2015: The Year In Review – NORML’s Top 10 Events That Shaped Marijuana Policy

Tuesday, 29 December 2015

2015: The Year In Review - NORML's Top 10 Events That Shaped Marijuana Policy

#1 Congress Reauthorizes Medical Marijuana Protections
Members of Congress approved language in the fiscal year 2016 omnibus spending bill that continues to limit the federal government from taking punitive action against state-licensed individuals or operations that are acting are in full compliance with the medical marijuana laws of their states. The provisions reauthorize Section 538 of the Continuing Appropriations Act of 2015, which states, "None of the funds made available in this act to the Department of Justice may be used … to prevent … states … from implementing their own state laws that authorize the use, distribution, possession, or cultivation of medical marijuana." Read the full story at: http://norml.org/news/2015/12/17/congress-omnibus-spending-bill-reauthorizes-medical-marijuana-protections.

#2 Federal Judge Upholds Marijuana’s Schedule I Status
A federal judge in April rejected a motion challenging the constitutionality of cannabis’ classification as a Schedule I prohibited substance. "At some point in time, a court may decide this status to be unconstitutional," Judge Kimberly Mueller said from the bench. "But this is not the court and not the time." Judge Meuller had presided over five days of hearings in October 2014 in a challenge brought by members of the NORML Legal Committee. Read the full story at: http://norml.org/news/2015/04/16/federal-judge-upholds-marijuana-s-schedule-i-status.

#3 Medical Cannabis Access Associated With Less Opioid Abuse
States that permit qualified patients to access medical marijuana via dispensaries possess lower rates of opioid addiction and overdose deaths, according to a study published in July by the National Bureau of Economic Research, a non-partisan think-tank. The findings mirror those published in 2014 in The Journal of the American Medical Association concluding, "States with medical cannabis laws had a 24.8 percent lower mean annual opioid overdose mortality rate compared with states without medical cannabis laws." Read the full story at: http://norml.org/news/2015/07/16/study-medical-cannabis-access-associated-with-reduced-opioid-abuse.

#4 DC Depenalizes Marijuana; Arrests Plummet
Despite threats from members of Congress, District officials implemented voter-approved legislation earlier this year eliminating penalties associated with the possession and cultivation of personal use quantities of marijuana by adults. Following the law’s implementation, marijuana-related arrests in the nation’s capital fell 99 percent. Read the full story at: http://norml.org/news/2015/12/04/cities-see-major-decline-in-marijuana-possession-arrests.

#5 Marijuana Law Changes Don’t Change Youth Use, Attitudes
Rates of youth marijuana use are unaffected by changing laws, according to data published in July in The American Journal of drug and Alcohol Abuse. Investigators evaluated trends in young people’s attitudes toward cannabis and their use of the substance during the years 2002 to 2013 – a time period where 14 states enacted laws legalizing the medical use of the plant, and two states approved its recreational use by adults. "Our results may suggest that recent changes in public policy, including the decriminalization, medicalization, and legalization of marijuana in cities and states across the country, have not resulted in more use or greater approval of marijuana use among younger adolescents," researchers reported. Read the full story at: http://norml.org/news/2015/07/16/study-changes-in-state-marijuana-laws-are-not-associated-with-greater-use-or-acceptance-by-young-people.

#6 Gallup Poll: More Americans Than Ever Say Marijuana Should Be Legal
Fifty-eight percent of Americans believe that "the use of marijuana should be made legal," according to nationwide survey data released in October by Gallup pollsters. The percentage ties the highest level of support ever reported by Gallup, which has been measuring Americans’ attitudes toward cannabis since the late 1960s. The percentage is more than twice the level of support reported in the mid-1990s. Read the full story at: http://norml.org/news/2015/10/22/gallup-support-for-legalizing-marijuana-at-historic-high-2.

#7 Study: Marijuana Use Not Associated With Changes In Brain Morphology
Marijuana use is not associated with structural changes in the brain, according to imaging data published in January in The Journal of Neuroscience. Investigators assessed brain morphology in both daily adult and adolescent cannabis users compared to non-users. They found "no statistically significant differences … between daily users and nonusers on volume or shape in the regions of interest" after researchers controlled for participants’ use of alcohol. "[T]he results indicate that, when carefully controlling for alcohol use, gender, age, and other variables, there is no association between marijuana use and standard volumetric or shape measurements of subcortical structures," researchers reported. Read the full story at: http://norml.org/news/2015/02/19/study-marijuana-use-not-associated-with-previously-reported-changes-in-brain-morphology.

