Jaime Montalvo–Guest Editorial WDRB, Louisville, Ky.

Guest POV | Medical Marijuana

Posted: Jan 28, 2015 9:33 AM CST Updated: Jan 28, 2015 3:55 PM CST

WDRB Guest Editorial By Jaime Montalvo

 

I have Multiple Sclerosis. I’ve been fighting this disease for eight years.

I have muscle spasms, tremor uncontrollably, and I’m scared. Cannabis relieves these symptoms.

In Kentucky, thousands of Veterans suffer from PTSD and haven’t responded to treatment.

Sadly, too many choose suicide as a last resort for escaping their demons. I have personal combat veteran friends who testify that smoking Cannabis relieves them within seconds after waking up from horrendous nightmares.

Kentucky has the highest cancer death rate of all 50 states. You probably know someone who has had cancer. Cancer treatments also bring some of the most debilitating side effects. Twenty thousand Kentuckians a year face this diagnosis. Marijuana has been studied and proven to relieve these effects. The nausea brought about by chemotherapy is relieved within seconds of inhaling Cannabis.

The Epilepsy Foundation of Kentuckiana reports over 90,000 individuals suffer from epilepsy in our area. Like cancer treatments, medications used to manage seizures have debilitating side effects. Not every patient can tolerate the treatments, and the drugs often stop working. Cannabis oil has been heralded for decreasing certain patients’ seizures from 300 per week to zero or one.

Cannabis is helping us cope with our symptoms. Please help us by contacting your legislator at 800-372-7181 asking them to support medical marijuana legislation.

I’m Jaime Montalvo, founder of Kentuckians for Medicinal Marijuana, and that’s my point of view.

 

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High levels of Formaldehyde Hidden in E-Cigs

 

 

 

Formaldehyde, a known human carcinogen found in cigarette smoke, also dwells in the vaporized liquid of popular electronic or e-cigarettes, researchers said Wednesday.

E-cigarette sales are booming in the United States and many hoped so- called “vaping” would replace tobacco smoking and be a panacea for the nearly 160,000 lung cancer deaths associated with conventional cigarettes.

But according to an analysis published Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine, the exposure to formaldehyde from e-cigarettes, based on similar chronic use as tobacco, could be five to 15 times higher than from smoking cigarettes.

“It’s way too early now from an epidemiological point of view to say how bad they are,” said co-author James F. Pankow, professor of chemistry and engineering at Portland State University in Oregon. “But the bottom line is, there are toxins and some are more than in regular cigarettes. And if you are vaping, you probably shouldn’t be using it at a high-voltage setting.”

5 facts about e-cigarettes

Pankow and his colleagues analyzed aerosolized e-liquid in “tank system” e-cigarettes to detect formaldehyde-releasing agents in “hidden” form at various voltages.

They found that vaping 3 milligrams of e-cigarette liquid at a high voltage can generate 14 milligrams of loosely affiliated or “hidden” formaldehyde. Researchers estimated a tobacco smoker would get .15 milligrams of formaldehyde per cigarette or 3 milligrams in a 20-pack.

Pankow told NBC News those numbers “may be conservative.”

“We are not saying e-cigarettes are more hazardous than cigarettes,” he said. “We are only looking at one chemical. … The jury is really out on how safe these drugs are.”

There are more than 8,000 chemicals in tobacco smoke, so it’s hard to pinpoint whether formaldehyde is the main culprit in cigarette-related cancers.

“A lot of people make the assumption that e-cigarettes are safe and they are perfectly fine after using for a year,” said Pankow. “The hazards of e-cigarettes, if there are any, will be seen 10 to 15 years from now when they start to appear in chronic users.”

E-cigarettes were first invented in China in 2003, but they started appearing in the United States around 2006. A five-pack of flavor cartridges costs about the same as a pack of cigarettes and starter kits can cost between $30 and $100.

