The Beatles call for the legalisation of marijuana

23 07 2012

9.00am, Monday 24 July 1967 (45 years ago)

The Beatles lighting up a smokeA full-page advertisement appeared in The Times newspaper on this day, signed by 64 of the most prominent members of British society, which called for the legalisation of marijuana. Among the signatories were The Beatles and Brian Epstein.

The advertisement was instigated as a response to the nine-month prison sentence for possession received on 1 June 1967 by John Hopkins, founder of International Times, the UFO Club and the 24 Hour Technicolour Dream. The following day an emergency meeting was held at the Indica Bookshop, during which Steve Abrams of drug-research organisation SOMA suggested bringing the issue into public debate by running a full-page advertisement.
Abrams agreed to organise the signatures, but the question of financing the advertisement proved temporarily problematic. None of The Beatles were present at the Indica, but the bookshop’s co-owner Barry Miles telephoned Paul McCartney, who agreed to finance the advertisement.

On 3 June Miles and Abrams visited McCartney’s house in Cavendish Avenue. McCartney listened to the plans, told Abrams that all The Beatles and Epstein would put their names to it, and told them how to contact the rest of the group for their signatures.

On 23 July, the day before publication, the ad was mentioned in The Sunday Times’ Atticus column, written by Philip Oates. Behind the scenes, however, The Times’ advertising manager, R Grant Davidson, nervously insisted on checking that all the people had indeed agreed for their names to be associated with the article.

Davidson also insisted on advance payment. Steve Abrams contacted Peter Brown at Brian Epstein’s office, and shortly afterwards received a personal cheque for £1,800 made out to The Times. At the time the amount was twice the average annual wage.

Although McCartney had wanted to keep the funding a secret, in fear of negative publicity, it soon proved impossible. The day after the advertisement appeared, the information appeared in the Evening Standard’s Londoner’s Diary.

Within a week of its appearance, the advertisement led to questions being asked in the House of Commons, and began a public debate which eventually led to liberalisation in the laws against cannabis use in Britain.

 

Source: The Beatles Bible





Cannabis Magnate Ben Dronkers Nominated For International Hemp Activism Award

24 09 2010

 

Ben and Jack hanging out

Ben Dronkers & Jack Herer

 

Ben Dronkers described his reaction as ‘pleased and surprised’ upon learning of his nomination for Outstanding International Hemp Activist of the Year in the Jack Herer Awards 2010. Ben is one of Europe’s leading hemp entrepreneurs and the man behind HempFlax and the world famous Hash Marihuana & Hemp Museum, as well as Sensi Seeds, which this year celebrates its 25th anniversary.

Industrial Hemp Revolution

When he began HempFlax in 1993, the proud Dutch tradition of hemp farming had lain dormant for half a century. Specialized hemp harvesting and processing machinery was designed, developed and patented by HempFlax, beginning an industrial hemp revolution. Ben and his dedicated team single-handedly revived the Dutch  market for hemp.

Smoking Bunnies

Some of the products even caused amusement:  jokes circulated about bunnies getting stoned on their hemp fibre bedding. Over two decades later, Ben is the one having the last laugh. HempFlax now harvests and processes 2400 hectares (5930 acres) per year. The fibre and hurds are used by major companies such as BMW, and the Queen of England’s horses are stabled on HempFlax bedding (along with thousands of happy bunnies throughout Europe).

Hemp Research Continues

Ben’s take on what really makes HempFlax special is that the whole production chain, from sowing to marketing, is geared towards optimum environmental benefit, use and application of this astonishing resource. The research and development into hemp’s vast potential to offer us a sustainable future continues.

Smoking Buddies

The Jack Herer Awards began in 2004  to honour exceptional achievement in hemp activism. The Award Ceremony takes place on October 7th, and this year will feature a tribute to Jack himself, dearly missed by the cannabis community worldwide after his passing earlier this year. Jack and Ben were close friends, and in 2005 Ben presented Jack with the Hash Marihuana & Hemp Museum’s annual Cannabis Culture Award (Cannabis Cultuur Prijs) to honour and applaud Jack’s great part in the cannabis crusade. It is easy to imagine Jack appreciating, with a smile, his smoking buddy’s nomination for a Jack Herer Award.





