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Jack Herer, the father of Hemp and the author of "The Emperor Wears No Clothes" will be signing books at The 3rd Eye on Hawthorne, October 1st 5-6 pm.
Paul Krassner is an emminent cultural critic, drug warrior (on the other side) and comedian. He is a one the co-founders of the Yippies, along with Jerry Rubin and Abbie Hoffman. His publication, the Realist, was a monument to irreverence and nose-thumbing rebellion that helped spawn many of it's kind. This Saturday at 8pm, he will be performing at the Old Church at 1422 SW 11th & Clay. Tickets are $15 in advance and $18 at the door. I took a few minutes of Paul's time to ask him some questions specifically for IMC at Powell's Books last night before his reading and signing of his new book, Magic Mushrooms and Other Highs: from Toad Slime to Ecstasy.
What's more plausible - that the government has outlawed ephedra because it's LINKED to 155 deaths in history, or because the pHarmacuetical industry is one of the biggest political contributors and doesn't want a natural extract as a competitor that can't be trademarked and regulated?
Ephedra is the main active ingredient of Ma Huang, an herb that has been used for thousands of years to alleviate symptoms of asthma, upper respiratory infection, nasal and chest congestion, and to increase metabolism. The Food and Drug Administration, citing a TOTAL of 155 deaths that have been LINKED to it, has banned all sales of it as of today, April 12, 2004.
The move marks the first time the government has outlawed a dietary supplement and will set a precedent for action against other "risky" products, Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson said. "For too long, dietary supplements containing (ephedra) have been heavily promoted and widely used. They are simply too "risky", Thomson said at a news conference. Bush administration officials said several recent developments allowed them to take action against a substance that had been under scrutiny for at least six years.
Cocaine use contributes to coffers of the mafias. Especially the right-wing mafias in Colombia. That would be one of the most brutal killing machines in the world, the "Auto-Defensas Unidos de Colombia" the AUC. This is a group that is run by Carlos Castano and Salvatore Mancuso leaders of an ideologically extremist coalition of cattle ranchers and businessmen, narco-traffickers, regional politicians, and retired, cashiered, and active service army officers.
These are the bastards are responsible for most all the killing in Colombia, that would be something like 20 people a day. Even Colombian officials admit that the AUC are responsible for 80% of all political murders and massacres.
The article is in the west sylvan newspaper. However, very edited and censored. Corporate KGW channel 8 news saw the story on this website and called my house and told me they were going to interview me at lunch at my school and put me on TV. I said ok. I know it was corporate news, but it will still get the point across and more people would know about it and it would make my school's administration look bad. However, the principal of the school found out, and pulled me out of 1st period and said "i want to be in the interview with u," knowing i would say something that would make her look bad using the excuse "it can be intimidating." The next period, she says to me..."they;re not doing the interview" the first thing i say to her is "WHY?" she answers "I CALLED them"
BULLSHIT.she called them and said You can't do the interview.my voice was silenced once again. SHe's a little scared i would say something that would cause her to have angry parents call her and complain about the school. Here is the final article that was in the newspaper. I am, for the most part, not happy with the censorship. [ HERE IT IS... ]
indy volunteer writes:
original feature: [ West Sylvan Middle School newspaper refuses to print student's article about marijuana; Read it here on indymedia (9 Dec. 2003)
My school is starting a newpaper. I have my own colum in it...and was told i could write whatever i want.The topic i chose to write was a re-occuring "problem" in middle school, marijauana. It turned out to be rejected by the teacher and the 2 perfect editors who are the only fellow middle schoolers who did not like it. It was too much for all of them to take. I admit, marijuana is a very senstive subject in middle school. However, the comments they had were pretty much 'I don't agree with your opinion'. Please just comment on what you think about this... [ and here's the article ]
U.S. Drug Czar, John P. Walters of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, visited Portland today [14 August] as part of the White House's "25 Cities Initiative" National Tour, seeking to reduce substance abuse in America's largest cities.
The News Conference was hosted by Judy Cushing, president of the Oregon Partnership, a state wide non profit. After introducing Portland Police Chief Mark Kroeker for a few brief comments, she then expounded a little on the "25 Cities Initiative," which is a local approach to a national problem. "In Portland leaders have meet over the last month to look at the most salient issues facing the community. They have addressed and identified three local initiatives they will focus their attention on." The first is Meth education, which has to do with pre cursor chemicals; the second "has everthing to do with the education of the public, schools and parents and community leaders about the angers associated with marijuana. Marijuana today is much different the marijuana of yesterday, and young people are being harmed; the third initiative has to do with parents, and the fact that parents are the most powerful influencing factor in childrens lives."
At this point John Walters gave his remarks for about 5 minutes and then opened the floor for questions from the media. [ Read more... ]
More independent audio and video coverage of events in Cascadia can be found at PhilosopherSeed.org.
I just called City Hall, who referred me to Oregon Partnership, who confirmed that this is happening tomorrow morning. John Walters, Bush's "Drug Czar" will be in Portland this week. He will be having a news conference at Portland's City Hall at 9am Thursday, August 14th, to, among other things, discuss the "myth" of medical marijuana.
