I find it more than a little disturbing that the cannabis industry has continued to ignore the rights of the people they are trying to market their products to.
While Wall Street is flush with new money and new ticker symbols appearing on American stock exchanges, and new states opening the doors to “legalization”, you would think that someone out there would think it might be a good idea to first make sure the customers you serve will not be subject to police abuse.
However, in many states, even smaller “mom & pop” supported lobby organizations that have sprung up have not pushed for ending harassment, arrests and forfeitures against their potential customers.
For instance, Washington State passed the first medical cannabis legislation in 1979. Again in 1998, with adult use passing in 2012.
However, we still have no arrest and forfeiture protection for the majority of patients.
Adults are still harassed, imprisoned or getting their property seized for having more than an ounce or trying to grow their own.
Not a single bill has ever come out of the industry groups to fix this.
And that’s in a state that “legalized”.
Maybe those of you in the industry will take this more seriously now if you read it for yourself on NBC News, because you sure have been good at marginalizing, gaslighting and ridiculing your potential customers when we tell you this stuff.
But have they backed legislation to first end the Drug War abuse? Not to our knowledge. Considering Amazon is headquartered in our state, you’d think that might be a priority now that they have an eye on this market.
Customer satisfaction on this doesn’t end with the sale. It should begin with ending the Drug War on REAL PEOPLE FIRST.
STOP PUTTING THE CART BEFORE THE HORSE!
More stories of consumers getting harassed in the news lately:
“Nah, man, the government will never legalize drugs in America. The first reason they will never legalize drugs in America is because the government makes way too much money putting our brothers and sisters in fucking jail. That’s first of all. The second reason the government will never legalize drugs in America is because, God forbid, some brown people got wealthy. Can’t have that. ‘Cause drugs come from brown countries. We can’t have wealthy brown people. There are no wealthy black — or brown — people in America. We got some rich ones, we don’t got no fucking wealth. People go, ‘what’s the difference?’ Here’s the difference: Shaq is rich. The white man that signs his check is wealthy. ‘Here you go, Shaq! Go buy yourself a bouncing car! Bling-bling!’ I’m not talking ’bout rich, I’m talking ’bout wealth… One of the number one rules when it comes to acquiring wealth goes like this: The rule is, only the white man can profit from pain. So if you’re black or brown, you can make money in America, you can prosper in America, you can get rich in America, but whatever you decide to do, it better be positive. ‘Cause if one person is harmed, you will be destroyed… White man makes alcohol. Tastes great, I love it, you love it, we all love it. Kills motherfuckers every single day. Okay? Some of y’all ain’t even make it home tonight ’cause of alcohol… But it’s all right ’cause it’s all white. White man makes cigarettes, the most dangerous product known to man. Cigarettes are so fucking dangerous, it kills motherfuckers that don’t smoke… But it’s all right ’cause it’s all white. Could you imagine if the Philip Morris family was a bunch of jheri-curled niggers from Mississippi? Do you know how illegal a pack of cigarettes would be? You would get sixty years just for a carton of Newports!” –Chris Rock, from the 2004 HBO comedy special, “Never Scared”.
I can relate. I’ve been called “the Tiger Woods of science fiction” by Professor Sam E. Anderson (author of Black Holocaust for Beginners) as well as “the black Rod Serling” — not necessarily as flattery, but as dire warning, for as Serling himself once wisely said…
“Television, like its big sister, the motion picture, has been guilty of the sin of omission… Hungry for talent, desperate for the so-called ‘new face,’ constantly searching for a transfusion of new blood, it has overlooked a source of wondrous talent that resides under its nose. This is the Negro actor.” –The Twilight Zone Companion
“Overlooked” is an all too polite way of saying “passed over.”
I was asked to comment on systemic discrimination insofar as hemp/marijuana because I know for a fact it’s the case in science fiction/fantasy, so…
Let’s start with the basics: First, “white privilege” simply means the odds are on your side.
However harsh your lives may have been, Caucasians, the odds are, anyone resembling Halle Berry or Lenny Kravitz will have had it far, far worse and God help you if yo’ ass resembles Tracy Chapman or Yaphet Kotto (there’s also such a thing as “lightskinned privilege” amongst blacks).
Likewise, the term “black tax” is similar in meaning to “the glass ceiling,” whereby, again, the odds are you will have worked harder than your pale, male rivals in order to prevail.
Second, the price of liberty is eternal vigilance because history tends to repeat itself whenever it’s forgotten, so don’t, as in, do not wait for some “Age of Aquarius” moment whereby color will forever be barred from conversation.
