Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Norm Stamper
Retired Seattle police chief, member of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition
Posted March 28, 2009 05:57 PM (EST)

(from Huffington Post)
The president's busy. He's got important things to do, like rescuing the economy, saving jobs and mortgages and industries. But we ought not to let him off the hook for his frivolous dismissal of a widely popular question he faced in Thursday's Online Town Hall.
At the top of the televised event, the president announced that of the 3.5 million votes on the thousands of questions received in advance, one topic "ranked fairly high." It was whether legalizing marijuana would improve the economy and encourage job creation. He responded: "The answer is no, I don't think that is a good strategy to grow our economy." He then asked rhetorically what the question says about "the online audience."
Get it? His in-the-flesh audience got it, chuckling politely at the allusion to a Stoner Nation plugged in to the "internets." The problem for Mr. Obama is that marijuana reform was at or near the top of the list of all questions in three major categories: budget, health care reform, green jobs and energy. Our leader doesn't seem to understand that millions of his interlocutor-constituents are actually quite serious about the issue.
Which is not to say that drugs, particularly pot, doesn't offer up a rich if predictable vein of humor. Cheech and Chong's vintage "Dave's not here!" routine is still a side-splitter. As Larry the Cable Guy would say, "I don't care who you are, that's funny right there."But there's nothing comical about tens of millions of Americans being busted, frightened out of their wits, losing their jobs, their student loans, their public housing, their families, their freedom...
And show me the humor in a dying cancer patient who's denied legal access to a drug known to relieve pain and suffering.
Having just returned from Minnesota whose state lawmakers are entertaining a conservative, highly restrictive medical marijuana law, I can tell you what's not funny to Joni Whiting.
Ms. Whiting told the House's Public Safety Policy and Oversight Committee of her 26-year-old daughter Stephanie's two-year battle with facial melanoma that surfaced during the young woman's third pregnancy. The packed hearing room was dead quiet as Ms. Whiting spoke of Stephanie's face being cut off "one inch at a time, until there was nothing left to cut." She spoke of her daughter's severe nausea, her "continuous and uncontrollable pain."Stephanie moved back to her family's home and "bravely began to make plans for the ending of her life." The tumors continued to grow, invading the inside and outside of her mouth, as well as her throat and chest. Nausea was a constant companion. Zofran and (significantly) Marinol, the synthetic pill version of THC, did nothing to abate the symptoms. Stephanie began wasting away. She lost all hope of relief.
Joni's other children approached their mother, begged her to let their sister use marijuana. But Ms. Whiting, a Vietnam veteran whose youngest son recently returned from 18 months in Iraq, was a law-abiding woman. And she was afraid of the authorities. There was no way she would allow the illicit substance in her house. As she held her ground, her grownup kids removed Stephanie from the family home. Three days later, wracked by guilt, Joni welcomed her daughter back. "I called a number of family members and friends...and asked if they knew of anywhere we could purchase marijuana. The next morning someone had placed a package of it on our doorstep. I have never known whom to thank for it but I remain grateful beyond belief." The marijuana restored Stephanie's appetite. It allowed her to eat three meals a day, and to keep the food down. She regained energy and, in the words of her mother, "looked better than I had seen her in months."
Stephanie survived another 89 days, celebrating both Thanksgiving and Christmas with her family.
Shortly after the holidays, Stephanie's pain became "so severe that when she asked my husband and me to lie down on both sides of her and hold her, she couldn't stand the pain of us touching her body."Stephanie died on January 14, 2003 in the room she grew up in, holding her mother's hand. A mother who, as she told the legislative committee, would "have no problem going to jail for acquiring medical marijuana for my suffering child."
Following Joni Whiting's presentation, it was all I could do to hold it together during my own testimony. Such was the power of this one woman's story. And of the sadness and rage roiling inside me as I reflected on the countless other Stephanies who are made to suffer not only the ravages of terminal illness and intractable pain but the callousness and narrow-mindedness of their leaders.
When I finished my testimony, a local police chief, a member of the committee, angrily accused me of disrespecting the police officers in the room--who'd shown up in force, in uniform, to oppose medical marijuana. Wearing a bright yellow tie with the lettering "Police Line, Do Not Cross," the chief charged me with placing more stock in the opinions of doctors than of Minnesota's cops. Guilty, as charged. Who are we, I asked him, to substitute our judgment for that of medical professionals and their patients? Who are we, for that matter, to deny the will of the people.
There's much value in humor, even during times of pain and tragedy. So long as the joke is not at the expense of the suffering.
It's been a bad couple of weeks for the president. His Leno comment about the Special Olympics while self-deprecating and not malicious was certainly tone deaf, followed soon after by his casting gratuitous aspersions at serious advocates of marijuana reform. But Barack Obama is a decent and honorable man, compassionate and wise. I can't believe he would do anything other than what Joni Whiting did if, God forbid, he faced similar choices within his own family. I can't believe he doesn't realize the political value of taking a more reasoned, courageous stand on drug policy reform in general. Or of at least providing honest, thoughtful answers on the issue.Perhaps we should show him what's in it for him? Perhaps we should make certain that in every future "town hall" the president is reassured of the seriousness of the legions of voters working to end cruel and ineffective drug laws.


