Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Prepare a Written Testimony in Support of HB642



On April 7, 2010 at 9 a.m. HB642 the Michael Phillips Compassionate Care Act will come before the Alabama House Judiciary Committee. HB642 would protect doctors who recommend and patients who use marijuana as medicine from arrest and prosecution under state law. This will be a public hearing where some of the patients who make up Alabamians for Compassionate Care will address the committee about their use of medical marijuana.

Due to a limited amount of time only 5 patients will be giving live testimony. However, since there are literally thousands of patients who use medical marijuana in Alabama and tens of thousands more who would benefit from medical marijuana, ACC is soliciting written testimonies from other medical marijuana patients, which will be presented to the members of the House Judiciary Committee.

If you would like to provide a written testimony about your use of medical marijuana please do so as soon as possible. All you need to do is tell your story in your own words. Please be sure to include your medical condition, how long you have had the medical condition, what medications you have been prescribed, whether or not those medications worked, any side effects you experienced, how much the medications cost, why you decided to try medical marijuana, how marijuana has worked for you, what dangers you face in trying to acquire it and why you think it should be legal for medical use.

Please email all written testimonies to me at lorettanall@gmail.com . Please include your contact information.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Loretta Nall to Speak at University of Montevallo April 6

Dear Readers,

You are invited to attend my upcoming speaking engagement at the University of Montevallo on April 6, 2010 at 7:30 p.m.


My friend Alana Palermo, President of the University of Montevallo NORML Chapter, has invited me to speak on the topics of medical marijuana in Alabama and about drug policy in general.

Details are located at the above link.

Hope to see you there.

Loretta Nall on NORML Podcast

Earlier today I joined Radical Russ Belville on the NORML podcast to talk about HB642 The Michael Phillips Compassionate Care Act and to announce my upcoming speaking engagement at the University of Montevallo on April 6 at 7:30 pm. Will post more about that shortly.

HB642 in committee Wed. April 7

I just got word from Rep. Todd that HB642 the Michael Phillips Compassionate Care Act will come before the House judiciary committee on Wednesday, April 7, 2010. If you are planning to attend the committee hearing then be at the State House, located at 11 South Union Street in Montgomery, at 7:45 a.m. for the 8 a.m. press conference. At 9 a.m. we will proceed to room 123 (in the basement) for the committee hearing.

If you are one of the patients that's been asked to give testimony before the committee then I would prefer that you be in Montgomery on Tuesday evening to avoid any possible delays. ACC will cover your room, food, and travel expenses. If you can pitch in that would be great, too. Please send a personal email to lorettanall@gmail.com to find out where we will be staying. Due to budget constraints there will be multiple people per hotel room. Bring a sleeping bag in case you need it.

Please dress appropriately. ACC recommends that you don your Sunday best or business casual (slacks/skirt) attire. We will have t-shirts available, which can be worn over your clothes, if you so choose, for the press conference and committee meeting.
We will also have some signs available for the press conference.

If you have not already done so please contact the members of the Judiciary Committee and ask them to support this bill.

Pass this along to everyone you know in Alabama that has an interest in helping medical marijuana legislation pass in Alabama.

HB642 NOT in Committee March 31

Dear ACC Members,

I'm afraid I have some very discouraging news to share with all of you.

I mentioned at our meeting on Saturday that our bill HB642 was not listed on this week's judiciary calendar. I noted that one bill was listed twice and that our bill not being listed was possibly a mistake. Last night Rep. Todd told me that we didn't make the cut for this week's calendar.

DO NOT COME TO MONTGOMERY ON TUESDAY OR WEDNESDAY.

Please check the website , Facebook, Yahoo, and your email frequently between now and next week to find out when the committee hearing is rescheduled.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Contact Judiciary Committee on HB642 Today!

Next Wednesday, March 31, HB642 The Michael Phillips Compassionate Care Act will come before the Alabama House Judiciary Committee. Today we need to start flooding the phone lines and inboxes of the judiciary committee members asking them to support this bill.

