Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Splish Splash. How Was I To Know There Was A Party Goin' On?

Sometimes a nice relaxing herbal bath is exactly what the doctor ordered.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Garcia: Somebody Has To Do It; Pathetic That It Has To Be Us

At 4:20 PM this Wednesday (December 1), acclaimed Grateful Dead filmmaker and Everything Must Go director Len Dell’Amico will be releasing a rare clip of Jerry Garcia in 1988 concerning the future state of our environment.

Dell-Amico was nice enough to let Reality Catcher readers have an advance peek at the clip (see above).

"I became friends with Garcia in 1980 and 1981 during the production and especially the editing of Dead Ahead, the classic concert film shot at Radio City in New York," Dell'Amico said.

"He sent me a board tape in the summer of '84, and this is when I first heard the Weir-Barlow tune 'Throwing Stones.' What a great and original song, and how amazing was it that a big popular band like the Dead would take on such a serious subject as the destruction of the environment.

"A live version of the song was included in the next full-length video I produced for the Dead, which came out in 1987 and was called So Far. A little-known factoid: Garcia actually co-directed So Far with me," Dell'Amico said.

"So Far went on to become the best-selling concert video of 1988 and it won the American Film Institute's award for best full-length music film of that year.

"Also in 1988, Grateful Dead decided to give a benefit concert at Madison Square Garden in NYC to help save the rainforest. They asked me to create visuals that would directly address rainforest destruction, to show on the live reinforcement screens hanging above the stage while they played Drums/Space/Throwing Stones," Dell'Amico said.

"While prepping for that, I met Randy Hayes of Rainforest Action Network and other eggheads and activists who would be the beneficiaries of the concert, and this is how I first learned about climate change in a serious way," Dell'Amico said.

"It blew my mind.

"Members of the Dead gave a press conference at the U.N. to announce the benefit and to talk about the trouble ahead and raise awareness of ecological issues.

"Ever since then, I have been very focused on the issue of climate change, and I've been able to stay involved through my work with a private family foundation that was started by my father-in-law in the 1990," Dell'Amico said.

"Meanwhile, I had been dreaming about making my own 'story' film since I can remember -- I went to NYU film school -- and when I finally had the time and the means to do it, it was clear to me that my film should be about climate change," Dell'Amico said. "But far from being serious, the movie is darkly comic and the story is entertaining because I felt that would be the best way to get the message across.

"The film is called Everything Must Go," Dell'Amico said.

"Garcia's insightful statement at the U.N. press conference never left my mind over all those years -- he was a very smart guy, on top of all his other accomplishments. Of all the problems we face, climate change is such a huge and unknowable threat that it must be seen as a priority. If the earth becomes unlivable for us humans, we certainly can't work on any of our other problems.

I hope you enjoy the film, and I'd love to hear your comments," Dell'Amico said.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Outlaws We Remain: The Guitar Army Fights On

Years and years ago when I was a young man, my sister gave me a 1972 book called Guitar Army by a political activist named John Sinclair, a Detroit dude I idolized who got sentenced to 10 years in prison for two joints.

Sinclair, who managed the seminal rock band the MC5, also founded the far-left, anti-racist White Panther Party, which sought to change the world by uniting rock and roll music -- which John called a weapon of cultural revolution -- with politics.

John Lennon gave a Concert To Free John Sinclair and he ended up getting out after a couple years.

Well, anyway -- things are coming full circle.

My boyhood idol, John Sinclair, has now quoted me in an article he wrote Nov. 10 for the Detroit Metro Times. I just found it this morning, and I was thrilled.

Here's the quote:

The White House also is spending about $239 million this year to fund local drug-trafficking task forces, Steve Elliott adds at newsjunkiepost.com, "which in the real world, usually means local cops dressing up like Rambo and tramping through the woods in a wasteful, quixotic and doomed attempt to stop the burgeoning marijuana industry."

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Friday, November 19, 2010

Hey, Kitsap: Here's How You Can Help Get Marijuana Legalized

Attention, Kitsap County, Washington residents: If you're tired of your tax money being wasted on a failed and senseless war on marijuana, you can do something about it.

Marijuana legalization supporters Sensible Washington are organizing in the county, and they tell me that they've divided Kitsap up into 8 districts.

