Ex-Marine Takes The Point in Pot Campaign

Ex-Marine Takes The Point in Pot Campaign
Posted by CN Staff on January 15, 2008 at 09:11:02 PT
By Chris Durant, The Times-Standard
Source: Times-Standard
California -- Kenny Engel spent seven months ducking sniper fire and roadside bombs as a Marine in Ramadi, Iraq. His team leader was shot and a friend was blown up within a week of each other, and his unit took fire nearly every day. When he returned home to Kansas in April 2006, on leave after his first tour, he had some troubles. ”I had a hard time adopting back to America,” said Engel, who now lives in Arcata. He had panic attacks and couldn't deal with life back home.
”I smoked marijuana to calm myself down,” Engel said. “I'm not a big fan of Western medicine.” Engel said the smoking worked. And now, kicked out of the Marines for failing a drug test, Engel is leading the Humboldt County charge for a initiative that would decriminalize marijuana and repeal all non-violent marijuana-related convictions. After smoking marijuana, he said, he was better able to deal with going from a war zone to the safe confines of home in a matter of days and when his leave was over he returned to his home base at Twentynine Palms, Calif. That's when the trouble started. Engel said he failed a drug test and was immediately reduced from a lance corporal to a private first class and confined to his room on the base for 45 days. ”Instead of dealing with any of my issues, they punished me,” Engel said. “They put me in a room to think about what I did.” The Marines also cut his pay, but ordered him to get his uniforms altered, which his mother had to help him pay for. He said he knew one Marine who failed a drug test with cocaine but was put back in the field. And he has heard of Marines failing tests for harder drugs, such as methamphetamine, and who returned to duty. As part of his punishment, Engel was also prevented from attending a Marine function where family members of fallen Marines from his unit were in attendance, including the parents of his team leader, Cpl. Jonathan Spears. ”I would have loved to talk to them,” Engel said, “because he was the most outstanding Marine.” And the father of his friend who was killed, Lance Cpl. Sergio Escobar, was asking other Marines where Engel was. His peers did not hold anything against him for the failed drug test, he said, but officers and some superiors would berate him. ”One sergeant told me the reason Marines died in Iraq is because I smoked marijuana,” Engel said. Within weeks of his unit going to Iraq for a second tour, Engel was kicked out of the Marines. ”They came to my room one day and knocked on my door,” Engel said. “They said, 'You need to check in with the first sergeant. Your discharge papers are here.' I said 'What?'” Engel made it clear that he had not been looking for a ticket out of the Marines. The camaraderie and experience with his colleagues was strong, and he felt an obligation to be with them in Ramadi for the second tour, although he was vocal about what he described as insufficient equipment and weapons. Within three days, he was off the base and couch-surfing from San Jose to Lake Tahoe. In September he made his way to Arcata and “fell in love with it.” ”Arcata has a very strong sense of community,” Engel said, and that's the catalyst he has using to propel himself into getting enough signatures to qualify the California Cannabis Hemp and Health Initiative 2008 for the ballot. The initiative “decriminalizes possession, cultivation, transportation, distribution and use of marijuana or hemp,” the petition summary states. “Provides persons convicted or serving time for non-violent offenses involving marijuana be immediately released from prison, jail, parole or probation and be eligible to have their convictions erased.” The initiative covers every aspect of marijuana, from hemp used as fuel to medicinal uses, and Engel is passionate about every aspect. ”It's the most beneficial natural resource in the world, and we're not allowed to use it,” Engel said. “Instead of it being the problem, let it be the solution.” More information on the initiative can be found by logging on to and clicking “initiative.” Newshawk: Fight_4_freedom Source: Times-Standard (Eureka, CA)Author: Chris Durant, The Times-StandardPublished: January 15, 2008Copyright: 2008 MediaNews Group, Inc. Contact: editor times-standard.comWebsite: Article:Activists Think Time is Right To Legalize Pot -- Cannabis Archives 
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Comment #31 posted by Toker00 on January 19, 2008 at 11:43:36 PT
A discredited story. Oh well. It worked for a lot of us to explain the explosion in Truthing and Cannabis Liberation movements and other sudden mass acceptance of Truth and Change. It is a good Theory, though, Fact or Myth. Thanks for the link. Toke.
