Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Didn't we already cover this?

In an email from the Artur Davis Campaign which is just too rich to pass up...

Barely a month into the race for Governor of Alabama, Artur Davis is already shaking up the status quo. He's running a different kind of campaign -- and people are taking notice.

Just last week, Politico, a D.C. publication, described the grumbling coming from some of the "Montgomery-based power brokers who have dominated the state’s political scene for decades." They're not happy about the kind of change Artur Davis wants to bring to Alabama and the way he'll shake up Montgomery.

Let's be clear: Artur Davis is not going to let a set of entrenched forces with tired old ideas tell us we can't change things.

That's where you come in. To overcome the insiders and power brokers who don't believe Alabama is ready for the 21st century, we're going to need lots of help from people like you. And it starts right now.

Different kind of campaign? Not hardly. People taking notice? Oh yeah, we're taking notice. But not the kind he wants. Looks to me like Artur Davis is indeed going to let entrenched forces with tired old ideas tell him he can't change things. He certainly isn't listening to non-entrenched new forces tell him how and what what things need to be changed.

We know some of the insiders are grumbling. We know they feel threatened. But that doesn't bother Artur Davis.

After all, he's not running to represent the insiders -- he's running to represent you.

Together, we'll leave no stone unturned as we reach out to every single voter across the state and work to unlock Alabama's potential.

Really? He's running to represent ME? And he's going to reach out to every single voter and leave no stone unturned? Really?

It goes on to beg for my money about 4 times. The answer is NO YOU CAN'T Artur! You can't have my money or my vote. You pretend to 'reach out to the people' then just ignore what they say and continue with your own agenda, the people's ideas be damned. Until that changes you won't get my money or my vote. Do keep sending me the emails though. I find them very amusing.

Monday, June 29, 2009

No Kay Ivey

A couple days ago I got an email from an anonymous group who purchased www.kayivey2010.com. They wondered aloud why the Ivey campaign folks hadn't already bought up that particular piece of internet real estate. That's a good question. And one that will probably bite Kay in the behind before it's all said and done.

I'm posting this here because I have my own beef with Kay Ivey. She and I had a run-in over religion a little while back. Ivey "apologized" if you can call it that. Anyone who is that intolerant of people with different belief systems, or no belief system at all, does not need to be in a position of power.

I think it is highly unlikely that Kay Ivey will get the Republican nomination for Governor, what with the collapse of PACT and her at the head of it. Voters who invested in that program are really upset and will work very hard to make sure she doesn't get the nomination.

And, since I asked Artur Davis about legalizing marijuana it is only fair that I bring it up to Kay.

Mrs. Ivey, if you could raise enough money by legalizing marijuana, for adult use, to restore the PACT program investors money, would you do it?

We know Kay won't answer that question here, just like Artur Davis wouldn't answer that question until the media forced him to. Even if she did, her likely answer would be NO. In light of that we will attempt to have someone from our group present at a Kay Ivey campaign event sometime in the near future to try and get that question in.

That's really funny stuff

I've just re-read the Talladega Daily Home article and I keep laughing about Drug Task Force Commander Jason Murray stating emphatically that the gateway theory is a fact. That just kills me. If it were a FACT would it be called a THEORY?

I also get an uncontrollable case of the giggles from this other line from His Brilliance, Mr. Murray.

"These are scientific studies that were conducted by people who are supposed to be a lot smarter than me."

He says that as if he has some serious reservations that a scientist could, in any way, be smarter than him. When, really, how smart do you have to be to kick down doors at 3 a.m. and point big guns at sleep disoriented people?

Another gut buster is DA Steve Giddens claim that people call his office and ask him about legalizing meth and crack cocaine. I can assure you that the last person a crack cocaine or meth user want to converse with is the local DA of the county they live in. I'd wager that what Giddens said has never actually happened.

These two guys are absurd and Mr. Norwood couldn't possibly have picked two better goons for this article.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Contact Information

If any additional media outlets wish to do an interview with me my contact information is as follows.

Phone: 251-650-2271
Email: lorettanall@gmail.com

I will be in class until 10 a.m. on Monday. Any calls after 10:30 a.m. or so should be fine.

A couple of other news items from today

It's been a stellar few days for me and my fellow drug policy activists in Alabama. We had a fantastic article in the Talladega Daily Home that pushes the debate on legalization and national media with the USA Today/Associated Press article about Artur Davis ignoring the top vote getting idea on his campaign site: Legalizing Marijuana.

Also, I had a letter about the Artur Davis 'blow-off' printed in The Montgomery Advertiser today. You can read it and post a comment at the following link.
Davis opts to ignore marijuana question (but he didn't get away with it :) )

And my favorite editorial cartoonist J.D. Crowe graces us with another Troy King and Trixie the Pig cartoon. Thanks JD!

Davis seeks ideas: Legalizing pot No. 1, but nixed

USA Today
By Phillip Rawls,
Associated Press Writer

MONTGOMERY, Ala. — Legalizing marijuana turned out to be the top single vote-getter when U.S Rep. Artur Davis used his gubernatorial campaign Web site to solicit ideas for moving Alabama forward.

It didn't rate that high with the candidate, however, and he didn't even mention it when thanking contributors after the Web vote was taken down Friday.

