gozarks

TEAPOT

THE WILLIE NELSON TEAPOT PARTY
We lean a little to the left.

Tax it, regulate it, legalize it.


Arkansas Teapot PartyWhy is cannabis-hemp illegal? 
(click to find out)

NOTES TO THE CHOIR:

Outlined here is the ‘overall strategy’ being implemented by the Arkansas Teapot Party to help (as much as we can) to skyrocket the ‘push’ for tumbling the drug-war-wall:

<> We shall stump LOUDLY for people (everywhere, and especially all of our ‘national’ organizations (like NORML, LEAP, etc.) to join in this quantum-push…!!!!

<> The objective is to get ‘all the people out there’ to grab hold of the concept that we EACH must be the ‘press agents’ of this NEWS… that we must personally each ‘distribute’ this release (or some very close replica of the sentiments it conveys), to our entire media and membership mailing list… modified with appropriate LOCAL contact info… Thus the whole release could read pretty-much verbatim, right up to the line that begins “To forward this momemtum”… at which point each ‘press agent’ will begin modifying the text to highlight their own organization, including their local contact info. 

<> Even if a person is NOT affiliated with a group, this same approach may be used by sending the release, modified as noted above with a personal statement and contact info, as a Letter To The Editor… which could be delivered to every TV, radio, and newspaper that serves the press agent’s home arena.

<> In all cases, note that a printed, hand-delivered, copy will get more attention than anything emailed, faxed, or snailmailed… AND that there is a (hidden) strategic objective to be accomplished, related to exponentializing the (proactive) attention being given to this subject by the mainstream media.

<> To do that we *must* super-saturate the media-system with exactly the same ‘talking points’ — ALL at the SAME TIME… UNANIMOUSLY… RESOUNDINGLY… EMPHATICALLY… WITH ONE PARAMONT VOICE.

When the media gets this kind of ‘consistent message’ from us, the tide of public opinion will follow suit.

<> A ‘synchronized’ distribution of this release is set for Monday, June 27, 2011.  (((hugs))) ~Christine

ARCHIVES:

NEWS RELEASE: The 4/20 Solidarity Rally, held in front of the Federal Courthouse, in Little Rock, Arkansas on Wednesday, April 20, 2011, evidenced an unequivocal unanimity among many of diverse backgrounds and respectively independent interests for re-thinking state and federal policy on cannabis-hemp.

Coming from far-flung corners of the state and for the most part unknown to each other prior to participating in this event, the rally coalesced as a peaceable assembly proactively and voraciously petitioning the powers-that-be for redress of what the ad hoc assembly asserts is a ‘grievous injustice’.

Glen Schwarz, president of the Arkansas Chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), waved a multi-hued banner with drum-major style while leading the group in songs such as The Battle Hymn of the Republic and parading the sign-toting troops.

“This war must end,” Schwarz, who announced his candidacy for Congress representing Arkansas’ 2nd District on the Libertarian ticket and is active in a petition drive to get the Libertarian Party on the next state ballot, referenced what he and others involved with efforts to end cannabis-hemp prohibition see as a for-profit war on a disenfranchised class of citizens which abridges the constitutionally guaranteed liberty of self-determination. For more about Arkansas NORML, visit http://www.arnorml.org/ where photos of the rally are posted.

Amanda Herd, who relocated from Oregon to Bull Shoals several years ago, grew-up in a community which removed criminal penalties for medical marijuana a decade before she graduated college. Over the course of an hour, Herd handed out a thick stack of fliers citing statistics on the number of annual deaths caused by tobacco, alcohol, prescription medications, cocaine, methamphetamine, caffeine and aspirin, which according to data provided by the U.S. Government total to 537,500 every year, versus the annual number of deaths attributed by that same source to cannabis-marijuana: Zero.

Herd’s fliers also included a copy of the November 1, 2010 Resolution of the American Medical Association, which (in polite diplomatic language) demands that marijuana be immediately re-scheduled by the Federal Government as “either equal to or less restrictive than the Schedule III status of synthetic THC (Marinol), so as to reduce barriers to needed research and to humanely increase availability of cannabinoid medications to patients who may benefit.”

