Wednesday, December 31, 2008

That's it MeMaw...Fuck him up!



Does anyone else find it ironic that the pervert who tried to rape MeMaw has the last name of 'Dick'?

Looks like it might be a while before he is physically able to try harming another MeMaw. This MeMaw needs a gold medal.

A Sober Discussion of Weed

Danner over at 9Numbers has up a great post on legalizing marijuana.

A Sober Discussion of Weed

Go read it and straighten this guy 'alarob' out on his warped view of legalization.

And thanks for the post Danner. It helps to keep the conversation moving in the right direction.


Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Change.gov is Open for Questions

A few weeks ago the Obama transition team started taking questions from the public about the issues most important to them. A question about legalizing marijuana came in a #1 and 16 of the top 50 questions out of over 10,000 were about marijuana or the drug war. Despite this issue dominating the question poll we received a curt, short, non-answer.

Well yesterday the Open for Questions opened up again and the sheer number of questions pertaining to marijuana, medical marijuana, the drug war and the prison crisis is overwhelming, to say the least.

I would like all of my readers to take a moment and vote the questions about marijuana and the drug war UP!. You'll have to create an account.

Once you have created an account use the search function and search for 'caught'. My question about Obama's past drug use is there. Vote it up by clicking the check mark. Also search for 'Ethan Nadelmann' and vote that question up as well. Then search for 'marijuana' and vote all of the good questions up.

I've noticed a number of questions from Alabamians about marijuana...Good on Ya for doing that!!

The question poll will close tomorrow Dec. 31 so get on over there and let your voice be heard.


Drug Companies Favor Costly Pill

My friend, who is also an RN, named Sarah Wires had an excellent letter published in the Montgomery Advertiser today.

Drug Companies Favor Costly Pill

Go on over and leave some positive comments.


Monday, December 29, 2008

Why do we keep doing this?

I've noticed stories in all of Alabama's major newspapers over the last week or so about who is lining up to run for Governor in 2010. For the record, I will not be running for Governor in 2010. I am possibly going to run for a House Seat.

So, who are the potential candidates? Why, the usual suspects, of course.

On the Republican side of the equation.

Tim James, son of former Governor Fob James. If I recall correctly Fob danced around like a monkey during a discussion about evolution. I believe Jane Goodall was the moderator. :)

Kay Ivey, currently State Treasurer and a completely intolerant old bat when it comes to people with different religious beliefs than she holds. Yep, that's just what we need...a female Roy Moore. Joy!

Troy King, currently the Alabama Attorney General, who is rumored to be in a closet gay relationship with his top aide, has a fondness for inflatable latex pigs, and is despised by almost all Alabama District Attorneys because he likes to put politics ahead of what is right for the state. There are also numerous ethics violations like accepting box seats from Alabama Power to an Atlanta Braves game and getting a job for a friend's mother in the two year college system from the guy he was investigating for handing out jobs to friends in the two year college system. Just a swell guy all the way around.

Bradley Byrne, currently the two year college chancellor.

Mike Hubbard, currently the chair of the Republican party. Does not want to follow the law and allow people who are in jail but have not lost their voting rights to register to vote. Apparently Mike thinks all people in jail or prison are potential Democrats. Guess he never met the skin heads or the Aryan Brotherhood. Anyway, we won the battle over voter registration and Mike Hubbard lost.

Jack Hawkins Jr., chancellor of Troy University.

Jo Bonner, current US Representative from Mobile.

On the Democratic side of the equation.

Rep. Artur Davis, currently a US Representative from Birmingham. A Harvard graduate, close to President elect Obama and if elected he would be the first African American Governor in Alabama's history.

Ron Sparks, currently Alabama Agriculture Commissioner.

Jim Folsom Jr., currently Lt. Governor and son of a former Governor.

Seth Hammett, currently Speaker of the Alabama House.

With the exception of a couple of those named on either side these folks all have one thing in common. They have been involved in politics in Alabama for many, many years. And very few Alabamians are happy with the way things currently are. We stay in the 49th or 50th spot for things that are good and damn near always take the top spot for things that are bad. So, why would we even consider filling the top office with some of the very same people who brought us to the point where we are now? Why do we do this to ourselves every four years and then bitch about it for the next four years?

In 2010 I say we nominate and run Trixie the Pig. Y'all all remember Trixie. She's a much more honest pig than the ones who currently hold elected office in Alabama and as qualified as all of those lining up to run in 2010. I think I'll start a petition to get her name on the ballot.


Saturday, December 27, 2008

FOX News: Marijuana Tops List of Questions at Obama's Change.gov



Year in Review

As 2008 draws to a close it is time for a year in review.


January


The Sex Toys for Troy King campaign gets an honorable mention in Village Voice

BHAM News prints three letters in response to a goofy propaganda prohibition piece. One is mine

DAME Magazine covers Sex Toys for Troy King...and humiliated Dan Ireland too boot

JD Crowe, the fabulous editorial cartoonist for the Mobile Press Register continues with his excellent Troy King toons. Long live JD Crowe.

Troy says Trixie is the only pig in town

Troy King gets mocked by a former Alabamian

Military Tactics no use in war on drugs LTE in the Montgomery Advertiser

Drug Tasc Forces around the state begin to squeak because their funding gets cut

The DA of Bessemer comes out against the drug war

I check out Obama in BHAM

Alabama State Treasurer Kay Ivey offends my son and then sort of tries to redeem herself and fails.

Feb.


LTE: Cops Don't Deserve Compassion

I broke my foot! Was damn sure big news to me!

Loretta has fun harassing 'The Man'

Alabama Legislature launches crusade against harmless plants.

March

LTE Against Student Drug Testing

LTE:Anti-Drug Efforts Haven't Worked

Last Word: I battle it out with Narcotic s Sargent Jim Henderson in the BHAM News

LTE: Funding anti-drug work not wise policy

Anolther Last Word on Student Drug Testing

Another Last Word on Cop Welfare

April

No Senator, We Won't Pay for your Health Insurance

LTE: Stun Gun Bill Violates Constitutional Rights

LTE: No To REAL ID

I'm Letter Writer of the Month at MAPINC


My Son Alex is Acepted to Alabama School of Math and Science (He's doing very well too!)

Pictures from my 420 Adventure with my Canadian best friend Marc Emery

I'm On the Canadian National News Throwing Joints to a Lively Crowd

A Legislator Says I'm Having an Impact


May
(May was a really slow month where I spent lots of time watching our legislature do nothing while in session and gardening the rest of the time)

International Activism

June (June was also a slow month for letter writing and a busy month for gardening)

Salvia Letter in Cullman Times

July

So they say my nemesis Troy King might be gay. Myself and other bloggers had a field day exploring whether or not that is any truth to that rumor. We never discovered Troy's sexual orientation but we sure had a lot of fun at his expense.

