As US Attorney General Eric Holder delivered a commencement speech May 11 for UC Berkeley law school graduates, a plane flew overhead with a banner that read "Holder: End Rx Cannabis War. #Peace4Patients," in protest against recent actions by the Justice Department (DoJ) in the Bay Area. Outside the Hearst Greek Theater, where Holder gave his speech, medical marijuana advocates also handed out fake DoJ recruitment flyers, detailing how the Obama Administration is engaging in harmful tactics that are adversely affecting the lives of hundreds of thousands of patients in California.
HMJ will be joining a large internet protest this today to fight Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA). The proposed bill heads to the Senate this week for a vote. Today, April 22, has been declared a day of protest. Because of this, no content will be posted today on HMJ but we will be back to our regularly scheduled programing tomorrow.
Effectively, CISPA is a blank check for the U.S. Federal Government to perform search and seizure without a warrant, without individuals ever knowing their data was taken and then, well, passed around.
It has been recently learned that CISPA would allow a large range of Federal agencies – including Immigration, the TSA, Homeland Security, FBI and the DoJ, to quietly access our data from sites ranging from Facebook and Google to Apple, Amazon, and more. CISPA would protect the companies – but not the people.
The cumulative effect of watching this Act rise up after SOPA and PIPA, fail, yet return with blatant disregard for American citizens’ rights while the U.S. Government fails to adequately protect the citizen data it already has… Many people feel helpless, angry, and are wondering what they can do – if anything.
Because CISPA is now widely regarded as deeply flawed and reeks of well-publicized corruption, many organizations, websites, companies and individuals are joining in today’s protest – initially called and fueled by hacktivist entity Anonymous.
Here’s how to add your voice to the protest, with a variety of commitment levels.
- One-click email: Enter your zip code on this EFF page for a one-click letter ready to send to your exact Senators – all at once.
- On Twitter: add #CISPABlackout or #StopCISPA to tweets. Use the STOP CISPA icon for a day. Tweet a news article about CISPA to raise awareness.
- On Facebook: change your icon to the STOP CISPA image, share articles about CISPA, and resource pages for those friends who want to join in.
- Sign an easy online petition: At CISPAisback.org, Fight for the Future has a simple petition saying, Tell the U.S. Government: “Violating our privacy is not an option.” Enter an email address, click, and you’re done.
- Sign a big petition: Join the nearly 165,000 people have signed the Protect Internet Privacy: Stop CISPA petition on Change.org.
- Call or email a Senator or two (or more): Begin calling/faxing Senators about CISPA on the morning of Monday April 22nd, 2013, at 9 am eastern time (06:00 PDT 13:00 GMT). As part of Project: Stop CISPA, OpenCongress.org has this complete list of U.S. Senate phone numbers, fax numbers, and email contact points. and a handy how-to page with tips for calling and emailing, and sample text of what to say. (Also: here is the U.S. Senate’s official roster/contact page.)
- Participate in the blackout: Anonymous offers this page for hotlink use, or the source code with downloadable images. If you decide to add your website to the #CISPABlackout protest,have your website added to this huge and growing list.
- Tell every Representative in the House that voted yes for CISPA how you feel about their vote (a contact list is here). Tell them they should try reading the Acts they vote on. And tell them that if they better get their hands off the Internet, or next time we go for ice cream they’re all staying in the damn car.
By Steve Elliott
The fears of some medical marijuana patients that state patient registries could be used against them appear, unfortunately, to have been well-founded. A federal search warrant forced the Oregon Medical Marijuana Program (OMMP) to hand over patient records, according to recently discovered court papers.
The warrant was executed last November against OMMP, the state agency administering the Oregon Medical Marijuana Act, voted into law in 1998, reports Jake Ellison at Seattle PI.
A special agent for the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) obtained the warrant to "aid in his investigation" of growers in Oregon suspected of black market pot dealing.
"I know that in order to effectively pursue this investigation I need to investigate each of the patients, growers and caregivers associated with" names which turned up in the investigation, wrote DEA special agent Michael Gutensohn.
"I have probable cause to believe that records from the Oregon Medical Marijuana Program will contain evidence and intstrumentalities of marijuana manufacturing and trafficking and conspiracy to commit marijuana manufacturing and trafficking offenses," Gutensohn claimed. (It seems odd that Gutensohn would claim to believe that evidence of black market diversion would be contained in official state records of the medical marijuana program.)
Since re-legalization arrived in Colorado and Washington we have all been waiting for a sign from the great and powerful Washington, D.C. Maybe this was it? Follow along:
“Federal prosecutors will crack down on recreational marijuana dispensaries and growers even in states where they are legal, U.S. drug czar Gil Kerlikowske told a Canadian news magazine this week. The statement appears to be the first from a federal official to state explicitly that the federal government will prosecute dispensaries and producers once they are licensed in Washington and Colorado. During an interview on 20/20, President Obama told Barbara Walters only that the federal government has “bigger fish to fry” than going after recreational users, but did not address those who produce or distribute marijuana. MacLean’s reports:
Q: In the November elections, two states—Washington and Colorado—voted to legalize marijuana for recreational use. President Obama has said that the U.S. government has “bigger fish to fry” than to go after recreational users in states where it is legal. Where do things stand with regard to producers and distributors of marijuana, which is still illegal under federal law?
A: You’ll continue to see enforcement against distributors and large-scale growers as the Justice Department has outlined. They will use their limited resources on those groups and not on going after individual users.
. . .
“In states where medical marijuana is legal, federal prosecutors and Drug Enforcement Administration agents have ratcheted up crackdowns of those distributing medical marijuana in seeming compliance with state laws. And Kerlikowske’s statement suggests the federal government will take the same approach to the recreational marijuana laws, in spite of growing public support for state marijuana legalization in the wake of the November election.
Neither Attorney General Eric Holder, nor other representatives from the DOJ or DEA have spoken publicly about their planned approach, other than to issue a statement immediately following the ballot initiatives’ passage saying that enforcement of federal law “remains unchanged.”
. . .
The best way to eliminate this threat would be to amend the federal Controlled Substances Act, which the executive branch remains responsible for enforcing. Members of Congress proposed bills last week to regulate and tax marijuana like alcohol in those states where it is legal. Last session, other bills proposed simply exempting those states with marijuana laws from the Controlled Substances Act, and Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT) said he was open to decriminalizing marijuana. But given congressional inaction on absolutely everything, it will likely fall to prosecutors to decide how the law gets applied.
* * * / * * *
So, is it going to be business pretty much as usual? That decision will encourage a non-centralized, amorphous type of system where there would be so many small sources of quality product that there would be no place or need for large commercial providers of that same product. Now, does that sound like the America you know?
Re-legalization is coming and so is America making a buck off of it. If I were smart and cared about quality product (my own), I’d learn to grow my own and be in charge of my supply. Once its’ re-legal, why not? It’s also got to be cheaper.
Original and more complete post is HERE.
[image: Google images White House]
Gov. Chris Gregoire (D) met Tuesday with Deputy Attorney General James Cole to discuss her state's passage last week of an initiative that legalizes and taxes the sale of marijuana for adults 21 and over. Federal law continues to consider marijuana possession, cultivation, and distribution to be criminal offenses.