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I'm a 49-year-old writer, editor, ex-musician, dreamer, reality catcher, ex-con, and father. I have three kids, six tattoos, a criminal record, a terminal disease, and an attitude. I was born in Alabama and spent the first 38 years of my life there and in Mississippi. In the 1970s and 1980s, I was a drummer in various hard rock bar bands in Alabama and Mississippi. Since 1985, I've worked for newspapers, ad agencies and magazines. I've also taken inventory, indulged in independent entrepreneurship, run a newspaper route and served time. I've been on the West Coast, L.A. or Seattle, since 1999.
SHARE Monday, November 16, 2009 Marijuana Decrim, Frank Chopp and the Case of the Missing Balls
According to multiple, well-placed sources (both inside the Legislature and those observing), Chopp, through a lack of political will and leadership, is the legislator most responsible for the death of marijuana decrim in the last session. It's a symptom of a larger problem, really: Chopp's unwillingness to use the big Democratic majority to ensure passage of progressive legislation.
(5 comments) SHARE Friday, April 17, 2009 Mr. President, It's Time To Talk About Marijuana
When it comes to marijuana, there is a huge shift underway in public perception -- one that will eventually and inevitably result in legalization. We are nearing that tipping point.
(1 comments) SHARE Wednesday, March 25, 2009 Victory In Kitsap! Lessons and Moments From the Olson Medical Marijuana Trial
Medical marijuana patients may be a little safer in their homes in Kitsap County, Washington tonight. Almost two years after his arrest, and after a very expensive prosecution, 55-year-old patient Bruce Olson of Olalla has been acquitted by a jury of all charges stemming from the bust of a hidden marijuana grow-room.
SHARE Tuesday, February 10, 2009 Washington's Marijuana Decrim Bill: Why It's Good, What's The Hold-Up, And What To Do
The Washington state legislature is looking at a bill which would decriminalize adult marijuana possession in the Evergreen State. Under current law, possessing as little as one joint is punishable by up to 90 days in jail. In Washington last year, 11,553 people were arrested on marijuana possession charges.
But the bill is stuck in committee right now thanks to one stubborn legislator.
(7 comments) SHARE Sunday, February 1, 2009 Maybe *This* Is The Way The War On Marijuana Ends
An Illinois jury has found a man innocent in a marijuana case that would have sent him to prison. Disabled Vietnam veteran Loren Swift, 59, was charged with possession of marijuana with intent to deliver, and he faced a mandatory minimum of six years. The power that this jury exercised is called jury nullification--but you won't learn about it from judges and prosecutors.
(2 comments) SHARE Tuesday, January 27, 2009 Stop The Medical Marijuana Raids
The federal Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), currently still staffed by officials from the Bush Administration, has acted quickly and cynically to undermine and disregard statements made by President Barack Obama. On January 22, the DEA raided a medical marijuana dispensary in California for the first time since President Obama took office. During Obama's campaign, he pledged to put an end to this.
SHARE Tuesday, October 7, 2008 Attorney General Rob McKenna Is Not Cool
One cool thing about Washington Attorney General Rob McKenna: He's the first transgendered person (female-to-male) ever elected to statewide office. But there are a number of very UNcool things about McKenna, including his persecution of medical marijuana patients.
(9 comments) SHARE Wednesday, September 3, 2008 Arresting The Messengers: The Bush Administration's Assault On Journalism
Dozens of journalists, photographers, bloggers and videomakers have been arrested in an orchestrated round up of independents covering the Republican National Convention. Journalists covering protests have been pointed out by authorities, blasted with tear gas and pepper spray, and brutalized while in custody.
(7 comments) SHARE Saturday, August 30, 2008 Sarah Palin - Dick Cheney in a Dress
In his latest move, with his trademark blend of desperation and calculation, John McCain announced his choice of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as his running mate. McCain's anti-choice, anti-gay, anti-environment right wing extremist pick for vice president reveals the depth of his cynicism and condescension towards American voters, women in particular.
(4 comments) SHARE Saturday, July 12, 2008 Privacy's Twilight: Rise Of The Total Surveillance Society
We may be the last generation that will have ever known privacy. Every day, we are one step closer to the Total Surveillance Society. Every day, we lose a little more of that part of being human that claims the right to be left alone, that knows freedom from the prying eyes of the corporate state, that has the boldness to claim some inner sanctum where the all-seeing eyes of technology cannot penetrate.
(3 comments) SHARE Wednesday, July 2, 2008 Alabama's Nut Job Attorney General Wants To Ban Sex Toys And Sing With Dead People
Have you heard the one about the Southern politician who wants to arrest women for dildo possession? Unfortunately, it's not a joke, so there's no punchline. There's a real attorney general in Alabama who actually wants to enforce a sex toy ban. And unfortunately there's more. He's ethically challenged, he's vindictive, he's homophobic, and he recorded a horrid posthumous duet with a non-consenting Johnny Cash.
(14 comments) SHARE Tuesday, June 17, 2008 The Wide Divide: You Are Being Ripped Off
Base an entire society and economic system on human greed and the acquisition of wealth and material goods, and this is what happens. The powerful exploit the weak. The rich buy political influence, and the working class gets an insulting pittance with a super-sized helping of condescension. Should anyone be surprised?