Hundreds of economists agree marijuana legalization could save US taxpayers $13.7 billion per year

Jonathan Benson takes an enlightening look at how we are thoughtlessly spending money during an economic crisis.

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Amazing Compositions From Roach Papers!

This 37-year-old creates amazing mosaics using the humble medium of used roach papers from smoked joints.

Amazingly, this is just something Cliff does in his spare time. He’s one of Pittsburgh’s finest tattoo artists at his day job. But it’s his roach paper Chronic Art that has captured the imagination of folks nationwide.
As a student at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh, Cliff had the opportunity to take inspiration from the great mosaics of the past. “I was studying mosaics in school,” Maynard remembers. “I just remember sort of making this connection in my head between the tiles and roach papers.”
His roach paper portraits include iconic rock star stoners like Jimi Hendrix, Jerry Garcia, and John Lennon, and hemped hop rap stars like Snoop Dogg and Method Man.

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Chronic Art
Jimi Hendrix: Burning of the midnight roach?
All these followed his very first roach paper portrait, which was of Jesus. “Maybe it’s a Catholic thing,” Maynard says. Another piece is Cliff’s roach paper take on the Michelangelo classic “Creation.”
“I’m always a little worried that I may run in to some trouble for my art,” Cliff told Mids Magazine. “That’s why I didn’t take my work public sooner. I think times are changing though. The marijuana movement has been winning battles left and right.”
Maynard’s Chronic Art offers original artworks and prints for sale, and also does some commissioned work.
Cliff’s currently offering hand-signed and numbered, limited edition, museum quality (Giclee) prints of all his mosaics. “I’m only making 420 of each design,” he told Toke of the Town. “The prints come professionally mounted and matted in black. All you need is a frame.”
Originals can take over 200 hours to finish, Maynard told us. “An 8×10 portrait is about $2,000 and the larger pieces start at around $3,000,” Cliff said.
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Chronic Art
The artist himself: Roach paper king Cliff Maynard rocks.
The fantastic level of detail present in Cliff’s work is truly mind-boggling. When you start to grok how much time must have been spent fitting together all those sticky little bits of paper, cutting and arranging them in a way as to form a work of art, you have to admire this guy’s dedication. Hell, Cliff is a one-man refutation of pot’s supposed “amotivational syndrome.”
“The next project that’s about to be done is Jack Herer,” Cliff told Toke of the Town. “Then a Marc and Jodie Emery. I decided to do an ‘activists’ series of portraits. It’ll include Ed Rosenthal, Rev. Eddy Lepp, Richard Lee of Oaksterdam, and I’ll probably do a Rick Simpson at some point,” he told us.
Although until recently Cliff would probably have fit into the “unknown artist” category, he’s fast leaving the “unknown” part of that in the ash heap.
Maynard’s unique and phenomenal talent has turned the heads of numerous cannabis luminaries such as Cheech & Chong, Marc Emery (“a roach art Renaissance!”), Todd McCormick (“absolutely epic!”), Rev. Eddy Lepp (“I LOVE this shit!”), and Vivian McPeak, all of whom totally freaked on the level of passion, skill and detail in Cliff’s work.
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Chronic Art
Cliff hard at work at his day job as tattoo artist.
“Cliff’s incredible roach paper renderings are beyond stunning, they are phenomenal,” said McPeak, executive director of Seattle Hempfest. “Cliff’s ability to make the papers come alive and fool the mind’s eye is a unique gift that everyone should get a chance to witness.”
Or as the inimitable Tommy Chong put it, “Creative way to dispose of roaches, man!”

The Tide Of Grass Is Changing In The Wind, Or So It Seems……

The following is a story from ABC news that was published yesterday. Quite a turnaround of say..10 years ago. We are closer than ever to changing laws that offer barbaric punishment for a meaningless law structure of intolerance.

Washington is one of four states where measures to legalize and regulate marijuana have been introduced, and about two dozen other states are considering bills ranging from medical marijuana to decriminalizing possession of small amounts of the herb.

“In terms of state legislatures, this is far and away the most active year that we’ve ever seen,” said Ethan Nadelmann, executive director of the New York-based Drug Policy Alliance, which supports reforming marijuana laws.

