Archive for January, 2012


The Year In Review – NORML’s Top 10 Events That Shaped Marijuana Policy in 2011

Wednesday, January 4th, 2012

Earlier this year we were happy to see our book Marijuana is Safer pass the 500,000 fan milestone on Facebook — but not without some nonsense from the bots over supportive ads we wanted to post. No long-term harm was done by Facebook’s reticence to allow our ads, thankfully. They eventually backed down, and the book now has over 620,000 fans!

For a look back at what else has happened in the fight to legalize this potent plant ally, we take a page from NORML’s book, or rather, their blog! Here are the top 10 events of the past year that shaped marijuana policy.

#1 NORML Sues to Halt Government’s Prosecution of Medical Cannabis Providers
In October, the United States Deputy Attorney General, along with the four US Attorneys from California, announced their intentions to escalate federal efforts targeting the state’s medical cannabis dispensaries and providers. In response, members of the NORML Legal Committee filed suit in November against the federal government arguing that its actions were in violation of the Ninth, Tenth, and Fourteenth Amendments of the US Constitution. Plaintiffs further argued, using the theory of judicial estoppel, that the Justice Department had previously affirmed in federal court that it would no longer use federal resources to prosecute cannabis patients or providers who are compliant with state law. NORML’s lawsuit remains pending. Read the full story here.

#2 Members of Congress Introduce First Bill Since 1937 to Legalize Cannabis
House lawmakers introduced legislation in Congress in June to end the federal criminalization of the personal use of marijuana. The bipartisan measure – HR 2306, the ‘Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act of 2011′ – prohibits the federal government from prosecuting adults who use or possess cannabis by removing the plant and its primary psychoactive constituent, THC, from the five schedules of the United States Controlled Substances Act of 1970. The bill awaits Congressional action. Read the full story here.

#3 Gallup: Majority of Americans Support Legalizing Cannabis
A record 50 percent of Americans now believe that marijuana ought to be legalized for adult use, according to a nationwide Gallup poll of 1,005 adults published in October. The 2011 survey results mark the first time ever that Gallup has reported that more Americans support legalizing cannabis (50 percent) than oppose it (46 percent). Read the full story here.

#4 Over One Million Americans Now Use Cannabis Legally Under State Law
Between one million to one-and-a-half million US citizens are legally authorized by the laws of their state to use marijuana, according to data compiled in May by NORML from state medical marijuana registries and patient estimates. Read the full story here.

#5 Marijuana Prosecutions For 2010 Near Record High
Police made 853,838 arrests in 2010 for marijuana-related offenses according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s annual Uniform Crime Report, released in September. The annual arrest total is among the highest ever reported by the agency. Marijuana arrests now comprise more than one-half (52 percent) of all drug arrests in the United States. Read the full story here.

#6 Largest State Doctors Association Calls For Legalizing Cannabis
The California Medical Association in October called for the “legalization and regulation” of cannabis for adults. The association, which represents some 35,000 physicians, recommends that cannabis be taxed and regulated “in a manner similar to alcohol.” Read the full story here.

#7 Connecticut Decriminalizes Cannabis Possession Offenses
Statewide legislation took effect in July reducing the penalties for the adult possession of up to one-half ounce of marijuana from a criminal misdemeanor (formerly punishable by one year in jail and a $1,000 fine) to a non-criminal infraction, punishable by a $150 fine, no arrest or jail time, and no criminal record. Read the full story here.

#8 Vaporized Cannabis Augments Analgesic Effect of Opiates in Humans
Vaporized cannabis significantly augments the analgesic effects of opiates in patients with chronic pain, according to clinical trial data published online in the journal Clinical Pharmacology & Therapeutics in November. Investigators surmised that cannabis-specific interventions “may allow for opioid treatment at lower doses with fewer [patient] side effects.” Read the full story here.

#9 State Governors Call on Obama Administration to Reclassify Cannabis
In December, governors from Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington formally requested the Obama administration to reclassify cannabis under federal law in a manner that would allow states to regulate its therapeutic use without federal interference. The administration in July had previously rejected a nine-year-old petition calling on the agency to initiate hearings to reassess the present classification of marijuana as a schedule I controlled substance without any ‘accepted medical use in treatment.’ Read the full story here.

