1. Is the Sky Falling Over Trump & MJ and What Can Be Done to Keep It Up If It Really Does Start to Fall
2. January 2017 MAPP meetings - Organize to Fight Onerous Indoor Grow Regulations plus Win Free MJ
3. Help Elect Progressive Pro-Cannabis Candidate
The Reality Is We Can Lose Everything
As usual for New Year’s Eve, my partner and I headed down to a popular gay dance bar in Palm Springs. It is always such a trip to see all these guys dancing together cause it reminds me of how far we have come from when I first went into a gay bar in Los Angeles almost 50 years ago. Back then, dancing between two men, not two women, was not allowed as the bar owners were afraid of losing their liquor license if they allowed it.
Even more of a concern was that you were always apprehensive that the guy standing next to you was an undercover cop who would bust you claiming you groped him – a standard operating procedure back in those days when hundreds were busted weekly just for being in a bar that gay people frequented. Times have changed and now the cops who use to bust us are marching in LA’s gay pride parade every year.
Considering that oppression of gays is biblical dating back thousands of years and oppression of marijuana consumers only dates back to 1937 in the U.S., it gives me great hope that the criminal treatment of marijuana consumers can also be rolled back. It has been almost fifty years since the lesbian and gay equality movement began back in 1969 following the Stonewall riot. It has not been much more than 20 years since Prop. 215 was enacted and began the marijuana restoration movement. The marijuana law reform achievements to end discrimination against marijuana consumers has been considerable but pale into comparison to what the LGBT community had to overcome.
As both a gay man and a marijuana consumer, I am anxiety-ridden with fears that the advances that have been made are in danger of being rolled back under the Trump administration. I recognize that this fear about losing their gains over the last five to seven decades is also shared by many others – women, environmentalists, immigrants, racial minorities, Muslims and so on. Based on Trump’s rhetoric during the campaign and his picks for his cabinet and advisors, I would venture to state that it is not unreasonable to conclude that such concerns have a basis in reality.
I really don’t think that Trump really cares whether two guys get together to have sex or smoke pot, but many in his base really really do and consequently he has chosen cabinet members and advisors who reflect the values of his base. Trump intends to undo many of the reforms put in place since FDR along with major tax breaks for the wealthy and corporations so if gays, mj consumers, minorities, immigrants and the environment have to be tossed under the bus to keep his base off-base, then so be it.
Whether these groups really have anything to worry about or if its just rhetorical pandering to his base, time will tell, but I am concerned about Trump’s picks for the Supreme Court in regards to undoing previous court decisions and as far as marijuana is concerned I am exceedingly alarmed and apprehensive about his pick for Attorney General – Jeff Sessions.
Sessions is just about as old-time a drug warrior as one could imagine – his antipathy towards any drug law reform is legendary and his attitudes about marijuana are classic reefer madness. With Trump pulling back many current government legal actions on the environment and against big business and corporations, Sessions will have a horde of DOJ attorneys with nothing to do.
Sessions would like nothing better than being the one to turn back the marijuana legalization tide and could unleash this horde of nothing-to-do-anymore attorneys against states that have legalized marijuana. I strongly believe that when the time comes, he will go directly after California because if he can take California out, the rest will be easy pickings.
Although California should be a formidable opponent as it is the most populous state in the union with the sixth largest economy in the world, I believe it would be fairly easy to beat the state into submission. For one thing even though most of our legislators and elected officials are Democrats, once federal legal actions are filed against them, the state and those engaged in marijuana distribution, I believe the wind created by all of them buckling under in unison will rival the tornado in the Wizard of Oz.
Further the less than stellar involvement of medical marijuana patients in protecting their rights under Prop. 215 is not lost on those coming into the federal government who are now in a position to take action against not just medical marijuana patients and providers but the potentially even larger cohort of non-medical users. If people who are using marijuana to treat pain, depression, cancer, movement disorders and so on will not stand up to law enforcement intent on taking their medicine away from them, how likely is it that people who are using marijuana just for fits of giggles are going to put themselves in harm’s way?
Would the civil rights movement undertaken by African-Americans succeeded if they had not placed their very lives on the line by marching in streets, sitting at lunch counters, picketing businesses, standing up to police enforcing Jim Crow, challenging do-nothing government agencies and refusing to move to the back-of-the bus? Granted many black Americans did not participate in these actions, but millions did and they changed the zeitgeist of this country.
