George Rohrbacher is a cattle rancher from eastern Washington State. He has also owned and operated a diversified irrigated farm growing grapes, mint oil, sweet corn, wheat, and a half-a-dozen other crops. He has worked as an agricultural consultant in Russia and Egypt. George is the inventor of an international award-winning boardgame and an author of the novel Celilo Falls--The Story of a Murder. George spent several years as the executive director of a non-profit charged with promoting rural economic development. Rohrbacher has served in the Washington State Senate (R) and as a Commissioner of the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area.
“Every major government study of marijuana for the last 100 years has come to the same conclusion: The damage to society caused by the penalties associated with marijuana’s prohibition is greater than the damage to society from the actual use of marijuana itself. Richard M. Nixon’s own handpicked Presidential Commission studied marijuana for nearly two years and in their conclusions they recommended no criminal penalties for adult possession of 100 grams of marijuana. Nixon was shocked by their findings and tried to bury the Schafer Commission’s extensive report. Nixon instead proceeded with the “don’t try to confuse me with the facts, I’ve got my mind made up” approach to governance, and the full-scale war on marijuana commenced. Over four decades later, this institutionalized war against ganja continues to grow larger with each passing year. This war has created millions and millions of casualties, otherwise law-abiding Americans arrested for marijuana. In the period 1965-2006 there were 18,469,642 arrests for marijuana offenses, 89%-90% of them for the possession of a small quantity of pot, no marijuana arrests before the Uniform Crime Reporting Act are included in this count.
“The 2007 marijuana arrest data is not yet available. But by using the number of marijuana arrests in ’06, which were 829,625, and adding an adjusted estimated 4% increase in arrests from ’06-to-‘07 to estimate total arrests for 2007 at 862,810, we come to an estimated marijuana arrest total on Jan. 1, 2008 of 19,332,452. At America’s current daily arrest rate of 2364 marijuana arrests per day, when will America make its 20-millionth marijuana bust? The answer: the 20-millionth arrest will happen on 10/10/08, less than a week after the 71st anniversary of America’s very first federal marijuana arrest in 1937. Just before Election Day 2008—the cops will arrest their 20-millionth man (or woman) just for marijuana, and it could be you!”
“In the words of the DEA’s own Chief Administrative Law Judge, Francis L. Young, he found: ‘Marijuana, in its natural form, is one of the safest therapeutically active substances known to man… Marijuana has been accepted as capable of relieving distress in great numbers of very ill people, and doing so under medical supervision…’ But the Federal Government’s continued assaults on state-approved medical marijuana illustrate just how completely out of touch the Bush Justice Department has been with our own country on this issue. National polling data shows public support for medical marijuana at 75-80% levels. 14 states have rebelled already with their own laws and more are working on it every day. More than a $billion dollars of untaxed commerce in medical marijuana that goes on annually due to the federal government’s inability to end this seven decade long culture war on pot and develop sensible cannabis tax and regulation policies.”
“Grown by ‘first farmers’ George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, hemp cloth was worn by Abraham Lincoln from childhood to the campaign trail, in 1831, when Abe first pursued public office. Hemp is a disease and drought resistant crop grown worldwide. America is the only industrialized country that does not allow the cultivation of hemp; the marijuana strain with less than .03% of the psychoactive ingredients pot is world-famous for. There are more than a million cars that drive on America’s highways with foreign-grown hemp fibers in their plastic interior door panels. There is foreign-grown hemp oil in cosmetics and shampoos in every beauty shop in America and most homes, too—foreign-grown ‘hemp nuts’ (hulled hemp seeds that are 33% protein and loaded with heart-healthy Omega-3 fatty acids) are on the shelves of every health food store in the country. But it is illegal for me to grow hemp. As an American farmer, I am not allowed to compete at all against the other farmers from foreign countries for the food, oil, fiber market and shelf-space in my own damn country! This prohibitionist insanity with hemp must end!”
“Cruel, unjust, and even barbaric in its application, at times, marijuana prohibition is a tragedy seven decades in the making. America’s trail of 20,000,000 marijuana arrests is littered with wrecked and broken lives. It is important for all of us to know some of them who our own government has taken and broken on this road:
- Samuel R. Caldwell, America’s first federal marijuana arrestee, in Denver, Colo., Oct. 5, 1937. Arrested for selling two joints, Sam was sentenced to 4 years in Leavenworth; he died of stomach cancer before his sentence was up. Sam is arguably also America’s first incarcerated medical marijuana patient, too.
- Jonathan Magbie, Washington D.C., died Oct. 30, 2004, a wheelchair bound paraplegic, 28-years old; Jonathan needed a respirator to breathe at night. Jonathan was sentenced to 10 days in jail for the possession of one joint; he died on the fourth day of his sentence from respiratory failure.
- Timothy Garon, from my state, the other Washington, he died May 1, 2008, Timothy was first on a organ transplant list until a prohibitionist medical administrator busted Timothy off the list because he tested positive for medical marijuana that had been legally recommended and administered by his own doctor. Timothy died in Seattle while his case was under appeal.
- Rachel Hoffman, 23, Tallahassee, Fl, last seen alive on May 7, 2008. After two small quantity pot arrests, the police then searched Rachel’s home and found some more. The cops forced her to go undercover without telling her parents or her lawyer using the fear of much more serious charges that could be filed. Tallahassee police then sent Rachel out to try to make a $15,000 crack and firearm buy. The police placed Rachel on a baited hook and went trolling for sharks. Rachel Hoffman was found dead two days later.”
“There are countless stories like these. 20-million stories. Do we want fates like these to befall our parents, our children, or grandchildren, our siblings, or our friends? Hell no we don’t. Then please help us at NORML do something about it”.
“Join and support NORML today.”