We are putting an album together to support the legalization of cannabis in California. There is a producer and publisher on board. If you have a song about the legalization of marijuana or the plant in general but don't have a distribution plan contact me @Cannabration. We are also looking for visual artists and social networking volunteers.

Marijuana isn't going to legalize itself! Get involved today if you want to #JustLegalizeIt2014 #Cannabration #HempCanSaveThePlanet 
 
 
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State, Federal Efforts Back Farmers in Calling for Excluding Crop From Drug Laws


By ARIAN CAMPO-FLORES

Like many farmers in Kentucky, Brian Furnish has for years struggled to find crops to replace tobacco.

He thinks he has one candidate: industrial hemp, the cousin of marijuana used to make everything from cosmetics to car parts. It grows well in small plots, and demand for some hemp-based products is on the rise. The problem is that federal law makes it virtually impossible to grow the crop in the U.S.

David Kasnic for The Wall Street JournalBrian Furnish, a farmer in Cynthiana, Ky., grows tobacco, corn, wheat and hay, and says he would further diversify into hemp if it were legalized.

"We grew it here for years until the '50s," when it was still permitted, said Mr. Furnish, 37 years old. "I don't see any reason why we couldn't again."

He can take heart from efforts gathering steam from a wide political spectrum in Congress to again authorize hemp production. U.S. Rep. Thomas Massie (R., Ky.) introduced a bill in the House on Wednesday that would exclude hemp from the federal drug law that now lumps it together with marijuana. U.S. Sens. Rand Paul (R., Ky.) and Ron Wyden (D., Ore.) say they plan to file similar legislation in the Senate, where Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) last week said for the first time that he supported growing the crop.

Meanwhile, pro-hemp legislative measures have been introduced or carried over this year in seven states. Several states have already removed barriers to hemp production. "We've never had a better situation than we do right now," said Eric Steenstra, president of Vote Hemp, a not-for-profit advocacy group.

Significant obstacles remain. Previous pro-hemp bills in Congress went nowhere. And the White House has taken a dim view of the crop. "Hemp and marijuana are part of the same species of cannabis plant," wrote Gil Kerlikowske, director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, last year. He added that hemp contains tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, the psychoactive compound in marijuana.

Yet proponents point out the amount of THC in hemp is minimal—usually less than 1%, which is considered the threshold for potentially generating a high, according to researchers. By comparison, THC levels in marijuana average 10% and can reach 30% or more. Hemp legislation in the U.S., as well as in European countries where growing it is legal, usually sets the ceiling for THC content at 0.3%.

Farmers cultivated hemp legally throughout much of America's history. By the late 1950s, production ceased, partly as a result of high taxes imposed by the federal government.

The 1970 Controlled Substances Act made no distinction between varieties of cannabis. So while it isn't illegal to grow hemp, a farmer must register with the Drug Enforcement Administration, which Mr. Steenstra said means prohibitively expensive security requirements.

Still, it is legal to import hemp-based products—such as shirts and carpeting—and components of the plant, like hemp oil, used to make beauty products. Industry groups estimate that retail sales of hemp-based products in the U.S. exceed $300 million a year.

The size of that market has enticed advocates in Kentucky, which was a leading hemp producer in the 1800s. Agriculture Commissioner James Comer is championing a bill that would set up a regulatory framework for hemp if the federal government eliminates barriers to production. It is similar to the laws in the eight states that have authorized hemp growing, though all these measures still face the prohibitions under federal law.

"We could be the Silicon Valley for industrial hemp manufacturing," he said. Several makers of hemp-based products have expressed interest in buying from Kentucky farmers, he said.

Among them is Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps, an Escondido, Calif., company that imports about 20 tons of hemp oil a year from Canada. "We want to buy from American farmers," said President David Bronner.

The Kentucky effort has drawn support from both tea-party groups and liberals, the latter because the crop is considered sustainable. "People on the right like it because it's a liberty issue," said Mr. Comer, a Republican. And "people on the left like it because it's a green crop."

But some law-enforcement groups argue hemp looks similar to marijuana, which would make it a challenge to conduct aerial surveillance aimed at eradicating pot. "Hemp farming would greatly complicate drug law enforcement activities," the Kentucky Narcotic Officers' Association wrote last November.

Analysts say the measure has a decent chance of passage in the state Senate but faces a steeper climb in Kentucky's House, where Speaker Greg Stumbo, a Democrat, has expressed reservations.

Write to Arian Campo-Flores at arian.campo-flores@wsj.com


 
 
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Published: January 31, 2013 Updated 4 hours ago

By Janet Patton — jpatton1@herald-leader.com



U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Louisville, has endorsed efforts in Kentucky to legalize industrial hemp.

In a statement release by his Washington office, McConnell said:

"After long discussions with Senator Rand Paul and Commissioner James Comer on the economic benefits of industrialized hemp, I am convinced that allowing its production will be a positive development for Kentucky's farm families and economy."

Agriculture Commissioner James Comer's office said he welcomed the support from McConnell, who is the Senate Minority Leader. It comes three days after Kentucky law enforcement officers released a statement opposing it, calling industrial hemp a step toward legal marijuana.