When you call you may or may not get the member on the phone. If you get the member on the phone introduce yourself. If you are a patient then tell them what your condition is, what medications you have taken, how they affected your quality of life, how marijuana helps your condition and the dangerous things you have to go through to get it. Tell them you shouldn't have to risk your family, property and freedom in order to treat your medical condition. Tell them that 14 other states and DC have medical marijuana laws, but, because you live in Alabama, you are treated as a criminal as opposed to a patient. Tell them that geographic location should never determine criminality and that patients in Alabama deserve the same level of protection as patients in the 14 states where medical marijuana has been passed. Ask them to please vote YES on HB642. Please write down what they say and send it to me.

If you get the main desk at the State House leave a message asking for the judiciary committee member to support HB642 and to please return your call.

Also, take a moment and send an email to the members listed below.


"Camjulward@aol.com" , (334) 242-7750

steve.mcmillan@alhouse.org, (334) 242-7723

spencer.collier@alhouse.org, (334) 242-7719

paul.demarco@alhouse.org, (334) 242-7740

charles.newton@alhouse.org, (334) 242-4460

marcel.black@alhouse.org, (334) 242-7667

Tammy.Irons@alhouse.org, (334) 353-9032

jamie.ison@alhouse.org, (334) 242-7711

laura.hall@alhouse.org, (334) 242-7688

chris.england@alhouse.org , (334) 242-7703

john.robinson@alhouse.org, (334) 242-7728

howard.sanderford@alhouse.org (334) 242-4368

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Drug Prohibition Laws Create Violence

There is a remarkable new study out of Canada which says that the enforcement of drug prohibition laws are responsible for drug related violence. It is a MUST READ.

New report finds drug prohibition, stricter law enforcement key sources of violence and gun crime

Burglar Steals Drug Safe from Maplesville PD

This is just too rich!

According to a story in today's Clanton Advertiser burglars broke in on Friday or Saturday and stole the drug safe. They also searched the Chief's computer and punctured the tires of three police cars before leaving.

Apparently there is only one officer on duty in Maplesville and he was out on patrol when this happened. There was no forced entry. Smells like an inside job to me.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Crack Bust at Taco Bell !!!

So, my mom is visiting this week and we decided to go out and eat at Taco Bell today. As we were sitting around the table eating my mom said, "Loretter, turn around yonder and look behind you."

Not being able to resist a command from my mother, and seeing that the expression on her face was one of extreme amusement, I took the bait and turned around. And here is what I saw.



Good Gawd Ten pounds of crack! Talk about 'Outside the Bun'. Or...Outside Buns...or something.

Couldn't resist taking a picture. Made mom pretend I was taking one of her so 'Butt Cheeks' there wouldn't get up and kick my ass.

The rest of the meal was spent with me, my mom, my daughter, and my husband trying to come up with the best title for this blog post while trying not to choke to death on our tacos or laugh too loud. Hubby won!

Medical Marijuana LTE in BHAM News

ACC member and medical marijuana patient Sam Barksdale's excellent LTE is in the Birmingham News this morning. However, for some strange reason the BHAM News got the bill number wrong. I know it was the BHAM News because I helped Sam edit the letter and I am certain the bill number was correct. The actual bill number is HB642.

Medical Marijuana: Support bill in House Committee

Great job Sam!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Alabama Prison Numbers on Rise...AGAIN

The Birmingham News is reporting that while the number of state prison inmates declined nationally the number increased in Alabama...mostly due to non-violent drug offenses.


The nation's number of state prison inmates dropped slightly in 2009 -- the first decrease recorded in nearly 38 years -- but Ala­bama's prison population went in the other direction.

According to a report from the Public Safety Per­formance Project of the Pew Center on the States, Ala­bama's jurisdictional prison population -- the number of inmates the state is re­sponsible for housing -- to­taled 31,561 on Jan. 1. That is an increase of 3.5 percent over the population of 30,508 listed on Dec. 31, 2008.

