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APR 5, 2014 - Americans For Safe Access, together with medical marijuana patients and activists, cannabis industry representatives, and experts kicked off the 2014 National Medical Cannabis Unity Conference in Washington, D.C. today, and JTMP attended. From the feel of the crowd and the energy, medical cannabis advocacy may have some problems and issues to work out, but I can tell you that the movement has a tremendous amount of energy and momentum right now. Things are happening fast, and there was a lot of information to take in just the first day. There were people from Tennessee, California, South Carolina, everywhere. There were panels and meetings, and there will be a citizen lobbying day on Capitol Hill on Monday to cap it all off. [Click Read More for rest of blog...]
MAR 28, 2014 - Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina of Pussy Riot have really been in the news a lot recently, I even heard Mika Brezhinski on Morning Joe say "Pussy Riot" the other day! The two activist-musicians have formed a NGO called Zona Prava "Law Zone" (Use Google Chrome to translate Russian), a campaign to work for prisoner's rights and justice. Read about the NGO Zona Prava on Hollywood Reporter. Also, Pussy Riot will attend the Women In The World summit April 3-5, 2014 in New York. Read more about Nadezhda and Maria attending the WITW Summit on The Daily Beast.
MAR 23, 20134 - We all know that life for a struggling musician is hard when it comes to paying bills (and getting paid for a gig!!), and for decades it has been virtually impossible for them to afford health insurance. The Affordable Care Act is addressing that issue but JTMP has found that it is being hampered not by "Obamacare", but by Republican state lawmakers who, because of a US Supreme Court ruling, do not have to take the money...so they don't. Kathleen Sebilius of the Health and Human Services said in a statement, "Texas taxpayers are losing roughly $18 million a day while the state turns down federal dollars to expand Medicaid." They could take the Federal funds, and then struggling musicians like Christian from The Hates (pictured right) in Texas would be able to apply for Medicaid and get health insurance, but no. It is more important for the Republican lawmakers to take a stance against "Obamacare" than to help their constituents. Unbelievable. Read about the struggle of Texas musician Christian Arnheiter aka "Christian of The Hates" not only fighting disease and our decrepit SICK care system but also battling their elected representatives that are supposed to help them on the HoustonPress.com website. (photo credit: The Hate)
MAR 14, 2014 - Musical-activist Jared Leto gave a shout out to the people of Ukraine, Venezuela and elsewhere around the world fighting for their freedom and what he calls "the privilege of owning yourself" in his Oscar speech, and Wednesday night he and his band played a concert in Kiev and it became quite a show with not only great music, but he also connected with the Ukrainian people and their struggle leading them with a "Glory to Ukraine" chant. He even brought some Ukrainian citizens on stage and asking them their name, what town they are from, and really making this struggle personal and even hugging one fan at one point and the crowd cheered. Watch Jared Leto with Ukrainian fans below, and listen to an awesome version of "Bright Lights" at the same concert here.
MAR 13, 2014 - US Attorney General Eric Holder has announced that the US Justice Department will adopt new policies that will result in shorter sentences, shaving off as much as 25% of the mandatory minimum sentences they were subjected to before. JTMP does applaud this, but we feel we need to go even further and treat drug issues like the health problem issues they are, and not with handcuffs, courts and prison. Read more about this exciting development on HuffPO here.
MAR 13, 2014 - It's National Cannabis Industry Association Lobby Week here in DC, and entrepreneur job creating marijuana merchants are descending on Capitol Hill and visiting US Representatives and Senators and lobbying for many things such as allowing banks to do business with them instead of always having to deal in cash (and some banks wont take cash smelling like marijuana), and removing marijuana from the Schedule 1 List; because marijuana has been clearly shown to have a myriad of medicinal uses. This is grassroots citizen-lobbying at the grassroots level demanding our government servants respond to the needs and wishes of the public that elected them and pays their salary. It is time the federal government once and for all clarify marijuana and hemp as 100% legal commodities in our market, and allow these job creators a free and fair market to do their work in. JTMP urges you to call your US Representative, and tell them to support Rep. Blumenauer (D-OR) and his letter demanding President Obama remove marijuana from the Schedule 1 of the Controlled Substances Act. The DEA acts under the Executive Branch, and President Obama DOES have the power to remove it, regardless of what he may say in public. To find out more check out the National Cannabis Industry Association website.
