obama has an army of agitators – numbering more than 30,000 – who will fight his Republican successor at every turn of his historic presidency. And Obama will command them from a bunker less than two miles from the White House.

In what's shaping up to be a highly unusual post-presidency, Obama isn't just staying behind in Washington. He's working behind the scenes to set up what will effectively be a shadow government to not only protect his threatened legacy, but to sabotage the incoming administration and its popular "America First" agenda.


What is Organizing for Action? It is a less violent version of Mussolini's black shirts and Hitler's brown shirts, or of the government-supported goon squads that Venezuela's Hugo Chavez and Cuba's Castro brothers used to harass and intimidate their domestic opponents.

OfA isn't, strictly speaking, a new group. After the 2008 election, the group, then known as Organizing for America, was a phony grassroots campaign run by the Democratic National Committee that sought to replicate the community organizing techniques Obama learned from the teachings of his fellow Chicagoan, Saul Alinsky. OfA was created in large part because the White House could not legally use the 13 million e-mail addresses that the Obama campaign compiled in 2008.

Former U.S. Rep. Bob Edgar (D-Penn.), sounded the alarm about OfA in 2013, suggesting the group was dangerous to democracy. "If President Obama is serious about his often-expressed desire to rein in big money in politics, he should shut down Organizing for Action and disavow any plan to schedule regular meetings with its major donors," he said as president of the left-wing group Common Cause. "Access to the President should never be for sale."

"With its reported promise of quarterly presidential meetings for donors and 'bundlers' who raise $500,000, Organizing For Action apparently intends to extend and deepen the pay-to-play Washington culture that Barack Obama came to prominence pledging to end," Edgar said. "The White House's suggestion this week that this group will somehow be independent is laughable."

But Edgar's admonitions were ignored and since then Organizing for Action has thrived and grown rich, just like the Obamas.

As FrontPage previously reported, Obama has rented a $5.3 million, 8,200-square-foot, walled mansion in Washington's Embassy Row that he is using to command his community organizing cadres. Michelle Obama will join the former president there as will the Obama Foundation. To stay on track, Obama wants his former labor secretary, Tom Perez, to win the chairmanship of the DNC in a party election later this month. "It's time to organize and fight, said Perez who appears to be gaining on frontrunner and jihadist Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.). "We must stand up to protect President Obama's accomplishments," adding, "We're going to build the strongest grassroots organizing force this country has ever seen."

No ex-president has ever done this before, sticking around the nation's capital to vex and undermine his successor. Of course, Obama is unlike any president the United States has ever had. Even failed, self-righteous presidents like Jimmy Carter, who has occasionally taken shots at his successors, didn't stay behind in Washington to obstruct and disrupt the new administration.

Organizing for Action, a 501(c)(4) nonprofit that doesn't have to disclose its donors, is at the head of Obama's network of left-wing nonprofit groups. OfA, Sperry warns, has "a growing war chest and more than 250 offices across the country."

On its website, the group claims that there are "5 million Americans who've taken action" with OfA, and that those individuals "are part of a long line of people who stand up and take on the big fights for social justice, basic fairness, equal rights, and expanding opportunity." Among its key issues are "turning up the heat on climate change deniers," comprehensive immigration reform (which includes mass amnesty), "telling the stories of the millions who are seeing the life-saving benefits of Obamacare," fighting for "a woman's health care" which is "a basic right," and redistributing wealth from those who earned it to those who didn't.

OfA communications director Jesse Lehrich told Memphis-based WREG that the "grassroots energy that's out there right now is palpable." The group is "constantly hearing from volunteers who are excited to report about events they're organizing around and all of the new people that want to get involved."

Organizing for Action is drowning in money, by nonprofit standards.

By the end of 2014, OfA, which was formally incorporated only the year before, had taken in $40.4 million, $26 million of which was raised in 2014, according to the organization's IRS filings. OfA's big donors are members of the George Soros-founded Democracy Alliance, a donors' consortium for left-wing billionaires devoted to radical political change. Among the DA members donating to OfA are: Ryan Smith ($476,260); Marcy Carsey ($250,000); Jon Stryker ($200,000); Paul Boskind ($105,000); Paul Egerman ($100,000); and Nick Hanauer ($50,000).

OfA also runs a project called the Community Organizing Institute (COI) which it says partners "with progressive groups and organizations to educate, engage, and collaborate."

Organizing for Action describes COI in almost lyrical terms:

Building upon the rich history of community organizing in Chicago, the COI is a place to share stories, best practices, and innovations in order to build our community and empower individuals in the fight for change. It is a shared space for organizers, policy makers, advocates, and change-agents to come together for workshops, panel discussions, presentations, trainings, film screenings, and social gatherings–building a strong foundation for partnerships.

Translation: at COI you can learn how to spark riots, get arrested to make a political statement, organize lynch mobs and voter fraud on a massive scale, intimidate and shake down corporations, blackmail lenders, race-bait public officials and businesses into submission, smear and terrorize your opponents, shield illegal aliens from law enforcement, lead squatters to invade foreclosed homes, encourage welfare fraud, and use tax dollars to promote cockamamie social-engineering schemes.

Obama is "intimately involved" in OfA's operations and issues tweets from the group's account, Sperry writes. "In fact, he gave marching orders to OFA foot soldiers following Trump's upset victory."

"It is fine for everybody to feel stressed, sad, discouraged," Obama said in a post-election conference call from the White House. "But get over it." Progressives have to "move forward to protect what we've accomplished."

"Now is the time for some organizing," he said. "So don't mope."

Organizing for Action has been doing anything but moping.