Over the same period, ac­cording to the report, the nation's state prison pop­ulation dropped 0.4 percent, from 1,408,830 to 1,403,091.

Alabama Corrections Commissioner Richard Al­len said his department has been working to reduce its prison population. If the state had not adopted a package of sentencing guidelines several years ago, the population would be even higher, he said.

One problem is that judges and district attor­neys are not using the guidelines as much "as we think they should," Allen said.

According to a Depart­ment of Corrections report prepared for Allen, drug of­fenders made up nearly 34 percent of the 11,729 in­mates who entered the ju­risdictional prison popula­tion in fiscal 2008.


So, 34% of the new entries into the prison system in Alabama were drug offenders. Boy I tell ya, that drug war just works out so magnificently for keeping people from using drugs, don't it?

Why can't legislators grow a pair and stop doing stupid shit like this which only makes the problem worse?

HB697 Seeks to Ban K2/Spice

Rep. James Gordon (D-Mobile) has introduced a bill (HB697) to add the new designer substance, that supposedly mimics the effects of marijuana, to the list of Schedule I substances.

I have not used K2/Spice and do not plan to use K2/Spice. However, prohibition has never worked and will never work. In fact, prohibition of marijuana is directly responsible for the emergence of K2/Spice. I've just sent the following letter to the sponsor, co-sponsors and members of the House Judiciary Committee where this bill will come up on March 24. Please take a moment and send a letter of your own. Contact information is at the bottom.

Dear Sponsor and Co-Sponsors of HB697 and Members of the House Judiciary Committee,

I am writing you today to ask that you rethink your efforts to ban the chemical known as K2 and add it to the Schedule I controlled substances.

I would like to ask all of you the same question and I would like you to answer me honestly.

What is one stated objective that has ever been met by outlawing/prohibiting a substance?

History has taught us that prohibition never works as intended and, time after time, it makes things much worse. Prohibition does the following:

1) Drives use underground where there are absolutely no regulations of controls to govern the use of any substance.

2) Makes any drug of any quality and questionable purity available (some unscrupulous people will add things like PCP or formaldehyde to whatever they are selling...both of which are deadly) to anyone who wants them, especially children, as drug dealers don't ask to see ID.

3) Increases crime because prohibition drives up prices which leads to those who become addicted stealing to support their addiction.

4) Crams our prisons with non-violent people while turning child molesters and murderers loose on the street to make room for the non-violent drug offenders.

5) Increases the spread of preventable deadly disease.

6) Saddles young people with criminal records for the rest of their life and bars them from receiving federal student financial aid thereby nearly ensuring that they will not get an education and will be a lifelong burden on society.

7) Increases violence because prohibition fuels turf wars in inner cities.

8) The lucrative profits made from prohibition draw in young, impoverished people who would rather make $500 a day than $200 a week at a regular job.

9) Allows the government to selectively apply drug laws. All you need to do to prove this is look at the racial disparity in the Alabama prison system with regard to drug offenders. Blacks and whites use drugs at the exact same rates. Yet, one look at the prison population will show you that blacks are far more likely to do prison time than whites for the same drug offenses.

10) Enriches violent drug cartels and places drug control directly in their hands.

11) Causes an increase in the creation of designer chemicals like K2. For example; when alcohol was outlawed we saw an increase in liquor consumption because liquor is more concentrated and more could be smuggled in the same space formerly used to smuggle wine and beer. In the 1980's when cocaine was the major drug in the news we saw crack cocaine emerge as the new demon drug for the very same reasons mentioned with regard to alcohol. After over the counter sales of stimulants were outlawed in the US in the 1950's we saw the beginning of what is currently known as meth. Outlawing marijuana, which has never cause one death in recorded human history, brings us things like K2. The more you outlaw substances the more you increase the likelihood that some new designer chemical like K2 will emerge to take it's place.

What prohibition doesn't do:

1) Stop people from using drugs or alcohol.