#8 Marijuana Consumers Less Likely To Be Obese, Suffer Diabetes Risk
Those who consume cannabis are 50 percent less likely to suffer from metabolic syndrome as compared to those who do not, according to findings published in November in The American Journal of Medicine. Metabolic syndrome is a group of risk factors, including high blood pressure, high blood sugar, unhealthy cholesterol levels, and abdominal fat, which are linked to increased risk of heart disease and adult onset diabetes, among other serious health consequences. The findings are similar to those of previous studies reporting that those who use cannabis are less likely to be obese or suffer from diabetes. Read the full story at: http://norml.org/news/2015/11/19/study-marijuana-consumers-less-likely-to-suffer-from-metabolic-syndrome.

#9 NHTSA: THC-Positive Drivers Don’t Possesses Elevated Crash Risk
Drivers who test positive for the presence of THC in their blood are no more likely to be involved in motor vehicle crashes than are drug-free drivers, according to a case-control study released in February by the United States National Highway Transportation and Safety Administration. Authors reported that drivers who tested positive for the presence of THC possessed an unadjusted, elevated risk of accident of 25 percent (Odds Ratio=1.25) compared to controls (drivers who tested negative for any drug or alcohol). However, this elevated risk became insignificant (OR=1.05) after investigators adjusted for demographic variables, such as the drivers’ age and gender. The study is the largest of its kind ever conducted in the United States. Read the full story at: http://norml.org/news/2015/02/12/feds-thc-positive-drivers-no-more-likely-to-be-involved-in-motor-vehicle-crashes.

#10 Legal Marijuana States Collect Over $200 Million In New Tax Revenue
Taxes on the legal production and sale of cannabis in the states of Colorado and Washington have yielded over $200 million in new revenue since going into effect in 2014, according to calculations reported by The Huffington Post in September. Colorado collected more than $117 million dollars from marijuana sales while Washington collected over $83 million. Cannabis sales commenced in Oregon in on October 1, 2015 and have yet to begin in Alaska. Read the full story at: http://norml.org/news/2015/09/03/legal-marijuana-states-collect-over-200-million-in-new-tax-revenue.

CONTINUE READING…

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If Kentucky wants to pass br 161 "the Cannabis Freedom Act", you must do this now…

TREELeft:  Link to USMjParty Kentucky

Above: Link to Facebook Page of the "Kentucky Cannabis Freedom Coalition"

Because of the "Origination Clause" in the U.S. Constitution there must be a Representative to submit a "Companion Bill" in order for it to move forward because this clause says that all bills for raising revenue must start in the House of Representatives, but the Senate may propose or concur with amendments as in the case of other bills.

(From Wikipedia) The Origination Clause, also known as the Revenue Clause, is as follows:

All Bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives; but the Senate may propose or concur with Amendments as on other Bills.

COMPANION BILL – A bill which is identical to a bill having been introduced in the opposite house.

THEREFORE,

What we need to do right now is to find a Representative who is willing to back up Sen. Perry B. Clark’s BR 161 with a "COMPANION BILL" in order to be in coordination with the "Constitution".

Please write your Representative an email or letter asking them to get behind Sen. Perry B. Clark’s BR 161 and provide a "Companion Bill" as soon as possible because the Legislative Session (calendar link here) starts on January 5th, 2016 and January 8th, is the deadline for prefiled House Bills.

The LINKS you will need are listed here (just click on picture):

LINK to KY BR 161

KyLRC 12.17.15 Ky Cannabis Freedom Act homepage

LINK to KY Legislator’s Email Addresses:  (Please note that some of the Representatives/Senators have direct email links, and some of them can be copied/pasted into your email program). 

KY Legislative Email Addresses

Also, of note, this is a little more time consuming, but worth it, I believe –  When I wrote my "Email" I sent it to my individual Representative, who is Johnny Bell – in Glasgow, KY, but I also copied the email to ALL of the Kentucky Senators as well as the Representatives, so that THEY ALL would be able to see the letter I had written.

Here is the LINK to the 2016 Legislative Calendar:

KY 2016 Regular Session Legislative Calendar

As well, anyone who may have a printer, and postage money available should ideally send individual letters through the U.S. Postal Service to the Representatives given addresses.  The more "paper" we can send them, the better they will hear us speaking!