C. Shepardson, Herd and others representing the Mountain Home Teapot Party, carried signs they’d spent a day making, proclaiming messages such as: “Hemp for Jobs: Paper, Rope, Canvas, Biodiesel, Seed Oil, Wood Substitutes” and “Patients NOT Potheads” listing 15 of the various diseases and conditions that preparations of cannabis are scientifically know to alleviate or control, and “The Failed War on Drugs Cost WE Taxpayers $20+ Billion This Year! 49% of Prisoners are Jailed for Non-Violent Drug Offenses! Half of all Drug Offenses are Marijuana Related!”

Will Taylor of Little Rock, a retiree from the policy-writing arm of the Arkansas Medicaid Program, 50-year veteran of Arkansas’ live-music scene and spokesperson for Cannabis-Hemp Study Advocates, responded to questions about a proposed Initiated Act, “The Arkansas Cannabis and Hemp Study Act,” which “authorizes a long-term, statewide, self-financing (unsubsidized), independent project (the Study) to comprehensively research all significant issues related to regulated production and use of cannabis and hemp.” Shortly before the rally, Taylor submitted the proposed initiative to the State’s Office of the Attorney General for approval of the ballot name and ballot title.

“We call it solidarity, because we all may very well agree on only one thing,” Taylor, flashing a wry smile, commented. “I want to hear from anyone who wants to be involved.” For more information contact Cannabis-Hemp Study Advocates, email wt3314@gmail.com, or visit http://www.chsa.jigsy.com

Robert Combs, director of Arkansas Time After Time, an organization that works in affiliation with Citizens for Legislative Change, ReformSexOffenderLaws.org, the Sex Offender Solutions and Education Network (SOSEN) and Arkansas Citizens United for Rehabilitation of Errants (CURE), for meaningful reform of the criminal justice system, to ensure effective law enforcement practices and social rehabilitation programs for convicted offenders, to safeguard the general public and especially children against victimization, joined the rally as a show of solidarity.

“Cannabis is not really my issue,” said Combs, who testified frequently during the 2011 General Assembly at various committee hearings where new laws pertaining to sex offenders were being debated. Also an invited presenter at the Central Arkansas Reentry Coalition and at the Annual Spring Conference of the Arkansas Mental Health Counselors Association, Combs said he joined the rally because ‘enacting laws that make people safer and use tax dollars wisely’ is his top priority. For more about Combs’ advocacy work, visit http://www.reformsexoffenderlaws.org/

Billy King of Little Rock, was one of several by-standers who inadvertently happened upon the rally and spontaneously joined in, carrying signs and giving a ‘thumbs-up’to to the numerous motorists who honked a show of support. “It’s going to be here anyway,” said King about cannabis-hemp in a KTHV interview. “Just legalize it.”

Christine Beems, a retired media and marketing management professional from Shirley who helped coordinate the rally, said she agrees with Representative Diane Russell of Portland, Maine, who has introduced legislation, LD 1453, to legalize and tax marijuana and is campaigning for Maine to be the first state in the Union to legislate an end to the prohibition of cannabis-hemp. (PDF of Russell’s comments.)

“Prohibition funds violence and murder,” said Beems. “The drug war breeds racism and corruption. Cartel terrorism is oozing across our border and we are spending billions each year to perpetuate this devastating status quo. We’ve got to stop.”

To generate further awareness, the Mountain Home Teapot Party is planning a Battle of the Bands to take place this summer, with date, location and details to be announced. For more info on this contact Georgia Lewis, 870-431-7785. For more info on the Teapot group’s next steering meeting, find them on facebook, contact Richard Morton 870-405-5512 or Andrew Paxson 870-321-4066, or visit https://gocannabis.wordpress.com ~~~

-30-

This NEWS RELEASE distributed by gozarks.com, 223 Primrose Lane, Shirley, AR 72153; 501-745-4153; address correspondence and requests to gozarks@gmail.com Thanks!!!

Download the above NEWS RELEASE as a PDF

NEWS RELEASE: A shivering core-group endured chilling temps, biting wind and incessant drizzle on Saturday, March 26, to discuss the features, advantages and benefits of de-prioritizing marijuana interdiction during the fourth Mountain Home Teapot Party Meetup held since local efforts supporting Willie Nelson’s outspoken campaign to legalize, regulate and tax cannabis-hemp (marijuana) got started last November.

