Tag Archives: war on drugs

Marc Emery’s press conference at BC Supreme Court pre-extradition to USA

Marc Emery hugs his "drug war widow" Jodie EmeryI attended Marc Emery’s press conference this morning before he had to surrender to the courts and while i am not a huge enthusiast of his personal style and tactics, this is a massive injustice and needs to be discussed sensibly.

Very poignant and sad to see him have to say goodbye to his wife Jodie for several years while serving time far from home in a US prison for “aliens.” Sad day for Canada and freedom advocates everywhere.

After from the remarks and questions, Marc Scott Emery was formally taken into custody and taken to a holding facility to await extradition transfer and sentencing in a US court based on a plea arrangement giving him 5 years in an “alien” jail.

He implored the assembled advocates and media to seek his transfer back to Canada to serve his sentence rather than submit to the USA punishment for the charge of selling cannabis seeds to “overgrow the government.”

Here are a few snapshots from the Marc Emery’s press conference at BC Supreme Court pre-extradition to USA on Sept. 28 2009

There were many grassroots and mainstream media assembled so i expect more audio, video and photos to come. I recorded some audio and will release on a future Choogle on podcast.

Marc Emery awaits extradition to the USA

Cannabis real-speak interviews online at MarijunaConversation.org

Check out Marijuana Conversation for a collection of online videos and interviews with common-sense approach to cannabis in the USA including the full :30 video featuring travel documenter Rick Steves. A solid line-up of speakers other than the usual crusty preachers of the erstwhile revolution make a campaign aimed more at soccer moms than Rastafarians if you catch my meaning.

Rick Steves Wants to Talk Pot

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Rick Steves gets even cooler with a Cannabis Policy Guest Column in Seattle PI

Travel in Europe guru, PBS super-star, decent Lutheran guy, and multi-purpose enlightened thinker Rick Steves wrote a guest column about the failed USA war on drugs policy – i’ve re-posted for educational use from Seattle P-I.com

We need to get smart about marijuana

RICK STEVES
GUEST COLUMNIST

As a parent helping two children navigate their teen years, and as a travel writer who has seen firsthand how Europe deals with its drug problem, I’ve thought a lot about U.S. drug policy — particularly our criminalization of marijuana.

Europe, like the U.S., is dealing with a persistent drug-abuse problem. But unlike us, Europe, which treats drug abuse primarily as a public health issue rather than a criminal issue, measures the success of its drug policy in terms of pragmatic harm reduction.

Europeans seek a cure that isn’t more costly than the problem. While the U.S. spends its tax dollars on police, courts and prisons, Europe fights drug abuse by funding doctors, counselors and clinics. European Union policymakers estimate that for each euro invested in drug education and counseling, they save 15 euros in police and health costs. Similar estimates have been made for U.S. health-based approaches by the Rand Corp. and others.

While Europeans are as firmly opposed to hard drugs as we are, the difference in how they approach marijuana is striking. Take the Netherlands, with its famously liberal marijuana laws. On my last trip to Amsterdam, I visited a “coffee shop” — a cafe that openly and legally sells marijuana to people over 18. I sat and observed the very local, almost quaint scene: Neighbors were chatting. An older couple (who apparently didn’t enjoy the trendy ambience) parked their bikes and dropped in for a baggie to go. An underage customer was shooed away. Then a police officer showed up — but only to post a warning about the latest danger from chemical drugs on the streets.

Some concerned U.S. parents are comforted by the illusion of control created by our complete prohibition of marijuana. But the policy seems to be backfiring: Their kids say it’s easier to buy marijuana than tobacco or alcohol. (You don’t get carded when you buy something illegally.) Meanwhile, Dutch parents say their approach not only protects their younger children, but also helps insulate teens over 18 from street pushers trying to get them hooked on more addictive (and profitable) hard drugs.

After a decade of regulating marijuana, Dutch anti-drug abuse professionals agree there has been no significant increase in pot smoking among young people, and that overall cannabis use has increased only slightly. European and U.S. government statistics show per-capita consumption of marijuana for most of Europe (including the Netherlands) is about half that of the U.S., despite the criminal consequences facing American pot smokers.

When it comes to marijuana, European leaders understand that a society must choose: Tolerate alternative lifestyles or build more prisons. They’ve made their choice. We’re still building more prisons.

According to Forbes magazine, 25 million Americans currently use marijuana (federal statistics indicate that one in three Americans has used marijuana at some point), which makes it a $113 billion untaxed industry in our country. The FBI reports that about 40 percent of the roughly 1.8 million annual drug arrests in the U.S. are for marijuana — the majority (89 percent) for simple possession.

Rather than act as a deterrent, criminalization of marijuana drains precious resources, clogs our legal system and distracts law enforcement attention from more pressing safety concerns.

But things are changing. For example, in Seattle, Initiative 75, which makes adult marijuana use the lowest law enforcement priority for local cops, was recently reviewed after four years in action. The results clearly show that during that period, marijuana use didn’t measurably increase, and street crime associated with drugs actually went down.

More and more U.S. parents, lawyers, police, judges and even travel writers feel it’s time for a change. Obviously, like Europeans, we don’t want anyone to harm themselves or others by misusing marijuana. We simply believe that regulating and taxing what many consider a harmless vice is smarter than outlawing it.

Like my European friends, I believe we can adopt a pragmatic policy toward marijuana, with a focus on harm reduction and public health, rather than tough-talking but counterproductive criminalization. The time has come to have an honest discussion about our marijuana laws and their effectiveness. We need to find a policy that is neither “hard on drugs” nor “soft on drugs” — but smart on drugs.

Rick Steves is a travel writer based in Edmonds.

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Joey Shithead’s Band of Rebels play for Pot

band of rebels benefit for marc emery

Punk and Pot – two of my fave “things” come together as Vancouver legend Joe Shithead brings his eclectic and musically diverse rock circus out for a once-only rock show in solidarity with Marc Emery the (somewhat self-aggrandizing) seed seller who is hassled by the now-fired, former pit-bull US district attorney John Mackay and other DEA narco-terrorists seeking his extradition to the USA to face re-donk-u-lous charges of conspiricy and mass volume drug peddling.

I’ll be there enjoy the rock and the pot. And you?

Free the BC three Here’s from Sudden Death records announcement:

The long awaited live performance with Joe Shithead Keithley’s Band of Rebels will take place in Vancouver on Thursday December 6th at the Plaza Club. Band of Rebels is Keithley’s solo album, released this past summer that features many of Vancouver’s best musicians. Many of them will be performing at the CD release party, which is also Sudden Death Record’s Christmas party, DVD live recording event and a benefit for Cannabis Canada. The event will also include guest speaker Marc Emery and band Aging Youth Gang.

Joe also did a book – I, Shithead: A Life In Punk – and there is a the full DOA backcatalog available by mail order online too (though i’ve got my $15 aimed at a Bloodied by Unbowed vinyl picture disk at Noize on Seymour).