October 25, 2014

Cannabis College Crackdown and Other New World Orders

 

Today, I woke up to find that the Supreme Court of the United States ruled by a 5-to-4 vote that officials may strip-search people arrested for any offense,  however minor, before admitting them to jails even if the officials have no reason to suspect the presence of contraband.

Now, I’m no Constitutional know-it-all by any stretch of the imagination, but I seem to recall something called, oh what is it…oh that’s right: The Fourth Amendment, which goes a little something like this:

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses,  papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall  not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause,  supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place  to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Interesting. The HIGHEST COURT IN THE LAND just rolled back the Fourth Amendment…because it can.

But then again, that pesky Constitution as well as laws that the public has resoundingly voted in favor of don’t seem to stop public officials from doing whatever the hell they want.

Take a look at Oaksterdam College, which the DEA and IRS raided on Monday, shutting down the cannabis industry trade school while carrying out a federal search warrant. And guess what? They don’t have to explain what they’re doing to anyone because all of the paperwork is “under seal” other than to confirm it is part of a (insert sarcastic laughter) “ongoing joint investigation.”

Now, Oakland doesn’t have a lot of money. But it does have a lot of crime. Which coincidentally occurred during this needless raid. In a different part of the city, seven people at Oikos Christian University were lined up and gunned down by a former student.

We will probably never know whether the limited police force raiding a successful trade school could have actually fought real crime only miles away. (You know, do that “life saving” thing that we pay them to do.)

Richard Lee, who runs the “cannabis college”, was detained then released. His home was raided by  agents with guns (because this wheelchair bound activist is such a threat. Where’s your raid on Wall Street?), according to Dale Sky Jones,  chancellor of  Oaksterdam. Four marijuana nursery workers were detained at Oaksterdam. No arrests were made.

Don Duncan of Americans for Safe Access writes:

This is a grave injustice against local patients and a slap in the face for a city that has led the state in sensible regulations for medical cannabis. Americans for Safe Access (ASA) helped to mobilize protesters this morning, and is working to frame this story in the media right now. We wish we did not need an Emergency Response Campaign but today’s events show that we still do.

So whose to blame for all of this needless militaristic force that descended upon a legitimate trade college going about their business?

From left, U.S. Attorney Benjamin Wagner (Eastern District), U.S. Attorney Laura Duffy (Southern District), U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag (Northern District) and U.S. Attorney Andre Birotte (Central District)

 

These four attorneys stated in October that they would aggressively  prosecute many marijuana dispensaries as profit-making criminal  enterprises. Staying true to their word, three dispensaries in San Francisco, one in  Marin County and 50 in Sacramento have closed under  pressure, in addition to about 150 others throughout the state of California.

This team of legal vigilantes have made it their mission to defy their constituents’ wishes under the guise of “protecting the children”, whose schools may be too close to dispensaries. (Note: The “protecting the children” defense is almost always a cloak for politically motivated agenda.)

“Its a total waste of federal resources,” Stephanie Tucker,  spokesperson for the San Francisco medical cannabis task force, told The Huffington Post. “They’re attacking a peaceful, regulated community, and  it’s wasting money. Shame on them.”

Indeed shame on them. And shame on all of the legislators who have taken it upon themselves to rewrite The Constitution and hoist their own self-created political agenda upon a public that voted them into office.

God bless America…it’s going to need all the help it can get.

 

Beth Mann is a popular blogger and writer for Open Salon and Salon. She is also an accomplished artist with over 15 years of experience, as well as the president of Hot Buttered Media. She currently resides at the Jersey shore where she can be found surfing or singing karaoke at a local dive bar.

