Sunday, April 15, 2018

Another round of geoengineering in PRTC scheduled for May



In the name of geoengineering or albedo modification the Air Force routinely sprays into the atmosphere over the ocean and above parts of at least four states an aerosol cocktail of silver iodide, lead iodide, aluminum oxide, barium, frozen carbon dioxide, common salt, water and soot burning hazardous waste in pits concocted at US Air Force bases including those at Ellsworth AFB near Rapid City, South Dakota.
Combat Raider, a large force exercise involving various military aircraft, is scheduled to begin May 15 in the Powder River Training Complex, and will conclude May 17, 2018. All B-1 supersonic activities will occur above 20,000 feet Mean Sea Level and all transient fighter supersonic activity will occur above 10,000 feet Above Ground Level. Residents living under the following PRTC military operations areas may be affected by these activities.
Read the rest here.

Ellsworth AFB is home to a Superfund site so are Malmstrom AFB, Montana; Minot AFB, North Dakota and FE Warren AFB, Wyoming. All participate during the so-called "Combat Raider" deployments in the Powder River Training Complex.

General aviation, private pilots, climate watchers, even some Republican landowners and ranchers are concerned the exercises could exacerbate drought conditions that persist in a region where dried grasses are causing early Spring fire danger.

In a related story, the Air Force is seeking to expand a training area in drought-stricken New Mexico. Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson is a former US New Mexico US Representative and President of South Dakota School of Mines and Technology.


Wednesday, April 4, 2018

New Mexico's therapeutic cannabis program nearing 51,000 patients

Patients suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and severe chronic pain have sent New Mexico's therapeutic cannabis program to nearly 51,000 enrollees.

The report comes on news that states where cannabis is available legally patients are using fewer opioids and after the Albuquerque city council voted to decriminalize possession of less than an ounce.
New Mexico Democrats adopted a party platform during last weekend’s pre-primary convention that, for the first time, supports the legalization of recreational marijuana use statewide. Specifically, the platform adopted last weekend by the Democratic Party of New Mexico – with more than 90 percent of delegates voting in favor – includes a provision that Democrats will support the decriminalization and legalization of cannabis in the state. [Albuquerque Journal]
Democrats are keenly aware that to energize millennials and a jaded base radical times call for sensible approaches to reforms of civil liberties for all adults.

The release from the New Mexico Department of Health is linked here.

Monday, March 26, 2018

Commercial teevee drives American gun violence

Commercial teevee truly is the most dangerous gateway drug.

Until the Vietnam War school shootings were rare and scattered but after commercial teevee brought the carnage into every American living room something changed. School shootings spiked to seventeen in the 1960s.
According to the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, in 1950 only 10 percent of American homes had a television. Today, that number is an astonishing 99 percent. Nearly two-thirds of all TV programs contain violent scenes, including children’s programs. And it is well documented that children imitate behavior seen on television, including violence. Ninety-five percent of American adolescents aged 13-17 have smartphones, and 92 percent play video games. Both are commonly used without parental supervision. The Kaiser Family Foundation has performed numerous studies documenting the link between viewing violence and aggressive behavior. One study that evaluated 430 third-, fourth-, and fifth-graders found that children’s exposure to media violence predicted increased aggressive behavior.
Read the rest here.

Suffering from pounding headaches induced by post-traumatic stress disease Marine-trained sniper Charlie Whitman climbed to the observation deck of the 27-story clock tower at the University of Texas then killed thirteen people and wounded thirty others on 1 August, 1966. Until the Virginia Tech shooting in 2007 it was the deadliest shooting on a US college campus.
Whitman and the Fuesses chatted generally for an hour or so, and at one point the conversation turned to Vietnam. Whitman "said he couldn't understand why boys from the United States had to go over there and die for something they didn't have anything to do with." [source]
On 13 July, inspired by Whitman and what he saw on teevee Richard Speck broke into a townhouse serving as a National Maritime Union dormitory and murdered several young student nurses.
On Friday, July 8, 1966, his brother-in-law Gene drove Speck to the NMU hiring hall to pick up his seaman's card and register for a berth on a ship. Speck lost out that day to a seaman with more seniority for a berth on the SS Flying Spray, a C1-A cargo ship bound for South Vietnam, and returned to his sister Martha's apartment for the weekend. [source]
On 12 November, 1966 18-year-old Bob Smith took seven people hostage at Rose-Mar College of Beauty and shot each in the head. Smith reportedly admired Richard Speck and Charles Whitman.