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Comment #30 posted by museman on January 19, 2008 at 09:51:45 PT
I watched all three of the Mayan Calendar videos, about 4 1/2 hours, I really liked that guy, he came across as real, and I couldn't detect a single tell to make me think otherwise. I then looked him up and was immediately saddened to find that he passed in 2005. He was definitely a 'lightworker.'As far as the 'Hundredth monkey' goes, I've seen it in action. Believe it or not, once upon a time in my exhuberant youth, I was on the front lines of consciousness change. Even back then it was moving so fast we had to use some tools and levers to keep up. I prayed fervently to 'have the cup taken away' -if you know my meaning- because I had a large and growing family to care for. The Great Spirit honored my request, and I was granted a reprieve of more than 20 years.As I have been recieving the 'broadcasts' of the New Paradigm since about 2006 (a lot of people may have had some mind and spirit changing experiences that year) I have happily realized that the 'front lines of consciousnes change' are populated with many, and there is no longer any distinction between 'who' is first and foremost. (see the 'Parable of the laborers of the field,' for an ancient correlation)Several times over the years I have had folks come up to me and start discussing my own revelations -that few would listen to 20 years ago- like they had had the epiphanies on their own, and in a way they did, but I could see that it was directly related to the hundredth monkey theory. We have crossed some incredible thresholds of consciousness in the past few years, and the shared levels are gathering members at an exponential rate.Lately I find myself having to learn how to let go of the decades of disappointment and frustration at the well ordered and maintained ignorance prevalent in the world, and I think I'm making headway. Though I'll always be considered as 'fanatical' and disregarded by the status quo as a 'crazy' (at least until they have been changed or removed) I can see that the camp of lightworkers is getting larger and larger, and the raging, dying beast is shrinking day by day.There will come a point where the momentum of 'New Ethics' (as described by Ian Lungold, and Calleman) meets the Juggernaught of Power, and the ethical will continnue on down the track, but the power will crumble into dust. We are actually witnessing some of that now.Cannabis plays an important role in all this. It has been subtly preparing our consciousness for centuries. When the infrastructures fail, as they seem destined to do, cannabis will be there to help us through the night, and to help build a new day. And as the modern prophet John said;"Whatever gets you through the night, it's alright."
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Comment #29 posted by Hope on January 19, 2008 at 09:10:33 PT
Very interesting...
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Comment #28 posted by Hope on January 19, 2008 at 09:07:52 PT
 The Hundredth Monkey 
Hey, Toker00. I've been thinking about that hundredth monkey every once in a while the last few days. That is quite a phenomenon. 
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Comment #27 posted by Toker00 on January 19, 2008 at 05:59:39 PT
That was my take as well. The wife shared those links out of our mutual curiosity of Life and there are other things she seeks to understand that I have no grasp of much, like paranormal stuff. The Lightworkers are just another expression of what we do here for free and freely. We try not to paint a picture here, though, or establish any belief in stone, so that our own thoughts and ideas are valid and not tied down to a specific sect or "religion". I don't know if our group falls into ANY established belief system or ideology. We're just c-newsers, the Cannabis Light Workers. We try to make people see the Light emitting from Cannabis, and the Darkness of Prohibition that is selfishly sucking that light into itself. I'm just waiting for the Big Bang that is coming when the Light of Cannabis finally bursts out of the thinning Darkness that contains it now. A CannaBurst, if you will.You might have thought that the Hundredth Monkey would have gotten it by now...Toke.
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Comment #26 posted by FoM on January 18, 2008 at 15:10:18 PT
This Song Is So Nice
"Be The Change"from James' latest CD,Peacemakers VOL 1.God Has No Religion
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Comment #25 posted by museman on January 18, 2008 at 14:28:43 PT
toke -links
Thanks. I perused the links -two aren't working- and I have to say that from what I can see, it looks a lot like the old "New Age" stuff. I have a hardtime giving credibility to such obvious establishment -if a little fringe- values, but I guess if you really want progress you got to start at the bottom, with the weakest link in the chain. Status quo appearances aside, I was impressed that the information was available on at least one site where they didn't ask for a prerequiaite "suggested donation."The Mayan calendar info was very interesting, and I learned something. Still trying to grab parts 2 and 3.Thanks toke.
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Comment #24 posted by ripit on January 17, 2008 at 07:13:46 PT:
O.T.  hailey cops out
 how do they get away with this crap?
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Comment #23 posted by Toker00 on January 17, 2008 at 03:32:20 PT
Lightworker links.
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Comment #22 posted by The GCW on January 16, 2008 at 20:59:52 PT
Should recreational drugs be legalized?Yes. My body, my choice.Maybe some drugs, like marijuana, but not harder stuff like heroin.No. Legalization would lead to more use, and more problems.
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Comment #21 posted by Hope on January 16, 2008 at 20:28:28 PT
Comment 19 Letter in Montana
Yep. I see it posted. Read it. Looked different over at MAP.Sorry.
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Comment #20 posted by Hope on January 16, 2008 at 19:35:20 PT
From article FoM just posted to this thread.