Contact: maryjane {at } freedomisgreen.com

 

Contributions by:

Jahan Marcu is currently investigating the pharmacology of cannabinoid receptors. He was working at the California Pacific Medical Center Research Institute when exciting discoveries were made showing enhanced anti-cancer effects with THC and CBD from the Cannabis plant. The findings were published in the Journal of Molecular Cancer Therapeutics. In 2009 he received the Billy Martin Award from the International Cannabinoid Research Society (ICRS). Jahan is currently the vice-chair the Medical and Scientific Advisory Board at Americans for Safe Access (ASA). Questions? Contact science@freedomisgreen.com

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily represent any University, business or affiliates. While the information provided in this blog is from published scientific studies it is not intended to diagnose or treat any disease.

Miley Cyrus is So NOT a Stoner, so Like, Back Off!

 

Too cute to be a stoner.

Okay, so like Miley had a birthday party last week and Kelly Osbourne (a BFF) gives her a cake with a picture of Bob Marley on it, whose like some dead Jamaican rapper or something. Which was really funny and sooo Kelly. So then like, Miley makes a joke to her friends:

“You know you’re a stoner when your friends make you a Bob Marley cake.”

And like now, everyone thinks she’s a stoner! What? Come on – that’s just SO silly.

Here’s why:

A. She worked for Disney. D-I-S-N-E-Y. They’re all about family values and friendly mouses and stuff. Next thing you’ll be telling me, Tinkerbell is a crackhead. (Which she can’t be, because they don’t make pipes that small…hello!)

B. She’s a tween role model. SO many young girls look up to her. (Not like Jamie Lynn Spears who is totally slutty with a capital S.) Do you really think Miley would ruin her image by being a stoner? Celebrities have to be smart and do the right thing or helllllooo, they’d be out of a job, people!

C. Miley smokes salvia, which is much classier than pot. It even sounds classier.

D. Miley is like an uber-brainiac and only dopes smoke weed.

Let Miley tell you in her own words:

“I almost feel like people think of me as dumb…I’m like, I’m smarter than you think. You know, I understand what you’re trying to do. It’s all a mind game and what not.”

See? What did I tell you? Right from the horse’s mouth! Hardly the words of a stoner.

Well, Kelly Osbourne (BFF) sure came to her defense on Twitter:

“U guys if @MileyCyrus is not recording/filming/touring she is works everyday how could she possible do all that if she was a stoner! #think.’ (sic).”

Hello, right? OMG, I couldn’t have said it better myself, typos and all.

So y’all, give Miley a break. Cuz like she’d SO give you a break if you said something stupid.

 

Beth Mann is a popular blogger and writer for Open Salon and Salon. She is also an accomplished actor and director with over 15 years of experience, as well as the president of Hot Buttered Media. She currently resides at the Jersey shore where she can often be seen surfing or singing karaoke at the local dive bar.

Contact: maryjane {at } freedomisgreen.com

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Depression and Weed – One Girl’s Story

Depression and Weed – How to Get High for Help

I never realized the passing hours of evening showers
A slip noose hanging in my darkest dreams
I’m strangled by your haunted social scene
Just a pawn out-played by a dominating queen
It’s four o’clock in the morning
Dammit listen to me good
I’m sleeping with myself tonight
Saved in time, thank God my music’s still alive

-       Elton John, Someone Saved my Life Tonight


I was ten and living in this same house at the Jersey shore when I heard that song I curled up on my bedroom floor and cried my eyes out for a long time. Too long for a little girl who didn’t even understand the lyrics. I knew then my spirit could become heavy.

Due to my father’s death years before, I became preoccupied with death and the supernatural, thinking ghosts were constantly sneaking around me. Darkness scared me into my teens; I slept with a light on. I was afraid of being left, in any incarnation…abandonment issues. Bleak and voracious thoughts seemed to chase after me. It was the beginnings of depression.

As an adult I tried several anti-depressants over the years. Four different kinds in total, each with their own weird side effects, including a lovely facial twitch.

Sure on some levels I felt better on them, but I didn’t feel like me. Instead I felt like a strange cartoon version of myself, hovering above earth like a float in a parade. When I found out they could affect my sex drive, I parted ways with them. What’s happiness without horniness? Nothing, indeed.

