First state – Washington! – legalizes pot this Thursday
In less than 36 hours, adult cannabis possession will be legal in Washington State. Citizens throughout the land intend to celebrate by imbibing cannabis with less fear – a simple revolutionary act.
Some folks intend to celebrate at the Seattle Center fountain for a cold, rainy, night time smoke session by a large wetting agent. Some folks feel like civilly disobeying our public consumption laws makes less sense now that we legalized home consumption. Certainly the city attorney of Seattle, the honorable Pete Holmes, is among the latter. He suggests acknowledging this newfound right by smoking pot at home while being grateful we are arresting and imprisoning fewer of our citizens.
Wherever and however we celebrate matters not. Just mark the occasion. Colorado was the first state to vote to legalize pot, but the law in Washington takes effect sooner, making us the first to legalize cannabis by decree of the people. For a short period of time, Washington will be the only U.S. state where adult cannabis possession will be legal, joining a very small handful of other nations.
So celebrate, Washington State, you deserve it! As mentioned in Legal Cannabis Week #-4, remember to burn one in honor of a cannabis hero this Thursday.
Joanna McKee turns 70 this Friday
The day after cannabis is legal marks the 70th birthday of Joanna McKee, medical marijuana matriach of Washington State. Joanna was an Alaska cannabis activist who was arrested in 1987 for growing the proscribed plant. In 1990, the indefatigable author and activist Jack Herer introduced her to Stitch Miller, who had traveled to Alaska to work against a ballot initiative to re-criminalize personal pot possession, which had been legalized by a 1975 state Supreme Court decision.
Joanna and Stitch moved to Seattle, then to Bainbridge Island, where they founded the Green Cross Patient Co-op in 1993. The pair had seen a news report that listed Seattle on a map of cities with San Francisco-style cannabis buyers' clubs, but they could find none of these. Instead they found many patients also in search of medicine, and this network of relationships gave birth to the one of the oldest, most storied cannabis activist organizations in Washington State.
In 1994 Joanna presented the Bainbridge Island City Council with a "Compassionate Use of Medicinal Marijuana" initiative signed by 834 people. The next year, a Bainbridge Island police officer federally deputized as part of the WestNET drug task force began an investigation after the DEA received an anonymous tip from a man who claimed to be disgruntled over the price he paid for pot. Green Cross was raided by WestNET on May 3, 1995.
It was one of the first known raids of a medical cannabis "compassion club" in the nation. Later that year, a Kitsap County judge ruled the search warrant – based largely on an anonymous tip, power bills and knowledge of McKee's political beliefs – was no good. "If the warrant's no good, then all the evidence is out. If the evidence is out, then we have no case to prosecute," said Deputy Prosecutor Kevin Kelly.
Throughout her tenure, Joanna McKee has been fearless and on-point, mixing few words while saying what few people so positioned dared say before. She speaks truth to power, regardless of risk. She understands bigger pictures and political realities and works to move the ball forward. She has an inherent sense – an accurate gut feeling – for the right thing to do.
And so, not knowing the official procedure for this, we are proud to issue a people's proclamation declaring December 7, 2012 as Joanna McKee Day in the land of legal cannabis and its future territories. To participate in the celebration, simply offer up a prayer or positive thought this Friday in honor of Joanna's 70th birthday.
What are insubordinate state college leaders smoking?
The day after Washington voters legalized pot, media relations personnel at the University of Washington began promoting the idea that the UW must ignore the will of the people and enforce federal drug laws on our student populations.
The reason for this, UW administrators claim, is that part of the federal Drug Free Schools and Communities Act requires federally-funded schools to maintain a drug and alcohol policy, to inform students about drug and alcohol laws, and to provide general treatment information to students.
How our state college administrators interpreted that to mean they must override the will of state voters and instead ramp up federally-inspired drug-war rhetoric by threatening one of our most vulnerable populations with increased penalties – once convicted of pot crimes, our children become ineligible for federal student loans – I do not understand.