If you’d never tell a survivor of World War II’s Jewish Holocaust to “let it go,” then refrain from telling that to African Americans. Silence slows (or halts) the solving of societal problems, and countless lives are on the line, so no one cares how embarrassing certain subjects are to discuss
In order words, black lives matter more than white feelings — so much more, it’s now become all-important to remember that merely being accused of racism is insignificant next to actually suffering from it.
Finally, Negrophobia is the fear of ethnic miscegenation (what accounts for, say, Obama looking more like his black parent than his white one) or of being surrounded by dark skinned Humans who’re (presumably) harboring revenge for past atrocities.
Negrophobia is in fact a form of criminal insanity (as I explain in my lectures, the Joker will kill over a joke, the Cracker will kill over a skin) whether or not it’s actually acted upon (in either event, its protected by the First Amendment just as the Flat Earth Society, the nonsense of Alex Jones, et cetera) and it manifests itself in a variety of ways.
In my case, Negrophobia assumes this form…
“[White supremacist Milo] Yiannopoulos bragged about how rudely he behaved to the ‘top execs’ and was as surprised as anyone when he landed a reportedly large advance of $250,000, according to The Hollywood Reporter, which broke news of the deal: ‘I met with top execs at Simon & Schuster earlier in the year and spent half an hour trying to shock them with lewd jokes and outrageous opinions. I thought they were goingto have me escorted from the building — but instead they offered me a wheelbarrow full of money.'” –Jenny Pierson, AlterNet, January 4th, 2017.
M E A N W H I L E . . .
“Because Saab Lofton’s A.D. is one of the most exciting books to emerge from a young black writer in years, its obscurity is all the more shameful.” –Tony Norman, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, December 16th, 1997
ALL THE MORE SHAMEFUL
“Lofton’s novel deserves a far broader audience than it has accumulated thus far.” –Darius James, New York Press, November 12th, 1997
DESERVES A FAR BROADER AUDIENCE
“It’s been hard to ignore the mounting evidence — the friends who were pushed out of jobs… even if they were eminently overqualified … Most of all, it’s the small moments of discrimination that are so insidious, they’re hard to pinpoint. In my career, I’ve been excluded from key projects that were given to white women… often made fun of and called ‘defensive’ and ‘difficult to work with’ by white men and women.” –Ruchika Tulshyan, The Seattle Times, September 20th, 2018
So a known enabler of the alt right tried to shock publishing executives with “lewd jokes” and was given “a wheelbarrow full of money” while my black ass is sleeping in the garage of a house with NO plumbing/electricity for the second winter in a row. The odds are, someone as pale skinned as Milo will be given quarter of a million dollar advances even as I’m constantly told to “tone it down” by the civility-obsessed. It’s the system’s fault; it’s bigger than any one man.
And there’s no, as in, less than negative zero reason to assume the hemp/marijuana dynamic is supposedly free of such irrational duplicity.
In anything, I’ve been informed recently of at least one phenomenon whites and blacks will perceive very differently: Cannabis start-ups employing former policemen as frequently as security firms?!
Presumably this sick practice is designed to “confer legitimacy” upon cannabis businesses; to “assuage community concerns” whenever new locations are opened, which sadly places white feelings over black lives once again…
“I’m bothered by the fact that the government’s current plan is to bar people with pot convictions from participating in the huge marijuana economy that is now emerging. We have the expertise. We know how to grow high-quality plants. We have the distribution networks. The government’s policy is unfair, punitive and discriminatory. If it really believed in amnesty*, it would let people with non-violent records for possession lead the way … The government has turned the pot economy over to the people who lost the drug war: the cops and politicians who were responsible for destroying so many lives by turning pot smokers into criminals. They’ve been given the keys to the vault. They’ll be profiting from the same activities they used to prosecute. The hypocrisy is staggering … Amnesty* is not enough. It should include an apology for ruining the lives of hundreds of thousands of people for no legitimate reason. They should be asking us to forgive them.” –Rosie Rowbotham, a former producer at CBC Radio, The Guardian (UK), June 6th, 2018
Rather turn the pot economy over to those “responsible for destroying so many lives” than turn it over to a bunch of niggers, huh?
Only the white man can profit from pain.