This will be an opportunity for Oregon's patients to demonstrate the importance of medical marijuana to their lives and families by showing up in front of City Hall and in front of the reporters gathered there for the "Drug Czar's" visit. Patients in wheel chairs can be the most persuasive of all (a picture is worth a thousand words). A successful demonstration of patient and activist unity may change the minds of many, if not those of this administration's "lap dogs". So get out there early and bring lots of friends.
Where: Portland City Hall When: 8:30am Thursday, August 14, 2003
From the open publishing newswire: I am a Portland activist that has been traveling in Southeast Asia for around three months. Recently in Thailand, the Prime Minister with the military elite who run the country have declared an open war against "drug dealers." This war has turned into a terror campaign that has already left over a 1000 people murdered by special police/military death squads, just within a weeks time. There are police and military checkpoints everywhere, searching for the people on the "death list." The military command of Thailand has just closed down the INN news service due to its reporting of the murders. [ Read More... ]
From the open publishing newswire: Many Indymedia readers have been raised on the "War on Drugs." There were too many socialist-type gains in the 60s and 70s for the taste of President Nixon. With the mind-expansion help of drugs, people were uniting, racial and gender lines blurred and rights were won, communes that questioned land ownership were born, people loved freely and a war was stopped.
From a United States perspective, what has this 30-year war given us? A booming profit-driven prison economy where half of those incarcerated are non-violent drug consumers? An expensive law enforcement system where one half of our "peace officers" are mandated to convict petty sellers and consumers? A drained economy that sends billions upon billions of US dollars to right wing paramilitaries in Latin America to stop drug production, which kills thousands of peasants.
This war has fueled a violent black market, a savage capitalism that will never be diminished because of the enormous profits to be had. And, although our government professes concern for the consumer, thousands die each year due to no quality regulation. A friend of mine died last year because of this.
The war has failed, violently and miserably, and its motivation now as in the beginning is clearly right wing government control. First to slap down US leftists and now to control all of Latin America so the literal superhighways may be paved through such devices as Plan Colombia, Plan Puebla Panama and the extension of NAFTA.
From the open publishing newswire: In the 12/30/02 issue at page 8, The Nation published this full page ad:
Header: Picture of small bag of marijuana.
The text of the ad states that if you buy drugs you are financing drug cartels, people who are responsible for terrible things. If you stop buying drugs, the dealers and violence would go away. It concludes by saying it doesn't matter if you only buy a dime bag... "you pick which side you're on by buying it in the first place."
So pot smokers are on the side of the "terrorists?" Oh really... The Nation says that it blanketly accepts any advertising that does not impede the use of its editorial columns, unless the ads are "blatantly misleading" or purveying harmful products in which case they fall into the gray area of discretion. If the above ad is not blatantly misleading, what is? [ Read More... ]
[ Read More... ]
From the open publishing newswire: We tried spending our own green money to publish the message that tens of millions of responsible, productive Americans smoke pot. Portland's largest newspaper, The Oregonian, censored us. So did corporate heads at Portland's KUFO, KGON, KEX, KKCW, KSTE, KNRK, KKRZ and Seattle's KISW. Even the mass transit system, Tri-Met, banned our message. Sooo...we are taking our message to radio stations in other parts of the country, to college campus radio stations, indie stations, even internet stations in the hope that they will play it over the air waves! Help us spread the message that regular Americans smoke pot, you just don't know who they are because they are afraid to talk about it.
[ jeffandtracy.com ]
From the open publishing newswire: i posted a while back that i wanted to produce something here on indy relating the tale--along with some logically moralistic crap--of my close friend who has been binging on crack-cocaine for the entire summer (and who continues to do so). it has been bitter heartache from the very beginning when i met her, but we grew close yet though she was moving further and further away from me (and the world that she's known for 44 years).
i met her on the corner of 6th and Burnside (NW), a corner that is a notorious congregating spot for crack users and the cool sha' hambone, young (and getting younger), mostly black drug dealers (and accompanying entourages). the police know this and have been taking action since a little after the summer began by making multiple day and night sweeps, being helped until dusk by the portland business supported rent-a-cops, Clean & Safe.
From Committee for a New Colombia, Ram?n Acevedo and Nathalie Alsop spoke at the IWW hall this past Thursday, to educate and inspire folks to work to end the violence in Colombia by recognizing that U.S. funding is what is perpetuating this bloody civil war, more than any other factor.
The messages we are being asked to understand, are manyfold. It was emphasized that we need to fully look at the complexity of issues that face this resource-rich, but dirt-poor country; And that this war on drugs in Colombia is in actuality (as it is here) a war on the people. Studies show that fumigation abroad will not decrease drug use in the US. It was stated that there is now more coca growing in Colombia than ever before, mainly due to fumigation policies designed to destroy subsistence and market crops, forcing people to move to the cities. This cheap and desperate labor base serves to undermine formation and organization of labor unions, because there is an endless resource base of scab labor moving into the cities as life in the country becomes unbearable. There is evidence that corporations in the cities are using paramilitaries to crush unions. A story was relayed about a Coca Cola plant murder of a union organizer, by paramilitaries who were allowed onto the property by that corporation. DynCorp has been asked to leave Ecuador because of the human rights abuses they are responsible for.