If I'd a knowed that I'd a sent him a blow up boar hawg

Some Radio pals of mine pen a tune for Troy

Troy King Employs "What about the children?" in his defense

LTE: Waste of Money

Media begins to sniff around edges of Troy King's sexuality

Montgomery Independent sniffs a little

Montgomery Advertiser examines Troy King's pay

Birmingham News Investigates Troy King's Top Aides (and King's reported lover) Salary

Media Scrutiny of the Salary Story picks up

JD Crowe Chimes in with Hysterical Editorial Cartoon

Troy King Refuses of Deny Rumors on Dale Jackson's Show

August

The Media is still hot After Troy

Sex Toys for Troy Makes HuffPo

August 10th I turned 34

Troy King Story makes HuffPo

Tuscaloosa News Compares Troy King & John Edwards

September

My oldest Brother died unexpectedly. That's really all I remember about September

October

LTE: Riddled with Mis-information

Letter of the Week at DrugSense

November

LTE: Make Medical Marijuana Legal

Allow Medical Use

December

A Response to my letter in the Tuscaloosa News

A response to my letter in the Montgomery Advertiser

Drug Policy Reform Questions Top List at Obama's Change.gov (The marijuana question came in at #1 followed by questions about medical marijuana at #7 and drug policy questions took 16 out of the top 50 question slots)

Drug War Double Standard

My Awesome Daughter Wins the Spelling Bee

LTE: Let Pot Smokers Fund Education

LTE: Why Deny People a Chance for Relief?

My Awesome Daughter Rocks Out at the Band Concert

LTE: Tax Marijuana to Fund Schools

And in the Mobile Press Register

I hope these kids had an awesome Christmas

Here is what was under their tree when they woke up

LTE: Tax Marijuana for Education in the Anniston Star

And that brings us to a close. This hasn't been my most active year but I am happy with it. Looking back through the last 12 months of this blog helps me to realize just how much I have accomplished. I hope all of my readers had a great 2008 and an even better 2009.











Thursday, December 25, 2008

The Shoplifting Pooch

This is GREAT!!

Video Courtesy of KSL.com




Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Y'all show this Man Some Love

Newest BHAM City Council Member Takes Seat...Fellow Members Discover He Has a Past Weed Charge


New Birmingham City Council member Johnathan F. Austin during a press conference today says he has no plans to resign despite revelations Tuesday that he had pleaded guilty in 2003 to a misdemeanor marijuana charge.


Court records show Austin was arrested Jan. 25, 2003, after a traffic stop in Tuscaloosa for speeding. Tuscaloosa County Sheriff's deputies found a pipe, about a half ounce of marijuana and a set of scales. Austin was charged with possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia. He pleaded guilty to second-degree possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia. He was placed on two years' probation and received a 90-day suspended sentence after he agreed to attend court-ordered drug and alcohol treatment classes.
Austin said he no longer uses marijuana.


Really, there are some excellent comments. Readers please show Mr. Austin some love in the comments section at this link.

Merry Christmas Loretta Nall Style

This was posted here a week or so ago but deserves a re-posting.

MERRY CHRISTMAS Y'ALL





Monday, December 22, 2008

Goodies for the kids

Bell and I just got done shopping for the family we adopted in Montgomery for Christmas. Here's what the kids are getting from the 'Santa donors'.

Many, many thanks for your generous contributions. One person doesn't have much power but together we can do great things.









And the Anniston Star

My letter regarding taxing marijuana to fund education in Alabama was printed today in the Anniston Star. That makes four papers in major population centers where this letter has been published. I only hope that it will make people think about what all we are throwing away by allowing the black market to control the drug trade.


Sunday, December 21, 2008

Let's Help This Family

UPDATE: We have raised $500 so far. THANK YOU to everyone who has so generously given to this cause on such short notice. Please keep the donations coming and provide an awesome Christmas for these kids who have such a hard life.



I read this heart wrenching story in the Montgomery Advertiser this morning about kids in Alabama going hungry.
Many Alabama Children Don't Get Enough to Eat

Please take a moment to read it. The comments from two of the readers are beyond comprehension to me. I've been hungry (though you'd never know it to look at me now) and it is the most miserable feeling, especially for a child. I have contacted the reporter and the Friendship Mission to help this family out. I want to ask all of you who are able to make a small contribution to provide for a nice Christmas dinner and a few toys for these little kids.

Elijah is a brave little soul who walks 30 minutes twice a day through very dangerous areas in order to eat and bring food home to his siblings. No child should have to do that and while we can't change his situation so that he is never hungry again we can help by providing what his mother cannot for one day of the year.

I've started this off with a $100 contribution.

If you'd like to help me feed this family and get some toys for those babies please paypal a contribution to voodoodol_74@yahoo.com


And again...

And today my letter was printed in the Mobile Press-Register.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

In the BHAM News

My letter to the editor about taxing marijuana to fund education was printed in the Birmingham News today.


Friday, December 19, 2008

A Little Christmas Cheer

My awesome daughter, Bell Nall, played in her first band concert last night before a large audience at Horseshoe Bend School. In my totally unbiased opinion she carried the entire concert. She is the only saxophone player and can be clearly heard throughout the entire performance. And yes, those are my combat boots she's wearing. She's got a lot of 'rebel' in her...not unlike her mama.

I hope you all enjoy this bit of Christmas music. I cried watching her play on stage and as I was producing this video this morning. She worked very hard, practicing every day for months. We are extremely proud of her.

And, yes, that's me going "WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO" like some Budweiser fueled redneck NASCAR fan. My hands were full with the video camera so that's all I could do.

Part 1



Part 2



Why deny people chance for relief?

My great friend and fellow political activist, Don Seibold, had this most excellent letter published in today's Montgomery Advertiser.


Regarding Frank Winkler's letter headlined "Legalization clearly unhealthy": I've never partaken of marijuana in any form. I've suffered chronic pain for more than half my life.


If marijuana for treatment of pain were legalized and prescribed by my doctor, I'd try it to see if it relieves or diminishes my pain that nothing else has relieved. I don't think government should be able to say what a person can or cannot do in order to relieve pain.

Our Declaration of Independence says, "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed."

So what right does government have to deny anyone's right to treat pain in whatever way provides the most relief?

None.

