Archives for posts with tag: Freedom

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“When I was under the influence of Cannabis, I began to question my government. I questioned its legitimacy, its authority, and its control over our daily lives. I then knew why Cannabis is illegal. It wakes people up.” – Author Unknown

The following is a video that was sent to us by a member of Anonymous. We sincerely hope that you take the time to view it…

The following article is taken from the New York Newsday.  We claim no ownership over this article; it is being posted purely for educational purposes.  The legalization measures that passed are unprecedented…We’re hoping that this plays out well, because these legalizations have the power to change the world…

 After voters weighed in on election day, Colorado

Washington and Colorado voters legalized recreational use of marijuana, making them the first U.S. states to decriminalize the practice.

Washington will allow those at least 21 years old to buy as much as one ounce (28 grams) of marijuana from a licensed retailer. Colorado’s measure allows possession of an ounce, and permits growing as many as six plants in private, secure areas.

Oregon voters rejected a similar measure.

“The voters have spoken and we have to respect their will,” Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper said in a statement. “This will be a complicated process, but we intend to follow through. That said, federal law still says marijuana is an illegal drug so don’t break out the Cheetos or Goldfish too quickly.” Support for marijuana’s recreational use built on measures that allow it for medical purposes in one-third of U.S. states. Previous attempts to legalize pot through ballot measures failed in California, Alaska, Oregon, Colorado and Nevada since 1972, according to the Denver-based National Conference of State Legislatures.

A spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Colorado said federal law was not affected by the vote.

“The Department of Justice’s enforcement of the Controlled Substances Act remains unchanged,” said Jeff Dorschner in a statement. “We are reviewing the ballot initiative and have no additional comment at this time.”

NEW LEAF

Washington, Colorado and Oregon were among six states with marijuana on their ballots. In Massachusetts, residents approved a measure to allow medical use, while Arkansas voters rejected such a proposal. Medical-marijuana use is already permitted in 17 states and the District of Columbia. In Montana, a proposal to restrict the use of medical marijuana was leading, 57 percent to 43 percent, with 65 percent of ballots counted, the Associated Press said.

“It’s very monumental,” said Allen St. Pierre, executive director of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, a Washington-based group that advocates legalization. “No state has ever done this. Technically, marijuana isn’t even legal in Amsterdam.” The approval of recreational pot goes a step beyond its acceptance in medical use. California was the first state to permit medical-marijuana when voters approved it in 1996. Federal prosecutors cracked down on the medical-marijuana industry in California last year, threatening landlords with jail if they didn’t evict the shops.

LOOKING ASKANCE

“Regardless of state laws to the contrary, there is no such thing as ‘medical’ marijuana under federal law,” according to the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy.

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder released a letter a month before California voters considered a ballot measure to legalize recreational use of marijuana in 2010, saying the Justice Department would “vigorously” enforce federal law. The initiative failed.

A Justice Department spokesman, Dean Boyd, declined to comment Wednesday when reached by telephone.

In Washington state, decriminalization and new rules on driving under the influence take effect Dec. 6. The state liquor control board must adopt rules by Dec.

1, 2013 for licensing producers, processors and retailers.

The Washington measure may generate as much as $1.9 billion in revenue over five fiscal years, according to the state’s Office of Financial Management.

Radical Truth Activist Julian Assange has been granted political asylum from Ecuador, leading to a standoff between the South American country and the United Kingdom (who wish to deport Assange, allowing him to face political persecution).  The following is an article from The New York Times, giving an update on the current situation.  We claim no ownership over this article; it is being posted purely for educational purposes.

 

Ecuador Grants Asylum to Assange, Defying Britain

CARACAS, Venezuela — Ecuador forcefully rejected pressure from Britain and announced Thursday that it was granting political asylum to Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, who has been holed up for two months in the Ecuadorean Embassy in London trying to avoid extradition to Sweden.

The decision, citing the possibility that Mr. Assange could face “political persecution” or be sent to the United States to face the death penalty, escalated the unusually sharp strains between Ecuador and Britain, and drew an angry rebuttal from Sweden. The Ecuadorean move protects Mr. Assange from British arrest, but only on Ecuadorean territory, leaving him vulnerable if he tries to leave the embassy to head to an airport or train station.

Ecuador’s foreign minister, Ricardo Patiño, made the announcement at a news conference in the Ecuadorean capital, Quito.

“The government of Ecuador, faithful to its tradition of protecting those who seek refuge in its territory or in its diplomatic missions, has decided to grant diplomatic asylum to Julian Assange,” he said, reading from a government communiqué. He added, “There are indications to presume that there could be political persecution,” and said Mr. Assange would not get a fair trial in the United States and could face the death penalty there.

Mr. Patiño said he hoped that Britain would permit Mr. Assange to leave the embassy for Ecuador. But at a news conference on Thursday in London, the British foreign secretary, William Hague, repeated the government’s stance that Britain was legally bound to to extradite Mr. Assange to Sweden, where he is wanted for questioning over accusations that he sexually assaulted two women.

Tensions between Britain and Ecuador had been building over Britain’s efforts to secure a handover of Mr. Assange. Mr. Hague described a multitude of negotiations for a handover, including “seven formal discussions as well as many other conversations.” But Wednesday night, Mr. Patiño said the British authorities had threatened to force their way into the embassy, adding, “We are not a British colony.” On Thursday, just before the announcement of asylum, President Rafael Correa said on his Twitter account: “No one is going to terrorize us!”

The president of the National Assembly of Ecuador called a special session for Thursday evening to discuss the perceived threat against the embassy by the British government.

