Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Boycott Kelloggs...

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"Hemp is one of the oldest fiber–producing crops and was formerly the most important. Hemp was cultivated for fiber in very early times in China. The history of the distribution of hemp from Asia to other continents indicates its relationships and the development of the best fiber –producing types. Hempseed oil is used to a considerable extent in the preparation of paints and varnishes. In the Old World it enters largely in the composition of soaps, an illuminate and food.
There is a reasonable prospect of establishing an extensive hemp industry in the United States on new lines. Hemp improves the physical condition of the soil, destroys weeds, and when retted on the ground, as is the common practice, does not exhaust fertility. Fertilizers are not generally used in growing hemp, but barnyard manure applied to previous crops is recommended. Insects or fungous diseases rarely injure hemp. The price of hemp has been generally increasing over the last 30 years. The market would expand if manufacturers could be assured of larger supplies. The value of hemp for fiber, birdseed and oil would seem to make its cultivation a very profitable one."


- from The 1900 Report of the Secretary of the Department of Agriculture and the USDA Yearbooks 1896-1914
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You know... some people are just never satisfied. Michael Phelps I'm sure is very satisfied. After all winning a record 8 Olympic Gold Medals is not the accomplishment of a slacker and Phelps was justifiably rewarded with lucrative endorsement contracts. But when Michael was shown smoking a bong, oh-my-god... some folks reacted in shock. Most folks just said "so?" Others however reacted in strange yet predictable ways: "just think how many medals he could have won if he weren't a pot head." Say what? Suddenly the greatest swimmer ever isn't good enough? Hellooo... anybody home?

And Phelps isn't in the company of just couch-sitting-stoners. The myth of the stoner slacker has been basically blown away. I mean when the President of the United States is an unapologetic former toker... the slacker portrayal just doesn't work anymore. It matters as much as whether it matters that President Obama is black.

Phelps has endorsement contracts with Speedo swimsuits, Omega watches, Subway and Kelloggs (and more). The kid is a millionaire. But Kelloggs' dropped Phelps after the bonghit heard round the world. Oops...

Pat Rogers (aahpat) offered up this observation:

"At the beginning of the month Kellogg was recalling peanut butter products and announcing significantly higher earnings. Their stock price went from $44.15 close on Feb.4 to 44.93 on Feb. 5. Then it announced that it was dropping Michael Phelps. Since then its price has dropped to a Feb 12 close of $41.31. An 8% decline. And this is on heavy stock volume implying that institutional investors disapprove of Kellogg's dropping Phelps.

"Investors seem able to accept a contaminated food recall but don't seem to like antagonizing consumers. Especially tens of millions of consumers in the U.S., Central and South America and Europe who enjoy smoking a substance that significantly increases their appetite for convenience and snack foods. The kinds of foods that Kellogg makes. Consumers who have since taken the stupid action of Kellogg and turned it into a boycott of the Kellogg company.

"Today Kellogg is trading at $39.52. Down 12% since dropping Michael Phelps."


Well, I'm encouraging you all to stick with your occasional Morning Donut but drop the Rice Krispies. No more PopTarts... I ask you to join the wave of folks telling Kelloggs that we support Michael and for now will find our munchies elsewhere.

Contact Kellogg's and tell them you support Michael Phelps!

Kellogg’s main telephone number: 1-800-962-1413 or (269) 961-2000.

Kellogg's contact page: http://www2.kelloggs.com/ContactUs.aspx

Kellogg's Consumer Affairs: kellogg@casupport.com

Kellogg’s corporate responsibility department: corporateresponsibility@kellogg.com

Kellogg’s investor relations department: investor.relations@kellogg.com

Kellogg’s media relation department: (269) 961-3799 or media.hotline@kellogg.com

Or write to Kellogg Company at:

One Kellogg Square
P.O. Box 3599
Battle Creek, MI 49016-3599


If the subject of Phelps, Kelloggs, boycotts, cannabis/pot/hemp/ganja interests you, there is plenty offered up on a google search of kelloggs boycott Phelps



OK... what about sports professionals (and major amateurs) and pot? Years back allegations flew and were flung far and wide about National Basketball Association players smoking pot. There is an excellent piece from 2001 at Common Dreams by Dennis Hans, Reefer Madness strikes NBA:

The latest round of NBA Reefer Madness was sparked when Oakley told the New York Post (February 22), "You got guys out there playing high every night.... You got 60 percent of your league on marijuana. What can you do?"

