Friday, July 31, 2009

State House Drug Dealer Plot Thickens

There is yet another story out today in the Montgomery Advertiser covering the State House Drug Dealer scandal and it is looking for all the world like the Clerk of the House, Greg Pappas, is up to his neck in the whole thing. Today he stopped talking to the newspaper.

Now, I don't know what powers the Clerk of the House has, but I'd wager that he doesn't have the power to cover this up all by himself. He doesn't have the power to make the ABI decide not to prosecute Lorenza Hooks after they saw him on video camera leaving the bag full of marijuana in an empty office. I'd bet he also doesn't have the power to make a Grand Jury return a 'no bill' when Lorenza Hooks was named as the shooter by the person who got shot. It could be that Greg Pappas was trying to help the guy keep his job, in which case, he would be a good guy in my book. For the record, I've only communicated with Greg Pappas on a couple of occasions when trying to set up a rally at the State House. He has a great radio announcer voice and seemed genuinely nice.

It appears, however, that Mr. Pappas violated some rules when he donated 80 of the 160 hours of leave time donated to Lorenza Hooks to keep him on the payroll even though he was suspended. According to the Montgomery Advertiser...
"Under Alabama Code 36-26-35.2, state employees are allowed to donate their accrued and unused annual sick or com­pensatory leave time to another state employee who has qualifi­ed for catastrophic sick leave or maternity leave."

There are other BIG, POWERFUL people involved in this....have to be.


Marijuana gold mine

I had the following letter published in the Anniston Star today.

Recently, there's been a lot of discussion about legalizing marijuana and the amount of tax revenue it would generate. In California, it's estimated that legal marijuana would bring $1.4 billion annually. I crunched the numbers to see how much Alabama might rake in if we also legalized marijuana.

The current number of marijuana users in Alabama is estimated to be 392,032, or 11.25 percent of the voting-age population (as of 2006.) Divide that by the current number of marijuana consumers in California, which is estimated at 4,183,136. These numbers are according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and Census data.

Alabama's 392,032 users is equivalent to 9.3 percent of California's marijuana-consuming population. Multiply 0.093 times $1.4 billion and you get $130.2 million.

Those figures do not include money that would be made by putting Alabama farmers back to work, businesses and jobs created that cater to the marijuana industry, tourism or the hundreds of millions saved in enforcement costs.

Considering that Alabama law enforcement arrested only 2.6 percent of marijuana consumers (10,272) in 2002 at a cost of untold millions of taxpayer dollars, I think it is safe to say that marijuana prohibition has failed. It's time Alabama considered legalizing and reaping the benefits of this untapped green goldmine.

Loretta Nall
Alexander City


Thursday, July 30, 2009

Montgomery D.A. Investigates State House Drug Dealer

There is a follow up today to the State House Drug Dealer story that first appeared in Sunday's Montgomery Advertiser. Today's story is about the Montgomery County D.A.'s office opening their own investigation into the matter.

Here's the money quote:

State Rep. Craig Ford, D-Gadsden, said that the investigation could have an impact on hiring and employment practices in the future, including whether there will be drug testing of House employees.

I say we drug test every elected official in the State House. Normally, I am against that kind of thing, but these are the jackasses who sit on their thrones and pass laws that put other people in prison for smoking marijuana, or using harder drugs, when many of them probably use drugs when no one is looking. They are the very first ones that should be tested and they should be tested every other day as long as they are elected. Every other day would be better than just random testing because most illicit substances have a 72 hour half-life in ones system.

After the Alabama Bureau of Investigation questioned Hooks and had the drugs analyzed, the agency determined that it did not have enough to prosecute.

And that is the thing that gets to me the most. How did the ABI come to that conclusion? Lorenza Hooks admitted to owning the bag and the video camera showed him putting the bag in the empty legislator's office. The ABI investigated and conducted tests to see if the marijuana was actually marijuana. It was. How does that equate to 'not enough evidence to prosecute'?

Someone commented on the original post here a few days ago that the only reason a person isn't charged when they are caught red handed is if they are an informant for the police or they are rolling on someone. I wonder if that is the case here?


Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Pot is an Anti-Cancer Drug

Lew Rockwell is running a great piece on one of the newest studies on the anti-cancer properties of Cannabis.

Go Read Pot is an Anti-Cancer Drug

Monday, July 27, 2009

More thoughts on the State House Drug Dealer

The more I think about the State House Drug Dealer story the stranger it gets.

When, in the entire history of Alabama, has a black man simply said "It's not mine" when caught with weed and gotten away with it? Never! And he was caught on video camera and we all know that video cameras don't lie. Lorenza Hooks even admitted the bag was his.

Who in the Alabama State House has the power to keep those files related to the marijuana out of his personnel file?

Who in the Alabama State House has the power to make the ABI come to the conclusion that there wasn't enough evidence to charge Mr. Hooks even though he was caught on video and admitted the bag containing the marijuana, scales and baggies was his?

Who in the Alabama State House has the power to make a grand jury return a 'no bill' in a shooting case where the victim identified Mr. Hooks as one of the shooters?

Will there be another investigation? If so, who will carry it out? Troy King? Oh please NO...he couldn't investigate his own asshole with a flash light and a mirror. I wouldn't trust the ABI to conduct another investigation considering the first conclusion they came to. Who does that leave? State Police? Would it be enough to get the feds involved? Seems to me since Rep. Alvin Holmes said his life was threatened that would be enough for federal involvement. About the only ones far enough removed from the good ole boy network in Montgomery to conduct an independent investigation would be the FBI.

This thing is HUGE y'all. HUGE! Call me a conspiracy theorist if you want but by the time this is over some big names in Alabama politics are going to take a very hard fall.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

State House Drug Inquiry Kept Under Wraps

UPDATE: The marijuana that looks like dog turds displayed with the story is not the marijuana that was actually found in the State House. Only a copy of a picture of the original marijuana was found and it wasn't suitable for newsprint.

There is an unbelievable follow-up to the Alabama State House Drug Dealer story that broke near the end of the legislative session in today's Montgomery Advertiser. I can't quite get my head around all of it.

Here's the skinny. A janitor placed a backpack with two pounds of marijuana inside former legislator Bobby Humphreys office in 2006. Humphreys found the backpack, opened it and discovered that it contained 2 pounds of pot, baggies and scales. He called security. Security looked at video tapes of people entering the State House, matched the bag to a janitor named Lorenza Hooks, who admitted the bag was his....but not the weed. Yeah right....I suppose we have evil, pot smoking, State House elves running loose in Montgomery, that plant marijuana in the backpacks of unsuspecting janitors

Hooks was never charged for the pot and continued as a State House employee for two more years until he was suspended after being named as a suspect in a shooting. Quality staff that guy!

But wait...there's more. After Hooks was named by the shooting victim as the guy who shot him a grand jury returned a 'no bill' on the case and turned him loose. Only then did the legislative council decide to fire him. The House legislative council did not know about the drugs until that meeting in April 2009. Hooks personnel file did not contain anything about the drugs and did not contain the pictures from the security camera even though House Security, administrative asst. to the clerk Don Ladner and Clerk Greg Pappas were all notified the day the drugs were found.

When Hooks was finally suspended after the shooting he was allowed to use his leave time to continue on the House payroll and to receive health benefits. According to a note in Hooks' personnel file, he had 336 sick leave hours and 229 annual leave hours. Three unidentified House employees also donated 160 hours of leave time to Hooks, which ultimately kept him on the House payroll until Dec. 1, 2008.

Wonder who those three House employees were?

You have to go and read the rest of this story.

My guess? Mr. Hooks was selling to some very high ranking officials inside the Alabama State House. People whose names we would all recognize. They covered for him. How else could this guy can haul two pounds of marijuana into the state house, get nailed but never charged for it? If it were anyone else they would have been charged with possession with intent to distribute and trafficking. How many young black men have been arrested, prosecuted and convicted of much lesser infractions involving marijuana in Montgomery?