PHONE CALL’s as well will be a great help!  Please back up your letter or email with a phone call to your Representative to reiterate the issue of BR 161 !!!

PLEASE DO NOT LET THIS BILL DIE!   KEEP IT GOING WITH AN EMAIL AND A PHONE CALL TO YOUR REPRESENTATIVE TODAY!

Employers tightening drug policies since marijuana legalization

 
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"There is what I consider to be a significant number of employers that are saying they wouldn’t hire an employee that uses marijuana," said Evren Esen, SHRM’s director of survey programs.

 

Published: Dec 15, 2015, 11:37 am

By Bloomberg News

With marijuana legalization spreading state-by-state and the U.S. government backing away from aggressive enforcement of federal laws, employers have begun to reconsider their substance abuse policies. They’re making them tougher.

In a first-of-its-kind survey, the Society of Human Resource Management asked 623 HR managers in states where marijuana is legal about their drug policies.

Unsurprisingly, getting stoned at work is largely frowned upon, SHRM found, regardless of legality. It turns out a large chunk of workplaces also won’t hire employees who smoke on their own time.

Marijuana is legal for recreational use in the nation’s capital and four states, including Colorado. In almost 20 others, it’s allowed for medicinal purposes.

More than half of the HR managers surveyed said they have policies, or plan to implement them, restricting the employment of marijuana users. About 38 percent said they will flat-out reject users even if they claim medical reasons. Six percent said their policy will exclude only those who partake for fun.

“There is what I consider to be a significant number of employers that are saying they wouldn’t hire an employee that uses marijuana,” said Evren Esen, SHRM’s director of survey programs.

Companies can maintain stricter policies in states where pot is legal because federal law, which governs most workplace rules, still considers marijuana to be a controlled substance.

Over the summer, the Colorado Supreme Court said it was legal to fire an employee for legally smoking medicinal marijuana while not at work.

That said, what HR managers proclaim and what they do don’t always match up. Fewer employers are drug testing now than five years ago, SHRM numbers show. A 2011 survey of 632 HR professionals found that 55 percent were testing all potential employees.

A little less than half of those surveyed in the new study said their organization does pre-employment drug testing for all candidates, which just about matches testing practices nationwide.

Denver-based Mountain States Employers Council reported that only one in five companies in Colorado planned to make drug-testing more stringent after marijuana legalization last year.

Employers are most likely to test current employees if there’s an accident or a reason to think they’re coming to work high, the survey found.

“Some companies have stated more clearly that they reserve the right to test, letting employees know that it’s not OK to come to work under the influence,” said Lara J. Makinen, an HR coordinator at the Denver-based Atkins, a design and engineering consulting firm.

In states where weed is legal for recreational use, 39 percent of those surveyed have policies that single out marijuana use.

Employers might make more drastic changes if pot use were to start interfering with work life.

So far, apart from one local news story, there haven’t been reports of hordes coming to work stoned. That jibes with SHRM’s findings. Only 21 percent of employers reported more than three incidents of employees violating policy regarding marijuana use over the last year.

“It doesn’t appear to be a really major problem,” Esen said. “It doesn’t seem like employees are going out there and rampantly using marijuana in greater numbers than before.”

This story was first published on DenverPost.com

Topics: drug testing, employers, employers drug testing policies, workplace, zero tolerance

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Pain Medication-Roger Mason

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People are generally completely uninformed about pain medications.

Doctors are almost as completely uninformed. Pain medication is a blessing for the TEMPORARY relief of pain, or for people who are dying and suffering. All drugs were legal in America for almost 150 years, until the Harrison Narcotic Act of 1913.

There was not even an age limit!

Heroin, morphine, opium, cocaine, amphetamine, hashish, and marijuana were inexpensive, over the counter drugs. Only about 3% of Americans had a dependence problem.

There was simply no reason whatsoever to pass this act. All drugs should be legal for adults. Period. That’s right- all drugs for all adults. Anyone who commits a crime while under the influence of any drug (including alcohol) should get doubled penalties. People with drug problems are medical patients, not criminals. This would put an end to drug cartels, most organized crime, most gangs, and empty the prisons over-night. Police would be free to arrest real criminals. It would also take all the profit, false allure, and fake glamour out of illegal forbidden drugs. Drug dependence is Boring with a capital B.

