Get ready for a fight

Trump’s DOJ gears up for crackdown on marijuana

The Trump administration is readying for a crackdown on marijuana users under Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

President Trump’s Task Force on Crime Reduction and Public Safety, led by Sessions, is expected to release a report next week that criminal justice reform advocates fear will link marijuana to violent crime and recommend tougher sentences for those caught growing, selling and smoking the plant. […]

“The task force revolves around reducing violent crime and Sessions and other DOJ officials have been out there over the last month and explicitly the last couple of weeks talking about how immigration and marijuana increases violent crime,” said Inimai Chettiar, director of the Brennan Center’s Justice Program. […]

On Wednesday, Sessions reportedly re-established a controversial criminal asset seizure program ahead of the committee’s recommendations.

Local law enforcement leaders say a crackdown appears to be next, though they argue there’s no need for it. […]

Though Sessions appears to be an obstacle for lawmakers and advocates who want sentencing reform, Booker said he’s not “insurmountable.”

“If we can overcome Strom Thurmond’s filibuster against the civil rights bill, we can overcome a U.S. Attorney General who is out of step with history and out of step with his party,” he said.

But Sessions isn’t alone in his views on pot. Though he said he believes in the need for sentencing reform, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) seemed to agree this week that there needs to be stricter enforcement.

“I believe marijuana probably needs to be cracked down on, but we’ll see when he sends it over,” Graham said of the task force report.

I don’t doubt, particularly since the task force is an internal structure, that the report will be crafted to appeal to what Sessions wants to do, regardless of the facts. So we could see a return to the federal pigheadedness of the John Walters tenure as Drug Czar, or worse, as Sessions has more actual power.

However, this isn’t 2007, and the political realities have shifted pretty dramatically in the past 10 years. Sessions won’t find it as easy to return to the war on marijuana that once existed. Legalization is becoming acceptable, profitable, and politically advantageous.

Government propaganda just doesn’t fly like it used to, so any findings of the task force are likely to undergo a lot more scrutiny. And there are plenty of allies on all sides of the political landscape who won’t put up with a return to pot wars.

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32 Responses to Get ready for a fight

  1. Servetus says:

    Jeff Sessions is a one-trick pony who uses his left hoof to tap out ‘drug war’ in Morse code.

    The Attorney General may be useless to Tsar Trump, but not to a prison industrial complex anticipating the contracts to construct Trump’s drug-free border fence. Nor is Sessions useless to those resuscitating DARE, drug treatments for cannabis, drug testing for marijuana, nor marijuana detection technologies.

    If the drug war were just about technology its demise might pass as one more disruptive technology surpassing the last. But the drug war is also about social identities based on affiliations to psychotropic substances—a genetically driven trait common to humans and to other animals.

    Whether someone’s social identity is wine connoisseur, joe-six-pack, or marijuana aficionado, any such differences shouldn’t matter in a free society. If they do, then adjustments are necessary.

    With the adjustments come the reactionaries, and in this case the reactions are directed at one of the most beneficial plants on earth. This too shall pass. By their reactions the reactionaries will hang themselves in public by their own nuts. This is how it’s worked for centuries, and this is how it will work again.

  2. NCN says:

    “…Legalization is becoming acceptable, profitable, and politically advantageous.”

    Hemp, Hemp-a-loo-yah!

  3. Servetus says:

    Contradicting Jeff Sessions’ tough on marijuana stance, researchers at the USC Marshall School of Business and The Paul Merage School of Business at UC Irvine determined that eliminating marijuana dispensaries can lead to an increase in crime in the immediate vicinity of the dispensary:

    Abstract: Jurisdictions that sanction medical or, more recently, recreational marijuana use often allow retail sales at dispensaries. Dispensaries are controversial as many believe they contribute to local crime. To assess this claim, we analyze the short-term mass closing of hundreds of medical marijuana dispensaries in Los Angeles. Contrary to popular wisdom, we find an immediate increase in crime around dispensaries ordered to close relative to those allowed to remain open. The increase is specific to the type of crime most plausibly deterred by bystanders, and is correlated with neighborhood walkability. We find a similar pattern of results for temporary restaurant closures due to health code violations. A likely common mechanism is that “eyes upon the street” deter some types of crime.

