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So three weeks ago, I went down to Marin County to help out a friend.

This friend's  name is Lynnette Shaw. For anyone living in California, who possesses a valid med marijuana card, Lynnette's name  should be a household name.

She was among the original group of five who put together the wording of Proposition 215. The wording of the Proposition can be found here:

http://vote96.sos.ca.gov/...

I know that to some of you , Prop 215 is "old news." And hardly worth re-visiting. And for others on this board, there is criticism - why in the world weren't Californian activists smart enough to put together legislation that would legalize marijuana as a recreational drug, overall, instead of this halfway measure?

To the last point, I would say that no one criticizes Alexander Graham Bell for not coming up with the cell phone.

What was done in Calif. was the first step taken by citizenry in any of the 50 states, and the action took place way back in 1996. This was a full 18 years ago. The people here were ready and determined to approve med marijuana. However,  anything more, at that early point in the game, would not have passed as a legalized measure.

So why am I bringing Lynnette to your attention? Because right now, the woman is facing a life of governmental harassment, poverty and unemployment, and all due to her selfless devotion to this issue.

Due to her success in setting up the Fairfax club,  and her overseeing the Marin Alliance for Medicinal Marijuana, she was very early on targeted by authorities. By 1999, the authorities had her in their sights. President Bill Clinton and Attorney General Janet Reno jointly issued a citation that would bar her forever from any involvement with any medical  marijuana dispensary. Knowing the law fairly well, Shaw fought off this injunction successfully for over a decade. Her legal battle allowed her to continue to run the Fairfax dispensary.

But in 2011, the Ninth District Court of California gained a new and ambitious prosecutor, one Melinda Haag. This woman had as  her top two goals the total destruction of Lynnette Shaw, legally financially and personally! and also the closure of the Fairfax dispensary, which was the first dispensary to open its doors inside the state, and which served as the model for the other dispensaries.

By the end of that year, Haag had closed the Fairfax dispensary and helped the Feds in their efforts to destroy Shaw. In all of Marin County, population 250,000, there remains only one open and operating dispensary, in the town of Corte Madera. And activists fear that dispensary will be closed soon.

Among the things that have happened to Lynnette since 2011 are these: the declaration by the IRS that she owed the government some 10 million dollars, the seizure of her personal bank account, worth $ 10,000, the closure of her dispensary, which not only meant that Marin County patients had to find another source to meet their needs, but that she no longer had her job there. She is also the first and only American citizen  whose Social Security earnings have been zeroed out!

Due to  the fact that she has not worked since 2011, her car was re-possessed.

The 10 million dollar IRS finding was later lowered to a mere 3 million dollars plus change. Much of this ruling has to do with the IRS not allowing various normal overhead costs to be declared as business expenses. Then when this ruling was fought by Shaw lawyers, it was decided that seven million dollars of business expenses would be allowed, but the other 3 million plus would not be.

There is a huge irony in the IRS' ruling - for the first five years of her operating the Fairfax dispensary, she was audited twice a year, and she did everything by the book. For each year she was audited, the IRS signed off on her business operations and tax declarations.  So for the hammer to fall on her some 10 years down the road seems capricious, illogical and possibly illegal.

The one thing saving Ms Shaw at this point is Eric Holder's most recent decision that banks must treat marijuana growers with their income the same way that any other customers and their income would be treated. This decree by Holder indicates that perhaps all of Shaw's IRS penalties and owed money amounts will be stricken from her record. If bankers have been told to  treat their  marijuana customers the same way they treat other customers, then it  stands to reason that the IRS must treat citizens' operating med marijuana dispensaries the same way. (I wish also to point out that for all the years that Shaw served as the director for the Fairfax dispensary, she never paid herself more than $ 38,000.)

The local newspaper in Marin County, The Marin Independent Journal, had one of its  finer reporters write the following article:

http://www.marinij.com/...

Anyone wishing to help out Ms Shaw can "friend" her at Facebook, "Lynnette Mont-eton Shaw," and then contact her directly. At that Facebook site, she  can offer you her phone number or other means of more private contact.