During protests of the Vietnam War on 4 May, 1970 a string of shootings at Kent State University began with the death of four and the wounding of nine by National Guard Soldiers.

While protesting the US military presence in Cambodia two students were killed and twelve others injured when police opened fire at Jackson State on 15 May, 1966.

There were thirty school shootings in the 1970s, 39 in the 1980s, 62 in the 1990s, 64 in the 2000s and 149 so far in the 2010s.

Charles Whitman, Richard Speck, Timothy McVeigh, Eric Harris, Dylan Klebold, Dylann Roof, Adam Lanza, Robert Dear, James Holmes, Eric Rudolph, Jared Loughner, Wade Michael Page, Ted Kaczynski, Eric Frein, Stephen Paddock and Nickolas Cruz all are or were christians. All these men were victims of bullying, isolation and ostracism. All had histories of extensive teevee usage, many to video game exposure and easy access to firearms. Distrust of government was a factor in most, if not all of the episodes for which they are infamous.

Is this how Americans really want to live? Carry rifles and sidearms into every bar, church, and arena?

Stand your ground has become vigilante justice because the courts are overwhelmed with suspects in the war on drugs, our communities are becoming armed camps and we’re barricaded in our homes afraid to let our kids go to school.

How many more people will be caught in or die from as yet uncounted crossfires?

Prohibition doesn't work.

Raise the age of possession, operation and ownership of all firearms to 21, levy 100% excise taxes on the sales and gifting of the weapons on Senator Diane Feinstein's list then tag the revenue for Medicaid expansion so parents have the resources to address the devastating effects of commercial teevee on American youth.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Southwest fretting wildfire season

Some watershed managers in the Southwest have been taking advantage of conditions to burn dead fuels.
From prescribed burns to clearing brush, New Mexicans are preparing — perhaps more intentionally than 20 or 30 years ago, when the realities of climate change were not so painfully obvious. Without relief this season, it “could get really ugly” in Santa Fe and east toward the San Miguel County line, warned Todd Haines, Bernalillo District Forester for the New Mexico State Forestry Division. Santa Fe National Forest officials have set nearly a dozen prescribed burns in the past six months. Lit strategically, they also improve the health of the forest, serve as access points for fighting wildfires, and protect residential areas and their water supplies from out-of-control blazes. [Santa Fe New Mexican]


Friday, March 16, 2018

New Mexico Democratic Party leading state to legal cannabis

Enrollments in New Mexico's cannabis as therapy program are nearing 50,000 patients.
New Mexico Democrats adopted a party platform during last weekend’s pre-primary convention that, for the first time, supports the legalization of recreational marijuana use statewide. Specifically, the platform adopted last weekend by the Democratic Party of New Mexico – with more than 90 percent of delegates voting in favor – includes a provision that Democrats will support the decriminalization and legalization of cannabis in the state. [Albuquerque Journal]
Democrats are keenly aware that to energize millennials and a jaded base radical times call for sensible approaches to reforms of civil liberties for all adults.


Friday, March 9, 2018

Democrats secure funding to keep Chief chugging


Growth on the Front Range is driving planners to pick up the pace on passenger rail.
The federal Department of Transportation approved a grant request from Colfax County under the Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery program, better known as TIGER. The $16 million award, combined with millions of dollars in state and corporate investments, will “fund critical repair work in New Mexico, Kansas, and Colorado,” said a news release issued Wednesday from New Mexico’s congressional delegation. “The Southwest Chief is an engine of economic growth in New Mexico that connects rural communities from Raton to Gallup,” U.S. Sen. Tom Udall said in the release. U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich and U.S. Reps. Ben Ray Luján and Michelle Lujan Grisham also praised the grant. [Santa Fe New Mexican]

Equip the Rail Runner to connect with Amtrak farther south in New Mexico then on to El Paso and put the Rail Runner into downtown Denver to connect with the California Zephyr, maybe into Cheyenne, Wyoming.