    Original study and abstract: Journal of Urban Economics,Volume 100, July 2017, Pages 120-136 (Paywall):

    News Release:

  4. Goblet says:

    Could the GAO refute and perhaps nullify the report from the task force?

  5. Will says:

    Never a dull moment in Crazy Town…;

    Trump floats possibility of Giuliani replacing Sessions as AG: report

    Even though;

    Giuliani: Sessions ‘made the right decision’ to recuse himself


    Is there enough Xanax to go around?

  6. kaptinemo says:

    It would seem that Dave Barry’s ‘Stupid Ray’ is still working at the White House. The Stupid Ray Strikes Again April 17, 1994 | By DAVE BARRY

    “So we need big executive-branch scandals. That’s why there’s a top-secret, high-tech, self-activating device in the White House attic called the Stupid Ray. You have noticed that we keep sending all these brilliant people to the White House, and the instant they grab hold of the controls of the Ship of State, they become Jerry Lewis starring in “The Nutty Administration.”

    Take Richard M. “Dick” Nixon. Here is a man with an IQ of 384, a man who every six weeks produces a hard-cover book explaining how we can solve every single problem in the entire world, and look what happened when he got into the White House:

    Nixon (to his aides): . . . and our first priority must be the implementation of the New Federalism, with the concomitant amalgamation of the structural parameters of the . . .

    Stupid ray: Hummmmmmm

    Nixon: . . . I know! Let’s install a tape recorder in here, then %J discuss a criminal conspiracy!

    Aides: Great idea, sir!

    Or perhaps Trump acts the way he does without suffering from its effects for other reasons…such as the device having a minimal operating threshold for intelligence and Trump is below it. In any event, it appears that the great businessman does not understand what a boon to a moribund economy that cannabis industry as a whole would be, as Colorado has so amply demonstrated. Such evident economic and political blindness in a purported political leader and businessman does not bode well for the nation or the world.

  7. cy klebs says:

    Sessions is indeed more than sour grapes, a betrayal of Alex Jones and our aspirations regarding 420.

  8. Will says:

    And what about this blase, off-the-cuff nonsense from Lindsey Graham;

    ‘“I believe marijuana probably needs to be cracked down on, but we’ll see when he sends it over,” Graham said of the task force report.’

    You can bet the DEA is chomping at the bit to launch some epic raids. Is Lindsey missing watching videos of DEA agents trashing legitimate business while he lunches on his cucumber tea sandwiches? What’s next for Lindsey, is he also jonesing for drone strikes on civilians in country’s he dare not visit? You know, just to spice up the day after nap time?

  9. Servetus says:

    PROPAGANDA ALERT: University of Pittsburgh researchers begin with a hypothetical and conclude with smoke and mirrors to enable confused journalists and prohibitionists to paint marijuana consumption as evil for adolescents:

    July 25, 2017 – How an adolescent uses marijuana, in particular a pattern of escalating use, may make an adolescent more prone to higher rates of depression and lower educational accomplishments by the time they reach adulthood. Those findings come from a new study led by researchers from the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and Pitt Department of Psychology published today in the journal Addiction.[…]

    The researchers investigate a correlation:

    “We know that cannabis use in adolescence is associated with outcomes like lower educational level, and difficulties with mood and depression, but through this long-term study, we’ve been able to provide a much deeper insight into this relationship, showing that certain characteristics of use may be more important than others,[…]”

    Boys and men in the study were preselected using only those prone to psychopathological behavior due to adverse childhood experiences or ACEs:

    Researchers analyzed 158 boys and young men from … a long-running longitudinal study of males at high risk for antisocial behavior and other psychopathology based on low income, family size and child gender[…] Each man’s brain was also scanned using fMRI to assess functional connectivity in the brain’s reward circuit. The study participants completed questionnaires at ages 20 and 22 that examined psychosocial outcomes measuring depression and educational attainment.