Saturday, March 28, 2009

Jim Gilliam
Founder, WhiteHouse2.org
Posted March 26, 2009 12:51 PM (EST)
Pot Saved My Life, Mr. President

Today, in the historic first online town hall, President Obama fielded questions from nearly a hundred thousand people online. One of the most popular questions, and indeed, one of the most popular questions in any forum that lets people vote on what matters to them, was about whether legalizing marijuana would help improve the economy and job creation.
Chuckling, the President said: "I don't know what this says about the online audience, but [laughing] this was a fairly popular question, we want to make sure it was answered. The answer is no, I don't think that is a good strategy to grow our economy."
I've never smoked pot in my life, indeed I've never smoked anything at all. Despite that, a couple years ago, I needed a double lung transplant. My lungs were scarred beyond repair due to side effects from radiation treatments I'd had nearly a decade earlier in my two battles with cancer.
I lost a lot of weight in this process, to the point where it was life-threatening. My lung doctor suggested "marinol," the synthetic (and legal) version of THC, the active ingredient in marijuana. I laughed at him, and asked "Was this going to make me stupid? I don't want to be a pothead!" He said one of his patients put on 40 pounds with it. I didn't have any other option.
It worked. Marinol allowed me to put on enough weight to get me out of the danger zone until we figured out the underlying problem was a bleeding ulcer in my stomach, a reaction to one of the anti-rejection drugs I was taking for the transplant.
Pot saved my life. It's a miracle drug, even the crappy non-organic kind made in a lab.
The President will be asked this question again, and maybe next time he won't laugh at us.



Since many of you are writing President Obama on your own, NORML would like to assist the process by providing you with a link for contacting the White House directly. Please log on and send your e-mails by going here.

Also, please check The Hill.com (Read and comment here) and HuffingtonPost.com (Read and comment here) on Friday for updated versions of this commentary, and please post your feedback to those forums as well.

Speaking live moments ago President Barack Obama pledged “to open up the White House to the American people.”

Well, to some of the American people that is.

As for those tens of millions of you who believe that cannabis should be legally regulated like alcohol — and the tens of thousands of you who voted to make this subject the most popular question in today’s online Presidential Town Hall — well, your voice doesn’t really matter.

Asked this morning whether he “would … support the bill currently going through the California legislation to legalize and tax marijuana, boosting the economy and reducing drug cartel related violence,” the President responded with derision.

“There was one question that was voted on that ranked fairly high and that was whether legalizing marijuana would improve the economy and job creation, and I don’t know what this says about the online audience,” he laughed.

“The answer is no, I don’t think that [is] a good strategy.”

Obama’s cynical rebuff was short-sighted and disrespectful to a large percentage of his supporters. After all, was it not this very same “online audience” that donated heavily to Obama’s Presidential campaign and ultimately carried him to the White House?

Second, as I’ve written previously in The Hill and elsewhere, the overwhelming popularity of the marijuana law reform issue — as manifested in this and in similar forums — illustrates that there is a significant, vocal, and identifiable segment of our society that wants to see an end to America’s archaic and overly punitive marijuana laws.

The Obama administration should be embracing this constituency, not mocking it.

Third, will somebody please ask the President: “What is it that you think is so funny about the subject of marijuana law reform?”

Since 1965, police have arrested over 20 million Americans for violating marijuana laws, yet nearly 90 percent of teenagers say that pot is “very easy” or “fairly easy” to obtain. That’s funny?