I know that you mean well with your prohibition laws. Or perhaps you want to pass a drug bill which stirs complex emotions during an election year so that you can trumpet your 'success' on the campaign trail. Either way, all you are really doing is creating more problems, contributing to the destruction of more family units and cramming more non-violent people into our dilapidated, violent, overcrowded and inhumane prison system, which is currently operating at nearly 200% over capacity and costs Alabama tax payers $132 million dollars a year just to house the drug offender population, while doing nothing at all to address the root causes of drug addiction. Prohibition does not work and never will. If you truly want to reduce drug use and the problems associated with it then you have to begin approaching this issue in a whole new way.

Please rethink your decision to sponsor/co-sponsor or yes vote to pass this bill.

VOTE NO ON HB697.

Respectfully,
Loretta Nall


Contact information

james@jamesogordon.com,
ralph.howard@alhouse.org,
yvonne.kennedy@alhouse.org,
alan.boothe@alhouse.org,
george.bandy@alhouse.org,
bboyd@calhouncounty.org,
jack@jackwilliams.org,
locy.baker@alhouse.org,
"Camjulward@aol.com" ,
steve.mcmillan@alhouse.org,
spencer.collier@alhouse.org,
paul.demarco@alhouse.org,
charles.newton@alhouse.org,
marcel.black@alhouse.org,
Tammy.Irons@alhouse.org,
jamie.ison@alhouse.org,
laura.hall@alhouse.org,
Chris England ,
john.robinson@alhouse.org,
howard.sanderford@alhouse.org

Problems with Fire Safe Cigarettes

A couple months ago there was news story about the glue cigarette manufacturers are now putting in cigarettes to reduce the risk of fire. When I first learned about it I was very upset because there was no outreach to consumers to get our input or, as far as I know, any effort to alert us beforehand. Maybe I missed it.

Anyway, I noticed about a month ago that my ability to draw a good breath is declining. Rapidly. In the last week or so it has been especially bad. It feels like my bronchial tubes are inflamed and swollen and I wheeze like crazy. I wake up two or three times a night with horrible coughing fits and my lungs feel very raw. Last night I started using an old inhaler I found in my medicine cabinet and that seems to help a little.

Has anyone else who smokes noticed increased breathing difficulty since the glue was added? Someone pointed me to a petition site where over 25,000 signatures have been gathered to repeal the law that made it possible for this glue shit to find its way into consumers lungs.

In the meantime, I have started back using Camel and Marlboro Snus packets in an effort to reduce the damage to my lungs. I know it's gross for a woman to walk around with a big ol chaw of tobacco in her mouth but these little things are contained in a small pouch so it doesn't get everywhere and the need for spitting is negated. It is completely undetectable. I recommend them for anyone experiencing the same lung function problems that I am having who are unable to just lay tobacco down altogether.

Monday, March 15, 2010

White Oak Vineyards Blueberry Wine

I've recently discovered a wonderful blueberry wine produced by White Oak Vineyards in Anniston, Al that is destined to become one of my all time favorites. My local service station owner carries it and it is FABULOUS if you are partial to a sweet, fruity wine. They have many other selections available. Look for it in your grocers wine aisle.

Petition to Block Marc Emery Extradition Presented Today!



According to Marc Emery's facebook status...

"The petition opposing my extradition will be introduced in the House of Commons by MP's LIBBY DAVIES (NDP), UJJAL DOSANJH (Liberal) and SCOTT REID (Conservative) between 3 pm - 4 pm (eastern)/ noon - 1 pm (pacific). Shown live on CPAC.ca""

TUNE IN LIVE

HB642 in Committee On March 31

HB642 The Michael Phillips Compassionate Care Act will come before the Alabama House Judiciary Committee on March 31, 2010 at 9 a.m.

Members of Alabamians for Compassionate Care will hold a press conference on the steps of the Alabama State House that morning at 8 a.m. where we will be joined by our bill sponsor Rep. Patricia Todd to discuss the bill and hear from some of the patients whose lives are adversely affected by the lack of a medical marijuana law in Alabama.

