gozarks.com weblog

Today is the present… be the gift.

Abuse October 13, 2011

Been too long since I’ve taken time to reflect, assimilate and digest. Contrary to profuse and numberous distractions, however, life is good — at least in the grander sense and bumps in the road aside.

For reasons related to a lot of things I’ve been thinking a lot lately about ‘abuse’…. what it is… that is, what defines it… where is the line crossed? what are the objective dimensions of that line and where does subjective experience enter in…?

What I’ve arrived at: it seems that we — society as a whole, that is — have developed a type of cognitive dissonance about what we classify (or not) as ‘abusive’… and how we deal with it. Take for example the actions taken by officials in Topeka, Kansas, to unadopt a local law on domestic violence due to a budget crunch… A sane person who has studied the facts would be hard put not to wonder why ‘domestic violence’ (which typically victimizes women and children) was targeted and not, let’s say, the prosecution of cannabis (marijuana) crimes where there is no victim involved?

What does this say about ‘us’ — the Great American Society? 

 And if actions really do speak louder than words, how do we turn this into a win/win/win….???


Teapot Party January 24, 2011

I have started another blog to address specifically those topics near and dear to the hearts of the Teapoters I’ve met to date… not that all of the topics addressed on gocannabis.wordpress.com are near and dear to the motivation of each or all of the respective civic-activists who have flocked together under the Teapot Party banner raised by Willie Nelson, yet whether their respective dedication is to industrial hemp, environmental health, economic well-being, medicinal cannabis, religious freedom, social justice, civic effectiveness, prison reform or the simple liberty to raise a glass of beer in a public place and toast a musician they adore, there is a among us a unifying theme about cannabis-hemp: Legalize It, Regulate It, Tax It.

Legalize it by removing it from the Federal Drug Schedule, subjected to no more regulatory scrutiny than are the tomato plants, cucumbers, mint, basil or corn routinely grown in grandpa’s garden or grandma’s backyard.

Regulate it the same way that asprin and beer are regulated in the commercial marketplace. Draw a clear distinction between ‘personal private’ cultivation/consumption, from which government is prohibited to intervene, and industrial applications, including pharmaceuticles, nutritional products, foods, health and body care products, building materials, etc., etc., and so on which are marketed to the general public and which it is the duty of government to regulate all such commercial/industrial activity for the benefit of the collaborative and colletive ‘we the people’.  

Tax it the same way that all commercial goods and services are taxed or not taxed.

In other words, stop making such a big deal about it. Get over it. Get it done and get on with convening global peace. 

The handwriting is on the wall about this, folks. Yet the single question remains: Are we ready to shed our fears and inhibitions? Are we willing to make a unified stand for what is right?

Read the data. Do some research. Learn. Think. What makes practical good sense…? What decision takes us in a truly ‘new’ direction…? Which choice holds the promise of delivering the greatest benefit (at the smallest price tag) to the people we hold dear? And beyond that, to everyone…

How do we stop re-inculcating the animosity that has stagnated progress on this issue…? We fuel every action with vigor for ‘growing’ Global Peace and Prosperity in our own backyards, with a hometown get-er-done ‘barn building spirit’ plan for action at the local level… knowing that as we do this work we are at the same time weaving together a network of change, simultaneously remaking national dispositions by atrition and due process.

Sincerely, I hope you (yes, YOU…!!!) will get involved. Visit gocannabis.wordpress.com to learn more.  ~Christine


Teapot Meetup January 15, 2011

Teapot Party logoTeapot Party Meetup, January 15, 2011, Shirley, AR
5 people attending

We discussed “Tax It, Regulate It, Legalize It” as a ‘purpose’ and agreed that though we very much like the phrase, it is more of a motto or tag-line than a ‘purpose’ as it does not answer the question “Why are we doing this?”

We discussed the various reasons that each of us is doing this civic-activism work. Our individual responses ranged from ‘disgust with the absurdity of current drug law’ to ‘concern about the huge number of people in prisons’ to ‘the stigma and fear associated with pot are jeopardizing our freedom of speech’ to ‘I would like to grow hemp for industrial purposes’.