In recent weeks its activists organized marches across the country. Some became riots. After President Trump issued Executive Order 13769 temporarily banning visitors from seven terrorism-plagued Muslim countries, OfA organized "spontaneous" demonstrations at airports.

Obama praised the airport rabble-rousers, saying through a spokesman he was "heartened by the level of engagement taking place in communities around the country."

"Citizens exercising their Constitutional right to assemble, organize and have their voices heard by the elected officials is exactly what we expect to see when American values are at stake."

Reinforcements are coming to beef up Organizing for Action's position, Sperry adds.

OfA will be soon aided by "the National Democratic Redistricting Committee, launched last month by Obama pal Eric Holder to end what he and Obama call GOP 'gerrymandering' of congressional districts."

And more unruly protests, rioting, and violent attacks on Trump supporters will follow.

Matthew Vadum, senior vice president at the investigative think tank Capital Research Center, is an award-winning investigative reporter and author of the book, "Subversion Inc.: How Obama's ACORN Red Shirts Are Still Terrorizing and Ripping Off American Taxpayers."

A victory over the DEA and more

From Americans For Safe Access:

We are happy to announce that after months of public pressure, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has removed factually inaccurate information from its website claiming that cannabis was a gateway drug, caused irreversible cognitive decline in adults, and contributed to psychosis and lung cancer. This change comes after we filed a legal request with the Department of Justice last year demanding that the DEA immediately update and remove factually inaccurate information from their website and materials

That said, we still face major obstacles in our fight for safe and legal access to this medicine. I sent a note last week about swearing-in of former Senator Jeff Sessions as U.S. Attorney General, a strong opponent of legalizing cannabis. As the nation’s chief law enforcement officer, Jeff Sessions could cause chaos for medical patients across the country.

That’s why we need your support to help educate Jeff Sessions and other decision makers about why medical cannabis is just that – medicine. In the fifteen years since I started ASA in 2001, advocates of medical cannabis have invested greatly in this fight to move toward creating a safe federal and state environment for patients to access the medicine they need. Every year our patient advocates come to Washington D.C. for the National Medical Cannabis Unity Conference to learn about the latest in our industry and how they can help change hearts and minds about how medical cannabis is safe and essential to the health of countless patients.

Over the years, many of our patient advocates have made the difference in our efforts to educate and persuade lawmakers to support our cause. Thanks to scholarship sponsor Dr. Bronner, advocate Lisa Bean, along with fellow advocates Risa Horowitz, and Sarah Armstrong met with California Representative Julia Brownly during the 2016 Unity Conference’s lobby day on March 22, 2016. The very next day, Rep. Brownly co-sponsored the Compassionate Access, Research Expansion, and Respect States Act (CARERS)!

Our champions have provided real impact, in their states and with elected official in Washington D.C. We will continue to work to remove cannabis from Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act and legalize its use in the United States, however it’s a long road ahead.

We need your support to accomplish this! Will you help the cause and participate in the 2017 Americans for Safe Access Unity Conference?

Sponsor a scholarship. Your scholarship will make the difference in supporting work to encourage and educate public officials about medical cannabis and holding down the front lines! Send people to learn how to become patient advocates in your states and many others! Contact unity2017@safeaccessnow.org for more information.

Attend the ASA conference and become an advocate yourself! Many attendees of ASA conferences have become leaders in passing medical cannabis laws in their home states! You will meet and learn from other business owners, patient advocates, and researchers invested in the fight. To learn more and register visit

Thanks for being a part of the ASA family and I hope to see you in Washington D.C. in April!

Best,

Steph Sherer
Executive Director, Americans for Safe Access

Safe Access Now

P.S. Check out my editorial on The Hill where I talk about the "discredited gateway theory."

Friday, February 17, 2017

Congressional Cannabis Caucus



With public support for reforming marijuana laws at an all time high, Reps. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA), Jared Polis (D-CO), and Don Young (R-AK) have formed the first-ever Congressional Cannabis Caucus to promote sensible cannabis policy reform and to ease the tension between federal and state cannabis laws.

The official establishment of a Congressional Cannabis Caucus represents yet another step forward toward ultimately reforming cannabis policy at the federal level. The creation of this caucus is yet another manifestation that our political power is growing -- even inside the beltway.

Email your Congressional Representative and urge them to join the Cannabis Caucus today.

NORML has been in this fight for over 47 years, representing the position that responsible adults who choose to consume marijuana should not be be persecuted or stigmatized. Throughout the country, our chapters are organizing to advocate for state level reforms. NORML represents a growing community of individuals who are coming together and working toward the mutual goals of building a more just and verdant society.

The end of marijuana prohibition will not come overnight. In fact, the forces of prohibition remain strong and the misinformation campaign that has spanned from Reefer Madness to D.A.R.E. is deeply entrenched in the psyches of lawmakers and voters alike. But just as we have for decades, we will not be deterred.

In order for our state and federal laws to be more reflective of the cold truths of reality and science rather than hysteria and racism, we must continue to educate our legislators and neighbors alike. Having a coalition of lawmakers in Washington, DC who will go on the record in support of advocating for cannabis freedom is something we haven’t had before, but it is an event that is long overdue.
So let’s keep building.

Send a message to your member of Congress now and tell them to join the Cannabis Caucus and support sanity in marijuana policy.

Thanks for all you do,
The NORML Team

P.S. Our work is supported by thousands of people throughout the country as we work to advance marijuana reform in all 50 states and at the federal level. Can you kick in $5, $10 or $20 to help us keep going?


Sounds good to me. Let's tell our Senators about this caucus,for them to have a Senatorial version of it. Let's also contact President Trump and let him know that we want him to support it too.

Protect your liberties by supporting the Repeal Real ID Act

From Campaign For Liberty:

The calendar may say 2017, but unless you and I act today it may soon seem like 1984. . .

