Key Speakers At 2010 NORML Conference in Portland, Oregon: Former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson, Congressman Earl Blumenauer and Best-Selling Travel Author and TV Host Rick Steves
There are three important components in this 2010 NORML conference alert:
-Early-bird Pricing For Registration Is About To Expire
-Conference Agenda and Speakers Announced
NORML is honored and proud to have the former two-term Governor of New Mexico, Gary Johnson (R) address the 39th annual national NORML conference on Friday, September 10 at the Governor Hotel in Portland, Oregon.
Gary Johnson became the first sitting governor in 2002 to speak at a NORML national conference in Washington. To date, few elected policymakers—and no governor in American history—have been more politically supportive of ending cannabis prohibition than Governor Johnson. As New Mexico’s term-limited governor from 1994-2002, Governor Johnson championed numerous drug policy reforms, including legalizing medical cannabis.
Governor Johnson, a man of both big political ideas and financial means, is an early and declared candidate to be the next U.S. president in 2012 (running a decidedly libertarian-leaning campaign as a Republican) who favors substantial changes to America’s longest and most expensive war—the war on some drugs.
Congressman Earl Blumenauer (D) is a long-serving member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Oregon, who is a co-signer of current federal legislation that would reschedule cannabis to allow its medical use by qualified patients.
Rick Steves, a best-selling travel author and NORML Advisory board member is a longtime supporter of cannabis law reform based on his travel experiences and personal observations, who, in 2008 hosted an ACLU television program called ‘Marijuana: It’s Time for a Conversation’.
-Early-bird Pricing for Registration Is About To Expire; Register Now, Save Money-
After a one month-long period promoting early-bird discount pricing to pre-register for the conference, prices are about to take a turn upwards. Register now to save, especially if you’ve already reserved a room at the sold-out Governor Hotel, overflow hotel Red Lion or live in the greater Portland area. Discount pre-registration pricing ends at midnight (Pacific) Sunday, August 29.
-Conference Agenda and Speakers Announced-
The 39th annual NORML conference, ‘Just Say Now!’, continues the tradition of inclusiveness, expertise, passion, devotion, experience and celebration of all things cannabis-related—where over fifty speakers from across America will speak on matters ranging from legalization, medicalization, hemp, history, politics, science, law, business and culture.
Don’t delay if you want to be assured a seat at America’s oldest and largest pro-marijuana conference, as it will likely sell out soon (the host hotel and overflow hotels already have…).
I hope to see you this September in Portland!
From the Family of Jack Herer, author of The Emperor Wears No Clothes
Van Nuys, California, August, 2010
Dear Friends of Hemp and Cannabis,
Our father, Jack Herer, was a man of leadership, compassion and idealism. He worked relentlessly for decades to achieve his dream of legalizing Cannabis hemp in all its forms, personal, medical and industrial. He wanted Cannabis to be free and open, and to be given full respect for its enormous economic, environmental and cultural benefits.
As an idealist, Jack was adverse to half measures. He originally opposed Prop 215 because it stopped at medical use only. He initially opposed Senate Bill 420 because it set limited quantities as a safe harbor. Over time, however, he came to appreciate the freedoms they created, and took pride in the role he played in inspiring those changes. Jack’s great fear about Prop 215 and SB 420 was that people would accept those limits, become complacent and stop working for full legalization. He feared we would be stuck with medical use forever.
Likewise, Jack railed against Tax Cannabis 2010, now Proposition 19, and its plan for limited legalization and local authority to tax and regulate marijuana sales to adults 21 and above. It falls far short of what he wanted. Jack ‘wanted it all,’ and Prop 19 is just a part of that dream. Unfortunately, Jack passed away before Prop 19 made the 2010 ballot; so many people think he would still oppose it. We don’t believe that, and we ask that everyone stop saying he would cling to that position as we move toward the Nov. 2 vote.