Legal cannabis for New Mexico's adults could help foot the bill for Positive Train Control.

It's time to connect the Southwest Chief to the Empire Builder at Shelby, Montana through Denver, too.

Who's with me?

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Investigations of Russian trolls confirm blogger's Dakota Access, Sanders concerns



This interested party tried to expose Senator Bernie Sanders as a planted spoiler as soon as he entered the presidential race as a Democrat.
A new report from the Republican majority staff on the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology claims trolls from Russia exploited the #NoDAPL movement in order to undermine America's energy sector. According to the report, one of the Russian trolls attempted to capitalize on the wide reach of @People4Bernie, an independent group that supported Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont during the run-up to the presidential election in 2016. On its website, People for Bernie said "#NoDAPL" was one of its main causes and Sanders himself was an outspoken opponent of the pipeline. "@People4Bernie: If we can halt the pipeline at @SacredStoneCamp, we can halt it in Iowa too!" one of of the "Russian Tweets" read, according to the committee. The Sacred Stone Camp was the original #NoDAPL encampment -- others also cropped up as thousands flocked to North Dakota in 2016 to oppose the project.
Read the rest here.

And from Vermont Public Radio:
The defendants "engaged in operations primarily intended to communicate derogatory information about Hillary Clinton, to denigrate other candidates such as Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, and to support Bernie Sanders and then-candidate Donald Trump."
Read or listen here.










Saturday, March 3, 2018

Albuquerque could decriminalize casual cannabis

Democrats are keenly aware that to energize millennials and a jaded base radical times call for sensible approaches to reforms of civil liberties for all adults.
City councilors Pat Davis and Isaac Benton are planning an event on Monday with Emily Kaltenbach of the Drug Policy Alliance to announce the reintroduction of legislation that will decriminalize the herb. If the legislation passes, marijuana would still be illegal in the city. But officers would be instructed to either do nothing about it or write someone a $25 ticket, similar to a parking ticket, if they catch someone with an ounce or less. “I think New Mexico will be a state to legalize when we have a change in leadership next year in Santa Fe,” Davis said. [Albuquerque Journal]
State Senator Jerry Ortiz y Pino (D-Albuquerque) wants all adults in New Mexico to be able to grow, possess, and buy cannabis legally.

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Sick of winter? Cannabis is an effective therapy for SAD


Meth use is a symptom of South Dakota's statewide hopelessness as the state's residents stare down another punishing, relentless, and unforgiving winter.
Dr. Steve Manlove, a former Custer resident and practicing psychiatrist for 31 years, agrees that depression plays a big role in suicide, saying suicide attempts are almost always connected to depression and feelings of hopelessness.
Read more here.

A study recently published in the Journal of Rural Health found the suicide rate for farmers is not only the highest of any occupation in America, it's spiking because of a lack of ready access to mental health care services.

Cannabis is an effective treatment for Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).

Still another study just concluded cannabis is an effective antidepressant therapy for some patients while keeping it illegal creates paranoia, anxiety and stigmatization.

Even the South Dakota State Medical Association contends that although "marijuana and dronabinol decreased pain" the fact that it is illegal makes it less effective as a therapy.
Although there are different schools of thought concerning the efficacy of marijuana to treat certain medical conditions and concerning whether its possession and use ought to be decriminalized altogether, the fact remains that it is a violation of federal law and South Dakota law to possess or distribute it for any purpose.
Read that here.

South Dakota is among the worst states for opioid abuse but even red states like Alaska are learning that cannabis works to treat that disease, too.


