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beginning an interesting story — Hemp activists get the joint jumping

Boston Herald, Sept 16, 2007


Two of the nation’s leading advocates for legalized marijuana were arrested on Boston Common yesterday for lighting up a joint during the Boston Freedom Rally, a pro-hemp event that promotes decriminalizing the drug.

R. Keith Stroup, 63, founder of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, and Rick Cusick, 53, an editor at High Times magazine, were charged with possession of marijuana, a misdemeanor. “We were smoking a joint behind the booth here,” Stroup said. “I’m sure the police would rather be chasing real criminals. We’re both productive, hard-working taxpayers.”

High Times and NORML are co-sponsors of the annual rally that celebrates pot culture and traditionally results in dozens of arrests of addle-brained youths who mistakenly believe it is legal to toke up for just that day.

“A lot of them said they thought it was an amnesty,” said one of the cops at the makeshift booking area where plainclothes police led the shame-faced youths who were caught smoking reefer. The 60-plus arrested found it was not only not legal for that day but would cost them a day in court.

Despite the number of arrests, while Stroup was onstage telling the crowd about his own arrest he also prompted the audience to “stand up, light up and let the world know how you feel.” The advice was heeded by men who identified themselves as Anthony Martins, 22, of West Bridgewater, and Josh Hatfield, 22, of Weymouth, and passed a joint back and forth during Stroup’s speech.

“No, I don’t think it’s legal,” Martins said, when asked if he thought there was an amnesty. “It’s something I’m proud of. It’s not like I’m a heroin addict.”

Asked why he was smoking pot, Martins said, “To fight the power.”

Stroup, who was arrested once before 24 years ago, said he and Cusick were relaxing and smoking a joint in the park, an activity he said was no harm to anyone.

Both men said police treated them well and professionally during the booking process.

“I’ve been waiting 33 years to get arrested,” said Cusick, chuckling. “When it happened I was calm, like a monk. I told them I’d call my lawyer, but he got arrested with me.”

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Charles Nesson
Date: Oct 25, 2007 10:52 AM
Subject: Re: Fwd: re Professor McDew
To: “Andrew M. Woods”

Who do we exclude. Let’s think back over our history and include everyone who can help us and who would be interested in coming and participating, and if you are worried about budgeting the cost of flying everyone in and putting them up at hotels, let’s turn the default the other way: “please come if you can, but you have to pay your own way.” Except for commitments already outstanding I don’t see a problem with that. Make it really nice for them when they get here.

I see a conference keynoted by macmanus and sexton with the sessions in discussion format moderated by you and me, dedicated in process to fred friendly and in substance to Bob Moses and John Doar. I see the room full of people who have worked at educating through and about poker. I want to invite them by saying come talk with me and Andrew about how to design our school. I want to explore collaboration with full tilt and world series in the formation of an educational environment built to my specs, including code of conduct, “absolute” transparency, state-of-the-art registration and tracking, return of part of the rake to the university and country of player origin, with instruction and tests and freeroll tournaments at which kids earn a stake, start at the bottom and then move up in stake only as they earn from that point forward. Earn and learn. I want to do it as an incentive based program for learning.

I’d like lunch at the hark and food-for-thought dinners (are you familiar with these) at local restaurants, followed by a charity poker tournament in the hark. Invitees may write a check to charity for any amount as an entry fee, the tournament to be played for the pleasure of place of finish and for the honor of the bracelet, awarded as a prize. I’d like every attendee to get a lance armstrong type bracelet designed for gpsts. This event should be covered by media and could be amazing. I’d like to urge as many of the poker players who were in dc as possible to come up for some or all of the day’s events.

This conference is a tremendous opportunity for us, as well as challenge. We have captured a lot of attention. We should take full advantage of it to further our mission.

