Tag Archives: Washington

Exclusive Interview: Medical Cannabis Patient Facing Prison Sentence Speaks Out

Truth In Media’s Joshua Cook recently interviewed Rolland Gregg, a Washington medical marijuana patient who was charged by the federal government for growing and consuming cannabis along with others in a group now known as the Kettle Falls Five. Gregg and four others were federally charged in spite of a rider within the 2014 “cromnibus” federal spending bill that forbids the Department Of Justice from undermining states that have legalized marijuana. Gregg is facing 33 months in federal prison.

The Kettle Falls Five- consisting of Washington medical marijuana patients Larry Harvey (now deceased); his widow, Rhonda Firestack-Harvey; Rhonda’s son, Rolland Gregg; Rolland’s wife, Michelle Gregg; and friend Jason Zucker- established a cannabis collective on a northeastern Washington property owned by Rhonda and Larry. The collective was operated in accordance with Washington law before they were raided by federal agents in 2012.

[Read More: Legal Medical Cannabis Growers on Trial: “Obama Admin is a Lie”]

Despite Washington’s law allowing for the cultivation and consumption of medical cannabis, the federal government superseded the state and pursued a case against the Kettle Falls Five, arguing that the Five were growing cannabis to distribute. During the trial, no one was allowed to discuss the group’s use of cannabis for medical purposes or the fact that they had obtained doctors’ recommendations.

Charges were dropped against Larry Harvey due to the progression of his pancreatic cancer. Larry passed away in August. Jason Zucker took a plea deal ahead of the trial and received a 16-month sentence. Following the trial, Rhonda Firestack-Harvey and Michelle Gregg each received a one-year sentence; Rolland Gregg received the strictest sentence of 33 months.

Gregg, who runs a technology development company outside of Seattle, shared his story in an exclusive interview with Truth In Media’s Joshua Cook. Gregg explained how cannabis changed his life as well as others in the Five, the details of the cannabis collective in which the group focused on adhering to state regulations, and the legal battles that have ensued.

Listen to Gregg’s exclusive interview with Truth In Media’s Joshua Cook below.


A Whitehouse.gov petition has been launched seeking a pardon for the remaining Kettle Falls Five defendants; click here to view. Gregg and his mother have also created an Indiegogo campaign to help with funding for their appeals process.

BREAKING: House Speaker John Boehner Stepping Down From Congress

WASHINGTON, September 25, 2015– Just two days ago, Speaker of the United States House of Representatives John Boehner (R-Ohio) was making headlines– conservatives were planning a coup to throw him off of the Speaker’s perch. Today, Boehner has announced that he will be stepping down from Congress next month.

On Wednesday, The Hill reported that conservatives were planning a coup to throw off Speaker Boehner due to Planned Parenthood funding.

“…lawmakers are wondering more than ever if Boehner’s days as Speaker are numbered,” reported The Hill.

Talk of the overthrow sent Washington into a frenzy.

“That’s what tells you there’s something afoot. You know there’s some drops of blood in the water, because all the sharks are starting to circle,” noted one conservative lawmaker who supports Boehner’s exit, according to The Hill.

Boehner allies had dismissed the chatter.

“The Speaker isn’t going anywhere,” Boehner’s spokeswoman, Emily Schillinger, said last week. “He’s focused on the American people’s priorities and how we can accomplish them.”

Fast-forward to today, Boehner sent a shock wave through Capitol Hill early this morning when it was announced that he would be stepping down from the Speakership and resigning from Congress at the end of October.

Two Republican lawmakers are likely to rise in an attempt to replace Boehner. House Majority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Cali.), the establishment pick, and Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), the conservative pick.

While McCarthy is not necessarily well-liked among conservative House members, he has attempted to make inroads with them since replacing former House Majority Leader Rep. Eric Cantor who was defeated by conservative challenger Dave Bratt in an upset that shook Capitol Hill to its core.

On the other hand, Jordan is the conservative pick, but is still somewhat well-liked among the establishment. Jordan was leading the charge to defund Planned Parenthood, and was willing to climb over Boehner to do so.

John Andrew Boehner was first elected to Congress in 1990.

FOLLOW MICHAEL LOTFI ON Facebook, Twitter & LinkedIn.

Minors Face ‘Unintended’ Felony Charges For Pot Under Wash. Recreational Cannabis Law

Three teens, ages 14, 15, and 17, are facing felony charges for pot possession in the U.S. state of Washington, where recreational marijuana possession is legal.

According to NPR, a lesser-known provision in a new law, SB 5052, which was aimed at consolidating taxes and regulations between the state’s medical and recreational marijuana industries, has stiffened the penalty for pot possession by individuals under 21 from a misdemeanor punished by up to 90 days in jail to a class C felony with a maximum penalty of five years in prison.

