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Rachel Morton; Laguna Beach, California

Recent Drug War news items from California

E-mail Rachel

Rallies Against the Drug War, Sep, 2007

Drug War Protest & Rally: October 2005
Drug War Protest & Rally: May 2005 Drug War Protest & Rally: Oct 2004
Special Report: April, 2003 Laguna Beach vigil well attended
TNC thanks Rachel Morton Orange County, CA vigil big success

The Drug War has hit Rachel's family hard. She desperately wrote to her legislators and other drug law reform groups seeking guidance and assistance for her loved ones. No one responded to her pleas for help. She became discouraged and lost hope.

While visiting a family member in federal prison, Rachel heard about The November Coalition. Through TNC, she found the support and hope that she was seeking to help her understand and unite efforts to one day change the drug laws. Through this work, Rachel has a positive outlet for her frustrations and is setting an example for her children to not lie down for injustice but become active and fight for a better and safer future for all of us.

Rachel will be the first to admit that it takes a lot of hard work and dedication to bring about a change in sentencing and drug laws but it helps her feel better to be involved rather than sitting at home waiting for someone else to do something. Rachel hopes that our communities and our country will wake up and realize that the statistics about our prisons are not just numbers but real human beings with families. The non-violent drug law offenders and their families are needlessly suffering due to our unfair laws. She understands that to make a difference, people must take it upon themselves to bring a change. Rachel hopes that more and more people will contact The November Coalition and get involved.


Rallies Against the
Drug War

Septenber 3 & 22, 2007 - Huntington Beach, CA

Presented by Orange County National Organization tor Reform of Marijuana Laws (OCNORML) and November Coalition

Septenber 22, 2007 -- These rallies are invigorating. The message about legalization reaches across to all ages -- teenagers to the 50-70 year old baby boomers. However, the prisoner stories are what grab the attention and shock the passer-bys.

People are still unaware of the non-violent drug war prisoners being held for decades. The protests are held fairly regularly here in Southern California and started with a few of us. Now OC NORML has been gathering support and has been organizing events.

The alliance between November Coalition and other groups, especially OC NORML, has been productive because our messages provide a more complete perspective on the hypocrisy and destruction the war on drugs.

A side note, I have been taking older issues of THE RAZOR WIRE (the ones you sent to me) and I place them on the street outside a federal prison. There are so many families desperate for information. I see passerbys grabbing the issues and reading them. I know that The Razor Wire will provide comfort and ideas on how to bring real change and let our loved ones our of prison. -- Rachel Morton, November Coalition & OC NORML, Laguna Beach, CA


Septenber 3, 2007 (Labor Day)

Orange County Norml held another highly successful curbside rally at the Huntington Beach Pier over Labor Day weekend. Our rough traffic count suggests between 15,000 and 20,000 pedestrians and motorists saw our message. Judging from the honking, "thumbs up" and other supportive hand gestures from motorists and pedestrians, a vote to legalize marijuana would easily pass in Huntingtom Beach, California.

Cell phones and camereas were snapping all day long. Many passersby were excited to stand with a pro pot sign and have their picture taken by a friend. The accompanying photos show just a few examples of a day long (5 hour) event in support of mary jane.

Imagine how many additional cannabis/drug war discussions were sparked by the event and the sharing of photos. Curbsides rallies are a low cost way to generate effective pro cannabis messages. To other chapters, I'll gladly offer "tips & tricks" to organizing your own rallies.

Mark - webmaster, OCNORML.org (More pictures available at http://ocnorml.org/events/labor_day_07/ld_07a.htm)


Rally Against
The Failing War On Drugs

Laguna Beach, CA
October 15, 2005

Sponsored By
&

Orange County Norml
PO Box 11016
Costa Mesa CA 92627
714-210-6446
Web: http://ocnorml.org
E-Mail: kandice@ocnorml.org or mark@ocnorml.org


Rally Against
The Failing War On Drugs
Laguna Beach, CA
May 14, 2005

Sponsored By
&


Read More About Our "Four That Got Away" Display Here

Orange County Norml
PO Box 11016
Costa Mesa CA 92627
714-210-6446
Web: http://ocnorml.org
E-Mail: kandice@ocnorml.org or mark@ocnorml.org


Drug War Protest & Rally
Laguna Beach, CA
October 16, 2004

From Rachel Morton, November Coalition Volunteer (E-mail Rachel)

I gave 2 cable TV interviews and a local newspaper interview because of the prisoner stories that were displayed, and I spoke about Rudy Howell's case to demonstrate the corruption, lunacy and brutal sentencing laws and policies. It was good to have Rudy's poster right there showing a real person with his mother, and emphasizing his humanity and the injustice of the drug laws.