" matter how large the amount..."?Does that sound better than, "No matter how small the amount"?"If an adult gets caught giving marijuana to a minor they could go to prison for up to ten years, no matter how large the amount, but a new bill before the legislature may increase the penalty.""Adult" as opposed to "Minor". Over 18... Adult? Under 18, a Minor? I can see a whole 'nuther writhing, rotten can of worms in that. Ah. They think themselves so wise. They are just looking for more ways to punish the heinously despicable and dangerous, disobeying the man's bad law, user of herb. Prohibitionists, of every feather, have destroyed so many, and so much, in their zealous insanity.
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Comment #19 posted by Hope on January 16, 2008 at 19:22:16 PT
Letter in Montana
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Comment #18 posted by FoM on January 16, 2008 at 19:18:41 PT
South Dakota: Marijuana Measure Advances
 Lawmakers are considering a bill that would increase the penalty for adults caught giving marijuana to minors.By Dawn CrawleyJanuary 16, 2008South Dakota -- If an adult gets caught giving marijuana to a minor they could go to prison for up to ten years, no matter how large the amount, but a new bill before the legislature may increase the penalty.The Attorney General says that a South Dakota judge brought it to his attention that the penalty for an adult giving marijuana to another adult is stiffer than if an adult is distributing to a minor and he says that needs to change."It wouldn't be hard at all. It's kind of everywhere at school.""I don't think it would be too hard. A lot of people around the school know how to get drugs or they could give them to you if you wanted them."Keeping drugs out of the hands of minors is top priority for the Attorney General, so he introduced a bill that says if an adult is caught distributing marijuana to a minor they can go to jail for up to fifteen years. Right now the maximum term is ten years.Students say that finding drugs both in and out of school wouldn't be hard and that marijuana is the easiest drug to find."Really a lot of people have it. I mean the majority probably carry it around it seems like. I don't know if it's really the majority but like you could pretty much ask anyone and someone could find some for you if you wanted it."Law enforcement officials in the area say marijuana is the most common drug they see and they would like to put a stop to that.Powered by Broadcast Interactive Media
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Comment #17 posted by The GCW on January 16, 2008 at 18:25:28 PT
Government wants no paradise.
US PA: DA Reacts To Plan To Make County A Pot Paradise
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Comment #16 posted by Hope on January 16, 2008 at 18:22:47 PT
Charmed Quark comment 6
Very intriguing bit of news. Thank you.
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Comment #15 posted by OverwhelmSam on January 16, 2008 at 14:12:31 PT
Direct Link
Here is the direct link to the Cannabis College video:*&sort=date%3AD%3AS%3Ad1&output=xml_no_dtd&ie=UTF-8&client=my_frontend&filter=0&site=video&proxystylesheet=my_frontend&q=Cannabis College#Dang, they've got text books and everything. I'd like to see that degree on my wall. LOL
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Comment #14 posted by OverwhelmSam on January 16, 2008 at 14:08:42 PT
Cannabis College Moved
The Cannabis College video is no longer available on the link I posted. However, all you have to do is go to fox news dot com, search for "Cannabis College" and click on videos. We're mass educating now.
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Comment #13 posted by E_Johnson on January 16, 2008 at 13:03:06 PT
charmed, that's very interesting
I've been wondering what kind of change was going to be ushered in after the ascent of Mukasey and the quick exit of Karen Tandy.Mukasey is very conservative but he also seems to be a no BS kind of guy.Maybe he's ordered the DEA to stop the BS?
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Comment #12 posted by ekim on January 16, 2008 at 11:45:44 PT
talk of the nation npr 
est 3:00 show on how the war on drugs is goingNational Public Radio
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Comment #11 posted by fight_4_freedom on January 16, 2008 at 09:55:19 PT:
They could put up a million dollars and still 
would get no response.Giuliani, McCain, Romney Offered $20,000 to Prove Their Statements on Medical Marijuana
MPP Doubles Offer as Campaign Reaches First Medical Marijuana State -- Nevada
LAS VEGAS - January 16 - Days before the first presidential caucuses in a medical marijuana state, the Marijuana Policy Project today doubled its offer to presidential candidates Rudy Giuliani, John McCain and Mitt Romney to back up their statements opposing medical marijuana with scientific evidence. If any of the candidates can prove his statements are true, MPP will donate the legal maximum of $10,000 to his campaign ($5,000 for the primaries, $5,000 for the general election), plus an additional $10,000 donation to the candidate's favorite charity.MPP's original offer of $10,000 for the campaigns was made Dec. 6 in Manchester, New Hampshire."In responding to questions from patients who have benefited from medical marijuana, Giuliani, McCain and Romney have all made claims that are patently false," said Rob Kampia, executive director of the Marijuana Policy Project in Washington, D.C. "When appeals to science, compassion and common sense didn't work, we offered $10,000 to the campaign that could back up the claim that medical marijuana isn't needed or is too dangerous. The fact that not one of these candidates has