    And the conclusions:

    …boys who started occasionally using cannabis around 15 or 16 years old and had a dramatic increase in use by the time they were 19 had the greatest dysfunction in brain reward circuitry, the highest rates of depression and the lowest educational achievements.[…]

    “Though the results do not show a direct causal link, it’s important to note that even though most people think marijuana isn’t harmful, it may have severe consequences for some people’s functioning, education and mood,” [Erika] Forbes said. “While that may seem unimportant at age 20, the level of education you receive will likely have a huge effect on your quality of life and socioeconomic status later in adulthood.”

    AAAS Public Release: Pattern of marijuana use during adolescence may impact psychosocial outcomes in adulthood

    Erika Forbes fails to mention that many people use marijuana medicinally on a daily basis to alleviate symptoms of depression. Stress-induced-depression due to more stressful lifestyles increases with age and responsibility. Major depression severely affects educational attainment. Any insipient depression is a significant driving factor leading to marijuana use, and would explain why the most depressed subjects had the greatest marijuana consumption. The “severe consequences” do not include those involving marijuana use as a medicine, unless someone regards simple medical treatments as something severe.

    It’s only a matter of time before confused journalists and prohibitionists such as Jeff Sessions, Lindsey Graham and Kevin Sabet take the bait offered by Erika Forbes and presume pot smoking by adolescents results in brain damage or exacerbates damage to an adolescent brain’s reward circuits, even though the study doesn’t prove harm occurs, as Forbes herself admits near the end of the press release in her brief disclaimer on causal links.

    • DdC says:

      Associations between Adolescent Cannabis Use and Neuropsychological Decline: A Longitudinal Co-Twin Control Study


      Short-term cannabis use in adolescence does not appear to cause IQ decline or impair executive functions, even when cannabis use reaches the level of dependence. Family background factors explain why adolescent cannabis users perform worse on IQ and executive function tests.

    • DdC says:

      Prenatal Marijuana Exposure and Neonatal Outcomes in Jamaica: An Ethnographic Study
      Measurements and main results. Exposed and nonexposed neonates were compared at 3 days and 1 month old, using the Brazelton Neonatal Assessment Scale, including supplementary items to capture possible subtle effects. There were no significant differences between exposed and nonexposed neonates on day 3. At 1 month, the exposed neonates showed better physiological stability and required less examiner facilitation to reach organized states. The neonates of heavy-marijuana-using mothers had better scores on autonomic stability, quality of alertness, irritability, and self-regulation and were judged to be more rewarding for caregivers.

      Conclusions. The absence of any differences between the exposed on nonexposed groups in the early neonatal period suggest that the better scores of exposed neonates at 1 month are traceable to the cultural positioning and social and economic characteristics of mothers using marijuana that select for the use of marijuana but also promote neonatal development. Pediatrics 1994;93:254-260; prenatal marijuana exposure, neonatal outcomes, Jamaica, Brazelton scale supplementary items.

      Ganja Mothers, Ganja Babies

    • NorCalNative says:

      S-man, you comment features the term ACE (adverse childhood experiences), and it triggers a couple of anecdotes I’ve gotta share.

      Sitting across the kitchen table from a stunning Hospice nurse (last year after my dad died) we were discussing the opiate crisis and addiction. I had expressed some weakness in wanting to keep my dad’s large vicodin stash for my own, and asked her to destroy the pills.

      Dad kept his pain meds separate from his other inventory and only I knew about them. I had a politically-based purpose in mind because I was selling cannabis as the anti-opiate in our discussion. Giving up the stash was a way to highlight cannabis.

      Here’s where it got interesting. I told her that addiction is about “adverse childhood experiences.” What I witnessed following the utterance of those words is something I’m still trying to figure out.

      It was like a special-effect scene from a movie. I didn’t know a human could do what I saw. Her reaction to that key term was immediate. It was a head-to-toe vibration, shivering, fluid movement.

      Then the poor thing squeaked out, “I know, it could have been me.”

      When I started becoming interested in drugs around age 15 it was primarily due to what I had experienced at age 10. In 1964 I was taught to “duck-and-cover.” Me and my peeps were taught some bad guys are going to blow you away and your family too. And according to the movies they showed us, watch for flying pigs.

