Richard Branson and Friends Gathering Tomorrow in NYC For Drug Legalization

Very powerful man
Tomorrow at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in Manhattan, Virgin boss and billionaire Richard Branson will appear with former presidents from Brazil, Switzerland and Columbia, together representing the Global Commission on Drug Policy, to present a report that calls for an end to the so-called War on Drugs. The event, at 11 a.m. on Thursday, will "be pretty big," our friends at LA Weekly hear, and will push "nations to pursue legalizing and regulating drugs as a way to put a stop the the violence inherent in the illegal drug market," according to Law Enforcement Against Prohibition. The War on Drugs, the report says, is "a failure." Co-signers include ex-UN man Kofi Annan, former secretary of state George Shultz, Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou and many more. (Just imagine all the weed these rich people could buy.) [LA Weekly]

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May they all have a great day that are meeting, and hopfully some way forward will be born.

Jeffrey A Benedict
Jeffrey A Benedict

I am a medical marijuana patient. I have been a medical marijuana patient for several years.  The state has taken my money and issued me acard so I can now admit that I am a medical marijuana patient.

 I am not now nor have I everbeen on unemployment, welfare or food stamps the only time I have evercollected workmen’s compensation was when I received a single check in 1979 inthe amount of $382.00, It was compensation for lost wages when at the age of 16I had all five toes on my right foot cut off while working on a ranch in theColorado Mountains.  

Now I would like to tell you why I am a medical marijuana patient.

It was over 20 years ago since the first time that I went to a doctorto talk about the pain I was feeling. At the time the pain was not so bad itwas like I had worked out to hard the day before. It felt like I had worked outso hard it hurt; it wasn't that bad, I could live with it.  I was just really curious why it was there soI went to doctors. Lots of doctors they got me tested for just abouteverything, after all the tests and money they came back and said they had noclue.  Therefore I went another fiveyears before I said or did anything about it. 

Then about five years later, the pain got exponentially worse.  Now if I had been sedentary for more than anhour or so doing something like maybe sleeping, when I woke up my muscles werehard like stone.

  It hurt just moving my arms inthe morning, to take the covers off my body was very painful, standing on mylegs was like jumping on top of two very long needles that went from the floorthrough the heel of my foot shot through my calf muscle exploding in my thighand then piercing my hip. I could feel every bit of that needle as it came upfrom the floor to my hip every single inch of muscle screaming as the pain torethrough it.

Once I was standing I could walk it off in about an hour or so.  Then the rest of the day it was the same asbefore as long as I didn’t sit still too long. Sitting still for periods oftime would cause me to feel the same pain all over again. Sitting on the couchand watching an hour long show on TV with my arms crossed would cause everymuscle in my body to feel as if it was being ripped from the position it was inwhen it came time to move.

 I went back to the doctors, Iactually went back to the very same Dr. that I went to the first time, Ifigured I needed somebody to know that this was not a brand-new thing. I knewthey would have some record of it. They thought I was just angling forpainkillers at first but when I never asked for painkillers, and I left theoffice they dug up my old files.  Theycalled me back two days later and scheduled another appointment.  After that appointment and many thousands ofdollars of tests they sent me to see a neurologist, because they definitely didknow something was going on, they just had absolutely no clue what it was. 

I spent the next 15 years going to doctors and taking tests and havingpeople stick metal things in my muscles adding a dose of electricity andcalling it a test, all sorts of crazy tests and muscle biopsies and stillnothing conclusive. The pain had gotten to the point that it didn't go away; Icould no longer walk it off in an hour or two, every movement I made felt likeeach and every one of my muscles was being pulled to its limit and beyond likeSalt Water Taffy when it’s on the pulling machine.

Fifteen years after resuming medical attention and twenty years afterseeing the first Dr. about the muscle pain I had been feeling I was feeling atmy very worst, so bad in fact my doctor told me I needed to get my affairs inorder because she didn’t think I was going to live long enough to see spring.

My muscles were disintegrating from the inside out and they had noidea why. Because it was not Lou Gehrig's disease or someother well publicized muscle disease there was no money or interest in tryingto resolve the problem. The testing and medical care would eventually cause mywife and me to file bankruptcy. 

One morning I could barely stand without help it was then that my wifedrove me to the Dr’s. Office then got me in my wheel chair and without any helppushed me through the underground parking lot and up to the fifth floor, whenshe got to the doctor’s office she said “See this is what I am talking about!”The Dr. took one look at me and said it’s your thyroid; (my TSH was the highestever recorded in a living human)

 It took another five yearsbefore another Dr. discovered that I had Hashimoto'sthyroiditis or chronic lymphocytic thyroiditis, it is an autoimmune disease inwhich the thyroid gland is gradually destroyed. In laymen terms my thyroid does whatever it wants whenever it wants.Some days my thyroid works double what it should some days it runs perfect andother days it does nothing at all.

The years that it took to find the cause and a way to stop the damage causedirreparable harm, the best anyone can tell is that my muscles were dissolvingfrom the inside out slowly but surely, the only way to prove the theory is tohave an autopsy; I am not quite ready for that test yet. 