That's because the Department of Homeland Security has announced it will start requiring states to comply with the so-called REAL ID Act, more accurately called Dangerous ID!

Under this Dangerous ID scheme passed in 2005, but only now starting to be enforced, Washington, D.C. is set to impose a never-ending list of federal requirements for state driver’s licenses. . .

If your state does not conform to the federal standards, your state driver’s license is not an acceptable ID. . .

So when the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) begins enforcing Dangerous ID, you could be forbidden from entering a federal building. . .

Or even boarding an airplane!

And that’s just the start!

That’s why I’m counting on you to please sign your “NO Dangerous ID” petition IMMEDIATELY.

As you’ll see, this petition insists your senators cosponsor the REPEAL Real ID Act (S.126).

Without your action, I truly fear what could lay ahead for you and me.

You see, the current law gives DHS unlimited authority to require Dangerous ID for any other activity.

It also allows DHS to require your dangerous ID contains “biometric” features!

Dangerous ID also requires that your personal information — including your biometric identifiers like fingerprints and retina scans — be stored in a federal database.

And, even worse, all of this information about you is shared with other states, various agencies within the federal government, and even foreign governments.

Gun ownership, health records, purchasing habits, religious beliefs — virtually anything you could dream up — could all be added to this massive, Dangerous ID database.

Following DHS's announcement that it would stop granting state waivers from Dangerous ID’s mandates, many politicians in states that have resisted REAL ID are now plotting to surrender your liberty and privacy to bureaucrats in Washington, D.C.

The good news is Campaign for Liberty has launched a two-stage program to stop Dangerous ID. . .

First, Campaign for Liberty’s state groups are working to block any attempt by their state governments to cave in to the federal government and force their states to comply with Dangerous ID.

Campaign for Liberty has been fighting at the state level for years to stop politicians from caving in on this critical issue, but now it’s time to take the fight to Congress.

That's why we are launching a second program. . . a national campaign to repeal Dangerous ID.

U.S. Sen. Steve Daines (R-MT) has introduced the REPEAL ID Act (S.126), which will fully repeal Section II of the REAL ID Act of 2005, eliminating the need for a national ID card.

It's CRITICAL you sign your NO DANGEROUS ID Petition to your senators at once.

The petition demands your senators cosponsor the Repeal ID Act.

You and I both know the power the federal government gains from Dangerous ID WILL be abused.

Just consider the massive scandal exposing the NSA's spying on American citizens. . .

Not to mention the IRS harassment and intimidation of Tea Party and pro-liberty groups. . .

We have even seen the IRS try to force Campaign for Liberty to hand over confidential information about our supporters!

Can anyone doubt that once "well-meaning" government bureaucrats know exactly how we live, they will ramp up their efforts to run our lives through more laws, regulations, taxes, and other restraints?

In fact, it will only be a matter of time until they spend their workdays making sure you and I don't go anywhere, read anything, eat anything, or drink anything they think we "shouldn't be allowed to."

If we don’t roll back Dangerous ID while continuing to stop states from bowing to D.C.’s anti-liberty demands, all of your information will be shared between states and even with other countries.

Think about what the federal, state, and even foreign governments could track — and control — with access to your ID.

If you've ever legally purchased certain prescription drugs, the government can deny your ability to purchase a firearm. Once they have your ID they can track both sales.

They can also track your financial transactions and all of your travel.

Dangerous ID needs to be stopped.

As I mentioned above, several Campaign for Liberty state groups are fighting the implementation of Dangerous ID in their states right now.

Grassroots liberty leaders are pushing back in the state legislatures where bills are being rammed through.

These efforts are important in delaying Dangerous ID and building a movement to repeal the federal bill. . .

But until we repeal the REAL ID Act, none of us will be safe.

Stopping Dangerous ID will not be easy, since support for the bill cuts across party lines — from statists like Senators Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) to U.S. Representatives Peter King (R-NY) and Nancy Pelosi (D-CA).

That's why it's so CRITICAL you sign your “NO DANGEROUS ID” petition to your senators now.

Then, please make your most generous contribution of $15, $10, or $5 to help Campaign for Liberty stop Dangerous ID.

With your support, Campaign for Liberty will be able to contact more pro-liberty Americans to alert them to the threat Dangerous ID poses to their liberties and mobilize them to help repeal this law.

And, funds permitting, we will run hard-hitting radio and TV ads.

Your contribution will also help Campaign for Liberty’s state groups turn up the pressure on wavering state legislators.

I know that $15 is not just a lot to ask, but more than you have ever given in the past, but consider the stakes. . .

Dangerous ID is scheduled to be forced on every American in the next few months. . .

So we must not only act, but act fast.

So if $15 is too much right now, please consider a special contribution of $10 or $5.

And make sure you sign your “NO Dangerous ID” petition and then forward this email to your friends and family so they may sign the petition too.

For liberty,

Ron Paul

P.S. Dangerous ID violates the privacy of every American citizen, putting your identity and liberty at extreme risk.

It does NOTHING to make America more secure, despite what proponents claim. In fact, if every state complies, innocent American citizens like you will be monitored. . .

. . . while those who lack proper documentation will go about their lives as usual.

So please sign your “NO DANGEROUS ID” Petition to your U.S. Senators today.

And make your most generous contribution of $15, $10, or $5 to help Campaign for Liberty ramp up our efforts to stop Dangerous ID.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Black Lives Matter Leader Says White People Are ‘Sub-Human’ and Suffer From ‘Genetic Defects’

Yusra Khogali

A Black Lives Matter leader has come under fire after arguing on social media that white people are “sub-human” and suffer from “recessive genetic defects,” and musing about how the race could be wiped out.