Saab Lofton was born in South Central Los Angeles, raised on the road as a “military brat” and graduated from Olympia, Washington’s Evergreen College. He’s also a cartoonist, an award-winning journalist as well as a novelist — in fact, his first novel (A.D., 1995, III Publishing) was endorsed by Professor Howard Zinn and it’s responsible for a Republican (Jon Hatchell from Alexandria, Virginia) becoming a socialist … As an “internet troll,” he personally led the charge to save Uganda’s LGBT community from certain death (thus saving half a million lives), fought past a fleet of libertarians in order to cattle prod the FCC into voting for net neutrality in 2015 and cyberstalked white supremacists since then until the Ku Klux Klan itself lost over fifty subsidiaries, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center … A documentary based on him — Saab Lofton: The Movie — is available on YouTube.
When i502 was first implemented years ago, licensed producers were allowed a very limited window for new licensees to obtain genetics, basically a 15 day window where the state promised to “look the other way” and allow for i502 producers to obtain their genetics, basically by any means. Once that window closed, the only way for a licensee to obtain a new strain would be finding them from other producers.
That window is now completely closed.
So now even legislators are starting to notice. I had a meeting with one not long ago who told me they have not smoked in many years, but went and purchased some “top shelf strains”. In their own words: “I barely felt anything. This is not what pot used to be like even 3-4 years ago.”
Time to open the window. In fact, break the damn window.
I warned the WSLCB and legislators in detail, both in writing and in person, about this back in 2013 that closing access to new genetics would cause problems. Creating a new license specific to breeding seeds and having an open window for these breeders to obtain genetics from anywhere in the world could help alleviate this problem.
By the way, homegrowers would love to help breed. Home horticulturists have contributed many new varieties of plants of all kinds throughout history. Many flowers, trees and shrubs that we see in garden nurseries were first developed by hard core gardening geeks and nerds at home.
We need access to the worldwide seed market to keep the genetics strong!
“B. Encouraging States to Adopt Specific Laws and Policies Using Financial Carrots and Sticks
Because states and localities have not always shown an eagerness to submit to the control of federal agencies, the federal government has found it necessary to entice their cooperation. The drug task forces encourage participation in two ways. First, they offer state and local agents the opportunity to work with federal agents on equal terms, thereby elevating the status of state and local agents. Thus, state and local criminal justice personnel are less likely to resent the federal presence. Second, the federal government recognizes that generous remuneration decreases power struggles. The federal anti-drug effort makes substantial sums available to state and local governments following the federal plan. If the President’s 1995 budget request is fully funded, state and local governments will receive roughly $811million. The timing of the drive for federalization has coincided with a period of economic hardship in most states. By offering financial incentives, the federal government has effectively dismantled potential political opposition to its growing influence over state and local policy making. To the contrary, state and local agencies consider themselves the beneficiaries of federal largess. To maximize their intake of federal dollars, state and local agencies seek ways to become involved in federal investigations.
The expansion of federal influence also coincides with a self-perpetuating cycle of political rhetoric that has fed a public frenzy over drug crimes. In turn, public opinion has justified even stronger rhetoric and broader policies. In this environment, any dissent from proposals for broader law enforcement efforts and more severe penalties is widely viewed as political suicide. Neither state nor federal leaders dare come forward with objections, even if the objections are based on federalism concerns rather than substantive policy concerns. Issues of federalism give way under the weight of public fear of crime and the states’ needs for economic aid.”
Still influencing policy to this day. Here are links to the current version of the WA state bill, HB 1095 that would allow sick kids to use nonsmokable cannabis medication in schools. It was first introduced in 2017.
Wonder how local law enforcement can selectively enforce criminal activity and bypass state drug laws to allow corrupt individuals to get what amounts to more rights than those who obey the law, without any penalty to the officer or the criminals?
For instance, in Washington State, there is no penalty for not determining whether a person is compliant with the medical use chapter, so the law enforcement officer, usually on a local state drug task force team, seizes the cannabis even though RCW 69.51A.040 requires a threshold determination on whether they are compliant or not compliant with the medical marijuana chapter (which still exists) before the plants are seized: http://app.leg.wa.gov/RCW/default.aspx?cite=69.51A.040
Multi-jurisdictional Drug Task Force and local law enforcment have routinely violated this state statute because the statute contains no state penal or financial penalty provision. A Multi-jurisdictional officer is both a state and federal law enforcement officer, who has no penalty for ignoring state cannabis and other laws… https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/granule/FR-1997-10-08/97-26660
Their number one tool is the use of criminal informants, which can be a lucrative way for greedy individual’s to take advantage of people using a social, mild psychoactive substance. Especially disadvantaged patients, young and new consumers. You just infiltrate the consumer and grower groups online and smoke pot with them for awhile to gain your trust. Think you are immune to that kind of manipulation over time, maybe even years, especially with them using modernized surveillance technology?