The British Foreign Office said it was disappointed by the Ecuadorean announcement but remained committed to a negotiated outcome to the standoff. Sweden’s foreign minister, Carl Bildt, rejected the suggestion that Sweden would be involved in any kind of persecution. “Our firm legal and constitutional system guarantees the rights of each and everyone,” he wrote on Twitter. “ We firmly reject any accusations to the contrary.”

A spokesman for Sweden’s Foreign Ministry, Anders Jorle, said the country’s legal system had been impugned and the Ecuadorean ambassador had been summoned.

In Sweden, Claes Borgstrom, the lawyer representing the two women who have accused Mr. Assange of sexual abuses, told the online newspaper Expressen.se that the women had expected the decision but still thought it absurd and were disappointed.

“Assange is a coward,” Mr. Borgstrom said. “He is accused of assault, but he is totally uninterested in my clients. He has shifted his focus elsewhere.”

Mr. Patiño’s news conference was broadcast live on British television and Mr. Assange watched the announcement as it happened, British news reports said. He told embassy staff members: “It is a significant victory for myself and my people. Things will probably get more stressful now.”

Outside the embassy, a small red brick apartment block behind Harrods department store in the upscale Knightsbridge neighborhood, a protester with a megaphone provided sporadic updates on the progress of the news conference in Quito. When it became clear that Mr. Assange had won asylum, the response was a muted joy. “It’s great news,” said a youth worker, 21, who gave his name only as James. “As long as Britain honors his right to asylum,” he added, outlining his hope that the British government would allow Mr. Assange to leave the country without arresting him. If that does not happen, he said, gesturing to the protesters around him, “this will only get bigger.” Like many of the protesters, the youth worker said he believed that the accusations of sexual abuse against Mr. Assage were part of a conspiracy to silence WikiLeaks. “Textbook character assassination,” he said.

Speculation immediately turned to whether, and how, Mr. Assange might seek to escape.

Mr. Patiño said his government had made its decision after the authorities in Britain, Sweden and the United States refused to give guarantees that if Mr. Assange were extradited to Sweden, he would not then be sent on to the United States to face other charges.

Those close to Mr. Assange have said that he fears ending up in the United States, which could bring charges over WikiLeaks’s release in 2010 of thousands of secret documents and diplomatic cables relating to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as to American relations with other governments.

Mr. Jorle, the Swedish Foreign Ministry spokesman, said there had been no request from the United States for custody of Mr. Assange.

Some analysts said that Ecuador had entered a high-stakes game on Mr. Assange’s behalf. Mauricio Gándara, a former ambassador for Ecuador in London, warned that by granting him asylum, Ecuador risked jeopardizing trade ties with England and other European Union countries. In 2011 about 28 percent of Ecuador’s nonpetroleum exports went to the European Union, according to government data. Nonpetroleum exports to the United Kingdom were $139 million last year.

“What Ecuador is doing is a very delicate thing,” Mr. Gándara said. “Ecuador is risking its economic interests for this adventure of defending Mr. Assange.”

He said that he was not aware of any previous dispute of similar magnitude between the two countries.

Mr. Assange arrived at the embassy on June 19, seeking to avoid extradition to Sweden. Jérémie Zimmerman, a friend who has spoken with him recently, said Mr. Assange had found the narrowing of his horizons hard. “It is quite difficult not to be able to get out in the street for all this time,” he said. “He lived for so many years free, without even a home to limit him. And now he is isolated.”

The WikiLeaks founder sleeps on an air mattress in a small office that has been converted to a bedroom, according to accounts of those who have visited him. He has access to a computer and continues to oversee WikiLeaks, his lieutenants have said. Reporters outside the building have seen food being delivered from nearby restaurants.

His presence is a challenge for employees of the embassy. One British government official, citing a conversation with a member of the embassy staff, said the situation was surreal.

A diplomat familiar with Mr. Assange’s situation said he spent his time in a back room, which gets no direct sunlight. Several weeks ago he had a bad cold and appeared depressed, the source said.

“He can’t get outside to see the sun,” his mother, Christine Assange, said in a recent interview conducted in Quito for BBC Mundo, a BBC Web site. “I’m worried about his health, as I would be for anybody who is having to stay indoors and not get exercise and have sunlight.”

She said some of Mr. Assange’s friends have encouraged him to play music and dance as a way of getting physical activity and had also brought sunlamps.

Although WikiLeaks has shrunk substantially during the 20 months of Mr. Assange’s legal battle in Britain, losing many of its most skilled computer experts along with several of Mr. Assange’s closest associates in building the organization, it continues to issue statements about his plight.

On Thursday, ahead of the Ecuadorean decision, it issued a new, unsigned statement describing Britain’s warning that it might suspend the embassy’s immunity as part of an action to arrest Mr. Assange as a “resort to intimidation” and a breach of the Vienna Convention governing diplomatic relations between states.

“We remind the public that these extraordinary actions are being taken to detain a man who has not been charged with any crime in any country,” the statement said. “We further urge the U.K. government to show restraint, and to consider the dire ramifications of any violation of the elementary norms of international law.”

It struck many as odd that Mr. Assange, who shot to fame as a fighter for media freedom, chose Ecuador as a potential refuge. Mr. Correa has presided over a crackdown on journalists there.

But when Mr. Assange arrived at the embassy, he issued a statement saying that Mr. Correa had invited him to seek asylum in Ecuador during an interview for Mr. Assange’s TV show on Russia Today, an English-language cable channel financed by the government of Vladimir V. Putin.

 

The author of this blog stands together with Julian Assange against these bogus “sexual abuse charges” and political persecution.  Long live Freedom of Speech and Truth!