Democrat Candidates Positions Evolve on Marijuana Law Reform

ballot_box_leafFormer Maryland Governor and current democratic presidential candidate Martin O’Malley yesterday held a marijuana legalization listening session in Denver, Colorado. Hoping to ignite progressive voters and to differentiate himself from the two leading democratic candidates, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, O’Malley is emphasizing marijuana law reform as a key plank of his campaign.

O’Malley met in Denver with leading marijuana law reform activists, and cannabis industry leaders, acknowledging, “If you talk to young Americans under 30 there is a growing consensus that marijuana should be treated more akin to alcohol than to other substances.” He pledged, if elected President, to use his executive authority to move marijuana from Schedule I to Schedule II of the Controlled Substances Act.

“While O’Malley’s pledge is a step in the right direction, NORML believes in descheduling cannabis, not rescheduling cannabis. Cocaine, for instance, is a Schedule II controlled substance under federal law, as is methamphetamine. NORML is not of the belief that an ideal public policy is to cease treating marijuana like heroin (Schedule I) but rather to treat it like cocaine (Schedule II).” As NORML’s Deputy Director Paul Armentano recently told the Associated Press, “Rather, we would prefer to see cannabis classified and regulated in a manner that more closely resembles alcohol or tobacco, neither substance of which is classified in any category under the CSA.”

O’Malley’s announcement yesterday came on the heels of recent, marijuana-specific comments by Clinton and Sanders.

On Monday, at a campaign stop in Luther College, Clinton responded to a question on whether or not she would support marijuana legalization as President. She answered, “I would support states and localities that are experimenting with this.”

In an interview with Little Village, a public affairs program on PATV in Iowa City, Sanders also pledged non-governmental interference in state marijuana laws, commenting, “What the federal government can do is say to the state of Colorado that if you choose to vote to legalize marijuana, we will allow you to do that without restrictions.”

Sanders also pledged to amend federal banking laws to permit state-licensed business to operate like any other legal entity, “In Colorado people who run marijuana shops can’t put their money in banks,” he said. “That’s a violation of federal law. So I think there are things that the federal government can do that would make it easier for states that want to go in that direction to be able to do so.” In addition, he reiterated his position in favor of medical marijuana and decriminalization, a policy he supported in his home state of Vermont.

However, when asked about full legalization, Sanders continues to be noncommittal, responding, “We’re exploring the pluses and minuses — of which there are both — of moving more aggressively on that issue. It is a very important issue. We’re watching what Colorado is doing, and we’ll have more to say about that in the coming weeks and months.”

The comments made by all three Democratic candidates for president, coupled with the marijuana related question aimed at the Republican candidates in the most recent Republican primary debate, highlight the new, elevated role marijuana law reform is playing in the election of our next President of the United States. In previous years, candidates’ largely ignored or belittled the issue. But this election that won’t suffice. Voters are demanding clear answers from candidates on what the federal government should do in relation to marijuana policy and they are demanding a change from business as usual.

36 thoughts

  1. Jake Tapper asked each canadiate in the debate on 9/16/2015 about whose picture should be on the $10.00 bill but skirted around all canadiates on the issue of marijuana legalization – Jack Tapper is a total joke – this is an issue that MUST be ADDRESSED IN DETAIL BY ALL CANADIATES.

  2. This whole party needs to evolve as human beings before any of us should take anything spewing out of their mouths seriously. 99% of them are bat shit crazy.

    Then again it’s really only about the 1% right?
    When a racist, womanizer, reality TV star is your front runner, ALOT should be put into perspective about how out of touch this group is! I’m mean within their own party, “I don’t trust him with a nuke, but nevertheless he has my endorsement” this country / world is screwed if any of these yahoo’s make it into office. How long would it take for Donald to piss off another super power and push USA into another war over his dumb ass mouth? Russia is already itching to go to war with us……

    Vote wisely American

  3. 1. Cannabis should be (a) CLASSIFIED in a manner that resembles basil, marjoram, OREGANO, rosemary, sage, savory, thyme, and (b) REGULATED by means of a 1/4-inch-diameter #40-screened crater which admits 25-mg $ingle Toke $ervings of #16 pre-sifted herb, to take the place of 500-mg Joint, Blunt, $igarette etc.

    2. Promote and Support states Experimenting with moderate use utensil industry development, handworktraining and job creation.

    3. Publish and post advertising including photos and exquisite graphic diagrams showing the Making and Use of flexdrawtube one-hitters.

    4. “We’re watching what Colorado is doing”– go to Denver, Portland, Seattle, DC or wherever feasible to demonstrate neighborhood cannatrepreneurosity.

