Woman's Christian Temperance Union Targeting Pot
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Woman's Christian Temperance Union Targeting Pot
Posted by CN Staff on December 08, 2013 at 08:35:03 PT
By David Sharp, Associated Press
Source: Associated Press
Portland -- The mansion that serves as Maine headquarters of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union lay largely fallow until recently, with drug needles, liquor bottles and pornographic magazines littering the grounds. Now, in the state where Prohibition had its roots and in a city that just legalized recreational marijuana, the WCTU is overhauling the building and looking to reinvent itself.Leaders of the organization, which is committed to abstinence, plan to take a lower-key approach, compared with the old days when crusading women terrorized saloon owners.
"We just want to bring a new passion here. It's not that we want to be self-righteous and condemn you because you're drinking or drugging or you're smoking pot," said the Rev. David Perkins, who is working with his wife to restore the WCTU's Portland chapter. "It's not that. We want to love you but tell you that there are ill effects."Last week marked both the 80th anniversary of the end of Prohibition and the legalization of marijuana in Portland, Maine's largest city.Neal Dow, a Union general, entrepreneur and teetotaling crusader, led the push for Maine to ban alcohol in 1851 — years before national Prohibition was enacted in 1918.Back then, it wasn't uncommon to see tubs of rum on Portland sidewalks, where anyone could use a dipper to indulge. Church bells tolled at 10 a.m., 2 p.m. and 4 p.m., signaling rum breaks for workers, said Herb Adams, a former state lawmaker and the city's unofficial historian.In Portland, members of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union, weary of alcohol's harmful effects on families, harassed saloon operators by showing up with Bibles and singing hymns. They refused to leave until they extracted a promise to stop selling alcohol — and they weren't above smashing bottles if the proprietor reneged, Adams said."They were formidable. They were remarkable. They were the glass-smashers and boundary-breakers of their day," he said. "In their moment, they were the cutting edge of American womanhood, and they changed a nation."The WCTU, which went on to become a major voice in the suffrage movement, began using Dow's mansion as its statewide headquarters in 1960s. But over time, the WCTU's numbers have dwindled.Across the nation, the Illinois-based organization's ranks in the U.S. have dropped from a peak of 500,000 in the 1940s to today's level of between 4,000 and 5,000, said national president Rita Wert.The dwindling numbers coincided with a shift in public sentiment. After the end of Prohibition on Dec. 5, 1933, members watched as the number of "dry" towns declined, wine sales were extended to supermarkets, the state got into the liquor business and brew pubs and breweries popped up all over Portland.Last month, 67 percent of voters favored legalizing marijuana in a referendum. It's a largely symbolic victory, since local police will continue to enforce state drug laws.State Rep. Diane Russell, who supports legalizing marijuana, said city voters approved the ordinance for the same reason Prohibition was ultimately overturned. Outlawing alcohol and marijuana didn't stop consumption or substance abuse, she said; instead, it led to a black market with criminals profiting while small-time users were punished.In Maine, the WCTU's Portland chapter temporarily closed two years ago, and the Dow house fell into disrepair. Bottles, needles and pornography were strewn about the yard.Last year, Perkins and his wife, Janet Perkins, the Portland chapter president, began the process of rebuilding the WCTU's local presence. Part of that process included overhauling the Dow mansion by replacing the roof, applying new paint, installing new windows and overhauling the heating system.Substance abuse is an issue near and dear to them. Both have dealt with it in their families. And David Perkins knows firsthand as a former drug abuser and dealer."We find that a lot of people who are on hard drugs had started with marijuana," said Janet Perkins. "That's one of the reasons we don't agree with the new law."At 55, Perkins presents a younger face for the group.The group will continue to meet at the Dow house, but there will be more to it than bringing out Dow's silver tea set. The group is recruiting new members and looking into social justice issues, including human trafficking.Mae Billingslea, the oldest member of the Portland chapter, said the group needs to get noticed and to get its message out. She agrees with the change in tactics."In this day and age, I doubt very much that women praying in the saloons would accomplish much," the 82-year-old said. "I guess my faith is too small."Source: Associated Press (Wire) Author: David Sharp, Associated PressPublished:  December 8, 2013Copyright: 2013 The Associated PressCannabisNews  -- Cannabis Archives 
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Comment #12 posted by schmeff on December 10, 2013 at 09:21:49 PT
4-5 Thousand National Members!
