Kevin Ludlow is running for Texas House of Representative District 46. His #1 issue is ending the War on Drugs. He lives in Austin which is a creative and liberal mecca in a big state full of ultra conservatives. He is very active in the community and is passionate about social policy. This month, right before the election, he got a call from his housekeeper letting him know that the police were at his home.
Here is his description of what happened: On Wednesday October 1st, 2014 I got a call that my house cleaner had been deemed a suspicious person by someone in my neighborhood. 911 was called and police showed up at my house; I was at work. Upon arriving, they claim to have smelled marijuana on her, forced their way into my house, and detained her. Three police officers entered the house (obviously without my consent). One of them drew his firearm and proceeded to search the home for other people. They evidently harassed her while she sat there. Mind you all of this was because they claimed to have smelled pot. I came home to resolve the situation only to be detained myself. The situation was quickly de-escalated and they left.
He made a video testimony of his reaction to the incident including some footage of the interaction with law enforcement. In part he states “We live in a military controlled police state because of the war on drugs. People simply MUST stand against this perpetual and unchecked violence.I am absolutely outraged at this situation. I have been campaigning against the war on drugs for years. This is a perfect example of the danger is poses to each and every person and god knows what would have happened if I were a minority. There were no drugs in the house and yet these officers granted themselves carte blanche to search my home with weapons drawn. It’s patently absurd, it’s dangerous, and the taxpayers picked up the bill.”
Here is his video titled “Why America Has the Largest Prison Population”.
The California Narcotic Officers Association issued a pamphlet this summer to help officers arrest more medical marijuana patients. It’s difficult to understand why they have such a hard on for busting patients but they do. More on that later. The publication “The Latest Medical Marijuana Case Law” is written by Seth Cimino, a police officer in Citrus Heights. His prejudice is apparent in the article when he uses quotation marks when writing about patients. For example: “The appellate court decisions in these cases have helped narrow the scope of what is “reasonable” involving possession, cultivation and transportation.” Read the full paper here. (notice how the page numbers are treated differently on each page)
Because of the case law that he focuses on, LEO’s are going to try to get you to make statements that will allow them to search you and arrest you. The best advise is to NOT EVER TALK TO POLICE OFFICERS! That being said, it’s really difficult when you know you are not breaking the law and it’s pretty easy to out smart them. Here are some things you need to know to arm yourself should you have an encounter with law enforcement.
Because of People v. Waxler they have found a way to trip you up if you have cannabis in your car. These are the details that they will use to determine what is reasonable:
The main thrust of the paper is “Street Contacts and Interviewing “Qualified” Patients”. With that title and this statement “Remember to ask the right questions to lock these people into their statements.” we can see that they are looking hard to find ways to arrest medical cannabis patients.
Question #1 Who is your doctor?
Question #2 What medical condition do you have that would require you to use medical marijuana?
Question #3 How much marijuana “medicine” do you use a day to relieve your ailments?
Question #5 What time of day do you use?
He quotes an article from the American Medical Association that give us an opportunity to turn it around on them. “Given that medical marijuana is approved for mostly chronic conditions that require long-term dosing, physicians must be aware of the development of tolerance and dependence.” Ok, great. My tolerance after 10 years is so high I need more and more medicine.
This paper is a shocking testament to the fact that law enforcement hates the Compassionate Use Act, doesn’t think the voters have the right to change the law through the initiative process, and isn’t about to enforce the law as most of their citizens want them to. Educate yourself. Don’t share more than necessary if you find yourself in a law enforcement encounter. Donate to a cannabis advocacy non profit today. Cannabis isn’t going to legalize itself and law enforcement wants to force us back into the failed War on Drugs!
C.A.R.E. Executive Director
~Over the last year or two, there has been an invigorating shift in public opinion regarding the legal status of cannabis. Politicians have gone from supporting the War on Drugs to trying to be more liberal than their opponent when it comes to cannabis criminal penalties. In the Harris County District Attorney race we see politicians that are starting to wake up to the fact that the cannabis vote is a big deal!
Today on www.Chron.com
A move to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana emerged Wednesday as a major issue in the contentious race for Harris County District attorney with both candidates claiming ownership of the idea.
