Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Getting A Hold of Your Local Representative

Over the past few months I have been trying to get a hold of R-MI Justin Amash (the representative for my area) and it's been quite difficult. I've sent him about a dozen emails and have heard nothing from him. I posted on his Facebook page and FINALLY got a response, from people telling me to post on his Facebook wall... After posting on his wall AGAIN I got a response from Jordan Bush, the District Director for Justin Amash and he told me to call him and for everyone else to call him and everyone else having trouble getting a hold of Justin Amash. Now, in one of Jordan Bush's speeches he talks about how it's important for everyone to know their government at a local level, Jordan Bush is making this rather difficult. I posted my question which was asking Justin Amash what his stance on H.R. 2306 is and why he supports his stance. The question was posted publicly due to the fact that I believe everyone should read it on Justin Amash's page, it helps us learn about our government at a local level after all.
Now, I'm sure many others have tried to get a hold of their local representatives and the people trying to get a hold of their local representatives, like myself, are being constantly ignored. If you managed to get a hole of your local representative then you're in a small area or you're lucky and the person answering your question just happens to be at least a decent person in the government. The fact that us citizens are being ignored further proves that the people in government only care for themselves and not the people who put them into office in the first place.
This is the Marijuana Tribune and that is my rant for today.
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Saturday, October 15, 2011

Tolerance, Learn Its Ways

People often find ways to ruin the lives of good people simply because they don't agree with their ways of life. This includes religions people choose to follow, the area in which people live in, who the people choose to marry, and of course, what people choose to consume. The list goes on. The peoples' lack of tolerance causes only problems and forever will cause only problems. This is no different for people who choose to smoke marijuana. Though marijuana has a ton of support among the people for the full legalization, other (mostly brainwashed) people tend to come up with feeble excuses on why they think nobody should consume marijuana. They refuse to accept the fact that people will toke up no matter what is done politically and no matter what people tell them. The truth is, marijuana smokers tend to be more educated about well, marijuana. They know the true facts more than most people tend to. People are learning more true facts about marijuana and as the true information is being accepted gradually. Recent polls suggest that the majority of the population of the United States support the legalization of marijuana, the same wouldn't have been said just one decade ago.

Now, let us see some real world examples of how the lack of tolerance has harmed the lives of good people:

  • Gay Rights
Face it, there are gay people. They exist. They want the same rights as everybody else. Even to this day tons of people show a lack of tolerance towards gays and a lot of states have passed laws to prevent gay marriage. Up until recently people couldn't be openly gay in the military just because of the people they choose to date and marry. The most common reason why people are against it is because they believe that it's wrong due to their religion being against gay marriage. Now, I'm not gay myself but does that mean I think gays shouldn't be allowed to marry? No, simply because it has no harmful effect on me or anyone else for that matter.

  • Foreigners' Rights
Many people in the United States tend to believe that people from other countries don't “deserve” to live in the United States simply because they were not born here. Now, in case you don't know this, the United States was formed because of foreigners so others have just as much of a right to be here as everyone else. A lot of people tend to cross the Mexican-American boarder. The reason; to live a better life. People travel from broken down countries with the knowledge of little to no English because of how harsh their lives were in other countries. They can't apply for good jobs until they get a permit so if someone isn't a legal resident, don't bash on them. If you feel the need to bash them then go live where they did for a while. You'll see why they're here.

  • Medical Marijuana Patients
Medical marijuana patients have been taking a lot of heat lately, much of it from the citizens and some of it from the government. The government says much of the same thing the people say, most of the information being false. The government states that states with medical marijuana laws in tact have more marijuana smokers, studies show it's false. The people say the people who are high on marijuana and drive are at the same risk, or a higher risk of a car accident, than people who are intoxicated from alcohol. Every stoner knows that's a lie as alcohol impairs your ability to drive much worse than alcohol. Read my other posts if you want to learn more.