If you have a headache, or other minor pains, try an ice pack. If that doesn’t help, try a heating pad. One or the other should help you very much. Only real world experience will tell you whether hot or cold helps relieve your pain. Aspirin is not toxic, if you take one or two , and only occasionally. It is simply the acetyl derivative of salicylic acid from willow bark. If you have regular headaches, or other pains, your body is telling you there is a problem you need to address. Americans swill down too many tons of aspirin to count every year.

Countless millions of clueless Americans also swill down acetominophen like candy. This drug is so toxic, so poisonous, and so so dangerous, it should be outlawed. Warning labels are not enough here. Acetominophen (aka paracetamol) will turn your liver into pudding. This is sold as Tylenol® and Anacin®.  Another dangerous toxin is ibuprofen. This is sold as Advil® and Motrin®. This is also toxic with many side effects. This should also be outlawed due to it’s toxicity.

If you have stronger pain, there are only a few good prescription options, and all are natural opiates or opiate derivatives. Codeine 60 mg is not strong, but is effective for mild pain. It has a “ceiling”, so if you take, say, 200 mg it will not be any more effective. The most you can take is about 60 mg AM, and 60 mg PM. Codeine is sold over the counter in many countries with no problems at all. The fact it is a prescription drug is ridiculous. It was sold over the counter in America in the 1960s with no problem. Never buy codeine with aspirin, acetaminophen, ibuprofen, or any other filler. Codeine cough syrup is very effective and safe.

Hydrocodone 10 mg is six times stronger than codeine, and much more euphoric. In November 2013 you can finally buy Zohydro® without acetaminophen. Do NOT use Vicodin®, which is full of toxic acetaminophen. Hydrocodone is the most commonly prescribed prescription drug of all, by far in America, but people are ruining their health with the acetaminophen in Vicodin®. Only use Zohydro®.

Oxycodeine 10 mg is also six times stronger than codeine, and just as euphoric as hydro-codeine. You get eurphoria plus energy. This combination makes it potentially addictive for weak minded people. This is the best pain killer known, and most people actually prefer it to morphine. For some reason, this is only sold in a very few countries. This is the best overall pain medication known to man. Believe it or not, this was invented in 1914, and only recently has become so popular. For almost 100 years it just sat on the shelf. Oxycontin® is high dose oxycodeine, up to 160 mg (!) for terminal patients. Per-coset® is full of toxic acetaminophen for no valid scientific reason.

Morphine 30 mg was considered the gold standard for pain relief, but most people prefer oxycodeine, due to the enhanced euphoria and feeling of energy. Morphine is basically only given to people with serious chronic pain, and the terminally ill. Morphine does not work for some people as they lack the enzyme necessary to metabolize it. Morphine is good for people who do not want the extra energy and euphoria, just pain relief. Using it intrarectally is 50% more effective. This does not work with any other pain medicine ex-cept morphine and it’s derivatives.

Hydromorphine 4 mg is known as Dilaudid®, and more than seven times stronger than morphine. It was invented in 1924. This is also only prescribed for very serious cases. There is really no basic difference between morphine and hydromorphine except dosage. 50% more effective when used intrarectally.

What about heroin (diacetyl morphine) 5 mg itself? This is a fine pain killer, and no more addictive than morphine. This is used in Europe but not in the U.S. It makes no sense at all to outlaw heroin as a pain medication. The only problem is that it cannot be taken orally, and that does make it impractical. Never inject any drug unless you are in the emergency room of a hospital. Oral opiates are far preferred. Heroin has been demonized for no reason at all.  The fact it must be injected makes it very impractical however.

Oxymorphine aka oxymorphone 5 mg (Opana®) is similar to hydromorphine, but for some reason is rarely used in the U.S. This has also been available for almost 100 years. This is a shame, as it is very strong and very effective. This just proves the ignorance of medical doctors to ignore a safe and effective drug like this. This is very underutilized. 50% more effective when used intrarectally.

Opium tincture is known as Paregoric®, but it very diluted and weak. Opium powder is not used in America for pain, and concentrated opium (Pantopon®) is almost never used. There are too many harmful alkaloids in unconcentrated opium to use safely. You do not want to take these alkaloids. Paregoric is sold over the counter in some countries. It was legal in America until the 1960s.