      I turned my teenage wisdom into a plan to surf Schedule I. I really didn’t see the problem because I didn’t expect to live to 30. The 60’s nuclear threat was my ACE.

      • NCN says:

        The internet killed my chance to edit this. I duz no the diff between you-and-your.

      • kaptinemo says:

        Interesting you should bring that up. I read a book recently called The Secrets of Medicinal Marijuana: A Guide for Patients and Those Who Care For Them written by a Barbara Harris, who, it turns out, is the wife of internationally known psychologist Charles Whitfield, author of many books such as Healing the Child Within. Although the concept is hardly novel, the Whitfields concur that cannabis use is often a form of self-medication on the part of those who suffer the after-effects of childhood traumas well into their adulthood.

        What may be more interesting is that Dr. Whitfield is also a member of the American Society of Addiction Medicine, a staunchly anti-cannabis prohibitionist organization…though, I suspect he will not be not for long, thanks to this evident heresy within the ranks of the Church of the Purest Pee. Methinks a major schism is about to erupt in Prohiblandia.

  10. Will says:

    It looks like Sessions is getting the ‘Trump Treatment’. If you work for The Donald and piss him off, he won’t necessarily fire you but he will make your life miserable. And Sessions is so ‘punch drunk’ with power as the top cop, he’s willing to put up with humiliation in order to bring the hammer down on all those bad people who consume cannabis. Word has it Sessions is ‘perturbed’ at The Donald but still has no plans of going anywhere. But how long Sessions will take it just to be Elmer Fudd on steroids is a mystery. Then again, it’s possible Trump decides to fire Sessions if he thinks he can find another candidate who might actually pretend he/she can fire Mueller (and live under the delusion that the whole Russian thing will just go away). If Trump’s timing is right he can replace Sessions with a recess appointment. But ANY AND ALL of these actions will just look — what’s the word? — oh yeah, BAD. (Very, very BAD.)

    I thought it was amazingly stupid when The Donald stated that Mueller should not look into his finances since the entire probe “is about Russia”. That’s like saying, “See that disturbed ground over there? That’s where I buried the body. But since this investigation is about Russia no one should look over there where the dead body is buried”.

    As a friend of my used to opine, “It’s an oddly shaped world”. Is it ever.

    Edit: And it continues;

    Donald Trump Continues Public Humiliation Of Jeff Sessions, DOJ

  11. Servetus says:

    Speaking of mandatory minimums, why not genocide? Jeff Sessions’ new drug war has inspired a judge in Tennessee to revive eugenics as a way to intervene in victims’ opioid dependence disorders:

    July 26, 2017 — Tennessee Judge Sam Benningfield thinks he’s come up with a brilliant solution to the opioid crisis: Offer drug offenders 30 days off their jail sentences, if they agree to vasectomies or long-acting reversible contraceptives. Over 70 inmates have already “agreed” to the terms of the deal — and the ACLU, among civil rights groups, is not impressed.

    Benningfield argues that having children can complicate recovery for people struggling with drug addiction. But there are a lot of problems with his coerced sterilization program, starting with just that: It’s coerced.

    For centuries, people in power have tried to limit the reproductive freedom of various social groups in the name of eugenics — breeding a “better” class of humans. The efforts came to full flower in the United States in the 20th century, when sterilization procedures got safer and more efficient, and access to nonsurgical birth control expanded. Tens of thousands of Americans across 32 states — from California to South Carolina — were forcibly sterilized.

    Such programs primarily targeted people of color, low-income people and disabled people.[…]

    Judge Benningfield is in violation of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, Part 2, Jurisdiction, Admissability and Applicable Law, Genocide, Article 6, Paragraph (d):

    Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group.

    And Crimes Against Humanity, Article 7, Paragraph (h):

    Persecution against any identifiable group or collectivity on political, racial, national, ethnic, cultural, religious, gender as defined in paragraph 3, or other grounds that are universally recognized as impermissible under international law, in connection with any act referred to in this paragraph or any crime within the jurisdiction of the Court.