In memoriam: Jack Herer (1939-2010)

16 04 2010
Jack Herer smelling the award winning cannabis strain named after him

Jack Herer and his award winning cannabis strain

Jack Herer, the Hemperor – author, activist and all-round cannabis-hero – passed away on April 15 2010 at the age of 70.

Jack’s 1985 book The Emperor Wears No Clothes is probably the biggest single influence behind the modern hemp movement. Originally self-published, Emperor is currently in its 11th edition and has sold over 600,000 copies.

The book makes a powerful argument for personal freedom to grow and use psychoactive cannabis and also describes how large-scale industrial hemp cultivation can help humans to stop destroying the planet through deforestation, pollution and over-reliance on petrochemicals.

The Emperor Wears No Clothes confirmed in great detail what many cannabis enthusiasts knew or suspected Read the rest of this entry »





New medical marijuana policy issued by the President

19 10 2009

The Obama administration announced today that it will not seek to arrest medical marijuana users and suppliers as long as they conform to state laws, under new policy guidelines to be sent to federal prosecutors Monday 19th October. A 3-page memo spelling out the policy is expected to be sent Monday to federal prosecutors in the 14 states which allow some use of marijuana for medical purposes, and also to top officials at the FBI and the DEA.

barack obama smoking pot, marijuana, cannabis

According to officials, the memo is designed to give a sense of prosecutorial priorities to U.S. Attorneys in the states that allow medical marijuana. It notes that cannabis sales in the United States are the largest source of money for violent Mexican drug cartels, but adds that federal law enforcement agencies have limited resources – It emphasizes that prosecutors have wide discretion in choosing which cases to pursue, and says it is not a good use of federal manpower to prosecute those who are without a doubt in compliance with state law.

Read the rest of this entry »





The High Cost of Empty Prisons

14 10 2009

New York:

prisons cost a heap of money and are a massive financial burden

Last Wednesday (07/10/09), changes to New York´s notorious Rockefeller drug laws went into effect, allowing judges to shorten the prison terms of some non-violent offenders; particularly those incarcerated for non-violent crimes such as cannabis posession. This measure will further reduce New York´s prison population, which has already declined in the past 10 years from about 71,600 in 1999 under Mayor Rudy Giuliani to about 59,300 today – The state´s crime rate also dropped substantially during that time.
Nevertheless, the state has been slow to close prisons;  this is a multi-billion-dollar industry – opposition from the correction officers´ union and politicians from the upstate areas where most of our correctional facilities are has been fierce.

It was not until earlier this year that policymakers in Albany, confronted with fiscal crisis, mustered the will to shut three prison camps and seven prison annexes which amounted to a total of about 2,250 prison beds. This move is expected to save $52 million over the next two years.
But the state could go further… The prison system still has more than 5,000 empty beds in 69 prisons. What´s more, there are other ways to lower the prison population. For starters state lawmakers could repeal the Rockefeller mandatory sentencing provisions that remain on the books. This could automatically release hundreds (maybe thousands) of prisoners currently incarcerated where the presiding judge was obliged to impose a mandatory-minimum sentence.

Read the rest of this entry »





Cannabis Patents – Cannabinoid Patch

12 10 2009

United States Patent US6113940:
Cannabinoid patch and method for cannabis transdermal delivery.

Cannabis as a medicine, medicinal marijuana, seeds, hemp, sativa, patentWe  found this patent application in the U.S for a cannabis patch similar to the nicotine patch which has been commercially available for years. Several companies (and even the U.S government – see our previous article “U.S Government Patents Cannabis“) have recently started to take notice of the medicinal properties of cannabis and have started a rush to patent any possible application of this wonderful natural herb. Part of this trend could be linked to the legalization movement which has successfully highlighted several medical advantages to cannabis over traditional pharmaceuticals, particularly the lack of significant negative side-effects when treating serious illness.