The marijuana idea was posted by Loretta Nall of Alexander City, an independent candidate for governor in 2006 and a longtime advocate of decriminalizing marijuana. She was incensed that he didn't acknowledge the idea even though it came in first.

Campaign spokeswoman Anna Ruth Williams said Friday the campaign spent a week seeking ideas from Alabama citizens, asking them to post an idea on the campaign site or vote for one that had already been posted. She said nothing was censored, and the idea titled "end marijuana prohibition" was the top single vote-getter when the solicitation ended Friday.

"This kind of format is exactly why Congressman Davis is running -- to let more than just a handful of Montgomery insiders talk about ideas," Williams said.

That includes letting people discuss ideas that the congressman doesn't agree with, she said.

When the campaign took the ideas off the campaign Web site, it posted a video of Davis thanking more than 2,300 people for voting for 80 ideas. Davis, who opposes legalizing marijuana, mentioned several of the ideas in his video, but not marijuana.

Nall was delighted Friday that her idea drew 118 votes, but she was outraged when Davis took down the ideas after hers won and did not mention her idea in his video.

"He says everybody is invited to the table, but apparently that's not the case," she said.

More traditional political topics, like creating a state lottery or removing the state sales tax on groceries, trailed Nall's idea in votes. Several people posted different ideas for rewriting Alabama's lengthy constitution. If all those postings had been combined into one, constitutional revision would have had 38 more votes than Nall's idea.

Told you we wouldn't be ignored and would make Artur Davis answer that question, even if it wasn't the answer we wanted to hear. This shows that he is just like any other politician. He wants to talk about his ideas and what he wants, while posturing and pretending to care about what the voter thinks. I wonder why he didn't just make up his own list for people to vote on. Would have made more sense considering he wasn't going to use any ideas but the ones he liked anyway. It would also have saved him a lot of trouble...like getting this story in USA Today and therefore, nationwide, for example.

Many, Many, Many THANKS to Phillip Rawls.

The Marijuana Debate

Late last week I received an email from Chris Norwood at the The Talladega Daily Home informing me that they were doing an anchor article for the Sunday edition of the paper and requesting my input for the PRO side of marijuana legalization. I happily obliged.

This is a big deal to me. I was born in Talladega and spent much of my childhood growing up on Ironaton Road. This is also a big deal because it is rare indeed that small town newspapers will take on this issue. When we start to see marijuana legalization debated in small town Alabama papers change cannot be far behind. I was able to provide a written commentary for Mr. Norwood and he used it masterfully in the following article. Read it. Try not to rupture something laughing at the uproariously funny comments from the cops. Then go here and leave a comment. You might also consider a letter to the editor which you can send to cpappas@dailyhome.com

The Marijuana Debate

Chris Norwood

Although some states are openly debating the legalization of marijuana, Alabama does not appear ready to take that step just yet. Still, there are some advocates for legalization, such as former gubernatorial candidate Loretta Nall.

In a sluggish economy, as states are struggling to keep the books balanced, several have been asked to discuss the legalization and regulation of marijuana, both as a cost saver and as a source of tax revenue. Under current law, a first time arrest for possession of marijuana for personal use is a misdemeanor. A second or subsequent conviction is a class C felony, punishable by one year and one day to 10 years in prison. State law does not differentiate between distribution of marijuana and distribution of other controlled substances.

2006 gubernatorial candidate Loretta Nall is one of the more passionate and outspoken voices for reforming Alabama’s marijuana laws.

“Since prohibition of marijuana has never worked, I see nothing but positives in legalizing, taxing and regulating the sale to adults. I think the question that needs to be asked is, ‘What is one positive thing that has come from the prohibition of marijuana,’” Nall wrote in a prepared statement. “I can’t think of one. Outlawing it and locking up its peaceful consumers in prison cells has not stopped other people from using it, reduced the flow of it into this country, decreased crime or kept it out of the hands of children…Drug dealers don’t ask for ID, so any kid who knows where to get some can acquire it.”

Nall also sites border violence in Mexico as a factor against the current practice, then outlines what she would consider the seven biggest benefits of legalization.

First, it would significantly reduce prison overcrowding. According to her figures, Nall says that some 30 percent of Alabama inmates are serving time for non-violent drug offenses at a cost to taxpayers of $117 million per year. The Department of Corrections does not differentiate between those convicted of marijuana possession and those convicted of other controlled substance crimes, however, so it is difficult to say how many of these inmates are serving time exclusively on marijuana charges, but she sites a study by The Birmingham News estimating marijuana arrests constitute about half of all drug arrests.

“We spend $13,000 per year to house a person in prison in Alabama for smoking a joint, while we only spend a little over $8,000 per year to send a child to school. We spend more to incarcerate than we do to educate.”

Secondly, she said, legalization would “enable us to use drug courts and treatment resources for actual hard core drug addicts and law enforcement resources for catching dangerous criminals who are a very real threat to the public. Taxes from the sale of marijuana could even be used to help pay for drug court and treatment. Alabama has a dismal lack of treatment beds available and drug courts are clogged with pot smokers who are then sent to treatment where they take up space that could be occupied by someone addicted to meth or opiates, or they are sent to occupy prison space that should really be occupied by a violent criminal.”