Friday, February 23, 2018

Montana's cannabis opportunities are still evolving

Democrats in Montana's legislature worked to bring better testing for contaminants to better serve that state's therapeutic cannabis patients and providers.
There are rumblings of getting a measure on the 2020 Montana ballot, but marijuana advocates want to see new rules implemented on the existing medical marijuana law before focusing on recreational use. Stillwater Labs tests marijuana for contaminants, mold byproducts, potency and more. New rules include implementing mandatory licensing and inspections and allowing post-traumatic stress disorder as an eligible ailment. To see a full list of the new medical marijuana rules click here. [NBC Montana]
Democrats are keenly aware that to energize millennials and a jaded base radical times call for sensible approaches to reforms of civil liberties for all adults.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

New Mexico destined to legalize cannabis for all adults

Here in New Mexico Republicans are watching their 2018 chances going up in smoke as the state's governor drags her feet.
The number of Taos County residents who have a medical marijuana card grew in the last five years from 195 cardholders to 1,305, according to New Mexico Department of Health statistics. The growth mirrors what is happening elsewhere in the state, which now has nearly 48,000 people with medical marijuana cards. Santa Fe County saw a 43 percent jump in medical marijuana cardholders from January 2017 to January 2018; the number now tops 5,245 people. Medical marijuana patients and advocates think the burgeoning dispensary business puts New Mexico one step closer to legalizing marijuana for recreational use. People polled in the state consistently have strongly supported legalizing marijuana. [Taos News]
Democrats are keenly aware that to energize millennials and a jaded base radical times call for sensible approaches to reforms of civil liberties for all adults.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Republicans scrambling to catch Democrats on legal cannabis

So, I’m a cannabis advocate for five western states and don’t know anybody who actually has to buy it.

Democrats in blue states already understand the added value to their campaigns but a red state Indianan gets it, too.
“We don’t need to give him another ounce of our brain-space,” Dan Canon told the crowd of 40 people, hitting the TV mute as President Donald Trump’s State of the Union speech began. Students seem drawn to Canon in part because he was one of the plaintiff attorneys in the lawsuit that became Obergefell v. Hodges, the Supreme Court case that legalized same-sex marriage. They like his stances on raising the federal minimum wage and providing Medicare for all. But it’s his full-throated support for legalizing medical marijuana at the federal level that has distinguished him in the eyes of many young voters, who consider it a threshold for taking any politician seriously.
Read that here.

West Virginia is another red state where Democrats favor legal cannabis, so is Tennessee.
Voters would have another chance to weigh in on legalizing marijuana in Arizona under a proposal in the state House. The proposal from Republican Rep. Todd Clodfelter of Tucson and Democratic Rep. Mark Cardenas of Phoenix was announced Thursday. If approved by the House and Senate, it would be on November's ballot. [KNAU]
Legal cannabis has become a favorite in Minnesota's Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party gubernatorial primary, too. Even so-called 'moderate Democrats' are on board.

Democrats in Montana's legislature want better testing for contaminants in cannabis to better serve that state's 18,953 registered therapeutic cannabis patients and 616 providers.

In Nevada, Tribal Cannabis Consulting has established cannabis compacts with Gov. Brian Sandoval’s office and the Yerington Paiute, Ely Shoshone and Pyramid Lake Paiute tribes.

And in California tribal nations want compacts with the state.

Red state Alaska has a thriving cannabis industry.

North Dakota has adopted therapeutic cannabis.

A Kansas gubernatorial candidate's leading plank is legal cannabis.
Calling himself an anti-establishment candidate, 17-year-old Bergeson is pursuing the Democratic nomination, advocating for a $12 minimum wage, legalization of medical marijuana, and high-speed rail for major cities in the region. [NPR]
Here in New Mexico Republicans are watching their 2018 chances going up in smoke as the state's governor drags her feet.

Democrats are keenly aware that to energize millennials and a jaded base radical times call for sensible approaches to reforms of civil liberties for all adults.

Indian casinos are small banks. It's time for states to enter cannabis compacts with tribal nations.








