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Drug War

Pot Activist Still in the Joint: ‘It Was All Medical Marijuana’
Lincoln Anderson

Dana Beal would rather be smoking a joint — but he’s in the joint.

Bleecker St. marijuana activist Beal continues to sit in jail in
Wisconsin after police arrested him and Lance Ramer of Omaha,
Nebraska, on Jan. 6 with an alleged 186 pounds of pot in a car that
Ramer was driving and in which Beal was a passenger.

Beal has been unable to make his $50,000 bail, though his lawyer has

Yippie Activist Dana Beal Arrested in Wisconsin Pot Bust
Todd Finkelmeyer

Irvin Dana Beal, a blast from Madison's counter-culture past, is sitting in the Iowa County jail because police say the car he was riding in on Jan. 6 was pulled over with more than 180 pounds of marijuana in it.

And although few details are available, the Barneveld police chief is hinting that those involved could be linked to a national drug operation.

Will California Legalize Pot? Daniela Perdomo, AlterNet

Today, at least a third of Americans say they've tried smoking weed. Is it possible that after half a century of increasingly mainstreamed pot use the public is ready for marijuana to be legal? We may soon find out.

LSD Pioneer Owsley Stanley Dies in Australian Car Crash

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Owsley "Bear" Stanley, a 1960s counterculture figure who flooded the flower power scene with LSD and was an early benefactor of the Grateful Dead, died in a car crash in his adopted home country of Australia on Sunday, his family said. He was believed to be 76.

The renegade grandson of a former governor of Kentucky, Stanley helped lay the foundation for the psychedelic era by producing more than a million doses of LSD at his labs in San Francisco's Bay Area.

"He made acid so pure and wonderful that people like Jimi Hendrix wrote hit songs about it and others named their band in its honor," former rock 'n' roll tour manager Sam Cutler wrote in his 2008 memoirs "You Can't Always Get What You Want."

A Yippie Veteran Is in Jail Far From the East Village Colin Moynihan, New York Times

It has been more than 40 years since Dana Beal came to prominence as a theoretician for the Youth International Party, known as the Yippies, and embarked on a long career in the world of countercultural politics.

Remembering Dr. John P. Morgan

Dr. John P. Morgan, a drug policy reform leader and close friend to the U.S. Drug Policy Alliance, died suddenly last Friday of acute myeloid leukemia. Morgan was a professor of pharmacology at the City University of New York Medical School for 26 years until he retired in 2004, and published widely in medical journals on pharmacology, drug toxicity and other topics.

Go Ask Alice:

Mushroom Drug Is Studied Anew

Ron Winslow

In a study that could revive interest in researching the effects of
psychedelic drugs, scientists said a substance in certain mushrooms
induced powerful, mind-altering experiences among a group of
well-educated, middle-age men and women. [Psilocybe Cubensis]

Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions researchers conducted the study
following carefully controlled, scientifically rigorous procedures.
They said that the episodes generally led to positive changes in
attitude and behavior among the 36 volunteer participants and that the
changes appeared to last at least two months. Participants cited
feelings of intense joy, "distance from ordinary reality," and feelings
of peace and harmony after taking the drug. Two-thirds described the
effects of the drug, called psilocybin, as among the five most
meaningful experiences of their lives.

Supreme Court Okays Hallucinogenic Tea

Gina Holland, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court ruled unanimously Tuesday that a small congregation in New Mexico may use hallucinogenic tea as part of a four-hour ritual intended to connect with God.

Justices, in their first religious freedom decision under Chief Justice John Roberts, moved decisively to keep the government out of a church's religious practice. Federal drug agents should have been barred from confiscating the hoasca tea of the Brazil-based church, Roberts wrote in the decision.

The tea, which contains an illegal drug known as DMT, is considered sacred to members of O Centro Espirita Beneficiente Uniao do Vegetal, which has a blend of Christian beliefs and South American traditions. Members believe they can understand God only by drinking the tea, which is consumed twice a month at four-hour ceremonies.

New Justice Samuel Alito did not take part in the case, which was argued last fall before Justice Sandra Day O'Connor before her retirement. Alito was on the bench for the first time on Tuesday

Punkerslut writes:

"Better Living Through Chemicals"

An Introduction to the Drug Situation in America

"Marihuana is that drug — a violent narcotic — an unspeakable scourge — The Real Public Enemy Number One! Its first effect is sudden, violent, uncontrollable laughter; then come dangerous hallucinations — space expands — time slows down, almost stands still.... fixed ideas come next, conjuring up monstrous extravagances — followed by emotional disturbances, the total inability to direct thoughts, the loss of all power to resist physical emotions... leading finally to acts of shocking violence... ending often in incurable insanity. In picturing its soul-destroying effects no attempt was made to equivocate. The scenes and incidents, while fictionized for the purposes of this story, are based upon actual research into the results of Marihuana addiction. If their stark reality will make you think, will make you aware that something must be done to wipe out this ghastly menace, then the picture will not have failed in its purpose... Because the dread Marihuana may be reaching forth next for your son or daughter... or yours... OR YOURS!" — "Reefer Madness", 1939

The concept of drugs and drug use has come a considerably far distance since the early days of "twenty years for possession and life for sale." The days of imprisonment for decades and decades for marijuana possession is a thing of the past, as much as the scarlet letter is considered a relic of a barbaric and cruel people. Most liberal cities, and even conservative cities that have libertarian judges, are now seeing that there is no solution in imprisoning a smoker of marijuana. Instead, many cities have seen a better policy in giving out tickets to those caught smoking marijuana. In most cities and states, these tickets are comparable to the traffic tickets that drivers sometimes incur. Policy has even been liberalized for those who use heroin, cocaine, and methamphetamine. Instead of thinking that imprisonment will heal them, it is understood that many of these people suffer from an addiction that is beyond their control, and that they are seeking help for their problems. Finally, society is starting to accept the idea that drugs are something that people go to when they are in search of a good, and many people survive lifestyles that involve frequent drug use, but there are some people who become addicted junkies that always suffer for their substance. Every year, it seems that sentences and punishments for drug possession and drug use are becoming more lenient; they are becoming more ethical. I look forward to the day when I can go to my local grocery store and a buy the top-brand, high-quality, imported marijuana in bulk packaging, the way they sell one pound tobacco bags. I am looking forward to this day, but I know in my heart, that with people like these, it may very well take some time.

"Paramilitaries 'Disarm' In Colombia"


BOGOTA, Colombia — More than 2,600
far-right Colombian paramilitaries have turned in
their guns, the biggest one-day demobilization since
the illegal groups started peace talks with the
government in 2003.

The disbanding of the Miners Block, a paramilitary
group in the northern province of Antioquia named
after nearby gold mines, brought to 16,500 the number
of militiamen who had turned in their arms so far,
government officials said Friday.

That left fewer than 4,000 in operation, according to
government figures.

The disbanding of the paramilitary groups, which were
formed in the 1980s by drug smugglers and cattle
ranchers trying to protect their property from Marxist
rebels, is key to President Alvaro Uribe's plan for
retaking Colombia from the control of various illegal
armed groups tied to the cocaine trade.


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