Legalization would also make it more difficult for children to acquire, while at the same time making it more widely available for medicinal purposes for people suffering from cancer, HIV/AIDs and other afflictions where marijuana has shown some potential benefit. It would also take money away from violent drug cartels and create agricultural jobs, she argues.

“We cannot afford to keep enforcing a law that has never and will never meet its stated objective. Taxes raised from the legal sale of marijuana could be used to fund worthy programs like education, health care, treatment for real drug addicts and a whole host of other worthy programs. Legalizing would allow the state to make money from marijuana as opposed to insisting that it cost the taxpayers money. We'd save all that we spend on incarceration, court costs and law enforcement resources and make money on top of what was saved. Not to mention that legalizing marijuana would reaffirm that we own our own bodies and not the government,” she concluded.

Nall said she had posted items about legalization of marijuana and hemp (a natural fiber derived from the same plant) on gubernatorial candidate Artur Davis’s Web site, and while the items were popular with users, the candidate himself has remained silent on the issue.

Jason Murray, commander of the Talladega County Drug and Violent Crime Task Force, sees the issue very differently, pointing out that marijuana remains the major gateway drug to more dangerous substances such as cocaine and methamphetamine.

“In my personal opinion, if you want to live somewhere where marijuana is legal, I would suggest you move to Colorado or California. As long as I have been doing this, I could probably count on one hand the number of meth or cocaine users who didn’t start with marijuana. We don’t need to make it legal. The gateway theory has been proven, and if we tried to regulate it, the problems would just be beginning.”

Murray points to Amsterdam, perhaps the most high profile jurisdiction to legalize most controlled substances, as a cautionary tale.

“Amsterdam has more addicts living on the street than any other city in Europe or the world. It is a massive draw on their society over there.”

Murray also rejects the argument that marijuana actually acts as a gateway drug because it is illegal.

“I don’t know how you could make that argument,” he said. “I don’t know of any study or any set of statistics showing that legalizing marijuana would (help prevent) any other kind of drug activity.”

He added, “I will say, though, that I do believe marijuana does have some medicinal advantages, for cancer patients, for example. But we’re a nation that sends people into space, put men on the moon. I’m sure they could take the components of the drug that are beneficial and put them into pill form. But what it comes down to is that this is something that has been studied for 30 years. There is definite clinical data out there that show that marijuana destroys brain cells, that an A student that starts smoking marijuana regularly will drop at least one letter grade. Keep in mind, this is not a law enforcement perspective. These are scientific studies that were conducted by people who are supposed to be a lot smarter than me.”

Talladega County District Attorney Steve Giddens said he was also utterly opposed.

“I get asked about that from time to time, not just about marijuana but about crack and methamphetamine as well,” Giddens said. “People call my office, and people call law enforcement, and say they’ve got dealers down the street, meth labs down the street, and they’re scared. We go out, we make arrests, we get them off the street. If these drugs were legalized, there would be nothing we could do. I am totally opposed to that.”

When asked whether legalization might actually reduce street crime, Giddens said it wouldn’t. “We ended prohibition of alcohol, but that didn’t put the moonshiners out of business, did it?”

Talladega County Presiding Circuit Judge Julian King was also strongly opposed.

“Legalization of controlled substances is an issue for the legislative branch of our government to decide, but I am personally and professionally opposed to legalization of marijuana. I have seen first hand in the court system the byproducts of that substance and other drugs.”

St. Clair County District Attorney Richard Minor is also opposed to legalization. “That’s really an issue for the legislature. My office enforces the law. Right now, the legislature says marijuana is illegal, so it’s illegal. But based on my experiences over the last 15 years, if I was a legislator and did have a vote, I would vote to maintain the law as it is now. I’m sure there are a few out there, but I have never met a meth or crack addict that didn’t say they smoked marijuana first. Maybe legalization might eliminate that first step for some people, but I don’t think so.”

During a PowerPoint presentation Minor frequently gives to groups about methamphetamine is a drawing done by an elementary school age child.

“The children were told to draw a picture of a problem in their family. This child drew a stick figure in front of a stove and labeled it ‘Dad making meth.’ The next picture showed a stick figure chopping up meth on a plate and then smoking it. The last picture shows the stick figure with a cigarette and is labeled ‘Dad smokes pot.’”

He also pointed out that “Legalization is not just a topic of debate in the legislature, it’s also a topic among prosecutors in some parts of the country. In California, prosecutors have been told not to make any marijuana cases, so there’s a political issue at work too.”


"The gateway theory has been proven" said Jason Murray

I'm not sure I've ever seen a funnier statement in print in all my life. If the gateway theory had been proven wouldn't it be a gateway 'fact'?

Also, Mr. Murray, I was born and raised in Alabama. The likes of you and your ilk will never, ever run me out of my home state. You move if you feel uncomfortable living close to me.

Murray also rejects the argument that marijuana actually acts as a gateway drug because it is illegal.

“I don’t know how you could make that argument,” he said. “I don’t know of any study or any set of statistics showing that legalizing marijuana would (help prevent) any other kind of drug activity.”

Well since you didn't know theory wasn't in fact FACT we can't really expect you to wrap your head around a more complicated idea like this one can we?