NBA commissioner David Stern responded, "If Charles has any facts to back up these very serious allegations, he should turn them over to the league as well as to Billy Hunter and the executive council of the union."

-snip-

[...] Clinton's drug czar, Barry McCaffrey, used the Times report as the basis for a Washington Post column. In an essay ironically titled "A Clean and Sober NBA" (Sept. 30, 1998), McCaffrey never once allows the word "alcohol" to parse his lips. He ignored the Times' allegations of rampant abuse of the drug alcohol and chose instead to focus on allegations of widespread use of the drug marijuana -- allegations which he then exaggerated and distorted to reach this baseless conclusion: It is "routine for players to build an addiction [to marijuana] bad enough to run afoul of the law before their problem receives attention."

In fact, none of the players in question had ever acknowledged a problem with pot, let alone an "addiction." McCaffrey knew he could smear black professional athletes as drug addicts -- based on no evidence whatsoever -- and not be challenged by any Post editor. Now that's power.


And therein lies the rub. While our nation's top anti-drug bureaucrats have carte blanche with avoiding the truth and manipulating facts, the simple truth is that cannabis is far, far safer than alcohol. A couple of examples:

- the latest report from the Oregon Occupational Injury and Illness Survey states:

"Oregon workers employed in the private sector during calendar year 2007 suffered work-related injuries and illnesses at a rate of 5.1 for every 100 full-time employees, the lowest ever recorded."

(ten years ago Oregon passed our landmark Oregon Medical Marijuana Act. There are now almost 25,000 patients enrolled in the Oregon Medical Marijuana Program, with about 3,000 doctors signing recommendations for patients' use of cannabis. Therefore there is at minimum a statistical connection between increasing enrolle numbers and workplace safety)

- Study: Marijuana Users Less Likely to Get Injured Than Non-Users (follow thru to the BioMed Central link for the actual report)

Conversely, cannabis use was associated with significantly lowered risk of injury. Whereas the risk for injuries associated with the use of less than a pipe or joint’s worth were not significantly different from the on associated with no use, relative risks decreased with increasing levels of use [...]


OK, that returns me to the question I asked above - "what about sports professionals (and major amateurs) and pot?"

Here is an exceptionally well done piece from Rob Van Dam. Van Dam "has fought in over 1,000 events at Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW) and World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), earning 19 championship belts and an array of accolades from 1997 to 2007." My grandfather Anderson was a wrestling fan but I never caught the bug. This article is informative and Van Dam knows his stuff.





Weed, Wrestling, and Athletic Enhancement


I believe cannabis improves performance in athletic and contact sports (such as wrestling, power-lifting, football), co-ordination sports (snowboarding, surfing, basketball), and finesse sports (golf, bowling) by providing a relaxed state of mind and agile body. I’ve wrestled professionally for about 18 years, won more championships than any WWE wrestler in history, traveled the world more times than I can recall – and cannabis has been a big part of it all.

-snip-

To be at its best, the body needs to be as stress free as possible. Pain from old injuries, swollen joints, and tired muscles are anchors that weigh down athletes. I’ve had my share of prescription painkillers, such as the common Vicodin, and it is helpful in dealing with pain. Many people have a hard time swallowing pills, get upset stomachs or feel woozy, and fear addiction. Vicodin is one of many painkillers such as Percocet and Oxycodone that are popular in and outside of sports, and is often abused. I personally know some wrestlers who take over fifty 10-milligram Vicodin pills a day. To put that in perspective, doctors often recommend two a day – so the ridiculously abusive daily amount of 500mg equals a month’s supply. No doubt, those wrestlers face serious liver damage as well as physical dependency. I’ve lost many friends and associates to fatal drug abuse over the years, and have even been an abuser myself. I’m thankful I survived that destructive part of my life when many others did not. You don’t have to be a disciplined athlete to understand the importance and validity of marijuana as medicine – science has shown that marijuana can replace or drastically decrease the required amount of prescription drugs and still deliver almost the same effect or better. The fact that it is impossible to overdose on cannabis is enough reason for many athletes to give it a try, and when they realize how safe it is compared to pills and chemicals, they can feel good about what they’re putting into their bodies.