Here are the links to both the Patent outline and the Application in .pdf form





Hanes invests in Hemp!

17 08 2009

After a decade trying to prove that hemp could be soft as cotton, one American company is starting to draw the attention to its product from some of the world’s biggest consumer brands.

Naturally Advanced CEO, Ken Barker poses with hemp fibres.

Based in Portland, Oregon – Naturally Advanced Technologies Inc. – has developed an enzyme treatment which makes organic fibres (principally hemp and flax) suitable for producing clothes and other uses.  This treatment is known as “Crailar Fiber Technology”.  Here’s the information that Naturally Advanced provides about Crailar on their website:

“CRAILAR employs a simple, efficient 100% organic, enzyme bath and scales easily to leverage the global industrial hemp industry. In addition, CRAILAR Organic Fiber will be cost-comparable to organic cotton. Therefore, CRAILAR enables the transformation of hemp into a better sustainable alternative to organic cotton. ”

Read the rest of this entry »





Cannabis to be legalized in Jamaica?

14 08 2009

Champs de Cannabis au Jamaïque

Exports of Jamaica’s primary agricultural products – sugar, bananas and bauxite – have slumped severely since the start of the global financial crisis. As this crisis deepens, many prominent Jamaicans are calling for the cultivation and exportation of marijuana to be legalized for medicinal purposes.

Read the rest of this entry »





2,700-year-old marijuana found in Chinese tomb

10 12 2008

Researchers say they have located the world’s oldest stash of marijuana, in a tomb in a remote part of China.

The cache of cannabis is about 2,700 years old and was clearly “cultivated for psychoactive purposes,” rather than as fibre for clothing or as food, says a research paper in the Journal of Experimental Botany.

The 789 grams of dried cannabis was buried alongside a light-haired, blue-eyed Caucasian man, likely a shaman of the Gushi culture, near Turpan in northwestern China.

The extremely dry conditions and alkaline soil acted as preservatives, allowing a team of scientists to carefully analyze the stash, which still looked green though it had lost its distinctive odour.

“To our knowledge, these investigations provide the oldest documentation of cannabis as a pharmacologically active agent,” says the newly published paper, whose lead author was American neurologist Dr. Ethan B. Russo.

Remnants of cannabis have been found in ancient Egypt and other sites, and the substance has been referred to by authors such as the Greek historian Herodotus. But the tomb stash is the oldest so far that could be thoroughly tested for its properties.

The 18 researchers, most of them based in China, subjected the cannabis to a battery of tests, including carbon dating and genetic analysis. Scientists also tried to germinate 100 of the seeds found in the cache, without success.

The marijuana was found to have a relatively high content of THC, the main active ingredient in cannabis, but the sample was too old to determine a precise percentage.

Researchers also could not determine whether the cannabis was smoked or ingested, as there were no pipes or other clues in the tomb of the shaman, who was about 45 years old.

The large cache was contained in a leather basket and in a wooden bowl, and was likely meant to be used by the shaman in the afterlife.

“This materially is unequivocally cannabis, and no material has previously had this degree of analysis possible,” Russo said in an interview from Missoula, Mont.

“It was common practice in burials to provide materials needed for the afterlife. No hemp or seeds were provided for fabric or food. Rather, cannabis as medicine or for visionary purposes was supplied.”

The tomb also contained bridles, archery equipment and a harp, confirming the man’s high social standing.

Russo is a full-time consultant with GW Pharmaceuticals, which makes Sativex, a cannabis-based medicine approved in Canada for pain linked to multiple sclerosis and cancer.

The company operates a cannabis-testing laboratory at a secret location in southern England to monitor crop quality for producing Sativex, and allowed Russo use of the facility for tests on 11 grams of the tomb cannabis.

Researchers needed about 10 months to cut red tape barring the transfer of the cannabis to England from China, Russo said.

