“It’s the first time in decades that the federal government has curtailed its oppressive prohibition of marijuana," the measure's co-author, Rep. Dana Rohrabacher
With a large step in the right direction congress quietly ended the possibility of federal raids on medical marijuana patients. The 1.1 trillion dollar spending bill that is preventing the U.S. government from shutting down included a provision that prohibits federal agents from raiding retail medical cannabis operations in states that have legalized it medically. It is of no surprise that congress would secretly and quietly end this war on marijuana as if it hadn't been a hundred year, nation changing, monumental mistake. One would think that the end of a failed program that had spent over $51 billion dollars, and arrested over 800,000 people a year, and lost out on over $46.7 billion of tax revenue annually, would have rendered a little more attention. It would appear the government does not like to revel in its mistakes. With the size of this mistake, who can blame them? Before the marijuana masses take to the streets in celebration, there is still work to be done.
Unfortunately, within this bill, there was an attempt to end the recreational use of cannabis that just overwhelming passed in Washington D.C. with over 70 percent support. The bill that was approved last week includes a rider aimed at blocking marijuana legalization specifically in areas attempting to recreationally legalize like Washington, D.C. Whether it actually will do that is a matter of debate.
For those who do not know, a rider is an added provision within a bill that usually has little to do with the central subject. These are usually added to sneak by a provision that wouldn't normally pass by itself. The intention is to add it to an important bill so others will reluctantly pass it to keep the main referendum at the cost of also passing the additional “rider.” Some will even use a rider by adding a provision so terrible that no one will want to pass the bill, thus intentionally killing the bill that they do not want passed. This is called a wrecking amendment or poison pill.
This type of unworthy honor-less political game playing is common place in American politics, as well as many other countries one would imagine. The rider, introduced by Rep. Andy Harris (R-Md.), says:
"none of the funds contained in this Act may be used to enact any law, rule, or regulation to legalize or otherwise reduce penalties associated with the possession, use, or distribution of any schedule I substance."
House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers (R-Ky.), another misguided drug warrior, claims this spending restriction,
"prohibits both federal and local funds from being used to implement a referendum legalizing recreational marijuana use in the District."
The rider refers to enactment, not implementation. There is a debate over whether the initiative in D.C. has already been enacted and simply needs to be made effective, therefore cannot be changed by this new bill. The Harris rider dealt with spending to "enact or carry out”
decriminalization or legalization of any Schedule I drug. Eleanor Holmes Norton, the District of Columbia's congressional delegate, says that difference could prove crucial, because Initiative 71, the D.C. ballot measure legalizing marijuana possession, home cultivation, and sharing, "was enacted when it was approved overwhelmingly by voters in November." The initiative's elimination of penalties for specified marijuana-related activities is "self-executing," Norton says, requiring no additional legislation by the D.C. Council or by Congress. In other words, the event Harris seeks to prevent has already happened.
If Norton is correct, the rider will not stop Initiative 71 from taking effect, although it will prevent D.C, as well as all other states from moving forward on any other recreational cannabis avenues. That would include licensing and regulating marijuana related businesses since that would require new legislation. Harris also emphasized that he is not trying to interfere with D.C.'s medical marijuana law, which Congress blocked for more than a decade with a spending restriction similar to his rider. But broader legalization is unacceptable, Harris says, because it "will result in higher drug use among teens.” It is amazing that these old prohibitionist cling to these outdated talking points long after they have disproved. Both the Washington Post and USA Today recently posted articles showing a substantial drop in teen use in areas where marijuana has been legalized.
After the majority votes in favor of a certain initiative, it seems almost un-American to have the elected officials, charged solely with carrying out said majority will, independently decide to overturn the initiative. Nikolas Schiller, director of communications for the D.C. Cannabis Campaign, said, "They're basically overturning an election, I mean, why vote if you're going to nullify what we said?” D.C. Council Member David Grosso, author of a bill that would authorize licensing and regulation of marijuana growers and retailers said,
"It is disheartening and frustrating to learn that once again the District of Columbia is being used as a political pawn by the Congress, to undermine the vote of the people—taxpayers—does not foster or promote the 'limited government' stance House Republicans claim they stand for; it's uninformed paternalistic meddling.”
Medical marijuana establishments are, for the time being, safe from Federal prosecution as long as the state law allows. Which continues to be a gigantic contradiction as cannabis remains a schedule 1 substance, primarily implying no medical value. Now that Congress has allowed states to freely access medical marijuana it seems almost laughable that cannabis remains on that list. The question also remains, what will now happen to those currently being prosecuted for marijuana related charges that were allowed under state law? What of those currently serving time for the same? It is now the charge of all pro-cannabis crusaders to use this new provision to free patients from more needless judicial prosecution and further incarceration.