Jaime Smith, a spokesperson for Democratic Wash. Gov. Jay Inslee, said in comments cited by The Associated Press, “I can only tell you that this was not the intention that the governor had when working with legislators on this bill.” Smith added, “There are other ways to [discourage marijuana use by minors] without charging them with felonies.” Gov. Inslee signed the bill into law earlier this year.

[RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: Cannabis Oil Activist Shona Banda, Now Facing Felony Charges, Speaks Out]

Sen. Ann Rivers (R-La Center), who sponsored the bill, said that the provision was intended to discourage minors from using marijuana. “We have to send a message to our kids: This will hurt you in more ways than one if you decide to participate,” she said.

The Lewiston Tribune notes that the three teens are facing charges in Asotin County, which borders Idaho. Asotin County Prosecutor Ben Nichols pointed out the fact that they are the first to be charged under the new law and explained its effect, “If you are a minor, a person under 21, [marijuana possession] is a felony no matter what.” Nichols later appeared open to downgrading the teens’ charges to misdemeanors.

Nichols said that if lawmakers were to repeal the provision, the teens currently facing charges could have their expected convictions vacated by the court after the fact.

Rick Laws, an Asotin County public defender assigned to represent one of the teens, said that hard prison time is “an awfully high price for a few people to have to pay for faulty legislative work.

Back in September of last year, Ben Swann released a Truth in Media episode exposing the federal government’s mixed messages on medical marijuana. Watch it in the below-embedded video player.


Washington Gun Show Defies State Law, Will Not Require Background Checks

Yakima, Wash. – Despite a new state law that expands background checks beyond federal requirements, the patriot group Liberty For All is hosting a gun show that will allow gun sales without background checks.

The Arms Expo 2015 will be held June 20-21 in Yakima and its organizers have presented it as a “liberty market and gun show” and a “patriot campout for the whole family” that will not comply with Initiative 594, a controversial new law expanding background checks in the state of Washington.

Guns.com reported that Initiative 594 was “backed extensively by a core group of billionaires and national gun control groups,” and after it was passed in November 2014, it resulted in “protests that have drawn thousands.”

Shayne Downing, the owner of Tactical Supply and a sponsor of the Arms Expo told NBC Right Now that he expects a large turnout at the event, because when Initiative 594 passed, many individuals were upset.

“The no background checks has been occurring for as long as this country has been around, so it’s nothing new,” Downing said. “Gun shows have been operating this way for quite some time now until recently, unfortunately that changed.”

Kit Lange, one of the organizers of the event, told Ammoland.com“the point of Arms Expo is liberty.

“We have the right to self-defense and the duty to resist unconstitutional law,” Lange said. “The expo will allow people to come and not only experience true liberty, but will also learn how to apply that liberty in their everyday lives, network with other like-minded people, and learn some new skills.”

According to the event’s website, while private sales of guns will be welcome, organizers also “encourage commercial vendors to refuse unconstitutional laws and background checks, and encourage patriots to support those bold vendors as well as buy from each other in defiance of lawless legislation.”

Mike Vanderboegh, the operator of the blog Sipsey Street Irregulars and one of the speakers at the event, told Guns.com that he thinks non-compliance is a “logical step to help defeat draconian gun laws.”

“The Arms Expo in Yakima is just the latest example of the nationwide campaign of armed civil disobedience in the wake of the unconstitutional state laws passed in the anti-firearm hysteria after Sandy Hook,” Vanderboegh said.

While there is speculation as to how law enforcement will respond to the Arms Expo’s non-compliance with the law on background checks, Mike Bastinelli, a spokesperson for the Yakima Police Department told NBC Right Now that they do not plan on patrolling the event.

“The Yakima Police Department has never policed gun shows and we have no intention to start doing that despite this new law that we believe is going to be challenged in courts,” Bastinelli said. “It’s really the responsibility of the people putting on the gun shows to police themselves.”

Washington State Now Requires Police Obtain Warrants For Stingray Surveillance

On Monday, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee signed a bill into law that requires police officers obtain warrants from a judge stating that there is probable cause that the use of a cell site simulator device, or “Stingray,” will lead to evidence of criminal activity.

The News Tribune in Tacoma reported that when police obtain a warrant from a judge to use a stingray device, they must “disclose the use of the device” and must “discard cellphone data from people who are not the specific target of a police investigation.”

Ars Technica noted that while Washington’s law is not the first of its kind in the US, and there are similar laws in Virginia, Minnesota and Utah, Washington’s law may have the most stringent requirements, because it “imposes extra requirements that compel police to describe the technology and its impact in detail to judges.

As previously reported by Truth in Media’s Derrick Broze, as long as a cellphone is on, it can be tracked by a Stingray device, even if it is not making or receiving a call. Broze noted that police officers are “likely bringing them to large protests to gather data on those in attendance.”

Broze also noted that Stingrays can be handheld or vehicle-based, and that they extract data from cellphones “at full signal, consuming battery faster,” which might mean that a “constantly dying battery could be a sign that you are being tracked.”