From the Second Life Insider

Harvard explores the case against Addis

    Posted Oct 16th 2007 9:00PM by Tateru Nino
    Filed under: Educational, News, Events, Mixed Reality, Teaching

    You may remember Harvard Law School’s extrusion into Second Life, via the Harvard Extension Program, particularly the Evidence at Large subject on trial advocacy and evidence that took place in January this year, exploring the Bragg vs Linden Lab case. It was certainly one of the more interesting and fascinating things I’ve seen and done in Second Life so far.

    Tomorrow (Wednesday), at 4PM SLT (US Pacific), there will be a second mock trial. This one will be exploring the case/charges against Paul Addis – the man who allegedly set fire to the Burning Man ahead of time. Second Life users are invited to attend and observe, or to serve on the jury. If you’re interested, get on down to Harvard’s Berkman Island with a little time to spare.

    Incidentally, if you haven’t looked at this course (lectures and office hours are open to at-large participants – no fees and no enrollment) you really should take a good look at what they’ve got going on. It really is a treat.

    (Thanks to Madison Kotobide for the heads-up)

hlspst first meeting – mission

just went to
love it
it welcomes


HLS To Go ‘All In’ Versus Yale

Published On Thursday, October 11, 2007 2:19 AM
Contributing Writer

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On the eve of Nov. 17, while much of the Harvard community is gearing up for “The Game” against Yale, a handful of law school students will be prepping to play a very different sort of game against the same rival.

That night, members of the Harvard Law School (HLS) chapter of the Global Poker Strategic Thinking Society (GPSTS) will challenge the society’s Yale chapter in a poker tournament.

Founded by Weld Professor of Law Charles R. Nesson ’60, GPSTS aims to “create an open online curriculum centered on poker that will draw the brightest minds together,” according to the group’s online statement. The GPSTS currently has chapters organized at Stanford, UCLA, and Brown, in addition to Harvard and Yale.

Nesson and third-year law student Andrew M. Woods, the interim president of the HLS chapter, said that the group hoped to change the reputation of poker from one of illegal gambling to that of a valuable educational tool.

“Poker teaches cognitive ability in a way we just don’t have in education now,” Woods said yesterday afternoon.

While the group is not allowed to gamble during meetings, they spent their first meeting on Tuesday night discussing some of the finer points of the card game.

“Anybody that somehow thinks interest in poker is a bad thing would be convinced just by seeing and listening to these kids talk,” said Nesson.

Woods said that the GPSTS would host several events open to the Harvard community over the semester. A panel discussion with poker champions Howard Lederer and Crandell Addington is expected to be held on Oct. 15. The group plans to hold a discussion on the dispute over online poker and a day-long conference on the educational value of poker in November.

The GPSTS also plans to launch a National Collegiate Poker Tournament in March.

“It will hope to capture the same spirit of the March Madness basketball tournament,” Woods said.

The debate over the legality of poker focuses on whether it is a game of chance or a game of skill.

To study the dispute, GPSTS organizers said they plan to use duplicate poker decks, setting a deck up in the same way at ten different tables. This means that players are not only competing among the others at their table but also with their counterparts with the same hands at other tables.

“It’s a good way of really demonstrating and determining who has the most skill in a game,” Woods said.

While a Harvard undergraduate chapter of GPSTS does not yet exist, two students—Brian M. Wan ’08 and Jason A. Caloras ’08—are in the process of creating one.

“What we’re going to be doing is trying to help legitimize poker,” said Wan.

first meeting

exciting there last night, going around the room, listening to players we’ve got, sitting at round tables, just the right size for kids to meet and talk.
this is my evidence. this is why harvard law school is a good place to be. chet’s video of the event now to go to rochelle, meet me at berkman at ten and we’ll go to the editing deck, andrew a star among stars, we are producing, then to elizabeth and her team dean and paul irish, and bang, we are up on the net. i showed them our chip set, cc on the back of our global strategic thinking society.
dinner after with anne peretz and fern.

catching up with time

Focus on trade journals in both general disciplines e.g., American Lawyer; WIRED. Rather than issue press release, send private letter to the editors inviting them to send someone to sit in. Also write to legal project in the think tank world, such as at Manhattan Institute, Center for Constituional Rights etc. Invite them to send fellows/associates to the class. They’ll write about in their own publications and blogs.

haven’t quite gotten to all of that yet, but close, and here i have opportunity to reach out through the net through degrees of separation, so here, a private letter to the editors inviting them to come sit in.