I say we call all representatives and senators into a special session where they will be drug tested using a hair test, because urine tests for drugs are much too easy to manipulate. That will give us a baseline on who smokes pot, snorts coke, smokes meth or uses opiate based drugs. Then they can be charged, prosecuted and imprisoned like the 'common riff raff' that they rule from Goat Hill.

Oh....the weed in that picture up top looks like total bunk schwag. A commenter over on REDDIT asked "Ugh, is that dog shit in those baggies?" I wouldn't even smoke it. "It's Labrador man" ~Tommy Chong~ You'd think with that 62% pay increase the members of the House and Senate could afford the good stuff. Somebody needs to be prosecuted for making our state look worse than usual with that terrible representation of Alabama weed.

And here's another interesting tidbit...The day after Alvin Holmes took the mic on the State House floor and gave the low down on what was going on Speaker Seth Hammett (who is mentioned in the full story) announced he would not seek re-election. Coincidence?

I hope all of you who read this will commence writing LTE's at once. And please take a moment to vote this up on Reddit and DIGG

Saturday, July 25, 2009

CNN Poll: Should Marijuana Be Decriminalized?

Today's CNN Poll asks the question; Should marijuana be decriminalized? Currently 63% of those responding say YES, 20% say for medical use only and 17% say No. Go to CNN scroll down near the bottom, look for the poll on the right and cast your vote. I did watch the Anderson Cooper show last night and it was very well done.

Quick Vote
Should marijuana be decriminalized?

Friday, July 24, 2009

AL Prison Guard Gets 1 yr for Drug Trafficking

Birmingham News

A former state prison guard today was sentenced to a year in the Bibb County Jail after pleading guilty to promoting prison contraband, District Attorney Michael Jackson announced tonight.

During a routine search of guards at the Bibb Correctional Facility on Feb. 29, 2008, Kenya Morton, 27, of Marion, was caught with two bags of marijuana and hydrocodone. He was arrested. Morton resigned from the state department of corrections after he was charged, Jackson said in an interview.

This is unreal! Trafficking hydrocodone, or just possessing it without a prescription, is a felony. Generally the cops charge you with a felony for each individual pill in your possession. Its beyond comprehension that this guard only gets a year when the people he was trafficking drugs to are probably serving much longer sentences for the same thing.

AC 360: America's High

Tonight at 9 pm Central Anderson Cooper 360 will be discussing marijuana legalization in the US.

Don't Miss It

Can Alabama Govt. Get Any More Moronic?

We Live in a State Populated by MORONS!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Hillary Goes 'Guantanamo'

Uh...nice suit Hillary

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Medicinal or Illicit?

The Corner News in Auburn has published an article on the fight for medical marijuana in Alabama.

Read Medicinal or Illicit

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Legal Marijuana in Alabama = $130,000,000

NOTE: I've revised my figures from the original posting. In the updated figures I used census data from 2006. The earlier number was from 2002 data. is carrying the story about how much money California would make if they go through with legalizing and taxing marijuana for adult use. The California estimate given by their Board of Equalization is $1.4 BILLION dollars.

That's a bunch of cash. That got me wondering about how much money Alabama would rake in if we legalized and taxed the sale of marijuana to adults at the same rate California plans to. Here is what the numbers look like.

The number of +18 marijuana smokers in Alabama is estimated to be 392,032 or 11.25% of the voting age population. That number is obtained by looking at the SAMSHA chart on substance use in Alabama in the past month and multiplying 11.25% times the voting age population of Alabama as of 2006 which is 3,484,729.

Next we look at the SAMSHA chart for California and see that 16.97% of +18 age group used marijuana in the past month. We multiply that by California's voting age population which is 24,650,185 and get 4,183,136.

Next we divide

Current marijuana users in AL (392,032) divided by current CA users (4,183,136).

This gives 9.3 percent of CA's marijuana using population.

0.093 x $1.4 billion = $130 million (and change).