    5. Next adjustment in local laws: vapetokes with a one-hitter expressly not be categorized with $moking as ignorantly heretofore, or subject to the limitations thereof.

  4. At this point in time, Mr. Sanders is my top choice!

    Any candidate that wants to continue the “Lock’em’Up” mentality has no chance of getting my vote.

    That said, Chris Christie can just go straight to hell!!! Seriously, what a shitbag!

  5. “Hoping to ignite progressive voters and to differentiate himself from the two leading democratic candidates, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, O’Malley is emphasizing marijuana law reform as a key plank of his campaign.”

    Keep your eye on the ball. Learn and remember what the candidates are saying. Keep NORML in mind when you decide who to support.

    “In previous years, candidates’ largely ignored or belittled the issue. But this election that won’t suffice.” — As Captain Picard was fond of saying, ‘Make it so.”

  6. Well this is where the rubber meets the road. Other than Rand the GOP is clueless.
    If I where a Democrat strategists I would be crafting a cannabis friendly platform.
    What is there to lose, it would definitely set you apart from the pack.

  7. For those of us who have been following the evolution of US marijuana policy and the violence of perpetual silence over the issue from our debates and elected officials, these “popular” questions are absolutely hilarious to watch. I love watching people’s facial expressions and body language. We can see in candidate’s eyes that clearly the money is no longer exclusively on the side of prohibition. We can see the fear and intimidation in their eyes from Sherriff’s Associations and other agencies of organized crime… We can SEE the effect of NORML PAC, even on a guy like Sanders who allegedly denies PAC money and relies on smaller donations.. This statement he made about “we’re watching Colorado,” left me hinged on his campaign. From a public who demands legalization, he’s clearly gambling on some conflicting campaign dollars… And perhaps some old fashioned intimidation from the local sheriff’s association? It will be VERY interesting to see if Sanders calls the bluff. Marijuana Legalization, Revenue for Education!

    (Record scratch…) WAITaminute… Wasn’t O’Malley AGAINST legalization when he was Governor of Maryland? And wasn’t he recently diagnosed with cancer? Way to go Paul, calling this guy out over “rescheduling” instead of descheduling. (Why on earth I had to turn off my spellcheck on this new iPhone to write “descheduling” is another mystery. It kept forcing me to say “rescheduling.” C’mon Apple! Steve Jobs smoked weed!)

    These are fascinating times in American history. Never have I seen such an organized criminal effort to deceive the vote to reform our marijuana policy coupled by such a well organized and educated reform movement from the voting public, NORML and growing marijuana lobbies and investment firms. All we need now is the pope to add his weight on the subject while he visits the mentally ill and homeless in Washington DC and prisoners in Philadelphia next week.

    “Lord, when did we see you when sick or in prison and feed you or give you clothes? And the Lord said, “Even what you did for the least of these, my brethren, you did it for me.” Mathew 27-17

  8. I am still holding our hope that President Obama will work towards ending prohibition during the last year of his reign. If he doesn’t, I will simply remember him as just another lying politician. On the other hand, if he does what we elected him to do, he will be a hero and go down in history as a truly great president.

    I sure am curious to know which it will be…

  9. despite overwhelming voter support in nearly every location where legalization/decriminalization has been on the ballot, it’s amazing how reluctant politicians, especially the GOP are to hand over the principle of “by the people, for the people and of the people.” constitution only applies when it meets certain standards of puritanism.

  10. Whatever the current crop of Demos say, it beats Obama laughing off the issue early in his presidency. He in so many words pointed the finger at NORML for why the website Obama used to find out what people were interested in got flooded with MJ questions.

  11. Here’s a good link on O’Malley;

    http://www.thecannabist.co/2015/09/17/democratic-candidate-martin-omalley-marijuana-denver-visit/41125/

    This “wait and see” bull$#!+ is really starting to bother me. What are we waiting for? Another kickback from the private prison owners or the asset forfeiting Sherrif’s Association? Schedule 2 still means arresting nonviolent people for possession of a nonviolent medically beneficial plant. It makes me sick when seemingly intelligent politicians still try to veil their two-faced donation consolations with rhetoric my 5 year old son wouldn’t believe.
    “Here’s our Congressman son, what do you want to tell him?”
    “Good people shouldn’t go to jail.”
    “Good job son.”