Marijuana entered my life at an early age. In my teens, I used it to numb out and have fun with my friends. It wasn’t until years later that I realized if I didn’t use it as a drug but as a medicine, it could actually help this chronic heaviness I felt.

My self-diagnosis is anxiety-based depression. I can get stuck in “thought loops” that can leave me standing in the middle of a room, unable to take a single step forward for fear that I’ll do the wrong thing. (Crippling indecision is the most under-discussed aspect of depression.)

After a particularly bad break-up about 10 years ago, those loops were growing worse. Just as some people envision a warm beach to relax, I pictured a shiny gun in my mouth. Seriously. That’s what I did to relax. Something had to change. But I didn’t want to go on any more meds.

I still remember the afternoon I used marijuana – not to escape, not to “party” – but to help me during a depressive episode. I lived in San Francisco at the time and shared a little Castro flat with two women. I smoked a little pot out on our deck and then forced myself on a walk.

When I hit the street, everything had a shimmering glow. The sun was crystalline bright, the breeze so light. Everyone was bustling about and I couldn’t help but smile, even though only hours before I could barely move.

Then I ambled about, hit some yard sales (a therapy in its own right), and chatted with some wonderfully wacky little neighbors. My mood lightened with each step. When I came back home, with a bag of random treasures, I let out a deep sigh of relief. The spell had been broken. The loops had stopped. And I actually enjoyed my afternoon!

It seemed as if smoking pot allowed my overactive brain to stop and smell the proverbial roses. From that point forward, I’d use pot in a way that seemed less about escape and more about taking self-care.

I don’t smoke weed every day. It matters to me that I spend time “as is,” with the loops and the dank, heavy thoughts. They deserve their time and my respect. During those times, I allow myself to cry, like that little girl listening to a 70’s song about suicide. I just let it all out and it’s such a profound relief. That was stuck in me and it had to come out afterall.

But when I find myself in a serious downward spiral, I might choose pot to stop the cycle. Why wouldn’t I? It beats anti-depressants that make my face twitch. And needlessly suffering seems stupid.

I smoke and suddenly instead of white-knuckled worrying I notice the majestic beauty of the clouds. Or that cheerful, focused way a dog walks with its owner. Or the rustling of leaves on a gray day…god, how sexy is that?

My occasional “drug” habit has allowed me to live in the moment again and allow myself to feel the magic that’s happening around us all of the time. I’m given a break from depression. And even when I do feel badly, I remember that it’s possible to feel other ways.

But that’s just my story.

 

You’re a butterfly
And butterflies are free to fly
Fly away, high away, bye bye

Someone Saved my Life Tonight - Elton John

 

Read more in the Maryjane Category at Freedomisgreen.com

Beth Mann is a popular blogger and writer for Open Salon and Salon. She is also an accomplished actor and director with over 15 years of experience, as well as the president of Hot Buttered Media. She currently resides at the Jersey shore where she can often be seen surfing or singing karaoke at the local dive bar. Contact: maryjane {at } freedomisgreen.com

Other blogs:

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Silly Lists of Nothingness

The Most Boring Blog Ever

 

What I Learned at the 2011 National NORML Conference

“Miss, either take off your sweatshirt or that woman right there will pat you down.”

“I’d prefer the patdown please.” Heck, someone wants to lay their pretty little hands on me, even at airport security, who am I to stop them? Pat away, baby.

I walk through the scanners and this attractive woman slowly begins frisking me in what I deem a sensual manner. I found myself slightly hypnotized by her firm but yielding touch. Reflections of the The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) conference I just attended begin floating through my mind.

Let’s get something straight: I’m not a huge medical marijuana activist (though I believe it should be legal). I’m more of a jaded bon vivant who observes life in her own special way. So when I was invited to this conference, I wondered what I could contribute, if anything. So instead of telling you about medical marijuana or the laws and science surrounding it and the pioneers behind it, I figured I’d just share my peripheral views, on the event and Denver itself.

