Roys Releases Video Outlining Benefits to Legalizing Cannabis In Wisconsin

Roys’ video tells the story of a man, Heath Rush, who became addicted to opioids while experiencing back pain due to injury.

WISCONSIN: Democratic gubernatorial candidate Kelda Roys released a video highlighting the positive impacts that legalization of cannabis for medical and adult recreational use can have in Wisconsin.  Roys’ video tells the story of a man, Heath Rush, who became addicted to opioids while experiencing back pain due to injury. Heath states that he feels he, “could have gotten through 90% of the back-pain without a single opiate if I just had medical-grade marijuana.”

A transcript of the video has been provided at the end of this release.

Kelda Roys released the following statement:

“Adults should be free to use marijuana without fear of prosecution. We need to stop using our criminal justice resources to prosecute and incarcerate people for cannabis use. We can earn revenue, improve Wisconsin’s agricultural economy, and help stop unequal enforcement that drives racial disparities in our criminal justice system. It’s time to legalize cannabis for recreational and medicinal use, and grow Wisconsin’s economy.”

To read more on Kelda’s plans to legalize cannabis, click here.

“It’s Time to Legalize Marijuana” Transcript:

Heath: I was an opera singer for several years… There was this one time where I had to jump off stage, and it made me blow a disc in my back. I did not have health insurance at the time – I couldn’t really go to the doctor and have a surgery at the time, so I had to medicate it.

The doctors put me on Vicodin. I begged them for an MRI. Finally, when they did it (the MRI) it turned out I did need surgery on my back. I got to where I could not get the opiate out of my system. I could not go more than two, three hours without popping a couple pills.

I didn’t even have the urge to take the opiate once I started smoking. I feel I could have gotten through 90% of the back-pain prior to surgery without a single opiate if I just had medical-grade marijuana.


Clinton Declines To Take Position On Legalizing Marijuana

Hillary Clinton declined to directly weigh in on whether she would support states’ moves to legalize marijuana.

Her comment came after Bernie Sanders said he suspected he would support moves by states to legalize marijuana.

“I suspect I would vote yes,” Sanders said. “I would vote yes because I am seeing in this country too many lives destroyed over non-violent offenses.”

Clinton was then asked if she was ready to take a position on marijuana.

“No,” she responded.


Is Donald Trump More Sensible Than Hillary Clinton on Marijuana?

As his poll numbers continue to rise in the Republican primary, Donald Trump remains a focus of media attention. Building on his popularity among Republicans, the business magnate multiplies media appearances, giving journalists the opportunity to question him on his political positions on a variety of issues. Most of the discussion around Trump’s platform relates to his views on subjects like the economy and immigration reform, but many of us have been eager to find out where he stands on marijuana policy.

In more ways than one, Donald Trump appears unlikely to support major marijuana reform in the United States. Trump portrays himself as adamantly pro-police and “presented himself Saturday as the ‘law and order’ candidate in the 2016 presidential race, pledging to ‘get rid’ of gangs and give more power to police officers.” Like some early drug warriors, Trump is also known to hold views that some consider racist against immigrants from Mexico, whom he described as “rapists” in his announcement speech. And while he knew in 1990 that legalization is “the only answer” to the failing War on Drugs, he has opted to support prohibition anyway during his presidential bid.

Dem Predicts Pot Will Be Legal In Five Years

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA: A Democratic lawmaker is predicting that the federal government will decriminalize marijuana within the next five years.

Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) tells The Hill that “the decriminalization train has left the station,” and marijuana will be removed as a Schedule I controlled substance — where it is currently listed alongside substances like heroin.

“I fully expect within the next five years that it will be rescheduled, or delisted and I think we will have a system where states around the country will be able to do what they want with marijuana and I think this is going to be all over within five years,” Blumenauer said in an on-camera interview.

MJNN Exclusive: Bush’s Drug War At 25, Part III

EDITOR’S NOTE: This is part three of a four part series that Mr. Hirschburg has written for MJ News Network, as part of our Cannabis Elections 2014 coverage.

By Bailey Hirschburg

Part III: “We need is another D-Day, not another Vietnam…” A major obstacle for President Bush at this time was the deficit. A popular pledge in his campaign speeches had been “read my lips, no new taxes.” Democrats controlled congress, and would have been happy to make him break this pledge to pay for the drug war. Though he would propose what was then the largest one year increase in drug war spending, $2.2 billion, much of it was moved from other government spending.

“Caught, prosecuted, punished.” President Bush warned drug users and sellers alike.  Joint task forces could get more federal dollars and asset forfeiture, with little oversight from Uncle Sam so long as they served warrants and made seizures and arrests. Prosecutors pushed to get convictions on even low level offenses unless the person became an informant. Mandatory sentencing took discretion from judges.