Wow! That's huge! Why, Temperance is poised to become a national trend!Seriously, this press coverage has nothing to do with the newsworthiness of this fringe group. It is more a comical look at the general dorkiness of these 18th century throwbacks.Undoubtedly, more people in this country believe the world is flat than believe in Woman's Temperance, but one rarely sees news stories about the poor fools who sail off the edge of the earth. 
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Comment #11 posted by Hope on December 10, 2013 at 08:52:41 PT
Comment 8
Those fruits. The horror. We have to do what we can to stop the murderers.
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Comment #10 posted by The GCW on December 09, 2013 at 18:03:59 PT
Proud prohibitionists
This link: a photo of Mr. Perkins in the "Neil Dow House, which is used by the WCTU." The article explains it was the house of one of the original Portland Maine prohibitionists. I think they are proud of that.
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Comment #9 posted by observer on December 09, 2013 at 13:39:53 PT
Woman's ?
re: ""We just want to bring a new passion here. It's not that we want to be self-righteous and condemn you because you're drinking or drugging or you're smoking pot," said the Rev. David Perkins..."Am I missing something there? Mr David Perkins -- a man, presumably, -- is speaking for the "Woman's" "Christian" "Temperance" Union?Lordy, how backwards and contradictory can they get? It isn't run by "Women", it is as "Christian" as Hitler and/or Vlad the Impaler, they are promoting government guns to force you to stop, they aren't promoting "Temperance", and it doesn't seem to be much of a "Union", either. The WCTU - all the virtue and Christianity of lynch mob. 
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Comment #8 posted by observer on December 09, 2013 at 12:49:54 PT
by their fruits ye shall know them
The fruit of that law enforcement tree: see the fruit of that tree? (Scroll down the page.) That's the flag of prohibition floating in the sky.You see, most prohibitionists - once you disagree with them, resist them, or even attempt get away from them, would sooner shoot you in the back than let you go. 
 D.A.R.E. founder Daryl Gates once advised the U.S. Senate about the 'casual user' and what you do with the whole group. "The
casual user ought to be taken out and shot, because he or she
has no reason for using drugs." Gates later emphasized that he
was "not being facetious" and declared marijuana users to be
guilty of treason.
Prohibitionists are drunk with power. Drug warriors are addicted to power - they use it secretly, greedily, and they never have enough power. Once you give government "just a bit" more power - power which those in government are hell-bent on getting at any cost - they abuse their power (which translates into killing more pot-heads, invariably). Think about it: for decades US police have had de facto (and de jure) instant execution powers over us all, and drugs (pot) is most often the excuse for it. Police don't like the way you look: boom, you're dead (you might have had drugs/pot, after all), and never ever is that considered wrong or amiss or out of order. Just another dead doper to the cop (who often doubles as a Baptist preacher). "Reformers who begin with the determination to stamp out sin usually end by stamping out sinners"
-- Richard HostafterOf course, that's what the WCTU had in mind all along - just read their "Marching Song" - it is a paean to "Law Enforcement". So the WCTU is and always had been in love with "force" and "Law enforcement". Their "Temperance" shtick is a lie: they want steal your money to hire more government guns to force you to stop. Some fine "christians" there - more like wolves in sheep's clothing adorned with cutsie white ribbons.
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Comment #7 posted by Hope on December 09, 2013 at 12:05:31 PT
I try to be glad that, at least,
they didn't kill him. But it's still wrong. It's still bad. Some law is bad. No doubt. Some rules are bad. No doubt. They have to be changed.Video: Teacher Explains How One Bogus Marijuana Arrest Ruined His Life
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Comment #6 posted by Hope on December 09, 2013 at 10:59:48 PT
Lol! "Someone with diplomatic skills"?Are you saying you don't have any? Maybe it's time to brush up on them a bit.I understand though. It is very important. Its something we all know. You don't get anything done by making people angry or defensive. We want them to listen to us. We want them to understand the truth we are trying to get them to see. It's very important to be diplomatic... even if we'd like to attack or throttle the enablers of this prohibition. Finally, someone reached Dr. Gupta with some light on the subject, and little Charlotte Figi's plight seems finally to have jolted some more people into waking up. In the beginning of my concern about what was happening to people in the name of cannabis prohibition, I just thought it was horrible and unconscionable the way people were being treated, and are treated over cannabis. It was the people. Period. It wasn't legalizing cannabis. It was legalizing cannabis to stop the pogrom. It was about legalizing it to stop the punishing, killing, robbing, and hurting people over something that didn't hurt them as bad as the government hurt them over it. Now, it's not just the obscenity of the way government and prohibitionists were and are treating people... though that's still the main thrust of what bothers me. There's something else now. This stuff is truly beneficial to all life on earth. Now, knowing that cannabis is, indeed, an extraordinarily helpful plant, I have come to understand that prohibiting cannabis is even more obscene than I knew. Now it's important that not only should people not be punished and pursued for it's use... it should be available to anyone that wants or needs it. 
