Cannabis Conferences in 2015 You Might be Interested In

Learn more about how to be an effective advocate of drug policy reform at Cannabis Conferences. Two of them are coming up! One in February and one in March of 2015.

The FIRST conference is: icbc_sf_logo_big

International Cannabis Business Conference

Februrary 15, 16, 2015    in San Francisco, California.

The website says: “The International Cannabis Business Conference (ICBC) is a business and networking event like none other. It is unique in that it brings in the top cannabis attorneys and professionals, as well as politicians, celebrities and journalists from around the U.S. and the world. The days are filled with networking and well-informed and lively speakers, and the evenings are filled with music and laughter. The ICBC is an environment expressly created for learning and networking and is a must attend for any serious Canna entrepreneur.”

SPEAKERS INCLUDE:

Dr. Carl Hart, Ph.D, an associate professor of psychology and psychiatry at Columbia University. Author of “High Price: A Neuroscientist’s Journey of Self-discovery that Challenges Everything you know about Drugs and Society”.

Ethan Nadelmann, founding director of the Drug Policy Alliance (DPA), a driving force behind many successful marijuana law reform measures.

Amanda Reiman, Manager of Marijuana Law and Policy at the Drug Policy Alliance (DPA),

Dale Gieringer, the state director of California NORML (National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws) since 1987

Anthony Johnson, the Director of New Approach Oregon, the political action committee responsible for the successful 2014 ballot measure that legalized and regulated marijuana in Oregon.

CONGRESSMAN DANA ROHRABACHER- Currently serving his 13th term in Congress, he represents California’s scenic 48th District. He co-sponsored the amendment to the Omnibus spending bill which eliminated Federal Funding for law enforcement interference with medical marijuana programs.

 The SECOND CONFERENCE IS:

National Medical Cannabis Unity Conference

(3rd Annual), March 27-31, 2015

in Washington, DC.

http://www.nationalmedicalcannabisunityconference.org/

The speakers are not listed, however this conference is welcome to many: Medical cannabis patients, legal professional, medical professionals, advocates, caregivers, industry professionals or professionals working in any aspect of advocacy including federal, state or local government relations, public relations, public affairs, community activism, coalitions, public policy, campaigns, PAC and grassroots, politics, legislation, and communications.

March 31st is reserved for “LOBBY DAY”.  They note that:

“We know that the best outcomes happen when medical cannabis patients and advocates have a voice in the conversation about policies that affect their lives and/or the lives of loved ones.

Research shows that YOUR citizen lobbying is 6x more effective than lobbying from special interest groups.

When you register for the conference we will make an appointment for you to meet with your Representative on our Lobby Day, March 31, 2015.”

Please pass this information along to others who might wish to attend.

Legalized cultivation and sales on Native American Lands

After the last election in which Oregon, Alaska and D.C. voters legalized marijuana, there has been much speculation about which state will be next. The answer to “Who will be next?” might be ANY state in which Native American Tribes own land.

Chalk farmland Hampshire

On December 11, 2014 the U.S. Justice Department issued a memorandum to U.S. attorneys requesting that they allow Native Americans to grow and sell cannabis on their own sovereign lands, even in states that don’t allow it.

One requirement is that they implement “robust and effective regulatory systems”.

They are also required to respect the eight priorities listed in the U.S. Justice Dept. memo outlining marijuana enforcement priorities (August 29, 2013). These are the priorities:

  1. Preventing the distribution of marijuana to minors;
  2. Preventing revenue from the sale of marijuana from going to criminal enterprises, gangs,and cartels;
  3. Preventing the diversion of marijuana from states where it is legal under state law in some form to other states;
  4. Preventing state-authorized marijuana activity from being used as a cover or pretext for the trafficking of other illegal drugs or other illegal activity;
  5. Preventing violence and the use of firearms in the cultivation and distribution of marijuana;
  6. Preventing drugged driving and the exacerbation of other adverse public health consequences associated with marijuana use;
  7. Preventing the growing of marijuana on public lands and the attendant public safety and environmental dangers posed by marijuana production on public lands; and
  8. Preventing marijuana possession or use on federal property.

Tribes will reserve the right to request that federal law is upheld, if they decide that they don’t want cannabis to be legal.

Of course, the benefits of complete legalization are many and hopefully they will take advantage of this opportunity to farm cannabis.

This may be the best opportunity to grow hemp.

This may be the best opportunity to produce quality medicinal marijuana.

And, this may be the best opportunity to cultivate high-grade strains of marijuana for recreational or ceremonial use.

The potential benefits of unimpeded cannabis cultivation and sales are many.

To see WHERE these native lands are located WATCH VIDEO here.

