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Saint Louis Police Department Attempts To Silence Us

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saint louis st police department show me cannabis gary weigertBy John Payne, Show Me Cannabis Regulation

Last week I told you that Show-Me Cannabis Regulation had hired Gary Wiegert, who is also a Saint Louis City police officer, to lobby on our behalf in Jefferson City. When the Saint Louis Metropolitan Police Department saw this editorial on the subject by well-known Post-Dispatch columnist Bill McClellan last Friday, they freaked out.

They called Gary and told him to immediately stop talking to the media and to cease any lobbying activities until his superiors could meet with him. Gary then called me, and I called a number of civil rights lawyers. Those lawyers unanimously agreed that because the department had allowed Gary to speak out on other issues and had already approved his application for secondary employment as a lobbyist, they could not censor him just because they didn’t like what he was saying.

Nevertheless, Gary was under a direct order, and he obeyed it. But the gag order did not work out as the police department intended, as it only attracted more attention. On my way to the Columbia trivia night on Friday, I stopped to give an interview with Charles Jaco for last weekend’s Jaco Report on Fox 2. Then, as I was driving, I spoke with Brittany Noble at KMOV, the CBS affiliate in Saint Louis.

News of the situation was picked up by the Associated Press and appeared in media outlets across Missouri, including those in Kansas CityCape Girardeau, and SpringfieldGary was also defended by Bill Hennessy, his colleague at the Saint Louis Tea Party, who has been publicly advocating cannabis law reforms for some time now.

When Gary met with the bosses, they told him they were rescinding his application for secondary employment because he needs a business license to work as a lobbyist. I am no expert on Missouri regulatory law, but I have never heard of such a thing. However, even if true, it is funny that the department only discovered this problem when they found out what cause Gary was advocating.

Gary’s attorney Al Watkins thought that was strong evidence that the department was attempting to restrict his freedom of speech. Watkins appeared on Mark Reardon’s KMOX radio show to discuss the situation on Monday, and, on Wednesday, he filed a federal lawsuit against the department. If successful, the lawsuit would restore Gary’s ability to lobby for us, and that was also covered by The Riverfront TimesFox 2 and KMOV.

We are receiving more media attention for this story than anything I have ever been involved with, whether at this organization or in any of my previous work. If you are pleased with the work we are doing, please support it by contributing now!

The legislature has recessed until Monday, March 25, and we hope to have Gary back lobbying for us in Jefferson City by then. Nonetheless, we all need to pick up the slack while he is gone. Please email your state legislators and ask them to support reform!

The hemp bill in the state senate and the House expungement bill (H.B. 511) were both assigned to committee within the past week, and Speaker Tim Jones (R- Eureka) indicated that he would assign the decriminalization and medical bills to committee, as well. However, if we do not keep the pressure on legislators, he might let the issue drop. We have also heard from individual legislators who say that they are willing to support reform legislation, but that they are not hearing from constituents who support the idea.

Legislators will not do the right thing if they think it will cost them votes! Show them that, in this case, the right thing is also popular by writing them now.

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  1. PLEASE READ THIS CAREFULLY. If you agree, please print out copies, date and sign them and send them to ALL YOUR elected represenatives AND to the United Nations. If you are REALLY passonate about this please help promote this. Thank-You, Dan Richeson

    Mission Statement:

    To bring an end to cannabis prohibition in 2013 by gathering siginatory members through promotion and declaring our rights through the document, “Declaration of Rights of Cannabis Users”.
    Giving prohibitionists reasonable opportunity to affect appropiate, timely and agreed upon change and, if nessary enforcing our rights in a peaceful way.
    After April 20 2013 adopting a zero tolorance for acts of brutality and injustice by prohibitionists.

    The laws regarding cannabis were born on the wings of lies and pampered by propaganda such that now the tightly held belief systems are going to have to reckon with the desire of all humanity to live with dignity, free from the oppressive tyranny that ignorance and biggotry have spawned!

    – – – – – – – – – –

    DECLARATION OF RIGHTS OF CANNABIS USERS

    Whereas recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world.

    Whereas disregard and contempt for human rights have resulted in barbarous acts which have outraged the conscience of mankind, and the advent of a world in which human beings shall enjoy freedom of speech and belief and freedom from fear and want has been proclaimed as the highest aspiration of the common people.

    Whereas it is essential, if man is not to be compelled to have recourse, as a last resort, to rebellion against tyranny and oppression, that human rights should be protected by the rule of law.

    Whereas for too long now it has been observed that disregard and contempt for human rights has been allowed to exist in the body of politically motivated law that outlaws the possession, cultivation and use of cannabis by adults.

    The signatories of this Declaration wish to live in peace in this society, have been engaged in constant communication with their elected representatives individually or as part of groups.

    The actions of the government in this regards demonstrates continued contempt and disregard that we the undersigned feel that we have NO RECOURSE but to regard our government and some of our fellow citizens as hostile towards our declared rights and indifferent to the tyranny, oppression and terrorism that we have too long had to deal with.

    Whereas by this declaration we provide the opportunity and impudence for representatives to engage in good faith negotiations which will lead to peaceful co-exisistance.

    Whereas we the undersigned do hereby declare that IT IS OUR RIGHT to cultivate, possess and use cannabis AND that any law that says otherwise will be treated by us as the tool of tyranny.

    Whereas we the undersigned in declaring our desire to realize our liberties and our desire to live in peace also recognize that the point is near where our rights and liberties will have to be defended.

    Whereas we the undersigned are willing to do all we can to avoid conflict we hope that this WARNING also provides our fellow citizens and our representatives the impudence to also seek peace and understanding within our society.

    SIGNED:

    TO: ELECTED REPRESENTATIVES

  2. Show them that NOT SUPPORTING the bills will cost them votes and they’ll change their tune