What about the synthetic non-opiate drugs like Tramadol®, Demerol®, fentanyl, methadone, ketamine, and propoxyphene? Don’t use these, since you have more effective, less toxic opiates to use. Tramadol® is weak and toxic. Demerol® is very effective, but more toxic than real opiates. Fentanyl is best used as an anesthetic for surgery. Patches are available. The Russians use it as a military aerosol to incapacitate crowds. (The problem is many people die when it is used that way.)   Methadone is illegal in the U.S. and very toxic. Ketamine is a deleriant anesthetic drug with psychedelic properties. The ketamine patches do not cause disorientation. Propoxyphene (Darvon®) is toxic and simply should not be used.   

This leaves codeine, hydrocodeine, and oxycodeine for most people. Serious pain can require morphine or hydromorphine, since oxymorphine is rarely used. This is a short but effective list. Do not let the doctor, in his ignorance, dictate your pain management. Demand real opiates with no fillers.

For pet lovers, the same is true for our beloved companions. Codeine is weak and rather ineffective. This leaves hydrocodeine, oxycodeine, morphine, and dilaudid as the only real choices. Veterinarians are stupid beyond belief, and will give your beloved pet inef-fective Tramadol® and other such drugs. Demand proper pain medication if your pet needs it, and find a new vet if he won’t do it. Some pets cannot metabolize morphine.

The drugs laws have turned America, and most of the whole world, into police states. America has 5% of the world population, but 25% of the world prison inmates!!! One third of American prisoners are locked up for drugs. The drug laws make pharmacists, doctors, and pharmaceutical companies rich. Opiates would literally cost no more than candy bars if legalized. Again, pain medication is for the TEMPORARY relief of suf-fering, unless you  have an incurable chronic condition, or are terminal. You need to be educated about pain relief because your doctor certainly isn’t.  

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Kentucky "Cannabis Freedom Act" Summary

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Kentucky Cannabis Freedom Coalition·Saturday, December 12, 2015

Cannabis Freedom Act Summary

Section 1

(New Section of KRS Chapter 245)

Definitions

Section 2

(New Section of KRS Chapter 245)

Personal possession, use, and cultivation limits

Persons 21 years and older may:

Possess up to 1 ounce of cannabis on their person;

Cultivate up to 5 cannabis plants;

Store excess cannabis lawfully grown for personal use at the location where it was cultivated; or

Transfer up to 1 ounce of cannabis to another person age 21 or older without remuneration

Possession exemption for persons under 21 if recommended by a licensed physician

Section 3

(New Section of KRS Chapter 245)

Prohibition on smoking cannabis in public

Maximum penalty: $100 fine

Section 4

(New Section of KRS Chapter 245)

Prohibitions on access to retail cannabis facilities,

Persons under 21 years of age shall not:

o Enter retail cannabis facilities to purchase cannabis or cannabis products;

o Possess, purchase, or attempt to possess or purchase cannabis or cannabis products;

o Misrepresent their age or use false identification to induce an illegal sale of cannabis or cannabis products; or

o Remain on any premises that sells cannabis or cannabis products

Licensees, their agents, or employees are prohibited from permitting persons under 21 years of age from remaining on any premises where cannabis and cannabis products are sold.

o Maximum penalty: Class B misdemeanor

Section 5

(New Section of KRS Chapter 245)

Prohibition on unlawful possession of cannabis

Maximum penalty: $250 fine

Section 6

(New Section KRS Chapter 245)

Personal cultivation requirements

Person who chooses to cultivate for personal consumption must take reasonable precautions to ensure that any cannabis or cannabis plants are secure from unauthorized access and access by persons under twenty-one years of age.

Persons shall only cultivate cannabis for personal consumption on property that they own or with the consent of the person in lawful possession of the property.

o Maximum penalty: $500 fine

Section 7

(New Section KRS Chapter 245)

Prohibition on unlawful cultivation of cannabis (ULCC) with the intent to sell or transfer it for valuable consideration ULCC of 11 or more cannabis plants

o Maximum penalty: Class D felony

ULCC of 6-10 cannabis plants

o Maximum penalty: Class A misdemeanor

ULCC of 5 or fewer cannabis plants

o Maximum penalty: Class B misdemeanor

ULCC of six or more cannabis plants creates a presumption that unlawful cultivation was for sale or transfer

Section 8

(New Section of KRS Chapter 245)

Department of Alcoholic Beverage and Cannabis Control (ABCC) to promulgate administrative regulations to implement various aspects of Act within 180 days of the Act becoming law.