  12. Here is a letter I just wrote to Senator Sanders;

    The greatest socioeconomic barrier of our time is embedded in the Controlled Substances Act. Senator Sanders, you said “watch and see how Colorado develops it’s marijuana policy,” well then it’s time for you to visit http://www.Norml.org, http://www.votehemp.com and http://www.drugpolicy.org to read the latest polls and developments.
    Hemp is a promising, drought-resistant, high protein, building material in a growing multi-billion dollar industry that uses half the water of cotton or corn and Colorado and Kentucky are successfully growing it. We can save small farms and create sustainable farming using much less to no pesticides or petro fertilizers. We can create good paying jobs for the poor, provide medicine and affordable health care, and end the culture of finite energy, unsustainable corporate genetic engineering for profit and patent, produce Eco-friendly plastics and ethanol for full-ethanol engines made from cellulosic hemp oils and even bring back the utility of the family garden.

    We don’t need to reschedule cannabis; we need to de-schedule! Colorado sales of marijuana have now exceeded alcohol, all while violence has diminished, lack of asset forfeitures have restored faith in law enforcement who can now focus on real violent crimes like rapes and murders, and teen use of all drugs have declined in Colorado, including tobacco and alcohol which are not even scheduled by the CSA.

    Senator Sanders, the only issue deciding my vote between you and Rand Paul is whoever says “Marijuana Legalization and Revenue for Education.”

    Fairly taxed revenue from legalized cannabis for public education is the solution to our socioeconomic inequality. Instead of building a “wall and let Mexico pay for it,” why not use revenue from legal marijuana pay to educate employees of the USCIS on how immigration papers should be properly filed, and time for them to provide consultation to the millions of eligible residents who don’t have direct answers on how to legalize their family members in and out of the country?
    Colorado has already built public schools using +40 millions of dollars towards public education. Shutting down public schools and underfunding councilors and teacher certification is a huge problem for income inequality. Colorado and legalized marijuana is solving this problem.
    The facts are out there for you to see, Senator Sanders. I implore you to follow the pope’s path this week from breaking bread with the mentally ill in Washington, (and no, I’m not just talking about Congress), or prisoners in Philadelphia and ask yourself “would many of these people even be here if they had legal possession of marijuana?”

    Then, since you like to quote the scriptures, recall this question in Mathew 26-17:
    “Lord when did we see you sick or in prison and feed you or give you clothes?” And the Lord said, “Even what you did for the least of these my brethren, you did it for me.”

    If Senator Sanders replies I’ll let this website know first.

    To reach Senator Sanders yourself;
    PO Box 905 – Burlington VT 05402 United States – (855) 4-BERNIE

  13. We need to have a conversation about the “referendum presidential candidate” Larry Lessig. If this guy could do what he says, then a great amount of power could be restored to each citizen. That’s what has crippled us so greatly. Power!

  14. @Julian – Brilliant letter you sent to Mr. Sanders! I hope you get a response since I’d be very curious to know what he has to say.

    I too am sick and tired of the “wait and see” response… The evidence is already there if they’d just open their eyes and minds…

  15. What does it really matter what the candidates say. They are just trying to appeal to as broad of a demographic as they can, in order to get elected. Once they do get elected they get a mysterious amnesia and forget their campaign promises.

  16. Virtually all involved in the medical dispensary programs in NJ would very likely agree that Mr. Christie stretched the truth when he stated that he has supported medical marijuana in a practical and substantive way.
    His candor about his desire to reverse state rights decisions is admirable.
    I suggest that you should vote for the candidate that supports your view on whether states should have sovereignty over such issues, or if the federal government should turn its back on the majority opinion of U.S. citizens.

    http://www.gallup.com/poll/165539/first-time-americans-favor-legalizing-marijuana.aspx

  17. Cannabis is considered to be scheduled because the federal definition of marijuana is so tricky. The cannabis plant can be descheduled with a simple reform to that definition:

    16. The term “marijuana” means all parts of the smoke produced by the combustion of Cannabis sativa L.

    The trick to undo the existing trick is to tell this to the politicians. This year is a good time to tell them. There are many debates which are scheduled.

  18. Obama didn’t stand in the way of Colorado Washington and later states legalizing MJ, He was rewarded with the Republican sweeps in 2010 and 2014. Anyone want to guess why no other candidate in the foreseeable future is going to stick his neck out on this one. Sorry but the party is over come 2017.

  19. @Julian

    “WAIT a minute… Wasn’t O’Malley AGAINST legalization when he was Governor of Maryland? And wasn’t he recently diagnosed with cancer?”

    I don’t remember O’Malley’s stance, but newly elected Republican governor Larry Hogan was diagnosed with Lymphoma shortly after taking office. He had been quite quick to veto a decriminalization measure from the legislature. I saw him at an Oriole game just last week. He’s overweight and totally bald. I don’t know if he was always like that or the chemotherapy induced it.