My muscles will not repair them self and today there is no method ofrepairing them with science, but the damage has stopped getting worse and willnot get any worse as long as I control my thyroid.

 The pain is constant and attimes it is unbearable yet I find solace in the fact that it has stoppedgetting worse, that was such a hopeless feeling when the pain just got worseand worse and all the Dr.s could do was give me stronger and stronger painkillers never knowing how to stop the damage that was being done.  

When the pain would not go away I had to agree to start takingpainkillers, as time went by we worked our way through all of your typicalpainkillers, basically we tried every single pain killer available at thetime.  After several years we finallyworked our way up to morphine.

It was during the time I was on morphine that my wife woke me onenight, the house was burning down and that there was fire not 3 feet from meraging out of control, I was sleeping soundly until she started screaming.  After that I refused to take the morphine, Istarted taking OxyContin instead increasing the dose more and more every fewmonths.

Over time it became clear that I was going to have to get off of theOxyContin so I could concentrate on one thing for more than 15 seconds at atime.  It was harder for me to getdoctors to support me, coming off of the OxyContin then it was to get doctorsto give me OxyContin.  It got to thepoint I had to personally check myself into the Seaton drug rehabilitationHospital in Waterville because I thought I was going to kill myself and thedoctors would not help me other than to give me more OxyContin.

  I finally got myself off ofthe OxyContin; I was still in pain though. I went and found another Dr. who specialized in pain management.  I explained my situation to him and after hewent through twenty years of my records. He asked me “From the first time that you had this checked out too thesecond time you had this checked out you waited five years. Were you still inpain during that time?” I told him I was and that it wasn't that bad because Ididn't feel it all that much.  Then heasked me if I was taking anything for pain back then.  I said I wasn't so he asked me if I wassmoking pot back then, I said yes I was, quite a bit in fact

He then asked me if it had ever occurred to me that the reason Ididn't hurt so bad back then was because I was taking painkillers. The fact Iwas smoking marijuana was why it didn't hurt that much.

You see when I grew up I quit smoking marijuana and doing all of the thingsthat I had used unwittingly to take away the pain. I grew up and stopped takingthe very pain killer that was helping me not feel the pain and still allowed meto be a full functioning adult.  My Drand I Then discussed the pros and cons of becoming a medical marijuana patient.

I am medical marijuana patient and my pain is mostly undercontrol.  I still have bad days, andbecause medical marijuana is expensive and hard to obtain legally I don'talways have any.  And when I don't haveany the pain causes me to be mean and hard to deal.

Pain causes me to be someone I don't like to be, the pain causes me totreat my family the way they do not deserve to be treated, marijuana gives merelief from the pain so I can treat people the way they deserve to be treated,pain does strange thing to one's brain, it just makes you mean after a while.

Now I am not some hippie that likes to sit around and smoke pot allday, in fact when I got my medical marijuana card I went down the Winslowpolice station to show them my medical marijuana card and I asked them if theyhad a police officer that can sit down with my child and explain to him howimportant it is that he treats it like any other prescription in our house.

 I wanted to make sure that myson understood that all of his hopes and dreams could be crushed by taking eventhe smallest amount my prescription to school, to destroy his future becausesome cute little girl talked him into it, or some bully bullied him into itwould be a tragedy.

I hope this helps someone understand why anyone would become a medicalmarijuana patient in the first place. 

Matt Pallett
Matt Pallett

When Governments in "democratic" countries declare War on their own citizens as they have done they commit TREASON against the people and should be tried for their atrocities and breaches of human rights. When they seize food and medicines (protected items) from civilians in those "theatres of internal armed conflict" they breach the Geneva Protocols and commit war crimes. Why are we the people not calling for them to be indicted? 

Anyone who thinks it is not a real war has obviously not heard the "formal declaration by the recognised political leaders" or seen the "state militia" raised to fight it on the streets in full modern warfare dress and armed to the teeth.(did someone say SWAT).I am yet to hear Obama or here in OZ Gillard declare a formal end to the hostilities that were declared.I hate living in a war zone. End the WAR, Try the war-mongers for their crimes and get on with living in a far more peaceful society I say.


We all need to ensure that this gets out to the people around the world. Here in Australia we are hearing none of this. At least the fight against this war has begun, now we must take up the banner and add our voices to the fight. Thank you Richard Branson, finally a good man stood up.


Thanks to all those involved. I wish I was there. Eventually, lawmakers will hear the voice of the billions of individuals who choose a less dangerus form of comfort from any other chemicals. My ailment, my choice of treatment. Lawmakers need to be more humain and less conplacent with data that only hold us back from a quality way of life.

Jc Towns
Jc Towns

can he run for president?


         look i tried of hideing because I smoke weed for medical reasons More people need to come to the fourfront and stand up 4 our rights

Doc O'Zee
Doc O'Zee

Once out of power, they reveal the hypocrisy.  While still in power, they're drunk on the payola and pure power the "Drug War" awards them.  Who, still in proper position, will step forth first and shun the money to play "Prohibition Politician"?

Cannabinoid Society
Cannabinoid Society

I'm highly pleased that after so many years, things are getting sorted out. 

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