Sunday, February 4, 2018

Legal cannabis, death penalty circling drain in New Mexico Roundhouse

Despite soaring enrollment in New Mexico's therapeutic cannabis program and outrage over the grisly deaths of children Democratic legislators have abandoned a deal with the state's governor who recently scored at the bottom of the US' most popular.

Members of the Senate Rules Committee voted 4-3 Friday to advance HB0312 a proposed constitutional amendment to legalize cannabis for all adults.
That decision keeps the measure alive, but it has little chance of making the November ballot. Even the amendment’s sponsor, Sen. Jerry Ortiz y Pino, D-Albuquerque, has said his proposal lacks enough support to clear the full 112-member Legislature to qualify for a vote of the people. [Legislative Roundup]
The bill "includes a provision barring state and local law enforcement from cooperating with federal enforcement of the Controlled Substances Act in cases where the conduct is state-legal."
House Bill 155 was just the latest proposal by Republican legislators in recent years to reinstate capital punishment for certain murders. They argued the measure would have made the death penalty an option again for only the worst of the worst criminals. [Swift end for House bill to reinstate death penalty]
These are indicators of the power of the law enforcement and prison industries in a state suffering for a decade under a Republican governor.

Democrats are keenly aware that to energize millennials and a jaded base radical times call for sensible approaches to the preservation of civil liberties.

But why not throw Susana a bone by letting her craft a legacy based on bipartisanship instead of on a history of lawsuits?

Democrats should put a sunset clause on capital punishment applied after Victoria Martens' killers' trials, their appeals and are put to death or imprisoned for life, draft legislation that accelerates legal cannabis then offer it to the governor.

In a related story the Libertarian Party has officially reached major party status in New Mexico.

Friday, February 2, 2018

South Dakota Libertarians will spoil Dems' 2018 chances

Straight out of the Dick Wadhams playbook: Libertarian Party candidate George Hendrickson has filed with the Federal Election Commission for South Dakota's lone US House seat running to the left of Democrat Tim Bjorkman on cannabis and civil liberties giving an easy win to whichever earth hater is nominated in June.

Libertarian candidate for South Dakota governor CJ Abernathey has announced his intention to run to the left of Democrat Billie Sutton on cannabis and civil liberties giving an easy win to whichever earth hater is nominated for that race in June.

In 2014 flip-flopping Larry Pressler was enlisted by earth hater operative Wadhams to run to the left in South Dakota's US Senate race as an unaffiliated candidate and successfully eroded Democrat Rick Weiland's base of support.

Fact is: the best way to a strong two party system in South Dakota is for arch-conservatives to launch a third party. South Dakota's most ardent earth haters are still looking for principled conservatives to run in statewide elections. Shad Olson, Stace Nelson, Neal Tapio and Lora Hubbel could be those candidates.





Monday, January 22, 2018

Roundhouse will host Cannabis Awareness Day

Saturday, 27 January is the second annual Cannabis Awareness Day at the New Mexico State Capitol Roundhouse.
NM EMPACT invites cannabis-lovers of all stripes to come together for a day of unity and solidarity to celebrate the leaf and spread awareness about its beneficial properties. [Weekly Alibi]
New Mexico's largest therapeutic cannabis provider, Ultra Health, is building the state's largest grow/up in Tularosa.
The cutting-edge medical cannabis cultivation site is expected to open in 2019. It will initially employ 25 people when the facility opens then employ 100 people once it's at full capacity. The site should be at full capacity by 2020. The medical cannabis plants will be grown indoors on 20 acres in air-supported, wind-assisted greenhouses. The outdoor medical cannabis fields will stretch across 80 acres of land on the west side of the ultramodern greenhouses. [Alamogordo Daily News]
Last March Ultra Health and Israel-based Panaxia Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. opened a facility in Bernalillo to manufacture cannabis oil, oral tablets, suppositories, pastilles, transdermal patches and topical creams.

The collaboration comes on the heels of a University of New Mexico resolution demanding the school divest from corporations that profit from human rights violations both in Palestine and at the US-Mexico border. It was later rescinded.