In Aug. 2014, The News Tribune revealed that the Tacoma Police Department has had a Stingray device since 2008, and has used it hundreds of times to find criminal suspects, “without telling judges about its capabilities.”

Jared Friend, the director of the Technology and Liberty program at the American Civil Liberties Union’s Washington office, released a statement calling Stingrays “emblematic of the threats to privacy posed by new technologies and expanding government surveillance activities” and saying that with this new law, Washington state has become a “leader in regulating these invasive devices.”

“Around the country, local police departments and the FBI have engaged in a campaign to conceal the use of cell site simulators from judges and from the public,” Friend said. “These devices epitomize the continuing militarization of local law enforcement and should not be free from judicial and public scrutiny.”

WA Gun Rights Group Planning Armed Protest in Response to Open Carry Activist’s Arrest

According to a press release by the Washington-based gun rights organization Liberty for All, the group is planning an open carry protest on March 6 outside of Spokane, Washington’s Tom Foley federal courthouse in response to what the group calls the “illegal arrest and detention of a prominent liberty activist” named Anthony Bosworth, who mounted a campaign for Yakima County sheriff in 2014. According to WWLP, Bosworth was arrested and detained by federal police in February as he conducted an open carry demonstration outside of the courthouse. The arrest was caught on video, seen above.

The open carry of firearms is legal in Washington. However, federal police claim that Bosworth was carrying on federal property, which Bosworth denies. The gun rights activist said that he had been standing outside the courthouse and was asking federal officers to clarify the border between state and federal property at the time that he was arrested. According to Yakima Herald, Bosworth was cited for failing to disperse, but was not charged in connection with carrying a firearm on federal property.

Liberty for All’s Sam Wilson wrote in a statement, “Anthony Bosworth, part of the Liberty for All leadership, was arrested and detained in a steel cage for five hours by federal agents while attending a 10th Amendment rally in the public courtyard outside the federal courthouse on February 25. The agents, representing Department of Homeland Security and the US Marshal Service, claimed that Bosworth was violating federal law by being openly armed.” Wilson said that police asked Bosworth politically-motivated questions after they placed him in detention, “During the detention, the FBI subjected Bosworth to a three-hour interrogation regarding his liberty activism and demanding information about ‘the movement’s intentions.'”

Our State, Our Rights: The Patriots Answer rally is slated for 11:00 AM, and the armed patriots are expecting a large turnout to protest the overreach of federal authorities, who used the Patriot Act to deny the activist his Miranda rights, access to an attorney, and even access to toilet paper while detained,” said Wilson, noting the motivation behind and details of the March 6 open carry rally in defense of Bosworth. He said that, despite the fact that Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich intervened and did not allow federal police to bring trespassing or gun charges, police have yet to return Bosworth’s firearms, which were taken during the incident.

Said Bosworth of the controversy in comments to KXLY, “I was arrested for practicing my second amendment right 10 feet away from a plaque that enshrines our Bill of Rights. They’ve got it posted right there, but yet they will illegally arrest an American citizen with it sitting right there.”

Judge Rules WA Law Banning Medical Marijuana Ads Unconstitutional

“I find the statute impermissibly overbroad as it chills even informational speech aimed solely at public education,” said Pierce County, WA Superior Court Judge Elizabeth Martin in a written decision explaining why she ruled a Washington state law banning medical marijuana advertisements unconstitutional. According to Courthouse News Service, the law in question banned doctors from making “any statement or reference, visual or otherwise, on the medical use of marijuana in any advertisement.”

The Yakima Herald-Republic notes that the decision came in response to a suit against the state filed on behalf of Dr. Scott Havsy, a local doctor and osteopath who was punished by the state for producing advertisements that pointed out some of the ailments that qualify an individual to seek treatment via medical marijuana and that included an image of a marijuana leaf. Back in July of 2012, Washington’s Department of Health slapped Dr. Havsy with an unprofessional conduct charge for which he was fined, barred from continuing to run his advertisements, and placed on probation.

Havsy argued through legal representation that his advertising content is protected commercial speech and that the ban unduly burdened patients seeking treatment, as they could not discover through advertising which doctors offer medical marijuana prescriptions. The Yakima Herald-Republic quoted Havsy’s lawyer Mark Olson as arguing, “The only restrictions that should be placed on professional advertising are to be sure the advertising is not false or misleading. Other than that, when the government restricts advertising by professionals, it places a chilling effect on the free flow of information, especially on the Internet.”

Assistant Attorney General Joyce Roper represented the state and argued that the First Amendment does not protect advertisements concerning illegal products. Though marijuana is legal for both medical and recreational use in Washington, it is still subject to a federal ban.

Judge Martin disagreed with both attorneys’ contention that Havsy’s speech was merely commercial in nature, but said that it may instead be in the public’s interest, noting that many of the statements in his advertisements came from state-run websites. “It is difficult to understand, for example, how a link to the state’s own website and a recitation of the language of Chapter 59.51A on medical marijuana harms public health and safety,” said Martin according to Courthouse News Service, noting that some of the content in Havsy’s ads helped spread health information recognized by the state.