There was, however, one common idea we all agreed to: That the prohibition of cannabis-hemp by our own government is a violation of our Constitutionally guaranteed right to freedom from intervention by government into our private affairs. In this light, our unified purpose is to ensure and safeguard our own liberty.

With regard to local action, it was unanimously agreed that we support and endorse the enactment of medical cannabis legislation by the Arkansas General Assembly which is currently in session.

We discussed ways to show this support and one idea we all agreed to was that a pro-cannabis/hemp rally on the steps of the Arkansas State Capitol could really put this issue over the top… and that it would take the collaboration of a lot of people to make this happen.

We also agreed that such a rally would be futile and could actually work against the med-cannabis effort unless the turn-out was at least a thousand people… and that though there are 10’s of thousands of people in Arkansas who support the idea of med-cannabis, getting them to turn out in droves or make any kind of public statement is, because of the stigma associated with marijuana, pretty much like pulling teeth.

We briefly touched on candidate endorsements, fundraising and the need for a cohesive information-sharing network throughout our state, but felt strongly that this group effort is still in the fledgling stage; that effectively, there is as yet no real ‘on the ground’ organization because people who were previously unknown to each other have just started getting acquainted, and that it will take some time to develop local and regional structure before we are ready to do much of anything else.

We decided to share these comments with other activists and see what they think. Several of us will attend one or more Teapot Party Meetups on the 18th and these comments will be posted to various forums and lists with hopes of response.  YOUR ideas and suggestions are welcome and encouraged.


Oh happy day… May 26, 2010

My having been terribly remiss posting updates to this page, I make here amends with my current rant to all those who seem to believe that complaining and criticizing are equal to ‘doing something good’:

While I appreciate your vigorous campaign for the way you think things ought to be done and your perpetual tirade  against the atrocities being perpetrated upon all of us by our failed (governmental/corporate) systems, it must be noted that your persistent point of view is adversarial. That is, as you express yourself, you seem to see life as an ‘us against them’ battle for superiority.

Respectfully, I strongly disagree with this tenet and am uninterested to debate my position. Either folks ‘get it’ -or- they don’t. Either they seek and desire to come together with a unified voice and take the high ground in support of self-responsible ‘reasonableness’, or they don’t. And there is absolutely nothing that I (or anyone) can do to change this. Their choice of action is entirely up to them.

At the same time my position deserves to be clearly understood. That is, I am convinced that things have gotten worse over the last 30 years because of our acceptance and practice of ‘adversarial actions’ as a means of resolving anything. Thus respectfully, I do not wish to, and therefore will not, waste precious time in confrontation, and in fact I reject the idea that adversarial confrontation is necessary, normal or best.

While I am critically aware that freedom isn’t free, from my perspective the high cost of liberty is paid by each individual in the activity of reasoning together, being tolerant of others points of view, making the effort (and it is a HUGE one) to connect with others in hubs of like-minded-ness and work diligently together (sometimes through spirited, respectful and well-reasoned debate) to discover and agree upon viable solutions that really do, in some significant and tangible way, make life better for everyone.

In this regard, I welcome all who wish to have a thoughtful, deliberative, substantive, respectful and provocative conversation on just about any topic.  For starters, how about joining the conversation on Facebook at Arkansans for Medical Cannabis…!!!  Thanks!!!


01022010 January 8, 2010

According to WikiPedia: “A palindrome is a word, phrase, number or other sequence of units that can be read the same way in either direction. ” A palindromic number or numeral palindrome is a ‘symmetrical’ number like 16461, that remains the same when its digits are reversed. Thus January 2, 2010 (01022010) could be thot of perhaps as some sort of inversion point initiating a season of turning things front-to-back or back-to-front while at the same time coming out even <grin>.

On that merry note I’m introducing a new Category to this weblog, titled simply MJ. Chronicled under this heading you will find my personal comments on the actions now being taken by a group of regular citizens to forward legislation which enables people who so choose to be free to imbibe/cultivate marijuana for personal and commercial purposes without fear of discrimination, persecution, arrest, forfeiture or incarceration.