“Who was it that suggested we have this out of doors?” Richard Morton, the group’s organizer, amicably chuckled. Planned as a brown-bag picnic lunch to be held at the Veteran’s Memorial adjacent to the Baxter County Courthouse, inclement weather forced the assembly to take shelter in the pavilion at nearby Hickory Park. “The weather seems to have kept a lot of folks from coming,” Morton acknowledged. “And it is good to see you here,” he thanked the dozen supporters in attendance.

A ‘first draft’ of a proposed ‘de-prioritize’ ordinance (copy below) was circulated and approved as to intent. It was decided to form an ordinance review committee to be headed by Andrew Paxson of Yellville, Tom Wynn of Mountain Home and Morton, who resides in Norfork. This group will meet on April 9 to do a line-item review of the draft ordinance and make plans to present a finalized version to county and municipal officials with the request for enactment. Those wishing more info about this should contact Paxson at 870-321-4066.

Also discussed was the upcoming ‘Overgrow The Government’ rally, calling for an end to the prohibition of cannabis-hemp, being held in Washington D.C. on April 20, 2011. Georgia Lewis of Lakeview volunteered to be a contact person for those who would like to travel to D.C. as a group and participate in the rally. Those interested should contact Lewis at 870-431-7785.

In addition, interest was expressed in the ‘4/20 Solidarity Rally’ being planned for Little Rock, 12 o’clock noon, in front of the Federal Courthouse, 600 W. Capitol Ave., on that same date. “It is important for people to get out and show their true colors on this,” said Morton. “It is time for prohibition and all the dangerous criminal activity it brings with it to end.” Glen Schwarz, president of Central Arkansas NORML, is coordinating the Solidarity Rally on April 20 in Little Rock and may be reached at 501-568-1598.

For more information about the Mountain Home Teapot Party, contact Morton, 870-405-5512, look up the Mountain Home Arkansas Teapot Party on Meetup.com, find the Arkansas Teapot Party on Facebook, or visit http://www.gocannabis.wordpress.com

~ DRAFT ~
AN ORDINANCE ESTABLISHING POLICY FOR MARIJUANA POSSESSION AND PARAPHERNALIA POSSESSION BY ADULTS IN BAXTER COUNTY ARKANSAS

Relating to the interdiction and prosecution of marijuana and paraphernalia cases in Baxter County, Arkansas, and fixing a time when this ordinance shall become effective.

WHEREAS: It is in the public interest for the resources of law enforcement and the criminal justice system to be focused on the resolution of crimes involving violence or theft;

WHEREAS: The interdiction and prosecution of marijuana and paraphernalia cases is costly to the citizens of our community and there are substantively more critical issues which deserve increased budget allocations;

WHEREAS: Citizens should not be denied opportunities for education and employment because of possession of marijuana and/or marijuana paraphernalia;

BE IT THEREFORE RESOLVED: That the enforcement of laws pertaining to the interdiction and prosecution of marijuana possession, cultivation and paraphernalia shall be the lowest priority for law enforcement officials, to wit:

When any law enforcement officer has probable cause to suspect any adult of possession of a misdemeanor amount of marijuana and/or marijuana paraphernalia, there shall be a strong presumption on the part of said officer that said adult shall not be subject to prosecution, suffer arrest or incarceration or be taken into custody for any purpose or be required to post bond or be detained for any reason other than the issuance of a citation.

When any case involving an adult in possession of a felony amount of marijuana is brought for prosecution, there shall be a strong presumption on the part of the prosecutor that the proper disposition of any such case is to suspend the imposition of a sentence and require only the imposition of a fine and/or community service with no other punishment or penalty.

If any person is charged with possession and/or cultivation of a misdemeanor or felony amount of marijuana, said person shall be entitled to present an affirmative ‘personal medicinal use’ defense the preponderance of reasonable proofs of which shall be sufficient grounds for the dismissal of said charges.

This Ordinance shall be liberally construed for the accomplishment of the aforementioned purposes.