“I find that the restriction set forth in the statute at issue is far more extensive than necessary as it bars any advertisement in any form, regardless of the message, format, context, etc… The result of this statute is that the public cannot be informed by any health care provider, including Dr. Havsy, as to whether that provider is even available or willing to perform the required medical exam for the certificate of use,” said Judge Martin. She was also troubled by the fact that “even a published statement by a health care provider, purely neutral and informational in nature, potentially violates the blanket prohibitions of this statute.”

Judge Martin said that, while the state can not ban medical pot ads outright, it does have an interest in regulating them to ensure that they do not make false or misleading statements. She wrote, “I do not take lightly the import of this decision and expect that this ruling will not be the final word on the subject.” Judge Martin granted a stay on the penalties placed on Dr. Havsy.

Ben Swann took on the federal government’s mixed messages on medical marijuana in a recent Truth in Media expose. Watch in the embedded player, found below.

New legislation could erase Common Core standards

As more and more states begin to reject and propose bills against Common Core standards, new legislation has been released which could cause an end to the controversial education system.

Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) is the new chairman of the Senate’s education committee, and he has released two options to replace the education system. One replacement plan would have standardized requirements for math and reading between grades 3-8, while the other option offers states the choice to test annually or every three years to see how they are performing.

The second option, according to the Times-Picayune, would allow each state to choose which standardized test to administer to their students. Whether or not the state chooses to move forward with the Common Core standards would therefore be left up to the state.

Alexander also took time on Tuesday, while speaking on the House floor, to say he believes President Obama’s Education Department has overstepped its authority. He said he thinks the Education Department should not hold each state to a specific set of standards, but should allow each state to set their own standards. “The department has become, in effect, a national school board,” said Alexander.

While many believe a new proposed education bill is likely to succeed now that Republicans have control of Congress, not everyone is totally convinced it is the right choice.

Andrew Rotherham, one of the founders of the education consultancy Bellwether Education Partners, has said, according to the Washington Post, the point of Common Core was to make sure all children across state-lines were getting an equal opportunity to learn and achieve.

“This is basically a way,” says Rotherham on the legislation, “to make sure we don’t have a common definition. Some kids are going to get a really challenging and ambitious set of standards, and other kids are going to fall through the cracks.”

Tom Loveless, a scholar with the Brookings Institution, found students in states which have a more rigorous academic curriculum do not necessarily perform any better on standardize tests than their peers. Loveless argues the changes should not be made at the state level, rather individual school systems within the state need to be changed.

A study published by the Brookings Institution found, “students from wealthier families score significantly higher on [standardized tests] than students from poorer families,” within the same state.

Senator Patty Murray (D-Wash.), a member of the Senate Education Committee, agrees with Alexander in saying changes are needed in the education system, but says annual testing is needed to make sure schools are meeting some sort of standard.

“We know if we don’t have ways to measure students’ progress, and if we don’t hold our states accountable, the victims will invariably be the kids from poor neighborhoods, children of color and students with disabilities,” said Murray. “These are the students who too often fall through the cracks, and that is not fair…This is a civil rights issue, plain and simple.”

TEXAS: New bill declares all federal gun control invalid and non enforceable

AUSTIN, November 14, 2014– A Texas legislator has introduced a new bill to derail the enforcement of virtually all federal gun control measures within the state’s borders.

“With this bill, Texas could help lead the country forward,” said Scott Landreth, campaign lead for ShallNot.org, a project of the Tenth Amendment Center that advocates for states to protect their citizens from federal overreach. “Passage would have serious impact on the federal government’s ability to carry out its unconstitutional gun control measures already on the books.”

Landreth  has suggested that this could create a domino effect.

Introduced by newly re-elected State Representative Tim Kleinschmidt (R-Lexington), House Bill 176 (HB176) declares all federal restrictions on the right to keep and bear arms to be “invalid” and “not enforceable” within the state of Texas. It bill reads, in part:

A federal law, including a statute, an executive, administrative, or court order, or a rule, that infringes on a law-abiding citizen’s right to keep and bear arms under the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution or Section 23, Article I, Texas Constitution, is invalid and not enforceable in this state.

If passed into law, all government agencies and employees within Texas would be banned from enforcing any federal law in violation of the act.  The prohibition on enforcement includes any federal legislation that:

(1) imposes a tax, fee, or stamp on a firearm, firearm accessory, or firearm ammunition that is not common to all other goods and services and may be reasonably expected to create a chilling effect on the purchase or ownership of those items by a law-abiding citizen;

(2) requires the registration or tracking of a firearm, firearm accessory, or firearm ammunition or the owners of those items that may be reasonably expected to create a chilling effect on the purchase or ownership of those items by a law-abiding citizen;

(3) prohibits the possession, ownership, use, or transfer of a firearm, firearm accessory, or firearm ammunition by a law-abiding citizen;

(4) orders the confiscation of a firearm, firearm accessory, or firearm ammunition from a law-abiding citizen.