As to Murray's position on medical marijuana has the man never heard of Marinol? It doesn't work for most cancer patients by the way. Try swallowing a pill while you are puking your guts out from chemo/radiation treatments and let us know how that works out for you Jason. Plus, it costs about $700 for 30 pills and most insurance companies refuse to cover it. Additionally there are mountains of clinical studies that show marijuana is good for treating cancer and may even hold a cure. Look at this article from the Journal of Clinical Investigation about glioblastoma cells and the effect marijuana had on them.

As to the tired and completely disprovable argument that it kills brain cells...try again. Indeed two recent studies from the University of Saskatchewan in Canada actually shows that marijuana regenerates brain cells. 'Regenerate' means to REGROW. Maybe you knew that Jason Murray, but, since you didn't know the definition of either theory or fact, and regenerate is a big like word, I thought you might need me to break it down for you.

His closing line in that paragraph is a gut buster "These are scientific studies that were conducted by people who are supposed to be a lot smarter than me.” Murray said.

Supposed to be a lot smarter than you? Hell, how hard could that be?

Next Up the Brilliance of Talladega DA Steve Giddens

"Marijuana, meth, crack, meth, crakc, meth, crack"

Uh, Mr. Giddens I think the question was about marijuana. The article is about marijuana too. Not meth. Not crack. Stick to the topic please. Nice try at a straw man though.

When asked whether legalization might actually reduce street crime, Giddens said it wouldn’t. “We ended prohibition of alcohol, but that didn’t put the moonshiners out of business, did it?”

Well, yes actually it did put the moonshiners out of business for the most part. Are there still a handful spread out over the entire state? Sure. There are also bootleggers who sell alcohol from their homes and businessmen who sell it from their stores on Sunday when it is illegal to buy it in most parts of the state. I'd like him to tell me though when was the last time he was called to the crime scene where the Budweiser man and the Coors man had a shoot-out over shelf space at Wal-Mart. Mr. Giddens how many of those calls do you have in a week?

"If these drugs were legalized, there would be nothing we could do. I am totally opposed to that.” Giddens said

Translation = I need drugs to be illegal so I can keep my job. Drug war = Job Security.

Next up to the whipping post Judge Julian King

We won't be too hard on Judge King. He did acknowledge that this is a matter for the legislative branch of government to decide and not the judicial branch. Basically he said "I don't make the laws I only enforce them," instead of acting like he gets to make the laws or have influence on the laws enforced, like Murray and Giddens did. It would have been nice if he had expounded on what the 'byproducts' of marijuana he has seen are. We could have a really long discussion about that.

And finally St. Clair Co. DA Richard Minor

He also acknowledged that this is an issue for the legislative branch. And he seems willing to entertain the concept that legalizing marijuana would reduce contact with other drugs. But then he pollutes the whole thing by throwing the gateway THEORY right back in there and says if he were allowed to vote he would keep things the way they are. Even though that way has never worked. If it had we wouldn't be having this conversation. His story about the stick figures is a ridiculous straw man meant to tug at the heart strings of readers. No one is talking about meth in this article...no one except the cops.

All in all I'd say this is a home run for my team. I (the self-proclaimed pot smoker) get some great front page ink with very articulate rational points and nice verifiable facts and figures and the cops, who claim the pot smokers are the stupid, brain-dead ones, yet never offered one fact or figure and didn't articulate much of anything well and couldn't understand that Theory and Fact are two entirely different things come off looking more more brain-dead than Cheech and Chong ever pretended to be.


Friday, June 26, 2009

Another AL Veteran Political Journalist Picks Up the Artur Davis Story

My journalist hero Tim Lennox picks up the Artur Davis story. I am very pleased about that.

In my eyes Tim Lennox is one of the last journalism 'gunslingers' in Alabama and one of the few, that I am aware of, in the US. He adheres to the proper principals of old-school journalism by examining each issue from both sides and not giving his own opinion on the matter at hand. In a word he's FAIR which is an uncommon trait in current media. See for yourself here.

Thanks Tim!

Associated Press Picks Up Daivs Treachery

I just got off the phone with Phil Rawls of the Associated Press in Montgomery and there will be some lovely ink forthcoming on the mysterious disappearance of the marijuana and hemp topics from the Artur Davis Campaign website.

Let me say it again.


We will be acknowledged with an answer even if it isn't the answer we want...but we will be acknowledged.

Artur Davis Site DELETES Marijuana Post

I just received the following email form the Artur Davis Campaign for Governor.

Topic/Idea: End Marijuana Prohibition

Status Changed from Active to Closed.

Posted By : info

It appears that they have deleted the Number 1 topic which was legalizing marijuana and the Number 2 topic which was legalizing hemp. They appear to have kept the rest starting with rewriting the state constitution.

Knowing deep down that was likely to happen I saved the page earlier today on my computer so there will be no saying "We never saw that topic...see it isn't there".

None. Of. That.

I can't upload a document here on blogger but will gladly email the page to anyone who wants it. My original post to the website is at the end of this post. I also have the comments left on the post which were emailed to me. I am about to embark on sending it to the media as soon as I am finished with this post.

I tell ya...this is no way to start a campaign. Say you want ideas from the public, then dismiss the ideas that got the most votes merely because you don't like them...instead of just saying you don't like them, and when the public demands an explanation delete the ideas entirely from your site.