Nadelmann said that while legalization efforts are not likely to get much traction in state capitals anytime soon, the fact that there is such an increase of activity “is elevating the level of public discourse on this issue and legitimizing it.”

“I would say that we are close to the tipping point,” he said. “At this point they are still seen as symbolic bills to get the conversation going, but at least the conversation can be a serious one.”

The rest of the story can be seen here…..  http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory?id=9429819

Oakland Fortune Cookie Factory Flames Up To Reveal Marijuana!

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) Oakland police are looking for the growers of at least 1,000 marijuana plants found after a small fire at a one-time Oakland fortune cookie factory.

Sgt. Rich Vierra says the pot plants, valued at about $500,000, were not burned during Monday’s fire in the former Kar Mee Fortune Cookie Factory in Oakland’s Chinatown district.

Police say the plants ranged in size from seedlings to 4 feet tall and were being grown in about 1,750 square feet of space.

The growers were apparently using an old power line outside the building to run the lights, ventilation and irrigation systems.

Authorities say the small blaze was sparked by an electrical malfunction.

The cookie factory’s previous owners were evicted last year.

Source – AP

Bill Would Legalize, Tax Marijuana In California

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Posted by CN Staff on February 23, 2009 at 13:00:07 PT
By Jim Sanders
Source: Sacramento Bee

cannabis Sacramento, CA — California may be going to pot – literally. Marijuana would be grown and sold openly to adults 21 and older under legislation introduced this morning by a San Francisco lawmaker.

Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, D-San Francisco, said the cash-starved state could generate more than a billion dollars by taxing pot growers and sellers. Ammiano predicted that the public would support loosening marijuana laws that require substantial public funds to enforce.

“I think there’s a mentality throughout the state and the country that this isn’t the highest priority,” he said. “And that maybe we should start to reassess.”

Before California could legalize marijuana, however, it also might have to persuade the federal government to alter its prohibition on cannabis.

Ammiano said federal officials may be receptive to such changes under the administration of President Barack Obama.

“We may be on a parallel track here,” said Ammiano, a freshman legislator who was sworn into office less than three months ago.

The Drug Policy Alliance, an advocate of loosening pot laws, applauded Ammiano’s proposal.

“Marijuana already plays a huge role in the California economy,” said Stephen Gutwillig, the group’s California state director. “It’s a revenue opportunity we literally can’t afford to ignore any longer.”

Assemblyman Roger Niello, R-Fair Oaks, said legalizing marijuana would be a bad idea. He said he considers pot a “gateway drug” from which many users graduate to harder and more dangerous substances.

“I don’t think we’re particularly well served in our society to further accommodate or even encourage something that’s going to be unproductive and damaging to the individual — especially not for the reason of generating revenue,” he said.

Ammiano’s bill, Assembly Bill 390, would allow marijuana to be sold openly – like alcohol – in retail outlets statewide.

The state would gain by charging sellers a fee of $50 per ounce. Pot growers also would be charged under the measure.

Snipped

Complete Article: http://www.sacbee.com/breaking/story/1646399.html

Source: Sacramento Bee (CA)
Author: Jim Sanders
Published: February 23, 2009
Copyright: 2009 The Sacramento Bee
Contact: opinion@sacbee.com
Website: http://www.sacbee.com/

Opposing The Drug Laws They Enforce

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By JASON SCHREIBER
The Union Leader

When he’s working, Epping Police Officer Bradley Jardis is just like any other cop.

He’s patrolling the streets to catch people with drugs because that’s what he’s supposed to do.

But when he’s off the clock, this 28-year-old officer is speaking publicly about why he believes existing drug policies have failed and why it’s time for lawmakers to legalize drugs.

It’s an unusual position to take for a police officer charged with enforcing laws, but Jardis insists that prohibiting drugs leaves the dealers in control, creating a dangerous black market that breeds crime and gives kids easy access.

Jardis believes drugs should be regulated by the government just like alcohol. “We treat alcoholism as a public health problem, but we treat drug addiction as a criminal problem, and that’s wrong,” he said.

And he’s not the only officer who feels this way.

Full Story Can Be Found At….

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/29325058/

Credit – Union Leader

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