yet to offer any proof indicates they know they're lying. Patients in Nevada and the 11 other medical marijuana states deserve a real 'straight talk express,' not political flimflam.""I'm living proof that marijuana works when conventional medicines fail," said David McDonough of Henderson, a registered medical marijuana patient who suffers from chronic pain that limits his ability to walk. "Any candidate who's willing to use the guns and power of the federal government to raid and arrest me for using marijuana legally under state law and with my doctor's approval had better be able to explain why."Any responses from the campaigns will be evaluated by an independent panel of medical experts. Full details of the challenge and relevant scientific data are posted at www.MedicalMarijuanaWorks.orgIn response to voters' questions at campaign events in New Hampshire and elsewhere, Giuliani, McCain and Romney have claimed that marijuana is either too dangerous for medical use or not needed because adequate substitutes exist -- claims that are contradicted by published scientific data. In letters sent this week to each of the three candidates, Kampia cited their specific statements and challenged them to supply proof. In his letter to McCain, Kampia wrote:"We are struck by the fact that you consider marijuana to be too 'damaging to one's health' for use even under medical supervision, considering that the Arizona Republic has reported that at least half of your family's wealth comes from an Anheuser-Busch beer distributorship. The CDC reports that excessive drinking was responsible for 75,000 U.S. deaths in 2001. Marijuana has never been proven to increase death rates or to have caused even one fatal overdose."Medical marijuana states loom large in upcoming presidential primaries and caucuses. Maine holds Republican caucuses on Feb. 1 and 2, and four more medical marijuana states hold primaries or caucuses on "Tsunami Tuesday," Feb. 5 -- Alaska, California, Colorado and Montana.Copies of the letters to the three Republican candidates are available from MPP director of communications Bruce Mirken at 415-668-6403 or 202-215-4205.
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Comment #10 posted by fight_4_freedom on January 16, 2008 at 09:22:23 PT:
Very Interesting
I know I've heard of it before but I never looked into it. Unfortunately, now that it's getting all this attention, I'm sure the DEA will try it's hardest to get it shut down.But surely this is definitely progress.Where do I enroll :)
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Comment #9 posted by potpal on January 16, 2008 at 08:45:07 PT
I'd like to see a college course designed to tell the truth about cannabis, cannabis 101 - the plant not the propaganda. We need help to erase the 70 years of reefer madness that our government thrives on. LEOs ought to be required to attend it.Direct link to the cannabis college piece...
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Comment #8 posted by FoM on January 16, 2008 at 06:32:58 PT
Thank you. The video was good.
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Comment #7 posted by OverwhelmSam on January 16, 2008 at 06:22:55 PT
Building An Army
In case you missed it, follow this link, click on top videos half way down the page, and then click on Cannabis College.,2933,47667,00.htmlTop VideosCannabis College
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Comment #6 posted by charmed quark on January 15, 2008 at 20:55:38 PT
OT - generic Marinol
Something interesting I just ran across: you know, the only legal form of THC in the US is synthetic THC mixed into sesame oil (Marinol). Something magical about sesame oil, I guess, transforms THC from a schedule 1 to a schedule 3. It's the only drug, AFAIK, that is legal in one form and totally outlawed in all others, even if the other forms are bioequivalent.But according to this link, recently the DEA proposed to let manufacturers make generic Marinol. And it only has to be bioequivalent - it doesn't have to be in an oil and it can be made synthetically or extracted from cannabis.I'm wondering if this is actually a move to reschedule cannabis.
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Comment #5 posted by John Tyler on January 15, 2008 at 17:16:49 PT
Sounds like he has seen the light and is a believer now. 
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Comment #4 posted by OverwhelmSam on January 15, 2008 at 14:30:53 PT
Not quite. I was in the Army for a while. And though I indulged on the weekends, I would have no problem achieving military objectives when the mission required it. The US military is very well trained, but I am so glad that I don't have to do that anymore. LOL
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Comment #3 posted by The GCW on January 15, 2008 at 13:25:28 PT
Let them drink whiskey
Military can drink booze but can not use cannabis.Marines may get by with coke and meth, but cannabis is different. There is the risk that cannabis can make a person peaceful and not want to go kill and burn innocent men, women and children.Cannabis can make a man think about what He's doing. It can make a man question what is going on and the military can not deal with that.Cannabis could take the robot out of the soldier.Let them drink whiskey.-0-The military just made a strong cannabis activist. Thank You.And good luck to Kenny Engel 
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Comment #2 posted by masterkush12 on January 15, 2008 at 13:24:16 PT:
an absolute true patriot and a truth talker!!
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Comment #1 posted by Truth on January 15, 2008 at 09:52:40 PT
A true patriot.
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