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Marijuana Hero – ‘Radical’ Russ Belville

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russ belville‘Radical’ Russ Belville Is An Outstanding Marijuana Activist

Let me start out by saying that there are no words that can fully express the appreciation I have for marijuana activist ‘Radical’ Russ Belville. He has sacrificed more blood, sweat, and tears for the marijuana movement than most people could ever dream. Through virtually every form of media under the sun, ‘Radical’ Russ Belville has been the most dominant voice for the marijuana movement – print, web, radio, you name it. I don’t think there is anyone else out there in the marijuana movement that has the same dynamic as ‘Radical’ Russ Belville.

‘Radical’ Russ Belville is a prolific writer. All a TWB reader needs to do is Google his name and you will see what I mean. When it comes to original content, opinion, and analysis on marijuana related issues, no one out there measures up to ‘Radical’ Russ Belville. There are people that have written a lot of books about marijuana, but if you were to add up all of those words and compare it to the enormous amount of words that ‘Radical’ Russ Belville has unleashed on the internet, they wouldn’t compare. I remember the article that ‘Radical’ Russ Belville wrote in response to a news reporter named Anna Song in Oregon. She thought she was so slick, trying to play it off a ‘gotcha’ moment to the Oregon Medical Marijuana Program.

Here is my favorite quote from the article I am referring to, “Yes, Anna Song, if you legally qualify for a medical marijuana card, it is easy to get one. You’ve been in three car accidents, have severe chronic pain, and scoliosis — as you point out, you didn’t lie, and since the clinic rightfully followed the law, you qualified. Medical science and Oregon law recognize your right to treat that chronic pain with what a DEA Administrative Law judge called “one of the safest therapeutically active substances known to man.” (NORML v. DEA, 1988)”

For those of you out there that are new to the marijuana movement, or just came back from living on the moon, here is the biography info that the Huffington Post has online for ‘Radical’ Russ Belville, ““Radical” Russ Belville is the Outreach Coordinator for the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws. He is the host of NORML SHOW LIVE, the organization’s daily one-hour talk radio program at http://live.norml.org and blogs at http://stash.norml.org. He was also the winner of The Search for the Next Great Progressive Talk Radio Star, a guest host on The Bill Press Show, and hosted his own political talk radio show, The Russ Belville Show for two years on XM Satellite.”

On ‘Radical’ Russ Belville’s Google+ page, he states, “I am the National Outreach Coordinator for NORML, host of our daily podcast, NORML SHOW LIVE, and host of our daily news and entertainment blog, The NORML Stash Blog.” I’m not sure if the next information was put up by ‘Radical’ Russ Belville on the Oregon Herald webpage, but it states, “”Radical” Russ Belville was born on the first day of the Tet Offensive of the Vietnam War in the town of Nampa in the “red” state of Idaho, where any opinion to the left of Reagan gets you labeled as “radical”. He currently resides in the suburbs of Portland, Oregon (a.k.a. “Little Beirut”) where he works in Information Technology. In his spare time, he enjoys writing about current events, playing the six-string bass guitar, and volunteering for liberal political causes.

This is video footage of ‘Radical’ Russ Belville at the 2011 Seattle Hempfest:

This is video footage of ‘Radical’ Russ Belville talking about his show:

If you happen to run into ‘Radical’ Russ Belville, make sure to give him a high five. If it wasn’t for his efforts, who knows where the marijuana movement would be right now. I tip my hat to you Mr. Belville, you are a true inspiration to me and countless other marijuana activists in the United States and worldwide. Keep up the good work!

 

 

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  • ]I am going to partially disagree with this “puff piece.”

    Russ Belville is national outreach co-ordinator with NORML, a national legalization organization. As such, he has a certain amount of influence. He does write a lot, and you see him on twitter and in various NORML places. He does good sometimes, maybe even a lot of times, for the movement. Not always.