Originally posted to EliseMattu on Sun Feb 23, 2014 at 01:11 PM PST.

Also republished by DKos Cannabis Law and Drug War Reform and Community Spotlight.

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Comment Preferences

  •  The late Jack Herer.. (16+ / 0-)

    ...was responsible for the modern legalization efforts we see today. He, and many others, had been fighting the good fight since the 1960's.

    If you haven't seen it, I suggest "The Emperor Wears No Clothes"

    "Wealthy the Spirit which knows its own flight. Stealthy the Hunter who slays his own fright. Blessed is the Traveler who journeys the length of the Light."

    by CanisMaximus on Sun Feb 23, 2014 at 01:26:00 PM PST

  •  Couldn't find her Facebook page (10+ / 0-)

    I know some growers that are moving to Uruguay.  Uruguay has become the leader in marijuana legalization but they need to go through a learning curve in cultivation.  If she's interested let me know.

    Daily Kos an oasis of truth. Truth that leads to action.

    by Shockwave on Sun Feb 23, 2014 at 01:34:00 PM PST

  •  She hasn't been arrested? (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    peacestpete, Chi, kurt, FarWestGirl

    I am seeing this more and more - extrajudirical processes are being used because it is getting harder and harder to get a conviction. So why go through the hassle of getting a jury of her peers together when you can just seize her assets?
    Don't worry though, Obama said that marijuana is no worse than alcohol, so all this will end pretty soon.

    "You can die for Freedom, you just can't exercise it"

    by shmuelman on Sun Feb 23, 2014 at 02:21:59 PM PST

    •  Obama's offhand remarks (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      NearlyNormal

      may have social significance (reflecting the country's changing attitudes), but no legal effect. Holder's policy regarding financial services is more significant--the best hope for Lynnette is through the courts, but it will take time. Obama isn't likely to intervene in such a case.

      "All governments lie, but disaster lies in wait for countries whose officials smoke the same hashish they give out." --I.F. Stone

      by Alice in Florida on Mon Feb 24, 2014 at 06:47:03 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Sorry I forgot (0+ / 0-)

    My memory isn't quite what it used to be.

    Anyone want to head to Taco Bell?

    You best believe it does

    by HangsLeft on Sun Feb 23, 2014 at 02:42:13 PM PST

  •  As a current warrior in the cause (8+ / 0-)

    I would really like it if everyone would stop validating the decades old mythology of marijuana. Marijuana is only a slang term that has been used from the beginning to villianize the entire genus of cannabis plants.

    Cannabis is much more than the dried female flowers and leaves of the varieties of cannabis plants with a higher THC to CBD ratio which have been usually smoked recreationally. We should be expanding the debate to all the uses of cannabis plants and not be falling into the rhetorical traps of the prohibitionists.

    Really don't mind if you sit this one out. My words but a whisper -- your deafness a SHOUT. I may make you feel but I can't make you think..Jethro Tull

    by RMForbes on Sun Feb 23, 2014 at 02:42:32 PM PST

    •  I'd like to contribute to the idea, (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RMForbes

      But after suffering a concussion I have enough trouble remembering my name.

      And once there is a pair of names, that is,

      Cannabis

      Or

      Marijuana

      I really have too much dyslexia going on to remember which one is now the right term.

      In theory I support what you are saying, but in reality, I just want to form coherent sentences.

      •  Except for the fact that marijuana is not a real (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Chi, eyo

        name for cannabis plants at all. It was only an obscure slang term first coined by Mexican migrant workers around the beginning of the 20th Century for any wild plant that could smoked like tobacco. It wasn't until after the invention of the Hemp Decorticator which threatened the profits of the timber paper products industry mostly controlled by robber baron William Randolf Hearst. Marijuana, actually marihuana at the time, was first linked to cannabis in the sensationalized stories in the tabloid style Hearst newspapers of the 1930's. There is actually only cannabis plants.