"We still need organizers and volunteers for North Kitsap and Silverdale/Central Kitsap," Sensible Washington's Mary Clare Kersten, who is coordinating efforts in Kitsap County, told Reality Catcher.

"We're organizing volunteers who will help us get signatures on petitions, raise money (we have a great plan to host house parties that have come to be known as the 'Roll Your Own Burrito Parties') and get endorsements from local politicians, sheriffs, etc.," Mary Clare said.

"We have a dynamic team of organizers, and if there's anyone out there who wants to either volunteer or function on the 'organizer' level with us, please ask them to call me at 206-962-0230," Kersten said.

Volunteer training meetings will be happening around the county, according to Kersten.

"We're also looking for businesses to host our petitions and our volunteer/supporter sign-up sheets," she said.

You can volunteer at SensibleWashington.org.

"Even if you don't want to volunteer, please sign up anyway so that we continue to build our base," Mary Clare said. "The sheet number of names is extremely important as we continue to pressure Olympia for its support of legalization."

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Dude... What Strain Was That?

Dude... what strain was that?

Thursday, October 21, 2010

This Taco Bell Has A Smart Manager...

Come on, all you other California fast food franchises... Support the people who support you! Light a fire on November 2. YES ON 19!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Plethora of Pretty Pot Pipes

Hempfest 2010... yeah, it's a helluva party. Check out these pipes.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Let's Fire Boss Hauge As Kitsap County D.A.

Writer/activist Greg Jablonski
By Greg Jablonski

Kitsap County has had two high profile medical marijuana cases in the past year prosecuted by D.A. Russell Hauge.

In one case, Bruce Olsen was acquitted by a jury of 12 of his peers. In September of last year, Robert Dalton was not so lucky, being found guilty by Judge Anna M. Laurie. She reasoned that he was not a qualifying patient and could take opiate-based painkillers instead, even though Dalton stated that opiates made him sick.

It is unconscionable that Judge Laurie ignored a medical doctor’s opinion and declared by her verdict that she knew medicine and treatment better than a doctor and his patient.

While D.A. Hauge’s blunders are not confined to medical marijuana cases, he is an equal-opportunity scumbag.

Travis Groves had a run-in with Hauge last year after calling in a burglary to his home. Instead of investigating said burglary, the police ran Groves’ name through a criminal database and found him to be a felon and arrested him for his wife’s guns.

Groves recalled thinking, “Someone broke into my house, and I’m the one going to jail for my wife’s guns.”

Groves was indeed a felon. He pleaded guilty in 1990, when he was 18, to breaking into a Shelton-area school. He served nine days in jail, did several hundred hours of community service, and was on probation for two years, his wife Rebecca said. But nothing in his paperwork from Mason County Superior Court warns him he was not to possess firearms, he claims.

Groves did receive a letter from the Department of Corrections that said he could not own guns, but he believed the so-called “firearms notice” covered only the time he was on probation for the burglaries.

While Hauge could have plea bargained out this 20 year long law-abiding citizen, he decided to waste our money on a show trial. And while Hauge did get his conviction of Groves, he petitioned the judge to release him on time served. This is just one of many examples of the waste in the D.A.’s office.

With our economy in a shambles and our state and county running enormous deficits, why are our elected leaders wasting taxpayer’s money prosecuting and incarcerating people that should be left alone?

Renegade judges and prosecutors who choose to go against the public's will should be recalled and removed from office.

Judge Anna M. Laurie and Prosecutor Russ Hauge must be shown the door.

Let’s put some responsible people in their place who reflect the public’s will.

While Anna Laurie’s term isn’t up until 2012, we all can do something about Boss Hauge right now.

Lets all vote him out of office!

Vote for Bruce Danielson for Kitsap County D.A.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

The Darling Buds Of May Meet The Ecstasy Of Being

I got to spend some time with my great-nephew Bronner in Alabama.
He's a chip off the old block.
May was beautiful.

I got to spend it in Alabama where I grew up, with my mom and sisters, and nothing is better than spending happy times with family and friends.

But, as editor of Toke of the Town, Village Voice Media's site of cannabis news, views, rumor and humor, I had work to do, man.

What that came to mean, since my mom's house out in the country (in the Burnout community, where I grew up -- yes, folks, it's true, I really grew up in a place called Burnout) doesn't have internet, was that early each morning, around 6 a.m., I'd drive eight miles into Red Bay and use the most reliable wi-fi in town at Subway.

