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Center Column Archives
Each year on April 20th
, at 4:20pm, people celebrate and smoke cannabis together. One of the biggest gathering spots in California, perhaps the biggest, is Porter Meadow at UC Santa Cruz. It's a large event for the whole community - a place where thousands of people can have a picnic, play with musical instruments, frisbees, kites and just have fun. It's in a safe and relatively secluded location and problems are rare.
During the 2008 presidential campaign, Barack Obama, along with other major Democratic candidates, promised to stop the federal government's raids on medical cannabis dispensaries. Federal medical cannabis-related raids continued in January and February. On February 25th, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder told reporters that Obama's pledge "is now American policy." However, no laws have been changed.
Laurel Krause writes:
Ongoing medical marijuana busts throughout Mendocino County have been arresting local residents daily. I was one of five busts made and charged with two felonies (cultivation and intent to sell/distribute) on February 20th, even though I had my doctor recommendation and was growing with the guidelines published at the Mendocino County website.
Barry Cooper, a former Texas police officer with eight years of specialty in drug interdiction, first made waves when he released the film "Never Get Busted Again," a how-to guide for evading police drug seizures. Austin, Texas-based Cooper's latest project, 'KopBusters,' is not nearly so benign, and sparked an immediate response after RAW STORY covered a news brief of their first sting.
Under the guise of the "War on Drugs," the Mexican Army has increased its presence around the Zapatistas autonomous municipalities in La Garrucha — the last place Subcomandante Marcos was seen. On June 4, a convoy of 200 army, state and local police tried to enter La Garrucha under the pretext of “looking for marijuana plants,” but were turned away by Zapatista men, women and children armed only with machetes and stones.
While the violence surrounding drug cartels in Mexico causes great alarm in Mexico and abroad, the targeting of Zapatista communities in the “War on Drugs” is equally alarming.
On June 5th, after a federal judge cleared the way, Blackwater Worldwide, the 'World's Most Powerful Mercenary Army', opened a large training facility in San Diego, just three blocks from the border that separates California and Mexico. Blackwater is setting its sights on the so-called "war on drugs" and recently opened its own private CIA, called "Total Intelligence Solutions," marketing "CIA-type services" to Fortune 500 companies. On Wednesday, June 11th
, local groups in San Diego are organizing a major protest outside the Blackwater facility at 7685 Siempre Viva Road in Otay Mesa.
Armed with bazookas, instruments and colorful posters, residents of Santa Cruz will show their support on Tuesday, June 10th
at 3:30pm in favor of a pending city resolution requesting that all US military aid to Colombia be re-directed to domestic drug prevention and rehabilitation programs, which have been shown to be more effective in the “war on drugs.” Bert Muhly of Tres Americas will speak on the issue, as well as Sandra Alvarez, long time Colombia activist and Ph.D candidate at the University of California Santa Cruz.