In his statement, McConnell addressed those concerns:

"Commissioner Comer has assured me that his office is committed to pursuing industrialized hemp production in a way that does not compromise Kentucky law enforcement's marijuana eradication efforts or in any way promote illegal drug use."

After conversations with Comer and U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Bowling Green, on the economic potential for industrial hemp, McConnell apparently came down on the side of jobs.

"The utilization of hemp to produce everything from clothing to paper is real, and if there is a capacity to center a new domestic industry in Kentucky that will create jobs in these difficult economic times, that sounds like a good thing to me," he said in the statement.

Comer said in a statement, "When the most powerful Republican in the country calls to discuss your issue, that's a good day on the job. Leader McConnell's support adds immeasurable strength to our efforts to bring good jobs to Kentucky."





 
 
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Filner halts prosecution of pot shops
By Craig Gustafson12:02 P.M.
JAN. 10, 2013
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Mayor Bob Filner is congratulated at the end of Monday's ceremony. Monday was the swearing in ceremony for San Diego's new mayor Bob Filner and several new and returning council-members. San Diego Mayor Bob Filner ordered a halt Thursday to the prosecution of marijuana dispensaries in the city by directing the end of targeted code enforcements against the shops.

The move comes two days after he promised medical marijuana advocates that he would take on City Attorney Jan Goldsmith over the issue to which Goldsmith responded that Filner need only assert his authority over the police and neighborhood code compliance departments to end the prosecutions.

Filner sent a Thursday letter titled “Stop the Crackdown on Marijuana Dispensaries” to Kelly Broughton, director of the Development Services Department, which oversees code compliance. He told him to stop code enforcement against marijuana dispensaries and to stop forwarding such cases to the City Attorney’s Office for prosecution.

Filner inferred in the letter that other violations unrelated to marijuana could still be pursued at the dispensaries.

“To be clear, if there are general code enforcement or health and safety issues arising from these businesses, you are expected to enforce those laws against these businesses in the same manner you would any other business,” Filner wrote.

The mayor’s decision likely won’t lead to a proliferation of dispensaries in the city because it only blunts one law enforcement tactic to shut them down. The District Attorney’s Office and the U.S. Attorney’s Office can still proceed with prosecutions of those businesses.

It is, however, a positive sign for medical marijuana advocates who view Filner’s election to mayor as a fresh opportunity to pass an ordinance that would allow dispensaries to open their doors again within city limits. Filner has promised to work with them to create an ordinance in the next few weeks and has offered to testify on behalf of shop owners in court.

Filner appeared before the San Diego chapter of Americans for Safe Access on Tuesday night and criticized the city attorney for not being helpful on the issue and referred to him as a “a little guy” that could be intimidated.

Goldsmith responded Wednesday with a letter to Filner.

“Rather than pursue the drama last night and call for a demonstration, you could have achieved your goal in less than 30 seconds,” Goldsmith wrote. “Neighborhood Code Compliance and San Diego Police Department are under your authority. As you know, you can direct them to stop sending cases to us and, instead, direct us to cease and dismiss all enforcement actions against marijuana dispensaries. We will, of course, comply with that direction.”

More than 200 medical marijuana collectives have been closed down in San Diego and Imperial counties since U.S. Attorney Laura Duffy and her colleagues announced in 2011 sweeping enforcement actions aimed at distributors in California. Some closures were attributed to settlements with the City Attorney’s Office — before and after medical marijuana activists in the city failed to qualify a regulate-and-tax initiative for the November ballot.

The legal limbo for dispensaries dates to 1996 when state voters approved an initiative to allow people with recommendations from state-licensed physicians to possess and cultivate marijuana for personal use. The drug remains illegal under federal law and any change in city policy would not have direct impact on the U.S. attorneys’ crackdown.

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Good work San Diego American's for Safe Access ~Susan Soares



 
 
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Even though a California poll in 2007 found that 71% of likely voters would support the legalization of hemp, Governor Schwarzenegger and Governor Brown have vetoed the bills that reached their desks. The poll was conducted by the respected research firm Zogby International. The question is why would these two governors veto a hemp bill? Through the generous support of an anonymous donor, I will be spending 2013 & 2014 figuring that out. I'm also going to be raising money for a study on the cross pollination of industrial hemp and medical marijuana. I'll also be spending a lot of time educating and outreaching. If you or your organization wants to learn more, contact me at Susan@cannabration.com.   

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Mark Leno has been a warrior in the effort to legalize hemp. He led the Senate Bill 676 which would have created a four county pilot program allowing farmers in California to tap into the nations hemp market, which was valued at $400 million annually in 2011. Hundreds of consumer products containing hemp are made in California, but the manufacturers of these goods are forced to import hemp seed, oil and fiber from growers in Canada, Europe and China. Hemp requires little to no pesticides and herbicides, is a great rotational crop, and grows quickly with less water, making it an ideal commodity for California. More than 55% of US companies that create hemp products are based in California. Some of the other leaders in the hemp movement are David Bronner, Patrick Goggin, and Steve Levine. Some organizations working on hemp legalization are Vote Hemp and the Hemp Industries Association.

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