    It’s kinda hard to maintain disdain someone when stuff like that happens. He’s in for a nightmare. Radiation therapy ain’t fun.

    Lester Greenspoon tells a uplifting story about his son battling leukemia and having to endure the treatment. He’d violently vomit during the radiation and and endure the dry heaves for 8 hours afterward. Guess which herb came to the rescue. His mother finally scored weed at the local high school. The kid had no problems whatsoever during the therapy. When they left he asked his mom if they could stop at a sub shop he had noticed on the way to the hospital.

    I’ve read they’ve developed better drugs than marijuana to relieve the nausea. I have no idea whether to believe it or not.

  20. To not reschedule marijuana is the ace in the hole for our politicians to be able to put this whole marijuana issue back in the bottle if things go wrong. Remember this scheduling was passed on propaganda not real facts. PEOPLE WERE ARRESTED ON LAWS PASSED ON A PACK OF EXAGGERATIONS AND NON TRUTH’S. Politicians can pass laws based on a a fantasy story and then imprison you for breaking them. As I age I see the way our lawmakers work as a type of federal mafia. The people who pay off get their way with the rest of us. GOVERNMENT FOR SALE! Until all participation in the election process by corporations is outlawed we will never have real freedom. Only citizens should be involved in elections.

  21. @Galileo
    Thanks for clearing that up: I knew from a post Oracle put up a while back that it was some recent governor of Maryland that was against marijuana legalization but contracted cancer… What operatic tragic irony. We are truly living in the climax of conflict in our American Marijuana Tragedy… An Apollonian-Dyonisian conflict that places the truth so painfully in the face of our elected officials as to give chemotherapy to a prohibitionist.
    @Oracle
    Hang in there; descheduling is key, I agree, but I feel some real momentum is about to be gained in Congress for the CARERS Act with the pope’s visit to a Philadelphia prison. I know, schedule 2 is nothing to settle for in a drug war this long, but it would be a battle won and worth celebrating.
    @Miles
    Hey, Sanders did say ” months” or even “weeks” 🙂
    @whocares
    The majority of jaded voters like yourself care. Unfortunately, most Americans dont vote unless its a Presidential election. Or because they don’t “care” or “think things will never change” or just become complicit themselves in a drug war of ignorance. And people like Trump are counting on people like you.

  22. Objectively, if we were going to use actual medical science, marijuana should be on Schedule IV, like the benzodiazapines.

    “Placement on schedules; findings required Schedule IV substances are those that have the following findings:

    The drug or other substance has a low potential for abuse relative to the drugs or other substances in schedule III
    The drug or other substance has a currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States
    Abuse of the drug or other substance may lead to limited physical dependence or psychological dependence relative to the drugs or other substances in schedule III”

  23. For what it’s worth, Schedule I shouldn’t exist. It’s totally illegal to put anything in Schedule I. Every known drug has *some* accepted medical uses.

    Very few drugs should be in Schedule II, because *very* few drugs have a high potential for abuse with severe dependence.

  24. “16. The term “marijuana” means all parts of the smoke produced by the combustion of Cannabis sativa L.”

    I really don’t understand the weird angle you approach this subject with. I am very familiar with marijuana, hemp and Cannabis. Nothing about making marijuana mean only smoke makes any sense. How high were you when you thought this one up? I don’t think I could even become that divorced from reality. Marijuana isn’t a plant, its just smoke. Yeah right, this idea is smoke and mirrors. Lets add more lies to the work our executive branch does, they don’t have enough lies to confuse us with. Lets give them some more!

    Oh wait, I know, if we just start calling Cannabis by the name broccoli, that will fix everything. You can’t be arrested for possession of broccoli, so everything will work out just fine, simply by changed the word used. Which doesn’t actually change anything, but everything will be different anyway because “broccoli smoke” isn’t illegal. You sound like Ben Carson to me. He’s another guy that never bothers to make sense of his own words…

  25. @ Anonymous,

    Sorry, I don’t completely agree. Those GOP sweeps of which you refer occurred in non-presidential election years. Liberals and various others, for some reason, vote in far fewer numbers in those years. Conservatives can always be counted on to vote, especially the elderly ones, no matter the year. And for that reason, at least in the last several decades, Dems get hammered in the non–presidential elections.

    But I suspect the Dems, Indys, liberals, progressives, et al, will come out in force next year, and help push through legalization in a few more states at least. Hispanics, I believe, who are most often Dems, have been motivated to vote because of Trump’s comments.