In a Facebook post, Black Lives Matter Toronto co-founder Yusra Khogali went on a rant, arguing that black people are the superior race because white people posses “genetic defects” that make them lesser humans, according to the Toronto Sun.

“Whiteness is not humxness, in fact, white skin is sub-humxn,” she wrote. “All phenotypes exist within the black family and white ppl are a genetic defect of blackness.”

She continued explaining her theory, claiming white people are lesser because “[they] have a higher concentration of enzyme inhibitors that suppress melanin production. They are genetically deficient because melanin is present at the inception of life.”

“Melanin enables black skin to capture light and hold it in its memory mode which reveals that blackness converts light into knowledge. Melanin directly communicates with cosmic energy,” she added.

Toronto Police Forced To Withdraw From LGBTQ Pride Parade Following Black Lives Matter Demands
Khogali then proclaimed: “White ppl are recessive genetic defects. This is factual.”

The Black Lives Matter leader then wondered how the white race could be wiped out. According to her, “Black ppl simply through their dominant genes can literally wipe out the white race if we had the power to.”

“Do you ever wonder how black ppl after centuries of colonial violence, genocide and destruction—no matter what systems created to make us extinct… How we keep coming back? It is because we are superhumxns,” she added.

This isn’t the first time the firebrand BLM Toronto chapter co-founder got into hot water. Last week, Heat Street reported about Khogali’s speech during a protest in Toronto, where she accused Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of being a “white supremacist terrorist” for welcoming refugees to the country.

During the protest, she was seen shouting: “When Justin Trudeau says that he is a liar! He’s a hypocrite! He is a white supremacist terrorist! That is what he is,” she said. “Do not be fooled by his liberal bullshit. Do not be fooled.”

Last year, according to Newstalk 1010, she also caused a controversy after tweeting: “Plz Allah give me strength to not cuss/kill these men and white folks out here today. Plz plz plz.”


Source

Monday, February 13, 2017

Sen. Rand Paul: ‘I Think Civil Asset Forfeiture Is a Terrible Idea Until You’ve Convicted Someone’



Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) told C-SPAN’s “Newsmakers” on Sunday that he thinks civil asset forfeiture – where police can seize, then keep or sell any property they suspect is involved in a crime regardless of whether or not the owner is arrested or even convicted - “is a terrible idea until you’ve convicted someone.”

“There was a discussion the other day in the White House about civil asset forfeiture. I think civil asset forfeiture is a terrible idea until you’ve convicted someone, and I’d like to have that discussion with the president,” Paul said.

Paul was asked how concerned he was that the Trump administration could expand surveillance powers given that Paul voted against the confirmation of Mike Pompeo to head the CIA, but voted for Attorney General Jeff Sessions to lead the Justice Department.

“How concerned are you that the Sessions Justice Department, the Pompeo CIA, the potential ODNI administration of Dan Coats are going to go back more towards the direction that you’ve been opposed for many years?” a reporter asked.

Paul said he was “very concerned, and while I do have some agreements with President Trump on less regulation, less taxes, replacing Obamacare, on surveillance we may not be – or on privacy – on the same wavelength. We’ll have to see.”

Paul said addressing the issue of civil asset forfeiture is important, because it unfairly targets poor people.

“I’ve had that discussion with Senator Sessions,” he said, referring to Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who was sworn in last week, “and I think some of the things we’ve done particularly to poor people—poor people in our country deal in cash more than wealthier people, and more than people who have their life better planned out who might deal with money in a different way.

“They have cash, and they walk around—doesn’t make them automatically guilty of a crime because they deal in cash, and so I think in order to take someone’s money from them, the government ought to prove that it was ill gotten,” Paul said, adding that the other side of that argument is “if someone’s caught with 50 kilos of some kind of drug and then there’s $50,000 in cash sitting there that somehow the people that are caught are going to get it back. That never happens.

“What we’re really, really talking about is people driving down the road, walking down the street…they just have their possessions taken from them without any kind of conviction,” he said.

“There’s a real danger, and there have been instances of up and down the country of little towns on the side of highways just pulling over everybody and just taking their money, almost like some sort of Robin Hood kind of scheme, so I do worry about that, and I will continue to stand up for what I feel is right no matter no matter whether it’s a Republican or Democrat in office,” Paul said.


Source

I say we contact President Trump here and here and tell him about asset forfeiture abuse and that we want him to oppose it. The more of us he hears from the better.

The FDA Fails Dying Americans but you can save them

From Freedom Works:

Unelected DC bureaucrats in the FDA are failing America. Right now there are millions of Americans lying in hospital beds fighting for their lives. But these bureaucrats don’t see them, so they don’t care.

They’re preventing these Americans from trying experimental, potentially life-saving treatments, all to make big pharma happy. THIS IS UNACCEPTABLE!

Thankfully Senator Ron Johnson introduced a bill to change all that. It’s called the Trickett Wendler Right to Try Act (S. 204). And it gives these terminally ill patients another chance at survival.

Please contact your senators right now. Tell them to support S. 204 today.

This goes beyond politics. This is about giving hope to those who need it most.

Make no mistake about it, if any senator votes against this they’re shilling for multi-national corporations!

Don’t let that happen. Don’t let your senators sell out these terminally ill patients to corporate greed. Send them a message right now. Tell them to support the Right to Try Act today.

Friday, February 10, 2017

The Respect State Marijuana Laws Act will get the DEA out of our dispensaries

From The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws:

Representative Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA), along with six other Republicans and six Democrats, has reintroduced bipartisan legislation, ‘The Respect State Marijuana Laws Act,’ to prevent the federal government from criminally prosecuting individuals and/or businesses who are engaging in state-sanctioned activities specific to the possession, use, production, and distribution of marijuana.