Section 9

(New Section of KRS Chapter 245)

ABCC to create licenses to operate the following cannabis-related entities:

Cannabis cultivation facility;

Cannabis processing facility;

Cannabis testing facility; or

Retail cannabis facility.

Licenses created pursuant to this section shall cost $5,000 and be valid for 12 months from the date of issuance

Section 10

(New Section of KRS Chapter 245)

Licensure requirements

Applicant must pay nonrefundable $100 application fee which will be applied to their licensing fee if a license is issued to the applicant

ABCC shall:

Create uniform license application form;

Issue a license to an applicant unless:

o The applicant has been convicted of crime which would qualify them as a violent offender;

o The applicant falsifies information on the application for a license; or

o The applicant has had a previous license issued by ABCC revoked within the 12 months prior to the reapplication.

Section 11

(New Section of KRS Chapter 245)

Excise tax imposed on licensees operating cannabis cultivation facilities selling or transferring cannabis to either a cannabis processing facility or a retail cannabis facility.

Effective January 1, 2017:

$30 per ounce on all cannabis flowers

$10 per ounce on all parts of the cannabis plant other than the flowers

$10 per immature cannabis plant

Reporting requirements

Department of Revenue may prescribe forms and promulgate administrative regulations to collect taxes created under this section

Section 12

(New Section of KRS Chapter 245)

Creates a revolving trust and agency account from licensure, renewal, and administrative fees Account to be used for the enforcement of the Act by ABCC

Section 13

(New Section of KRS Chapter 245)

The Kentucky Responsible Cannabis Use Program (KRCUP) fund is created as a restricted fund

The KRCUP fund is comprised off all the excise tax revenue collected under Section 11 of the Act and all the sales and use tax revenue collected on cannabis and cannabis products.

The proceeds contained in the fund are to be distributed according to the following formula:

30% of funds to go the public school fund to support education excellence in Kentucky (SEEK);

20% of funds to go to the Kentucky Department of Education for scholarships based on socioeconomic need for students to attend public institutions of postsecondary education in Kentucky;

20% of funds to go to the Office of Drug Control Policy to dispense grants to substance abuse treatment programs that employ evidence-based behavioral health treatments or medically assisted treatment;

15% of funds to go to the Kentucky Law Enforcement Council to dispense grants to county and local law enforcement agencies to buy protective equipment, communications equipment, and training; and

15% shall be deposited into the general fund.

Section 14

(New Section of KRS Chapter 245)

$500 Civil penalty for each violation of KRS Chapter 245

$1000 Civil penalty for failing to maintain written tax records and reports required by the Department of Revenue

Section 15

(New Section of KRS Chapter 245)

Corporate and individual liability for violations of KRS Chapter 245

Section 16

(New Section of KRS Chapter 245)

Cannabis or cannabis products which are held, owned, or possessed by any person other than those authorized by KRS Chapter 245 is declared contraband.

The ABCC can dispose of contraband cannabis and cannabis products using the same procedures and protocols that they currently use for contraband alcoholic beverages.

Section 17

(New Section of KRS Chapter 100)

Prevents local political subdivisions with zoning power from:

Using their zoning power to institute a moratorium on cannabis-related entities;

Using their zoning power to discriminate against cannabis-related entities by treating them differently from other similar entities;

Using their zoning power to impose more stringent security requirements than those required by ABCC; or Imposing additional fees in excess of what other applicants seeking to operate a business are charged.

Section 18

(New Section of KRS Chapter 65)

Prevents county and local governments from instituting de facto or de jure moratoriums on cannabis related entities.

Section 19

(New Section of KRS Chapter 311)

Allows any licensed physicians acting in good faith to recommend cannabis or cannabis products to their patients.

Physicians who recommend cannabis or cannabis products to patients under the age of 18 must obtain parental consent and a second recommendation from another licensed physician.

Provides civil, criminal, and licensing immunity to physicians who, in good faith, recommend cannabis or cannabis products.

Section 20

(Amends KRS 12.020)

Renames the Department of Alcoholic Beverage and Cannabis Control

Establishes the Division of Cannabis

Section 21

(Amends KRS 241.010)

Amends definition of “board” and “department” to reflect the addition of cannabis

Section 22

(Amends KRS 241.015)

Renames the Department of Alcoholic Beverage and Cannabis Control

Section 23

(Amends KRS 241.020)

Empowers the Department of Alcoholic Beverages and Cannabis Control to regulate traffic in cannabis and cannabis products.