 

Free Workshops on Maui NEXT WEEK and Big Island 12/15-20.

The Public Access Room (PAR) is offering FREE training for anyone who wants to be effective in using the legislative process to change laws. legis

In MAUI on December 8, 9, 10, 11 and 12. On the Big Island the following week.

For details –Please see the website and 2014 Maui outreach flyer

Maui Workshops: Dec 2014
Mon Dec 8 3 p Lahaina Kaunoa West Maui Senior Ctr
788 Pauoa St., off Lahainaluna Road
Tue Dec 9 12 noon Pukalani Tavares Community Ctr
91 Pukalani St. (meeting room by the pool)
Wed Dec 10 6 p Kihei Community Ctr
Kihei Community Center303 E. Lipoa St. (small mtg room, by hall)
Thur Dec 11 6 p Wailuku Public Library
251 High St.
Fri Dec 12 12 noon Kahului Community Ctr
275 Uhu St. (in Kahului Community Park)
Hawaii Island Workshops: Dec 2014
Schedule in development, tentatively set for December 15-20.

Phone Red

And, please call them if you would like to have group or individual instruction: Maui  (808) 984- 2400 (extension 7-0478), Big Island (808) 974-4000 (ext. 7-0478), Oahu (808) 587-0478.

 

Who supports legalization? How many in Hawai’i?

newspaper

 

An interesting revelation in a Civil Beat article is that: Not just potheads support the legalization of marijuana. National studies show that 52% of the adults in the U.S. favor legalization, and 35% of those are non-users. The author examined various reasons why someone might favor legalization (or not). He speculated that some people who do not favor legalization may not understand that regulation is a part of legalization. He also made it clear that supporting legalization of marijuana does not necessarily condone using it.

Phone Red

Compare statistics from Hawai’i – a 2014 Poll!

The RESULTS from a Q-mark telephone survey of 400 people (mostly from Oahu) found even higher numbers than the national studies!

This year, the percentage of people that favor Medical Marijuana went up to 85%! That same number favors establishing a local dispensary system.

Most people (66% of all islands and 75% from neighbor islands) think that legalization, regulation and taxation IS an acceptable alternative to our current system.

77% favor decriminalization for the act of possessing marijuana and thought NO jail time was needed–as long as the person is not a drug dealer.

Similar to the other surveys, most of the people surveyed (66%) had NOT used marijuana (for medical reasons) and didn’t have a close relationship with anyone who did.

The times they are a-changing.

The Votes are In. Many Sensible Marijuana Policy Reforms Pass

I votedSensible Marijuana Policy Reforms Prevail – From Alaska to Washington D.C.. . and Guam?

On November 4th, 2014, Voters across many states took a strong stance AGAINST marijuana prohibition and FOR sensible drug laws.  The people have spoken. File:Thomas H Ince - Megaphone 1922.jpg

Here’s what they decided:

Marijuana will be LEGAL for recreational use in the states of Alaska and Oregon and in Washington D.C.

Now marijuana will be regulated like alcohol.

Alaska’s, Question 2 passed with a 53% YES vote.  In Oregon, measure 91 passed with a 54% YES vote.

Washington D.C. (Initiative 71) passed with a 69% vote. While this is a huge victory, it is only a first step. The law only allows (right now) for people to grow their own, there is no structure to tax and regulate adult use marijuana, and as we saw in their recent decriminalization law, it will be exposed to possible congressional interference.

P medical-marijuanaFortunately, in GUAM – voters said YES to Medical marijuana.

Unfortunately, despite 57% of votes being in favor of medical marijuana, the measure failed in Florida. (a 60% vote was required.)

 

Jail w flag outsideFortunately, there was good news about decriminalization efforts in other states:

Californians passed Prop 47—which will reduce penalties for some crimes and reclassify MOST non-serious, non-violent crimes. Penalties will be reduced from a felony to a misdemeanor. They also voted NO to drug testing of certain doctors.

In Michigan voters in THREE counties passed decriminalization ordinances, TWO counties in New Mexico did too.

In New Jersey the public was questioned about bail reform and they agreed that the number of pretrial incarceration (for low-level drug violations) should be reduced.

Portland, Maine voters passed to remove ALL legal penalties for possession of up to 1 ounce of marijuana by an adult.Jail door opened

We should applaud the people who worked to make these efforts into a reality.

And, we should keep in mind the words of Margaret Mead:Margaret Mead

 

 

Vote

Voters in 7 States will vote on Marijuana Policy Reform

This is a HUGE Election Year for Marijuana Policy Reform!

The people in 7 States, 1 District and 1 Territory will vote on   Legalization and Decriminalization.

voters
Image courtesy of the joint blog.