New Mexico's opioid overdose rates have been plummeting thanks to the state's therapeutic cannabis program. The state's Department of Health recently announced the therapeutic cannabis program has risen to 45,347 total patients or a 77 percent increase over the same period last year.

Researchers and pharmacologists agree: cannabis is a safe and effective treatment as a bridge to recovery from opioid addiction. University of New Mexico researchers and the Industrial Rehabilitation Clinics of Albuquerque have released findings that showed 71% of patients either ceased or reduced their use of manufactured opioids within 6 months of enrolling in that state's medical cannabis program.

State Senator Jerry Ortiz y Pino (D-Albuquerque) wants all adults in New Mexico to be able to grow, possess, and buy cannabis legally.

His resolution needs a two-thirds majority in both the Senate and the House to get the measure on the ballot for voters to decide bypassing a governor's veto.

Democrats are keenly aware that to energize millennials and a jaded base radical times call for sensible approaches to the preservation of civil liberties.

Friday, January 12, 2018

Trump Organization Snubs Montana Republicans


The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) could have prevented a load of bad press by paying Montana to set prescribed burns before the 2017 fire season.
Democratic Senator Jon Tester says another reason FEMA likely turned down Montana’s request is because the agency doesn't have the money. “I think it puts Montana's budget in even more perilous situation," Tester says. "And you know, the fact is that fire is a natural disaster. And I know that FEMA's been pounded a lot by floods, and hurricanes and all sorts of national disasters, but the truth is that fire also creates havoc.”
Read the rest here.

Montana's Democratic governor declared a state of emergency after fires cleared a century of conifer and cheatgrass infestation even as the state's GOP earth haters went off on the environmental community blaming groups for litigation they say blocks logging in parts of the state.

But, 2017's wildland fires on private ranch land in southeastern Montana dwarfed those on public ground in the western part of the state. The 270,000-acre Lodgepole Complex, the Sartin Draw Fire near Broadus and the Battle Complex near Birney burned at least 100,000 and 185,000 acres respectively, decades of invasive grasses and poor stewardship to blame.

County commissions are infamous for rubber-stamping new homebuilding in the wildland-urban interface and like Greg Gianforte's donors they are among the first blaming environmentalists for bringing science-based decision-making to forest policy.

Volunteer fire departments are irreplaceable as first responders to unexpected blazes and if the Federal Emergency Management Agency survives a Trump presidency it should convince Congress to make sure the resources are there to sustain rural fire departments. VFDs should be empowered and paid to conduct prescribed fires along rights of way to reduce the likelihood of range fires but most say they don't have the assets or incentive to conduct fuel treatments. If counties and the state just burned off their road and highway rights of way every year that creates substantial fire breaks.

Republicans are guilty of whitewashing the Trump White House responses to the needs in eastern Montana where Trump won overwhelmingly.

Ponderosa pine isn't native to Montana. Clear the second growth Pinus ponderosa and restore aspen habitat, prescribe burns, begin extensive Pleistocene rewilding using bison and cervids, enlist tribes and buy out ranchers or lease private land for wildlife corridors, turn feral horses from Bureau of Land Management pastures onto other public land to control exotic grasses and elect Democrats to lead the way.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Could New Mexico Democrats allow Governor Martinez a legacy?

Query: would Republican New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez sign a cannabis bill if Democrats support capital punishment for Victoria Martens' killers?

Despite the astronomical legal costs of prosecuting capital offenses, the grisly murder of an Albuquerque girl and shooting death of a Hatch cop have prompted calls from small-government Republicans in New Mexico to resurrect the death penalty for certain crimes.
Legislators and then-Gov. Bill Richardson repealed the death penalty in 2009. Though Martinez called to reinstate capital punishment when she took office in 2011, subsequent bills to bring back the death penalty languished early in her first term. [Santa Fe New Mexican]
A Nebraska study showed that that state spends about $14.6 million per year on the death penalty: a price New Mexico simply cannot afford to pay.