State employees who knowingly violate the act would risk a suit for damages for assisting the federal government violate an individual’s right to keep and bear arms in Texas. A defense of sovereign immunity would also be prohibited in such a suit.

Kleinschmidt, starting his 4th term in January, has developed a reputation as a strong defender of the Second Amendment. In the 2013 session, he worked to pass legislation that “prohibits public and private colleges and universities from adopting administrative rules banning the possession, transportation and storage of lawfully-owned firearms and ammunition in private motor vehicles by students and visitors with Concealed Handgun Licenses (CHLs).”  He was also heralded by the NRA-ILA for his 2011 employee/parking lot protection bill that was signed into law that year.

Recognizing that the federal government would always require cooperation on a state and local level, James Madison, writing in Federalist #46, advised state “legislative devices” and a “refusal to cooperate with officers of the Union” as a strategy to push back against unconstitutional or merely unpopular federal acts.

Last year, Judge Andrew Napolitano said that if a single state stop participating in the enforcement of federal gun laws, it would make those laws “nearly impossible” to enforce within the state.

“If a few other states follow Kleinschmidt’s lead, it’ll also give Washington D.C. pause before even trying to pass new restrictions on our right to keep and bear arms,” he said.

The approach is on sound legal footing, with notable Supreme Court opinions backing the view that the federal government cannot require a state to expend manpower or resources in the enforcement of a federal act. The 1997 case, Printz v. US serves as the cornerstone.  In it, Justice Scalia held:

The Federal Government may neither issue directives requiring the States to address particular problems, nor command the States’ officers, or those of their political subdivisions, to administer or enforce a federal regulatory program. 

As noted Georgetown Law Constitutional Scholar Randy Barnett has said, “This line of cases is now 20 years old and considered well settled.”

In 2013, similar legislation was passed in Idaho, although not as far-reaching as the bill from Kleinschmidt. Another bill was signed into law in Alaska, but lacked the specifics of which federal acts the law addressed.  And another law was signed in Kansas, but is currently not being enforced due to a court challenge from the Brady Campaign over provisions that include criminal charges for federal agents.

HB176 will first be assigned to a committee, where it will need to pass before a full assembly of the State House can consider it.

Follow Michael Lotfi on Facebook & Twitter.

Washington Plans to Reboot the FSA despite known terrorist links


President Obama was scheduled to meet with 21 countries last week to discuss the war against ISIS in Syria and Iraq, and no Syrians were invited to attend, making it clear that the existing moderate Syrian rebels are not part of the mission.

According to The Daily Beast, the U.S. government has no near-term plans to include the Free Syrian Army or any other moderate rebel group in the military mission to fight ISIS.

An official told The Daily Beast about the meeting slated for Andrews Air Force Base near Washington, D.C. and chaired by Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey does not include any Syrian rebel partnership in the airstrikes against ISIS in Syria and Iraq.

“We’ve said this is an Iraq-first strategy,” Col. Edward Thomas, spokesman for the Joint Chiefs of Staff. “We have not yet moved to the stage in Syria where we would work with partners on the ground.”

Apparently Washington has a quick change of heart.

According to the LA Times, Washington is going to reboot the FSA despite the fact that U.S. officials have acknowledged the known problems with the rebel group and the fear that information will be leaked to the targeted militants that they have ties to.

“At this point, the intent of the coalition is to build a coherence to the Free Syrian Army elements that will give it the capacity and the credibility over time to be able to make its weight felt in the battlefield,” retired Marine Gen. John R. Allen told reporters in Washington this month.

Sen. Rand Paul who has voiced criticism of America’s foreign policy in Syria, called Washington to stop supplying rebels weapons that could fall into the hands of ISIS.

“The ultimate sad irony is that we’re forced to fight against the very weapons we send the Syrian rebels,” he said. “ISIS is stronger because of our weapons.”

As previously reported by Benswann.com [ here, here and here ], ISIS is benefiting from U.S. arms and is becoming stronger in the Middle East as a result of it.


Lone shooter in Washington school shooting is reportedly dead

A shooting at a high school near Seattle early Friday morning has resulted in the death of the shooter, according to Washington state police.

The shooting happened at Marysville-Pilchuck High School, which is in Marysville, a residential area to the north of Seattle.

Marysville Police Commander Rob Lamourex said the shooter was a student who attended Marysville-Pilchuck.

According to the Seattle Times, the shooter turned them gun on himself, resulting in his death.  One other student was reportedly killed during the shooting.

At least five others were injured, including two other students, and one of those injured reportedly is suffering from a head wound.  How serious these injuries are, and whether any of them are life-threatening, has not been disclosed as of yet.