Even with rhetoric made to beat the war drum, public reaction to his address was mixed. Immediately following Bush’s speech, Delaware senator Joe Biden offered an official Democratic response. Biden explained that congressional democrats “don’t oppose the president’s plan. All we want to do is strengthen it.”

“The president says he wants to wage a war on drugs, but if that’s true, what we need is another D-Day, not another Vietnam – not a limited war fought on the cheap and destined for stalemate and human tragedy,” Biden solemnly said.

Bush’s policies were not radically different, nor were Biden’s and congressional Democrats. Still, they set a precedent that politicians of both parties would follow for years. In Drugs and Culture: Knowledge, Consumption, and Policy editors Geoffrey Hunt, Maitena Milhet, and Henri Bergeron suggest the administration codified not just prohibition, but a war-like posture for the wider culture war:

    “…the Republicans had established themselves as the party of hard drug policy and the Democrats were struggling to keep up. This explains why there were no major shifts in federal policy after the Democrats recaptured the White House in 1992.”

Perhaps the soberest review of the address came from Marshall Ingwerson at the Christian Science Monitor

“On the other hand, Mr. Bush brings the war metaphor to the anti-drug effort without having managed the full mobilization that the term conveys.”

“After discussing the speech with two dozen of his students who watched it, says Dr. [Michael Robinson, a presidential scholar at Georgetown University] surmises that the typical viewer “walked away from his television set saying, give it your best shot, George.”

Within a week of the speech, the president gave a televised re-packaging of the address for school kids. He alluded to the great challenge in what government was trying to do, mixing civic duty and police action.

How can drugs cause so much pain? How can they lead brothers to kill brothers and mothers to abandon children? And behind all of the senseless violence, the needless tragedy, what haunts me is the question: Why?

I have one answer. Drugs are still a problem because too many of us are still looking the other way. [ … ] You know — all of you in a classroom know — who’s got a problem. Today I’m not just asking you to get help. I’m asking you to find someone who needs you, and offer to help. I’ll say it again: If you’re not in trouble, help someone who is.

  [ … ] Saying no won’t make you a nerd. It won’t make you a loser. In fact, it will make you more friends than drugs ever will — real friends.

But if that’s not enough reason, there’s another side: Using illegal drugs is against the law. And if you break the law, you pay the price. Because the rules have changed. If you do drugs you will be caught, and when you’re caught you will be punished. You might lose your driver’s license — some States have started revoking users’ driving privileges. Or you might lose the college loan you wanted — because we’re not helping those who break the law. These are privileges, not rights. And if you risk doing drugs, you risk everything, even your freedom. Because you will be punished

Bush would mention “drugs” more than 25 times, cocaine and alcohol were each mentioned twice. Marijuana got no direct mention. The gap in this message was picked up by students and reported by Bernard Weinraub in the New York Times:

“The unanimity stopped, however, when the students were asked whether the speech would make a difference. Hands shot up. ”Some people do it just because people say, ‘don’t do it,’ ” said Pleasance Lowengard, a sixth grader.

Some children in the group, all 10 to 12 years old, thought the President should have included alcohol in his message. Indeed, based on the 45-minute discussion that followed the President’s speech, most of the students had seen far more evidence of alcohol abuse, in their own families or in those of their friends, than they had from cocaine, marijuana or heroin.”


Court Approves Medical Marijuana Vote In Florida

FLORIDA:  A proposed constitutional amendment to allow the medical use of marijuana will go before Florida voters in November after the state Supreme Court narrowly approved the ballot language Monday.

The 4-3 decision is a victory for personal injury lawyer John Morgan, who spent $4 million on a medical marijuana petition drive, and a defeat for Attorney General Pam Bondi, who fought to keep the question off the ballot.

The decision comes three days after Morgan secured enough voter signatures to make the ballot. He made a massive push in December and January to beat the Feb. 1 deadline instead of waiting for the Supreme Court decision – a gamble that has now paid off.

Neither Morgan nor Bondi immediately returned messages left on their cellphones after the decision was announced.


Marijuana Legalization: The Republican Argument For Doing It

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA: “Children are growing up with a total lack of respect for the Constitution and for the law,” Pauline Sabin, the first woman to sit on the Republican National Committee, said in regard to prohibition in 1932. “The young see the law broken at home and upon the street,” she added. “Can we expect them to be lawful?” [Read more…]

Marijuana Legalization: The Republican Argument For Doing It

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA: “Children are growing up with a total lack of respect for the Constitution and for the law,” Pauline Sabin, the first woman to sit on the Republican National Committee, said in regard to prohibition in 1932. “The young see the law broken at home and upon the street,” she added. “Can we expect them to be lawful?” [Read more…]

California Dems Say “No!” to Medical Marijuana Crackdown, Federal Interference in CO, WA

CALIFORNIA: SoCal activist Lanny Swerdlow recently notified us that the California Democratic Party passed two historic resolutions on the issue of marijuana at its Executive Board meeting in Costa Mesa on Sunday, July 21. [Read more…]