  12. kaptinemo says:

    The crazy will always ‘out’. Always. No matter how seemingly sane a prohibitionist may appear in public, the squirming, writhing, worming crazy (think of a ball of string comprised of worms, instead, residing in their craniums) is always just a millimeter behind their eyes. The kind of crazy, for example, that thinks that with enough force, alcohol Prohibition could have worked. Or the kind of crazy that engages in a kind of eugenics wherein opiate addicts are allowed to die from overdoses when antidotes are available but not allowed to be used.

    When given a chance, with the right conditions (such as this country is experiencing socially and politically at the moment) the crazy inside prohibitionists prompts them to give voice to what was – and usually is – considered irrational at best and barking mad at its worst.

    But self-awareness was never a strong trait of prohibitionists, for it would naturally lead to the kind of introspection they seem incapable of, an introspection that would in turn lead to the realization they’ve been maliciously hypocritical regarding prohibition of cannabis and other psychotropics, while allowing for the free access of historically deadly substances to flourish comparatively unrestricted.

    Such a lack of self-awareness is usually a hallmark of sociopaths. Sessions and his ilk are very aptly demonstrating the traits of sociopaths in their attempting to resurrect a policy that half the country (soon to be followed by the rest) have, through attrition and age shifts in the electorate, demonstrated through the democratic process they want no further part of.

    That Sessions and his kind are evidently willfully deaf and blind to such facts and deride them with their attempts to revive the (demographically doomed) War on Cannabis shows how deeply the crazy runs. But at least it is fully out in the open for all to see, now.

  13. I just hope there is a sufficient supply of sanity left in America and within Washington to cleanse itself of the can of worms and garbage this current administration has dumped in DC.

  14. Good news:
    “A powerful Congressional committee delivered a strong rebuke to U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Thursday, rejecting his request to delete a provision that protects state medical marijuana laws from federal interference.”

    “With a voice vote, the Senate Appropriations Committee added the rider to legislation funding the Department of Justice for Fiscal Year 2018. The policy has been in effect in every annual spending bill enacted since late 2014.” …

  15. Servetus says:

    AG Jeffrey Sessions is a former prosecutor who rode his career to political stardom on the backs of drug war victims. The same can be said for Justice Alito of the Supreme Court. It’s not just Republicans who are guilty of drug war crimes, but Democrats as well, among the recently defeated or disposed of, such as the Clintons and Joe Biden. Jeffrey Sessions appears to be a Joe Biden redux.

    John Grant in a Counterpunch article titled “Uruguay Tells US Drug War to Take a Hike”, recounts the history of the Democrats’ recent drug war influence and of human rights crimes rewarded with a vice-presidency:

    …when Ronald Reagan won the presidency in 1980, Democrats were freaked out: they feared they were finished politically. According to Gest, it was Joe Biden who saved the day by saying, “‘Give me the crime issue and you’ll never have trouble with it in an election.’” Crime bills were the way for Democrats to stay in the political game.

    “How did so much crime legislation pass during the partisan 1980s?” Gest asks. “A key element was important personal relationships in the Capital, especially between Biden and the new Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Strom Thurmond of South Carolina.” This is the famous racist Dixiecrat who, following the Nixon Strategy, had changed his party affiliation to Republican, keeping his Senate seniority. It was the beginning of a fruitful political friendship — “fruitful” that is, if you were a politician willing to pander and fuel the Drug War fears of the time. The result was money for more cops and more prisons. […]

    It was thus that I encountered Senator Biden in a Widener University auditorium shilling for the Drug War. I was in the second row and raised my hand. Biden called on me, stepping toward me as I stood up. We were maybe ten feet apart. My question focused on why he seemed to dismiss addressing the demand problem in the United States. I mentioned Harm Reduction. The important word I used was decriminalization. My point was why couldn’t we try something other than using the military and police and prisons to address our very real drug problem?

    I might as well have said something about his children. He knew I was there as some kind of working PR person, and he lit into me with vicious glee. He turned to address the audience, avoiding both me and my question.

    “This fellow thinks he’s smart. He cleverly uses the term ‘decriminalization’ — when he really means legalization. He wants to make drugs legal, folks.” He went on some more. All the time I wanted to say: “Listen — SIR! — would you answer my question.”