    If, by chance, a GOPer should take the white house in the meantime, we’ll all get a first-hand look at what one of them will do with a handful of legalized states. You know their “base” will be hollering for them to shut down the legalization in those states; we’ll see what happens.

  26. Here is the best cannabis candidate you never heard about.

    Harry Braun for President.US
    Empowering the majority to replace the bribery-based Republic and its
    highly toxic Oil Economy, with a Democracy and a Solar Hydrogen Economy by ratifying Braun’s proposed an Article V Democracy Amendment.

    Harry Braun with hydrogen production Windships in the backround
    The USA Has Never Been A Democracy!
    Democratic Presidential Candidate Harry Braun acknowledges the vast majority of Americans believe the United States is a Democracy, because they hear it daily from elected officials and journalists in the corporate owned news media. But as Braun points out, “one only needs to consult a dictionary to know that the USA is, and always has been a Republic,” which is based on a tiny number of elected officials getting bribed in secret by lobbyists. This is why countries like Russia, China, Iran, North Korea and Syria are all Republics and not Democracies.

    And Braun has found that few American’s are aware of the only Constitutional Democracy in the world that was formalized in the year 1291, in a country so diverse it has four official languages, where the world’s first automobile was created in 1807 that was using hydrogen fuel made from water with electricity, and which has not been in a war since 1847 when its federal government was established, and that country is Switzerland.

    As Harry Braun has stated, “calling the United States a Democracy is a really big lie,” which is just one of the reasons he has written and proposed a 28-word Democracy Amendment that will empower the majority of citizens to approve all laws and Supreme Court decisions. Braun has also prepared an Article V Citizen Ballot to ratify his citizen-sponsored amendment, which can be downloaded from the DemocrayAmendmentUSA.net website. Once the ballot is completed, the voter merely mails it to their Secretary of State, where the paper ballot can then be verified, counted and archived, and when majorities in 38 states send in their ballots, the amendment will be ratified.

    Braun also documents other Big Lie’s, including there has never been a substitute for using oil and the other highly-toxic fossil and nuclear fuels that are making the Earth uninhabitable, or that the THC in cannabis (i.e., marijuana) is a dangerous drug that the State and Federal governments have spent over a trillion dollars to arrest and destroy the lives of millions of Americans in a drug war that is really a Civil War that disproportionately affects African Americans, who are attacked with “shoot to kill” policies for a crime with no victim. But according to medical research published in Scientific American (December 2004), the THC in cannabis is not a toxic drug at all (unlike all of the oil-based pharmaceutical drugs, including aspirin), but a 500 million-year old neurotransmitter that switches on a two-way communication and feedback system in every person’s brain, which has redefined the science of neurology.

    Moreover, a 500 million year history means the protein receptors for THC and other cannabis cannabinoids have been a fundamental part of every vertebrate animal’s brain and body since plants and animals left the seas for the land, which has profound First Amendment religious freedom implications that have been ignored by Federal and State courts. For these and many other reasons, the editors of Scientific American have referred to the cannabis laws as “absurd.”

    In the case of energy, Braun’s Phoenix Project books and technical papers have documented that less than two million, two megawatt wind-powered hydrogen production would displace all of the existing oil and other fossil and nuclear fuels now used in the U.S., and such systems are no more difficult to manufacture than the 16 million cars made each year for the U.S. consumers. This is why Braun’s “Phoenix Project” plan to replace all fossil and nuclear fuels with solar-sourced hydrogen could easily be accomplished by 2020.

    Given that pollution-free wind and hydrogen fuel production and engine systems were developed and used in the 1800’s, the Oil Age was never necessary. It was just highly profitable for oil corporations. But Braun’s research has documented that the two Big Lies about oil and cannabis are directly related, and the key link was a man named Henry Ford.

    Henry Ford’s Vision of Replacing the Oil Economy with the Cannabis Economy

    As Henry Ford demonstrated in the 1920’s, the least expensive hydrogen, ethanol and plastic automotive components that were 10 times stronger than steel, were all made from cannabis, the most efficient biomass crop known. Ford produced an entire car from cannabis and other agricultural crops, except for the tires and steel frame. But Ford’s real vision and mission was not just to make Cannabis Cars that could be safely buried when they were worn out, but to replace all of the oil, coal and other toxic fossil fuels with cannabis and other crops, including weeds, which could all be converted into hydrogen and ethanol so the vast wealth each year from such fuels would go to farmers instead of oil corporations.

    This is the real reason why oil company lobbyists, led by Treasury Secretary Andrew Mellon, the richest man in America who was also the CEO of Gulf Oil, as well as the principal investor in DuPont’s new patent to make plastics from oil instead of cannabis, which increased the profit from a barrel of oil by a factor of 1000. The problem was that plastics made from oil and coal were not nearly as strong and were much higher in cost, making it impossible for them to compete with cannabis crops.