According to this very administration, there is an unprecedented level of violence occurring at the Mexico/US border — much of which is allegedly caused by the trafficking of marijuana to the United States by drug cartels. America’s stringent enforcement of pot prohibition, which artificially inflates black market pot prices and ensures that only criminal enterprises will be involved in the production and sale of this commodity, is helping to fuel this violence. Wow, funny stuff!

Finally, two recent polls indicate that a strong majority of regional voters support ending marijuana prohibition and treating the drug’s sale, use, and distribution like alcohol. A February 2009 Zogby telephone poll reported that nearly six out of ten of voters on the west coast think that cannabis should be “taxed and legally regulated like alcohol and cigarettes.” A just-released California Field Poll reports similar results, finding that 58 percent of statewide voters believe that regulations for cannabis should be the same or less strict than those for alcohol.

Does the President really think that all of these voters are worthy of his ridicule?

Let the White House laugh for now, but the public knows that this issue is no laughing matter. This week alone, legislators in Illinois, Minnesota, and New Hampshire voted to legalize the use of marijuana for authorized individuals. Politicians in three additional states heard testimony this week in favor of eliminating criminal penalties for all adults who possess and use cannabis. And lawmakers in Massachusetts and California are now debating legally regulating marijuana outright.

The American public is ready and willing to engage in a serious and objective political debate regarding the merits of legalizing the use of cannabis by adults. And all over this nation, whether Capitol Hill wants to acknowledge it or not, they are engaging in this debate as we speak.

Sorry Obama, this time the joke’s on you."

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

I think he needs a shave and needs to clean out his ears!

Letter to Garvald

I think many of us humans go through this feeling of depression or melacholy, depending on the lunar cycle (?) perhaps...
when I herbalize and realize my anger sometimes when "i'm on a budget and what you thought was a few drinks turns into an expensive outing...you worry...you show high anxiety, not the go lucky playboy lifestyle that perhaps you envisioned??
How can you handle all the pressures of fatherhood??
I have bills to take care of , taxes to pay, insurance to pay over in America, calls to the immigration lawyer, calls to find an accountant...
4 years ago, it was a lot less worries, depression...
all you seek maybe is a no worries sort of bliss bringing up Colin Murray Garvald and having an essentially low impact and carbon imprint lifestyle...
I want to enjoy it for as long as possible...
I don't no how long it can last...

I feel overwhelmed, especially opening the mail to find all these financial complications overseas and the health care being canceled because my bank went inactive!!

Life is not a box of chocolates...
but it sure is nice to go out and check the waves to get away from the kind of funk your mind is going into!

but then at least for a little while, you can escape to the ocean and swim past the last breaker..
just before the sun sets behind the Mermaid Beach homes of some very rich Aussies!
you watch the sun sneak behind these palaces...
you are floating in the higher gravity salt water, biding your time to catch that beautiful wave, you watch the sun set while on the peaks of the waves.. when that beautiful and dangerous wave beckons you to
ride her for as long as you can...
before you have to lift your head for a breath!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

More and more, I am so happy that I am father to such a beautiful old soul as
my son..
He smiles at me and laughs with joy every time he sees me in his waking conscious!
I sing a song with him listening intently to my every word...
I play with him in front of the large bedroom mirror...understanding the mirror is a whole new event...he sees a reflection of himself and then of his father at the same time...How does this make sense...He takes it all in!...and gives a little laugh of glee...
I dress him up in his mermaid beach surf lifesaving shirt and speedos!
I can't wait to show him off to our favorite staff at the club!

when I look at him, he seems to be all knowing ....almost as if he's had a whole 'nother life in another world...He comes into to this world with 2 parents clueless about parenting...both of us focused on your happiness and well being!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Instant waves of thought surfing the cyberocean!

Someone just did a search and found my site:

"Escape the Okie Zone - 19 visits - 12/27/08
I just had a cool chat with a regular lifeguard, Dave White yesteday. He was the bloke that pulled the great white shark from the ocean. ...www.escapetheokiezone.com/ - 977k - Cached - Similar pages -"

Just few minutes ago, I checked the cities of the world that visit my site from Feedjit...
a surfer from Brisbane did a search for "Dave White Lifeguard"

He seems to be a kind of celebrity here on Mermaid Beach...He is a very relaxed cool gentleman that would be an asset in any surf rescue....
I'd like to go into more detail sometime...
I mentioned this site to him so if Dave,
I hope that I'm right about your pulling in the Great White???
Please feel free to comment?