I've contacted my state senator (Larry Dixon) and representative (Barry Mask) asking them where they stand regarding the proposed medical marijuana bill for Alabamians. I think I deserve to hear from both of them since I am one of their constituents who helps pay their salaries as legislators.

Don Seibold
Wetumpka


Thanks for this excellent letter Don. I cannot over-stress the importance of hearing from people who have never used marijuana in any form.



Let Pot Smokers Fund Education

I sent a letter out a few days ago in wake of the education funding cuts announced by Governor Riley. Today it was published in the Tuscaloosa News

Let pot smokers fund education

Published: Friday, December 19, 2008 at 3:30 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, December 18, 2008 at 10:49 p.m.

Dear Editor: What a shame that Alabama students will be the first to suffer the effects of the economic downturn when Alabama already has some of the lowest per-pupil spending in the nation. According to the most recent data that I can find, Alabama on average spends a little more than $8,000 per student per year. Yet we spend a minimum of $13,000 per year to lock up a non-violent citizen for smoking pot.

Instead of making responsible adult cannabis consumers a burden on state taxpayers by forcing taxpayers to pay for incarceration, why not regulate and tax marijuana like we do with alcohol and tobacco and use the taxes collected to make our education system better? After all, we use the taxes from the sale of alcohol to fund DHR. There's a whole base of cannabis consumers in Alabama who would be more than happy to be taxed in exchange for a safe, regulated market.

Not only could we use the money raised in taxes for public education, we could also use it for drug prevention education and to fund treatment for those addicted to harder drugs. It would be a superb deal all the way around.

It's time to tap into the multi-billion dollar marijuana market in this country and start reaping the many benefits available as opposed to filling our prisons with people who don't belong there at the expense of our children's education.

Tax us, please!

Loretta Nall

Alexander City



Thursday, December 18, 2008

Pictorial of Oldest Cannabis Stash Ever Found

A few days ago I posted about my friend Dr. Ethan Russo's find of a 2700 year old burial site of a shaman that contained a large amount of marijuana. Now, The Discovery Channel has an excellent pictorial of the tomb and the cannabis found inside. My favorite picture is the 9th one that still shows excellent color even though it has been buried for a millennium.


Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Happy Birthday Bell!



My one and only darling daughter is 12 today! Happy Birthday baby girl! I love you.

Mom



Monday, December 15, 2008

Take Our Money PLEASE!

Gov. Riley Declares 9% Spending Cut to Public Education


MONTGOMERY -- Gov. Bob Riley, citing the severity of the economic downturn, declared proration today in state education spending and announced a hiring freeze in non-education state agencies.

The revenue shortfall would have caused across-the-board cuts of 12.5 percent. But Riley said he is taking $218 million, or half of the $437 million available in a state rainy day fund, to reduce the cuts to 9 percent.


What's amazing and really very backward is that Alabama has some of the lowest per pupil spending in the nation. According to the most recent data that I can find located at this link Alabama per-pupil education spending Alabama on average spends a little over $8,000 per student. Yet we spend $13,000 to lock up a non-violent citizen for smoking pot.

Instead of making responsible adult cannabis consumers a burden on state tax payers by forcing taxpayers to pay for incarceration why not regulate and tax marijuana like we do with alcohol and tobacco and use the taxes collected to make our education system better? There's a whole base of cannabis consumers in Alabama who would be more than happy to be taxed in exchange for a safe, regulated market.

Not only could we use the money raised in taxes for public education we could also use it for drug prevention education and to fund treatment for those addicted to harder drugs. It would be a superb deal all the way around.

TAKE OUR MONEY PLEASE!

Dr. Ethan Nadelmann for Drug Czar..Sign the Petition

Pass this on to everyone you know.

Sign the Dr. Ethan Nadelmann for Drug Czar Petition

To: President-elect Barack Obama

We the undersigned request the appointment of Ethan Nadelmann to direct the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (“Drug Czar”) of the United States of America.

For more than 20 years, Mr. Nadelmann has advocated in The United States and abroad for an open discussion of national drug control policy. His grasp of international law, the history of prohibition and current global drug control regimes is unparalleled. Through his books, dozens of published articles, academic lectures and papers, Mr. Nadelmann has demonstrated a detailed grasp of the evolving network of global prohibitions and international enforcement treaties. His exemplary research skills and resulting accomplishments have provided him a unique understanding of the history, development and contemporary practices of U.S. drug control policy and its relationship to the health of the citizens of The United States.

Mr. Nadelmann’s command of the best available peer-reviewed scientific research would best serve The United States at the Drug Czar position, responsible for setting national goals on education, drug abuse prevention and law enforcement. He is eminently qualified to conceive of a national drug control policy that vastly improves on the current model, which has changed little over the last 35 years, in order to better safeguard the health of our children and the general U.S. population, reduce crime rates and recidivism, abate drug-related violence, conspiratorial activity and address head on a vast source of clandestine financial support for international terrorism.

Mr. Nadelmann has directed the non-partisan, nonprofit advocacy group the Drug Policy Alliance for more than 15 years, which boasts the support of Nobel laureates, prominent U.S. government representatives from both political parties, economists, scientists, and members of law enforcement.

It is our belief that his rigorous approach to identifying common-sense solutions, combined with his unique ability to inspire diverse audiences from both sides of the aisle, makes Mr. Nadelmann uniquely qualified for the position of Drug Czar in an administration whose stated goals are to repeal the harshest drug sentences, remove federal bans on funding syringe-exchange programs to reduce AIDS, give medical marijuana a fair chance to prove itself, and support treatment alternatives for low-level drug offenders.

Sign the Dr. Ethan Nadelmann for Drug Czar Petition


Sunday, December 14, 2008

Bell Nall Wins Horseshoe Bend Spelling Bee

My lovely, beautiful, darling, smart daughter, Bell Nall, won the spelling bee at her school last week. Below is the newspaper article and the photo I took of her with her trophy. She will represent her school at the county spelling bee coming up in Jan.

Great job Bell!! You make me very proud to be your mom!!





My Dog Rocks!

Got a new video camera for Christmas but started using it early. Thought I'd share some new pics of my pooch with my readers. Enjoy!












Biden gets a Puppy



Biden beats Obama in Puppy Race....CNN

(CNN) – While the country is fixated on what kind of dog President-elect Barack Obama’s family will get when they move into the White House, his Vice President-elect Joe Biden quietly picked out a puppy of his own last week.

Biden’s wife, Jill, promised the future VP a dog if he and Obama got elected. Biden found the as-yet-unnamed pup, a three-month old male German Shepherd, in a breeder’s kennel in southeastern Pennsylvania, the area’s Daily Local News reports.