The violence in Colombia continues mainly because the paramilitary and government-backed military are all being subsidized by U.S. dollars to perpetuate the violence. 20% of the U.S. money going to Colombia is used for actual aid. The rest is used for arms. This money will be used by the incoming president, who will be inaugurated August 7th, to combine the U.C-trained armed forces, and the National Police to work more closely in the civil war.
The internal conflicts that have put this country in a constant state of war would be more likely to deescalate were the U.S. not training the paramilitary and providing them with arms. Our government's interest is in promoting the interests of multinational investment, at the expense of the cultural and economic integrity of Colombians, and at the expense of their environment. Stopping U.S. involvement in Colombia is the first obvious step toward achieving peace in Colombia.
To listen to the audio of these two speakers, go to: www.philosopherseed.org/audio.htm
For more info on the training of paramilitaries in Colombia and Honduras, go to: www.soawatch.org
To contact Committee for a New Colombia:
Local sponsors here in Portland were: (PICAG)Peace In Colombia Action Group, (PCASC)Portland Central America Solidarity Committee, (CBLOC) Cross Border Labor Organizing Coalition.
Two Afro-Colombian stowaways who were discovered aboard a large cargo ship in the Port of Vancouver on April 26, 2002, are planning to apply for asylum according to attorneys of the Immigration Counseling Service (ICS). A third Colombian who had accompanied them perished during the journey.
The men who appear to be in their 20's from photographs, hail from the Buenaventura region of Colombia, and today expressed their gratitude for help received from Portlanders.
During a news conference this morning, Susan Rossiter, ICS executive director representing Jhon Jairo Riasco Rivas, and Jessica Boell, representing Omar Arenas, outlined the asylum appeal process and also lauded the efforts of local organizations to assist the two men. Specifically mentioned were Peace in Colombia Action Group (PICAG), the St. Stephen's Episcopal Parish; both of whom have set-up bank accounts for support funds, and the ICS.
Asylum seekers in detention have no access to community groups. It was with dogged determination that people from PICAG were able to discover where the men were hospitalized, queried abut their needs, and accumulated donations of clothing, food, money, phone cards for delivery to them.
Boell said, "it's important to understand the asylum claims of these two men in the context of Colombia's country conditions... in Colombia there exists widespread internal conflict and rampant political and criminal violence. Both the guerrillas and the paramilitaries participate in violence against individuals on account of their political opinion." [ Full Story ]
[ Previous related stories: "ACTION ALERT: Colombian Stowaways in Portland, OR" | "Nimia Vargas' speech compels us to action" ]
Last week, the Portland Police Bureau informed the City Council that they will seek reauthorization of the Drug Free Zones. Portland and Multnomah County lawyers have also proposed several major changes to how the Drug Free Zones are enforced.
In response to recent weakening of the Drug Free Zones due to a court case, Portland City lawyers and the Multnomah County District Attorney's office have proposed several major changes to how the Drug Free Zones are enforced. The court case, State v. Collins, was decided this February by the Oregon Court of Appeals, requiring that police officers must warn you to leave the Drug Free Zone before they arrest you. This has taken the 'teeth' out of the Drug Free Zones, which has the police and some neighborhood groups worried, including the Old Town Public Safety Committee. (Read More)
The proposal for changing the Drug Free Zones include:
According to the Peace in Colombia Action Group (PICAG), a Portland-based group that works for a peaceful solution to the war in Colombia, "Three Colombian stowaways were discovered April 26th near the Port of Vancouver. The two surviving Colombians remain at the Legacy Emanuel Hospital in Portland, Oregon. The INS has posted security at the hospital until these men can be released by a doctor, into federal custody. One of the two men is in staying in the trauma unit, and the other in the intensive care unit."
PICAG has announced a campaign to support these men: "INS is NOT allowing us to visit the men or have any direct contact. According to Ed Sale, PR spokesman for the Portland INS office, this is standard procedure, but Sale could not offer any other reason for this restriction. He did, however, assure us that it is OK to bring them things, the same as you would for any other person in the hospital. PICAG is encouraging all Latin America solidarity activists to send cards and letters of support to these men, letting them know that they are not alone and that we care about their well-being."
Kathleen Juergens, PICAG member who is heading up this solidarity campaign, would like to "encourage people to pass around cards, in your workplace, church group, wherever you can. I think even if we write messages in English, the intent will be understood. Maybe this seems like a token gesture, but I remember being in jail myself (under much less traumatic circumstances than our Colombian brothers) and what a HUGE difference it made to get messages of hope and encouragement from the outside."
PICAG also says that the Colombians need basic items such as socks, underwear and other clothing. "Spanish-language books, magazines, videos, etc., might help take their minds off being injured and in pain. And flowers and candy are always a nice gesture! Portland-based supporters should stop by Emanuel Hospital to drop items off. Out-of-town supporters can mail packages to the men, or contact PICAG to coordinate donations."
PICAG hopes to have a better idea of how to support the men politically after speaking more with their lawyer.