    It was personal. But it made the man’s huge investment in the Drug War very clear. He knew very well that decriminalization and all the very reasonable Harm Reduction research was the Achilles heel of the Drug War. If the well-respected Ted Gest is correct, the Drug War virtually made Joe Biden’s political career; working with Strom Thurmond to put away black people made him who he is today. […]

    Some say Joe Biden will run for president in 2020. If so, drug war victims will have at their disposal the moral collateral and the votes necessary to block him. Yesterday’s drug war heroes aren’t heroes anymore.

  16. Nominating Biden will doom the party. I would hate to see it go that way.

    Handing the public some candidates regurgitated from yesterdays garbage has gotten very old, at least with me it has.

  17. NCN says:

    OT Sessions.

    I’ve developed a theory called “wedgie’s revenge,” that I believe could be a feasible explanation for his drug warrior bona fides.

    It comes down to the “look.” You’ve all seen him when he’s under hostile questioning, and especially in a room where it’s possible. The look I refer to reminds me distinctly of the “look” I used to see on bullied kids in high-school that dumb jocks liked to perform gym-class wedgies on.

    Perhaps the term is not universally known but it entails grabbing the underwear from behind and pulling it up as far as it can stretch. This three-sport (pot smoking) gym-rat was most def anti-wedgie and anti-bully.

    The nervous, room-scanning, fear-based look? I’ve seen it before and recognize it. Small boys who were bullied become small men with the potential to seek revenge if given the chance.

    Sure, I’m high and enjoying life and maybe the “look” is a stretch. However, there’s a feral, animalistic quality to that “look” that is difficult to forget if you attempt to study human nature at all. I’m losing count of how often I’ve seen photos of Jeff wearing that fearful mask born of wedgies.

    And, if it just so happens that the jocks giving ol’ Jeff his daily wedgies were also pot smokers? That’s all the proof I need.

    Some are born to punish, others learn it though adverse childhood experiences.

  18. Mr_Alex says:

    @kaptinemo and DdC, are you aware the other night I saw on Twitter, Kev-Kev or Kevin Sabet was praising the Drug Free America Foundation and Melvin and Betty Sembler, also word from the Troubled Teen Industry Activists is that Jeff Sessions is also a puppet of Mel and Betty Sembler

    this quote tells heaps about Sessions

    “His bff is Mel Sembler of fraudulent Straight Inc (recently paid ridiculous money to FL DOJ to put brakes on voters 71% med cannabis program still in limbo)”

    Also @kaptinemo and DdC

    Just ctrl + F and type in sessions

    • DdC says:

      Mr Alex I believe you will find Sembler is just another maggot in a bowl full of maggots. Hard to tell them and their funding apart. Mass murder, torture, molestation, rape, prison, beatings and terrorizing millions of Americans. Sounds like a good fit for Drumpf’s ambassador to Putin.

      ☛ Melvin & Betty Sembler

      ~ Trump’s Potent Last Gasp;
      Sembler’s $1 Million ‘Conscience’ Gift

      ~ Mel Sembler to help raise money for Trump

      ~ itemization of their family political contributions from 1988 to 2003

      ~ Trump’s secret bundler list

      ~ We Need to Talk About Kevin Sabet

      ~ Kevin Sabet Is The Marijuana Movement’s Biggest Threat,
      But Can He Really Stop ‘Big Pot’?
      Sabet himself was an advisory board member of the Drug Free America Foundation, an organization founded by Mel and Betty Sembler after they shut down STRAIGHT, Inc., a highly controversial drug treatment company.

      ~ Sabet Bloody Sabet:
      What Is the Motivation Behind Kevin Sabet’s
      Fight Against Legal Marijuana?

      “I was on the advisory board along with Jeb Bush, Bob DuPont and others for a few years that’s all unpaid,”

      Urine Testing Company
      After his resignation, Turner joined with Robert DuPont and former head of NIDA, Peter Bensinger, to corner the market on urine testing. They contracted as advisors to 250 of the largest corporations to develop drug diversion, detection, and urine testing programs.