Public policy changes may also be made in 57 Municipal and County votes.

It’s EASY to Get informed and Stay informed–Here’s how:

Read this excellent article in the Huffington Post (by Stephen Gutwillig) about what is happening in: Alaska, Oregon, Florida, California, Michigan, Maine, New Mexico, Washington D.C., and Guam.

CLICK HERE TO READ THE ARTICLE

From Russ Belville FB page
From Russ Belville FB page

Activist Russ Belville has ongoing RADIO coverage of ALL of these States (and Territory) plus 57 municipal and county votes—so you can stay informed.

Listen in at  420 Radio

Medical Cannabis may get out of CSA Schedule I prison (because it got a bad rap)

Leaf gavel

What started as federal criminal trials against seven men growing marijuana on national forest land in California has turned into a monumental, HISTORIC evidentiary hearing. The hearing lasted four days and started on Friday, October 24, 2014. It was complete with three expert medical witnesses and a NORML attorney whose testimonies were described as “lively”, “fiery” and at times “humorous”.

The judge will determine if the current Controlled Substance Act classification of marijuana (as a Schedule I drug) is appropriate and constitutional.

The defense attorneys contend that it is NOT constitutional because the scheduling is not appropriate.

The Judge’s decision could mean the END of marijuana prohibition–at least in California.

U.S. District Court Judge, Kimberly J. Mueller said she felt compelled to examine up-to-date evidence that marijuana has medical usefulness because of a Supreme Court decision which changed another law. The decision to delete a FOOTNOTE in another case (Footnote #37 from the Gonzales v. Raich case) led to this twist in the trial.  Read more about the Footnote here]

The testimony Judge Mueller heard this week will allow her to determine if marijuana meets the criteria of a Schedule I drug, a category that includes heroin and LSD.

As you may know, Schedule I drugs are defined as those that:

  • have a high potential for abuse
  • lack any accepted medical use in treatment (in the United States)
  • cannot be used safely, even under medical supervision.

The three eminent medical experts who testified are Carl Hart PhD, Gregory Carter, MD and Philip Denny, MD. The doctors argued that cannabis is one of mankind’s oldest, safest therapeutic substances and does not fit ANY of the Schedule I criteria. All three addressed marijuana’s current and potential medical usefulness, the “better than most drugs on the market” safety profile and what the “potential for abuse” means if you’re using marijuana as medicine.

If Judge Mueller determines that cannabis is inappropriately classified, and determines it to be “unconstitutional”, her decision could lead to the rescheduling or DESCHEDULING of marijuana.

This will be a landmark decision with statewide, national and international impacts. Many appeals are likely to follow and the case could head back to the Supreme Court. Judge Mueller is supposed to make her decision by November 19, 2014.

 

TESTIMONY GIVEN BY THE DOCTORS

Carl Hart 1

Dr. Carl Hart is a drug addiction expert. He is a psychoneuropharmacologist who has conducted addiction research on human subjects. He educates physicians at Columbia medical school. He sits on an advisory board of the National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA) and advocates for drug policy reform. His performance was described as a “masterful testimony”

Dr. Hart dissected the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (which defines addiction) and stated:

“After two decades of intense scientific inquiry in this area, it has become apparent the current scheduling of cannabis has no footing in the realities of science and neurobiology.”  (from Norml.org/news)

Dr Gregory Carter

Dr. Gregory Carter also specializes in educating physicians about cannabis. He is the medical director at St. Luke Rehabilitation Institute in Spokane, Washington. He holds many board certifications and fellowships including the American Academy of Cannabinoid Medicine. He cited and discussed a meta-analysis of 18 placebo-controlled studies, the majority of them showing cannabis was effective at treating neuropathic pain and had minimal side effects.

It was noted that the United States government (DHHS) holds a patent on marijuana as a neuroprotective agent and that 23 states and Washington D.C. have medical marijuana laws.

Dr. Phillip Denny is a retired physician with vast experience treating medical cannabis patients.

Dr. Denny spoke about the U.S. government’s Investigative New Drug program (IND), the program that has supplied US patients with tins of government-grown cannabis since the 1970’s. He presented the results of a 2002 study showing the long-term successes in treating the severely ill IND patients. He fielded questions about a study showing the cannabis-based prescription medication, Marinol had the same effectiveness as smoked cannabis—helping substantiate the medical value of both.

Day 4 was also lively. Bertha Madras PhD, the only government expert witness asserted that cannabis cannot properly be called “medicine” because it does not meet the strict standards set by the Food and Drug Administration. NORML attorney Zenia Gilg countered by providing the results of randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled studies which showed significant and beneficial medicinal effects.

