It's time for the nation's largest drug education program to get its facts straight when it comes to the world's two most popular recreational substances.
In a guest column in opposition to the marijuana reform initiative on the ballot in California, DARE America Chairman Skip Miller goes off about how marijuana "mushes up your brain," "lowers inhibitions," and "makes users engage in risky behavior." Meanwhile, the DARE America website discusses how "[s]ocial drinking is an acceptable and pleasurable activity for millions of Americans," which "relaxes you, curbs stress, and chases away inhibitions."
DARE instructors from across the nation are gathering this week for the DARE International Training Conference. We can't help but assume they will be instructed to continue spreading this misguided and potentially dangerous message that alcohol is an acceptable form of intoxication for adults, yet marijuana is just too harmful, cannot be consumed responsibly, and thus should never be allowed as an alternative.
As a result, SAFER and Chelsea Green Publishing are offering every DARE instructor in the nation a FREE copy of Marijuana is Safer: So why are we driving people to drink? In order to reach Mr. Miller and the DARE organization as a whole, however, we need your help...
Take action today and send DARE a message!
CLICK HERE or visit http://tinyurl.com/3yfsw5e to send DARE America Chairman Skip Miller an e-mail, calling on him and DARE to admit that marijuana is safer than alcohol and incorporate this important fact into the DARE's curriculum.
In fact, Mr. Miller essentially challenged you to do so in his column:
As the chairman of DARE America... I have yet to see one [e-mail from a marijuana reform supporter] that overcomes the body of scientific research demonstrating that smoking marijuana is harmful and does just one thing well: It gets people high...
We have provided you with an editable e-mail to Mr. Miller that includes links to all the information he should need to arrive at the conclusion that marijuana is far safer than alcohol. We hope you will take a minute to fill out the quick form, send him an e-mail, and then encourage others to do so, as well. Needless to say, SAFER will also be sending Mr. Miller a complimentary copy of Marijuana is Safer.
In the age of TMZ-like set ups and 'Gotcha Politics' ala ACORN we are either gonna see more incidents like this or we're gonna see an attempt to pass a law limiting when one can or can't film both elected officials and law enforcement.
On the surface this sounds far fetched until you understand that police departments in three states including Maryland and Illnois are already pushing to get bills passed to stop you and me from filming them or risk facing some sort of charge.
Personally I think these guys were out to agitate the Congressman and do some Fox news ambush type stuff..Hence I can understand the anger although I don't condone it.. Here's what happened..
You can't escape the nut cases they're all around... On one hand you don't wanna give away too much power on the other hand, you don't wanna complete ignore folks especially when some of them carry badges, spent time in the military or they're running for office ina politically charged climate that likes to scapegoat those who see most vulnerable.Case in point is Pat Bertroche, the blowhard running for Congress in Iowa. He wants to put microchips in immigrants.
The Marijuana Policy Project is calling upon shoppers across the country to join in a boycott of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. in order to protest the unjust and potentially unlawful firing of Joe Casias, a 29-year-old medical marijuana patient and sinus cancer survivor who suffers from an inoperable brain tumor.
After dutifully working at a Wal-Mart in Battle Creek, Michigan, for five years, Casias was suddenly terminated because he tested positive for marijuana during a drug screening administered after he sprained his knee on the job. To make matters worse, Wal-Mart is contesting Casias’s eligibility for unemployment, and Michigan has the nation’s highest unemployment rate, at almost 15%.
MPP is asking shoppers to demand that Wal-Mart abandon its discriminatory policy of firing employees who are legal medical marijuana patients under state law.
We need to send a strong message to Wal-Mart and other businesses in medical marijuana states that it is not acceptable to fire sick people for trying to get better by following their doctor’s recommendation and obeying state law. Marijuana is a legitimate medicine, supported by science and protected by law in 14 states, including Michigan.
To send Wal-Mart an email saying that you disapprove of its policy and will refrain from shopping at Wal-Mart stores until it changes, click here.
Needle exchange programs in the US - watch our movie to learn how harm reduction protects communities from death and disease!
After two decades, the U.S. Congress has voted to lift a ban on federal funding of needle exchange programs in December. This historic decision signals a new area for harm reduction in the United States – our new movie shows why and how needle exchange programs protect communities from the unintended harms caused by drug use and drug policies. The New York-based Harm Reduction Coalition (HRC) is a longtime ally of the Hungarian Civil Liberties Union: we always admired the courage and creativity of these folks to speak up for harm reduction in a country that declared a war on drug users. This movie is a result of our cooperation. Most of the interviews were filmed in Albuquerque, at the International Drug Policy Reform Conference, while the footage from the NYC Lower Eastside Harm Reduction Center were filmed by Matt Curtis, a tireless harm reduction advocate.