One student, whose name has been withheld, told CNN when the shooting started, students initially thought the noise signaled a fire drill.  This student said when they realized the sounds were gun shoots, they hid in a nearby classroom with other students, all of whom were unharmed.

After police arrived on the scene, they began to evacuate the students and staff safely out of the school and transport them to a nearby church.  Parents were at the church to meet with their children and others.

Heather Parker, who is a mother of a Marysville-Pilchuck senior, said, “I never thought I would be standing here after a school shooting.”

Jery Holston is the father of two students at the school, told reporters, “As a father, this has been my fear since my kids have been in school, that something like this would happen.”

U.S. Marijuana Legalization Weakens Mexican Cartels

According to the FBI’s crime statistics from the last 20 years, half of the drug arrests in the United States have been Marijuana-related. The U.S. Department of Justice reported that a “large portion of the U.S. illegal drug market is controlled directly by Mexican cartels.”

Last week, The Washington Post reported that Marijuana farmers in the Sinaloa region of Mexico have “stopped planting due to a massive drop in wholesale prices, from $100 per kilo down to only $25,” with one farmer saying, “It’s not worth it anymore. I wish the Americans would stop with this legalization.

Sean Dunagan, a former DEA Senior Intelligence Specialist, compared the effect of legalizing marijuana to the effect of legalizing alcohol.

Anything to establish a regulated legal market will necessarily cut into those profits,” said Dunagan. “It won’t be a viable business for the Mexican cartels — the same way bootleggers disappeared after prohibition fell.”

Dunagan spent two years in Mexico, working for DEA Operations, and he claimed there was a “temptation sometimes to prioritize a certain cartel or informant.” He said cartels were aware of this, and that they “exploit the relationship to provide information on their competitors. It creates these perverse incentives — you are investigating what your informant is telling you, not what they are doing.

Is it hurting the cartels? Yes. The cartels are criminal organizations that were making as much as 35-40 percent of their income from marijuana,” retired federal agent, Terry Nelson, told VICE News. “They aren’t able to move as much cannabis inside the US now.

Although Marijuana is legalized in Colorado and Washington, it is still on the federal list of high-priority illegal drugs, and according to Dunagan, even in a state that has legalized marijuana, it is still illegal under federal law.

Dunagan pointed out that, “Technically, a DEA agent could still walk into any marijuana dispensary in Colorado and seize the money, and arrest everyone.” However, instead of doing that, the DEA uses other tactics.

While some doctors in states like Massachusetts have been threatened and told that prescribing medical marijuana will cause them to lose their license to prescribe other drugs, banks have been instructed not work with marijuana facilities.

The DEA doesn’t want the drug war to end,” said Nelson. “If it ends, they don’t get their toys and their budgets. Once it ends, they aren’t going to have the kind of influence in foreign government.

State of Washington becomes second state to sell recreational marijuana legally

After being voted through by citizens almost two years ago, the state of Washington has become the second state in the U.S. to sell marijuana legally and without a doctor’s note.

Some shops opened on Monday while many shops opened for the first time this morning.  Some shops today had lines of customers waiting in anticipation to enjoy marijuana legally.  Some customers drove as far as from Kansas to wait in line, according to ABC13.

Deb Green is a 65-year-old Washington resident who voted for legalization two years ago, and was one of those who waited in line.  “I voted for it,” Green tells Oregon Live.  “I’m not a heavy user; I’m just proud of our state for giving this a try.”

Prices for legal marijuana are expected to start off around $25 a gram, and this price is double what people would pay at medical dispensaries.  The reason for the relatively high prices is the state of Washington’s medical system is unregulated, meaning there were not many people legally producing marijuana in the first place for medical dispensaries.

Washington has approved less than 100 legal growers to help kick start the marijuana market, but this is far less than the 2,600 people who applied for licenses to grow marijuana.  This has created an initial shortage of marijuana throughout the state, but as more growers receive their licenses, the laws of supply and demand say prices should fall.

Sales are also restricted in Washington, according to FOX News.  Shops can only sell to adults over the age of 21, and selling amounts are specific as well.

Customers can buy one ounce of dried marijuana, one pound of marijuana-infused solids like foods, four pounds of marijuana-infused liquids, or seven grams of concentrated marijuana at one time.

U.S. Government Trying To Force Washington Redskins To Change Team Name

On Wednesday, the United States Patent and Trademark Office canceled six of the Washington Redskins’ federal trademarks in a 2-1 verdict. The decision stated, “Petitioners have shown by a preponderance of the evidence that a substantial composite of Native Americans found the term REDSKINS to be disparaging.”

While the cancellation won’t force the National Football League to change the team’s name, it does give ground to those who find the term “Redskins” to be a derogatory racial slur. It also weakens the Redskins’ legal protection, and allows counterfeit Redskins merchandise to be sold in the United States.