      Inaccurate Urine Testing

      ~ An Old Message from the Drug War:
      Just Say No to Marijuana

      “Frustrated that people continued to consume so much alcohol even after it was banned, federal officials had decided to try a different kind of enforcement. They ordered the poisoning of industrial alcohols manufactured in the United States, products regularly stolen by bootleggers and resold as drinkable spirits. The idea was to scare people into giving up illicit drinking. Instead, by the time Prohibition ended in 1933, the federal poisoning program, by some estimates, had killed at least 10,000 people.”

      —an extract from: The little-told story of how the U.S. government poisoned alcohol during Prohibition with deadly consequences.

      ~ Joe Lieberman is running with a bad crowd

      ~ STRAIGHT, Inc. Victim: ‘Where Is Our Apology?’

      ~ Advocates say anti-drug group is helping craft Florida’s medical marijuana laws

      ~ Italy Seeks To Bring in Tough Law on Drugs 12/01/03
      Sembler was Ambassidor 2001 to 2005

      Republicans Melvin & Betty Sembler,
      professional lobbyist – infludence buying

      an itemization of their family political contributions from 1988 to 2005

      Mel Sembler
      The banker and real estate developer is also the former ambassador to Italy, Australia, and Nauru. Earlier this year, he said he and his wife Betty planned to raise $10 million to kill Florida’s medical marijuana ballot measure. The two founded the Drug Free America Foundation, Inc.

      ☛ The unauthorized biography of Melvin Floyd Sembler

      Don Corleone,
      I need a man who has powerful friends. I need a million dollars in cash. I need, Don Corleone, those politicians that you carry in your pocket, like so many nickels and dimes. From The Godfather

  19. WalStMonky says:


    Growing tomatoes in Kansas led to SWAT-style weed raid. Judge says gardeners can sue

    “Law-abiding tea drinkers and gardeners beware,” wrote one judge in his ruling to allow the couple whose home was raided to sue

    July 26, 2017

    By Roxana Hegeman, The Associated Press

    WICHITA, Kan. — A SWAT-style raid to search for marijuana at the home of a Kansas City couple was an unjustified government intrusion based on nothing more than junk science, an incompetent investigation and a publicity stunt, a federal appeals court judge wrote Tuesday in a decision that reinstated their lawsuit.

    Robert and Adlynn Harte sued the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office after the 2012 raid at their Leawood home. Authorities targeted the Hartes, both former CIA employees, after seeing Robert Harte leaving a store that sold hydroponic gardening equipment.

    Officers armed with assault rifles raided the couple’s home, finding only tomato plants the family was growing with the hydroponic equipment.

    A federal judge dismissed the lawsuit in 2015 but a three-judge panel of the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals reinstated parts of it. Each of the appeals judges wrote separate opinions outlining their reasoning, and Judge Carlos Lucero had an unusually passionate and colorful one.

    “Law-abiding tea drinkers and gardeners beware: One visit to a garden store and some loose tea leaves in your trash may subject you to an early-morning, SWAT-style raid, complete with battering ram, bulletproof vests, and assault rifles,” Lucero wrote.

    “Perhaps the officers will intentionally conduct the terrifying raid while your children are home, and keep the entire family under armed guard for two and a half hours while concerned residents of your quiet, family-oriented neighborhood wonder what nefarious crime you committed,” the judge said.

    The “Operation Constant Gardener” raids on April 20, 2012, involved about 30 agencies targeting suspected marijuana growers across Johnson County. The judge cited emails following that operation that officials had discussed plans for “a telethon-type billboard with a large green marijuana plant filling up as pledges came in, making T-Shirts and whatnot.”

    “This is too rich for fiction,” Lucero wrote in his ruling.

  20. WalStMonky says:


    Well this one should be worth more lame jokes from the pundits and talking heads than the Ronco IPO from a couple of months ago:
    Origo Acquisition Press Release Confirms Reports Of Agreement To Merge With High Times, Making High Times A Publicly Traded Co.

    We need to get a turbine hooked up to Bob Marley’s cadaver. With his family’s full embrace of living in Babylon he must be spinning in his grave at high velocity. We may as well get some free, environmentally friendly electricity out of the deal.

  21. NorCalNative says:

    Hey Pete, Happy belated Blog-irthday! July 26, 2003 seems like a long time ago. You rock. Thanks.

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