Beginning on March 23rd we will begin calling and visiting with members of the House Judiciary committee to ask for their support of this bill. House Judiciary Committee contact information is HERE. Simply click the name and you will be taken to that member's page. I will be providing a sample script as time draws closer.

If you support medical marijuana in Alabama then BE THERE on March 31!!!!! We hope to pack out the committee room and have an overflow crowd. The more people who show up the more legislators realize this is a serious issue with a lot of support from all segments of Alabama society. If you need gas money to get there let us know. If you need a ride from your area of the state let us know so that we can try to arrange one for you. ACC members will be out front and easily identifiable by our ACC t-shirts.

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact us either by email or phone. Our contact information is HERE.

Help us spread the word by posting this announcement on your local news paper forum.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

It's True: Marijuana Helps

ACC member and patient Sam Barksdale from Mobile had an excellent editorial published in today's Mobile Press Register.

It's True: Marijuana Helps

Go read it at the link and leave a comment on the Press Register site. Then, write a letter of your own in response to Sam's.

Many thanks to the Mobile Press Register for running Sam's letter on a Sunday, for giving it such a great title and, most importantly, for treating it as an OpEd as opposed to a general LTE.

Way to go Sam Barksdale!!!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Alabama Compassionate Care has a New Website

Alabamians for Compassionate Care has a new website! Please check us out at http://www.alcompassionate-care.com Bookmark us!

Please note that some of the pages are still under construction. We are adding new features daily. Pretty soon there will be a discussion board.

Also, we are having a Compassionate Care legislative training day tomorrow March 13 and another Saturday, March 20. HB642 should be in committee on either the 24th or 31st of March.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Dothan Jury Finds Man Innocent of Attempted Murder of Police Officer

For the third time in recent months a Dothan, AL jury has come back with an astonishing verdict in a drug case. They are astonishing because they are correct verdicts. I don't remember the details of the first two cases other than they were both drug related and the verdict was not guilty.

In today's Dothan Eagle a jury has found a man who was fleeing from police officers NOT GUILTY of trying to run over one of those officers.

Jury finds no intent to kill

A Houston County jury concluded a Hartford man charged with attempted murder was not trying to kill a Dothan police officer when he drove toward the officer during a confrontation last year.

Instead, the jury convicted Fred Kenyatta “Lamont” Collins, 33, of the lesser included offense of reckless endangerment, a misdemeanor. Collins was also convicted of unlawful possession of a controlled substance and first degree possession of marijuana, both Class C felonies.

A sentencing hearing is set for April 28 in front of Circuit Judge Butch Binford.

Police arrested Collins in June of 2009 after he failed to yield to emergency vehicles. He was arrested after authorities shot out a tire in the vehicle he was driving. He was charged with trying to run over a Dothan police officer during the pursuit.

Officers testified Collins drove through the front yard and around to the back of a Wicksburg residence on Riverview Drive several times despite repeated calls for Collins to stop and get out of his vehicle.

Collins claimed he did not know the people were police officers. They were not in uniform at the time of the incident.

One officer, Jeremy Kendrick, claimed Collins accelerated in his direction in an attempt to run him over during the incident. The officer said he had to dive out of the path of the vehicle to keep from being struck.


These continued proper verdicts give me hope that things are changing here for the better. Many thanks to the juries. Could it possibly be that jury nullification is happening there?

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Heads vs. Feds Recap

On Thursday March 4, 2010 a group of patients from Alabamians for Compassionate Care took a trip to Mobile, Alabama to attend the Heads vs. Feds debate between long time High Times Editor Steve Hager and retired DEA agent Robert Stutman which took place at the University of South Alabama. For those of you unfamiliar with this production it's basically a cannabis consumer and advocate for legalization debating a DEA agent and also has audience participation. It was the first one I have attended, although it has been to Alabama before. I figured it would be dynamite and I was not disappointed.

