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If, for some reason, you did not believe that there really is a War on Drugs underway in America, two top-ranking U.S. military generals admitted as much earlier this week in testimony before the Congressional House Armed Services Committee in Washington D.C.
Army General Charles Jacoby and Marine General John Kelly sat Tuesday before the pasty white panel of entitled U.S. Congressmen, begging the government’s purse-holders for a few more bucks, and warning that more budget cuts will translate directly into violent drug sales here at home.

Compton Mayor Aja Brown.

Throughout the 1980’s and 1990’s, the city of Compton, CA gained an infamous reputation across mainstream America as a drug-addled wasteland, ruled by gangs and racked by unthinkable violence.
Fueled at the time by accounts from gangster rap titles and Hollywood portrayals of the hardened region of South Central Los Angeles, today Compton is much less violent, but just as vulnerable, running a $40-million deficit as it struggles to try to avoid all out bankruptcy. It’s not hard to see that a change of direction is needed.

A measure that would have legalized cannabis use, possession and cultivation in Ireland was defeated handily yesterday, shot down with a 111 to 8 vote in the Dáil, Ireland’s lower house of representatives.
According to RTÉ News, the cannabis bill was allowed some debate but it seems most of the rhetoric was from stuffy politicians with no real idea what cannabis is or does. Even the health minister pulled out the often-debunked “cannabis causes schizophrenia” myth.

Flickr.com/sarahkabmg

The United States is known worldwide for our insatiable drug habit, and for decades we’ve been seen as the ones importing it all from other countries. Whether it was opium and heroin from the East, primo ganja from Jamaica, Mexico or Thailand in the 70s, or cocaine from Colombia still to this day shipping stuff in has always been our style.
We still do most of that, but it seems we’ve managed to start exporting something we’re really good at: cannabis. According to a recent Associated Press story out of Hanoi, Vietnam, Canadian and American ganja isn’t just in demand in Asia – it’s prevalent and carries a hefty price despite heavy penalties for importing drugs in that country.

‘Merica.

The federal government will not sue Colorado and Washington to stop laws allowing for the possession sale and (in the case of Colorado) cultivation of cannabis from being enacted, nor will they seek out dispensaries for prosecution so long as the dispensaries are following state laws.
Basically: if dispensaries play by state rules, they most likely won’t be targets of federal prosecution. (Read the entire memo below)

Don’t expect any major changes in marijuana policy from the White House any time soon (okay, if you were expecting major changes in the first place you were in for a disappointment).
At a press briefing yesterday, CNN’s Jessica Yellin asked White House Deputy Press Secretary Josh Earnest if marijuana rescheduling was on the president’s radar these days after what seems to be a rapid public opinion shift on all things marijuana over the last few years. The answer? Our president isn’t even considering it — at least, not now.

All photos by Sharon Letts
Pure Life Wellness is located on La Cienega Boulevard in Los Angeles

By Sharon Letts
On the heels of continued raids by the DEA of four legally run dispensaries in Los Angeles, West L.A. dispensary owner Yamileth Bolanos is pretty much at the end of her Hemp rope, so to speak.
Bolanos, who is founder and owner of Pure Life Wellness, has been at the forefront of cannabis activism in the city of Los Angeles, where recently dispensaries were threatened with closure by city officials.
With the creation of GLACA, the “Greater Los Angeles Cannabis Alliance,” Bolanos, with other longtime dispensary owners, banded together to create their own entity in order to deal with the powers that be, driven by the philosophy that “strength in numbers” matter.
“We founded GLACA in 2006 to help create ordinances on how dispensaries should behave, because the city would not instate ordinances until 2010,” Bolanos said. “Those who were operating safely and were respectful of their neighbors needed a way to differentiate from profiteers who did not care about patient safety, or were otherwise problematic in their behavior.”

Cannabis Culture
Aaron Sandusky: “This is a terrible injustice. Nobody wins.”

Aaron Sandusky Sentenced to 10 Years in Federal Prison
By Cheri Sicard
Aaron Sandusky, the president of G3 Holistics, which operated three legal (under state law) California medical marijuana dispensaries, was sentenced to 10 years in federal prison on Monday in Los Angeles. Once his sentence is served, Sandusky will then face five years of supervised probation, including random drug testing. 
He is also being compelled to complete a drug rehab program, despite any evidence he actually has a drug addiction problem.
Defense attorney Roger Diamond made an impassioned plea on behalf of  his client, highlighting the conflicting opinions not only between state and federal law, both also laws within the state of California. He pointed out that Sandusky provided much needed medicine to seriously ill patients in full and open compliance with California state laws.

Kym Kemp
“Humboldt pot farmers maintain one of the last remaining small farming economies in the country, the last of a tradition where people working the land with their hands could still sustain themselves and their families.” ~ Mikal Jakubal

By Kym Kemp
Redheaded Blackbelt
“In Humboldt County, everyone has sticky stuff on their fingers…Every business in this county relies on the marijuana business,” proclaims a subject in One Good Year, a new documentary nearing completion that is based on the cannabis growers of this area.
To outsiders and, even to some who live here, the scope of the marijuana business in this community is unimaginable. Local documentary maker, Mikal Jakubal, examines that world by moving intimately through the lives of four local marijuana farmers (see the trailer below.)
Jakubal, who in addition to film-making owns a nursery, is a volunteer firefighter, and writes a blog in Humboldt County, began production on One Good Year in February of 2010–just in time for Prop. 19 which attempted to legalize marijuana in California.  He followed his subjects through their growing season and through the political upheavals that Prop. 19 brought.  In the process he tells the story of many in Humboldt County.
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