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Organic Farmer, Property Preservation Specialist and Custom Glass & Wood Worker. Blogger extraordinaire...

MARIJUANA THE COLE MEMO & JEFF SESSIONS

This entry is part 17 of 18 in the series Whom do your elected officials represent???

This past week our controversial embattled US Attorney General Jeff Sessions decided for some unknown reason to repeal the Cole Memo. Before we discuss just how inane that decision is let’s talk about Marijuana and how we got in this position as a society.

What is Marijuana????

The term ‘marijuana’ (sometimes spelled ‘marihuana’) is Mexican in origin and typically refers to any part of — or any one of — the three distinctive subspecies of the cannabis plant: cannabis sativa (which tends to grow tall and stalky), cannabis indica (which tends to grow smaller and bushier), or cannabis ruderalis (found primarily in Russia and Eastern Europe.) Grown outdoors, the cannabis plant typically achieves maturity within three to five months. Cultivated indoors under optimum heat and lighting, the plant may reach maturity within as few as 60 days.
Marijuana is the third most popular recreational drug in America (behind only alcohol and tobacco), and has been used by nearly 100 million Americans. According to government surveys, some 25 million Americans have smoked marijuana in the past year, and more than 14 million do so regularly despite laws against its use. Our public policies should reflect this reality, not deny it.
Marijuana is far less dangerous than alcohol or tobacco. Around 50,000 people die each year from alcohol poisoning. Similarly, more than 400,000 deaths each year are attributed to tobacco smoking. By comparison, marijuana is nontoxic and cannot cause death by overdose.

Lets talk Hemp for a moment….

Industrial Hemp

Hemp is a distinct variety of the plant species cannabis sativa L. that contains minimal (less than 1%) amounts of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the primary psychoactive ingredient in marijuana. It is a tall, slender, fibrous plant similar to flax or kenaf. Various parts of the plant can be utilized in the making of textiles, paper, paints, clothing, plastics, cosmetics, foodstuffs, insulation, animal feed and other products.
Hemp produces a much higher yield per acre than do common substitutes such as cotton and requires few pesticides. In addition, hemp has an average growing cycle of only 100 days and leaves the soil virtually weed-free for the next planting.
The hemp plant is currently harvested for commercial purposes in over 30 nations, including Canada, Japan and the European Union. Although it grows wild across much of America and presents no public health or safety threat, hemp is nevertheless routinely uprooted and destroyed by law enforcement. Each year, approximately 98% of all the marijuana eliminated by the DEA’s “Domestic Cannabis Eradication/Suppression Program” is actually hemp.

WHEN DID MARIJUANA BECOME ILLEGAL IN THE US?

Restrictions on cannabis use for medical, recreational, and industrial reasons took off in most states in the US from around 1906.
Prior to this, cannabis was being used to produce medical tinctures or industrial products like fiber, for example.
Recreational cannabis use was also relatively popular from around 1850 onwards, with oriental-style hashish bars to be found in most major cities in the US.
The major restrictions on cannabis came to be enforced through poison laws such as the Pure Food and Drug Act, passed by Congress in 1906. This law required certain drugs, including cannabis, to be accurately appropriately labeled.
From there on out, individual states began to pass their own laws regarding specific labeling of drugs such as cannabis. For example, further regulations regulating the sale of cannabis and cannabis-derived products followed in Massachusetts in 1911, and in New York and Maine in 1914.
In 1925 the US officially supported the the regulation of Indian Hemp (essentially THC-rich cannabis) at the International Opium Convention. The convention restricted the exportation of Indian hemp and any derivative products (such as hashish) to countries that had already banned the substance.
By 1930, the US formed the Federal Bureau of Narcotics as a push to outlaw and control recreational drugs. The bureau was lead by Harry J. Anslinger who, as we’ll see, is often crowned the father of cannabis prohibition in the US.
In 1932, the US passed the Uniform State Narcotic Act, which basically called for all states to unite in their front against the traffic of narcotic drugs and manage trafficking under uniform laws. By the mid 30s, all US states had enforced some kind of regulation on cannabis.
The possession or transfer of marijuana for recreational uses officially became illegal across the US under federal law in 1937 under the Marijuana Tax Act.