A lot of people don't realize the extent Sarah Palin will go to to make her point. We captured a rare behind the scenes glimpse of the way she handled Senator McCain during their campaign. Here they are talking about messaging. We heard she is taking the polar bear with her as an adviser at Fox.
“Because the community is what makes the future for the kids. If the kids are well rounded then they will make more well rounded citizens. The children are what make this city, the state and a better world. We need to start in the community, if we're going to change the way the world works, we need to start in the community one person at a time.”
– Gwen Johnson, Alief Community Leader
Yes, in a most unholy alliance, the local needle exchange has decided to do a major promotion of their TOTALLY FABULOUS AND ROCKIN' T shirts during the holiday gift giving season.
Here's the online store where you can see for yourself how fabulous they actually are http://www.austinharmreduction.org
We're doing this because, well because...WE NEED MONEY
If you don't know, Austin has had an underground, illegal needle exchange for about 15 years. While we've always worked quietly, out of sight of the authorities (or so we pretend), we've rocked steady for a long long time, creating the oldest and largest, continuously-running underground exchange in the country.
But it would be safe to say this has been the hardest year in the needle exchange's history. A major grantor decided to no longer fund needle exchange--any needle exchange, not just ours. And our Project Director, who runs the van day to day, was ordered by his doctor off the van immediately because of his health (he is HIV and hep C positive). As a result we had to reduce the number of days the van goes out from 4 to 3, reduce the staff hours, as well as reduce the number of points any one client can receive, in order to save money.
Fellow Texans for Obama,
The holiday season is upon us, and we have much to celebrate.
Congress is close to passing real health reform for the first time in 60 years. The Federal Stimulus program has created hundreds of thousands of jobs across America. A new solar panel loan program via the City of Austin will enable Texans to live more energy-efficient lives. And the Texas Longhorns are 12-0 heading into the Big 12 Championship.
However, there are still many needs unmet in our community. Families here in Central Texas are struggling. Our state still suffers from a lack of basic leadership. With 24% uninsured and 8% unemployed in Texas, we need real change. Luckily, this holiday season, we can all pitch in to help everyone feel the spirit of the season.
Please read below about two upcoming events that can help make a difference. First is a Rally for Real Leadership, with Houston Mayor Bill White, who is considering a run for Governor of Texas. Second is the Texans for Obama holiday party, where we ask you to please bring a gift for a needy family here in Central Texas.
Texans for Obama volunteers have partnered with area organizations to provide needy families with what they most need this holiday season. Please click here to visit www.AustinHopefortheHolidays.com and sign up for a specific gift that you can provide at our December 15th meeting.
As Barack Obama said when he won the Iowa caucuses nearly two long years ago, "in the face of impossible odds, people who love this country can change it." We hope to see you at both of these events, where we can all do our part to bring Texas the change it needs.
All the best,
Texans for Obama
Youth Activist Newsletter: Special Edition: World AIDS Day
December 1 is World AIDS Day, when activists around the world come together to raise awareness of the global HIV epidemic, to fight prejudice, and to improve HIV education and prevention. This year’s theme is “universal access and human rights” – an important reminder that much of the HIV positive population, including young people, GLBTQ people, those affected by poverty, and marginalized groups like sex workers and injecting drug users, still face unequal access to resources, services, and medication. And AIDS is the leasing cause of death among women around the world.
One way YOU can participate in World AIDS Day events is to participate in the blogathon on Amplify, November 30-Dec 5.
This special edition of our Youth Actvist Network Newsletter focuses on young people living in low and middle income countries – their lives, their stories, and the issues they face on a daily basis:
In the Philippines, a young gay man faces violence, discrimination and stigma.
In Nigeria, a young woman asks for information about contraception and gets misinformation and a lecture.
In Sri Lanka, youth activists band together to redress the stigma around HIV and AIDS.
In Ethiopia, one young man’s father’s life and death inspires him to become an activist working for reproductive and sexual health.
In Jamaica, a young woman confronts the issue of the church’s role in stigma around HIV and AIDS
Get involved! View the videos made by youth activists in Jamaica, Nigeria, and Ethiopia about HIV. Learn about how unintended pregnancy, gender roles, and access to contraception and condoms affect them and their peers.
Of course, HIV affects those in the U.S. as well – hundreds of thousands are living with the virus, and young people account for up to one-third of new HIV infections every year. If you live in New York or Cleveland you can attend the final HIV Town Halls and share your thoughts and ideas about what the new National AIDS Strategy should include. Check out YouthResource Peer Educator Daniel’s description of his participation in an HIV Town Hall: “I was very happy that I attended. I felt like the State of South Carolina, and a few neighbors from North Carolina, made their voices heard.”
Read on to hear the stories of young people around the world – and on World AIDS Day, join the fight to prevent HIV, increase access to services and supplies, and reduce stigma against those who are HIV positive!