    Thus Mellon appointed his son-in law, Harry Anslinger, a former alcohol prohibition agent, to head up the new Federal Narcotics Bureau (FNB), which changed the common name of cannabis (i.e. “hemp”) to an unknown slang term, “marijuana” so it could be called a “new” dangerous drug that was made illegal in 1937 with no recorded vote in ether the House or Senate, and over the objections of the American Medical Association. Indeed, the AMA’s Congressional representative, Dr. William Woodward, who was also an attorney, was angry that he had been left out of all of the secret meetings, but he and his colleagues at the AMA were shocked to find that the new marijuana “killer drug” was really cannabis, which had been used as a highly-nutritious food and medicinal herb not just since the Pilgrim’s landed in 1492, but since civilization was founded.

    Details and the AMA’s contentious testimony is published in the Documents section of the BraunforPresident.US website, but for a graphic overview of this subject, every voting citizen should make time to carefully watch the documentary “The True History of Marijuana” that is on YouTube. They will not be disappointed.

    The last half of the documentary deals with the remarkable medical aspects of cannabis, including dramatic video of its cannabinoids attacking and killing cancer cells, while leaving normal cells alone. This is in contrast to antibiotics that are “dumb” toxic pharmaceutical drugs that indiscriminately kill all bacteria they encounter, and most people who are not molecular biologists, do not realize that 99.9% of the bacteria in our bodies are “good guys” that are actually critical for our health and metabolism. Thus the “germ” theory that all bacteria must be killed is absolute nonsense.

    According to DEA administrative judge Francis Young, cannabis is completely non-toxic and highly-nutritious, and given it has been used to successfully treat over 25 different medical conditions for the past 5,000 years, Harvard Medical School professor Lester Grinspoon proposed that a completely separate branch of medicine: Cannabinopathic Medicine, which would eliminate the need for the vast majority of the toxic oil-based “snake oil” pharmaceutical drugs, like aspirin, which are bankrupting the United States. Returning to such naturopathic medicine, which according to documents in the Dead Sea Scrolls, Jesus was practicing, will be the subject of a future Press Release from Harry Braun on replacing Obamacare with a non-profit, no cost, no insurance needed health care system.

    Given the American Republic is a government of corporate lobbyists, and given the largest group of lobbyists in the U.S. and worldwide are from the highly-toxic Oil & Nuclear Industrial Complex, which now includes the chemical, pharmaceutical, agricultural, and news corporations, as well as all of the major Wall Street banks, it is important for the American people to understand that these private corporations are directly responsible for the completely unnecessary chemical contamination of every man, woman and child in the USA and worldwide, including the unborn who are contaminated from the point of conception.

    These lobbyist-driven “free market” forces, along with the human population explosion, are also responsible for the destruction of the Earth’s 3-billion-year-old global ocean ecosystems and atmosphere that is causing the Sixth Mass-Extinction event in the Earth’s 4-billion year old history, which is almost over.

    As such, Braun’s presidential campaign is focused on helping American voters understand these issues and see the move on the Congressional chess board that will empower them to “Take Action Now” to bypass the lobbyist-based Congress and State Legislatures to ratify the Democracy Amendment with the Article V Citizen Ballot that can be downloaded from the DemocracyAmendmentUSA.net website, while there is hopefully still time to make a difference.

    Media inquiries can contact Harry Braun at 770-905-7000 or 770-905-7020 or on the BraunforPresident.US website.

    BraunforPresident.US

  27. @Dale Evans

    Apologies for this late response, but the Pope was near. From your pushback, and stated familiarity with all forms of cannabis, it seems likely that you could be worried about making a decent living from it.

    “16. The term “marijuana” means all parts of the smoke produced by the combustion of Cannabis sativa L.”

    This could be your year of action. That definition which you quoted, does provide several new opportunities, depending on your situation. If you are currently growing marijuana, then you should probably make the switch and start growing cannabis. If your concern is preventing others from growing marijuana, then that definition will be a big help to you. If your concern is about the lack of prohibition, then just remember the old saying, “When one door closes, another one opens.”