#10 Delaware Becomes 16th State to Legalize Limited Medical Use of Marijuana
State lawmakers in May approved legislation to allow patients with a qualifying illness may legally possess up to six ounces of cannabis, provided the cannabis is obtained from a state-licensed, not-for-profit ‘compassion center.’ The law is anticipated to be implemented in 2012. Read the full story here.

Enter to Win Seven New Books!

Tuesday, January 3rd, 2012

You could be the lucky winner of this fabulous set of new titles from Chelsea Green! Just enter your information here for a chance.

Even better than seven awesome books…is fifteen of them! One of these books is actually our ultra-concise and useful NOFA Guides Set — which consists of eight slim volumes on various aspects of whole-systems, organic farming! That set alone is an $80 value, and just makes this giveaway even more enticing.

Here are the books you could win:

Chasing Chiles: Hot Spots Along the Pepper Trail by Kurt Michael Friese, Kraig Kraft & Gary Nabhan

Chasing Chiles looks at both the future of place-based foods and the effects of climate change on agriculture through the lens of the chile pepper.
The Resilient Gardener: Food Production and Self-Reliance in Uncertain Times
by Carol Deppe
Scientist/gardener Carol Deppe combines her passion for gardening with newly emerging scientific information from many fields.
Holy Shit: Managing Manure to Save Mankind by Gene Logsdon
Gene Logsdon provides the inside story of manure – our greatest, yet most misunderstood, natural resource. He artfully describes how to manage farm manure, pet manure and human manure to make fertilizer and humus.
Wild Flavors: One Chef’s Transformative Year Cooking from Eva’s Farm
by Didi Emmons
Learn growing or foraging information for each of the forty-six uncommon garden plants profiled, as well as details on their health benefits and how to prep, store and preserve them.
NOFA Guides Set by Brian Caldwell, Bryan Connolly, Sarah Flack, Grace Gershuny, Steve Gilman, Karma Glos, Elizabeth Henderson, Seth Kroeck & Karl North
A series of eight guides originally published by Northeast Organic Farming Association, on organic principles and practices for both beginners as well as established farmers looking to convert or deepen their practices.
The Winter Harvest Handbook: Year-Round Vegetable Production Using Deep-Organic Techniques and Unheated Greenhouses
by Eliot Coleman
Eliot Coleman’s revolutionary guide to year-round harvests of fresh, organic produce shows how to raise crops throughout the coldest of winters – with little or no energy inputs.
When Disaster Strikes: A Comprehensive Guide for Emergency Planning and Crisis Survival
by Matthew Stein

In this disaster-preparedness manual, Matthew Stein outlines the materials you’ll need – from food and water, to shelter and energy, to first-aid and survival skills – to help you safely live through the worst.

Our Latest Releases!

Tuesday, January 3rd, 2012

The publishing world never sleeps. Every time we turn around, another book is hot off the presses, ready for us here on the web team to start singing its praises and spreading the word.

Through blog posts, tweets, and Facebook status updates, we strive to connect online audiences with the very special books our activist and expert authors create.

To start off the new year, here are a few of our most recent releases, and a couple that will be available soon. So fire up your Kindles and dust off your bookmarks and highlighters. We’ve got some exciting tomes you’re bound to love. Ooh, that was an unintentional book-related pun. Bonus!