This Ordinance shall be effective upon passage. [end of draft]

Get involved…

Promote & Participate in 4/20 Solidarity events (PDF flyer) 
Willie Nelson Teapot Party (facebook page, national & international networking)
Arkansas Teapot Party (facebook page, state networking)
Mountain Home Arkansas Teapot Party (facebook page, community networking)
Little Rock Arkansas Teapot Party (facebook page, community networking)
Teapot Party Meetups (meetup page, connect with or host a local meetup)

ARKANSAS TEAPOT PARTY FLYERS & HANDOUTS

Generic ‘fill-in-the-blanks’ (PDF) flyer, to help you start and promote a hometown Meetup.
Contact gozarks@gmail.com if you need assistance organizing or promoting your Meetup!

ARCHIVES

After his arrest for possession of the medicinal herb, Willie Nelson told CelebStoner.com, “There is the Tea Party. How about the Teapot Party?” The Teapot Party motto: “We lean a little to the left.” Now it’s our chance to join together to get this Teapot Party started! We need to demand change and back candidates who want to END THE PROHIBITION of cannabis-hemp as their main issue.

MARCH (2011) TEAPOT PARTY MEETUP
Mountain Home Arkansas Teapot Party

12-noon, Saturday, March 26, 2011
Brown-Bag Lunch, Bring Your Own Chair
Meet at the Veterans Memorial, Hwy. 62 & 6th St. (Hwy. 178), Mountain Home, Arkansas
“You don’t have to smoke it to know it’s time to change it.”
Contact: Richard Morton: 870-405-5512

Download PDF promotional flyer (shown at right) to print or share for this event.

NEWS RELEASE:
Supporters of the Willie Nelson Teapot Party initiative to legalize, regulate and tax cannabis-hemp (marijuana) met at the Western Sizzlin in Mountain Home, Arkansas, Saturday, February 26.

The third such meeting held in Mountain Home, this ‘Meetup’ (as it is called in organizational vernacular), organizers Richard Morton of Norfork, Tom Wynn of Mountain Home, and Christine Beems of Shirley, convened an ‘organizational development’ agenda with a group of about 50 in one of the restaurant’s private meeting rooms.

The agenda, facilitated by Beems, started with self-introductions. Each person present had the opportunity, if they wished, to say who they were, where they resided, and why they chose to attend this meeting. Several participants had come from Missouri and said that their interest was to learn what was going on in Arkansas and find out how to organize civic-activists in their own state. Others came from Mountain Home, Gamaliel, Gassville, Yellville, and other nearby communities.

Several people said their reason for attending was to learn more about the issue. Among the balance of the group, about half voiced interest in having legal access to the medical benefits of cannabis. Nearly everyone expressed concerns over ‘the burgeoning costs, ineffective policies and detrimental tactics of the War on Drugs’.

Open discussion of these and related issues forwarded ideas about the potential environmental and economic benefits of hemp cultivation; the extraordinary per-capita incarceration rate in the United States; the meaning of ‘Constitutionally guaranteed liberty’; the seemingly limitless and nearly absolute power leveraged by multi-national pharmaceutical corporations to influence the policies of government to the apparent detriment of its own citizens.

Under the ‘What can we do about it?’ heading, Beems gave a report on the current status of a year-long effort to get Medical Cannabis legislation enacted by the 2011 Arkansas General Assembly. She explained that contrary to widespread public support for legislation to free those who use cannabis for medicinal purposes from fear of prosecution, state legislators are still sitting on the fence.

“They keep telling us they need to hear from more of their constituents, but the fact is that time is almost up,” Beems referenced the statutory conclusion of the current legislative session, noting that Monday, March 7, is the last day to file new bills.

Morton, who has been a driving force of the Teapot Party momentum in Arkansas, supplied the contact information for local legislators and encouraged everyone to call.

Half-a-dozen people volunteered to work with Morton and Wynn on developing a Baxter County or Mountain Home ‘de-prioritize’ initiative, modeled after laws which have been enacted in Eureka Springs and elsewhere in Arkansas that make the interdiction of cannabis use the ‘lowest priority’ on a local law officer’s enforcement list.

Concluding the meeting, Morton thanked everyone for attending and also for the accommodating service provided by the management and staff at Western Sizzlin. “We did have a great meeting today,” said Morton. “And all the different people attending, well, it just shows that you don’t have to smoke it to know it’s time to change it.”