Representing for Alabamians for Compassionate Care were yours truly, Christie O'Brien, Chris and DJ Butts, Sam Barksdale, Phillip Nettles and my son Alex Nall (who is a supporter but not a consumer). We arrived early and got front row seats. I had inquired the day before how many people were expected to attend and the lady at Jaguar Productions told me that the student ballroom had been set up to seat 150. Chris Butts printed out 250 Compassionate Care flyers...just to be safe... and Alex voluntarily stationed himself outside the entrance and made sure everyone who came through the door got a flyer. However, there wound up being about 400 people who attended the event so we ran out fairly quickly. I was joyously surprised to see that much interest in the topic of marijuana legalization. Judging from the response throughout the debate a good 99% of attendees want marijuana legalized. There is some very real momentum in the great state of Alabama right now!

Phillip had brought a video camera and tri-pod to film the event but we were told that only NORML would be allowed to film. Not sure whose rule that was, but they were serious about it. A local TV news crew showed up and was not allowed to film either. However, it provided a very good opportunity for me to demonstrate to the ACC members how to bum rush the media and get them the information that they need to cover this issue in Alabama. As soon as I realized the media would not be allowed to film I grabbed Sam Barksdale, who is a Mobile resident, patient, and the Alabama Compassionate Care coordinator for South Alabama, and took him over to meet the reporter. I introduced them, gave the reporter one of our flyers (they were incredible BTW THANKS CHRIS!), told her about the bill and that we expected it to come up in committee on either the 24th or 31st of March. I then presented Sam to her as a local patient to interview. I'm pretty sure Sam will be getting a call as we get closer to time for the bill to drop.

However, all chance for video was not lost. A few of our members used their digital cameras and cell phones to record as much of the event as possible. And, one of our members, Sam Barksdale was chosen by Steve Hager to film with his personal video camera.

About ten minutes before the event started Steve Hager and Robert Stutman arrived. I introduced myself to Steve who said he knew me and he inquired about the latest with Marc Emery. At one time Cannabis Culture and High Times were rivals and not always on the best of terms. However, we all support Marc Emery and completely disagree with how he is being treated by both the American and Canadian governments. Steve asked for my card and said he would introduce me to the audience during the debate. He then asked Sam Barksdale to film the event with his personal video camera, which was a very neat thing for him to do. Sam was very excited.

The debate began with a short film giving the backgrounds of Hager and Stutman. Hager was presented as the hippie and Stutman as the hard charging government agent, who is obviously opposed to anything hippie. My only real critique with the whole event is the portrayal of cannabis consumers as 'hippies'....even if some of us are. I realize and respect that Steve Hager is of the 60's generation (I often wish I was) and mean no disrespect by my critique. It's just that people who consume cannabis are a very diverse bunch. Yet, when this issue comes up in politics or in public we are all forced to fight the damn culture war instead of focusing on the drug war. Not everyone who consumes cannabis dresses in tie-dye, wears Jesus sandals, and burns patchouli incense. That being said, the film was giving backgrounds on the participants and that is Steve Hager's background and it was interesting.

After the film the debate began with the moderator laying out the rules and informing the audience that they could participate by asking questions at the end. However, she said, there would be no discussion or back and forth on the questions. Basically, it was ask your question and sit down.

Steve and Robert each started out by saying that they are actually friends, respect each other, and have been doing this show for ten years. They each asked that the audience be respectful and not boo either party.

Steve started by giving the history of marijuana, talking about its numerous medicinal qualities, about why it is illegal (racist policy, big pharma etc), industrial hemp, prisons etc. Here is a video of part of his opening statement. You must have a facebook account to view it. Hopefully it will be on YouTube shortly. Steve Hager opening statements video.

Robert Stutman opened by telling the audience about his life as a DEA agent, about how he had a close friend and fellow agent killed by the mob over drugs and how that affected him. He also told the audience that he did not think prison was the place for drug users, that he preferred forced treatment instead. I felt like that was an attempt to counter any hard questions from the audience before we even had a chance to ask them...a sort of "I'm really on your side, so don't be too hard on me" kind of thing. He countered Steve Hager's opening remarks by saying that Steve wasn't telling everyone the truth.