HR 975 states, ‘‘Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the provisions of this subchapter related to marihuana shall not apply to any person acting in compliance with State laws relating to the production, possession, distribution, dispensation, administration, or delivery of marihuana.’’


Sign the petition

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Republican congressman introduces legislation that would take marijuana out of the hands of the federal government

The Respect State Marijuana Laws Act would allow states to determine their own marijuana policies.

Republican Congressman Dana Rohrabacher of California is proposing a law that would only allow states to determine marijuana policies, resolving the current conflict between state and federal marijuana laws.

Four states — Alaska, Colorado, Oregon and Washington — have laws that allow the production and sale of marijuana for adult use. Four additional states — California, Maine, Massachusetts and Nevada — are in the process of establishing similar regulations. Under federal law, marijuana is a schedule 1 drug, meaning it “has a high potential for abuse . . . has no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States [and] there is a lack of accepted safety for use of drug or other substance under medical supervision” [21 U.S.C 812(b)(1)]. Thus, a conflict.

“This is commonsense legislation that is long overdue,” Robert Capecchi, director of federal policies for the Marijuana Policy Project, said in a press release. “It is time to end marijuana prohibition at the federal level and give states the authority to determine their own policies.”

“States throughout the country are effectively regulating and controlling marijuana medical or broader adult use,” Capecch said. “Federal tax dollars should not be wasted on arresting and prosecuting people who are following their state and local laws.”

In July, medical marijuana failed to make the GOP platform after a vigorous debate to embrace the growing acceptance of marijuana. The conflict between state and federal marijuana laws was not an issue under the previous administration, but with the confirmation of Jeff Sessions as attorney general, there are concerns he may crack down on states’ marijuana policies.


Source

This is a good bill. If you agree contact your Congressional Representative and let them know to fully support The Respect State Marijuana Laws Act. This could end persecution at the fedeal level so I say we back it. Th more of us they hear from the better so contact your Congressperson right away.

Audit The Fed more promising than ever

From Campaign For Liberty:

Senator Rand Paul and Representative Thomas Massie have reintroduced the Audit the Fed bill (S. 16/H.R. 24)...

And now, we finally have a President who supports Audit the Fed!

We are only 6 votes away from defeating the Senate's filibuster, and there are 10 Senators who voted against Audit the Fed facing an electorate in 2018 who voted for Donald Trump...

All this means we have our best opportunity ever to finally pass Audit the Fed!

But we can take nothing for granted.

Federal Reserve apologists are on high alert and are already working overtime to make sure Audit the Fed does not reach President Trump's desk.

They know Audit the Fed would EXPOSE the Fed's corruption and cronyism.

So I've instructed my staff to double-down.

I've developed a multi-pronged plan to counterpunch the Fed's army of lobbyists and derail their scheme to scare and intimidate Representatives and Senators from cosponsoring Audit the Fed.

And I need your help to implement the first two parts of our plan:

FIRST >>> Campaign for Liberty must generate as many petitions from concerned grassroots Americans like you. Our goal is to bury Congress with a mountain of pro-Audit the Fed petitions by the time the first House and Senate hearings discussing Audit the Fed occur.

Those hearings could begin as early as mid-February, so please sign your to your Representative and Senators.

After you sign your petition, please share this alert with your family and friends, encouraging them to join you in taking action.

SECOND >>> You've been a long-time supporter of mine. And Audit the Fed has been the focus of Campaign for Liberty's efforts since I founded it in 2008.

You know the importance of contacting and mobilizing like-minded liberty lovers. But that costs time, money, and significant resources.

Resources, I'm afraid, Campaign for Liberty just doesn't have lying around.

Campaign for Liberty expended a lot of resources just to get where you and I are right now -- and it will take much more to reach millions of like-minded Americans to aid us in this fight.

So I'm asking you today to please make a generous donation of $10.

Your contribution, of whatever you can afford, will be put to immediate use where it's needed most.

Emails. Facebook. Google. TV, radio, and YouTube ads, if the funds can be stretched that far.

Every dollar we raise will help us flood every outlet to reach millions of Americans and fight back against Janet Yellen's Federal Reserve System.

I know you have already given a lot to this effort, but we have come so far and are so close to finally passing Audit the Fed...

It would be a shame if the banksters won because Campaign for Liberty lacked the resources to beat back their last, desperate attempt to protect Fed secrecy...

Can I count on you?

For Liberty,

Ron Paul
Chairman

P.S. Senator Rand Paul and Representative Thomas Massie have reintroduced Audit the Fed (S. 16/H.R. 24)...

With President-elect Trump on record in support of the bill, you and I have our best opportunity ever to pass Audit the Fed...

But since the Fed's defenders are poised to launch an all-out blitz to bury the bill, you and I cannot take anything for granted.

So please sign your "Pass Audit the Fed" petition to your Representative and Senators.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

An Open Letter to Jeff Sessions From A Doctor Concerned About Marijuana

Dear Sen. Sessions,

Let me start by introducing myself. I am Dr. David Bearman, I am considered to be one of the most clinically knowledgable physicians in the field of medical cannabis in the United States. I have spent 40 years working in substance and drug abuse treatment and prevention programs. I was a pioneer in the free and community clinics that are now available to Americans everywhere. I was even a member of then-California Governor Ronald Reagan’s Interagency Task Force on Drug Abuse. I urge you, if confirmed, to take medical cannabis seriously and not only allow state programs to continue to flourish but urge the President, the DEA, Congress and FDA to work on seriously reconsidering America’s current drug laws and policies.