Read commentary about the recent report that AIDS is the leading cause of death and disease among women worldwide by:
Learn about the Great American Condom Campaign and the young people who have become SafeSites at their colleges. In the words of one SafeSite blogger: “I handed out the condoms, and made quitea few new friends! I was even called the condom fairy. A lot of people seemed very thankful and even expressed concern about how expensive condoms were. I am just happy I could provide!”
Yes You Can Afford College
...if President Barack Obama has anything to do with it. His recent American Graduation Initiative calls for 5 million new college graduates by 2020, a number he says is possible.
Send Citizen Sarah to Copenhagen
Originally aired 07/21/09
HENRY JENKINS is the Provost's Professor of Communications, Journalism, and Cinematic Art at the University of Southern California. Until recently, he served as the co-founder of the Comparative Media Studies Program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His newest books include Convergence Culture: Where Old and New Media Collide and Fans, Bloggers and Gamers: Exploring Participatory Culture.
Prohibition has failed -- again. Instead of treating the demand for illegal drugs as a market, and addicts as patients, policymakers the world over have boosted the profits of drug lords and fostered narcostates that would frighten Al Capone. "Harm reduction," a smarter drug control regime that values reality over rhetoric, is rising to replace the "war" on drugs.
Reducing drug use is not nearly as important as reducing the death, disease, crime, and suffering associated with both drug misuse and failed prohibitionist policies. With respect to legal drugs, such as alcohol and cigarettes, harm reduction means promoting responsible drinking and designated drivers, or persuading people to switch to nicotine patches, chewing gums, and smokeless tobacco. With respect to illegal drugs, it means reducing the transmission of infectious disease through syringe-exchange programs, reducing overdose fatalities by making antidotes readily available, and allowing people addicted to heroin and other illegal opiates to obtain methadone.
(Originally aired 12/23/08)
Thursday, November 12, 2009
COMMUNITY CELEBRATION OF OUR COMMON GROUND AGENDA A SUCCESS!
There was plenty of fall sunshine and family fun at the Zilker Park Clubhouse last month for the official kick-off of our re-election campaign as we marked the occasion with a birthday celebration and discussion of our common-ground agenda.
It was great visiting with many of you. And for those of you who couldn’t attend, you can still make a difference with a strategic donation to my campaign.
As you may know, two potential candidates have announced their plans to challenge me in next year’s election. I’m taking nothing for granted and intend to run a robust campaign to protect the progress we are making, from clean air for our families to breathe to guaranteeing responsible resources for vital services such as public schools, public health, and public safety.
Americans for Safe Access
For Immediate Release: November 10, 2009
AMA Report Recognizes Medical Benefits of Marijuana, Urges Further Research
Largest and oldest U.S. physician-based group reverses long-held position on medical marijuana
Houston, TX -- The American Medical Association (AMA) voted today to reverse its long-held position that marijuana be retained as a Schedule I substance with no medical value. The AMA adopted a report drafted by the AMA Council on Science and Public Health (CSAPH) entitled, "Use of Cannabis for Medicinal Purposes," which affirmed the therapeutic benefits of marijuana and called for further research. The CSAPH report concluded that, "short term controlled trials indicate that smoked cannabis reduces neuropathic pain, improves appetite and caloric intake especially in patients with reduced muscle mass, and may relieve spasticity and pain in patients with multiple sclerosis." Furthermore, the report urges that "the Schedule I status of marijuana be reviewed with the goal of facilitating clinical research and development of cannabinoid-based medicines, and alternate delivery methods."
The change of position by the largest physician-based group in the country was precipitated in part by a resolution adopted in June of 2008 by the Medical Student Section (MSS) of the AMA in support of the reclassification of marijuana's status as a Schedule I substance. In the past year, the AMA has considered three resolutions dealing with medical marijuana, which also helped to influence the report and its recommendations. The AMA vote on the report took place in Houston, Texas during the organization's annual Interim Meeting of the House of Delegates. The last AMA position, adopted 8 years ago, called for maintaining marijuana as a Schedule I substance, with no medical value.
Source: Washington Post (DC)
Copyright: 2009 The Washington Post Company
At first glance, the congressional goings-on seem promising: The promise is to lift a 21-year-old ban on federal funding of needle-exchange programs. But the small print makes this promise all but worthless, because Congress would prohibit those programs from operating within 1,000 feet of a school, library, park, college, video arcade or any place where children might be present. In other words, just about anywhere.
Pending legislation is particularly punitive to the District. Just last year, Congress finally allowed the District the spend its own money on clean-needle programs. Now a bill would apply the same 1,000-foot restrictions to District programs both with federal money and with its own. This would effectively shut down the District's four needle-exchange programs.