Open and honest government Mr. Davis? Indeed, I think not.

Here is the original text of what I [posted on the Artur Davis site.

End Marijuana Prohibition
lorettanall 5 days ago

Drug policy is one area where Alabama really needs to step up. Ending marijuana prohibition for adults by taxing and regulating its sale would free up police resources for actual violent crimes, ease prison overcrowding and create a new source of revenue for the state. Did you know that 30% of the inmates in Alabama's horribly overcrowded prison system are there for non-violent drug offenses? This state spends $117,000,000 a year just to house them in prison. That figure does not include police and court resources used to address this problem, lost wages and productivity for those locked in a state government cage or destruction of the family unit. Marijuana is Alabama's largest cash crop but the only people benefiting from its sale are black market drug dealers. Monies made from the sale of this innocuous plant could be used to fund treatment for hard core drug addicts, education and a host of other worthy programs. How many teachers could Alabama pay with $117,000,000? How many jobs could be created by taxing and regulating the sale of marijuana? The drug war has been an abject failure. Laws will never stop natural human behavior and it's time we accepted that and changed our focus from prohibition to harm reduction and let this plant make us money instead of insisting that it cost us money.

Rep. Barney Frank Introduces Federal Decrim Bill

Everyone who reads this needs to immediately contact their Congressman in Washington DC and demand (in a polite way) that they vote YES on HB2943.

In a press release last Friday, Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) announced he has introduced a bill that would decriminalize the possession and not-for-profit transfer of small amounts of marijuana. It was the second marijuana bill of the week for Frank, who a couple of days earlier introduced the Medical Marijuana Protection Act.

Barney Frank
Titled the Personal Use of Marijuana By Responsible Adults Act of 2009 (H.R. 2943), the bill would remove federal criminal penalties for the possession of less than 100 grams (about 3.5 ounces) and for the not-for-profit transfer of up to one ounce. The bill would not change marijuana's status as a Schedule I controlled substance, would not change federal laws banning the growing, sale, and import and export of marijuana, and would not undo state laws prohibiting marijuana.

"I think John Stuart Mill had it right in the 1850s," said Congressman Frank, "when he argued that individuals should have the right to do what they want in private, so long as they don't hurt anyone else. It's a matter of personal liberty. Moreover, our courts are already stressed and our prisons are overcrowded. We don't need to spend our scarce resources prosecuting people who are doing no harm to others."

"Congressman Frank's bill represents a major step toward sanity in federal marijuana policy," said Marijuana Policy Project director of government relations Aaron Houston. "The decades-long federal war on marijuana protects no one and in fact has ruined countless lives. Most Americans do not believe that simple possession of a small amount of marijuana should be a criminal matter, and it's time Congress listened to the voters."

As of the middle of this week, the bill had five cosponsors: Reps. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Maurice Hinchey (D-NY), Ron Paul (R-TX), Jared Polis (D-CO), and Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA). The bill has been referred to the House Judiciary Committee and the House Energy and Commerce Committee. No word yet on any hearings.

Ten states have already decriminalized the possession of small amounts of marijuana. Those states are California, Colorado, Maine, Minnesota, Mississippi, Nebraska, Nevada, New York, North Carolina, and Oregon. In an eleventh, Alaska, the possession of up to an ounce in one's home is not just decriminalized, it's legal.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

We Won't Be Ignored

Last week the Artur Davis for Governor campaign opened up their website to solicit ideas from the public about how to move Alabama forward. I submitted ending marijuana prohibition as a way to ease prison overcrowding, as a new source of revenue for our struggling state, and as a means of new job creation.

Out of 80 ideas this idea was voted to the #1 slot with 118 votes and 88% of those votes were in favor of legalization. The second most popular idea was legalizing hemp for food, fuel and fiber. It received 68 votes. Coming in third with 53 votes was rewriting the Alabama Constitution.

Despite my issue being the top vote getter no mention of it was made in Artur Davis's video response to the ideas released a few minutes ago. Here is what he said about the ideas in case you don't want to watch the video.

Our online community produced a lot of worthwhile ideas. Some of the leading choices included reforming Alabama's outdated 1901 constitution, reforming our education system, making our tax structure less regressive, connecting our state through mass transit, and creating an environmental agency with real teeth.

Now, its time to make him acknowledge our idea. We aren't going to be ignored in the political arena any longer. Politicians must be made to address this issue, especially when they solicited it and it was ranked the top idea on their site. We CAN VOTE and we HAVE MONEY. If anyone would like our votes and money then we need to make them state clearly what they will do to end marijuana prohibition.

Don't let Artur Davis get away with ignoring this issue!!

Send his campaign info@arturdavis2010.com an email asking why our issue is being ignored. Point out all the positive things that would come from legalizing marijuana. New source of revenue for our cash starved state. New jobs when we are facing the worst unemployment rates in 25 years. Easing prison overcrowding and saving tens of millions of dollars that we spend to arrest, prosecute and incarcerate peaceful citizens for ingesting a natural plant. Point out that we should be allowed to pay tax thereby enriching the state and its citizens instead of our money going to violent drug cartels.