    You may have heard about the government stepping up their efforts in combatting air pollution. They were planning to phase it in slowly, but Volkswagen just forced their hand. Keep this a secret, but the EPA is about to roll out a new rule which will require increased enforcement. Once again, a confusing definition is to be put upon society to great effect, and there is a chance to be one of the first to serve in the new effort. Here is a preliminary draft:

    The term “carihuana” means all parts of the vehicle Chrysler sedan LS, whether driving or not; the exhaust thereof; the fuel extracted from any part of such vehicle; and every compound, manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture, or preparation of such vehicle, its exhaust or fuel. Such term does not include the mature engines of such vehicle, metal produced from such engines, oil or cake made from the exhaust of such vehicle, any other compound, manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture, or preparation of such mature engines (except the fuel extracted therefrom), metal, oil, or cake, or the sterilized exhaust of such vehicle which is incapable of pollution.

  28. @Fat Freddy
    Thank you for what can only be described as an invigorating post debating a Republic lobbyist petrol-based economy vs. a voter-initiated-hydrogen-cannabis based Democracy.

    You and Braun had me all the way up to the border with Mexico.

    How can anyone as intelligent as someone to catalogue all of the hydrogen based engines and cellulosic ethanol from cannabis ever built be so vane as to consider posting pictures of some gangsters in El Salvador as the reason why we in America should “cease all immigration” in preparation for “the sixth mass extinction in the earth’s 4 billion year old history?” Really? Did your science fail to recognize the Second law of thermodynamics? That all matter and energy is equal? Or did your science fail to recognize that all life lives and dies together? What makes you so sure that by “closing our borders” that other countries won’t continue to follow the petrol-based “poison” economy?

    We all share the same planet. We all share the same water, the same soil… We are merely components and organs of a larger living macroorganism which is our living, breathing planet. Much like your link to http://www.braunforpresident.us describes, (which I read verbatim), or even here as you so eloquently describe the “dumb antibiotics” that “indiscriminately kill” the “99.9% of our bacteria that are actually good guys,” in our bodies, I regret to inform you your Brilliant Braun has cornered himself into the “dumb antibiotic” category with his immigration policy.

    Just as we are symbiotically co-dependant on the vast micro-environment of microbes and bacteria which independentally inhabit our guts, surround our flesh, and allow us to live and function as human beings, we too, as human beings are merely “bacteria and microbes” in the larger functioning of our planet’s larger existence in the universe. Yes, I understand it is frightening that we are destined for population decline with our dependence on fossil based fuels, unsustainable petro-fertilization and petro-herbicide mono-agriculture, but to declare that the US should use a voter-initiated hydrogen-cannabis-based economy to shut down immigration is as absurd as expecting the left foot to balance after chopping off the right foot.

    We are all one and the same.

    If there is anything I have learned from studying the endocannabinoid system, whether that we evolved from fish and sea-squirts to become human or that cannabis played a vital role in our speciation from homo erectus in the Himalayan Valleys 1.8 million years ago, it is that we are, as homo sapiens, just as much a vital organ of our living planet as the bacteria in our gut are vital components of us, and pretending to “cut off the borders” within our planet is as assinign as cutting off our own intestines from our mouths and anus, so please stop the racial divide; we don’t need it.
    What we do need is the return to the Mexican Milpa, or diverse, sustainable garden. Or the tropical slash and burn fruit and mast of the Amazon forest that Europeans mistook as “wild” forest; in fact sustained by seasonal rotation and soil creation by the indigenous people who lived there for millenia.
    Would you cut yourself off from the sacred grounds in the Himalayas where cannabis evolved for some frozen seed bank in whatever will still contain ice in the US here in the next millenia? I believe I have made my point. While I have shared deeply the views and science you have shared with great enthusiasm, in my own observations for the last few decades, I reject the “Ark” view that so few can contain themselves from the “zombie apocalypse” that we often entertain, because we are all too often surprised that the most sustainable solutions for mankind’s continued coexistence with the nature we are born from, toxic or not, often comes from both within ourselves as well as the most remote and unexpected gardens, far from the safe and peaceful security of our own borders…

    “Foolish pharisee; clean the inside of the cup and the outside will also be clean.”