        Really don't mind if you sit this one out. My words but a whisper -- your deafness a SHOUT. I may make you feel but I can't make you think..Jethro Tull

        by RMForbes on Sun Feb 23, 2014 at 05:18:51 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Trouble is, for 80 years (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          davis90, RMForbes

          "marijuana" was the only name most people knew, and still is the most common term. World origins are interesting, but ultimately the word people use is the one everyone else uses, and the fact that it was originally a term of derision is mainly of historical interest now. Use of the word "cannabis" does identify the speaker as one who is serious or knowledgable about it.

          "All governments lie, but disaster lies in wait for countries whose officials smoke the same hashish they give out." --I.F. Stone

          by Alice in Florida on Mon Feb 24, 2014 at 06:57:58 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Yes, it is a problem (0+ / 0-)

            The same prohibitionist that brought us the hilarious "Reefer Madness" propaganda have been able to frame the entire public argument around a slang term in order to deflect the facts about the medicinal benefits of the cannabinoid drugs found in cannabis resins and the more than 50,000 products that can be made better, greener and less expensive from the cannabis hemp plant. I think that educating the public is important especially to break down this decades old propaganda campaign.

            Really don't mind if you sit this one out. My words but a whisper -- your deafness a SHOUT. I may make you feel but I can't make you think..Jethro Tull

            by RMForbes on Mon Feb 24, 2014 at 09:48:17 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  Clarity Needed! (0+ / 0-)

          So then:

          "Cultivar" is a biological term that describes any plant that will grow true to form of when propagated. (A cultivar is not the same as a botanical variety, and there are differences in the rules for the formation and use of the names of botanical varieties and cultivars.)

          "cannabis" is a sweeping generic term that includes many cultivars.
          "marijuana" is a cultivar of cannabis sativa
          the "hemp" plant is a cultivar of cannabis sativa

          Then there is the disputed 'cannabis indica,' reputed to be the temperate climate species, originating or developed in the Hindu Kush mountains (sub-range of the Himalayas),  from which hashish has been historically made, and which is adopted to the day lengths of more northern climates.

          So, does current genetic research indicate two species (c. sativa and c. indica), or one species that is widely adapted?

          Clarification?

          You meet them halfway with love, peace, and persuasion ~ And expect them to rise for the occasion...

          by paz3 on Mon Feb 24, 2014 at 11:59:28 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Yes, cannabis sativa is a variety of the cannabis (0+ / 0-)

            genus of plants but both hemp and some strains of herbal cannabis are the same cannabis sativa. The only real difference between these crops are how the plants are grown and the CBD to THC ratio found in the resins.

            Hemp is grown very close together so the stalks grow long and straight. Hemp is also allowed to pollinate freely and is harvested as soon as the seeds mature which usually takes only about 100 days after planting.

            Herbal cannabis, on the other hand, is grown far differently. Individual plants are grown feet apart so that the plant produces several resin rich female flowers and male plants are removed as soon as they show. The cannabinoid rich resins are produced by the resin glands located almost exclusively in the female flowers of cannabis plants.

            Herbal cannabis plants are grown as to the production of these cannabinoid rich resins and not for the fibers in the stalk like the hemp plants. But that does not say they are actually different varieties of plants.

            Really don't mind if you sit this one out. My words but a whisper -- your deafness a SHOUT. I may make you feel but I can't make you think..Jethro Tull

            by RMForbes on Mon Feb 24, 2014 at 01:43:20 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Biological Terminology Here (0+ / 0-)

              I appreciate the details, but I certainly know about the differences in cultivation practices between hemp and herb.

              A couple of points:
              States considering ballot measures or legislation allowing recreational cannabis that include the personal growing of small amounts need to clearly define male vs. female plants; legislation also needs to consider that if the number of plants is restricted unrealistically it may lead to high wattage indoor set-ups in order to get the most production out of that limited number of plants. Not exactly a green approach.