Good guidance checklist for future legislative proposals if you can’t convince your state legislators to remove cannabis from your state’s controlled substances act, and you can’t raise enough funds to get an initiative to do it, or file a lawsuit:
1. Set reasonable boundaries for ultimate user possession amounts on plant counts or plant canopy for all adults, respective of established common home horticultural practices for personal use. If you don’t know what an ultimate user is, you should. See comments below. Do it openly and allow ALL stakeholders to participate in the process. Limit home production of concentrates to noncombustable methods. Patient limits should be established by their health care providers as needed to treat their own condition(s) if a minor or if adult limits are not enough.
2. Make sure your limits in the seizures and forfeiture statute are triggered when over the legal possession statute limits, for both individuals and state licensed businesses. A forfeiture limit that is less than the legal amount is a potential for law enforcement abuse with the word of a corrupt paid informant when there is no penalty for their action. Any limit that is lower risks people to losing out to police working with corrupt, paid informants. Any exemption, or promise of a hearing is easily rendered useless without hiring expensive legal help. Especially when they don’t notify you when getting a search warrant from a judge without you being able to face your accusers.
3. Do not create new seizure and forfeiture hearings specifically for cannabis. Set reasonable penalties on state law enforcement officers that are ignoring state cannabis laws instead. Don’t make it easy for prohibition minded federal and state prosecutors that work with the Multi-jurisdictional teams. It creates a mess of counties all running different precedents across the state. With all these and other law enforcement loopholes, it becomes easy to delay or set up otherwise innocent people who don’t know their rights. The main issue is the failure include the penalty on officers failing to follow state law back when the law was first created.
4. Do not create laws that criminalize someone for a good harvest, or for accidental or even intentional seeding of the crop. And don’t penalize the kids beyond confiscating it and offering treatment or education instead of incarceration!
5. De-monetize corrupt paid informants by eliminating financial rewards if amounts seized is not more than personal holding limits, with severe repercussions for targeting patients.
6. Prioritize all commercial industry access around a process similar to organic that reflects established cannabis consumer habits, employs a “get to know your grower” attitude, including opportunities to “try before you buy” quality assurance standard. No more plastic containers, please!
7. Don’t make patient access to doctors, products or plants any more complicated than it needs to be. Patients are already suffering enough. Make it tax free, easy and safely available over the counter in privacy with nothing more than a prescription like document for minors to be able to posses and use, or allow for personal adult plant and possession limits to be increased if medically necessary.
8. Be respective of the connoisseur and social and relaxation qualities for adult uses, including gifting of cannabis plants, seeds and clones in a manner that beer and wine connoisseurs, specialized crafters and home gardeners currently enjoy.
9. Allow for the population to voluntarily participate in medical and scientific study on the plant and all its uses and potential so it complies with the spirit of international drug treaties the Controlled Substances Acts were modeled on.
10. Run separate legislation for greater reform for the entire seizure and forfeiture process. The issue is much bigger than just cannabis. Same thing for reforming, if not completely disbanding the multi-jurisdiction drug task forces.
11. Industrial hemp should be exempted from controls so it complies with the spirit of those treaties as well.
12. NO MORE MONOPOLY SCHEMES
We should not be having to jump through hoops like this for our constitutional right to a plant! If you disagree with any point here, all I ask is tell me what part specifically, be ready to back up your objections with facts and cite your reasons clearly, please!
Why do I and others make this issue so personal? How would you feel when a so called friend was secretly setting you up for their own financial gain or personal glory?
Would you let it go, or try your hardest to make sure it doesn’t happen again when real people are forced to pay the price for bad legislation?
What is an “Ultimate User” and are they required to register?
Federal law at
21 U.S. Code § 802 – Definitions
“(27) The term “ultimate user” means a person who has lawfully obtained, and who possesses, a controlled substance for his own use or for the use of a member of his household or for an animal owned by him or by a member of his household.” https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/21/802
In WA State law:
“(uu) “Ultimate user” means an individual who lawfully possesses a controlled substance for the individual’s own use or for the use of a member of the individual’s household or for administering to an animal owned by the individual or by a member of the individual’s household.”http://app.leg.wa.gov/rcw/default.aspx?cite=69.50.101
(c) The following persons need |not register and may lawfully possess controlled substances under this chapter:
(3) AN ULTIMATE USER or a person in possession of any controlled substance pursuant to a lawful order of a practitioner or in lawful possession of a substance included in Schedule V. (Caps mine for emphasis)https://app.leg.wa.gov/rcw/default.aspx?cite=69.50.302