Biden has excellent taste in dogs. I speak from experiece.


Bush Ducks Shoes in Iraq



That guy was a good shot..and Bush has quick reflexes.

Drug War Double Standard

Over the course of the last few weeks there have been three letters printed in the Montgomery Advertiser regarding medical marijuana.

State should join marijuana list (my letter)

Medical Purpose Well Justified (Sarah Wires)

Legalization clearly unhealthy (Frank Winkler)

In responses posted to each letter on the Montgomery Advertiser site 'renegade6', a poster, calls for the execution of terminally ill patients, other medical users and recreational users of marijuana.

What makes this fascinating is that renegade6 claims in the posts on the last letter that he is a police officer. I don't believe that to be true, although his attitude fits. If he is a cop then his call for execution of anyone for using marijuana is horrifying.

First, its bullshit that a cop can call for the outright execution of a citizen for ingesting a benign plant. If we ingesters of said plant were to call for the execution of drug cops then we would all be arrested and probably the recipient of a serious beating at the hands of police. But, this guy can call for the execution of peaceful citizens and nothing happens to him. If this is a real war then how come only one side (government aggressor) is allowed to fight and the other side (peaceful pot smokers) is criminalized if they fight back? Nay...criminalized for even thinking (conspiracy) of fighting back?

Second, you can't help but wonder, if this guy is a real cop, then how many people has he shot or brutalized over marijuana in his career? The fact that he has a badge and a gun and has been sanctioned by the government would give him countless opportunities to violate the rights of citizens. You know cops police themselves so any shooting was 'justified' as accidental, or 'suspect was threatening my safety' or the ever present and entirely over-used 'suspect tried to run over me with his car' explanations. All after an 'intense and unbiased investigation', of course. [/sarcasm]

Can it really be a war if only one side is allowed to do the shooting?

EDIT: A Google search reveals that Frank Winkler (letter author) is affiliated with SAYNO Inc. Here is the link. His name appears near the bottom of the page.


http://www.mh.alabama.gov/downloads/SA/SASDPreventionDirectory.pdf


I haven't found a link for the organization SAYNO Inc. In fact, I've never heard of them before today.

Chances are Mr. Winkler gets federal funding from the government and clearly has a vested interest in keeping marijuana illegal. He'd be out of work if we ended prohibition. Interesting that he didn't put his organization affiliation on this letter.


Marijuana Question Tops List at Obama's Change.gov



On Thursday of last week the Obama transition team website Change.gov began taking questions from the public about what things needed changing the most in this country. I am very proud to announce that out of the top 10 questions the following question was #1.

Currently in the lead:
"Will you consider legalizing marijuana so that the government can regulate it, tax it, put age limits on it, and create millions of new jobs and create a billion dollar industry right here in the U.S.?"
S. Man, Denton


And this question came in at #7.


13 states have compassionate use programs for medial Marijuana, yet the federal gov't continues to prosecute sick and dying people. Isn't it time for the federal gov't to step out of the way and let doctors and families decide what is appropriate?"
Greg, Minnesota


Here is the list of questions.

From the website:

Thursday, December 11, 2008 05:50pm EST / Posted by Dan McSwain


Since its launch yesterday, the Open for Questions tool has processed over 600,000 votes from more than 10,000 people on more than 7,300 questions. Voting will come to a close Friday, December 12th, at 12:00 a.m. EST, so that we can prepare answers to some of the most popular questions.


I am eagerly anticipating the answers to both of these questions. Great job everyone who participated and made these questions a big part of the top ten. Way to get the right attention focused on both of these important issues.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

A Request

Yesterday a reader asked me to add a 'Followers' button to this blog. I have now added it to the top of the right sidebar. If you are a regular reader and feel so inclined...click it.


Friday, December 12, 2008

From Mixed Media...LMAO

Spann Angers the Snow Gods - Again

And since we are on the subject of snow I'd like to share a hilarious comment I found here the other day.

Posted by Chiggerticky on 12/10/08 at 5:36PM

Indeed! There's a little-known religious sect that began in Mulga that preaches that by eliminating all bread and milk from grocers' shelves, you can entreat God to withhold the snow. I was wary, but I've seen it happen so many times---James Spann et. al. stoke up the fervor on TV and readio; everyone rushes to the stores to buy out bread and milk; then the snow never shows. It's hard to argue with such a consistent pattern. Those faithful, who call themselves "BreadMilkian SnowStoppers" have shown me results.



Ancient Cannabis Stash Unearthed in China



CNN

(CNN) -- An ancient race that lived 2,700 years ago in the Gobi Desert may have been among the first to use cannabis for medical or religious purposes.
Researchers believe an ancient Gushi shaman may have consumed or burned pot for medical or religious purposes.

Nearly two pounds of the plant was found stashed in the tomb of a Gushi shaman. It was high in the chemical compounds that provide its psychoactive properties.

"It had evidence of the chemical attributes of cannabis used as a drug," said Dr. Ethan Russo, an author of a study published in the Journal of Experimental Botany. "It could have been for pain control. It could have been for other medicinal properties. It could have been used as an aid to divination."

The Gushi people were a Caucasian race with light hair and blue eyes who likely migrated thousands of years ago from the steppes of Russia to what is now China. A nomadic people, they were accomplished horsemen and archers.

Chinese archaeologists excavating a network of 2,500 tombs near the town of Turpan in the Xinjiang-Uighur Autonomous Region unearthed the shaman's grave, which contained the cannabis, along with a trove of artifacts such as bridles, archery equipment and a rare harp.

The shaman is thought to have been about 45 years old when he died. Many of the bodies recovered in the area were found in an incredibly well-preserved, almost mummified condition. The shaman, however, was a skeleton.

"The deceased was laid out on the bottom of this tomb on a little bier," Russo said. "This individual seemed to be very high status because of the variety and quality of the grave goods, including the equestrian equipment, the archery equipment and the large amount of cannabis."

Russo said no pipe for smoking the cannabis was found in the shaman's tomb. Researchers think he might have eaten the cannabis or possibly put it on a burning fire to create fumes.

They don't think it was used to make hemp clothing or rope, as some other early cultures did. Genetic analysis of the plant suggests it was cultivated rather than gathered from the wild.

This find is not the first or the oldest example of ancient people using cannabis, but it may be the best studied.

"There may have been older finds of cannabis, but not with this level of scientific investigation attached to them," Russo said.

(Note: Dr. Ethan Russo is a friend of mine from Montana who is always after me to get started writing my book)


Thursday, December 11, 2008

Hey..I'm in a Willie Nelson Video!