Senators in the single-chamber Nebraska Legislature voted 30-19 to override the veto of GOP Governor Pete Ricketts who supports the death penalty. Ricketts has retaliated by vowing to execute people on death row anyway after ordering drugs illegally from outside the United States.

Montana is grappling with capital punishment, too.

The litigation costs of trying a capital crime persuaded Nebraska to abandon state-sponsored killing: how are the prices and the human costs of putting people to death against their will either conservative or sustainable?

Personally? This blog believes persons convicted of capital crimes should have the right to decide his or her punishment whether it be death or living a life of Hell in a prison cell.

A state-ordered lethal injection isn't criminal justice; it's suicide by cop. Hell is life in the Penitentiary of New Mexico or in a Colorado Supermax.

The state-ordered death penalty looks far more like vengeance than justice: it's not self-reliance; it's moral hazard.

State Senator Jerry Ortiz y Pino (D-Albuquerque) wants all adults in New Mexico to be able to grow, possess, and buy cannabis legally.

His resolution needs a two-thirds majority in both the Senate and the House to get the measure on the ballot for voters to decide bypassing a governor's veto.

New Mexico's opioid overdose rates have been plummeting thanks to the state's therapeutic cannabis program. The state's Department of Health recently announced the therapeutic cannabis program has risen to 45,347 total patients or a 77 percent increase over the same period last year.

Researchers and pharmacologists agree: cannabis is a safe and effective treatment as a bridge to recovery from opioid addiction. University of New Mexico researchers and the Industrial Rehabilitation Clinics of Albuquerque have released findings that showed 71% of patients either ceased or reduced their use of manufactured opioids within 6 months of enrolling in that state's medical cannabis program.

Democrats are keenly aware that to energize millennials and a jaded base radical times call for sensible approaches to reforms of civil liberties for all adults even if it means enduring some feces-throwing from the earth hater Big Food, Big Booze, Big Pharma, NFL set.

Initiated law is a blunt instrument: cannabis statutes need to be hammered out in committee then ground into legislative sausage, passed then presented to the governor. Vermont's legislature just showed us how it's supposed to work.

But why not throw Susana a bone by letting her craft a legacy based on bipartisanship instead of on a history of lawsuits?

Democrats should put a sunset clause on capital punishment applied after Victoria Martens' killers' trials, their appeals and are put to death or imprisoned for life, draft legislation that accelerates legal cannabis then offer it to the governor.

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Jeff Sessions channels Lee Atwater with threat to overturn Cole Memo

“It is the mission of the Department of Justice to enforce the laws of the United States, and the previous issuance of guidance undermines the rule of law and the ability of our local, state, tribal, and federal law enforcement partners to carry out this mission.”

The United States has a label for non-white men: felons.

Anyone believing that African-Americans, Latino-Americans, or American Indians are imprisoned disproportionately because they are more often criminals is wrong. In fact, white people per capita commit at least as many drug-related crimes as their non-white brethren o amigas.

The provisions of the Cole Memo were written to reduce violence and reverse the selective jailing of people of color. Its reversal could end tribal cannabis.
It could, however, be an opportunity for Democrats. In California, the law that legalized pot drew most of its support from two factions of the party’s traditional base: Young voters and black voters. For a party whose midterm chances rest significantly on its ability to turn out voters in greater numbers than usual, pushing for legal marijuana could make a difference.
Read that here.

Michelle Alexander is an associate professor of law at Ohio State University, a civil rights lawyer, an activist, and was a law clerk for Justice Harry Blackmun. She is the author of The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness.

As part of the Lannan Foundation's Cultural Freedom Lecture series, the Lensic Performing Arts Center in downtown Santa Fe was packed to the rafters with one of most multicultural audiences this interested party has ever witnessed in one room. During one thought experiment she used the example of any kid in South Dakota (a state where suicide is the 9th leading cause of death) having easy access to illegal drugs but whose family can't afford or lives too far from clinical care.