With actions being taken by Congress to intentionally change what the American people vote into law, one begins to lose faith in the entire process. That does not mean hope is lost. Despite shifty and deceitful political gaming, the entire movement is continuing to take ground. Decriminalization is becoming a reality and children who need CBD to survive are now able to do so. So much has been accomplished by the unity of the believers. For that, The Last American Vagabond commends you all. Now is the time to push forward and finish what was started. Stay the course and free those unjustly imprisoned. The end is near and the evasive actions of those who would stand in the way only emphasis the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel.
“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” -Edmund Burke
It is an unfortunate truth that many in this country know the feeling of hopelessness one gains from hearing the term “inoperable” or simply the word cancer. It has become a dark cloud looming over every choice made and every corner turned. The sad fact is that current data shows more than 44% of people who died in 2009 in the U.S. had been diagnosed with cancer at some point in their life and these figures are increasing. Around 1,660,290 new cancer cases are expected to be diagnosed in 2014 and about 580,350 Americans are projected to die of cancer, almost 1,600 people a day. This is nearly 1 of every 4 deaths in the United States. Americans currently have the sixth highest cancer rate in the world. To put things in perspective, here are a few of the countries with lower rates: Korea (8th), Slovenia (11th), Serbia (25th) and Kazakhstan (42nd).
Cancer is a sad thing indeed, and no country in the world is exempt from its deadly grasp. There are however some who chose to seek out whatever means possible to fight this dangerous disease and stop at nothing to provide such means to the public. The United States is not one of these places. The DEA currently has cannabis listed as a Schedule I controlled substance, which implies it has no accepted medical value and a high potential for abuse. It would interest many to hear that the Federal government currently holds the only medical patent for cannabis. Patent No. 6630507, held by...
With every passing day, the Marijuana Movement and its renewal of personal freedom and constitutional focus is awakening the voice of the masses. This revival of founding American principles is scaring those financially invested in maintaining the country’s complacent and stagnant status quo. As many are beginning to see, a lot more is riding on this movement than the right to smoke weed. This entire issue is deeply rooted in refreshing and revitalizing the power behind the true governing body of this country, the people. It is this simple fact that is causing the government to use every possible situation at its disposal to defame cannabis and all of its proven uses and benefits. Unfortunately, that includes using the extremely sensitive story of a young man and his death at the hand of a police officer. The story of Michael Brown is widely known and surrounded by debate. The death of a human being, provoked or not, is always an unfortunate and sorrowful event. This particular issue centers around the use of deadly force and whether it was justified. When a blood test found traces of marijuana, but no other psychoactive substances in Brown’s blood, one would have thought that the issue of intoxication would be off the table. Especially when the level was lower than that of the outdated government comparison of “one joint.” However, that was not the case as the transcript shows in the testimony heard by the grand jury that rejected criminal charges against Darren Wilson, the Ferguson, Missouri police officer who shot and killed Brown on August 9. Wilson testified that the unarmed 18-year old had attacked him without provocation, punching him in the face and trying to grab his gun. He claimed...
The Tenth Amendment:
-The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.
Five law abiding citizens of Washington state are each currently facing 10 years imprisonment for cultivating marijuana completely within state regulations. One of whom is 70-year-old Larry Harvey. For 15 years now, marijuana has been legalized for medical and recreational purposes in the state of Washington. One citizen who wishes to remain nameless said,
“I don't see how this family can be arrested and charged when just down the road you can walk into a store and buy a joint? That just doesn't make sense.”
In this small town of Kettle Falls, the Harvey family choose to garden, hunt and fish for nearly all of their food. This was their American dream; to be self sufficient and self sustaining. Cannabis was only one of the dozens of legal herbs being grown. Despite claims to the contrary, no attempt was made to distribute this marijuana in any way. This cannabis was grown for personal use for medical needs. A large sign with a green cross was staked by the garden to signal that its use was medical and within the law. However, in this gentle homestead...
Once again the internet is flush with a new batch of cannabis naysayers choosing to report a skewed version of a new study. The findings are interesting and have both good and bad results. As always, The Last American Vagabond is here to report the truth, whatever that may be; sprinkled with opinion and perspective, but the facts remain the facts. The information always included in full so each reader can form an educated opinion as opposed to regurgitating half truths. That is the defining difference between a journalist and a sensationalist.
A recent study, which compared 48 users with 62 “control” subjects who never smoked, found that the brain of a marijuana smoker had “higher functional and structural connectivity” but had a reduced amount of grey matter. The white matter compensates for the damage with the increased neuron connectivity. White matter is responsible for transmission of signals, thus affecting how the brain functions. In other words, regular cannabis use shrinks the brain but increases the complexity of its wiring improving brain function.
The greatest increase in connectivity occurred as an individual first began to use cannabis...
"Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.” -Albert Einstein
One would be hard pressed to find a person not jaded by the American political system. Lies and deception accepted as “part of the process” as if to imply that it is outside the politician’s control, and each is simply playing the game. Major news conglomerates stating contradictory “facts” about very important issues. What is one to believe? It is as if the country has given up on trying to fix a broken system and become satisfied with choosing the lesser of two evils. As the public opinion begins to shift in favor of marijuana legalization many who once cried out, “Think of the children!” are now saying the exact same statement but fighting for the other side. Many are beginning to see what hemp and cannabis can truly do for the individual and for the country. It is important to differentiate between smoking cannabis, and using essential CBD oils (which do not get you high) to treat an illness. Many within the opposition want the uninformed to think the battle is over the right to smoke and get high. That aspect is a part of the debate, constitutional rights and all, but the least important of what is being fought for.
Currently the United States is divided on the issue of cannabis. Despite leading medical organizations that produce documented proof...
On the 27th of October a hearing will be held in California to determine whether cannabis should remain on the schedule one substance restricted list. Information will come to light that many have known since the substance was inducted: the classification of cannabis as a schedule one substance is unjustified, and that it has remained as such in the face of known and ignored facts, is unconstitutional at best.
Since the beginning of the war on drugs, this now disillusioned government has intentionally manipulated the public’s view of cannabis to protect the personal interests that were being threatened. Many would rather believe that topics such as this are the product of conspiracy theorists and anti-Americans. However, this is the unfortunate truth and all one has to do, is a very mild amount of research to come to the same conclusion. Originally, it was the timber industry that was threatened by the rising hemp capabilities that scared key political families into a massive cannabis slander campaign. Whether one believes the catalyst to be a specific individual or group, the ongoing effort to keep hemp and cannabis misunderstood is the true evil. Today it is still a very real threat to the timber industry, but the larger multibillion dollar pharmaceutical industry has the most to fear when it comes to what cannabis could, and will, render obsolete...
This is no longer a distant problem. The shocking reality of this visceral and deadly disease, long ago crossed the ocean and is now being downplayed at an alarming rate. This “so-called” epidemic has spread through a total of 8 countries, with 9,763 contracted cases and a total of 4,853 deaths with a current case fatality rate of a shocking 71%. No matter how one chooses to read these numbers the outcome is the same: Pandemic. This country continues to act as if this problem is not serious, or at least not serious for Americans. With five cases already contracted within the U.S. it is beginning to become clear that an outbreak of this magnitude, in any country, is every country’s problem.
This topic feels like some sort of surreal blockbuster movie plot line or the beginning of a zombie novel that heralds the coming of the end. This is not that far from the truth. However, the American people should have absolute faith that this country has every ability to combat this impending disaster. What should upset many and more is the fact that the overall seriousness of the issue is being dramatically downplayed...
Imagine a young child lying awake consumed with pain. Seizers that clench the teeth, headaches that shut the world out. Reaching for a loved one, someone, anyone to make the pain stop. Just when it seems to be over the muscle spasms reminding that conditions like these do not end, but seem to intensify with time. This is what Trey Brown has endured for many years. Until his mother, who could no longer stand by and watch her only son’s life be devoured by pain, decided to do what she knew was right.
After a baseball injury several years ago, in which Trey suffered a traumatic brain injury, he has continually suffered from many debilitating ailments including: headaches, muscle spasms and seizures. It got to the point where Trey was so unhappy, in such constant pain, that he began punching and cutting himself.
"He was in so much pain that he didn't want to live, no parent can understand it until they have to sit in their child's bed and hold them down so they don't hurt themselves or they have to sit beside them because they hurt so much that they can't handle your touch," Angela told Huffington Post
A young girl was suspended for half of the 2014 school year due to some writings discovered inside her personal journal. Now despite the cannabis related topics that were the catalyst of the suspension, the fact that her personal journal was open to reproach by the school district should not sit well with those aware of American’s slowly diminishing first amendment rights. Even though she is a child, there must be some justified reason or concern to breach ones personal information, minor or not. This was not the case.
Krystal had left her journal at school by accident and had thought it lost. It was discovered by school officials who then made the unilateral decision to investigate the personal contents within. This is where multiple accounts of marijuana use and discussion where found. Krystal was originally placed on a 10 day suspension and later told that she was out for the rest of the year. Until now, she had been a model student and never found herself in any trouble. Due to this suspension her grades plummeted and she lost out on credits needed for graduation. Krystal’s father, Tom Grayhorse, was understandably outraged. Later that outrage turned into hostility when he discovered that her disciplinary papers indicated that she had been suspended for "possession of a controlled substance," even though she was guilty of nothing more than expressing her written interest in one of the largest political topics of today...
“One has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws.” -Martin Luther King Jr.