(Side note: Don't ever count on McDonalds for wi-fi in Red Bay, Alabama. It might work at first, but then you'll be disappointed as it goes out for no apparent reason, sometimes for days. You can no more depend upon it than upon Fox News, which, incidentally, they keep blaring in the restaurant's dining area at top volume, all the time. Not exactly appetizing!)

What a great experience Subway was, though! Not only did they have my kind of breakfast food (anything featuring sausage and eggs) and their Internet connection rocked, they were also some of the friendliest people you'd ever want to meet.

This is one of the stories I wrote sitting there in the
Red Bay, Alabama Subway during the month of May.

Here's my branch office in Red Bay. Photo: msmudcat2001
They made me feel welcome in their place of business, even though I had to spend from 3 to 5 hours a day in the place, cranking out stories about marijuana. Talk about the darling buds of May!

And let me tell you, every morning of that great month in Alabama, I'd drive into Red Bay having absolutely no idea what I was going to be writing about that day. I'd check all my sources, pick my material, and have five or six stories up by lunch. That was just as fulfilling and exciting as hell, in itself.

But add to that the fact that Toke of the Town got almost half a million pageviews that month, and I'd say my little experiment making Subway my office five days a week worked out just fine. Cannabis has been very good to me.

For a nostalgic kick just to top everything off, Subway is across the street from the First United Methodist Church in Red Bay, the church I attended my entire childhood and youth with Mom and Dad. That's where I got christened as a baby, baptized as a young man, and joined the church.

In my almost 30 years in the journalism business, there have been a lot of highs (of every kind) and a few lows, too.

May, as a month, was one of those high points. Not only was I writing material with which I was emotionally and professionally engaged -- stories which I felt to be important -- but that writing reached a  large and, evidently, appreciative audience.

Time keeps on slippin'. Summer's lease hath all too short a date. Good times and bad keep passing on by, and the kaleidoscope keeps turning.

But those fleeting, thrilling times when everything is hitting on all cylinders, when intent and karma and the universe all dance perfectly together in a scintillating swirl of synchronicity, when the ecstasy of being peeks through all the cracks of everyday life -- well, those are the times that make it all worthwhile.

So long as men can breathe, or eyes can see,
So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.
~ William Shakespeare, Sonnet 18

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Washington Patients Now Have Better Access To Medical Marijuana

By Steve Elliott in Toke of the Town

Photo: World of Work
Starting Thursday, June 10, Washington residents with terminal or debilitating medical conditions will have better access to getting authorized to use medical marijuana, a prominent Democratic legislator has announced.

Washington's newest improvement on the medical marijuana program expands the number of health care providers who are legally allowed to recommend medical marijuana to patients, according to its sponsor, state Senator Jeanne Kohl-Welles (D-Seattle).

Until now, only medical doctors could legally authorize patients to use cannabis medicinally in Washington State. Senate Bill 5798, Kohl-Welles, now extends the ability to authorize the medical use of marijuana to other licensed health professionals who are authorized to prescribe controlled substances.

Professionals who may now authorize medical marijuana use include naturopathic doctors, advanced registered nurse practitioners, physician assistants and osteopathic physician assistants.

"Many patients rely on medical professionals other the MDs and ODs," Kohl-Welles said. "To remain committed to Washington voters' long commitment to medical marijuana for qualifying patients, we must allow additional medical professionals to recommend medical marijuana."

Thumbnail image for kohl-welles1.jpg
Photo: Senate Democrats WA
State Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles sponsored SB 5798, which expands the number of healthcare professionals who can authorize medical marijuana
​"This bill will provide real relief to those who are suffering, particularly those who live in rural areas and low-income individuals who typically see advanced nurse practitioners rather than MDs," Kohl-Welles said.

"Providing this relief honors the will of the voters who overwhelmingly approved the medical marijuana initiative in 1998," Kohl-Welles said. "It will not make marijuana more readily available to non-qualifying individuals."

"Allowing responsible health care professionals to also recommend medical marijuana -- a substance far safer and less addictive than many Schedule II opiates -- simply makes sense," said legislative analyst Robert J. Capecchi of the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP).