The UW police recently hopped on the nuevo-federales bandwagon, telling student media that the federal Drug-Free Workplace Act requires them to post this notice and that "basically says marijuana and other substances are illegal," so they intend to engage our community in continued anti-marijuana warfare and zealotry.
What are these people smoking? Do we passively employ people who so freely tell their employers their intent to ignore instruction and duty? Do we blink and stare at salaried insubordinates who bluntly threaten the very safety of our children?
It gets worse. The administrative malady spread across the mountains to Washington State University, where a spokesperson (from the philosophy department, we imagine) was quoted five days ago in a widely-published Associated Press article saying, "everything we've seen is that nothing changes for us."
Nothing changes? What is the philosophy – I mean media relations department – smoking at WSU? Do they expect a citizenry that just legalized cannabis to accept such rhetoric? Our universities may receive federal funding, but they also receive state funding and, more importantly, they are state-owned – they belong to the people of Washington State, not the federal government.
Shame on our two state research universities for this error in judgment. The feds didn't call and ask where administrative allegiance lies; proactively promoting and enforcing federal marijuana laws on our lands is folly out of step with the codified intent of our people. Get with it.
Seeking media-willing industry professionals
Center for Legal Cannabis often prefers to lead from behind. Our work requires us to harness many disparate energies to support common cause. One asset we need soon is a list of intelligent, coherent industry professionals who are willing to speak to television, radio, print and internet media outlets about business, politics and the cannabis flower.
Nearly a month into our work, media inquiries are increasing. KIRO TV attended last week's I-502 zoning lecture, and wanted to speak with business people interested in legal cannabis industries. In case you missed it, the KIRO report was sandwiched between the pot grow on fire in Renton and the Olympia grower – whose house contained two guard alligators, one stripper pole and one stripper – arrested after shooting his farm help. (All news is good news?)
If you are an entrepreneur interested in legal cannabis or ancillary businesses, and you are willing to speak to media who contact Center for Legal Cannabis, please email firstname.lastname@example.org with your name, phone number, email address, any company names and any other relevant information. This will be quite helpful to our future work.
Meme building: 12:06 is the new 4:20
December 6 is the first day a member of the United States of America will bow out of the world-wide war against the cannabis flower. On December 6, a small but significant number of us declare a truce in our terrible effort to eliminate natural germplasm – the seed of life – from our small planet. It is a cannabiotic armistice day.
It is certainly a somber day – Hawai'ian cannabis minister Roger Christie is going on 30 months detention without trial, while other prominent cannabis activists continue to rot in federal prisons – but it is rightfully a day of celebration. I have long believed cannabis culture needs a new holiday, a yin to the yang of 4:20, and for this I propose 12:06.
Think about it. As a time, 4:20 represents little more than the soonest a handful of California teens could get themselves to a designated after-school smoking spot. It's not a particularly good time for 9-5 workers. Most of us rarely experience its a.m. round. It's simply not practical.
On the contrary, 12:06 represents the day we legalized cannabis. It's just after midnight, an accessible time for most people. It reminds us to reflect on the passing of another day, the turning of another page. It is also the lunch hour, and seems super practical for working people mid-day.
As the date 4/20 celebrates spring, sun, and increasing energy – yang – let the date 12/6 celebrate the onset of winter, the moon, and yielding energy – yin. Major cultures, religions and nations have seasonal holidays; cannabis culture deserves no less.
If you like number play, the theosophical reduction of 12:06 is 9, with a pause at 3:6 – 3, 6, 9. Tesla wrote, "if you only knew the magnificence of the 3, 6 and 9, then you would have a key to the universe." The number has depth.
Less mathy and esoteric, 12:06 can be switched up to 6:12 for those that like to bend rules or format dates like the rest of the world. It is malleable, willing to work with you. In that way it represents the best in us.
In a culture faced with forty years of offensive warfare, solitary or factional sacrament was made communal through the concept of simultaneity, the idea of thoughtfully timing oneself. So the next time 12:06 rolls around, be assured that someone is thinking of you by thinking of them. After all, 12:06 is the new 4:20. Pass it along.