Back in Jan. 2004 I traveled to Austin, TX to cover a Willie Nelson concert and to interview Democratic Presidential hopeful Congressman Dennis Kucinich. I had front row, center stage seats and unbeknownst to me I ended up in this video captured by another member of the audience. When Willie finishes singing look for the blonde in a white shirt front row center. There is a better shot of me near when Kucinich takes the stage.

Kewl!

As an added treat you'll get to hear Willie sing an original song for the very first time.



Ya know...

The Golden Rule works real well....until you run into a masochist.



Let Not Mankind Bogart Love

Sung as only Willie Nelson can sing it.



They cut out the first part where Willie and Stephen are chatting and Willie tells Stephen, "Man I'm so high you're hallucinating.


Tell Obama We Want to Change Marijuana Laws!

Currently on the Change.gov website the following is the #12 question. Let's put it in the top 10 and maybe even make it #1.

"Will you consider legalizing marijuana so that the government can regulate it, tax it, put age limits on it, and create millions of new jobs and create a billion dollar industry right here in the U.S.?"

Go to http://change.gov/page/content/openforquestions , register, and proceed to the 2nd page. Hit the checkmark to vote it to the top 10.


Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Talk about a 'Bullshit' law!

Just got this hysterical email from my sister and thought I would share.

hi how are you doing?im ok considering the day i had yesterday- i wrecked my cruiser- get this i hit a cow it was walking across the road and i hit it- it was about 5pm yesterday afternoon after i hit it the damn thing got up and walked off- im ok just a bundle of nerves .
listen to this tho- alabama has a free range law the owners of the cow dont have to pay for squat and get this too my airbags did not deploy either
im hoping my ins co will give me a loaner car - i guess i scared the shit out of the cow- it shit all over my car
i was on my way to take a cpr class
the radiator of my car is pushed back in my motor, im pretty sure the ins co will total it out they ought to i probably done$ 10,000 damage to it i hope they total it i will be afraid to drive it now, c. , d. and myself have all wrecked it. will keep you up to date on everything. love you



Let's Blow Up Hwy. 280

I took my daughter to the Alabama School of Fine Arts Open House yesterday afternoon. It started at 3:30 and ended at 4:30 which meant that we had to drive 280 home during rush hour.

It took me over an hour after getting on 280 from the Red Mountain Expressway to get to the big hill just past Inverness where the red lights end.

Go two feet and stop. Go two feet and stop. Sit four cars back from an obvious green light and cuss because no one is moving. Go two feet and stop.

Good God it is MADDENING!! I don't see how people do it everyday. I'd never be able to pull it off every day. I say we just blow the whole damn highway up. Or maybe Obama will take on the elevated bypass as part of his government jobs highway program.


Ya Grill, Ya Ya Ya Grill

Monday morning I broke one of my bi-cuspids completely in half. I had a root canal done on that tooth two years ago. I called my dentist, who made an emergency appointment for me to come in and have it looked at. I couldn't close my teeth together because that made the broken half of the tooth gouge the roof of my mouth. It was a very strange feeling.

After the dentist pulled the broken part out she told me I needed to have that tooth crowned and left to get me an estimate of the cost. I have dental insurance, which didn't help me at all on Monday. It doesn't cover emergency visits or tooth extractions, so that visit alone cost over $100. It pays 50% on most things and I have a $1000 a year limit.

She came back in the room with a sheet of paper and told me that having that tooth crowned would cost me $800!

I said through my Novocaine numbed mouth, "Damn Joni, for that much bling I could get a big enough grill to look like a Cadillac Escalade! $800 for one crown? That's outrageous!"




Needless to say I won't be getting that tooth crowned anytime soon unless a large bag of money falls from the sky and lands on me. Luckily the broken tooth isn't visible when I smile or talk so I will just live with it for the time being.

Why is dental work so expensive?



Monday, December 08, 2008

Dogs are Awesome!



Puppies Save Three-year-old

A three year old little boy wandered away from his babysitter and spent a night alone in the woods in Virginia. It was 17 degrees. The family and rescuers credit two cute little mongrel puppies for his survival. Apparently they followed him from home and snuggled up to him and kept him warm. Dogs are just awesome.

Yesterday I watched 'DogTown' for the first time and was moved to tears at the condition of tons of toy dogs that were rescued from a puppy mill. They had lived in small cages in their own urine and feces for their entire lives. Never been on the grass or allowed to run around with other puppies. Their fur was matted so badly they had to be shaved and they were completely feral. Had to be muzzled or they would attack. By the end of the show they were much improved.

I'll never understand how humans can be so cruel to our animal companions. They make the world a more interesting place to live. I love my dog like he is one of the kids and cannot imagine ever harming him in any deliberate way.

Long Live Doggies!



Sunday, December 07, 2008

Small Town Rip Off

The Birmingham News is running a very good story in today's paper about state auditors uncovering missing money in small town municipal courts.

From what I gather the court clerks, who take the money citizens have to pay in fines and court costs, keep about half of it for themselves. When they are caught they simply have to pay back the money. No charges are filed for this thieving from public coffers.

This results in citizen's being fined twice and paying twice. In some cases they go to jail. When the clerk steals the money they obviously do not record that a fine or a ticket has been paid. This has affected my family personally.

Back in 1996 my husband got out of the Army and we moved back home to Ashland. On his way to work one morning he got a speeding ticket. When the cop ran his license he pulled up an 'unpaid ticket' from Anniston that happened in 1990 right after we were married. It was for an expired tag. The cop runs my husband in and I had to walk up to the jail with a four-year-old and a new infant in tow, in the frezing cold, being chased by a very unfreindly German Shepherd and post bail.

A new court date was set in Anniston. We knew we had paid trhe ticket because the Army does a background check on everyone enlisting and they would not have accepted my husband into the military without the ticket being paid. Since it had been 6 years and we had lived in a foreign country and West Texas we no longer had the receipt. So, we had to pay it again.

I know many people this has happened to. I always tell people to store the receipts from any fines or tickets paid in a safe deposit box at the bank.

According to the story this is also happening in circuit courts in Alabama and they plan further investigation. That's good news. I only wish that criminal charges were filed against these damn theives who steal from us twice and in some cases put innocent people in jail. If a regular citizen were to rob someone and falsely imprison them they would be in jail for a long time and rightfully so. Why are public officials above the law?




Saturday, December 06, 2008

Booze or Drugs, Prohibition Makes No Sense

Yesterday was the 75th Anniversary of the Repeal of Alcohol Prohibition. The Birmingham News ran the following article in celebration of that day. The article wasn't available online but one of my readers found it at Real Clear Politics. I encourage all of my readers and fellow reformers in Alabama to write the Birmingham News a response and thank them for running this column.