Gilg also dimished Madras’s credibility as an expert witness, citing her lack of training and experience with working with medical marijuana. This stood in stark contrast to the vast education and experience of Dr. Hart, Dr. Carter and Dr. Denny.

To read more about day 4 click here:

Arrest records in New York City show racial bias persists

Racism persists in New York City. You can tell by looking at marijuana arrest records. This is not new, but arrest rates of young black and Latino males (for small amounts of marijuana) are higher than in any other city in the world.

Missouri Sentencing Reform Measure Reduces Marijuana Possession Penalties
Image courtesy of the daily chronic

What’s going on?

An article entitled “No Progress on Marijuana Arrests” appeared last week in the New York Times.

It explains that low-level marijuana arrest records for public possession started going down in the 1970s and then climbed back up, up, UP again. There were fewer than 1,000 arrests for possession of trivial amounts of marijuana in 1990, yet this number grew to 50,000 in 2011.

It did drop to 28,600 arrests in 2013, but that number of arrests for trivial amounts of marijuana still remains greater than ANY city in the world.

Why? What happened?

In the 1970’s police were better at following the law which dictated that arrests were not supposed to be made unless marijuana was being smoked or displayed in public. So, by the year 2011 police found a way around that and were (illegally) tricking people (primarily young black and Latino men) into emptying their pockets –and then charging them with “public possession”.

Over 86% of the people arrested were black and Latino men and 75% of them had no prior criminal convictions.

The article offers up an explanation based on a Marijuana Arrest Research Project and Drug Policy Alliance report. The reason given: “police officers patrolling white neighborhoods typically do not search the vehicles and pockets of white citizens”.

Institutionalized racism persists despite our efforts. Perhaps this article will help people who think racism is a thing of the past to understand how this situation can persist.

You can read the entire article HERE

We have a new Field Organizer –WENDY GIBSON

We have a new field organizer joining our team. Wendy Gibson is an RN who has been an advocate of drug policy reform for many years. Here’s what she has to say to you:

Hello everyone,

I’m Wendy Gibson, a nurse, and medical marijuana (cannabis) patient advocate. I’m pleased to announce that I will be serving as The Drug Policy Forum of Hawaii’s new Field Organizer.

It’s great to be joining them at such an exciting (and hopeful) time in our drug reform history. I appreciate the DPFHI successes in reforming Hawaii’s Medical Marijuana (cannabis) Program and promoting harm reduction policies.

In my 21 years of living on Oahu, the transfer of the Medical Marijuana program to the Department of Health is one of the biggest successes, one that I advocated for. I know this will help thousands of patients. And, knowing the need for a dispensary system, I’m hopeful that the Dispensary Task Force will help us establish one.

I have worked in the health care field for over 30 years, 21 of those here in Hawaii. I pushed many pharmaceutical drugs to patients for 9 years working as a pharmacy clerk and for 4 years as an R.N. I hope to work just as many years helping promote the use of alternative medications, such as cannabis which is showing promise as a safer and more effective treatment than many of the current pharmaceuticals.

I envision a future in which science and education prevail, so that people are no longer fearfully rejecting the use of these alternative (and formerly illegal) substances as medicine.

I’m looking forward to working with fellow advocates who share my opinion that all drugs should be legalized and regulated. This is the only way to truly promote harm reduction and good healthcare.

Travel Guru Rick Steves on Legalization

steves_01Travel guru Rick Steves has been a long time supporter of the legalization of marijuana, but he has recently started taking on a much larger role in helping to make legalization a reality.

You can learn more about Rick Steves’ views on drug policy here.

Steves has been doing a 10 city tour of Oregon in support of that state’s legalization initiative: Measure 91. Here are a few of the best quotes from one of his recent events (courtesy of Williamette Week magazine)

  • “A lot of Americans have this dream of a drug free society. There never has been a drug free society, there never will be a drug free society, and frankly I don’t want a drug free society.”
  • “I think fear is for people who don’t get out much. There’s a lot of fear wrapped up in this drug policy debate—fear of doing something different.”
  • “It’s fun to make Cheech and Chong jokes, but this is a very serious issue.”
  • “The best way to lose control of a dangerous substance is to make it illegal. The best way to gain control of it is to regulate it and educate people. I think we can do that with marijuana.”
  • On minority arrests and citations for marijuana-related crimes: “That’s the new Jim Crow.”
  • “States are incubators of change. State by state, we’re going to take down the prohibition of our age.”
  • “I’m a hardworking, churchgoing, kid raising, tax-paying, American citizen. If I want to go home, smoke a joint and look at the fireplace all night, that’s my civil liberty.”