A cartridge or tank contains a liquid of propylene glycol, glycerol, or both, as well as nicotine and flavoring. These chemicals are heated to the boiling point with a battery-operated atomizer, creating a smokeless vapor that is inhaled.

But formaldehyde-containing chemical compounds can be released during the “vaping” process as the liquid is heated. Pankow said some e-cigarettes can burn hotter than 1,000 degrees fahrenheit.

“The difference in e-cigarettes is the material that is heated and turns into hot gas as it cools is not tobacco, but two main chemicals,” he said. “When it gets really hot, unwanted reactions occur.”

Pankow said the same risks likely do not occur when vaping dry marijuana or hash oil, which typically does not use those chemicals. “But it’s totally likely that some people dilute hash oil with propylene glycol and glycerol, which we know can form formaldehyde,” he said.

Formaldehyde is a colorless, strong-smelling gas used in embalming fluid, building materials and some medicines and cosmetics. It can also be produced as a byproduct of cooking and smoking.

According to the American Cancer Society, exposure to formaldehyde has been shown to cause cancer in laboratory animals and has also been linked to some cancers in humans.

When gaseous formaldehyde, found in funeral homes and other occupational settings, is inhaled, it breaks down in the mouth, nose, throat, and airways. Exposure has been linked to throat and nasal cancers and leukemias.

First published January 21st 2015, 4:32 pm

Kentucky heart patient relocates to Michigan, receives medical marijuana legally and then an experimental pacemaker … it gets worse from there!

Kentucky – January 19, 2015

 

Erin Vu - pacemaker no leads

Above:  Nanostim™ Leadless Pacemaker

Ms. Erin Grossman Vu, a legal resident of Kentucky who has been disabled for some years with congenital heart disease, relocated on 10-5-2013 to Michigan where she was living with relatives when she was accepted into a Medical Marijuana Program.

“I was first diagnosed with Supraventricular tachycardia. My first event happened when I was still working as a nurse. My heart rate popped up to 250’s & sustained. I’ve been shocked by the paddles. Have been seen in every ER in Metro Louisville for the SVT I was having. I had three cardiac ablations done here in Louisville and the fourth was done in Lansing by Dr. Ip.  After the 4th ablation, I began having slow heart rate events where my heart would drop to 32 bpm no warning & have to sit down or will pass out. Blood can clot at 32 bpm.”

She is one of less than 350 souls in the Nation to have this type of experimental device implanted directly into the heart on 7-10-14. 

She said that her new heart problem arose before moving and Sick Sinus Syndrome occurred when she was unable to use her CPAP machine during an ice storm and electric was down.

She was selected to participate in this St. Jude Medical study by the Nation’s leading device implant Cardiologist, Dr. John Ip of Lansing, MI.

In December she returned to Kentucky and re-established her citizenship here.  She had been referred to a Cardiologist in Lexington Kentucky for follow up care.   However, after the Lexington Cardiologist received her records he refused to treat her and she has yet to be evaluated by him.

In December she was treated for sustained bradycardia, a slow heart rate, at Louisville’s Norton Surburban Hospital on 12-17-14.

Pacemakers are supposed to prevent slow heart rates however she still continues to have cardiac events, chest pain, and shortness of air.

St. Jude Medical and the Lexington Cardiologist (who shall remain unnamed)  have refused to answer why the patient had a slow heart rate with a pacemaker and have refused to give her care at this point.
St. Jude Medical has refused to investigate as to why a cardiologist would refuse to see a pacemaker patient under their study. The FDA has been contacted about the product manufacturer, St. Jude Medical.

 

“I’m supposed to be interrogated by February 6th.  I don’t have access to the technology needed to communicate with my device.  St. Jude Medical, the manufacturer set  me up to have care assumed by a very specific cardiologist in Lexington. Only about fifteen people in Kentucky have this device.  I’ve had no resolution, I’ve called all the proper places.”