December 04, 2008
Booze or Drugs, Prohibition Makes No Sense
By Froma Harrop

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- America ended Prohibition 75 years ago this week. The ban on the sale of alcohol unleashed a crime wave, as gangsters fought over the illicit booze trade. It sure didn't stop drinking. People turned to speakeasies and bathtub gin for their daily cocktail.

Prohibition -- and the violence, corruption and health hazards that followed -- lives on in its modern version, the so-called War on Drugs. Former law-enforcement officers gathered in Washington to draw the parallels. Their group, Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP), has called for nothing less than the legalization of drugs.

And before you say, "We can't do that," hear the officers out. They have an answer for every objection.

Doesn't the War on Drugs take narcotics off the street, raising their price beyond most Americans' means?

Obviously not. The retail price of cocaine is now about half what it was in 1990. When the value of something goes up, more people go into the business.

In some Dallas junior high schools, kids can buy two hits of "cheese" -- a mix of Tylenol PM and heroin -- for $5, Terry Nelson, a former U.S. Customs and Border Patrol officer, told me. Lunch costs more.

Wouldn't legalizing drugs create new users? Not necessarily. LEAP wants drugs to be regulated like alcohol and cigarettes. Regulations are why it's harder to buy alcohol or cigarettes in many schoolyards than drugs. By regulating the purity and strength of drugs, they become less deadly.

Isn't drug addiction a scourge that tears families apart? Yes, it is, and so are arrests and incarceration and criminal records for kids caught smoking pot behind the bleachers. There are 2.1 million people in federal, state and local prisons, 1.7 million of them for non-violent drug offenses.

Removing the stigma of drug use lets addicts come out into the open for treatment. We have treatments for alcoholism, but we don't ban alcohol.

LEAP's members want to legalize drugs because they're tired of being shot at in a war they can't win. They're tired of making new business for dealers every time they arrest a competitor. They're are tired of busting people in the streets of America's cities over an ounce of cocaine, while the Andean region produces over 1,000 tons of it a year. They're tired of enriching terrorists.

"In 2009, the violence of al-Qaida will be financed by drug profits," said Eric Sterling, head of the Criminal Justice Policy Foundation, which joined the call for legalization. As counsel to the House Judiciary Committee in the 1980s, Sterling helped write the anti-drug laws he now opposes.

Harvard economist Jeffrey Miron estimates that legalizing drugs would save federal, state and local governments $44 billion in enforcement costs. Governments could collect another $33 billion in revenues were they to tax drugs as heavily as alcohol and tobacco.

No one here likes drugs or advocates putting heroin on store shelves alongside ibuprofen and dental floss. Each state or county could set its own rules on who could buy which drugs and where and taxes levied -- as they now do with alcohol.

What about taking gradual steps -- say, starting with marijuana. And couldn't we first try decriminalization -- leaving users alone but still arresting dealers? Those were my questions.

The LEAP people want the laws gone, period. "We're whole hog on it," Nelson said. Keeping the sale of drugs illegal, he said, "doesn't take the cartels out of it."

Ending this "war" won't be easy. Too many police, drug agents, bureaucrats, lawyers, judges, prison guards and sprayers of poppy fields have a stake in it. But Prohibition was repealed once. Perhaps it can happen again.

fharrop@projo.com


Friday, December 05, 2008

Medical Purpose Well Justified

My friend Sarah Wires had a letter about medical marijuana published in today's Montgomery Advertiser. Great Job Sarah!! Comments can be left on the Montgomery Advertiser site at the link above.

Medical purpose well justified
December 5, 2008

In response to "State should join marijuana list" by Loretta Nail, executive director of Alabama for Compassionate Care: Thank you for printing the letter and keeping this subject before the public.


For patients who are chronically and/or terminally ill, marijuana can mean the difference in a normal life for the time they have left and being asleep on the couch or in bed from other legal medicine that might relieve the symptoms but leaves one unable to truly function, live, be normal.

Alcohol is legal, cigarettes are legal, etc., for people to enjoy recreationally, at their own risk, and we know the health reports regarding both of those substances. However, patients, our fellow citizens that are ill, some of whom are dying, are having to beg for the right to use marijuana that was placed here naturally for their use.

Why is that? Why will people listen to and believe reports about everything else, but the same scientific studies regarding marijuana are not believed? Why are the ill being placed in our courts for trying to treat themselves? When did we lose the right to treat ourselves?

It is important that the citizens of Alabama not only help those in our state who need this medicine of choice by legalizing it medically, but at the same time help to strengthen the fight against the existing, unjust federal laws by joining the brave ranks of the other states.
Sarah Wires
Dora



Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Response to Medical Marijuana Letter

Stan White of Colorado had a letter published today in the Tuscaloosa News in response to my recent letter on medical marijuana.

Marijuana was created by God


Published: Tuesday, December 2, 2008 at 3:30 a.m.
Last Modified: Monday, December 1, 2008 at 9:56 p.m.

Dear Editor: Regarding Loretta Nall's request ('Make medical marijuana legal,' letters, Nov. 21): Colorado legalized medical cannabis (kaneh bosm/marijuana) use and it has worked properly, protecting sick citizens from confrontation with government.

One reason to permit sick humans to use the relatively safe God-given plant cannabis that doesn't get mentioned is because it's Biblically correct since Christ God Our Father, the Ecologician indicates he created all the seed-bearing plants, saying they are all good, on literally the very first page.

Further, the only biblical restriction placed on cannabis is that it is to be accepted with thankfulness (see 1 Timothy 4:1-5). And 'But whoever has the world's goods, and sees his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him?' (See 1 John 3:17). Jesus Christ risked jail to heal the sick.


Stan White

Dillon, Colo.





Tuesday, December 02, 2008

State Law TRUMPS Fed Law on Medical Marijuana



US Supreme Court Rules State Medical Marijuana Laws Not Preempted by Federal Law

-------------------------------------------------------------------
*PRESS RELEASE
Americans for Safe Access
For Immediate Release: *December 1, 2008

*U.S. Supreme Court: State Medical Marijuana Laws Not Preempted by Federal
Law */medical marijuana case appealed by the City of Garden Grove was denied
review today/

*Washington, DC* -- The U.S. Supreme Court refused to review a landmark
decision today in which California state courts found that its medical
marijuana law was not preempted by federal law. The state appellate court
decision from November 28, 2007, ruled that "it is not the job of the local
police to enforce the federal drug laws." The case, involving Felix Kha, a
medical marijuana patient from Garden Grove, was the result of a wrongful
seizure of medical marijuana by local police in June 2005.
Medical marijuana advocates hailed today's decision as a huge victory in
clarifying law enforcement's obligation to uphold state law. Advocates
assert that better adherence to state medical marijuana laws by local police
will result in fewer needless arrests and seizures. In turn, this will allow
for better implementation of medical marijuana laws not only in California,
but in all states that have adopted such laws.