Get busy typing. info@arturdavis2010.com

And please post your emails here in the comments section when you are done.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Go VOTE on Legalizing Marijuana in Alabama

US Congressman and Democratic Candidate for Governor of Alabama, Artur Davis, is taking ideas on his campaign website for things in dire need of change in Alabama. I have posted a piece about legalizing marijuana and I need all of you and everyone you know in Alabama who favors legalizing marijuana to head on over and vote this idea to the TOP of the list.

Here is the direct link to the voting page for my idea. Vote it UP!
Legalize Marijuana in Alabama

Saturday, June 20, 2009

TSA = Tyrranical Stupid Assholes

CNN is carrying a story today about the Director of Development for Campaign for Liberty (an offshoot of the Ron Paul Campaign) being harassed by TSA recently while returning from a convention. He was carrying $4,700 in cash in his checked baggage and the TSA decided it was their business. It wasn't. There is no law saying air passengers can't carry large sums of cash on an airplane. However, if you are caught with large sums of cash in your car the cops can take it without any evidence that the cash is from ill-gotten gains and you have to spend money in court to prove that your money was acquired legally. You usually wind up spending more than the cops took so most people who find themselves in this situation don't try to get their money back. Meanwhile the cops get to keep the money they stole from you and divvy it up amongst themselves to buy more cop toys with which to oppress the public. That has to be one of the most fucked up things ever.

Anyway...turns out the guy was carrying his IPhone, with recording capabilities, and a pocket Constitution and he put them both to good use. The TSA locked him in a windowless room and questioned him about his money. He asked if he was required to answer those questions under the law. They said he wasn't cooperating and that they were going to arrest him and call in the DEA. Finally someone with brains shows up (read NOT A TSA AGENT) and sends him on his way. Now the ACLU has stepped in and is suing Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano. GREAT!!

Having traveled a great deal since Sept. 11, 2001 I can totally relate to this guys anger over the way the goofball TSA agents, who were apparently just rounded up off the street and handed badges, treat airline customers. In 2006, while I was on my way to a conference in California, a TSA agent at the Birmingham Airport tried to take my tampons. He did not win that battle. To date no one has ever offered an explanation about why tampons pose any danger to flight crew or passengers. I mean what is the worst that could happen? That someone would tie them together and try to strangle the pilot or a passing stewardess? PUUUUULEASE. I think they just want women to bleed all over the seats so they can charge them with a crime involving weapons of biological terror or some crazy shit.

In 2004 on the return trip from Colombia, South America to the Miami Airport I was accosted by TSA and then Customs. Everyone in the group I had traveled with went through fine...no problems. We all said the same thing with regards to where we had been and what we had been doing. Everything was grand until they scanned my passport. Then I got hauled away to be questioned, have my bags searched and all the fun stuff that happens when you are a drug policy reformer in the good old USofA.

Customs is worse. I've had so many bad experiences with US and Canadian Customs I've lost count. On my first trip to Canada Canadian Customs held me in limbo for six hours because I was there to see my best friend Marc Emery. They got all the way to snapping on the white gloves when I finally snapped and said, "For God Sake I am from Alabama and I came up here to smoke Canadian pot not pollute the awesome genetics with Alabama ditch weed. There is no reason for me to bring ditch weed to Canada when y'all already have the best weed on earth. What would be the point?" And it worked because they let me pass into their fine country. Sometimes I think I should have never left.

I also had an infuriating experience crossing back into the US from Canada a few years later. Got into Canada with no problems. The border guard even asked me jokingly to bring him back a sample from the convention I was attending. Not so on the American side. This is the episode where the customs agents confiscated my laptop, searched the taxi cab I was riding in with a weed wand (in case I'd somehow convinced the driver to make the frame of the car out of hash) and made me miss my flight.

I am very glad someone is suing the DHS for overstepping their bounds and just plain harassment of airline passengers. It is long, long, long overdue.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

I Passed my Math Test

Yesterday I took my first math test. I thought I was going to take it last week but had one more lesson to get through before I could take it. The last chapter had to do with order of operations, which many readers will find absolutely elementary. I, however, found it a tad bit confusing and complicated. It did not help that my video teacher for that lesson in Blues Clues Math was a fucking Drill Sargent. Not kidding. Usually it is some fool dressed up like Einstein or Bill Nye the Science Guy...but on the most difficult lesson I have done to date it was a damn Drill Sargent yelling at me, the private, about Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally. Operation PEMDAS it was called. It was horrible. I didn't enlist in the fucking military I enrolled in college. I don't learn well when I am being yelled at and I hate authority figures, even if they are fake ones in an elementary school math program. WTF?

Anyway the Drill Sargent pissed me off so bad that I failed the quiz part of that chapter three times before I finally passed it and was able to move on to the actual test. And, despite this shitty little math program I am proud to announce I made an 88! I would have made a 100 but made a few simple mistakes. I'm really, really bad to transpose numbers when I am writing down math problems. It's almost like I have math dyslexia. Despite making such a good grade on the test I am far, far behind in math class and will have to spend extra time in there every day that the lab is open if I want to finish this course before the end of the term in late July. God I hate math....have I mentioned that?

Not too much more going on right now. All the animals are still good. No one has eaten anyone else and it is not uncommon to find the chickens and the cats curled up together on the steps at any given time during the day. The geese have been renamed 'The Goon Squad' as they patrol the yard and alert everyone to any possible danger. They are so pretty...solid white with bright blue eyes.