We also believe there should be some distinction between medical and social use in terms of regulation which will likely permit taxation; that medical use should be tax exempt and that med-mj should be freely available to every person who has a health condition for which mj provides relief.

As things come to pass and actions are taken, I will post updates here, in the MJ Category. For starters, have a look at a legislative_initiative we are studying, looking to refine the language and make sure it says everything we want.

In this interest, take time to ponder the following article which I find is so totally ‘right on’… and I double-ditto the bottom line about mj-law being (illegally) used to persecute supposed ‘troublemakers’ (but have no other charges against them)… This is a huge elephant in the middle of the room that nobody really is talking about, yet as with racial discrimination it must permanently end:

Marijuana for medicine: Many are ready, including a prominent legislator.
Doug Smith, Updated: 12/17/2009, Print E-mail del.icio.us Digg this

LAVERTY:  Been at the bedside of cancer patients.

[Arkansas] State Sen. Randy Laverty of Jasper says that after the news mediareported last month on his proposal to legalize medical marijuana, he got more response than on any issue he’d been associated with in his 15 years as a legislator — telephone calls, e-mails and personal contact.

“And it was all positive. That never happens.”

Laverty says that at the next regular legislative session, in 2011,he’ll introduce a bill to permit the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes. The time may be ripe.

Thirteen states have legalized medical marijuana. Maine became the latest last month, when voters approved it by a 59 percent majority. At least a dozen more states seem headed toward legalization in the near future. It was a full eight years ago that a University of Arkansas poll found 63 percent of Arkansans in favor of medical marijuana and 32 percent opposed. (The finding astounded, and was disputed by, a number of people, and seemed to go unnoticed by the legislature.)

In 2004, drug-law reformers tried to put a medical-marijuana act on the general election ballot, but failed to obtain the required number of signatures. In the last couple of years, voters in Eureka Springs and Fayetteville have declared that enforcement of marijuana laws should be a low priority for law enforcement.

A few medical marijuana bills have been introduced in the legislature, but none ever got out of committee. Those bills weren’t sponsored by legislators as well-entrenched as Laverty.

Medical marijuana is part of a larger issue, Laverty says, but it’s the part that can be achieved most quickly. The larger issue is whether to decriminalize the use of marijuana generally as a way to curtail the explosive growth in the state prison population. Laverty also is pondering legislation that would entail the release from prison of large numbers of nonviolent offenders, through greater use of house arrest.

New technology has improved devices, such as ankle bracelets, that keep law enforcement officers informed of offenders’ whereabouts, Laverty says.

“When I first came to the legislature, we had about 6,300 prison inmates,” Laverty says. “Today, we’re pushing 16,000. They’re projecting 22,000 in 10 years.” The prison population is aging, too, which means it’s more expensive. A few years back, Laverty saw a National Conferenceof State Legislatures report that said $21,000 to $26,000 a year was thecost of keeping an inmate in his 20s confined, and $53,000 to $57,000 a year the cost for an inmate in his 50s or 60s. Older inmates are more prone to health problems.

Laverty, who has three years left to serve in the legislature, said he’s still studying what other states have done in this area. But in regard to medical marijuana, he’s ready to go. He said he’d been at the bedside of too many cancer patients in pain not to want to relieve their suffering.

Most local law enforcement officers already say that arresting marijuana users isn’t a high priority. It’s impossible to know how many marijuana offenders are in the state prisons, because most drug offenders are charged under a blanket “controlled substance” statute that doesn’t name a specific substance. Dina Tyler, a spokesman for the state Correction Department, said she doubts there are many people in prison for mere possession of marijuana.

Possession of a small amount of marijuana is amisdemeanor, she said, and misdemeanants don’t go to prison. But drug reformers note that a second offense of possessing marijuana, even a small amount, is a felony. They believe that sheriffs and police use this provision of the law to send up people who’re considered troublemakers but who have no other charges against them. ~~~