              Herbal cannabis plants are grown as to the production of these cannabinoid rich resins and not for the fibers in the stalk like the hemp plants. But that does not say they are actually different varieties of plants.
              Accurately speaking, the terminology is "...that does not say that they are actually different species of plants. What you describe are actually different varieties, or cultivars of plants.

              You meet them halfway with love, peace, and persuasion ~ And expect them to rise for the occasion...

              by paz3 on Tue Feb 25, 2014 at 07:59:27 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

  •  Hell yeah (13+ / 0-)

    Not only does it have medicinal qualities, but growing it for fiber is something that gives Georgia Pacific nightmares.

    Think about that. Hemp fiber is so strong, easy to grow, and useful, that it could replace about 1/3 of our timber cutting.

    A true craftsman will meticulously construct the apparatus of his own demise.

    by onionjim on Sun Feb 23, 2014 at 02:48:46 PM PST

  •  "Mr. Watson, come here, I want your smart bong" (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    EliseMattu, ZedMont, radmul, eyo
    I know that to some of you , Prop 215 is "old news." And hardly worth re-visiting. And for others on this board, there is criticism - why in the world weren't Californian activists smart enough to put together legislation that would legalize marijuana as a recreational drug, overall, instead of this halfway measure?

    To the last point, I would say that no one criticizes Alexander Graham Bell for not coming up with the cell phone.

    Warning - some snark may be above‽ (-9.50; -7.03)‽ eState4Column5©2013 "I’m not the strapping young Muslim socialist that I used to be" - Barack Obama 04/27/2013 (@eState4Column5).

    by annieli on Sun Feb 23, 2014 at 02:49:17 PM PST

  •  High CBD to THC strains will help turn the corner. (8+ / 0-)


    If life weren't so damn hard, we’d have no need for fabric softeners.

    by glb3 on Sun Feb 23, 2014 at 03:10:55 PM PST

  •  Japanese proverb (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LinSea, eyo, flowerfarmer, bewild

    The nail that sticks out gets hammered down

      The first trendsetters, the ones that fight the status quo rather than the ones that ride the victorious wave, are the ones that take the real risks.

    None are so hopelessly enslaved, as those who falsely believe they are free. The truth has been kept from the depth of their minds by masters who rule them with lies. -Johann von Goethe

    by gjohnsit on Sun Feb 23, 2014 at 04:32:07 PM PST

  •  We've got it all wrong! (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RMForbes, 2dot, LinSea, Josiah Bartlett, eyo

    The banksters, and Wall Street money men are the people who should be filling America's prison cells, instead of profiting from from their occupation .

    My wife, daughter and granddaughters should have more privacy in their doctor's office than I have buying another rifle or shotgun.

    by NM Ray on Sun Feb 23, 2014 at 05:38:00 PM PST

  •  There are so many (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LinSea, RMForbes

    medicinal benefits derived from cannabis that it seems unethical not to provide it.
    I found it ironic that Melinda Haag has a Dutch name.

    'A civilization flourishes when people plant trees under whose shade they will never sit' Greek Proverb

    by janis b on Sun Feb 23, 2014 at 07:36:30 PM PST

  •  wow (0+ / 0-)

    been here, left, and might come back. Site moderation is worse everywhere else, go figure.

    by BikingForKarma on Sun Feb 23, 2014 at 10:56:27 PM PST

  •  The great MJ gold rush (0+ / 0-)

    Billions of dollars stand to be made by expanding recreational marijuana use.  So it is not surprising that MJ advocates constantly beat the drum about how wonderful their product is.

    But as an expression of progressive politics?  We are now supposed to celebrate "MJ pioneers?"  What on earth, pray, is the political stand being made when you use MJ?  We may as well invite Philip Morris here to expound on the wonders of tobacco and have a day set aside to celebrate Sir Walter Raleigh.

    This all reminds me of the old Virginia Slims campaign "you've come a long way, baby!'  There was a conscious effort by the tobacco industry to tie female smoking to the women's liberation movement.  Women, of course, were the great untapped market.  