"It's now settled that state law enforcement officers cannot arrest medical
marijuana patients or seize their medicine simply because they prefer the
contrary federal law," said Joe Elford, Chief Counsel with Americans for
Safe Access (ASA), the medical marijuana advocacy organization that
represented the defendant Felix Kha in a case that the City of Garden Grove
appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court. "Perhaps, in the future local government
will think twice about expending significant time and resources to defy a
law that is overwhelmingly supported by the people of our state."

California medical marijuana patient Felix Kha was pulled over by the Garden
Grove Police Department and cited for possession of marijuana, despite Kha
showing the officers proper documentation. The charge against Kha was
subsequently dismissed, with the Superior Court of Orange County issuing an
order to return Kha's wrongfully seized 8 grams of medical marijuana. The
police, backed by the City of Garden Grove, refused to return Kha's medicine
and the city appealed. Before the 41-page decision was issued a year ago by
California's Fourth District Court of Appeal, the California Attorney
General filed a "friend of the court" brief on behalf of Kha's right to
possess his medicine. The California Supreme Court then denied review in
March.

"The source of local law enforcement's resistance to upholding state law is
an outdated, harmful federal policy with regard to medical marijuana," said
ASA spokesperson Kris Hermes. "This should send a message to the federal
government that it's time to establish a compassionate policy more
consistent with the 13 states that have adopted medical marijuana laws."

Further information:
Today's U.S. Supreme Court Order denying review:
http://AmericansForSafeAccess.org/downloads/Kha_USSC.pdf
Decision by the California Fourth Appellate District Court:
http://AmericansForSafeAccess.org/downloads/GardenGroveDecision.pdf
Felix Kha's return of property case:
http://AmericansForSafeAccess.org/article.php?id=4412



Monday, December 01, 2008

URGENT!!! SIGN ON NOW!!!

Friends and Allies:

As you may know, there have been several media stories saying that President-elect Obama might nominate Rep. Ramstad (R-MN/3rd) to be our nation's next "Drug Czar". While Rep. Ramstad has been good on "parity" legislation (and is in recovery himself), he has been an opponent of methadone in the past. He also has a long record of opposing syringe exchange programs, medical marijuana, and other public health issues. He has no record of support for sentencing reform or eliminating racial disparities in the criminal justice system. We're circulating a sign-on letter to President-elect Obama expressing these concerns. Please consider signing on. You can e-mail bpiper@drugpolicy.org to sign on. Please indicate whether the organization you represent is signing on or if you're just signing on in your personal capacity. Either way please provide your name, title, and organization affiliation. The deadline for signing on is 10am EST on Wednesday, December 3rd. (Sorry for the short turn around time).






December 1, 2008



Dear President-Elect Obama,



We are both heartened by your electoral victory and excited by the many opportunities for fresh thinking on the intersections between illicit drug use, punitive sentencing policies and the transmission of HIV/AIDS. You showed strong leadership on the campaign trail by pledging to lift the federal funding ban on syringe exchange programs, end the excessive federal law enforcement raids aimed at medical marijuana patients, and eliminate the crack/powder cocaine sentencing disparity. We are concerned, however, about media reports that you may choose Rep. James Ramstad (R-MN/3rd) to be your director of national drug control policy or "drug czar".



While we applaud Representative Ramstad for his courageous and steady support for expanding drug treatment access and improving addiction awareness, and honor his own personal and very public triumph over addiction, we have strong reservations about his candidacy for the drug czar position. In his twenty-eight years in the U.S. House, Representative Ramstad has consistently opposed policies that seek to reduce drug-related harm and create common ground on polarizing issues.



Representative Ramstad voted in 1998 in favor of making permanent the federal funding ban on syringe exchange, voted in 2000 to prohibit the District of Columbia from spending its own locally raised funds on syringe exchange programs and voted in 2007 against lifting the same DC ban, despite decades of research showing that syringe exchange programs reduce the spread of HIV/AIDS without increase drug use. Rep. Ramstad has also consistently opposed congressional efforts to stop the arrest of HIV/AIDS, cancer and other patients who use medical marijuana to ease their pain and suffering in states where it is legal.



Unlike you and Vice President-elect Biden, Rep. Ramstad has also failed to cosponsor any legislation eliminating the sentencing disparity between crack cocaine and powder cocaine, despite the fact that there were four different crack/powder reform bills before the U.S. House in the 110th Congress. A number of recent studies have found that long prison sentences are one factor driving disproportionate rates of HIV/AIDS infections in communities of color. A primary task of the next drug czar should be to deal with this and other issues related to overincarceration.



We urge you to nominate for drug czar someone with a public health background, who is committed to reducing the spread of HIV/AIDS, hepatitis C and other infectious diseases, open to systematic drug policy reform, and able to show strong leadership on the issues you believe in. Thank you for your consideration and attention to our concerns, and congratulations again on your historic victory.



Sincerely,





ORGANIZATIONAL ENDORSERS



ACTUP-New York (New York, NY)

Advocates for Youth (Washington, DC)

AIDS Action Baltimore (Baltimore, MD)

AIDS Foundation of Chicago (Chicago, IL)

AIDS Taskforce of Greater Cleveland (Cleveland, OH)

AIDS Treatment Activists Coalition (Boston, MA)

Brothers and Sisters in Action (Rialto, CA)

CAEAR Coalition (Washington, DC)

California Communities United Institute

Chicago Recovery Alliance (Chicago, IL)

Citizens Alliance for VD Awareness (Mount Prospect, IL)

Citizens AIDS Project (Mount Prospect, IL)

Community HIV/AIDS Mobilization Project (CHAMP)(New York, NY)

East Bay AIDS Center (Oakland, CA)

Exponents (New York, NY)

Harm Reduction Coalition (New York, NY)

Health GAP (Global Access Project) (NY)

HIV Education and Prevention Project of Alameda County (Oakland, CA)

HIVictorious, Inc. (Madison, Wisconsin)

Housing Works (New York, NY)

International Community of Women Living with HIV and AIDS (ICW) (United Kingdom)

Justice Policy Institute (JPI) (Washington, DC)