A plank of the Southern Strategy seeking to assuage poor white people in the wake of the civil rights movement, the so-called 'War on Drugs' declared by the Nixon White House, then institutionalized by the Reagan and Clinton Administrations, redefined caste in the United States becoming a policy tool for the mass incarceration of non-white men.
Jarvious Cotton cannot vote. Like his father, grandfather, great-grandfather, and great-great-grandfather, he has been denied the right to participate in our electoral democracy. Cotton’s family tree tells the story of several generations of black men who were born in the United States but who were denied the most basic freedom that democracy promises—the freedom to vote for those who will make the rules and laws that govern one’s life. Cotton’s great-great-grandfather could not vote as a slave. His great-grandfather was beaten to death by the Ku Klux Klan for attempting to vote. His grandfather was prevented from voting by Klan intimidation. His father was barred from voting by poll taxes and literacy tests. Today, Jarvious Cotton cannot vote because he, like many black men in the United States, has been labeled a felon and is currently on parole. --excerpt from The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness.
Plea agreements are legal coercion. Alexander called on those asked to serve jury duty to lie to the court about your feelings and nullify convictions of any person accused of non-violent drug crimes. She counsels people arrested and indicted for non-violent drug crimes to refuse plea agreements then force jury trials to overwhelm the broken system.

Listen to part of the basis for what Michelle Alexander calls the New Jim Crow at WYNC's On the Media:
Lee Atwater became one of the most complicated and successful Republican political operatives in history by employing a triple threat: spin when you can, change the subject when you can’t, and if all else fails, appeal to the voters’ resentment and fear, usually of African-Americans. In this conversation from 2008, Brooke talks to Stefan Forbes, director of "Boogie Man: The Lee Atwater Story", about the dark legacy of Atwater’s Southern strategy.
Ms. Alexander reminded the mostly flaming liberal attendees that had Barry Obama been raised in the 'hood his chances would have been unremarkably grim.

Sessions' actions have all the reek of an administration rotting from the inside out and from the outcry from nearly every sector suggests voters know the Trump swamp is just another rat-infested sewer washing out during an overdue winter bomb cyclogenesis.



Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Black Hills hunting season begins despite decline in cougar population

This killing round is set at 60 cougars total or 40 females, whichever comes first.

Last year’s donnybrook ended after killing 32 total 17 of which were girl cats. More snow usually means more carnage. The derby is scheduled to end March 31st provided there isn't adequate killing before then.

During one season a white christian trophy hunter illegally slew a three-month old, fourteen pound cougar kitten in the Black Hills. The idiot was cited for a class one misdemeanor improper tagging, which carries a penalty of fines to $1,000, one year in jail and loss of hunting privileges for a year.

The incident is par for the course in Lawrence County where firearms and alcohol with meth chasers are as common as sibling marriages.

South Dakota's Republican-owned wildlife killing arm reports the cougar population peaked sometime in 2011 at about 400 but declined to maybe 300 now after sanctioned hunting began.

Under pressure from the Humane Society of the United States Game, Fish and Plunder has reversed itself on hunting with weaponized dogs.
“We are very pleased to see the Commission vote in favor of protecting South Dakota’s rare and iconic mountain lions. Only a handful of these cats exist in South Dakota and very few ever make it out of the Black Hills and onto the Prairie. Allowing hound hunting on public lands in the Prairie would harm the species’ ability to survive in our state."
Read that here.

Cougars in the Black Hills had enjoyed and thrived in a habitat free of wolves for a little over a hundred years; but that's all over now.

Robust aspen habitats on the Black Hills and a healthy cougar population are relative and critical to ruffed grouse survival. Humans tampering with the ecosystem has resulted in a trophic cascade where the slaughter of cougars allowed mesopredators like coyotes and bobcats to flourish only to depress grouse numbers.

As the eradication of cougars in the Black Hills continues some of the big cats are defending their territory against domestic invaders.

GF&P may have been interested in science at some point in its past but like Douglas fir, lodgepole pine and as revenues collapse the eventual extirpation of mountain lions from the Black Hills looks like a given.

The reasoning is hardly mysterious: it's all about the money hunting and public lands grazing funnel into a region smothering under single-party rule.