So with no further ado:

1. Denver is brighter than other places:


I guess because it’s closer to the sun, but the place is bathed in this crystalline white light. People seemed friendlier here as well, though this may be the weed.

2. The Grand Hyatt is very hip.


The staff dedicated a whole floor to medical pot smokers, with these sweet letters left on our doors encouraging us to smoke as we see fit. Well, hello progressiveness. Stop by New Jersey when you get a chance.

3. People know far too much about weed. Crazy words were being bandied about: cannabinoids, phytocannabinoids, tetrahydrocannabivarin, etc. I can’t even roll a joint let alone dissect the damn thing.

(Don’t look at this chart below. Your eyes may bleed.)

4. Montel Williams is one slick cat. He served as the moderator for the mayoral debate held during the conference. Man, this guy is poised. He probably smells really good too.

5. Maximize your hotel room. I for one love the freedom of a hotel room. You can take scandalous photos of yourself. Then take a nap. Or no….go to the hot tub on the roof, then nap. Then take a bath. Then drink wine. Then take more scandalous photos of yourself. I call it vacation.

6. It’s hard to get a photo of Chris Goldstein standing still. Chris is one of key organizers of the event and a good friend of mine. This man is on the go. It’s a good thing he doesn’t have a cocaine addiction or he’d blow us all up.

7. Denver has good beer and coffee. Damn good. It must be the mountain water. Below, my friend Diane devilishly imbibes.

8. 4:20 on 4/20 is a mixed bag. Thousands of people gather in front of the city’s town hall and smoke out during this special time frame. I expected it to be an inspiring event but instead it seemed seedy and depressing. Pot is a tricky drug – it has the ability to really help people on so many levels, but it can still be abused.

9. Hippies can be bad asses too. A group of conference attendees went out to dinner one evening and these rude guys sat next to us and began playing their iPod at the table. (Really? Do we not know that’s rude?) Worse, they were playing some generic brand dance music from the 90′s or something equally ear-raking. I asked them (very politely, with teeth clenched) to turn it off.

Well, they didn’t appreciate my request. An argument ensued. I was ready to throw down (I’m from Jersey. It’s what I do!) Nobody at our table really saw how heated this was getting except for this guy, Brian Wallace of MAPS, who finally diffused the whole thing in a friendly but slightly fierce manner.

10. Science nerds can be turned into models. Cannabinoid researcher Jahan Marcu is a brilliant guy. Almost a little too brilliant. I decided to dumb him down a bit by having him pose for a few GQ style shots. As a media gal, I realize the importance of people like Jahan – they add a young, fresh face to the movement, which is always a good thing.

Before:


After:

11. The piano player at the Grand Hyatt in Denver is amazing! His name is Mark Pressey. He even let me sing “Someone to Watch over Me” with him my last night there. I love you, Mark!

12. Being in the presence of Ziggy Marley is just plain special.

I didn’t really think I’d be as moved as I was by hearing him perform. There’s this energy the Marleys possess; warm and inviting, like sunshine. I guess that’s no surprise.

13. Many people secretly like John Denver. “Rocky Mountain High” played through my mind the second we touched ground in Denver. The more I talked about him with others, the more I realized that many people are closet fans. Shh…

“Miss, you’re good to go” whispers the pretty security lady after our special encounter together. I tried to light a cigarette but it was forbidden. (But so is our love, isn’t it?)

“Are you sure you’re done? Wanna check again? There are….other places,” I ask. Wink, wink.

She smiled demurely and I boarded my plane back to Philadelphia.

Beth Mann is a popular blogger and writer for Open Salon and Salon. She is also an accomplished actor and director with over 15 years of experience, as well as the president of Hot Buttered Media. She currently resides at the Jersey shore where she can often be seen surfing or singing karaoke at a local dive bar.

Contact: maryjane {at } freedomisgreen.com