The question I am asking is how many of you who are reading this are willing to be the foot soldiers to defend the gains we have made against those who now have the power to take them away? Just how much effort are you willing to put in to protect these hard-won rights? Willing to go to meetings? Willing to go to the offices of elected officials? Willing to get active politically? Willing to make financial donations to organizations and elected officials? Willing to picket? Willing to sit-in? Willing to engage in civil disobedience? Willing to go to jail?
California voters have voted to legalize the medical and adult-use of marijuana, but our elected officials have never been very diligent in carrying out their mandate. In fact they are more diligent in carrying out the actions requested by opponents of marijuana reform then they are in carrying out the mandate of the voters. That’s because our opponents are cops with clout. We need to develop our countervailing clout so that elected officials will lose their fear of cops and stiffen their backbone and stand up to whatever pressures are put on them to undo the will of the voters.
The first step is to organize. To organize people need to attend meetings where plans are made and actions carried out to protect, preserve and promote our rights to have safe, reliable, local and affordable access to marijuana. Wherever you live you need to get involved with a local marijuana law reform group. If there is none in your area, then you have to be the one that forms a group. There is help out there to do that – contact NORML or ASA or SSDP or just google marijuana organization and go from there. Don’t hesitate to contact me either at 760-799-2055.
If you have the good fortune to reside in the Inland Empire, then you can easily learn about what is happening and get involved to the extent that you are willing. There will be three meetings of MAPP this week in which you can begin the ground work to protect, preserve and promote the rights given to us by the voters of California.
At all three meetings, there will be discussion on what is happening in California and in the I.E. especially regarding cities passing onerous and malicious regulations to make a mockery of Prop. 64’s section allowing for indoor and greenhouse cultivation. This will be our first order of business. If we fail to stop these onerous regulations, then it could very well be all downhill from there with some cities effectively banning what Prop. 64 permits and others gleefully allowing commercial cultivation only in order to fill their coffers with tax money made off our backs.
The Riverside/San Bernardino meeting on Wednesday, January 4 at 7:30 p.m. will also feature a presentation by Ronie Downey on preparing for the upcoming growing season both indoor and outdoor. We will also be giving away two quarter-ounce packs of marijuana courtesy of the All The Way Up collective located next door to our new meeting place at Greenview Medical located at 22275 Alessandro Blvd, Moreno Valley, CA 92553.
The Palm Springs/Coachella Valley MAPP meeting is on Saturday, Jan. 7 at 12 noon. Unless someone comes up with some mj to give away, we won’t be giving any of that away, but we will have some books and paraphernalia to win. The meeting is held at the mystical Crystal Fantasy, 268 N. Palm Canyon, downtown Palm Springs 92262.
The Joshua Tree/Yucca Valley meeting is on Saturday, Jan. 7 at 3 p.m. Like the PS meeting, unless someone comes up with some mj to give away, we won’t be giving any of that away, but we will have some books and paraphernalia to win as well. The meeting is held at the legendary Beatnik Lounge, 61597 Twenty-Nine Palms Hwy., Joshua Tree 92252.
Help Elect a Young Progressive
Pro-Cannabis Candidate to the
Democratic Central Committee
Most of you won’t be able to vote for Francisco Ramos this Saturday, Jan. 7 but if you live in the 42nd Assembly District which covers the area in the Inland Empire from 29 Palms to Palm Springs and from there eastward to LaQuinta and westward to Cherry Valley, Yucaipa, San Jacinto and parts of Hemet, you can vote to send a young activist to the California State Democratic Convention where policy, programs and politics are set for the party that controls the government of the 6th largest economy in the world.
You must be a Democrat in order to vote in the election, but you will be able to register to vote and/or change your party affiliation at the Hemet/San Jacinito Democratic Party offices where the voting is being held. For information on Francisco and the address of the Hemet Democratic offices and most importantly the time of the voting, CLICK HERE.
HELP MAKE IT A SUCCESS
JOIN OUR 420 CLUB
It’s a New Year and I believe you know how much we can use a bit of financial help to get done what needs to be done. For just 14¢/day, you can join our 420 Club and donate $4.20 each month to make the oldest and most active marijuana organization in the IE just that more effective. To join the rarefied ranks of the 420 Club CLICK HERE.
If you would rather make a one-time donation, that can be made if you CLICK HERE or do it the old-fashioned but just as effective way by sending a check made out to MAPP to PO Box 739, Palm Springs CA 92263. Thank you for support.
Thanks for your time, consideration and support.