Be Happy!


but now there is someone who might be around 50 years from now?? you being here is the reason he is here and will be here!!.... Perhaps a continuation of your consciousness

Remember (?))
sneaking into the old haunted fibro made boarding house over 43 years ago in the summer/Xmas of '65 looking for those big green coke bottles that could be turned in for threepence each!!
With that many bottles , you could buy your favorite rubber soldiers and a tasty icecream from the local store down Hedges ave... when it was not "Millionaire's beach"...

You had no clue that finding this place would pique the curiosity of my father and Uncle Ron....

A Xmas vacation in Oz with my Aussie family!!

I was so happy playing with all of our cousins from my Mother's and father's sides from the variety of cities of this beautiful country I called home!!

....being cuddled by this loving family that were extensions of myself and my culture...I escape back this wonderful warm cozy feeling...when there were no worries...I kept a diary and was proud of myself and my future...
with actually no worries of the future....puff, puff, pass...

Your self image should not depend on what others believe about you
and the image that you might create??

It is ultimately your own belief in yourself and the way you surf those waves of life...
from the very tiny waves that you don't notice on a very calm sea to the large ominous waves coming in from the remnants of storms out at sea...

it's up to you to catch that large gorgeous wave just at the right moment to be in that zone just ahead of the frothy turbulence for as long as you can hold your breath....

kick like crazy with the help of your magical extension of your foot, the flipper...
you are swimming (??) faster than you ever have before as the water rushes against your body....

you know that as soon as you catch your breath...
you'll lose that gorgeous wave !!

"We have chosen to be on earth because there is something we want to learn that can only happen by inhabiting a body. Some of us are here to repay a debt, learn about love, or teach forgiveness. Most of us are here for a combination of reasons, we carry this information in our souls, all we have to do is remember. As you go through your journey, try not to forget how brave you are, being here now. Honor yourself." from the Daily OM

I look forward to the surf/swim handicap race with the Mermaid Beach Surf Club!
We go off about every 30 secs with some swimmers starting as early as 2 to 5 minutes....we swim out past the last breaker....there are often several sets of waves that we have to swim past unless we able to catch the rip current that escalates us out to the sea past the waves and calmer waters...I stay calm in the middle of the race while passing each of the buoys...I see others along with me in the waters and then past the second buoy floating in the waves...I mistakenly swim a little further down the current while I see a lady pass me on the left about 10 meters while I wait for some good waves. I don't stay calm ... a wave overtakes me and churns me around in the turbulence while I struggle to reach for a breath....then I am fighting against the current until I finally catch a wave sometimes swimming on my back to keep an eye on the ever coming waves... I stumble in at 11 minutes with a couple veteran ladies
coming in a few seconds ahead of me!

Friday, March 20, 2009

wow...I just love these epiphanies!!
I realize more and more that this is the place for my Queenslander, Aussie son...
it would have been so wonderful to just get him the Aussie passport...
the passport to life on the beach!
It will be so cool to bring up Colin Murray Garvald on the beach swimming everyday!
wouldn't it be wonderful to finally have it all together as our paradise on earth??

I see ourselves living vicariously through his eyes!
it was so cool visiting with Stevo's Ocean street surf club...all of these cool blokes love to surf and drink beer...they are the local neighborhood of surfing mates...they represent what is one of the wonderful things about the "fraternities and sorororities" of matedom...
the quintessential (?) essence of the Aussie spirit...
folks here care about their friends and other aussies!