At a news conference, Republican Devon Anderson, the incumbent, said that beginning Monday, non-violent first offenders carrying less than 2 ounces of marijuana will be able to escape prosecution by performing eight hours of community service or going through a drug awareness class.
"We are targeting the people we believe are self-correcting and will be 'scared straight' by being handcuffed and transported," Anderson said. "Our goal is to keep these individuals from entering the revolving door of the criminal justice system."
The announcement, a month before Anderson faces Democrat Kim Ogg in November's election for district attorney, brought harangues from the challenger who in August announced her idea for dealing with misdemeanor marijuana possession.
"This is not a new plan," Ogg said. "It's a 'me too' program by a candidate who has shifted her position with the winds of political change."
Read more here.
America's Fastest Growing Industry Isn't Growing in California This Year
When Colorado and Washington legalized marijuana in 2012, it jumpstarted a national trend towards acceptance and an incredible Green Rush. The Huffington Post declared that “Legal marijuana is among the fastest-growing markets in the United States.” Some say that California grows the best cannabis. Most would agree that California grows the most. The question is, will the drought in California change that and how will that affect the price of medical marijuana?
According to USA Today Gov. Jerry Brown declared a statewide drought emergency Friday, an action that sets the stage for new state and federal efforts. Brown is urging voluntary water conservation to the tune of a 20% reduction. But he stopped short of saying such a reduction should be mandatory — for now, at least.
Across the state, agriculture is responsible for more than three-quarters of California's water use, according to a 2009 UCLA report.
In a piece called Marijuana & the California Drought by Barry Vogel on Radio Curious, Tim Blake shared his thoughts as one of the country's leading experts in Sun Grown Organic Cannabis. Tim is the founder of The Emerald Cup, California’s oldest competition among outdoor growers of organic cannabis.
“ The people that have water, that have deep wells or large lakes or ponds are going to do quite well ‘cause you’re going to see cannabis probably double or triple in cost over the next year just like every other agricultural product because you’re going to lose probably 2/3 to 90% of the available parcels to grow on. I mean a lot of these parcels that were not water rich that basically have been bringing water in are using small springs, they’re drying up. They’re not going to have any water. So you’re going to have all these people planting their crops this year and then one by one they’re going to have to let them go as the summer drags on. So you’re going to see people fighting over water, trying to get illegal water from trucks, bringing it in like in Humboldt stealing it from schools. It’s going to be a disaster.”
In an article in The Christian Science Monitor blog weirdly titled the "Bright Green Blog" the argument is made that cannabis cultivation is a big part of the water shortage problem.
"They're using a whole lot of water." said Lt. Rusty Noe of the Mendocino County sheriff's office in a telephone interview with the Bright Green Blog.
Lt. Noe noted that police have seized more than 500,000 pot plants this season in Mendocino County alone. Each plant requires about one gallon of water per day. California is entering the fourth year of asevere drought, with residents in some areas facing the first mandatory water restrictions in two decades and farms laying off thousands of workers.
"It's really affecting our water supply," said Noe of the illicit growing sites.
Bruce Mirken of the Marijuana Policy Project responded put this crazy quilt of jingoism, fear, and name calling in perspective in his comment on the post:
Despite the comments from official sources quoted in this piece, the problem is not marijuana — which, as an agricultural commodity, is pretty unremarkable and not unusually water-intensive. The problem is prohibition, which keeps the state’s immense marijuana industry outside the normal regulations that apply to other farmers and puts it in an entirely unregulated criminal underground. If we treated marijuana like we treat beer, wine, and liquor, it would be grown by farmers who — like those who now grow wine grapes or barley and hops for beer — would have to abide by labor, environmental, and water-conservation laws. In California, that includes water allocations that are subject to reduction in drought years. It is a common rhetorical trick for officials to blame the problems caused by prohibition on marijuana, but the real problem is bad policies producing bad (and entirely predictable) results.
There is little doubt that the drought in California this year will affect millions of people. We will be following this story to see how it will affect cannabis supplies and prices. Stay tuned!
Susan Soares has written for Cannabis Now Magazine, Alternet, and Sensi Magazine.