This, unlike almost everything else, is not a partisan issue. There are many Republicans, like Dana Rohrabacher (California), who believe that Mr. Trump understands the medicinal use of cannabis. Dr. Ron Paul (Texas) has supported the state rights’ view that regulating medicine is a power of the state. His son, Senator Rand Paul (Kentucky), also a physician, also recognizes that the 1925 SCOTUS decision Linder v the United States and the 9th and 10th Amendments to the Constitution that give states, not the federal government, the right to regulate the practice of medicine.

I am guessing you may be unaware that over 150 medical organizations including the American Medical Association (AMA), American Nurses Association (ANA), (American Public Health Association (AAPHA) and American College of Physicians, endorse the medical use of cannabis.

Senator Sessions, you are a lucky man if none of your family and friends suffer from multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s Disease, Alzheimer’s Disease, ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s Disease, seizures, migraine headaches, ADD/ADHD, PTSD, autism spectrum disorder or cancer. These are all medical conditions that thousands of years of history, tens of thousands of research studies and modern experience with millions of patients are proven to be relieved with botanical cannabis.

The federal government approved a phase III clinical trial with tincture of cannabis (Nabixamol and Epidiolex). Nabixamol is legal to prescribe in 24 countries. If you have taken the time to read the literature then you must know that cannabis is safe. In 1937 the AMA, testifying AGAINST the Marijuana Tax Act, told the House Ways and Means Committee that the AMA knew of no dangers from the medicinal use of cannabis. In 1988 after a two year rescheduling hearing, the DEA’s Chief Administrative Law Judge, the late Francis Young, recommended rescheduling cannabis. In his Finding of Fact, he found that cannabis was “one of the safest therapeutic agents known to man.”

One of the most exciting potential therapeutic benefits is the well documented (in basic science studies) anti-cancer potential of cannabinoids. Dr. Donald Abrams, oncologist and professor at UCSF School of Medicine, has said there is more than enough basic scientific evidence and anecdotal reports to justify doing human clinical trials to determine if cannabis can actually cure cancer. Currently, human trials are ongoing in the United Kingdom and Israel on the use of cannabis to cure glioblastoma multiforme. This is based on research done in Spain by Manuel Guzman and in Italy by Vincenzo Di Marzo, PhD and Israel by Raphael Mechoulam, Ph.D.

I have no doubt you have good intentions, Senator Sessions, however a more aggressive stance by the federal government in utilizing the 1942 Supreme Court decision Wickert v. Filburn to stretch the commerce clause of the Constitution beyond all recognition will not only threaten states rights, but quite likely will interfere with treatment of many who have been receiving palliation, therapeutic and possibly life extending benefit from the medicinal use of cannabis.

Senator Sessions, you owes it to the ill of the United States who benefit from cannabis to educate yourself on the long history and substantial research on the medicinal value of cannabis. You can do it in private by viewing any of the following videos: “Medicinal Cannabis and It’s Impact on Your Health,” “What If Cannabis Cured Cancer” and the CNN Sanjay Gupta, MD documentary. If after learning more you would like to educate the staff of the AG’s office in DC regarding cannabis, cannabinoids and the endocannabinoid system, I would be happy to arrange such a presentation, through physician members of the American Academy of Cannabinoid Medicine.

This medicinal use of cannabis is serious science and medicine. I am confident that an open minded review of the science will inform you that the government needs to do more to promote scientific research in the medicinal use of cannabis and to do less to interfere with the treatment of the ill.


Source

Last chance to stop Sessions

From The Drug Policy Alliance:

As soon as tomorrow, the U.S. Senate will cast a final vote on the nomination of drug war extremist Jeff Sessions for Attorney General.

Email your Senators right away urging them to oppose his nomination.

Then, follow-up with a quick phone call to your Senators at 877-959-6082. Tell the person your name, where you live and say:

I am calling to urge my Senator to reject Jeff Sessions for Attorney General. He is unfit to head the Justice Department and will likely escalate the failed war on drugs and undermine state marijuana laws. Please oppose his nomination and the giant step backwards for criminal justice that he represents. Thank you.

Jeff Sessions would be a nightmare as Attorney General and is a threat to the historic progress you’ve helped us achieve.

He has an appalling record on drug policy, civil and human rights, and criminal justice reform.

Advocates like you have been flooding the Senate with thousands of emails and calls. The response has been overwhelming.

But now it’s our last chance to keep the pressure up before the Senate casts a final vote this week.

Make your voice heard: stand against Sessions for Attorney General.


To sign the petition

Net neutrality is not partisan so protect it right away

From Fight For The Future:

The Internet is awesome. It lets us access more information than ever before, find alternatives to mainstream news, keep in touch with our friends, find new music and videos, and more.

Why is it so awesome? Because unlike television and print, what you see and do online is up to *you*—not some corporation or bureaucrat.

But politicians and lobbyists from the cable companies keep trying to mess with that fundamental structure. They want to allow the government and corporate monopolies to slow down or censor certain websites in order to squeeze us for more money, or because they don’t like their politics.

One of the biggest problems is that politicians in Washington, DC have decided to turn the Internet into a political football. They’ve made net neutrality a partisan issue, which is silly because it’s not -- it’s a basic technological principle that has made the Internet what it is today. Now the former lobbyist for Big Cable who's been put in charge of internet regulation, Ajit Pai, says he’s planning to “take a weed whacker” to the basic principle upholding the open web.

We need to show Congress and the FCC that people from all across the political spectrum love the Internet and don’t want politicians to screw it up by getting rid of net neutrality. Sign the petition, and check one of the boxes to show decision makers that people want the Internet to stay awesome, regardless of their political ideology.