That is not counting the money that would be made by putting Alabama farmers back to work or cottage industry grows that would spring up across the state, or the money that would be generated in new business that cater to the marijuana industry like pipe shops/smoking accessories, munchie outlets, places to congregate and smoke (think vapor/smoke bars) an increase in fertilizer and other farm equipment sales, marketing, packaging. Not to mention the hundreds of millions of dollars we would save in enforcement costs, incarceration, courts, etc..etc

I'd like to be able to crunch the numbers on how much Alabama spends on enforcement costs but those aren't available. The ALDOC doesn't break down inmates convicted of drug offenses by drug. I hear the Sentencing Commission has those numbers but they won't come off them. We know that 30% of all Alabama inmates are incarcerated for drug offenses. If all of those were for marijuana we would save $117,000,000 on top of the $130,000,000 we'd make by legalizing it for adult use.

However, we do know the number of Alabamians arrested statewide for marijuana for the year 2002. That number is 10,272. That is only 2.6% of the total number of estimated marijuana consumers in Alabama. All those millions and millions of dollars pumped into arresting marijuana users and the cops can't even make a dent in it. 2.6% is not even a drop in the bucket.

The war on marijuana consumers is a SHAM! Let's end it.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

A Must Read Article on What Legal Marijuana Looks Like

MSNBC..California sprouts marijuana ‘green rush’

If you wonder about the amounts of money that could be both SAVED and MADE with a legal marijuana market then you have to read this. Any government that ignores this in favor of old wives tales and out right government lies about marijuana deserves to be cash starved and allowed to wither away to nothing.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Jeff. Co. Commission to keep Money from Sheriff's Budget

Jefferson County Circuit Court Judge Joseph Boohaker says he can't legally make the Jeff. Co. Commission give back the $5.1 million it cut from the Sheriff's budget.

The Sheriff Mike Hale has been in the BHAM News every day since the budget cut screaming


I hope this situation will emphasize that neither the sheriff nor any law enforcement entity needs to be involved in the issue of drug use to begin with. It isn't an issue that can be managed through the arbitrary use of law enforcement.

We've been at this for many decades now and we have only gotten a negative return on our investment in the drug war. More people use drugs every year, so locking up otherwise law abiding adults who have harmed no one, other than perhaps themselves, hasn't stopped other people from trying and using drugs. Locking up adults who use responsibly hasn't stopped kids from getting and using drugs. Generally they can get them easier than adults can. Locking up adults who use responsibly hasn't stopped the flow of drugs into this country, hasn't reduced prohibition related crime or made neighborhoods any safer.

So, why do we keep doing it? And why is the repeated failure of law enforcement to address this issue in any positive way used as a justification for more funding, or in this case used as justification for continued funding? And what is it about drugs that cause the uneducated (about drugs) to absolutely lose their minds and become completely unable to discuss the issue in a rational, sane way? No matter how many times you show them the facts which show that the drug war isn't working they get apoplectic with anger and fear.

UPDATE: While ABC3340 reported that the judge ruled he couldn't make the commission give the money back to the sheriff the BHAM News is reporting just the opposite. I wonder which report is actually the judges ruling?

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

California: Legal Pot Would Rake in $1.4 BILLION

Associated Press

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - California tax officials say a state proposal to tax and regulate marijuana like alcohol would generate nearly $1.4 billion in revenue.

A State Board of Equalization report released Wednesday estimates marijuana retail sales would bring $990 million from a $50-per-ounce fee and $392 million in sales taxes.

As the bill is written, the state could not begin collecting taxes under the bill until the federal government legalizes marijuana.

A spokesman says Ammiano,the bill sponsor, plans to amend the bill to remove that provision.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

King Cockfight

I've been meaning to get a link up to this new Alabama political satire blog since I stumbled across it a few days ago.

King Cockfight is some of the funniest shit! EVER! South Park takes a back seat to whoever the comedic genius is writing this blog.You must go read, bookmark and add a link to your own site if you have one.

Favorite posts so far....

Pimp My Stache
Those damn campaign sign suggestions made me HOWL!