THE SCHAFER COMMISION AND TRICKY DICKY

During hearings on marijuana law in the 1930’s, claims were made about marijuana’s ability to cause men of color to become violent and solicit sex from white women. This imagery became the backdrop for the Marijuana Tax Act of 1937 which effectively banned its use and sales.
While the Act was ruled unconstitutional years later, it was replaced with theControlled Substances Act in the 1970’s which established Schedules for ranking substances according to their dangerousness and potential for addiction. Cannabis was placed in the most restrictive category, Schedule I, supposedly as a place holder while then President Nixon commissioned a report to give a final recommendation.
The Schafer Commission, as it was called, declared that marijuana should not be in Schedule I and even doubted its designation as an illicit substance. However, Nixon discounted the recommendations of the commission, and marijuana remains a Schedule I substance

REFER MADNESS

Reefer Madness (originally made as Tell Your Children and sometimes titled as The Burning Question, Dope Addict,Doped Youth, and Love Madness) is a 1936–1939 American propaganda film revolving around the melodramatic events that ensue when high school students are lured by pushers to try marijuana—from a hit and run accident, tomanslaughter, suicide, attempted rape, hallucinations, and descent into madness due to marijuana addiction. The film was directed by Louis Gasnier and featured a cast of mainly little-known actors.

Originally financed by a church group under the title Tell Your Children,the film was intended to be shown to parents as a morality taleattempting to teach them about the dangers of cannabis use.[5]However, soon after the film was shot, it was purchased by producerDwain Esper, who re-cut the film for distribution on the exploitation film circuit beginning in 1938–1939 through the 1940s and 1950s.[5]

WILLIAM RANDOLPH HEARST & DUPONT


Ok. So we have an elite group of special interests dominated by Du Pont petrochemical company and it’s major financial backer and key political ally, Treasury Secretary Andrew Mellon. Mellon was a banker who took over Gulf Oil Corporation. In 1913, Henry Ford opened his first auto assembly line, and Gulf Oil opened its first drive-in gas station. In 1919, with ethanol fuel poised to comptete with gasoline, Alchohol Prohibition descended on the nation. Lucky Mellon. When President Harding made him Secretary of the Treasury, he was considered the richest man in America. In the 1920’s, Mellon arranged for his bank to loan his buddies as Du Pont money to take over General Motors. Du Pont had developed new gasoline additives and the sulfate and sulfite process that made trees into paper.
In the 1930’s, Ford Motor Company operated a successful biomass fuel conversion plant using cellulose at Iron Mountain, Michigan. Ford engineers extracted methanol, charcoal fuel, tar, pitch ethyl-acetate and creosote from hemp. The same fundamental ingredients for industry were also being made from fossil fuels.
During the same period, Du Pont was developing cellophane, nylon, and dacron from from fossil fuels. Du Pont held the patents on many synthetics and became a leader in the development of paint, rayon, synthetic rubber, plastics, chemicals, photographic film, insecticides and agricultural chemicals.
From the Du Pont 1937 Annual Report we find a clue to what started to happen next: “The revenue raising power of government may be converted into an instrument for forcing acceptance of sudden new ideas of industrial and social reoganization”.


Ok, enter William Randolph Hearst. Hearst’s company was a major consumer of the cheap tree-pulp paper that had replaced hemp paper in the late 19th century. The Hearst Corporation was also a major logging company, and produced Du Pont’s chemical-drenched tree pulp paper, which yellowed and fell apart after a short time. Fueled by the advertising sold to the petrochemical industries, Hearst Newspapers were also known for their sensationalist stories. Hearst despised poor people, black people, chinese, hindus, and all other minorities. Most of all he hated Mexicans. Pancho Villa’s cannabis-smoking troops had reclaimed some 800,000 acres of prime timberland from Hearst in the name of the mexican peasants. And all of the low-quality paper the company planned to make by deforesting it’s vast timber holdings were in danger of being replaced by low-cost, high quality paper made from hemp.
Hearst had always supported any kind of prohibition, and now he wanted cannabis included in every anti-narcotics bill. Never mind that cannabis wasn’t a narcotic. Facts weren’t important. The important thing was to have it completely removed from society, doctors, and industry.
Around 1920 or so, a new word arose – “Marihuana”. Through screaming headlines and horror stories,”marihuana” was blamed for murderous rampages by blacks and mexicans.Hearst continued to use his power of the press to impress on his readers the dangers of the “marihuana” plant.