Once the trademark decision had been made, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid took to the Senate floor to express his opinion, saying, “the handwriting is on the wall.” Reid went on to say that the Redskins’ owner, Daniel Snyder, might be the last person in the world to realize that his team’s name is “racist,” but that “it is just a matter of time until he is forced to do the right thing and change the name.”

Washington Redskins attorneys stated that the team would appeal. Team attorney, Robert Raskopf stated that just as the team prevailed on appeal in an earlier iteration of the case, he was confident that they would succeed once again. “This case is no different than an earlier case, where the Board cancelled the Redskins’ trademark registrations, and where a federal district court disagreed and reversed the Board,” said Raskopf.

The controversy over the Redskins’ team name has been an ongoing one, and when Daniel Snyder was asked by USA TODAY in May 2013, if he would consider changing his team’s name, should they lose their federal trademark, his response was: “NEVER, you can use caps.”

DEA continues obstructing marijuana research, report says

A new report released by the Drug Policy Alliance and the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies, says the DEA has spent the last four decades thwarting marijuana research which carries the potential of reclassification for the drug.

“The DEA has argued for decades that there is insufficient evidence to support rescheduling marijuana,” reads the executive summary of the report.  “At the same time, it has… acted in a manner intended to systematically impede scientific research.”

Currently, marijuana is classified as a Schedule I drug, meaning the federal government does not recognize any acceptable uses for the drug, including medicinal uses.  The status of Schedule I also means the drugs in this category cannot receive federal funding for research, medicinal or otherwise.  Marijuana is joined on the Schedule I tier by peyote, LSD, and heroine.

“This concerns me greatly as someone who has studied marijuana and given thousands of doses of the drug,” says Professor Carl Hart of the department of psychology and psychiatry from Columbia University.

Professor Hart continues saying, “The notion that the DEA has not thought about reconsidering scheduling of marijuana seems to be against scientific evidence and what we’re trying to do as a society that relies on imperial evidence to make decisions.”

The report also states the DEA has been forced by several court orders to release a decision on the reclassification of marijuana.  Two of these times, multiple lawsuits were brought forth against the DEA to act instead of simply sitting on their hands for years.

This report is released a few weeks after the House of Representatives approved of three amendments focused on restricting the DEA’s grasp on marijuana and hemp laws.  Republican Rep. Dana Rohrabacher of California was one sponsor of the amendments.

“Nobody should be afraid of the truth,” says Rohrabacher.  “Is the downside of marijuana a harmful side effect? Or is there a positive side that actually does help? That needs to be proven.”

A few studies have already shown marijuana has many potential medical uses, including slowing or stopping the spread and growth of cancerous cells, including leukemia.

Dr. Wai Liu from St. George’s University of London told the Huffington Post, “Cannabinoids have a complex action; it hits a number of important processes that cancers need to survive.”

The growing support for the legalization of marijuana has seen 22 states and the District of Columbia legalize medicinal use of marijuana, and Colorado and Washington have legalized the recreational use of the drug.

Seattle Pacific University Student Tackles And Restrains Gunman During School Shooting

Seattle, WA- On Thursday afternoon, a man armed with a shotgun opened fire at Seattle Pacific University. The man walked into the Otto Miller Hall campus building at around 3:30 and quickly began shooting at several victims, wounding as many as 3 people and killing one.

As the gunman stopped to reload, Jon Meis, a student and building monitor, pepper sprayed the gunman before tackling him and pushing him to the ground. Other students rushed to Meis’ side and held the shooter down until police arrived. The police had initially sought more than one shooter, but they later reported that they were no longer searching for an additional suspect.

“There are a number of heroes in this,” Seattle assistant police chief Paul McDonagh said. “But for the great response by the people of Seattle Pacific, this incident might have been much more tragic.”

The shooter was identified as 26-year-old Aaron Ybarra, who is not a Seattle Pacific University student, according to McDonagh. Ybarra was arrested and booked at King County Jail for investigation of murder.

As is the case in many school shootings, the motive behind the shooting at Seattle Pacific is unclear. Zack McKinley, a friend of Ybarra, told the Seattle Times that the alleged shooter is “super happy and friendly. He’s an awesome guy, someone who would never let you down.”

According to McKinley, Ybarra had a well-rounded group of friends and recently had begun working long hours at a grocery store. “I’m really good at deciphering if someone’s got bad news or in trouble. I’m blown away by this,’’ said McKinley. “He called me yesterday and asked if I wanted to go fishing.”

Ybarra’s father, Ambrose Ybarra, is also bewildered by Thursday’s fatal incident. “We don’t know anything,’’ said Ambrose Ybarra. “We just hope he’s safe. I’m a family man. I just need to put my arms around my family now. We just need to sit down and talk.”

Students closest to Otto Miller Hall where Ybarra allegedly began shooting were the first to hear the gunshots.  “I heard a loud bang. At first I thought it was a chemistry project. My teacher thought that, too. Then I put my head to the door and I heard shouting. I decided, that was a gunshot, we need to lockdown,” said Blake Oliveira, a student who was in physics class when he realized what was going on.