“The Lexington Cardiologist won’t see me, period, as patient or study participant.  The Lexington study nurse told me I can’t have two cardiologists. The ONLY reason I’ve been verbally given, doesn’t make sense for a “study”, I would have had to cancel a cardiac stress test I had done six days ago. I’ve been in chest pain since 12-17-14 when I had a sustained low heart rate with a pacemaker.”

At this time it seems that Ms. Grossman Vu is a seriously ill Heart Patient without a Doctor to care for her.  The question remains whether or not this is due to the Medical Marijuana designation she received in Michigan, or the fact that the “leadless pacemaker’s” is in experimental status.  That being said, she was set up with a Lexington Physician who specialized in this according to her Physician in Lansing Michigan.  So what IS THE REAL REASON why she is being rejected by this Cardiologist?

This issue will be followed up.

Erin Grossman Vu can be reached at Stjudemedicalpatient@yahoo.com

 

smk

JIM HIGHTOWER: Cannabis Americas common sense

 

Posted: Thursday, January 15, 2015 11:00 am

In 1914, newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst mounted a yellow-journalism crusade to demonize the entire genus of cannabis plants. Why? To sell newspapers, of course, but also because he was heavily invested in wood-pulp newsprint, and he wanted to shut down competition from paper made from hemp – a species of cannabis that is a distant cousin to marijuana but produces no high.

Hearst simply lumped hemp and marijuana together as the devil’s own product, and he was not subtle about generating public fear of all things cannabis. As Mother Jones reported in 2009, Hearst’s papers ran articles about “reefer-crazed blacks raping white women and playing ‘voodoo satanic’ jazz music.”

Actually, while hemp had been a popular and necessary crop for decades before the crackdown on all cannabis plants, marijuana was largely unknown in America at the time and little used, but its exotic name and unfamiliarity made it an easy target for fear mongers. The next wave of demonization came in 1936 with the release of an exploitation film classic, “Reefer Madness.” It was originally produced by a church group to warn parents to keep their children in check, lest they smoke pot – a horror that, as the film showed, would drive kids to rape, manslaughter, insanity and suicide.

Then Congress enthusiastically climbed aboard the anti-pot political bandwagon, passing a law that effectively banned the production, sale and consumption of marijuana and by default hemp. Hearst finally got his way, and the production of cannabis in the U.S. was outlawed. Signed by FDR on Aug. 2, 1937, this federal prohibition remains in effect today. Although it has been as ineffectual as Prohibition, the 1919-1933 experiment to stop people from consuming “intoxicating liquors,” this ban, for the most part, continues despite its staggering costs.

Until recent years, prohibitionists had been able to intimidate most reform-minded politicians with the simple threat to brand them as soft on drugs. But finally, with the help of some reform-minded activists and the general public, our politicians are starting to come to their senses on cannabis.

At the state level, 32 states have legalized medical marijuana in some form or another. And Colorado, Washington, Alaska and Oregon have legalized recreational uses of marijuana. While these are huge steps, what is truly remarkable is what has taken place in Congress just in the last year.

Tucked deep in the 2013 Farm Bill was a little amendment introduced by Representatives Jared Polis, a Democrat from Colorado, Earl Blumenauer, a Democrat from Oregon, and Thomas Massie, a Republican from Kentucky. The amendment allows universities, colleges and State Agriculture Departments to grow industrial hemp for research in states that have made it legal to do so. California, Hawaii, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Montana, North Dakota, Oregon, Vermont and West Virginia already have laws on their books to allow for this.

The most recent step forward to come out of Congress was in the last-minute federal spending bill in December. Democratic Rep. Sam Farr and Republican Rep. Dana Rohrbacher, both from California, included a provision in the bill to stop the DEA and DOJ from going after states that legalize medical marijuana. They can no longer conduct raids on licensed marijuana outlets that service patients who use marijuana to treat everything from the side effects of cancer treatments to epileptic seizures. The marijuana farmers are now safe to cultivate the plant, and the patients themselves are now safe from prosecution for possessing it.

Marijuana Policy Project and Vote Hemp are two organizations that are working tirelessly with the public and our lawmakers to change the laws and regulations surrounding cannabis. To learn more about how these groups are making a difference and to help get involved, connect with them at www.mpp.org and www.VoteHemp.com.

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More Than 1,700 Arrested In 2-Week Detroit Area Crime Crackdown

CBS Detroit

DEARBORN (WWJ) – More than 400 felony arrests and 1,300 misdemeanor arrests were made during a two-week crackdown on crime in metro Detroit, according to police.

Operation Blue Light 2, which concluded at the end of December, involved 34 law enforcement agencies working together to disrupt various criminal activities and improve safety on the highways.

On top of the arrests, Dearborn Police Chief Ronald said officers made nearly 17,000 traffic stops.

Haddad said he appreciated the cooperation in his community.

“When you read the daily reports, it’s obvious to me that — when we arrest somebody — they’re usually wanted on about a dozen warrants, and it’s not always Dearborn — it’s Dearborn, Detroit, Dearborn Heights, Taylor, Oak Park, you get the picture,” he said.

“You know, crime truly knows no borders, we’re a highly mobile society, and successful criminals have a repetitive way about them,” he said. “If it works here and they get away with it, then they…

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Defense Lawyer: Silk Road Creator Is Not A Drug Dealer

CBS New York

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — A New York defense lawyer says a San Francisco man who launched an underground website as an economic experiment was fooled into taking the fall when investigators concluded it was used for drug dealing.

Attorney Joshua Dratel said at the criminal trial’s opening Tuesday that Ross William Ulbricht was no drug dealer and should be found not guilty.

Prosecutor Timothy Howard, however, told jurors that the Silk Road website was an online shopping paradise for the sale of dangerous illegal drugs, and that Ulbricht was the kingpin of the digital criminal enterprise, WCBS 880’s Irene Cornell reported. To avoid exposure, said the prosecutor, Ulbricht was even ready to have people murdered.

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“This is a case about a dark and secret part of the Internet,” Howard said.

The…

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Colorado Hemp Farmers Cultivate American Jobs Without Federal Approval

Some people want you to believe that the federal government cannot be effectively defied, but farmers in Colorado are proving them wrong.

While Colorado may be in the headlines for their marijuana legalization experiment, that is not the only issue in which they are effectively nullifying federal law. They are taking action against the federal industrial hemp ban as well. A Denver Post report, Colorado’s first legal hemp crop comes in amid constraints by fed laws, elaborates on this booming industry:

Legal hurdles aside, advocates are passionate about hemp’s commercial potential. The most common uses are food products and cosmetics derived from seeds and seed oil. Fiber from the stalks of hemp plants are used in clothing and industrial applications, including as a strengthening agent in concrete.

2014 marked the first year of state-authorized hemp cultivation in Colorado. About 30 growers filed applications to plant a total of 1,811 acres. But because state law does not yet require detailed reporting, no statistics exist on how much actually was planted and subsequently harvested.

Industrial hemp growers in Colorado face the possibility of prosecution for operating in violation of federal law. Still, in heroic acts of civil disobedience, they work to unleash a cash crop on society that could conceivably provide jobs and prosperity for thousands of people. Their bravery makes the feds deal with open defiance of their laws, and facilitates the effort to reform antiquated public policy toward success.

On marijuana, the feds pretty much waved the white flag of surrender. They ‘allowed’ Colorado and other states to legalize, after the states had already chosen to do so without asking for federal permission. This capitulation allows the feds to spin marijuana legalization like it is their reform, and that they deserve partial credit. In reality, it was decisive action taken by the states that forced the feds to cede power and accept inevitable reform. It worked on marijuana legalization, and it is starting to work on industrial hemp too.

The feds have already started to give up on industrial hemp prohibition as well. Last year’s farm bill contained provisions allowing states to cultivate industrial hemp for research purposes only. But, Colorado farmers are proceeding with commercial cultivation without a federal rubber-stamp of approval. Some farmers in SE Colorado even started cultivating industrial hemp before receiving the go-ahead from their state government! This the kind of bold, fearless approach that is needed to show the government who’s boss, and press the issue until eventual reforms are enacted.

So what are you waiting for? Non-compliance has got the feds on the run. Our Hemp Freedom Act is a government jobs bill that can work – by simply limiting the federal government’s negative impact on our economy! Get an initiative going now, and we can push back at the state level against the feds and their illogical prohibition on industrial hemp. Fight to bring a sustainable industry back to America, and subvert unconstitutional federal power today!

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McCollom: Time to end the marijuana insanity

We have a U.S. Congress that is perfectly fine with deciding to overturn the will of the voters of our nation’s capital, to end their city’s prohibition on marijuana.

Ironically though, with Washington, D.C. having no voting member (and say) in that vote. The fact is that marijuana prohibition results in a violation of our rights and due process.

For example, in Michigan, a man who legally provided medical marijuana under that state’s law had his property illegally seized, and bank accounts frozen, by the state without any criminal charges against him. Marijuana prohibition fuels violence. It allows gang members to have a monopoly on the sale of marijuana.

Heck, when is Louisiana going to legalize marijuana for even medical reasons?

How many people have to suffer from cancer or other ailments, because of state politicians playing political games? No, I do not recommend that people smoke marijuana, just like I do not recommend they eat two Big Macs a day. I do believe though in the right of adults to make their own decisions, absent overwhelming evidence that not to prohibit is strongly harmful to society.

Also, for something to be banned, the harm of prohibition cannot be greater than it remaining legal. Of course, the prohibition of marijuana is worse than the drug itself. This is why I support groups like the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws to bring needed reform, that is so desperately needed. It’s time to end this insanity.

— Jerome McCollom

Shreveport

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Federal Judge Weighs Marijuana’s Classification

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Jan 12, 2015, 1:39 PM ET

Associated Press

A federal judge in California is weighing the constitutionality of a 45-year-old act that classifies marijuana as a dangerous drug along with LSD, cocaine and heroin.

U.S. District Judge Kimberly J. Mueller in Sacramento held a five-day fact-finding hearing on the classification question late last year, and final arguments are scheduled for next month, the Los Angeles Times reported Monday. Her ruling is expected later this year.

The case marks the first time in decades that a judge has agreed to consider marijuana’s designation as a Schedule 1 drug under the 1970 Controlled Substances Act, the newspaper said. Under the act, Schedule 1 drugs have no medicinal purpose, are unsafe even under medical supervision and contain a high potential for abuse.

Mueller’s decision to hold the hearing came in response to a pretrial defense motion in a federal case against alleged marijuana growers. Prosecutors unsuccessfully opposed the fact-finding effort.

A ruling against federal cannabis law would apply only to the defendants in the case and almost certainly would be appealed, the newspaper said. If the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals determined the law was unconstitutional, all the Western states would be affected.

Attorneys for the defendants have argued that the federal marijuana law violates the Constitution’s guarantee of equal protection under the law. They contend the government enforces marijuana law unevenly ? allowing distribution of cannabis in states where it is legal and cracking down elsewhere.

The prosecution countered that Congress legally placed pot in Schedule 1.

Zenia K. Gilg, a lawyer for the growers, told the Times that scientific understanding and public acceptance of marijuana have grown substantially since courts last examined the federal classification. She cited the November election, when voters in Alaska and Oregon decided to join Colorado and Washington in making cannabis legal for recreational use. Most states already provide some legal protection for its use as medicine.

Prosecutors said in a brief filed Jan. 7 that the evidence presented in the hearing at most “established that there is some dispute among doctors as to whether marijuana is medicine.”

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Information from: Los Angeles Times, http://www.latimes.com/