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Comment #5 posted by Garry Minor on December 09, 2013 at 07:47:50 PT:
The Chrism, Cannabis and True Christianity
The title "Christ/Messiah" simply means,..... covered in Oil, Anointed!Just so happens, that as it turns out, there are 250 shekels of "Kaneh bosm/Cannabis" in the Oil that God instructed Moses to prepare for anointing His priests, and later kings, prophets, and of course, His followers of "The Way," ..... later called "Christians!"The Hebrew Word "Kaneh(qaneh) bosm קְנֵה-בֹשֶׂם was mistranslated as calamus, sweet or fragrant cane by the Greeks in the 3rd century BC, then propagated as such in future translations without review as Biblical Hebrew ceased to be a spoken language, not again revived until the 1800's by Eliezer Ben Yehuda.The Bible, many Gnostic, Apocrypha and early "Christian" documents confirm the fact that it was necessary to be Anointed to become a "Christian!" The water baptism is incomplete!Cyril of Jerusalem;“Having been counted worthy of this Holy Chrism, ye are called Christians, verifying the name also by your new birth. For before you were deemed worthy of this grace, ye had properly no right to this title, but were advancing on your way towards being Christians.” Gospel of Philip;The chrism is superior to baptism, for it is from the word "Chrism" that we have been called "Christians," certainly not because of the word "baptism". And it is because of the chrism that "the Christ" has his name. For the Father anointed the Son, and the Son anointed the apostles, and the apostles anointed us. He who has been anointed possesses everything. He possesses the resurrection, the light, the cross, the Holy Spirit. The Father gave him this in the bridal chamber; he merely accepted (the gift). The Father was in the Son and the Son in the Father. This is the Kingdom of Heaven.In fact, many churches today also consider the oil as sacrament, ...... problem is that their oil is counterfeit, worthless! Not only that ..... but, they're being taught that the Mystical Tree of Life is worthless, dirty and evil!My goodness, how could such a deception occur?Sadly, even when you show them that the True Christ/Chrism cures cancers, Alzheimer's and all of its other miracles, they ignore you, some even demonize you! 
They can't see that the Book they claim to live by is exposing them as empty! They don't want to see it!Like Thomas writes;Jesus said, "The [Father's] kingdom is like a woman who was carrying a [jar] full of meal. While she was walking along [a] distant road, the handle of the jar broke and the meal spilled behind her [along] the road. She didn't know it; she hadn't noticed a problem. When she reached her house, she put the jar down and discovered that it was empty."At least that's how it is in Athens of the prairie, Columbus Indiana!
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Comment #4 posted by mexweed on December 08, 2013 at 14:08:20 PT:
Replacement strategy
Someone with diplomatic skills get in touch directly with Rev. and Mrs. Perkins to remind them that freer access to cannabis, including for kids, might make it much easier to greatly REDUCE alcoholism and especially youth BINGE DRINKING. (I'm not ready to try it, I might say something that would set them off??)
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Comment #3 posted by museman on December 08, 2013 at 10:56:09 PT
when the "law"
is Love, there is only one. When it is not there are lawyers, judges, DAs, cops, gangs, and corporate rulers, one can 'break the law' just by taking one step into the street...there are so many possibilities for the rulers to get your time, and money for 'violating' their arbitrary, false authority.LEGALIZE FREEDOM
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Comment #2 posted by HempWorld on December 08, 2013 at 10:03:11 PT
"We find that a lot of people who are on hard
drugs had started with... mother's milk!"Yes, yes, I agree, make or keep it all illegal, THAT is the solution! (not)
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Comment #1 posted by Sam Adams on December 08, 2013 at 09:33:08 PT
thought we'd seen everything!
this is unbelievable! The temperance ladies still exist? In the WOD you learn to accept surreal things happening on a regular basis.The entrance of the temperance ladies into the modern-day political arena for cannabis could be a huge bonus for us, that's all I can think. One could not dial up a better tie-in to the massive failure of alcohol prohibition.
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