    But my army drill sergeant had a saying: “Opinions are like assholes: everyone’s got one.” Belville has his. I (and we all!) have ours. They are not always the same, and I have had my anti-Russ Belville moments. I will also say that my Russ Belville moments are far from purely negative.

    He states in one article that he has been a cannabis activist since 2005. That makes him a baby in the movement compared to lots of folks who get a lot less credit for what they do and have done. Having a high rank in NORML and a penchant for running endless articles on the Internet does not make anyone a hero automatically. NORML is a political organization, even a political party, even if it does not acknowledge itself to be so. As such, you have to expect the membership thereof to behave like politicians, get treated, both well and badly, like politicians. “Puff pieces” (uncritical articles about people run solely to bolster the images of those people for political or public relations reasons) regularly get run on politicians, and this is what we have, above. I don’t see anything in the above about a single sacrifice that Belville has made for the cannabis movement. While not damning by any means, this also does not show me that Russ Belville deserves endless, uncritical adulation.

    So my comment here is not [u]just[/u] about Russ Belville; it is about the propensity of cannabis activists whose names are seen on the internet too many times to see themselves, or to be seen, as some kind of rock star movement heroes who need to have schools or airports named after them. This is really a dangerous tendency. Sure, folks who support us publicly deserve credit. Most of them however, seldom get any credit, and the ones who get credit are often only people whose names are familiar, rather than people who have actually done some serious work for the cause. It’s national politics all over again, except boiled down to within the limits of a particular political issue. Get a gig with the right organization, get a publicity team, and write a lot of stuff for an internet where anyone can, and does, get “published”, and you get the parade. And maybe a setup for a REAL political run on down the line after legalization has occurred….

    [u]MY heroes[/u]….are the people who lost jobs, families, liberty, reputations, and even their lives by refusing to take the proffered plea bargain so they could REALLY confront the evil. In court pleadings, which never get published here. Or the folks who lose jobs for refusing to take a drug test. Or the dispensary owners, like the guy in Shasta County, California, James Benno, that Russ Belville (in his office as NORML national outreach coordinator) dumped out of being a chapter head of the local NORML chapter BECAUSE Benno had the unmitigated gall to get angry at prohibitionist politicians in a public meeting and cursed them for getting him (Benno) evicted right before Christmas. There ARE people who have been in jail on cannabis charges longer than Russ Belville has been alive. There ARE people who have been murdered and tortured by the cops for sticking up for the rights of cannabis users. Some people don’t have the language skills or even opportunity to write on the net, yet their sacrifices amount to huge and unnoticed gifts to an unknowing movement and world population. Where is THEIR recognition? Where is THEIR parade? Where are THEIR puff pieces?

    Russ Belville is good, the majority of the time. He is a CONSPICUOUS part of our movement. But before I am going to run a puff piece on someone, I’d like to see more than what amounts to a resume. And I’m going to start an awards process on the net for folks who have REALLY pushed our movement. We need to learn to award sacrifice, and not merely conspicuousness. Belville deserves accolades, and a lot of them, but we should always remain critical, even in the face of good deeds.

    • Midnight_Toker

      Benno doesnt own a collective and he was kicked out of his home cause he’s an idiot who got too greedy and decided to grow 36 14ft high plants next to a school bus stop. That guy is his own worst enemy you can ask anyone who has had the unfortunate luck to run into that scumbag. While I do agree with some of what you say I too have my opinions but there are some things that are FACTS and facts are stubborn things are they not? You want to find out about Benno go to Shasta County Court and look up how many times hes had restraining orders filed against him or how many times in been in family court for spouse abuse and domestic violence. People are not half good or half evil. A half rotten apple is a rotten apple isnt it?

  • Oliver-John McMinn

    Well I’ve only just learned of Russ Belville and his efforts toward the cause. And he certianly deserves credit for fighting the good fight and making an effort to end the dominance of right wing nut jobs’ presence in the media on the debate over cannabis decriminalization