In response to Steve's argument about marijuana being kept illegal (by big pharma) because it can be grown by anyone and is free medicine Stutman said, "Well penicillin can be grown by anyone too for free and it hasn't been outlawed and there aren't millions of people growing it for free medicine."

Not kidding. That is what he said. Despite the glaring reasons why growing penicillin at home and using it as medicine are impractical to the point of impossibility. With marijuana all you have to do is dry the plant and smoke it, cook with it etc...The audience didn't buy it for a second.

In response to the medicinal qualities it was the same ol' same ol' one would expect from a government official who has made his living off the drug war. Stutman asserted that; "Marijuana has no medicinal value, there is no research that proves anything, there is Marinol for sick people, that only two chemicals found in marijuana have ever been proven to have any medical value, it's a gateway drug, that it leads to schizophrenia and there was an article coming out in the New York Times the next day about that very thing."

Of course, what he didn't say is that the same study comes out of Australia every year, that no one with any credibility in the medical community will say they know what causes schizophrenia or that schizophrenia symptoms usually present right after the onset of puberty or in the early 20's and that those are the age groups used for this study.

In response to Hager's assertion that industrial hemp could really help save the environment, produce jobs, and be a boon to the economy Stutman replied; "What Steve didn't tell you is that Canada legalized industrial hemp a few years ago. In the beginning there were (over 300 I think he said) farmers growing it and now there are only 6. He also said if hemp was such great stuff then why, in countries where it is legal, isn't everyone wearing it?

The back and forth went on for about 15 minutes. I can't remember the whole thing verbatim so here are 8 video clips from the event HERE.

Finally, my favorite part of the program arrived....Q & A. As soon as the moderator said GO I was out of my chair and at the mic. I had decided to ask the DEA agent a question often posed by my friend and fellow reformer Dean Becker of the Drug Truth Network. Here is the video of me asking the question and the unbelievable non-response given by Stutman.

Name one Drug War objective that has ever been met.

As you can see, Mr. Stutman was unable to answer the question so he got on his bike and rode it round and round the room. When they do that you know you have won. Since we were not able to ask follow up questions or discuss the issue further I was not able to counter his claim that the Drug War isn't actually a war. Had I been able to I would have asked him how he defined war. In my definition of war armed paramilitary SWAT teams riding in armored personnel carriers, kicking in doors at 3 a.m., using flash bang grenades and summarily extra-judicially executing non-violent drug offenders or cramming them in POW camps (US prisons) IS WAR. Except, in this war, the 'enemy' (American citizens) aren't allowed to fight back or defend themselves.

I would have also asked him that if 45% fewer American's smoked marijuana now than in the 70's how come arrests for marijuana are at an all time high with over 800,000 being arrested last year and 90% of those for simple possession for personal use.

At that time I had to leave and get my son back on his campus before 9 p.m. so I missed whatever other questions were asked. I do know that Chris Butts asked Steve to tell the audience why there is such a dismal amount of medical research in the US and who was blocking it. When I arrived back the event was still going on so I returned to my seat to finish it out. During the closing remarks Steve introduced me to the audience, which I greatly appreciated. Here is that video clip.

Steve Hager introduces Loretta Nall to crowd

After that introduction and as soon as the event concluded literally hundreds of students packed our part of the room asking how they could get involved with ACC and drug policy reform in Alabama in general. Around 200 signed up and three different young ladies volunteered to head up an ACC chapter on campus. I am also going to get them started with an SSDP chapter and a NORML chapter.

I only saw 6 or 8 people lined up to talk to the DEA agent.

Our crew went over and talked to Steve for a little bit and had some photos taken with him. There are other pics out there and I will track them down later.