I have about decided to get rid of Sadie. She is just not fitting into our life real well. She has some issues. She is a really sweet dog when it comes to humans but lacks a great deal when it comes to other dogs. She drives Saul crazy. She is constantly aggravating and harassing him. I can never get a second to give him his usual amount of affection because she is always in the middle of it. Saul seems sad and that breaks my heart. I want things to be like they were before I got her. The only way to get there is to get rid of her. If any of my readers are interested in Sadie please email me or comment on this post. I'm asking $100 for Sadie and her huge wire crate. I've invested a great deal more in her so you are getting a hell of a deal. She is full blooded but has no papers. She can be registered if you get a vet to perform a DNA test to confirm her pedigree.

She will not be a good candidate for breeding because of her 'other dog aggression'. If you already have a dog then don't bother taking Sadie. It probably won't work out real well. If you take her then you must have a secure place to keep her. She can climb a fence in 2 seconds flat so a fence must either have a top on it or be so high that there is no way she can make it over. I will also require a vet reference. I don't want her to go to anyone who cannot afford to provide her with the proper care. I know it doesn't sound like I am really trying to get rid of her but I won't lie about her disposition and issues. It would be wrong to do that just to get her out of my hair. I want her next home to be her forever home. She is still young enough to bond with new owners but if I were less than honest about her then chances are whoever got her wouldn't keep her long and a German Shepherd who is shuffled around from house to house never does well. They form very strong attachments to their owners and suffer greatly when major change comes their way. So, if you are interested make sure you can provide me with a vet reference, you have a fenced yard, you have the means to provide her proper care, you don't have another dog, you understand that she has 'other dog aggression' issues, is not house broken (she's really an outside dog) and needs a home that can provide her with tons of love, affection and discipline. She will make a wonderful companion for anyone who can provide those basic things for her.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

What are you reading?

I love to read. It's like being transported into a different world when I get involved in good book. I just finished a book called "DMT: The Spirit Molecule" by Dr. Rick Strassman. Using DMT is as close to transporting yourself (literally) to another world as any human being will ever come.

DMT is short for dimethyltryptamine, a short lasting but incredibly powerful drug that is similar to LSD. DMT is found in all living things from mushrooms to fish to humans. Our DMT is secreted by the pineal gland, which resides in the center of our brain.

I've been fortunate enough to be able to do DMT a few times on trips to visit a friend in Canada. It has been 7 years since I last did some but the experience never leaves you. I like it more than I ever did LSD because tripping balls for 18 hours just ain't my cup of tea. 45 minutes though I can handle. I wish I could do it again. A couple times a year would be about right. However, it's highly illegal (and that's a shame!) and very hard to come by. I've never even seen it in the US and don't know anyone here personally who has ever used it besides me.

This book deals with the role DMT plays in birth, near-death, death and alien abduction experiences. Fascinating stuff! If this kind of thing interests you then pick up this book today.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Today's Roundup

I suck at details and organization. It's amazing how much I get done as an organizer, when apparently I can't even organize my fucking math notebook. Shocking!

Tomorrow I will have my first cumulative math test in Blues Clues Kindergarten Math Class. On the first day of class the instructor gave us a syllabus and printed instructions for how our notebook is to be put together. I misunderstood them instructions. Tomorrow I have the test and the notebook has to be handed in before I take the test. When I got home from school this afternoon I sat down to make sure I had everything required for inclusion and in the right order. HA! That did not exist. What did exist was a jumbled mess of notes that had not been separated into the five sections that make up a lesson. So, for about 5 hours I sat and re-wrote math notes. It was just fucking joyous! I wish I could do it again! Every day. For the rest of my life.

Oh well on to other more pleasant things...

I finally got up the courage to let my barnyard fowl forage in the yard for the first time yesterday. I had delayed that wonderful experience because of all the cats that call this 2.15 acres home...and that's a lot of cats. Anybody want one? Email me if you do and can come to Alex City and get it. Anyhoo, I was afraid that the cats would attack the chickens and possibly the geese because they are still smallish. I am glad to say that I was pleasantly surprised by how well the cats behaved. Not one attack...just some curious looks. However, as I learned today, the ducks have no qualms about attacking a cat and the geese have none about taking over the cats food supply. We have four new kittens and one of them decided today would be a good day to stalk ducks and geese. WRONG! I've never seen a duck get after anything other than some feed or a bug...but today one of my ducks flat got after a kitten who wandered a little too close. I had to rescue the kitty. I waited a minute or two as the duck was only scaring it and not actually hurting it. Good aversion therapy I say. Kitty relocated himself around back and I didn't see it in the vicinity of the birds for the rest of the day.

The geese are absolutely fearless. Today, on their second day out of captivity they wandered around back and ate all the cat food I had just put out for the cats. All. Of. It. With the silly cats standing there watching. And these are baby geese. Not a one of them over two months old. Already they rule the yard. I love them....they tie for best animal ever with the German Shepherd. If you have a little room and don't mind a little green shit in your yard then GET SOME. Best watchdogs you will ever own.

Lets see...what else?