Everyone, and I mean everyone, needs to learn how to accept the facts that just because you don't like it, that doesn't mean people shouldn’t do it or be apart of it. As long as nobody is being harmed from someone's actions, people should be allowed to do whatever they want. Does littering harm others? Yes, it disrupts the scenery and helps make communities look bad so don't litter and say it's not harming anyone (just an example), so don't abuse these words. If you don't like marijuana then simply stay away from it. If you're young, you live with your parents and you don't want them smoking around you, then ask them to take it outside. I myself haven't been able to get my parents to take their smoke outside when I was younger but eventually they did. All it took was some research on how second-hand tobacco smoke kills and a good lecture. If they're smoking marijuana then the second-hand smoke thing won't work out so well as marijuana has no direct deaths associated with it (unlike alcohol and tobacco). Sure they'll be cold in the winter but at least the environment was safer. It'll also not smell as bad (depending if you like the smell of smoke or not, I love pot smoke smell but hate tobacco smoke smell). So remember, don't be a Nazi and let people do what they want as long as it doesn't harm you. I don't mean the person doing it I mean you.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Marijuana Prohibition Ruins Millions Of Lives

Marijuana prohibition has been in effect for 74 years and has caused more harm than good. In the past 74 years there have been 23 million arrests for marijuana possession, 90% in which are for simple possession. Each year about 850,000 arrests are conducted in the United States only for marijuana charges. People are locked up in prisons, sent to juvenile detention centers, given probation, and other unnecessary acts of punishment for possessing a simple plant, many of whom use it purely for medical purposes to treat their symptoms that have been causing problems in the first place. Marijuana is a medicine, a relaxant, something that brightens the day of millions of Americans every day. Below is a very well written letter to NORML from Brittany M of Kentucky in which is an extremely good example of how today's marijuana policies are broken.

—— Forwarded Message
From: Brittany M.
Date: Thu, 29 Sep 2011 17:42:03 -0400
To: norml@norml.org
Subject: PLEASE READ! Why I Support NORML!

Hello, fellow good-doers. Since recently discovering NORML via internet research, I have become elated to realize that there is a group of serious people ready to make serious change regarding marijuana laws. I am a citizen of Elliott County, Kentucky-an extremely small town in northeaster KY. I believe that an abundance of citizens stand to gain a whole lot from your organization, if they can all be made aware of its existence. Kentucky’s ridiculous marijuana laws have caused me so much turmoil and pain that I couldn’t resist contacting you PERSONALLY to tell you my story.

I am seventeen years old now, but not in high school. It’s not because I’m lazy or a drop-out, but because I graduated two years early, as a sophomore. Not only have I always maintained straight-A’s, but I was accepted into Morehead State University at only sixteen years of age! I had everyone’s support, and I was far beyond excited to finally be academically challenged. My life had done a complete 180 at this point, because it wasn’t too long prior that I was in shambles…

I suffer from anxiety and major depression. When I was thirteen, I attempted suicide and began my journey into the world of psychiatric “help”. I was medicated with Zoloft, Trazadone, and at least five other anti-anxiety/antidepressants that I can’t recall the names of. Some of them made my hair fall out, while others caused me to sweat and shake uncontrollably. All of them required a two-week period of adjustment upon starting, during which I would vomit more than I care to speak of. Nowadays, I am prescribed to take two Prozac capsules every single day, and I may very well have to take them for the rest of my living days. But, admittedly, marijuana helped me overcome the side effects that were crippling me. My first day on campus, in January of 2011, was the best I’ve had. For the first time in a long time, I felt normal. I went to class, I met a boy, and everyone wanted to be my friend. The next day, it was time for me to move into my dorm room. I arrived well before my classes would begin, but I would never make it to class that day. An anonymous tip had been called in to the campus police department that I was a “pot head”. I had a debilitating anxiety attack while I watched three uniformed police officers tear through all of my belongings, throwing them aside as if they were garbage, and never once asking me, “What is wrong?”, or, “What are these medications for?”. Minutes later I was whisked away, bad-mouthed by the Dean of Students (who had just been commending me on my ACT score of 30), and told that I was to leave and could not return until the Fall of 2013, a whole year after my original class, who I had long since surpassed, would graduate and move on.

