Musical-Activist to Sell “Willies’ Reserve” Strain July 23, 2015 – Willie Nelson, long known for his high level of cannabis use, has announced he will start selling a special cannabis strain in Colorado called “Willie’s Reserve” which will be sold at various outlets by September. Willie told local news outlet KSAT that he predicts recreational…
Freedom for Cigarettes but No Freedom for Medical Cannabis? – Veteran Discusses His Use of Medical Cannabis to Treat PTSD
APR 8, 2014 – JTMP attended the National Medical Cannabis Unity Conference 2014 here in DC sponsored by Americans for Safe Access and a few others to bring together medical cannabis patients, activists, doctors, botanical experts, food and drug law advocates, medical cannabis business industry representatives, and others to form a plan on how we move forward to expand the rights of patients nationwide who will benefit from medical cannabis treatment. Although things are moving "fast", Maryland passed a Medical Cannabis Program Bill yesterday while the conference was happening, there are still a lot of battles to fight. 48 of the 50 states (and DC, territories, etc.) remain in the insane 1920's prohibitionist mode and deny millions of patients the medicine they need to ease their suffering, and in some cases HEAL. JTMP will have a video of a man whose wife was HEALED by medical cannabis, and he has the lab test results to prove it, so stand by for that also. This is an exciting week.
I haven't yet finished the Unity Conference 2014 video series I am going to be releasing this week of panels discussing botanical medicines, cannabinoids and other exciting topics at the conference (stand by!); but we did an interview with TJ Thompson, a Navy vet who uses medical cannabis to treat his PTSD, and it was so moving I just had to get it out. TJ lives in Virginia, and even though a recent Quinnipiac Poll shows 84% of Virginians want this vet who has served his country to have his medicine available to him, many elected officials continue to resist enacting a medical cannabis program. Which brings me to the topic of my blog. Last week, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel raised the hackles of many by suggesting (gasp!) that the US government not sell poison (cigarettes) through the PX and commissaries on US military bases. (I am an army brat so I know what those are, but for those who don't know they are basically the grocery and drug store on base) Secretary Hagel pointed out that tobacco related illnesses cost the military well over a billion dollars a year in health care costs to treat. So fiscal conservatives who hate wasteful government spending rallied behind him right? Well, not quite. People started screaming that the "freedom for the soldier to buy cigarettes is being infringed!" and foam came out of their mouth. When I saw how medical cannabis is helping this vet TJ below treat his PTSD I thought: Will these same people fight for this and other vets, active duty, and even regular citizens the freedom to have safe and easy access to legal medical cannabis, as hard as they fight for that soldier or vet to have poison (cigarettes)? (Spoiler: They won't) What are your thoughts? Start up a discussion on our JTMP Facebook Page! Watch our interview of TJ Thompson below.
July 31, 2012 – Young, progressive Russians, who used to flee to other countries to get away from the brutal oppression of free speech and dissent by the government, are now deciding to stay and try and change things at home. Most notably is the women punk musician-activist band Pussy Riot that is challenging free speech restrictions by doing "actions". 3 members of the band were arrested in February of 2012 and are now on trial for singing an anti-Putin song at the cathedral of the powerful Russian Orthodox Church. They face charges of "hooliganism" and face up to 7 years in prison. Even their spouses are being attacked, such as the husband of one of the women arrested, Pyotr Verzilov, who had a Canadian passport when he was attending school in Toronto years ago and the Russian government flashed an image of his passport on TV and called it evidence that he and his wife are trying to "tear Russia apart". Read more on WashPo here, and also there is a good article about the trial on NBCNews.com here.
They are all part of a movement called "Voina", a group consisting of artists, musicians and others that stage provocative actions deliberately meant to test the boundaries of their freedoms and liberties, and challenge the government's authority. They call this "polical protest art"; and at least 20 criminal investigations have been launched against the group and its members. The government of Russia says the Art group VOINA, "is a left-wing radical anarchist collective whose central goal is to carry out PR actions directed against the authorities…" Check out the org's website and read about the many political prisoners in Russia consisting of journalists, artists and even regular activists trying to bring about progressive change in Russia on their website: http://en.free-voina.org/.
The trial has divided old Russia against the youth, and even spilled over to America as protesters held a rally in front of the Russian embassy here in Washington, DC on July 28, 2012 to protest what they see as government overreach and oppression of free speech. NME.com reports that many musicians have spoken out against the detention and prosecution of the women, such as the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Franz Ferdinand. Check back because JTMP will be posting on this issue regularly, and will also have a video out soon. (photo credits: CC\Wiki)