As his family, we want the world to know that the last thing Jack Herer would want is for Californians to vote to keep Cannabis illegal. He was smart and had the political savvy to know that once a measure is on the ballot, the time for bickering has passed. That is why he campaigned for Prop 215 despite its shortcomings. That is why, were he able, he would now be telling voters to rally around and Vote Yes on Prop 19.
Does that mean he would want everyone to stop and be happy with the modest changes that Prop 19 affords? Absolutely not! What Jack would want us to do right now is to support Prop 19, and come Nov. 3 he would be right back again, telling you to renew your commitment to bring a comprehensive California Hemp and Health Initiative to the voters in 2012 or some future date. Jack Herer would ask – no, he would demand your yes vote on Prop 19, along with a pledge to continue fighting for the plant, the people and the planet.
It is true that Prop 19 does not fulfill our father’s dream; but it takes us much closer to achieving it than we are now, and for that reason we, his family, endorse Prop 19 today.
Please vote yes on Prop 19 Nov 2, but do it with the dedication to keep working toward complete legalization in Jack’s honor.
Sincerely, Dan Herer et al.
(Courthouse News Service) – Two North Dakota farmers failed to convince the 8th Circuit that cannabis grown for industrial hemp is not technically marijuana and should not be regulated under federal law.
The court in St. Louis upheld dismissal of the farmers’ lawsuit seeking a declaration that the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) does not apply to industrial-use cannabis.
The appeals court pointed out that the Act defines marijuana to include all cannabis plants, regardless of the THC concentration.
“The CSA likewise makes no distinction between cannabis grown for drug use and that grown for industrial use,” Judge Pasco Bowman wrote.
The three-judge panel rejected the notion that industrial hemp is not marijuana under the Act, or that Congress has no authority to regulate their state-sanctioned cultivation of cannabis.
Judge Bowman said Congress had a “rational basis” for regulating the cultivation of all cannabis plants in order to effectively regulate marijuana.
The “rational basis” here is that North Dakota farmers can’t grow tall, reedy hemp plants that could never ever get anyone high, because that will confuse the law enforcement officials who are working to eradicate short bushy cannabis plants that are grown to get people high. Somehow, in Australia, Canada, and China to name a few countries, police who are tasked with eradicating illegal cannabis in those countries that have legal hemp have no difficulty whatsoever distinguishing the two crops, but American police are just baffled by basic agriculture.
Silly as it sounds, that’s the court’s argument. We’d never be able to “effectively regulate marijuana” if farmers were growing hemp. Not that we’re actually “effectively regulating marijuana” now. Prohibition of marijuana is the absence of regulation — no regulations on who can buy it, who can sell it, where it can be sold, what age you must be to purchase it, where it can be used, what THC potency is allowed, whether the crop can be grown with certain pesticides and fertilizers, and what penalties should be leveled for failure to follow the regulations. Yes, there are laws against marijuana that makes all of those actions a crime, but by definition you can only regulate something that is legal.
Prohibition doesn’t make those actions go away, it just makes them crimes. Therefore, those actions are occurring in an unregulated manner. So how is it, again, that growing an industrial hemp plant is preventing the government from regulating something that prohibition made unregulated?
It can now be said that Uruguay is more progressive and possesses a greater sense of entrepreneurialism than the United States–at least regarding industrial hemp!
After a decade-long political and legal battle with the federal government, the state of North Dakota and their farmers are still being denied the ability to cultivate–and prosper from- industrial hemp (i.e., cannabis that is under 1% THC in content and therefore is used for industrial purposes), unlike their brethren farmers in France, China, Great Britain, Canada and now…Uruguay.
ND farmers lose appeal to grow hemp; US appeals court affirms dismissal of federal lawsuit
By JAMES MacPHERSON
The Associated Press
December 22, 2009
(AP) BISMARCK, N.D. – A federal appeals court on Tuesday affirmed a lower court’s decision to dismiss a lawsuit by two North Dakota farmers who said they should be allowed to grow industrial hemp without fear of federal criminal prosecution.