Students across the university learned of the situation through a mass emergency text that read “Emergency! A campus lockdown has been initiated. This is not a drill.”

The area that surrounds Seattle Pacific University  is not known to be a high-crime location. Seattle police recorded 14 violent crimes in that area over the last four years.

“Today should have been a day of celebration at the end of the school year here at Seattle Pacific University. Instead, it’s a day of tragedy and of loss. Once again, the epidemic of gun violence has come to Seattle, an epidemic of gun violence that has haunted this nation,” said Seattle Mayor Ed Murray.

Follow Annabelle on Facebook and Twitter.

BREAKING: Washington State Legislators Pass Hemp Nullification Bill

Rep. Matthew Shea Gets Hemp Bill Passed in Washington State House
Rep. Matthew Shea Gets Hemp Bill Passed in Washington State House

Olympia, Wa., February 17, 2014– State legislators in the Washington House of Representatives just voted unanimously (97:0) to approve HB1888, which effectively nullifies the federal ban on hemp within the state of Washington.

State Rep. Matthew Shea (R-Spokane Valley) is the bill’s main sponsor. “This is a phenomenal bill, expanding freedom, allowing jobs to be created – a new market here in Washington state – the potential state economic impact is in the tens of millions if not hundreds of millions,” said Shea.

From the bill:

“This act attempts to reassert this original meaning of the commerce clause over wide areas of policy and effectively nullify federal laws and regulations that violate such limitations by regulating commerce and other activities that are solely intrastate.”

Experts count as many as 25,000 uses for industrial hemp, including food, cosmetics, plastics and bio-fuel. The U.S. currently imports hemp products, primarily from China and Canada.

Last week, President Barack Obama signed a new farm bill into law, which included a provision allowing a handful of states to begin limited research programs growing hemp. The new “hemp amendment”

…allows State Agriculture Departments, colleges and universities to grow hemp, defined as the non-drug oilseed and fiber varieties of Cannabis, for academic or agricultural research purposes, but it applies only to states where industrial hemp farming is already legal under state law.

Tenth Amendment Center executive director Michael Boldin weighed in on the Washington state legislature’s move:

“While Pres. Obama and the federal government play games by allowing limited hemp growing for “research,” legislators in Washington State are telling the feds to butt out by moving forward with a bill to allow full scale farming and production of this essential crop,” he said. “Every state should nullify these unconstitutional federal restrictions on industrial hemp.”

Three states – Colorado, Oregon and Vermont – have already passed ssimilar measures. Farmers in SE Colorado started harvesting the plant in 2013 and have essentially ignored the limitations set forth in the new federal Farm Bill.

The Washington State Senate will now take up the bill. A vote is expected within the coming weeks.

Follow Michael Lotfi on Facebook and on Twitter.

Book Used By Schools Changes Meaning Of Second Amendment


Photographs recently started circulating of a page from a textbook that students in Denton, Texas are suppose to use for advanced placement examination in US History. The controversy around the book is its summation of the Second Amendment to the Bill of Rights. It should be noted that all 10 amendments are summarized in the text. However, the summary of the other nine amendments does not change their meaning as it does with the Second Amendment.

The book titled, United States History: Preparing for the Advanced Placement Examination, summarizes the Second Amendment as so: “The people have the right to keep and bear arms in a state militia.

Upon interpretation of this version of the Second Amendment one would certainly deduce that an individual only has a right to keep and bear arms in if they are in a state militia. The summary also leaves out the most crucial words of the Second AmendmentShall Not Be Infringed.

Hundreds of individuals have taken to the book’s amazon page in fury. Comments read:

WARNING: DON’T BUY THIS BOOK! It contains so called “history” that is inaccurate and untrue. Please ask that Amazon remove it

This book is complete propaganda that is not based in fact. 

The next edition will probably wipe out the Constitution of the US entirely and replace it with Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals. I imagine the progressive college professors are giddy with excitement knowing that their agenda is sanctified by the Dept of Ed and spoon fed to young, impressionable minds.

This text book should stay on the shelves and rot. Don’t even consider buying it to educate your children if you’re interested in historical facts.


One wonders how students can be placed in advanced classes when actually learning incorrect material. According to Jason Howerton with The Blaze, parents in the district are furious. Howerton reached out to the Denton Independent School District regarding the text book and received the following statement from Director of Communications and Community Relations Sharon Cox:

“The main history book that is utilized in the Advanced Placement U.S. History class for juniors in Denton ISD  is titled: American Pageant. This is a history book that has had a strong reputation for historical facts for many years. The American Pageant, the official textbook, gives the exact Bill of Rights.”

Cox goes on to ensure that the material is only supplemental and not approved for the classroom.  The book is also used in Washington, Georgia, California and possibly others.