The Mountain Home Teapot Party will hold their next Meetup, a picnic-style ‘Brown Bag Lunch’, at 12:00noon, Saturday, March 26, 2011. Those interested will gather at the Veterans Memorial, Hwy. 62 & 6th St. (Hwy. 178), Mountain Home, Arkansas, and should plan on bringing their own lawn chairs.

For more information, contact Morton, 870-405-5512, or Beems, 501-745-4153, look up the Mountain Home Arkansas Teapot Party on Meetup.com, find the Arkansas Teapot Party on Facebook, or visit http://www.gocannabis.wordpress.com ~~~

REPORTS: February 26, 2011, Mountain Home Arkansas Teapot Party Meetup:
<> Meeting Agenda (PDF)
<> Follow-up News Release (PDF)

PUBLIC EVENT ANNOUNCEMENT:
Teapot Party Meetup
2pm, Saturday, February 26, 2011
Western Sizzlin, 1127 E Highway 62, Mountain Home, Arkansas
“You don’t have to smoke it to know it’s time to change it.”

January 24, 2011
NEWS RELEASE:

Richard Morton’s idea for the Teapot Party in Mountain Home is simple: “Get together and keep Willie’s movement moving.”

The ‘Willie’ Morton references is internationally beloved entertainer, Willie Nelson, who was arrested (for the umpteenth time) late last year for possession of cannabis, aka: marijuana, and started promoting the Teapot Party concept as a way to change the law.

Morton says that like Willie he’s fed up with the way current drug-laws work. He too believes it is time for a change and that’s why he’s put so much shoe leather into organizing the Mountain Home Teapot Party.

“This is what Willie called on his supporters to do,” Morton explained. “He wants us to organize at the local level and take back control of our own government, right in our own backyard.”

Morton’s one-on-one ‘visit personally with every person in his town’ efforts have paid-off handily, at least in terms of numbers. The Mountain Home Teapot Party Meetup he organized in January garnered 60 enthusiastic participants which, in terms of proportional demographics and population density, made it comparable to having a rally of over 45,000 people at a Meetup in New York City.

Not bad for a country boy who likes to spend his time fishing.

“But there were some problems,” Morton said. Mainly that the venue was too noisy to have any sort of an organized business meeting. “I know that is what a lot of folks came for, and were disappointed about,” he elaborated. “That’s why, this time, we will meet in a private dining room at Western’ Sizzlin where we can all be seated at tables and be able to hear each other talk.”

Scheduled for 2pm, February 26, Morton says the Meetup will start with some socializing and with those who wish to order meals. “Everyone is on their own tab for food and beverages,” he emphasized, and said that the business meeting will convene by 2:30pm.

On the agenda will be a discussion about how to support current efforts to enact medical cannabis legislation here in Arkansas. Also, the group will consider what actions can be taken at the local level, such as perhaps forwarding local ‘de-crim’ efforts, such as have been done in Eureka Springs and elsewhere in Arkansas.

For more information, look up the Mountain Home Arkansas Teapot Party on Meetup.com, find the group on facebook, or visit https://gocannabis.wordpress.com ~~~

  1. I agree with the idea of “legalize it” and question the pre-suppositions of “tax it” and “regulate it” because the issue is correcting past abuse, freedom and rights rather than continuing unwanted and unnecessary government interference under other names.

    It seems to me that opening the door to allow for arrest and imprisonment because someone avoids a local marijuana tax or circumvents bureaucratic regulations ends up changing very little after legalization.

    This appears like someone “steals your car then rents it back to you,” to me.

    Jack Herer opposed taxation and regulation. I agree with that position.

    • Good to hear from you Jay… and I must say that I personally agree with your concerns about ‘tax it’ and ‘regulate it’… we should, as I see it, be stumping to end prohibition, period, and treat cannabis-hemp like corn or wheat or any other agricultural crop.

      Realistically, however, when this is reality, there will be a pleathora of commercial interests that will glomb on to the ‘product’ potential and start saturating the marketplace with all kinds of potions, tonics, remedies, beverages, etc., etc., etc., And in this context I would like to see effective and pragmatic legislation which ‘regulates’ commercial products for purity and efficacy the same way beer and asprin are regulated. And until the whole public mind-set is shifted into a new dimension of economics, taxation is inevitable…

      But hey, once we terminate prohibition, perhaps we can terminat all forms of taxation next…!!! (((hugs))) ~Christine

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