Carrion Call

Bury me with it

And many more. Please, if you like to laugh go read this spectacular hilarity.
Long Live King Cockfight!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Government not best choice

Montgomery Advertiser

Mr. Winkler's letter "Legalize pot? Still a bad idea" shows a lack of understanding on how basic economics and the free market works. Allowing the government to act as a supplier is his first mistake.

Government cannot supply anything as well as a private company can, and if it does, it's at a much higher cost and lower quality. By his own admission, the feds can't grow marijuana that anyone is interested in purchasing because it's so bad.

If Mr. Winkler were forced to consume government cheese, visit a VA hospital, seek tax advice from the IRS or wait on FEMA to help in a crisis, he would certainly seek help elsewhere. Why doesn't he let medical marijuana patients do the same?
Mark Bodenhausen


Saturday, July 11, 2009

'WAH' I can't fight the drug war

In Jefferson County AL. the sheriff's budget was slashed by 33%, as were the budgets of all county departments because the Birmingham City Council and the Jeff. Co. Commission have bankrupted the entire county. Of course the Sheriff is bringing out his drug war guns to frighten the public by saying he will no longer have the deputies needed to take down those 'evil drug houses'. I say that is spectacular news. Today a narcotics commander is testifying at a hearing to try and get back the money cut from the budget.

Why does anyone listen to the narcotics commander? If the drug war were working there would be no need for a narcotics division of the sheriff's department. I heard Sheriff Hale on the radio a couple days ago huffing and puffing about how he would not be able to continue to take out drug houses if his budget was cut. So what? When one drug house is taken out three more take its place and then fighting starts over the new territory among rival drug dealers. The cops and the drug dealers are on the same side. The cops support prohibition because it creates jobs for them. The dealers support prohibition because it creates jobs and massive amounts of lucrative cash for them. Cops and dealers are like the church and the devil. Neither could survive without the other.

The war on drugs is an abject failure. It has never met one stated objective. It has not reduced the flow of drugs into this country. It has not kept drugs out of the hands of kids, and has in fact made it easier for kids to get them because drug dealers don't ask for ID. It has not decreased the purity of drugs. It has not made drugs impossible to acquire for anyone wishing to purchase them. And it certainly hasn't made communities any safer.

Under those circumstances why would anyone in their right mind continue to support it when it costs hundreds of millions of dollars in Alabama and about 40 billion or so yearly on the national level and yet all we get is a negative return on the investment?

Marijuana: Treat Addiction as Public Health Issue

Birmingham News

Marijuana: Treat addiction as public-health issue

I read with great interest the recent article "The marijuana debate." I found it curious that all of the professional experts who spoke out against legalizing and regulating marijuana earn their living off of the war on drugs. Since half of those arrested in Alabama on drug charges are arrested for marijuana offenses, if it were legalized, we might need the drug warriors only half as much.

These "experts" told a slew of lies and half-truths they cannot back up. I was particularly offended by Jason Murray's comments about Europe. He said: "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."

In my experience, European cities, including Amsterdam, can't hold a candle to Washington, Atlanta and even Birmingham when it comes to indigent, drug-addicted people living on the streets.

Prohibition and prisons don't cure addiction. Many countries around the world realize this and are taking on addiction as a public-health issue, not a law enforcement issue. How enlightened!

John Jenkins

Not sure how this letter wound up in the BHAM News. The article it was responding to was in the Talladega Daily Home. No matter, its a great letter. Thank you John Jenkins!

Friday, July 10, 2009

"I'm never having kids"

Yesterday we had the rare experience of watching a cat give birth to a kitten. While some folks might find that gross, I found it fascinating to watch. I knew the cat was due soon but didn't know it would be yesterday. She was acting weird in the morning. Meowing really loudly and trying to get me to follow her to wherever her cozy nest was.

About noon I looked out the back door and saw her laying there with the other kittens. She was breathing hard and looked like she couldn't get comfortable. Then she started bearing down and I saw a little bit of kitten emerge. It was coming out feet first with its claws extended. OUCH!

