Category Archives: Drug War

Slow Arc of Legalization

By Mikki Norris at MerryJane.com

When my husband, Chris Conrad, and I became cannabis activists in 1988, it was the height of Reagan’s “Just Say No” and zero tolerance era. The Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1986 enacted mandatory minimum sentences for drugs, so the arrest and incarceration rates were starting to amp up, and people who enjoyed pot were heading back into the cannabis closet.

Chris was at an election victory party for insurance reform the night George H. W. Bush won office. Smoking a celebratory joint in the parking lot with his political allies, Chris announced that it was time to do something about the marijuana laws. He felt it unfair that responsible pot smokers were, literally, being kept out in the cold. They stood in the November night, vulnerable to arrest, while their colleagues were indoors freely drinking alcohol. Feeling inspired by the injustice of the situation, he asked everyone to join him in a quick campaign for marijuana legalization.

“Are you crazy?” they retorted. “You will lose all credibility and destroy your reputation. Marijuana will never be legal. It can’t be done.”

Chris took that as a personal challenge and bet that he could make and implement a successful plan. Within weeks, he formulated and launched the Business Alliance for Commerce in Hemp (BACH) as a five-year strategy to legalize marijuana in North America. At the time, there were no hemp businesses except hemp birdseed and twine. BACH’s goal was to restore the perception of hemp for industrial use, allow medical marijuana, legalize personal adult-use and home grows, and regulate the commercial cannabis market.

Article continues at MerryJane.com

Playboy: Cannabis and Mental Health

Sean Arenas’ article “Can Cannabis Replace Your Mental Health Prescription” was posted at Playboy. Arena notes that, “Despite the conflicting research, it’s important to never lose sight of the fact that each and every brain is unique and incredibly complex. Mental health treatment is unfortunately not as simple as applying a bandage and waiting for the healing to begin.” Read the full article at this link. Chris Conrad’s excerpts are quoted below.

“Getting trusted advice is critical.”

“We have decades of observational studies and case histories [demonstrating that cannabis has mental health benefits] and now early clinical studies showing that cannabis is a great benefit to trauma survivors,” says Chris Conrad, cannabis expert and author of Hemp for Health. Conrad cites additional reports that establish the mental health benefits of cannabis such as a 2014 study that concludes THC “reduces meth-induced brain damage” and a 2008 study that shows cannabinoids initiate “neonatal milk suckling response,” determining that “cannabis-based medicines should be developed to benefit infant failure to thrive.”

Continue reading Playboy: Cannabis and Mental Health

Paper Magazine: How to Change Federal Law

Bill Weinberg recently wrote an article for Paper magazine (yes, it’s printed on paper!) about changing cannabis laws and quoted me about how this might happen. Here’s a link to the full article, and my quotes excerpted below in context.

Yet since 2015, various bills have been introduced in Congress to legalize cannabis at the federal level — removing it from the schedule system altogether. The most recent was just introduced in January by Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) — the Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Act, wittily numbered HR 420. (“420” has long been slang for getting high among cannabis aficionados.)

So there is some optimism in the ranks.

Chris Conrad, a longtime California cannabis advocate, actually thinks it can happen.

He forecasts: “House Democrats are already poised to pass cannabis de-scheduling legislation over to the Senate, where it either passes or gets attached to another bill and passes, then the president signs it and claims a victory in summer or winter of 2019. Unfortunately, Senator McConnell has authoritarian tendencies and could block legislation from getting a floor vote. But on the other hand, his role in de-scheduling industrial hemp suggests that he might be open to it.”

Continue reading Paper Magazine: How to Change Federal Law

California marijuana laws HS 11357 to 11362.5, 11479

HEALTH AND SAFETY CODE – HSC

Div. 10. Uniform Controlled Substances Act [11000 – 11651]
Chapt. 6. Offenses and Penalties [11350 – 11392]

ARTICLE 2. Marijuana [11357 – 11362.9]

This post has most of the Health and Safety Code laws regarding marijuana, the Prop. 215 medical defense and destruction of bulk evidence, but other sections on my site include the SB 420 MMPA and AB 266 MCRSA medical marijuana programs. These are the statutes in this post: Health and Safety 11357, 11358, 11359, 11360, 11361, 11362, 11362.5, 11479

Continue reading California marijuana laws HS 11357 to 11362.5, 11479

Cannabis Radio interview with Vivian McPeak 2016

Hempresent Radio: Seattle Hempfest’s own Vivian McPeak interviews California activist Chris Conrad on why he is supporting Proposition 64, the Adult Use of Marijuan Act. Click here to listen in.

Shattered Lives reveals harms of US Drug War

A wake-up call to every American.

shat-cover-bigShattered Lives: Portraits From America’s Drug War

By Mikki Norris, Virginia Resner and Chris Conrad, creators of Human Rights and the Drug War and the HRDW exhibition project

A groundbreaking expose on the U.S. Drug War’s human cost. Mentioned in Newsweek, Playboy, Penthouse, C-Span Journal, and in many other prominent news media.

Continue reading Shattered Lives reveals harms of US Drug War

California AG Panel: Legalize home grows, gifting

20th Annual Report, 1989: California state Prosecutor’s Report on Marijuana & Drugs (Excerpt)

About the Report: This report was prepared by a panel of experts commissioned by State of California Attorney General John Van de Kamp. Upon receiving the panel’s recommendations, based on its 20-year study of the crisis in drug policy, AG Van de Kamp — by then a candidate for governor — suppressed the report and refused to publish it. The panel published its final report at their own expense.  Continue reading California AG Panel: Legalize home grows, gifting