    The recreational MJ use debate is a public health debate, plain and simple.  Or should be.  

    The politics, both left and right, gets dragged in because it is a handy tool to mobilize and expand the base of potential consumers.  

    The fact the anti-government people love to promote MJ use makes it another puzzlement as to why MJ gets such play on DKOS.  We are supposed to trust the FDA in making thousands of decisions to protect human health and safety.  And by and large progressives do....except when it comes to MJ.  Then we hear about this massive conspiracy.

    As I said, no real debate over real issues on this one.  This is power and money at work in their rawest form.

    "Hidden in the idea of radical openness is an allegiance to machines instead of people." - Jaron Lanier

    by FDRDemocrat on Mon Feb 24, 2014 at 03:11:02 AM PST

    •  God forbid progressives do anything popular (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Mr Reality

      and speaking of issues of health and safety, just how does condemning kids (especially African Americans) to decades in  prison (alongside violent felons) for use of a relatively harmless weed promote social well being?

      Thank you for sharing the liberal puritan point of view. Most Americans don't care for the attitude that making money is intrinsically sinful, though.

      "All governments lie, but disaster lies in wait for countries whose officials smoke the same hashish they give out." --I.F. Stone

      by Alice in Florida on Mon Feb 24, 2014 at 07:25:45 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  There is far more value in the medicinal (0+ / 0-)

      and industrial uses of the cannabis genus of plants than in the recreational markets. There are over 50,000 products that can be made better, stronger, greener, more durable and less expensive from the cannabis hemp plant. In fact, just about everything we now make from timber or petroleum can be made better, greener and less expensive from hemp.

      The FDA authorized the medicinal use of both synthetic and organic THC in 2010 for use in pharmaceuticals so that Big Pharma could sell their Marinol and Sativex in our markets. It was the DEA that stepped in and blocked the organic THC pharmaceuticals from American markets, most likely in order to protect their budgets. Our government has known about the medicinal value of the cannabinoids found in cannabis resins for decades, they even patented them in 2003.

      The real problem with this debate is too many conflate the value of cannabis plants to the mythology created around marijuana decades ago to prevent the cannabis plant from competing in the marketplace. This is a far larger and more important debate that needs to get national attention.

      Really don't mind if you sit this one out. My words but a whisper -- your deafness a SHOUT. I may make you feel but I can't make you think..Jethro Tull

      by RMForbes on Mon Feb 24, 2014 at 11:30:17 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  We forgot marijuana pioneers?? (0+ / 0-)

    Well we ARE weed smokers, right?

    Happy just to be alive

    by exlrrp on Mon Feb 24, 2014 at 05:20:52 AM PST

    •  Yes, that is the stereotype (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      peptabysmal

      that the prohibitionists want to perpetuate about those of us that want to end the federal prohibition against the entire genus of cannabis plants. They like it when you reduce the debate to stoners when we all know that the cannabis issue is far larger than just the recreational use/abuse of THC. When THC is only one of over 80 medically beneficial cannabinoid drugs found in cannabis resins. Not to mention the economic impact that the more than 50,000 products that can be made better, greener and less expensive from cannabis hemp would have on our domestic manufacturing sector.  

      I'm sure you meant this as a joke but I hope everyone here realizes that this is actually an important issue for our domestic economy. Ending the federal prohibition against cannabis plants will create millions of good green living wage jobs across American in the small local factories and cottage style industries that will grow right alongside the hemp in the fields. It's the medicinal and industrial value of cannabis that will produce the real cannabis economy...the recreational use is but a small part of the value of these plants.

      Really don't mind if you sit this one out. My words but a whisper -- your deafness a SHOUT. I may make you feel but I can't make you think..Jethro Tull

      by RMForbes on Mon Feb 24, 2014 at 11:01:14 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I don't know about that early CA stuff. (0+ / 0-)

    I remember the NORML rallies in the '70s in Tucson.  And after moving to CA back in '82, I tried to get the license plate C INDICA only to find that CINDI CA had it.

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