I called my daughter Bell so that she could watch this natural wonder. We sat by mama cat, rubbed her tummy and watched as bit by bit the little kitty was born. When it was time for the head to come out mama cat was yowling pretty loud and pushing like any human mother to give birth. Finally the baby was born and mama cat ate the placenta like cats are supposed to do.

I asked Bell what she thought after watching that and she said, "I've always said I am never having kids and now, seriously, I know I am never having kids." I told her, "You don't have to eat the placenta." She said, "I don't care I'm still never having kids."

Anti-marijuana claims dubious

Another great letter from my close friend and fellow reformer Dawn Palmer. Way to go Dawn!

Montgomery Advertiser

Anti-marijuana claims dubious

July 10, 2009

The Food and Drug Administration and the Drug Enforcement Agency agree that smoked marijuana has no medicinal value, yet they have approved a pharmaceutical pill, Marinol, derived from the active ingredient in marijuana.

According to the DEA's Web site, it even helped facilitate the research for Marinol. Since the DEA's mission is to enforce the controlled substances laws and regulations, why would it be facilitating research on a drug it considers illegal with no medicinal value?

The DEA said there are no FDA-approved medications that are smoked. Smoking is a poor delivery system for medicine. However, smoking marijuana is not the only delivery system that can be used. It can be made into tea, cooked in a variety of foods and now there is a vaporizer that takes most of the harmful carcinogens out.

The FDA doesn't approve of smoking opium either, so it has a pharmaceutical drug derived from opium called morphine. However, once morphine is prescribed and the patient gets it home, the FDA has no control over what type of delivery system the patient uses. He could snort it or inject it intravenously. I think the FDA and the DEA are insulting our intelligence with their excuses about why marijuana can't be approved for medicine.

Dawn Palmer

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Jeff. Co. may release all non-violent prisoners

Jefferson County judges to be asked to release non-violent inmates from county jails

Posted by Barnett Wright -- Birmingham News July 07, 2009 5:41 PM

Criminal judges in Jefferson County will be asked to release non-violent inmates from the County Jail to help relieve the county's financial crisis, the county's presiding judge said this afternoon.

Unlike most I actually consider this good news. Most of the non-violent people in jail in any county in Alabama are there for drug offenses. They should never have been sent to jail to begin with. If the county can see the monetary benefit of minding their own damn business when it comes to non-violent drug users perhaps they will refrain from warehousing them again after the economy turns around. That the county is about to release them says to me they should never have been locked up in the first place.

Aside from drug offenders you have your petty thieves who stole a $50 VCR. Why are taxpayers made to spend thousands and thousands of dollars to send a petty thief to jail over a $50 VCR? Why not make the thief shovel dung somewhere and pay restitution and be put on probation?

Why are taxpayers made to pay those same thousands and thousands of dollars to lock up prostitutes who haven't stolen anything and are, whether people want to admit it or not, making their own way in the world without government assistance? Why do we pay for them to go to jail when all of the real prostitutes hold elected office in Montgomery, Washington DC and let's not forget the Birmingham City Council. These latter prostitutes suck at the government teat, so calling them prostitutes is an offense to prostitutes. The latter should be in jail. I think we'd all gladly pay for that.

Monday, July 06, 2009

Anniston Star Editorial on Artur Davis & Marijuana

The Anniston Star website has been down and I missed this earlier today. Many thanks to BW for sending it.

Getting Unwanted Information

by The Anniston Star Editorial Board

Give some credit to Alabama gubernatorial candidate and U.S. Rep. Artur Davis. On his campaign Web site, he recently asked residents to post ideas about how to improve the state and then comment and vote on those they thought were most important.

However, Davis should have remembered why kindergarten teachers know never to ask a bunch of 5-year-olds if they have any questions. As sure as you do, one will ask, "why is the sky blue?" Another will ask "why do dogs chase cats?" And a third will ask, "can I go to the bathroom?" Open the floor and folks will ask anything.

In Davis' case, they did.

The issue that topped the online list of comments and votes favored the legalization of marijuana in Alabama.