"Furthermore, many patients, especially those in rural areas, have limited access to physicians, so they receive their health care from other professionals, such as advanced practice registered nurses," Capecchi said. "With this important change, access to a physician will no longer be a prerequisite to obtaining a medical marijuana recommendation."

"It is always a good day when legislators and executives listen to logic and reason and pass sensible marijuana policy," Capecchi said.

"Kudos for this new law can be directed at bill sponsor Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles, and the 85 dues-paying members of the Cannabis Defense Coalition, who worked to promote this low-profile legislation," said CDC spokesman Ben Livingston.

You can read the entire text of SB 5798 as it was signed into law by Gov. Gregoire here (PDF).

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Travelocity Sucks And Has Horrible Customer Service

From: Steve Elliott
Date: Sun, 02 May 2010 16:36:04 -0700
To: Joel Frey 
Subject: Hi Joel, it's alapoet from Twitter

Hello Joel,

I have, today, had the worst customer service experience of my life, thanks to Travelocity.

Last December, I bought a round-trip ticket from Travelocity, and then was hospitalized for emergency surgery and was unable to make the first leg of the trip.

I continued to receive updates (on Feb. 11, Feb. 25, March 9, and March 21) on my apparently still valid round-trip ticket. The most recent itinerary update was received just a few weeks ago for the return trip portion, which was supposed to happen today.

As my flight was to leave at 7:05 a.m., we had to get up at 4 a.m. After driving 50 miles to the airport and trying to check in, THEN I find out that my ticket had, in fact, been cancelled in December when I missed the first part of the round trip due to emergency surgery.

I was never notified that my ticket had been cancelled -- and, in fact, I continued to receive itinerary updates on a regular basis FOR THIS TICKET.

Any reasonable person would conclude, based on these itinerary updates FROM TRAVELOCITY, that I still had a valid ticket.

That was not the case. The airline agents, and then the Travelocity agents (who were very challenged in their English and almost impossible to understand) were singularly unhelpful, just quoting "policy" to me over and over and NEVER addressing the fact that Travelocity sent my itinerary updates for this ticket, WHICH DID NOT MENTION IT WAS CANCELLED.

I have been a Travelocity customer for 13 years now, since 1997. Due to today's events, I will never, ever use your company again.

Further, I intend to tell everyone I know about your abysmally bad customer service.

I intend to use the platforms available to me to spread the word far and wide about your MISLEADING emails sent to me, updating an itinerary for a ticket THAT HAD BEEN CANCELLED FOR MONTHS.

Unhappy customer? You bet!

Am I also one who is (unfortunately for your company) able to spread the word far and wide?


Steve Elliott


Additional Resources

Travelocity Sucks

ecorover - Travelocity Sucks: Boycott Travelocity

Travelocity Complaints: Travelocity Sucks and Has Horrible Customer Service!

epinions: Travelocity Sucks

Travel with RJ: Travelocity Sucks!

my3cents.com: Travelocity Sucks and Has Horrible Customer Service

flyertalk: Beware - Travelocity Sucks!

usabilityworks.org: Travelocity Continues To Suck

Kworthy.com: Travelocity Sucks

Friday, April 30, 2010

Seattle Marijuana Liberation March May 1, 2010

Marijuana March in Seattle • May 1, 2010
Volunteer Park 1 pm
March to Westlake at 2:30 pm
Rally at Westlake Center until about 7:30 pm

Jack, this 420 one's for you! SPREAD THE WORD!

Don't live in Seattle? Find the details for the march nearest you.
More than 300 cities worldwide!
Details at Toke of the Town

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Hey, Tea Bagger! Government Can't Do Anything Right, Eh? Well, Read This

This was written by an anonymous someone at Something Awful and was reproduced a few months ago on Reddit. Here's the whole wonderful thing:

This morning I was awoken by my alarm clock powered by electricity generated by the public power monopoly regulated by the US Department of Energy. I then took a shower in the clean water provided by the municipal water utility.

After that, I turned on the TV to one of the FCC regulated channels to see what the National Weather Service of the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration determined the weather was going to be like using satellites designed, built, and launched by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

I watched this while eating my breakfast of US Department of Agriculture-inspected food and taking the drugs which have been determined as safe by the Food and Drug Administration.