Wayne Hauge and David Monson received North Dakota’s first state licenses to grow industrial hemp nearly three years ago, but they’ve never received approval from the Drug Enforcement Administration. The farmers sued the DEA, and their case has been before the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for more than a year after U.S. District Judge Daniel Hovland dismissed it.
Hemp, which is used to make paper, lotion and other products, is related to the illegal drug marijuana. Under federal law, parts of an industrial hemp plant are considered controlled substances.
Hovland told the farmers the best remedy might be to ask Congress to change the law to explicitly distinguish hemp from marijuana.
“I guess the next step is we’ll have to take it to Congress,” said Hauge, who grows garbanzo beans and other crops near the northwestern North Dakota town of Ray. “The fastest and easiest way to handle this would be for the president to order the Department of Justice to stand down on all actions against industrial hemp.”
Dawn Dearden, a DEA spokeswoman in Washington, D.C., said the agency could not comment on the case.
The farmers’ attorney, Tim Purdon of Bismarck, would not comment on the appeals court decision.
David Monson, a Republican state legislator and farmer from Osnabrock in northeastern North Dakota, said Congress likely has no time to deal with the hemp issue.
“With all the other things, hemp is not high on their priority list, and I can understand that,” Monson said.
“Somehow, we need to get enough states involved so Congress can take action on it,” Monson said.
North Dakota officials issued Monson and Hauge the nation’s first licenses to grow industrial hemp in 2007. But without permission from the DEA, the farmers could be arrested for growing the crop.
Hemp contains trace amounts of tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, a banned substance, and it falls under federal anti-drug rules, the DEA says. Hemp proponents say it is safe because it contains only trace amounts of THC, and not enough to produce a high.
Vote Hemp, the lobbying arm of the hemp industry, has helped fund the farmers’ legal battle. Spokesman Adam Eidinger said the group has spent about $60,000 to date. He said he was disappointed with Tuesday’s ruling.
“The 8th Circuit is kind of conservative, so I can’t say I’m totally surprised,” he said.
Eidinger said only a handful of states have passed pro-hemp farming laws. He said North Dakota is the first state to craft rules to license industrial hemp farmers.
Monson had planned to seed 10 acres of hemp on his farm the northeastern part of the state. He said hemp is grown 25 miles north of his farm in Canada, where production has been legal since 1998, after 60 years of prohibition.
Hauge said he hopes someday to seed 100 acres of hemp on his farm.
“My great-grand dad homesteaded here more than 100 years ago, with a sod house on the wide-open prairie,” Hauge said. “If he could do that, I can stand a small amount of adversity to grow industrial hemp.”
Then there is ‘progressive’ South America…
First in South America: Uruguay to Test Cultivation of Industrial Hemp
by Paula Alvarado, Buenos Aires on 12.22.09
Great news for TreeHuggers in South America: Uruguay could become the first country in the region to authorize the cultivation of industrial hemp, according to El Pais newspaper. The national Ministry of Cattle, Agriculture and Fishing has authorized an experimental cultivation of hemp to take place in october 2010. If the results are successful, the country could grant permits to producers to start growing.
The pilot cultivation will be carried away by the National Institute for Farming Technology and its place will remain secret. The goal is to get to know the productive capacities of the country and how the plants varieties respond to Uruguayan soil.
If the cultivation moves forward, however, producers will only be able to grow hemp with special permits so that the Ministry of Agriculture can control the production.
One of the companies behind the project is The Latin American Hemp Trading, which is fighting to make Uruguay the first country in the region to enter the industry of hemp since 2006.
Hemp and the South American soy frenzy
You probably know that hemp is a great crop: fast growing, needs few to no herbicides, and is incredible versatile, among other interesting characteristics. Problem is, its production is still banned in many countries for its association with the psychoactive variety used as drug (the industrial hemp has less than 0.3% THC, while marijuana contains anywhere from 6 or 7% to 20% or even more).
So far countries in South America make no distinction between industrial and psychoactive hemp, and neither does Uruguay. But that could begin to change if the results from this project are positive.
Apart from the amazing materials that can be produced with hemp, it would be interesting to know how the region reacts if Uruguay is successful growing hemp. Right now Argentina and Uruguay are major transgenic-soy producers, with heavy use of harmful herbicides and fertilizers. If the hemp industry takes off and proves lucrative, could it provide some balance to soy production? Hopefully
La otra cannabis en Uruguay
Emprendimiento. Autorizan plan piloto para desarrollar la agroindustria del cáñamo
Original reporting from El Pais.
(Huffington Post) A group of civilly-disobedient hemp farmers and business leaders were arrested Tuesday morning while digging up the lawn to plant industrial hemp seeds at the headquarters of the Drug Enforcement Administration.
David Bronner, the president of Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps, a more than 60-year-old company that does tens of millions of dollars of business annually, was among those arrested.
Bronner buys the hemp used in his soaps from Canadian farmers. He was arrested outside the DEA museum, which shares space with the headquarters.
“Our kids are going to come to this museum and say, ‘My God. Your generation was crazy. What the hell is wrong with you people?’” he said as Arlington County Police handcuffed him and walked him to a waiting car.
Wayne Hauge and Will Allen, farmers from North Dakota and Vermont respectively, brought shovels and seeds to the protest, where they were joined by representatives of Vote Hemp, which advocates for federal legislation that would allow states to craft their own hemp policies.
Currently [eight nine] states — Hawaii, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Montana, North Dakota, [Oregon,] Vermont, and West Virginia — allow industrial hemp production or research, but federal law, which requires nearly-impossible-to-obtain-permits to grow hemp, trumps those state laws. A bill introduced by Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) and Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) would allow states to craft their own policies.
Of all the insanities in the War on (Certain American Citizens Using Non-Pharmaceutical, Non-Alcoholic, Tobacco-Free) Drugs, the ban on industrial hemp is the looniest. We have the Drug Enforcement Administration enforcing a ban on something that is not a drug! They’ll tell you that by strict interpretation of the law, hemp does contain THC, so it has to be banned, even though the THC contained in hemp is so minute that you could literally burn a field of the stuff and not catch the slightest of buzzes.
They’ll tell you that if hemp were legal, growers of illicit high-THC pot would hide their crops in-between the rows of hemp. Any farmer can tell you that what you’d get is cross-pollination; the hemp would ruin the high of the pot and the pot would ruin the strength of the hemp.
Then they’ll tell you that if hemp were legal, law enforcement would be burdened trying to determine which fields were hemp and which were pot. This doesn’t seem to be a problem for the police in China, Australia, Canada, or most of Europe, however, as they seem to be able to tell the difference between a tall, reedy hemp plant and a short bushy pot plant without much difficulty. Maybe our American cops are just too stupid to handle basic botany.
The ban on hemp remains for two reasons. One is to protect the entrenched business interests that would stand to lose market share to legal hemp crops. Hemp can produce anything you can make from a tree or a barrel of oil, and do it cheaper, make it better, and cause less environmental damage along the way. Hemp paper resists oxidation far better than wood paper. Hemp pressboards are as strong as steel and save our forests. Hemp seed oil has the highest energy value of any seed oil crop – all current diesel engines can run on hempseed oil with no modifications required. Hemp seed is one of nature’s highest protein foods and a source of important anti-oxidants. Hemp cloth is impervious to mildew, repels water, and holds heat better, and requires no pesticides. Can you begin to imagine all the companies that would lose money if forced to compete fairly with hemp?
And the second reason is psychological. If hemp is legal, cannabis is just a plant. It’s a subtle thing, but under the current framework, the government can tell us cannabis is an evil drug. But if hemp is legal, then sometimes cannabis is an evil drug and sometimes it is just a plant. Once cannabis is sometimes just a plant, it is harder to scare people into thinking it can be evil.
We are approaching the 400th anniversary of the first colonial hemp plantations in North America. Hemp is our American heritage – this country exists because of hemp and our entire history is infused with its cultivation and use. The forces that combined to ban hemp in the 20th Century have stolen our very birthright and declared nature itself to be illegal.