Thank Rep. Jack Kingston (R-Ga.) for hobbling this city's efforts. He's "concerned for the safety of schoolchildren and the negative impact of sending them mixed messages when it comes to drug prevention," his spokesman told us. Mr. Kingston's concern doesn't jibe with the facts. The CDC, the American Medical Association, the National Institutes of Health and the World Health Organization concur that needle-exchange programs reduce the spread of HIV without increasing drug use.
The bills have already passed the House. It's now up to the Senate to strip the restrictions from the legislation. We urge it to do so. Cities need every resource at their disposal to fight the HIV/AIDS epidemic.
Please contact your Senators about this legislation.
The Harm Reduction Coalition has set up a Take Action page "Needle Ban Fight Moves to Senate!" at http://salsa.democracyinaction.org/o/1627/campaign.jsp?campaign_KEY=27789
(For further information read the New York Times in-depth article "Bill Would Limit Needle Exchanges" http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v09/n1009/a05.html)
Citizens asked to identify current transportation issues
Special downtown meeting
Downtown residents and business people will have an opportunity to meet with the Austin Transportation Department to discuss transportation concerns as part of the City’s Strategic Mobility Plan outreach in a special morning meeting.
DALLAS – Environmental advocates across several states are applauding the Obama Administration’s choice of Dr. Al Armendariz to lead Region 6 of the Environmental Protection Agency, which includes Texas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Arkansas. Armendariz, an engineering professor at Southern Methodist University, has worked with diverse constituencies ranging from corporations to citizens groups and has published dozens of studies on myriad environmental issues throughout his career. His appointment garnered high praise from the environmental community.
“Our region has typically provided a haven for some of the worst polluters in the country, and has paid a steep price,” said Tom “Smitty” Smith, Texas Director for Public Citizen. “I believe the appointment of Dr. Al Armendariz signifies a new direction for Region 6.”
The phrase "No Homo" is an old phrase from about 5 years ago that is making appearances all over the blogosphere right now. I would like to take this opportunity to take advantage of this discourse around "No Homo" to extend it to a larger discussions of homophobia in hip-hop and in US pop culture at large.
So I want to first start out by saying that "No Homo" is not the first and probably not the last dig at homosexuals in hip-hop culture. According to Slate:
Health Care Update
Young People Are Making Their Voices Heard
For the past few months, the health care debate has been all over the media. Congress has been busy drafting bills addressing the needs of various populations, but the question that has been splattered across the headlines is “Where are the young people?”
Well, we are right here…where we’ve always been. And we know what we want, so it’s time for Congress to pay attention.
Advocates for Youth has been working with the Young Invincibles, a coalition of youth-serving organizations across the country, to make sure policy makers know what young people need out of health care reform. Last week, Young Invincibles kicked off the coalition with a lobby day on the Hill and an announcement by members of Congress that are committed to making sure one of our demands - that young people be permitted to stay on their parents’ insurance through age 26 - is included in the heath care bill. Young Invincibles’ policy agenda also includes other safeguards of adolescent health, including coverage of STI screening and birth control. If you are interested learning more about our policy demands, read them here.
On November 4th, we celebrated the “Anniversary of Change” (1 year since President Barack Obama was elected) with a Y.I. Want Change Day. There were various actions around the country showing that young people are involved in, and care about the health care debate.
Online Auction Starts TODAY!
NEW!! Art Beyond Bars ONLINE auction.
The Crime Prevention Institute is excited to bring you a new way to support CPI and its mission. Go online to bid on fantastic items such as: orginal artwork, courtside tickets to see the Austin Toros, personal wardrobe consultation, triathlete training camp opportunity, family-friendly outings, and MORE!! These items make great gifts - for loved ones or yourself.
CPI's eBay auction page: www.tinyurl.com/cpi-auction
Check back often as some items may be added during the next few days!!
Auction Starts: TODAY Wednesday, November 4th
Auction Ends: Next Tuesday, November 10th - for most items*
(*See specific items for their exact bidding end times)
Many of the artists featured in the online auction will also be featured at our
Art Beyond Bars event on November 12th.
Become an art collector - bid online AND in person on the 12th!
LAREDO, Nov. 4 - U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar, and newly appointed General Services Administration Regional Administrator J.D. Salinas will be among the speakers at an upcoming Texas Border Coalition conference.
The conference is titled “Balancing Security, Trade and Travel: A Looming Crisis at U.S. Ports of Entry.” It will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., on Friday, Nov. 13, in Room 101 of the De La Garza Building, Laredo Community College (Fort McIntosh Campus), West End Washington Street, in Laredo.
The Women's Campaign Forum wants to say congratulations and thank you to all of our 2009 Endorsed Candidates. Thank you for running, and thank you for setting an example for other women to follow. Whether they won or lost, each of these women took a step closer to equality for women!