At the appropriate time as regulated by the US Congress and kept accurate by the National Institute of Standards and Technology and the US Naval Observatory, I get into my National Highway Traffic Safety Administration approved automobile and set out to work on the roads build by the local, state, and federal Departments of Transportation, possibly stopping to purchase additional fuel of a quality level determined by the Environmental Protection Agency, using legal tender issed by the Federal Reserve Bank.

On the way out the door I deposit any mail I have to be sent out via the US Postal Service and drop the kids off at the public school.

After spending another day not being maimed or killed at work thanks to the workplace regulations imposed by the Department of Labor and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, enjoying another two meals which again do not kill me because of the USDA, I drive my NHTSA car back home on the DOT roads, to ny house which has not burned down in my absence because of the state and local building codes and fire marshal's inspection, and which has not been plundered of all it's valuables thanks to the local police department.

I then log on to the Internet which was developed by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Administration and post on freerepublic.com and Fox News forums about how "SOCIALISM in medicine is BAD" because "the government can't do anything right."

Yes, Virginia. Tea Bagger = Dumb Ass.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Washington: Marijuana Legalization Gaining Momentum

By Steve Elliott at Toke of the Town

"It's an idea whose time has come," said Douglas Hiatt, co-author of Initiative 1068, which would legalize marijuana in Washington State.

And now it's time for voters to take matters into their own hands, according to Hiatt. "This year, one in six legislators sponsored marijuana reform legislation," the activist attorney said Tuesday at a press conference on the steps of the Capitol Building in Olympia.

"And again this year, major reform did not get out of committee," Hiatt said. "So we formed Sensible Washington and wrote an initiative that removes the criminal and civil penalties for adults."

Every poll taken shows that if I-1068 gets on the ballot, it will win. Washington voters support sensible marijuana laws.

Tuesday's press conference detailed a wide and diverse array of endorsements, from former Seattle Police Chief Norm Stamper to Republican legislator Toby Nixon.

Douglas Hiatt.png
Photo: Douglas Hiatt
Douglas Hiatt: "It's time to change the law"

​Six bills were introduced in Washington this legislative session regarding marijuana legalization, decriminalization, and strengthening medical marijuana provisions.

The legalization bill, HB 2401, had a fiscal note prepared by the Office of Financial Management detailing millions in prosecution costs, not including local police enforcement. The same fiscal note suggested revenue of $300 million would be created by legalizing and taxing cannabis.

Nationally, the Obama Administration, through Attorney General Eric Holder, has told federal prosecutors to stand down on medical marijuana "because we don't want a war on our citizens."

According to Sensible Washington, ending marijuana prohibition is comparable to ending the prohibition on alcohol. Washington was the 25th state to ratify the 21st Amendment, on Oct. 3, 1933.

Seventy-seven years later, we've had four Presidents who admitted marijuana use, along with dozens of Olympic athletes, thousands of artists, and millions of ordinary people -- all of whom are considered criminals under current law.

"It's time to change the law," Hiatt said.

Thumbnail image for 1175989-1146043-Marijuana-VOTE-logo.jpg.jpeg
Graphic: photobucket.com

​An Angus Reid poll conducted Dec. 3-4 showed that 68 percent of Americans believe the "War On Drugs" is a failure. Nationally, 53 percent support legalization.

In Washington, Survey USA's poll for KING-TV showed support for marijuana legalization is even stronger: 56 percent of respondents said legalizing cannabis is a good idea. Outside Seattle, there is strong support even in Eastern Washington, traditionally considered the "conservative" end of the state, with a majority, 52 percent, supporting pot legalization.

"Washington citizens have embraced common-sense, pragmatic reform, time and again," said Sensible Washington's Cindi Laws, "leading an unwilling government in numerous progressive reforms, from public power to public disclosure of campaign finance, increases in the minimum wage, reduction in toxics and nuclear waste, to legalization of abortion, medical marijuana, and the control of one's own death."

Volunteers are gathering signatures to qualify for November's ballot. The magnitude of the effort is huge. A single volunteer signature gatherer can get about 20 signatures an hour, on a good day, on an issue with broad public support.

Marijuana legalization has that broad support, but to gather the 300,000 or so signatures required to qualify for the ballot takes many hours, much coordination, and plenty of help. Campaign support and coordination of volunteers takes money.

Supporters can help get Initiative 1068 onto the ballot in November, first by signing it (here are locations where you can sign), and then by donating at: