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A very IMC-ish space, with some interesting ideas...
by Alan Feuer
The D.I.Y. arts scene — that illicit and usually itinerant cultural milieu — may have found a legal, if not a permanent, home for this summer in New York. It is called the Silent Barn, and it could be thought of as Brooklyn’s First Church of the Perpetual House Party.
Last weekend, in its renovated warehouse in Bushwick, the Boston band Speedy Ortiz was playing on the kitchen floor while some of the residents were jamming upstairs in a second space known, with ironic misdirection, as the Champagne Room. A barber in a porkpie hat was giving trims in his improvised salon beneath the public record store at the site. In the courtyard, partygoers drank cheap beer beside a vegetable garden and the Canned Ham, a ‘70s mobile home that serves as a small bed-and-breakfast for out-of-town musicians passing through New York.
Given that repeated polling shows a majority of Americans support medical marijuana and even outright legalization, Mayor Filner's call for jury nullification is a watershed event. "Drug war" deadenders may resist legislation to change marijuana laws, but that won't matter if they can no longer seat juries willing to convict.
by Marijuana Policy Project
SAN DIEGO, CA — The Mayor of San Diego is encouraging jurors of an upcoming medical marijuana case to reject the prosecution’s argument, which rests on the fact that marijuana is banned at the federal level.
The feds arrested Ronnie Chang of San Marcos in 2009 for operating a medical marijuana dispensary. He is just one of the many Californians who have faced legal consequences for their state-sanctioned efforts to bring relief to patients.
Mayor Bob Filner is outraged at Chang’s situation. “Someone should not be going through this stage of prosecution for trying to help people to have access to medical marijuana,” he told reporters.
A champion for civil rights and a former Freedom Rider, Mayor Filner wants jurors to send a message to the federal government this fall, when Chang’s trial is expected to begin.
Results from a year-long investigation into the activities of the United States' expansive counter-terrorism apparatus found that, throughout the country, the government has turned the tax-payer-funded intelligence-gathering against its own citizens in an effort to suppress dissent.
by Deborah Burger
If there is one problem that symbolizes the ongoing national healthcare emergency, it is the rampant price gouging in the healthcare industry that continues to price too many Americans out of access to care and into financial ruin. Not only is the problem not solved by the Affordable Care Act, but it is a likely reason many will continue to demand more effective reform, as in expanding and extending Medicare to cover everyone.
Predatory pricing practices can be found nearly everywhere in healthcare, by the drug companies, insurance companies, medical suppliers, outpatient clinics, boutique medical services, and many others as chronicled this spring in Time magazine.
U.S. hospitals are among the biggest abusers, as illuminated in recent data released by Medicare on hospital charges for a variety of common procedures as well as brand new findings by the Institute for Health and Socio-Economic Policy, the research arm of the National Nurses United, based on Medicare cost reports.
by Doug Fine, National Cannabis Coalition
Stigma, the final front in the Drug War, was on my mind as I addressed my colleagues at the Society of Professional Journalists’ Southwest Regional Conference in Santa Fe on a recent brisk spring afternoon. I assumed, since 80% of Americans want the Drug War to end, that I was of like mind with the news anchors, radio hosts and newspaper editors who had traveled to the conference from Wyoming to the Mexican Border. After all, everywhere I go to speak, young and old, left and right, and men and women alike seem to nearly universally recognize that the United States’ longest and most expensive war soon will finally end on the federal level.
by Alexander Main
DENVER – The Colorado state legislature passed the first bills in history Wednesday to establish a regulated marijuana market for adults. Representatives of the Amendment 64 campaign will discuss the landmark achievement and next steps at a news conference Thursday at 10 a.m. in the Creswell Mansion Office Building (1244 Grant St., Denver).
"The adoption of these bills is a truly historic milestone and brings Colorado one step closer to establishing the world's first legal, regulated, and taxed marijuana market for adults," said Mason Tvert, director of communications for the Marijuana Policy Project, who served as an official proponent and campaign co-director for the ballot measure approved by Colorado voters in November.
by Julie Hollar
As the Supreme Court finished hearing oral arguments on two same-sex marriage cases, the Wall Street Journal editorial page (3/27/13) proclaimed what has become a mantra of the right on this subject: The liberal media frame opponents of marriage equality as bigots.
America’s cultural and media elites are attempting to browbeat the High Court into coercing the country into recognizing same-sex marriage by casting opponents as bigots for holding a position that President Obama held less than a year ago.
Progressives often wonder why so many Republican lawmakers stick to their avowed principles while so many Democratic lawmakers abandon theirs. We can grasp some answers by assessing the current nationwide drive called “Primary My Congressman” -- a case study of how right-wing forces gain ground in electoral terrain where progressives fear to tread.
Sponsored by Club for Growth Action, the “Primary My Congressman” effort aims to replace “moderate Republicans” with “economic conservatives” -- in other words, GOP hardliners even more devoted to boosting corporate power and dismantling the public sector. “In districts that are heavily Republican,” the group says, “there are literally dozens of missed opportunities to elect real fiscal conservatives to Congress -- not more ‘moderates’ who will compromise with Democrats. . .”
Such threats of serious primary challenges often cause the targeted incumbents to quickly veer rightward, or they may never get through the next Republican primary.
Progressive activists and organizations could launch similar primary challenges, but -- to the delight of the Democratic Party establishment -- they rarely do. Why not?
WASHINGTON, DC — Nearly six out of ten US adults support legalizing the consumption of marijuana, and slightly more than half believe that the substance ought to be regulated in a manner similar to alcohol, according to national polling data released last week by YouGov.com and The Huffington Post.
Fifty-seven percent of respondents said that the adult use of cannabis ought to be legal. Among those favoring legalization, 51 percent supported taxing and regulating the retail production and sale of the substance in a manner similar to alcohol. Six percent of respondents said that they opposed imposing any taxes or regulations on legal cannabis production or sales.
Only 33 percent of respondents said that marijuana should not be legalized.
Seventy-four percent of respondents said that they believed that marijuana would eventually be legal in the United States.