L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center (Los Angeles, CA)

Latino Commission on AIDS (New York, NY)

National AIDS Fund (Washington, DC)

National Black Police Association (Washington, DC)

New Age Services Corporation (Chicago, IL)

National Council of Jewish Women (Washington, DC)

Pediatric AIDS Chicago Prevention Initiative (Chicago, IL)

Philadelphia FIGHT (Philadelphia, PA)

SAVE Inc. (Kansas City, MO)

Students for Sensible Drug Policy (SSDP) (Washington, DC)

Treatment Action Group (New York, NY)

Visual AIDS (New York, NY)





INDIVIDUAL ENDORSERS



G. Alan Marlatt, Ph.D.

Professor and Director

Addictive Behaviors Research Center, University of Washington

Seattle, WA



Tiia Harrison

AIVL Project Education Officer

AIVL

Australia



Luis M. Lozano,
Executive Director
The Beacon House Association of San Pedro
San Pedro, CA



George Kerr
Co-Chair, DC Fights Back

Project Director, Start at Westminster

Washington, DC



Carol Bergman

Policy Director

Global AIDS Alliance

Washington, DC



Tamara Oyola-Santiago, MA, MPH

Director

Harm Reduction Place

New York, NY



Patt Denning, PhD

Director of Clinical Services and Training

Harm Reduction Therapy Center

San Francisco,C CA



William Martin

Senior Fellow for Drug Policy

James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy Rice University

Houston, TX



Sanho Tree

Director

Drug Policy Project

Institute for Policy Studies

Washington, DC



Mark Peterson

Director

Michigan Positive Action Coalition (MI-POZ)

Detroit, MI



Lynn M. Paltrow
Executive Director
National Advocates for Pregnant Women
New York, NY



Victoria Culkin, MA

HIV Prevention Evaluation Coordinator

New Mexico Department of Health

Santa Fe, NM



Andrew Tatarsky, PhD

Founding executive board member

Division on Addictions, New York State Psychological Association

New York, NY







Monique Howard, MPH, EdD

Executive Director

New Jersey Women and AIDS Network (NJWAN)

New Brunswick, NJ



Professor Nick Crofts

Senior Research Fellow

Nossal Institute for Global Health

University of Melbourne

Australia



Kasia Malinowska-Sempruch

Director, Global Drug Policy Program

Open Society Institute

New York, NY



Yvette Gonzales

CRCS Case Manager

Positive Health Project, Inc.

New York, NY



Nancy Cheak-Zamora, Ph.D.
Research Manager
Saint Louis University
School of Public Health
Saint Louis, MO



Lynne R. Appel

Executive Director

Southern California Alcohol and Drug Programs, Inc.

Downey, CA



Ed Walsh LMSW, CASAC

Program Supervisor MMIDU

St. Vincent's Hospital Manhattan

New York, NY



Scott Burris
Professor of Law
Temple University Beasley School of Law
Philadelphia, PA



Yadira Perez

Director

Turning Research into Prevention

New York, NY



Nancy Freeman, Psy.D.

Clinical Psychologist-Psychoanalyst

Member of New York State Psychological Association and American Psychological

Association

Graduate of William Alanson White Institute



Frederick L. Altice, M.D.
Professor of Medicine
Director of Clinical and Community Research
Yale University School of Medicine
Section of Infectious Diseases, AIDS Program
New Haven, CT


Back Injuries SUCKETH!

The day before Thanksgiving I was outside playing with my dog. He pulled hard on his leash when I wasn't expecting it, my knees locked and I slipped a disc in my lumbar spine. I knew when I felt it happen that it was, at some point, going to require a trip to the doctor. That point came about two hours later.

I told the Dr. what happened and that I would probably need an x-ray. He said the x-ray tech was off that day and I would have to go to the hospital to get one. He gave me some samples of a time release muscle relaxer and wrote me a script for ten 50 mg Demerol (which shockingly didn't help my pain at all) and orders to take to the hospital for the x-ray. He also gave me a shot of steroids and a shot of Toradol. Both of those usually work really well when I have a flare up in my back. But not this time. Unfortunately he forgot to write his suspected diagnosis on the order and since his office closed at 12 the hospital couldn't reach him to fix the order and I had to wait til Friday when his office opened again to correct it.

At 930 Friday morning I went back to his office to get the order corrected and told them I needed some more pain medicine. So he gave me 10 more demerol. I went to the hospital and got the x-rays which the doctor will see today. I thought I would be ok thru the rest of the weekend. I was wrong.

Saturday I toughed it out even though I could feel the swelling getting worse and getting up and down was near impossible. I ate the pain pills which didn't seem to help all that much. I know that it's serious pain when Demerol won't fix it. That theoretically should have knocked me into next week.

On Sunday I lost my ability to get up and down without substantial assistance altogether and my ability to walk was starting to be affected. It was taking me 10 minutes to move from the living room to the bedroom. I couldn't lift my right leg at all...just had to kind of slide it along. This was some serious hurt.

I decided to go to the ER because I was too scared to wait til Monday. Not being able to walk and being able to feel the swollen disc in my back scared me badly. I took my pain medicine that I had left to the ER so they could see that I had been taking them as prescribed. I told the Dr. about the set of x-rays I had done on Friday. He looked at them and told me I needed an MRI.

My blood pressure was really high when I got to the ER. It was 191/134. My BP usually runs 120/80 and has for years. The ER Dr. prescribed another shot of steroids, a shot of muscle relaxer and a whopping shot of morphine. As I sat on the edge of the bed and waited for my meds I started feeling very dizzy and sick. I broke out in a cold sticky sweat and thought I was going to throw up and pass out. My blood pressure cuff came on and checked my BP again and it had dropped to 55/34. The nurse came running in asking if I was ok. She had to help me lay back and then got a cool rag for my head. My back was screaming and I couldn't have any of the shots until my BP got back up to something resembling normal. That took about 45 minutes.

When my BP had reached an acceptable level she gave me my shots. Before she gave me the morphine she made sure I had someone with me that could drive me home. I had her go and fetch my husband from the lobby. She gave me all three shots and then started teasing me about the morphine making me loopy. Except that it didn't make me loopy. A big shot of that stuff should have had me on Jupiter in a matter of minutes. But I hardly felt it at all. And it didn't do much of anything for my back.

This morning my back feels a little better. I can tell some of the swelling is down because I can walk, albeit very slowly. However, if I move the wrong way it feels like my spine is going to snap in two. I'll be back at the doctors office this morning to set up an MRI.

I think back pain is one of the worst pains you can have. Your back is the center of the universe when it hurts like that.