Overall Theme: A series of lectures seeks to tell the story of online poker’s fight for legitimacy in law and beyond. Professor Charles Nesson, representing online poker, seeks to map out the contours of the legal battle for the return of online poker by engaging with all sides in the debate: lawyers, the American gaming industry, the WTO, Antigua and the press.

The lectures will also form part of a larger experiment in opening up debates in the legal classroom to a worldwide audience. Each lecture will be produced in successively more complex ways in order to engage with a cyber audience, culminating in a live webcast into second life with second life participants. We hope to show how broadening the participants in traditional debates to include the brightest minds from beyond the classroom opens up new vistas of opportunities for univeristy education.

1st Lecture: The Principle of Law and Prosecutorial Abuse of IT

There is a dangerous game of poker being played between prosecutors and corporate defendants – the stakes are the lives of individual citizens. Join Harvey Silverglate, Matt Feinberg and Alex Whiting as they debate the abuse of prosecutorial power in eliciting guilty pleas from defendants.

2nd Lecture: Poker – a Game of Truth in Life and Law

Crandell Addington and Howard Lederer, two of poker’s leading lights debate with Charles Nesson and Andrew Woods as expert witnesses for the next days debate which seeks a resolution from all parties.

3rd Lecture: LAW as Rhetorical Poker: Antigua v. USA in the WTO

The online poker arguments will be played out in the lecture with the various participants playing from their own viewpoints. We hope to reach a resolution to the online poker problem through a game of rhetorical poker itself.


Monday 8th October, 5pm – 6.30pm EST

Monday 15th October, 5pm – 6.30pm EST

Tuesday 16th October, 5pm – 6.30pm EST


Room 102 Hauser Hall,

Harvard Law School,

1563 Massachusetts Avenue,

Cambridge, MA 02138, USA

Google Map Link: Link

My Mobile Number: 6177105703

My Email:

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Douglas McMahon
Date: Oct 5, 2007 12:57 PM
Subject: Online Poker Lecture Series
To: Jonathan Cohen
Cc: Charles Nesson

Hi Jonathan,

I’ve attached the information that we discussed. I have separated it out into the various sections that we discussed and have drafted the descriptions of the lecture series in prose as this seemed the easiest way – obviously all changes will be welcome, however drastic! If you need any further information, such as short bios for the individual speakers I’m sure I could come up with them as well, though I may have to check with Charles that each participant wouldn’t mind if I drafted it, or if they’d want to see it first.

If there’s anything else I can do to help I’ll be near my email most of the day.

Thanks for your help,

Just to help Ben here is an extract from the Wiki written by Charles which he might like to read to get some background:

The Principle of Law and Prosecutorial Abuse of IT

Position cyberone as a unique method of teaching law that: 1.Takes advantage of new tech to consider timeless questions about truth and justice in fresh ways that are exciting to students. 2. Extends the law school classroom beyond the university to reach the brightest minds within and outside of the conventional U setting. 3. Develops valuable and important new use of virtual tech beyond action games and frivolous chat rooms. Pitch this story to 2 media: Legal press and Tech press. More..

Focus on trade journals in both general disciplines e.g., American Lawyer; WIRED. Rather than issue press release, send private letter to the editors inviting them to send someone to sit in. Also write to legal project in the think tank world, such as at Manhattan Institute, Center for Constituional Rights etc. Invite them to send fellows/associates to the class. They’ll write about in their own publications and blogs.