The Holistic Orchard: Tree Fruits and Berries the Biological Way by Michael Phillips
The Holistic Orchard demystifies the basic skills everybody should know about the inner-workings of the orchard ecosystem, as well as orchard design, soil biology, and organic health management. Detailed insights on grafting, planting, pruning, and choosing the right varieties for your climate are also included, along with a step-by-step instructional calendar to guide growers through the entire orchard year.
The Chinese Medicinal Herb Farm: A Cultivator’s Guide to Small-Scale Organic Herb Production
by Peg Schafer
Peg Schafer, longtime grower and teacher, guides readers with information on propagating, cultivating, and harvesting Chinese herbs, and presents fascinating new scientific data that reveal the age-old wisdom of nature and the traditional systems of Chinese medicine. Through 79 detailed herb profiles—all tested and trialed on Schafer’s certified organic farm—Schafer offers easy-to-follow information, suitable for both growers and practitioners, for growing efficacious wild-simulated herbs.
Reinventing Fire: Bold Business Solutions for the New Energy Era
by Amory Lovins & Rocky Mountain Institute
A global clean energy race has emerged with astounding speed. The ability to operate without fossil fuels will define winners and losers in business—and among nations. Now, in Reinventing Fire, Amory Lovins and Rocky Mountain Institute offer a new vision to revitalize business models, end-run Washington gridlock, and win the clean energy race—not forced by public policy but led by business for enduring profit.
Wild Flavors: One Chef’s Transformative Year Cooking from Eva’s Farm
by Didi Emmons
Wild Flavors follows a year at Eva’s Garden through the seasons. It showcases Emmons’s creative talents, featuring herbs (African basil, calaminth, lovage) and wild foods (autumn olives, wild roses, Japanese knotweed). The author provides growing or foraging information for each of the forty-six uncommon garden plants profiled, as well as details on prepping, storing, preserving, and health benefits.

Forthcoming Titles!

Occupy World Street: A Global Roadmap for Radical Economic and Political Reform
by Ross Jackson
As demonstrators worldwide demand change, Occupy World Street offers a sweeping vision of how to reform our global economic and political structures, break away from empire, and build a world of self-determining sovereign states that respect the need for ecological sustainability and uphold human rights.

Available in late January, 2012!

Local Dollars, Local Sense: How to Shift Your Money from Wall Street to Main Street and Achieve Real Prosperity
by Michael Shuman
How can people increasingly concerned with the poor returns from Wall Street and the devastating impact of global companies on their communities invest in Main Street? In Local Dollars, Local Sense, local economy pioneer Michael Shuman shows investors how to put their money into building local businesses and resilient regional economies—and profit in the process.

Available in February, 2012!

Save the Date! Lynn Margulis Symposium March 23-25

Tuesday, January 3rd, 2012

Lynn Margulis was a revolutionary scientist, who died late last year. Her theories about the way life evolved and the interlinked systems of cooperating organisms that constitute the biosphere of our planet inspired many — even while sowing controversy in the conservative realms of her own field of study. As her son Dorion Sagan puts it, Margulis had “a congenital lack of fear,” and she pursued the truth of the world around her regardless of the outsider status the pursuit gave her in some communities.

This BBC Radio 4 episode of The Last Word feature talks about Margulis’s fascinating contributions to scientific understanding, and feisty personality. The section on her starts around 13:30.

Later this spring, the University of Massachussetts is holding a symposium on the legacy of Lynn Margulis. Details below:

Lynn Margulis Symposium—A Life in Science: in Memory and Celebration

Friday March 23 to Sunday March 25, 2012

The University of Massachusetts, in collaboration with the family and friends of Lynn Margulis (1938-2011), cordially invites you to a Symposium, March 23-25, 2012, celebrating her life and work. Although the Symposium is still in its early planning stages, we wanted to alert you and other interested parties you may know in order to provide the lead-time needed to save these dates and arrange for travel to and from Amherst, Massachusetts.

We are very excited about this opportunity to gather in memory of Professor Margulis, and to explore the history, importance, and future of her intellectual accomplishments.

As plans take shape, they will be posted to <www.geo.umass.edu/margulis_symposium.html>.

Preliminary Schedule of Events

Friday March 23, 2012
Welcome and Lynn Margulis Film Festival

Saturday March 24, 2012
Welcome followed by seminars on Gaia, astrobiology, symbiosis, and a tribute dinner with Peter Westbroek, William Irwin Thompson, and a new essay by James Lovelock

Sunday March 25, 2012
Community and colleague comments and an afternoon field trip in memory and celebration to Lynn’s favorite swimming hole (and last research site), Puffers Pond

Lynn Margulis, along with her son, Dorion Sagan, coauthored and curated our Sciencewriters Series. Find out more about the series here, and browse the titles in the series here.


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