Seeing this, Davis (who opposes legalization) should have thanked those who supported the idea, reiterated his opposition and used the opportunity to explain why he is taking that stand.

But he didn't. Instead, he thanked the more than 2,300 people who voted for the 80 different ideas, didn't mention the top vote-getter and took down the site.

Loretta Nall, who contributed the idea, was outraged. You may remember Nall, who ran as an independent gubernatorial candidate in 2006 and whose "busty" picture caught the eye of some dedicated followers of Alabama politics. She wanted to legalize marijuana then and wants to legalize it now.

Nall's contribution to Davis's Web site received more votes than any other issue (reportedly 118). However, if all the votes on suggestions relating to rewriting Alabama's antiquated state Constitution were tallied, constitutional reform — and not legalizing marijuana — would have come in first.

But that is not the point.

Candidate Davis missed a golden opportunity to underscore his willingness to listen to different ideas and highlight his determination to reject those that he does not consider good for the state and its people.

It's a lesson to remember for the coming campaign.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

For The Birds

I haven't posted any garden or bird pictures in a while. There won't be any garden pictures this year. Our garden has not done well. About all we are getting are small, knotty tomatoes. They taste good but it takes two for a single sandwich. I guess all the rain in May had something to do with it.

The birds, however, are thriving. I haven't lost a single one this year to sickness or predator. Since late May we have been allowing them to free range during the day. They go back in the chicken/duck/goose house when the sun goes down. I love to sit and watch them when I have time. They are highly amusing and add bright spots of color to the yard.

The big red hens and the barred rock hen will be laying any day now. I can't wait for some farm fresh eggs. The geese are awesome. They are equivalent to two-legged cows and graze from sun up to sun down. The goose in the first picture is very sweet-natured. She will get very close to you and settle down and sleep. She occasionally gets close enough to be petted and picked up.

Here are some recent pictures.

Friday, July 03, 2009

Round Up

A number of different websites provided coverage of the Artur Davis Marijuana story. I want to give them a shout out here and say thanks.

The Birmingham Libertarian Examiner

Artur Davis wants your ideas? Locust Fork News and Journal

DC Political Report
It Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time: Democratic gubernatorial candidate Artur E. Davis (D-AL) used his campaign website to solicit ideas on how to improve Alabama. But former Libertarian gubernatorial candidate Loretta Nall (I-AL) used the opportunity to organize efforts to make legalization of marijuana use the most popular suggestion.

I find it very amusing the insinuation that I somehow organized efforts to 'hijack' the idea poll. There were a total of 2300 votes cast in that poll. Marijuana was at at the top and was NOT voted down by others casting votes for different issues. That says it is a popular idea among voters. I did what was asked by the Davis campaign and submitted an idea. I announced that the poll was open on my blog, as did other Alabama blogs, and encouraged my readers in Alabama to go and vote. That is in no way hijacking the poll. That's called PARTICIPATION. Marijuana won. If they don't like that TOUGH. It is what it is. Many voters understand the absurdity of marijuana prohibition and they voiced their opinion. That's how polls work. If the Davis campaign didn't really want ideas from the voting public then they should have created their own list and had people vote their ideas up or down. Don't want to know what the voters think? Then don't ask them.

British Sieze Mung Beans in Afghanistan

Opium crop haul just a hill of beans, admits MoD

* Jon Boone in Kabul
*, Tuesday 30 June 2009 22.30 BST

It was just the sort of good news the British military in Helmand needed. Soldiers engaged in Operation Panther's Claw, the huge assault against insurgent strongholds last week, had discovered a record-breaking haul of more than 1.3 tonnes of poppy seeds, destined to become part of the opium crop that generates $400m (£243m) a year for the Taliban.

Ministry of Defence officials more used to dealing with negative stories about the British operation in southern Afghanistan swung into action to extract the maximum benefit from this unexpected PR coup.

A press release hailed the success of the offensive, and armoured vehicles were hastily laid on to allow the media, including the Guardian, to visit the site where the seizure was made, an abandoned market and petrol station that was still coming under sustained enemy fire when the reporters arrived.

Major Rupert Whitelegge, the commander of the company in charge of the area, tugged at one of the enormously heavy white sacks.

"They are definitely poppy seeds," he said emphatically.

Except they weren't. Analysis of a sample carried out by the UN's Food and Agriculture Organisation in Kabul for the Guardian has revealed that the soldiers had captured nothing more than a giant pile of mung beans, a staple pulse eaten in curries across Afghanistan.

Embarrassed British officials have now admitted that their triumph has turned sour and have promised to return the legal crop to its rightful owner.

Dr Samuel Kugbei, the chief FAO technical adviser in the Afghan capital, said: "We have been waiting all day to see these dangerous materials brought from Helmand and now we see that they are just mung beans!"

The pulses also fooled Colonel General Khodaidad, Afghanistan's minister of counter-narcotics, even though the spherical black beans, about the size of small ball bearings, looked nothing like poppy seeds. When shown the mung beans by the Guardian, he said they were a strain of "super poppy".

The beans were introduced into Afghanistan about 10 years ago and have been embraced by farmers as a way of growing a second crop during the year. They are also delicious with rice, Kugbei noted.

If indeed the sacks did contain 1.3 tonnes of mung beans, then they would have a street value of $1,300 – not much, but a major blow to any farmer if the British had followed procedures and destroyed the beans.

Taxing Marijuana Potential Alternative

My close friend and champion letter writer Dawn Palmer had a letter published in today's Montgomery Advertiser in response to one from Frank Winkler who was responding to me. Mr. Frank Winkler is the Executive Director of SAYNO Inc. an anti-drug group that focuses on youth. Funny, he never mentions that in his letters to the editor. Also funny, if prohibition were working his group would have no reason to exist. In that sense he is about as trustworthy as the cops and Sharon the bail bonds person in Talladega when it comes to anything prohibition related. Without prohibition they would have no jobs. Therefore you can believe nothing they say.

Y'all go leave a comment on Dawn's letter and speak a word or two at Sharon (she is really in need of psychotherapy...thinks pot is responsible for her father killing her mother then himself and claims he had no other issues before he smoked taht 'evil joint') over on the Talladega forums. Then write your own letters. Keep the momentum building folks. That's how we will win!!


Montgomery Advertiser Opinion

Taxing marijuana potential alternative

A letter to the Montgomery Advertiser said that Loretta Nall threatened all politicians with financial downfall if they didn't support her platform of legalizing marijuana. She didn't threaten any politicians; she merely suggested legalizing, regulating and taxing marijuana as a potential financial alternative, just like several statesmen have suggested.

The letter said that marijuana was the No. 1 drug of choice requiring treatment at the Montgomery Addiction Program. Marijuana is the most-used illegal drug, so it only stands to reason that marijuana would be the No. 1 drug requiring treatment in a court-mandated program like the Montgomery's Addiction Program.

As for the statement about us being better off wondering if the bus driver, pilot, etc., was puffing on a legal substance, how do we know if he or she isn't under the influence of a legal prescription drug?

Dawn Palmer

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Passing the Collection Plate

I rarely send out requests for donations for Compassionate Care or the other drug policy work that I and my group do. I know times are really hard for everybody and I always try and provide all the supplies we need for meetings and I use all the grant money for travel, printed materials, utilities and costs to keep the office going. ACC's funds are $27.19 as we speak and some bills are coming due in a few days. If any of you have a few dollars to contribute please do so at the button below.

ACC needs to be able to rise up and meet every opportunity head on to advance our cause. That takes money. Look at what we accomplished last week. It was AMAZING! A front page article on the legalization debate and Statewide/National press on Artur Davis trying to ignore our voice.

Help us keep up that level of pushing back at our enemies by making a contribution of any size at this link.

Loretta Nall

Loretta Nall on the NORML Podcast

I sat down with Russ Bellville yesterday evening to fill him in on Artur Davis ignoring the will of voters in his Open Ideas poll for the NORML podcast.

You can listen HERE