Rachel Morton of the November Coalition
interviews with local media

I handed out a one page with drug war facts and November's website ... LOTS of people showed up for the protest ... OC NORML had contacted a band named 'MARIJUANA' and apparently they ran an ad in a local newspaper or magazine promising free herb at the protest ... so in addition to the 50 - 60 people who showed up, there were 5 police cars with 10 officers surrounding us for the first hour and a police helicopter flew overhead.

We had lots of signs, handouts, a drum circle and great passion and enthusiasm .... there were at least a thousand people walking by during the 3 hours of the protest, many stopped to talk to the medical marijuana advocates and also to talk to me and others about the drug war ... we were on a major street, Pacific Coast Highway, so many cars saw us and waved and responded very favorably to us and the need to end the war on drugs ....

I was told that I'd be notified when the shows with my interviews go on the air ... that's about it .. oh, we have photos .... it was a very good day!

P.S. - I need to add that it was GREAT to have Judge [James] Gray at the protest - he openly opposes the drug war and he is running for US Senate against Barbara Boxer. Judge Gray has a book out: "Why Our Drug Laws Have Failed And What We Can Do About It -- A Judicial Indictment of the War on Drugs", published by Temple University Press.

If you are in California, please consider Judge Gray for US Senate.

From Mark (mark@ocnorml.org):

Greetings OCNORML supporters,

We had a fantastic event in Laguna Beach last Saturday. Day long attendance approached 100 people, while over a thousand pedestrians saw our signs and hundreds intermingled with sign holders (many wanted souvenir pictures). Multiple traffic signals slow vehicles at our Main Beach location (slower/stopped cars have time to read our signs) The traffic count estimates were over 10,000 vehicles during the four-hour event (we ran an hour over schedule). Thousands honked in support/gave "thumbs up" gestures and were very supportive.

Our rallies are joint efforts with The November Coalition. They are working to end drug war injustice and to warn the public about the increase of incarceration rates due to the war on drugs. Their wall of shame presents photos of drug war victims often with their families, their offence, and length of incarceration.

The Press attended. We gave interviews for two cable TV shows and The Daily Pilot Newspaper.

The Police attended. They were very friendly but serious in their warnings to refrain from pot smoking. (Then they left)

Marijuana the Band attended. They arrived with many of their supporters and added to our popularity.

Drum circle people attended. They created a festive atmosphere for the rally and encouraged pedestrians to intermingle.

Judge Jim Gray attended. As Libertarian candidate for US Senate, he supports a staunch anti drug war platform.

The Donation Jar attended. We got a small infusion of much needed $$$

Our photographer attended. Many thanks to her. More photos may be viewed at ocnorml.org/events/oct_rally_pt1.htm & ocnorml.org/events/oct_rally_pt2.htm

For everyone who attended. A heart felt thanks. For those whose schedules conflicted with the event, we thank you for your support.

Orange County Norml
PO Box 11016
Costa Mesa CA 92627
714-210-6446
Web: http://ocnorml.org
E-Mail: kandice@ocnorml.org or mark@ocnorml.org

Click Here for more on Rachel Morton's activism.


The Razor Wire, Winter 03/Spring 04, Vol. 7 No. 2

Special Report: April, 2003

Hi November Coalition!

Thank you for the graphs ... they are superb!! I had them on a table at yesterday's protest with petitions and literature .... the prisoners stories were displayed across from the table with a huge sign saying "Drug Abuse is Bad, the Drug War is Worse"

We had held signs to traffic and there were numerous cars that honked and waved in support ..... we also had a table set and a display set up by a walk way to a Crafts Guild Show ... ..... even though it was a small group of us protesting, there were lots of people walking by the table and display .... at least 2,000 ...... numerous passerbys stopped to read the prisoners stories, some signed the petition, many looked at the graphs you sent, some took literature ...