In August, after months and months of torture-seeing everyone else being happy and college-bound-and being tied up in Kentucky’s legal system, I had my final court date. I was administered a supervised drug test, for which I passed all but THC, and sentenced to 7 days in Boyd Regional Juvenile Detention Center in Ashland, KY I am fully aware that it is meant to be a punishment and not a vacation, but the facility was filthy and very poorly maintained. I witnessed two staff members mocking a much younger boy who was obviously mentally handicapped. I was forced to drink from a glass that had insects and dirt festering in the bottom. On top of all of this, my mother was provided with paperwork stating that I was to be placed on a mandatory orientation that would last for 48 hours, which I was unaware of until I came home. However, within the facility, we were told that orientation was no less than four days.

I rested very well on night number four, having finally spoken to my family. However, the next day I awoke to a brand-spanking-new, and very rigorous exercise regimen, introduced to us by a male employee who I was seeing on this day for the very first time. During this regimen, I had an anxiety attack and everyone was asked to return to their cells while I was left to the floor, gasping for air and being closely watched, but otherwise unattended. We ate our breakfast in the festering cesspool of a cafeteria, and then a female worker led us, not to our block, but to the gymnasium for more exercise. Sometime during this activity, I began to feel weak, and weird. Something totally foreign came over me, and I was scared. I raised my hand, and waited to be called on, as was protocol, and quickly informed the staff member that I thought something was really wrong. She simply replied that if I were to vomit, I would be cleaning it myself, and told me to run six laps for speaking out. I’m not completely clear about what happened after that, other than that I hit the concrete floor, hard.
I awoke much later, in a daze, and projectile vomiting ensued. I was loaded into an ambulance, accompanied by the female worker who continuously asked me if I had medical insurance. I was far too shaken, scared, and sick to pay her much attention at the time. Here I was puking into a bag that the ambulance attendant provided me, and she wanted to know about my insurance policy? I was whisked out of the ambulance and into the ER, with shackles around my feet. All I could think about was my mother, and so I asked if she had been called. She had not. I noted a nearby clock on the wall of my hospital room read 9:45. I was scanned, poked, prodded, and MRI-ed for what felt like an eternity, until they finally informed me that I had suffered an acute heart attack and may also have mitral valve prolapse (MVP), a heart condition that caused me synocopal episodes, and that I would need to be back the next day for more tests.

Still too weak to walk, I was wheeled in a wheelchair to the front door, where BOTH the female and male staff members from BRJDC were waiting with big smiles and a bag of fast food for me. Still, they were curious about my insurance My family has zero income, and so I explained to them that I have a medical card provided to me by the state. We pulled back into the facility, and I was put in a holding cell instead of my regular room. I tossed and turned and listened to muffled voices from behind the door, until finally an unfamiliar staff member came to me with a box of my clothes, and announced to me that I was going home.

I ran to my mother and hugged her. I was seeing sunshine for the first time in five or six days. It felt like a miracle. In the car, I saw that it was 3:15. I asked my mother why she didn’t come to the hospital, and she told me that she had only just been called, and rushed right over. She had no idea what had happened to me. Our brief reunion was devastated in the following weeks with doctors and tests, hospitals and neurologists, who finally put me on two new medicines that I will, once again, most likely have to be on for the rest of my life.
BUT MY QUESTION TO YOU IS THIS…how much marijuana was I arrested with that caused me all this turmoil? Back in January, back on campus, back in the campus PD…they weighed the crumpled cellophane from my pocket and the digital scale read 0.2 grams.

My college career, my mental stability, and above all else, my health, have been irreversibly damaged. I feel as though NORML can make sure that nothing like this happens to anyone in a situation similar to mine ever again. I wouldn’t wish this travesty on any mother and daughter, and I know that you would not either.

Thank you for listening,

Brittany M.

Letter originally posted by NORML