Rep. Laura Hall lost the Senate District 7 election last night by a more than decent margin to Republican Paul Sanford. Most of my readers will know Laura Hall as the medical marijuana bill sponsor (and that's about all she was) up until this year. When she decided to run for Parker Griffith's open Senate seat she dropped the sensible, compassionate medical marijuana bill and sponsored a bill that would outlaw salvia, which most people have never even heard of, and apply the same penalties currently enjoyed by cannabis consumers. She couldn't have looked more like an illogical, compassionless and cold-hearted, stupid on crime white republican if she had tried. She'll get no sympathy from this corner where the prevailing belief is "Stand up for what you believe in or set your ass down." Sure, a Republican won (and I am no fan of the Republican's...not by a long shot) but really...what is the difference between a spineless Democrat who goes along to get along of a bill like medical marijuana and a Republican who doesn't support medical marijuana at all?

Answer: NADA....either way the bill doesn't move.

Oh, and WVNN's very own Rush Limbaugh aka Dale Jackson is in HOT WATER with the AL SOS and AG's office for using the official state seal to pull a prank that told Hall voters to vote on Wednesday and not Tuesday. Be more careful Dale...after your interview questioning King's sexuality you know he's got a hard-on for your behind.

Last news item...Miss California YOU'RE FIRED! according to Donald Trump for breach of contract.

Monday, June 08, 2009


I've taken a small break from blogging while I get adjusted to school and to spend time with my family while my son is home for the summer. It sure is just patently wonderful to have my whole crew assembled under one roof for a while. Yesterday afternoon we cut a huge watermelon and sat outside and ate nearly the entire thing. I can't remember when I have enjoyed something so simple so much.

School is going well. Math class still makes me feel as though I am mentally challenged but English class is awesome. We do a lot of writing and, as you all know, I love to write. The instructor is also very good, which makes things run smoothly. That is the class I have this morning. I am so glad I don't have math class first thing Monday morning. That is no way to start off a week.

The dogs are doing well. No, let me rephrase that. Saul, my number one admirer and best buddy is awesome as always. However, I am almost to the point where I hate Sadie. She has to be the worst dog ever and I've considered getting rid of her. I can't though. Saul loves her. I am really surprised by how things have turned out with her. When I got her I observed her very closely for temperament. I did not want an aggressive partner for Saul. He was plenty aggressive enough....or so I thought at the time. Sadie's parents were on premises and both were very sweet dogs. Neither of them barked at me or showed any signs of aggression whatsoever. I watched and played with all four puppies and all seemed well balanced. I chose Sadie because her markings, although not blue, were a closer match to Saul's than her siblings and because she was large for a seven week old puppy. Apparently I missed something in my observations because what I ended up with in Sadie is an extremely dominant, aggressive female.

She won't let Saul eat or drink water when she is out in the house. If he gets near her during feeding time, she attacks. I have to feed them separately. She is not food aggressive to humans....just Saul. When she is in her crate in the house and he gets near it she lunges and snaps. When they are outside in the fence together Sadie rides Saul like she is the male. I wish Saul would turn around and smack the bitch or bite her head or something...but he just takes it. When I go to get them out of the pen she starts a huge barking, growling, snarling, biting commotion with Saul. And he takes it. For a while I thought it was just her being a puppy and that he was only tolerating it because of that. But, now I am convinced that she will be the dominant one in their relationship and it truly hurts me to see my precious Saul submit in such a fashion. Ever since I got him nearly three years ago I thought he was aggressive and self-confident. What I see now is that he is an aggressive/submissive dog. So, I've got a real situation on my hands with Sadie and Saul. I've got to break Sadie from all her antics. I am the leader of this pack and eventually she will submit to me and learn that she is the Omega dog. I hope that happens soon.

The birds and goats are doing fabulous. Ervine has not gotten even an inch taller since we got him. At his tallest point which is his rear end he is less than a foot tall. He is the sweetest critter I've ever come across. He loves nothing more than to sit in a lap and nibble at your chin, investigate your pockets and receive affection. Fig, his female is a little more standoffish. What's hysterical is that she is a little taller than Ervine and he can't yet mate with her. He doesn't let that discourage him though.

My chickens are growing and I expect the hens to start laying in a few weeks. I am looking forward to farm fresh eggs.

The geese are meaner than hell....just as geese should be. I am convinced that they are direct descendants of the T-Rex or the raptor. They terrorize my chickens. I will separate them as soon as they are big enough to fend off the cats. Right now they are not quite big enough to do that, although they have grown a tremendous amount in three weeks. Once large enough to prevent being eaten by a cat they will patrol the yard and I'd bet money that even Sadie won't be bad enough to fool with a grown one...much less four, because when a flock of geese get on your ass it's like being in Jurassic Park. They lower their heads, honk and hiss (not kidding), stick out their necks, beat you with their huge wings and pinch plugs with their serrated bills. They are simply put...NO JOKE. And quite hysterical when they get after somebody. Some people I know are more scared of geese than they are of big dogs like Saul and Sadie. All one has to do to stop a goose is to pick it up and hold it's neck. However, most folks would never dream of picking up a 35 pound feathered dinosaur....they generally just run like hell in the opposite direction. Man I love geese! I'll try and post some pictures later today when I get back from school.

That's about all I have this morning.

What is everyone else doing?