There is a lot of quality information in Rob's article. And getting back to Michael Phelps, here are a couple of top quality posts on Phelps' predicament. The first from Reason Magazine's Jacob Sullum: A Letter I’d Like To See (But Won’t)

Dear America,

I take it back. I don’t apologize.

Because you know what? It’s none of your goddamned business. I work my ass off 10 months per year. It’s that hard work that gave you all those gooey feelings of patriotism last summer. If during my brief window of down time I want to relax, enjoy myself, and partake of a substance that’s a hell of a lot less bad for me than alcohol, tobacco, or, frankly, most of the prescription drugs most of you are taking, well, you can spare me the lecture.

I put myself through hell. I make my body do things nature never really intended us to endure. All world-class athletes do. We do it because you love to watch us push ourselves as far as we can possibly go. Some of us get hurt. Sometimes permanently. You’re watching the Super Bowl tonight. You’re watching 300 pound men smash each while running at full speed, in full pads. You know what the average life expectancy of an NFL player is? Fifty-five. That’s about 20 years shorter than your average non-NFL player. Yet you watch. And cheer. And you jump up spill your beer when a linebacker lays out a wide receiver on a crossing route across the middle. The harder he gets hit, the louder and more enthusiastically you scream.

Yet you all get bent out of shape when Ricky Williams, or I, or Josh Howard smoke a little dope to relax. Why? Because the idiots you’ve elected to make your laws have have without a shred of evidence beat it into your head that smoking marijuana is something akin to drinking antifreeze, and done only by dirty hippies and sex offenders.

You’ll have to pardon my cynicism. But I call bullshit. [...]


And I have to tell ya, hands down this next post from Joe Rogan is my favorite on the Phelps/Kelloggs tussle. You may know Joe from his hosting of "Fear Factor" or as an announcer on UFC fighting matches.



An open letter to Kellogg’s re: Michael Phelps

I have to say, this whole thing saddens me, because I personally would like to think that as Americans we’re better than this. These television news anchors will shake their heads at the thoughtless mistake Mr. Phelps had made by “smoking dope,” and then without even the tiniest sense of irony they will cut to a beer commercial.

This is supposed to be the land of the free and the home of the brave, right? We’re not supposed to be a nation of little bitches giving in to the whims of corrupt politicians and the pharmaceutical companies whose interests they’re representing.
It’s 2009, and in this day and age with the incredible access to information that we have available there’s no fucking way that we should be allowing human beings to tell other human beings that they can’t do something that they enjoy that hurts no one including themselves.

THAT is madness. THAT is ignorant, and THAT is completely fucking un-American.

I don’t want to hear any of that, “he’s setting a bad example with the children” nonsense either, because we all know if he had a gin and tonic in his hand instead of a bong this would never have been an issue, even though every single study ever done has shown that marijuana is FAR less dangerous than alcohol.
Marijuana laws are a horrible waste of resources and law enforcement, and especially in this day and age with our economy in such horrible shape I believe the last thing we need to be doing is wasting tax payers’ money on any of this victimless bullshit.

I find your reactions to Mr. Phelps situation both ignorant and short sighted.
I think what would have been a far better response from Kellogg’s would be to support Mr. Phelps, and perhaps point out that maybe we as a society should take a closer look at the evidence and possibly reconsider our position on this misunderstood plant that so many of our productive citizens find useful.

Now, I’m sure if you really were running Kellogg’s and you were still reading my bullshit all the way down to this, you must be thinking, “Why the hell would we stick our necks out like that for pot smokers?”

And of course the answer to that question would be, because we buy your shit [...]


Give 'em hell, Joe...

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“Even if one takes every reefer madness allegation of the prohibitionists at face value, marijuana prohibition has done far more harm to far more people than marijuana ever could.”

~ William F. Buckley

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