on a slightly americanized tangent, I watched this DVD,""Surfer Dude" with Willie Nelson as the "dude's" mentor/muse/spirit/cannabizer/wizard (playing a small role giving him the magical grass and goats to eat his lawn's grass....I always had the same idea ever since I bought a home in Okiehoma City! ...many a lazy, cannabized summer, I regretted having the simple low carbon imprint of goats...maybe a male and female...so we could have kids and milk...maybe even make some goat cheese...yeh ...I had dreams of this magical hippy commune in the early 80's...will this ever happen??....puff, puff, pass?please? ;)
wow....thanks to the epipephenous herb, I adding a few colors of the rainbow....
I had delusions of writing this Aussie?american novel/ documentary and movie of my life and adventure!! anyway the movie would have better with better acting from Mathew Mcdorkil...I don't know why chicks go crazy over this dude?? gag me with a mangrove seed!
I love Willie and Woody Harrelson with (his documentary on weed..so he played the stoner mate well, but they could have picked a more enigmatic/ charismatic character like Val Kilmer with Bill Murray's sense of humor!>..other than that the movie was flat!
But these dudes love the movie...I am guessing because of the way the movie did capture the surfer's obsession with the waves...I wish they could have had an actor that captured the sufer's philosophy...he could have been more laid back and basically more charm!
Stevo is a charmer/philosopher/guru of the surf.... he is a leader/minister of this philosophy/church(??)...
each day, religiously, they come to the Ocean st. perch...along with Dano, Shano, Richo, and a few other regular mates of the Ocean St. club...
he imparts many bits of wisdom about the ocean and the Gold Coast joie de vivre ...
I love chatting with these blokes of the coast... They all have adopted the philosophy of loving the beach/surf and all of her varying nuances... We all want to pay our omage to the Godess of the Sea...
My son was born on the coast...He will be immersed in this wonderful culture!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

All I can say is ,
Follow your dream!!
Don't let anybody stop you!!

My older brother just gave the same ole, same ole...
I don't hear from him at all except when he thinks he's been the good older brother ...
apparently word got out from my cousin's mother...(who I love dearly)
that we need help and shouldn't be hanging out in oz???
at least that's the general opinion of most of the relatives...
so what do I say ???
Fuck it!
Let's take a road trip and enjoy ourselves!
It's vacation!

Should I cave in and let ourselves fly back to the states with our tail between our legs??
Fuck No...I have been talked out of of this paradise for too long!! Lets workout, take care of business and have a kick ass beautiful family that knows how to have fun on the beach!! It's our future!
Go team Garvald!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

overwhelmed as usual because of my fault...prograsstination!!
need to call immigration authorities about visas...our future!

need to call about making sure my land tax will be exempt next year!

Thursday, March 12, 2009


Khatmandu visited my blog!! wow...for what reason could a famous town in Nepal pull up my site??

"On the way through the desert between Herat and Kandahar in Afghanistan
Several young backpackers in the late sixties and the early seventies travelled the long way by land from Europe to Kathmandu through Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India to Nepal. The majority spent a few months or half an year out there, and a few of them settled in Nepal or India for years, living on a low budget with hash and other drugs. It became a trend, unmistakable connected to the hippie generation, founding the backpacker's massive conquer of the world several years later. But why did they do it? There are several answers to that question. The romance of the road, the attraction of drugs, the need of breaking the daily, monotonous way of living, the search for direct experience, the desire to explore what's on the other side of the desert or the mountains, the curiosity to foreign, exotic cultures. And to quite a few, a search for their own identity. However, no matter which reasons took them on the trail, they have one thing in common: Few of them remained the same persons after their return, and it's no exaggeration to say, that the trip became decisive for their behaviour and points of view for the rest of their life. Several Danish backpackers from that period, who came home after a long stay in India or Nepal, were unable to do very much during the next half year after their arrival - apart from gazing at a wall, trying to digest their great experience! Frontiers of many kinds were crossed by the hippies and the backpackers of the past. In the late sixties and early seventies, travelling to the third world was much more complicated and unusual than today, and for the same reason, places like Kathmandu and most of the sites along The Hippie Trail were much more exotic than now. In the sixties and early seventies, individual travels to The Middle East and The Far East was an exotic experience, which had the capability to change you forever. Backpackers from the sixties and seventies didn't have today's security at all. E-mail, credit cards and mobile phones didn't exist, and a phone call to your home country was a rare emergency action. On the other hand, travellers still had the feeling of being true pioneers and explorers. Those who had never been outside Europe or the other western countries - which was by far the major part - got the cultural shock of their life. The first really exotic country on the route was Turkey, but the biggest challenge of them all was the confrontation with India. India still has a vast diversity of religions, culture, languages and nature to offer, but to many - especially if you are not used to travelling as an individual - the country can be a real challenge for you! The best things to bring with you are a relaxed mind, patience and a good sense of humour. However, if you don't like curiosity, crowds of people, bureaucracy and a certain amount of insanity, you shouldn't go there, not even today!"
I wondered what the fascination of hippies and old classic songs had for Khatmandu?? So I did a search and found this other site...