In every society, each citizen will eventually come to a crossroad in which a choice must be made. It is a choice that will not only define the society, but ultimately, define the individual. It is an age old battle between right and wrong, good and evil, moral and immoral. After all, every person involved in creating the many different laws that Americans must adhere to, are only human. Meaning, that each is susceptible to greed and all the many different forms of treachery that could potentially alter ones ability to clearly and morally strike laws into place.
Today, this defining moment is happening for us all. With the new poll showing that 74 percent of Americans believe that marijuana has real medical benefits and will soon be completely legalized, most are beginning to feel a bit morally wrong about continuing to look the other way as our government profits off the overwhelmingly high percentage of nonviolent marijuana arrests. As of January 2014, over 25 percent of the federal prison population was incarcerated for nonviolent marijuana offenses. An overwhelming 50 percent of that total population was arrested for Drug related crimes. The federal prison population has increased by almost 790 percent since 1980. In a country where fifty percent of the federal prison population is incarcerated due to laws that the vast majority are speaking out against, it is the right as well...
“The truly scary thing about undiscovered lies is that they have a greater capacity to diminish us than exposed ones. They erode our strength, our self-esteem, our very foundation.” - Cheryl Hughes
At one point in this nation’s history journalism was an honorable and respected craft. It embodied a sense of duty to the people, a dedication to the freedom of information and the people’s right to the truth. It was carried out by men of honor, men who were revered. As always there will be some who choose to go against the grain and act out of desire and greed, but today the American people are seeing a complete loss of accountability within their trusted media.
Today one would be hard pressed to find a main stream media source that isn’t sponsored or completely backed by a corporate or private source. The problem being, that these financial sources have very specific agendas and would go as far as to broadcast information that was knowingly untrue to suit their needs. The facts and the truth are a secondary concern. With the addition of the internet to that equation, the idea of today’s media is intermingled with countless news outlets that can wildly claim unsubstantiated facts with no fear of reprisal. Yet, many Americans will still read, believe and repost those very same articles nonetheless. So the sad truth is that most of the country is being mislead about what is actually happening.
“Political language is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.” George Orwell
Americans shared a combination of shock and exuberance when President Obama made his recent statement to The New Yorker in regard to alcohol being more dangerous than marijuana. This raised many questions as well as a call to action that was clearly heard by those waiting for the right moment. In February, 18 members of Congress went as far as to send Obama a formal letter indicating their strong desire to reevaluate how the federal government regulates marijuana. One would think this statement was the herald of change. However, the Obama administration set out to dance around the issue while continuing to drag their feet.
“We’d be more than glad to work with Congress if there is a desire to look at and reexamine how the drug is scheduled, as I said there is a great degree of expertise that exists in Congress. It is something that ultimately Congress would have to change, and I think that our administration would be glad to work with Congress if such a proposal were made.”
This statement was made by Attorney General Eric Holder on April 4 of this year. Clearly, 18 members of Congress sending formal requests for action in the previous months, represents just the proposal that this statement suggests has yet to be made.
“When a man is denied the right to live the life he believes in, he has no choice but to become an outlaw.” - Nelson Madela
Meet Joe Cannabis (Joe’s real name has been changed at his request).
Joe is your average American citizen. He smokes marijuana for fun every so often but has slowed down after the birth of his second child, primarily for financial reasons. Like most Americans today, Joe feels that marijuana is grossly misrepresented by our government and feels that it is no different than tobacco or alcohol. However, he lives in a country where it is unfortunately still illegal, so he keeps his feelings to himself. Not so long ago, legislation was passed that made it possible for regulated dispensaries to legally operate within his home state. Having a pro marijuana mentality and a strong belief in the medical uses of cannabis, Joe decided to open a dispensary and get in on the ground floor; assuring that his growing family would have a secure financial future. Assuming that his state would not lead him astray, he invested all his saving into this pioneering venture. Being on the forefront of this Marijuana Movement, Joe was unfortunately one of the many who felt the unjust wrath of the Federal Government, who decided that they no longer agreed with the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States...
“The man who reads nothing at all is better educated than the man who reads nothing but newspapers.” Thomas Jefferson
The idea of the United States, at one point, was synonymous with the idea of power, morality, and leadership. A shining light in a world drowning within its own corruption and dishonesty. Choices were made that reverberated throughout the free world; clearing the path for those striving to break free from the shackles of coercion. The mission of The Last American Vagabond has always been to shine light on the dark corners of our society and force the average citizen to think for themselves. To look beyond whatever bias nonsense one chooses to read or watch from the mainstream media and develop one’s own opinion using common sense and deductive logic. Americans find themselves in a country today that has shed the extra mental weight of it’s morality and leadership, but deftly held on to it’s power. Looking at where this country began, compared to where it currently stands, one can honestly wonder with whom that power currently resides.
The system once set in place by our Forefathers, designed to give power to the people, is now only a phantom shell of what it once was. Enough of the shell remains to allow those unwilling...