When you sign the petition, back it up by indicating where you fall on the political map, and share with everyone you know who feels the same!

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Washington State wants to outlaw bitcoin for marijuana industry

A new bill filed in the Washington State Senate is seeking to prohibit local marijuana businesses from using bitcoin.

Sponsored by Senators Steve Conway and Ann Rivers, SB 5264 seeks to amend some of the state’s rules governing the sale and distribution of marijuana products. The move comes more than four years after Washington voters passed a ballot measure legalizing marijuana in November 2012.

Under the proposed rule, businesses that work in the local marijuana industry would not be allowed to either pay for goods with digital currency or accept those kinds of payments from customers. The bill also includes a definition of "virtual currency" that explicitly targets "digital representation[s] of value used as a medium of exchange, a unit of account, or a store of value", but excludes the "the software or protocols governing the transfer".

Digital currency offers a unique opportunity for the legal cannabis industry to grow at its current rate and prepare for Federal legalization. Payments with credit card and digital currency are highly trackable, cash is not. If it is the state's wish to not be able to track cannabis payments, incentivize money laundering and keep the industry a step behind, then this bill would do just that.

Forcing the industry into cash is not only a bad idea, but creates significant risk for community and surrounding businesses. Being a high volume cash business with no banking options creates significant strain within the industry and creates a target for would-be criminals.

Furthermore, collection of taxes is difficult and time consuming when using cash. Digital currency poses a unique opportunity to track the cannabis industries payments leaving a fully auditable trail.

It's time we move into the future and tell Senator Conway and Rivers to not limit innovation, but to protect it. Allow cannabis businesses to use digital currency, move into the future and keep our communities safe.


To sign the petition

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Voters demanded pot policy changes, it’s time for lawmakers to listen

Voters in eight states decided on Election Day to radically amend their longstanding marijuana policies.

In four states – California, Maine, Massachusetts, and Nevada – voters approved initiatives to regulate the production, use, and retail sale of cannabis to adults. In an additional four states – Arkansas, Florida, Montana, and North Dakota – voters decided in favor of ballot measures to permit the dispensing and use of marijuana for therapeutic purposes.

In each of these jurisdictions, proponents of marijuana policy reform were forced to bring the issue directly to the voters because elected officials steadfastly refused to address it legislatively. In the weeks following the election, little has changed.

Despite these voter mandates, many lawmakers remain reluctant to move forward with the legal reforms that the public has demanded. In some cases, legislators and regulators are outright defying voters’ will by proposing measures to undermine the election’s outcomes altogether.


In Arkansas, where 53 percent of voters approved a constitutional amendment — the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Act — state lawmakers immediately passed emergency implementation to delay the law’s enactment, while additional legislation remains pending to prevent the law’s implementation altogether. Separate legislative efforts are also pending to significantly rewrite the law in a manner that is far more restrictive than what voters intended.
A similar scenario is emerging in Florida, where 71 percent of voters endorsed a constitutional amendment providing doctors with the discretion to recommend medical marijuana to patients for whom they believed the benefits “would likely outweigh the potential health risks.” In recent weeks, however, lawmakers and regulators have proposed rules that seek to gut many of the law’s key provisions.

Specifically, newly released regulations seek to: halt the state from licensing would-be medical marijuana providers, forbid doctors from authorizing cannabis for chronic pain patients, and to restrict qualifying patients from obtaining whole-plant cannabis (instead limiting patients’ use to marijuana-infused products only).

Things are little different in North Dakota. Despite the fact that 64 percent of voters passed the Compassionate Care Act in November, leadership in the House and Senate is moving full speed ahead to suspend the law’s enactment.

Voter-initiated plans to regulate the retail production and sale of marijuana to adults have fared little better.

In Massachusetts, a handful of political leaders pushed through emergency legislation during an informal legislative session to delay marijuana sales until July 1, 2018.

The Boston Globe summarized the event this way, “The extraordinary move, made in informal sessions with just a half-dozen legislators present, … unravel[s] a significant part of the legalization measure passed by 1.8 million voters.” Additional measures before lawmakers seek to further undue several other aspects of the law, including adults’ ability to grow marijuana in their private residence.

In Maine, lawmakers have similarly rushed legislation through both chambers to delay the enactment of voter-initiated provisions governing the retail production and sale of marijuana until the spring of 2018. The emergency measure also rolls back specific initiative provisions that permitted on site consumption in specially licensed establishments, as well as the possession of marijuana-infused edible products.

Lawmakers’ decision to disregard the will of their constituents is both arrogant and troubling. Whether or not one supports marijuana law reform, one should find legislators’ attitudes and actions an affront to the democratic process. Americans have been told time and time again that ‘elections have consequences.’ There should not be a ‘marijuana exception’ to this longstanding principle.

Voters made their opinions on marijuana policy clear at the ballot box in November. Lawmakers in these jurisdictions have a responsibility to abide by the will of the people and to do so in a timely manner. Americans have lived with the failings of marijuana prohibition for far too long.

The people’s will should not be compromised, second-guessed, or held hostage by politicians who are unwilling to recognize that they are on the wrong side of history.


Source

That's a good idea. Perhaps our lawmakers need to hear what We The People have to say. You can contact your Congressional Representative and your Senators and bring this to their attention. Give them the link to the source of this article so that they know we mean business.The more of us they hear from the better so let's do it to it.

Give terminally ill patients a chance at hope and survival

From Freedom Works:

Right now there are millions of Americans lying in hospital beds. They’ve suffered for years combating a fatal illness, or were recently diagnosed. And under current federal law, they can't try experimental life-saving treatments. THIS IS WRONG!
Thankfully Senator Ron Johnson has introduced the Trickett Wendler Right to Try Act (S. 204). This is a bill that allows terminally ill patients to try potentially lifesaving, experimental treatments.