Origins of Cole Memo

A memorandum issued by Deputy Attorney General David Ogden in 2009 that directing US attorneys to “not focus federal resources in your states on individuals whose actions are in clear and unambiguous compliance with existing laws providing for the medical use of marijuana.”

The Cole Memo” is a phrase that often comes up when discussing cannabis and politics, but many people, even more knowledgeable cannabis consumers, aren’t entirely sure what it is or what it means for the cannabis industry.

What Is the Cole Memo?

In 2012, voters in Colorado and Washington legalized cannabis for adult use. By August 2013, both states were deep in the process of drafting rules and regulations for the nascent industry. With the new state laws at odds with federal law in an entirely unprecedented way, state attorneys looked to the federal government for guidance.

Sessions, who has assailed marijuana as comparable to heroin and blamed it for spikes in violence, has been promising to reconsider existing cannabis policy since he took office six months ago.
prosecutors and law enforcement should focus only on the following priorities related to state-legal cannabis operations:
• Preventing the distribution of marijuana to minors;
• Preventing revenue from the sale of marijuana from going to criminal enterprises, gangs and cartels;
• Preventing the diversion of marijuana from states where it is legal under state law in some form to other states;
• Preventing state-authorized marijuana activity from being used as a cover or pretext for the trafficking of other illegal drugs or other illegal activity;
• Preventing violence and the use of firearms in the cultivation and distribution of marijuana;
• Preventing drugged driving and the exacerbation of other adverse public health consequences associated with marijuana use;
• Preventing the growing of marijuana on public lands and the attendant public safety and environmental dangers posed by marijuana production on public lands; and
• Preventing marijuana possession or use on federal property.

Whether Sessions’s Justice Department actually busts dispensaries or others involved in state-approved pot production remains to be seen, but his decision to undo previous guidance and possibly put a federal crackdown on the table riled business people, legislators and civil liberties advocates across the country.
The vague recommendations may be intentional, reflecting an understanding that shutting down the entire industry is neither palatable nor possible, said John Hudak, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution who studies marijuana law and was interviewed by members of the task force.
“If they come out with a more progressive, liberal policy, the attorney general is just going to reject it. They need to convince the attorney general that the recommendations are the best they can do without embarrassing the entire department by implementing a policy that fails,” he said

Whom do your elected officials represent…

Citizens like you who care about personal freedom, self-preservation and basic civil liberties are the primary supporters and lifeblood of NORML. NORML exists to serve you and your like-minded friends, family members and co-workers.

Now maybe it’s just me but I think this is a backhand to the idiots in Congress that claim to represent us.   Force them to do their job by creating some legislation to undue the brainwashing propaganda garbage that causes Jeff sessions to believe that somking marijuana today will turn you into a junkie tomorrow. The thought that anyone really believes marijuana is as dangerous to your health and society as herion is just not only absurd but it is ignorant.

So as we start to listen to the rhetoric ramp up for elections this year how about we all start asking the most important question about our elected officials. They are after all supposed to be representing our intrests. They are not supposed to be going to Washington DC to line their pockets catering to Big Pharma and their pecuniary greed interests. Yes time for We The People get on the phones and inform our Elected Official WHOM they represent.

Until Next Time

Happy Gardening

SOURCES

https://www.leafly.com/news/politics/task-force-report-gives-sessions-scant-ammunition-crackdown

http://norml.org/legal/legalization
http://www.ozarkia.net/bill/pot/blunderof37.html
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reefer_Madness
http://www.drugpolicy.org/blog/how-did-marijuana-become-illegal-first-place

https://www.leafly.com/news/cannabis-101/what-is-the-cole-memo