Pictured left to right: DJ Butts, Chris Butts, Steven Fancher, Philip Nettles and Loretta Nall (standing)
Sam Barksdale, Christie O'Brien, Chris Butts
Irish MC and Loretta Nall
Christ Butts, Steve Hager, Sam Barksdale, Philip Nettles, Christie O'Brien and Loretta Nall
DJ Butts, Chris Butts and Steve Hager

I had a chance to speak to the moderator of the event afterward. She thanked me for kicking the Q&A off. She is a communications professor and has done work with some anti-drug groups. I told her that I would have very much enjoyed being allowed to counter the DEA agents claims and to have had more of a discussion with him. She agreed and said that the next time they present the program they will have me on a panel along with some other members of the audience and perhaps a local policeman. We exchanged info. I am looking forward to her call.

All in all the event was worth spending 10 hours in a car to get there and back. If you have a chance to attend a Heads vs. Feds event I strongly recommend that you do so.

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Video of Poppy the baby goat

A couple of short videos of my tiny precious goat, Poppy. We had named her Mary Jane, but as soon as my daughter got home on Friday she had picked out the name Poppy and it stuck. I want to put pink bows on her ears but she would eat them...she is a goat after all. She is nursing good and full of spunk. In the following videos she introduces herself to her neighbor Mr. Pig.

video video

Friday, March 05, 2010

I'z haz a new baby mini-goat

UPDATE: It's a girl! And I have named her Mary Jane. Couple of new pics added.

Yesterday, while I was in Mobile with a group of ACC patients attending the Heads vs. Feds event at the University of South Alabama, my female mini-goat Fig had a baby. We had suspected that she was pregnant seeing as how she was about to split like a grape! I told my husband last week that I bet she would give birth in March...and damn if she didn't pick the day I was gone to do it. Anyway, I got a couple shots of the little feller (I think it's a feller...haven't looked) this morning. If this isn't the cutest damn thing you ever saw then there is something very different about our version of what cute is.




Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Re-Elect Patricia Todd

I don't often make public endorsements of candidates for office in Alabama. That's mainly because I am a very controversial figure and my endorsement can be a double-edged sword. However, there are a few candidates that have no problem associating with me or having me endorse their campaigns.

One of those candidates is Rep. Patricia Todd (D-54 Jefferson). Rep. Todd is our medical marijuana bill sponsor this year, as she was last year. She believes in this particular issue as much as I do and as much as the patients who make up Alabamians for Compassionate Care do. We couldn't ask for a better champion for our cause.

Rep. Todd is also a champion of what I consider to be other great causes like affordable housing, reducing homelessness, mass transit in our large cities, constitutional reform and ballot access reform.

I am asking all of my readers and everyone in Alabama who supports medical marijuana or any of the other issues I mentioned to please make a campaign contribution to re-elect Rep. Patricia Todd in November 2010. You can do that by mailing a check or money order to:

Patricia Todd
1320 58th Street South
Birmingham, AL 35222

Please make a notation on your check or money order that you are a Compassionate Care supporter and include a note thanking Rep. Todd for having the courage to take up this controversial issue during an election year. She is one of the few elected officials in Alabama that actually has guts...and a lot of them. Let's show our appreciation in the form of a campaign contribution.

HB642 The Michael Phillips Compassionate Care Act

Folks we now have a new bill number for the medical marijuana bill.

HB642 The Michael Phillips Compassionate Care Act will replace HB207. We expect this bill to come before the House Judiciary Committee on either March 24 or March 31. Please mark your calendars and plan to attend the hearing to show your support for patients across Alabama.

Join Loretta Nall and Alabama Compassionate Care at Heads vs. Feds

This Thursday March 4, 2010 at 7:30 pm The University of South Alabama is sponsoring the annual face off between High Times Editor Steve Hager and DEA agent Robert Stutman. Mr. Hager and Mr. Stutman will debate the pros and cons of marijuana.
This event is called Heads vs. Feds.

Members of Alabamians for Compassionate Care, including yours truly, will be attending and disseminating information on the Michael Phillips Compassionate Care Act which is set to come before the Judiciary Committee the week of March 22.

More information about the event can be found HERE.

If you plan to attend and would like to help ACC hand out info or if you are in the central part of Alabama and need a ride down please contact me at lorettanall@gmail.com or Christie O'Brien at reederchristie@yahoo.com