But more importantly, this bill offers hope to those who need it most. Please contact your senators right now. Tell them to support S. 204 today.

This bill literally gives dying patients a shot at survival. It goes beyond politics, it’s the moral thing to do. That’s why I’m begging you to contact your senators right now. Tell them to give these terminally ill patients hope. Tell them to support S. 204 right now.


Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Which way will he go?

Neil Gorsuch

Judge Neil Gorsuch, President Donald Trump’s nominee for the Supreme Court, hails from Colorado, and if he is ultimately confirmed by the Senate, he could end up having a significant role in deciding whether marijuana will remain legal in his state and others.

Gorsuch currently serves on the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver, and he has ruled on at least three weed-related cases in recent years. Legal experts and marijuana industry attorneys say it’s hard to say how Gorsuch might rule when the high court takes its next pot case, and it might be impossible to know for sure unless he’s quizzed about it during his confirmation hearings. In the meantime, however, his track record offers some clues.

While Gorsuch is a conservative who falls somewhere between Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas on the spectrum of Supreme Court ideology, Alex Kreit, director of the Center for Law & Social Justice at the Thomas Jefferson School of Law, said there aren’t any red flags in his past that indicate he would be categorically opposed legal weed.

“There isn’t anything in his record that suggests he is a hardline anti-marijuana, pro-mandatory minimum zealot in the mold of Jeff Sessions — at least not that I’ve seen,” Kreit said. “And there are at least some cases that suggest he’s willing to rule in favor of individual rights and against the government in some criminal justice cases.”

Gorsuch’s most notable marijuana decision came in December 2015 on a case that dealt with a tax dispute between a Colorado dispensary and the IRS. The dispensary owners wanted to use the Fifth Amendment’s protection against self-incrimination to keep the nature of their business secret, which would have allowed them to significantly reduce their tax bill. Gorsuch joined the three-judge panel’s ruling against them, but his opinion included language that suggested he might be sympathetic to their situation.

He cited the “mixed messages the federal government is sending these days about the distribution of marijuana,” such as a 2013 memo from the Department of Justice that says federal authorities should not prosecute individuals who abide by state marijuana laws, even though weed remains illegal federally.

“So it is that today prosecutors will almost always overlook federal marijuana distribution crimes in Colorado but the tax man never will,” Gorsuch wrote, adding that, “the government simultaneously urged the court to take seriously its claim that the petitioners are violating federal criminal law and to discount the possibility that it would enforce federal criminal law.”

James Thorburn, the attorney for the dispensary owners, said that even though Gorsuch’s ruling was unfavorable to his clients, the judge was fair and thorough. He noted that Gorsuch has “an impeccable reputation,” and said he “asks the difficult questions, but he does it in such a way that it is very conducive to being able to argue a case effectively.”

“I think that he would be open to a favorable ruling to the marijuana industry,” Thorburn said. “That doesn’t say he would actually rule in favor of the industry, but I think the door is not closed.”

Gorsuch was also involved in a 2010 case where the 10th Circuit ruled that a couple accused of selling marijuana couldn’t use the Religious Freedom Restoration Act to defend themselves because their “marijuana dealings were motivated by commercial or secular motives rather than sincere religious conviction.”

In 2013, Gorsuch wrote the majority opinion in a case where the court ruled that it was “reasonable” for a police officer to use a taser on a suspect who fled in order to avoid being arrested for illegally growing marijuana. The suspect died from a heart condition, and his parents sued, claiming that the cop used excessive force. Gorsuch noted that “illegal processing and manufacturing of marijuana may not be inherently violent crimes but, outside the medical marijuana context, they were felonies under Colorado law at the time.”

Hilary Bricken, an attorney with the Seattle-based Canna Law Group, seconded Thornburn’s assessment, saying Gorsuch seems to be “a reasonable judge” who listens closely to the lawyers who appear in his courtroom. “I wouldn’t say he’s mainstream,” she said, “but he’s somebody you can argue with.”

Referring to the tax case, Bricken said Gorsuch appears to think that marijuana policies ought to be determined by the letter of the law, not the whims of the president or the attorney general.

“He doesn’t like federal overreach, especially executive overreach,” Bricken said. “Reading between the lines, he’s saying we’re not going to change this, it’s going to have to come through Congress.”

The big question, then, is whether Gorsuch would side with states or the federal government in a dispute over legal weed. The Supreme Court has already affirmed that Congress has the power to outlaw marijuana under the Constitution’s commerce clause, and that the Department of Justice can prosecute people who violate federal law, even when states have contradictory laws on the books. That means it will likely be up to Sessions, Trump’s pick for attorney general, to determine how the new administration handles legal weed.

Kreit said it seems unlikely that the Supreme Court will revisit the issue of “preemption” — whether federal drug laws trump state rules — anytime soon. But if that happens, it would likely determine whether state-level marijuana legalization goes up in smoke.

“Preemption is by far most important constitutional question related to marijuana legalization right now,” Kreit said. “If the Supreme Court were to rule the federal law trumps state legalization laws, that could conceivably wipe out every single state marijuana legalization law in the country — including medical marijuana — in a single opinion.”


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There are telling signs that Gorsuch may be sympathetic to state's rights when it comes to the issue of marijuana. If a case was ever brought before him that he would be fair about it. That is going from this article. If he is a fair jurist we can't ask for anything more except for a pro-marijuana partisan but we don't have that in this case. I say we back him. Contact your Senators and let them know you believe Gorsuch will follow the Constitution and to confirm him as Supreme Court Justice.