Most important is that we were there and so many saw the stories of the prisoners that were on display ... it still amazes me that people said they did not know about the mandatory minimum sentencing laws ... we need to be out there!

Thanks for your support and the wonderful displays - Rachel


The Razor Wire, Oct/Nov/Dec 2001, Vol. 5 No. 5

Laguna Beach vigil well attended

Our August 11th Drug War Vigil was great. More people attended, and so we were around 30-40 participants (40 was the peak, about 30 stayed for the entire 2 hours). We had member of the Orange County Hemp Council, medical marijuana groups, Green Party, Unitarian Universalistic
Fellowship, passersbys. Even students from my anatomy class attended! High Times magazine took photos.

We sent a letter notifying the police department, and they sent two cars to park right by us for the entire demonstration. Two young juveniles on bikes were very supportive of the protest and borrowed signs that read "KEEP YOUR LAWS OUT OF MY URINE". They rode around the boardwalk with the signs. When they brought the signs back, they said the police stopped them for bike law violations. The police asked them about the signs, and when the youngsters feigned ignorance, the police let them go.

Since we were on the beach, people requested Razor Wires to take to their towels to read. We left feeling that we had made a positive impact.

 

The Razor Wire, Dec 2000, Vol. 4 No. 6

The November Coalition thanks Rachel Morton

My family, including my extended family, has been hit hard by the drug war. I had been desperately writing legislators and other drug law reform groups asking for guidance and assistance for my family. No one responded to my pleas for help. I was discouraged and without hope. While visiting family in a federal prison, November Coalition was recommended to me. Through November Coalition I have found support and hope for getting drug laws changed and seeing a better future for my family and children. It takes lots of work, but I feel better being involved than sitting at home waiting for someone else to do something. I now know we can make a difference and bring about needed reform. I hope more and more people will contact November Coalition or groups like us and get involved.

I am working with Elenora Howell, POWD Rudy Howell's mother, giving talks at local churches. I am also coordinating protests with other area groups and a musical benefit is still coming together. I have found a club that will sponsor the event, musicians/local groups who will play. All that is left is to select a date, get advertisements sent out, contact local businesses to donate food/goods/services, a lot of activity for a single working mother. I routinely send brief summaries of federal court cases and appeal rulings that may be of interest to prisoners.


The Razor Wire, Sept/Oct/Nov 2000, Vol. 4 No. 5

Orange County, CA vigil big success

I'm very pleased to tell you that the Orange County vigil of September 29th was very successful, especially for a first effort. Its success is due, in great part, to the support received from other reform groups in the Orange County area. We counted more than 40 participants including representatives from the American Medical Marijuana Association, Orange County Hemp Council, 215 Garden Club, Libertarian Party.

Elenora Howell attended with Rudy Howell's two young sons holding signs and chanting slogans with the rest of us. Rudy is Elenora's son, a first time non-violent offender serving an extreme 25-year sentence, another victim of government misuse of paid informants.

The prisoner laminates, including Rudy's, were secured on poster board and displayed by the park's walk way. We hung two banners that were visible to traffic, a "medical marijuana" banner and a TNC there is no justice in the war on drugs banner. Additionally, we had created many signs about the failing drug war and its negative impact on society and families. Elenora Howell and I were interviewed and photographed with the laminates by a reporter for a local newspaper. Overall, the reaction from people was incredibly supportive as they passed by our vigil at the busy Southern California intersection during traffic's rush hour. I mean lots of traffic! There was a cacophony of honking, shouts of 'legalize it", hooting, smiling and waving, thumbs up. One local police cruiser's driver honked and waved in support. There were a few negative responses, too, but very few. To those folks we waved back, shouted, and held our signs with determination. We were very unified in our strong display of vigilant passion.

It seems the sidewalk display of laminates for the pedestrians was the most effective for discussing issues and getting signatures. The banners and signs were very effective in raising awareness that there are people actively opposing the war on drugs. The support demonstrated by the community toward dedicated local groups mentioned above made the vigil a very exciting and rejuvenating experience. I will get you photos ASAP. Everyone took lots of photos!

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