  29. Besides Fat Freddy, as our consumer economy is tied and married to Mexico’s and China’s manufacturing, who do you think will build the hydrogen-ethanol engines of the future or harvest the fields of hemp to distinguish strains for their constantly varying purpose? My point is we lead by example; China will just copy our hydrogen schematics and build a cheaper version before we even unveil the first prototype, so I wouldn’t worry about shutting the border down.
    Please don’t let my criticism of your immigration policy discourage your ideas about voter-initiated Democracy based on hydrogen-cannabis-ethanol engines. I am in complete agreement with you there.
    What I think you’re missing is how US policy, particularly our drug and foreign policy, desperately need laws to change in order to bring about the peaceful coexistence we seek throughout the planet. Voter initiatives and hydrogen-cannabis-ethanol engines aside;
    First and foremost, we need to reform the Controlled Substances Act entirely, which only empowers the organized crime and gangs Braun highlights in his website. Second, the revenue from legally regulated cannabis must be used on public education, including but not limited to government employees who cant even explain our immigration policy to individuals paying blood-thirsty immigration lawyers to legally immigrate, because not even the employees understand the law because they are not adequately trained and certified, much less paid to provide vital counciling. All Braun’s energy-“utility” based registration will do without providing publuc education is reveal what we already know… That there are millions of illegal immigrants in our country due to a broken immigration policy. And all that great walls will provide without a legally regulated form of immigration or an end to all drug prohibition is a price hike for illegal human and drug trafficking and therefore an even greater threat to our national security.
    I will use one last example to drive my point home… Remember the ebola crisis? Fox-aganda news had even the most intelligent people I knew claiming nonsense like we could really quarantine the entire continent of Africa. Forget about the fact that if it wasn’t for non-for-profits like Doctors Without Borders, traveling into places like Liberia and Freetown the whole world really would have seen the plague of apocalyptic proportions that right-wing media cried about.
    Now let’s take your technology into the simplist form and solution; a cheap, efficient hydrogen stove that could cook hemp burgers. We could distribute them to the local women, providing economic hydrogen well pumps and hemp filters for clean water, or even educate the African women on how to weave hemp canvas to build schools and hospitals providing cannabis medicine, shelter, history, fuel and food. As a result, preventive medicine for ebola outbreaks are provided at the source from where ancient illness from malaria to ebola comes from in West Africa, illness that even the most impervious human walls or shutting down air-traffic to Afric could not prevent from entering U.S. Borders.
    How do you ask? Because the ebola outbreak came from a poor west African man who consumed an uncooked bat, because women in poor areas cannot supply enough wood for their makeshift wood stoves because poor West African mothers and dayghters get raped in the woods just trying to forage enough wood to cook for their families. Because they don’t have electricity or running water like we take for granted here in the U.S. And because U.S. Justice systems don’t have any good influence in these countries because A). We don’t invest in West Africa like Obama was trying to do there just as the ebola outbreak occurred, and B) UN and US AID have been so terribly corrupted by international drug, human and weapons trafficking policies as well as corporate interests from US companies like GE and Big Pharma that own patents that would rather not see cheap, efficient stoves and medicine distributed to the poor masses, so that our so called “AID” ends up in the hands of ruthless, murdering dictators like Charles Taylor instead of the people and Big Pharma can charge premium prices on the foreign US AID for their ebola medicine. As a result of bad US and UN drug policy, US AID has become a broker for organized drug, human and arms dealers by manipulating foreign governments with this “AID” instead of legally supplying the basic cannabis and cheap hydrogen energy you so eloquently speak of.
    The take away from all of this is that legal cannabis and open source patenting for hydrogen and cellulosic ethanol technologies must be guarded as a basic human right, a policy that NORML has been reluctant to support, perhaps to keep the more powerful lobbies like ALEC and the American Chemistry Council out of the radar on cannabis legalization, since both these lobbies mission statement is ensuring that plastic products continue to be made from petroleum instead of cleaner, stronger cellulosic based hemp oils.
    So at least we are in agreement that Sanders needs to address the Republic of international corporate lobbyists that have been ruining our Democracy since Nixon signed the Economic Stability Act and Controlled Substances Act before we can proceed with a real agenda on full legalization. Thank God that during the Progressive Era, despite when President Woodrow Wilson signed the Federal Reserve Act, and in his own subsequent words, “handed our Democracy over to a few wealthy bankers,” that we at least succeeded in passing voter initiatives in enough states or we wouldn’t have any states with legal cannabis laws at all today.
    But don’t lose faith in Sanders; though he “borders” himself into medicinal and decriminalization with the “wait and see” on full legaluzation, he brought up the heart and soul of Federal violation of states rights by bringing up cannabanking when pressed for questions concerning marijuana legalization. Once states are allowed to bank their voter-initiated sales into legal banking transactions even the Republic of petro-lobbies pushing for petro-plastics will be in a run for their money, all the way across the Pacific Garbage Patch into the factories of China that once culled clean hemp instead of petro-plastics; and to think it all started from a voter-iniated petition in the state of Colorado?

  30. I am passing your message to others for your campaign to help save the world. The article that you have presented is what I believe to be spot- on. I wish us all well and you have my support. Thanks for the information and God bless.

  31. YearofAction,

    Umm, this is not an attack, but I am wondering if any doctors have mentioned that you might want to get checked for Schizophrenia or something similar?

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