Post a comprehensive video (not just 10 minute clips, etc) on the web via itunes Unviversity or in conjunction with MIT.


when appropriate (in my judgment) to an open project and not sensitive (in my judgment) in terms of privacy, i may post email to my blog. all privacy requests respected.

hls poker strategic thinking society formed

we exist
now we move
As a quick update on the GPSTS Activities coming up:

Oct. 1 – HLS PSTS officially approved by student government as official Harvard Law organization. Initial launch with 62 members.

Oct. 15 – GPSTS, in association with the HLS PSTS and Professor Charles Nesson hosts Howard Lederer and Crandall Addington to discuss life lessons taught by poker in a session called Poker: A Game of Truth in Life and Law at Harvard Law School. First of discussion series of poker talks.

Oct. 16 – Harvard Law School hosts Steven Donziger, Simon Lester, and Jonathon Cohen to discuss asymmetrical litigation and the effect of communication on the relationship between legal process and public opinion, primarily focusing on the current dispute between the WTO and the United States surrounding the American stance on internet gambling.

Nov. 10 – GPSTS hosts “Educational Utility of Poker”, an academic conference at Harvard Law school focused on investigating the utility of poker as a tool for engaging students and continuing education. Jim McManus and Mike Sexton are confirmed keynotes. McManus will present his new book “The History of Poker”, analyzing past American luminaries, from senators to presidents to generals, for whom poker has been a significant aspect of their education. Sexton will discuss the explosion of the popularity of poker, the lessons that poker teaches, and the manner in which the intense popularity of poker makes it possible to reach students. The conference will be open, and anyone interested in the study of poker and in investigating the utility of poker is encouraged to attend. *I would be happy to have input on an attractive theme/name for the conference*

Nov. 16 – Introduction of GPSTS match play. Inaugural Harvard-Yale poker match, featuring team poker play the night before the Harvard-Yale football game. *potential Michigan-Ohio State inaugural match (unconfirmed)*

Nov. 30 – Inaugural UCLA-USC poker match, featuring team poker play the night before the UCLA-USC football game. *potential Cal-Stanford inaugural match (unconfirmed)*

February 1 – Poker as education workshop at Smith Leadership Academy in Dorchester, MA. Introductory workshop at SLA, a charter school aimed at underprivileged kids in MA to be followed by 6-8 hour-long poker sessions, introducing various elements of poker.

Regarding local chapters: we have been in contact with, and are developing, chapters at various universities (Harvard, Penn State, UCLA, USC, Stanford, Brown, Tufts, and Boston University are farthest along).

going in to cyber one

outside hauser 102 reviewing unpublished drafts and publishing some, feeling the doubts that previously held me back melt away. dersh walks by and looks me over. hmm. so yes, this is a story i should be telling.

i met this morning with ann, a gbh producer, who may help.

deval do you play poker

massachusetts for casinos is tacky. massachusetts is for educated gambling. casinos includes gambling on both games of chance and games of skill. massachusetts will teach our gamblers how to gamble with skill, from the shores of gitchugeeme, from lottery tickets to poker chips, we will draw together those who are drawn to the skill and fun. i am a teacher. i teach law. i am massachusetts. i see casinos real and virtual as my classroom. deval patrick my student. let our classroom continue.

i am eon, d of c
i found

i found poker university on berkman island
i declare poker strategic thinking classes to begin

*Oct. 15: Poker – a Game of Truth in Life and Law

with Crandell Addington, Howard Lederer and Andrew Woods

*Oct. 16: Rhetorical Poker in the World Trade Organization: Antigua v. USA

with Simon Lester, Steven Donziger, Jonathan Cohen, Joe Kelly and Charles Nesson

*Nov. 5: Internet Freedom: The Power of Poker and the Consumer Electronics Industry

with Maura Corbett, Vijay Raghavan and Dan Walsh

*Nov. 6: Internet Responsibility: WE are the LAW

[to be continued and further developed by my students and supporters.]