The inter-disciplinary study was published this week by the British-based botany journal, which uses independent reviewers to ensure the accuracy and objectivity of all submitted papers.

The substance has been found in two of the 500 Gushi tombs excavated so far in northwestern China, indicating that cannabis was either restricted for use by a few individuals or was administered as a medicine to others through shamans, Russo said.

“It certainly does indicate that cannabis has been used by man for a variety of purposes for thousands of years.”

Russo, who had a neurology practice for 20 years, has previously published studies examining the history of cannabis.

“I hope we can avoid some of the political liabilities of the issue,” he said, referring to his latest paper.

The region of China where the tomb is located, Xinjiang, is considered an original source of many cannabis strains worldwide.

Source: thestar.com





Quotes from the people that made marijuana illegal

10 12 2008

These quotes are too ridiculous to even consider taking serious, however most of our current drug policies are based on the opinions and efforts of these same people.

Harry J. Anslinger

anslinger1Anslinger was an extremely ambitious man, and he recognized the Bureau of Narcotics as an amazing career opportunity — a new government agency with the opportunity to define both the problem and the solution. He immediately realized that opiates and cocaine wouldn’t be enough to help build his agency, so he latched on to marijuana and started to work on making it illegal at the federal level.Anslinger immediately drew upon the themes of racism and violence to draw national attention to the problem he wanted to create. Some of his quotes regarding marijuana…

“There are 100,000 total marijuana smokers in the US, and most are Negroes, Hispanics, Filipinos, and entertainers. Their Satanic music, jazz, and swing, result from marijuana use. This marijuana causes white women to seek sexual relations with Negroes, entertainers, and any others.“…the primary reason to outlaw marijuana is its effect on the degenerate races.” Marijuana is an addictive drug which produces in its users insanity, criminality, and death.”Reefer makes darkies think they’re as good as white men.”Marihuana leads to pacifism and communist brainwashing”You smoke a joint and you’re likely to kill your brother.“Marijuana is the most violence-causing drug in the history of mankind.”

And he loved to pull out his own version of the “assassin” definition:

“In the year 1090, there was founded in Persia the religious and military order of the Assassins, whose history is one of cruelty, barbarity, and murder, and for good reason: the members were confirmed users of hashish, or marihuana, and it is from the Arabs’ ‘hashashin’ that we have the English word ‘assassin.’”

Yellow Journalism

hearst1Harry Anslinger got some additional help from William Randolf Hearst, owner of a huge chain of newspapers. Hearst had lots of reasons to help. First, he had invested heavily in the timber industry to support his newspaper chain and didn’t want to see the development of hemp paper in competition. Second (and perhaps most importantly), he had lost 800,000 acres of timberland to Pancho Villa, so he hated Mexicans. Third, telling lurid lies about Mexicans (and the devil marijuana weed causing violence) sold newspapers, making him rich.Some samples from the San Francisco Examiner:

“Marihuana makes fiends of boys in thirty days — Hashish goads users to bloodlust.” “By the tons it is coming into this country — the deadly, dreadful poison that racks and tears not only the body, but the very heart and soul of every human being who once becomes a slave to it in any of its cruel and devastating forms…. Marihuana is a short cut to the insane asylum. Smoke marihuana cigarettes for a month and what was once your brain will be nothing but a storehouse of horrid specters. Hasheesh makes a murderer who kills for the love of killing out of the mildest mannered man who ever laughed at the idea that any habit could ever get him….”

And other nationwide columns…

“Users of marijuana become STIMULATED as they inhale the drug and are LIKELY TO DO ANYTHING. Most crimes of violence in this section, especially in country districts are laid to users of that drug.” “Was it marijuana, the new Mexican drug, that nerved the murderous arm of Clara Phillips when she hammered out her victim’s life in Los Angeles?… THREE-FOURTHS OF THE CRIMES of violence in this country today are committed by DOPE SLAVES — that is a matter of cold record.”

Source: legalizepot.wordpress.com








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