JAN 28, 2014 - JTMP is in shock and in mourning today, for we woke up to the news that we lost American folk music legend and Great Grandpa Musical Activist that started it all, Pete Seeger. Pete is a personal inspiration, for I attend a "Sing Out Jam Out" folk music circle (find one on MeetUp.com!), and we use the "Rise Up Singing" song book that he helped out with and contains many of his songs. His passing will affect millions and he will have an impact on America and the world for years to come.
Pete was born in New York in 1919, and died in New York in 2014, at the age of 94. His musical career started in the 1940s and 1950s and he enjoyed a successful musical career, and even performed with the band the Weavers, who were blacklisted during the McCarthy era. He is considered by many to have started the activist folk music scene in the 1960s, and Pete and his music became a staple of protests and rallies from the 1960s to today.
JTMP joins the mourning of the passing and celebration of the life of the American activist folk music legend, Pete Seeger. Below is Pete and the Weavers reunited for a concert at Carnegie Hall singing the folk classic, "Wimoweh", or "The Lion Sleeps Tonight", and read about this amazing man on NPR.org here. Rest in Peace Pete, we will carry on the struggle for civil rights! (photo credit: LOC/CC)
JAN 24, 2014 - Do elections matter? JTMP thinks so, and to prove the point just look at Virginia's 2013 Attorney General election. By 900 people going out and doing their civic duty of voting, thousands of gay Virginians will not get their inalienable civil right to pursue happiness trampled on by a conservative Attorney General. The new progressive Virginia Attorney General, Mark Herring, has announced that he will not defend the state's ban on same-sex marriage. Mark Herring won his election by a mere 907 votes, which shows one not only needs to vote, but also pay attention to your local elections. The Governor often appoints State Supreme Court Justices FOR LIFE, and Attorney Generals can trample all over the rights of gay people if the wrong one is elected. So, JTMP reminds everyone to register to vote, vote in primaries and local elections, and pay attention to these rascals. You would be surprised at how much they influence your life. Read more about Mark Herring's startling announcement on NPR.org here.
JAN 6, 2014 - Musical-activist Henry Rollins wrote an Op Ed on LAWeekly.com about Duck Dynasty's Phil Robertson exercising his free speech right with hateful and stupid comments, and Rollins makes some interesting points. For instance on Robertson's comments on how supposedly Jim Crow south was actually a paradise for blacks, Rollins asks, "Did what he said make you think, 'Oh that's good to know because I was under the impression that things were quite awful for African-American people in the southern states in those days. Well, it's a relief to be able to disabuse myself of that notion. Thanks o wisdomatic bearded duck stalker.' I didn't think so." Well said Henry. To read the whole Op Ed go to LAWeekly.com here. (photo credit: ceedub13/CC)
JAN 2, 2014 - The prohibition of the consumption of cannabis has ended in at least one part of America. As of January 1, 2014, Colorado becomes the first state to come "online" to sell and consume marijuana legally, and the sky didn't fall. There were long lines, and recreational marijuana users ranged from veterans with PTSD to Americans who just wanted to smoke a little weed, listen to some music in their basement and not bother anyone; and not be bothered. Doesn't the government have bigger worries to worry about? Anyways, I suggest buying stock in Doritos. JTMP urges our supporters to contact their local, state and federal elected representatives and tell them you want recreational marijuana prohibition to end. Watch a video below of the first legal marijuana transaction in Colorado by a vet who uses it to treat his PTSD.