Creates the Division of Cannabis to administer the laws in relation cultivation, processing, testing, and sale of cannabis and cannabis products.

Section 24

(Amends KRS 241.030)

Adds one appointed position to the Alcoholic Beverage and Cannabis Control Board to act as director of the Division of Cannabis.

Section 25

(Amends KRS 2.015)

Amends the age of majority statute in regards to cannabis.

Section 26

(Amends KRS 218A.010)

Removes the definition of marijuana from Kentucky’s Controlled Substances Act.

Section 27

(Amends KRS 218A.050)

Removes marijuana, tetrahydrocannabinols, and hashish from the list of Schedule I controlled substances.

Section 28

(Amends KRS 218A.510)

Removes references to marijuana and hashish from the definition of drug paraphernalia.

Section 29

(Amends KRS 260.850)

Removes industrial hemp from the definition of cannabis.

Section 30

(Amends KRS 600.020)

Includes cannabis offenses in the definition of status offense action under Kentucky’s Juvenile Code.

Section 31

(Amends KRS 610.010)

Grants jurisdiction of juvenile cases involving cannabis to either the juvenile session of District Court or the family division of the Circuit Court.

Section 32

(Amends 630.020)

Adds cannabis offenses to list of status offenses which have to be adjudicated in juvenile court.

Section 33

(Amends KRS 218A.276)

Removes obsolete reference to marijuana statutes that would be repealed if this Act becomes law.

Section 34

(Amends KRS 630.120)

Prevents juveniles who are adjudicated guilty of cannabis offenses from being committed to the Department of Juvenile Justice for detention (mirrors alcohol and tobacco offenses).

Section 35

(Amends KRS 131.650)

Removes obsolete reference to a taxing statute which would be repealed if this Act becomes law.

Section 36

(Repeals KRS 138.870, 138.872, 138.874, 138.876, 138.878, 138.880, 138.882,138.884, 138.885, 138.886, 138.888, 138.889, 218A.1421, 218A.1422, 218A.1423)

Section 37

(Short Title: Cannabis Freedom Act)

INFORMATION SOURCE LINK

UPDATED LINK TO THE KENTUCKY LEGISLATURE WILL BE POSTED WHEN AVAILABLE!

KY Senator files "Cannabis Freedom Act" rolling medicinal and recreational use together in one hit

By Brad Bowman, Published: December 12, 2015 3:56PM

Clark talking about cannabis in a legislative committee meeting. Photo courtesy of the Legislative Research Commission.

Democrat Sen. Perry Clark of Louisville has advocated for the legalization of medical marijuana since the last legislative session to this summer at Mensa’s Annual Gathering where he cleared the smoke and myths surrounding marijuana. Friday he filed a bill rolling medical and recreational use in one big hit.

Clark filed the “Cannabis Freedom Act” which would regulate the use of cannabis just as the state regulates alcohol.

Touting the benefit of pot over pills and curbing opioid addiction for patients who use marijuana to overcome pain and problems from illness like multiple sclerosis, Clark has talked extensively in the Senate and legislative committees about the benefits and regulation of marijuana.

After the Mensa event this summer, Clark had told The State Journal he wanted to have a meaningful conversation about the senseless prohibition of the plant, which Clark said, has been financially backed by alcohol and tobacco companies blocking the legislation in other states.

The “Cannabis Freedom Act” would end the prohibition on marijuana cultivation, possession and selling the substance in regulatory framework similar to Colorado.

Quick takeaways on the act include: it would only be available to residents 21 and over;

• residents could possess up to 1 ounce on their person;

•cultivate up to 5 plants;

• store an excess of cultivated cannabis for personal use where it was cultivated or transfer 1 ounce to another person 21 or older without remuneration.

• persons under 21 could possess cannabis if it was recommended by a licensed physician;

• no smoking cannabis in public places

Other parts of the regulator framework would include only residents 21 and over could enter a retail facility for the purchase of cannabis or related products.

Clark’s bill would maximize unlawful possession at $250 and a $500 fine for illegal growing marijuana on a property without the property owner’s permission.

“It is abundantly clear to me that cannabis, while being much less harmful, should be treated the same as alcohol,” Clark said in a release. “The Cannabis Freedom Act is an outline on how to tax and regulate the sale of marijuana to adults 21 and older in Kentucky. It is time for this discussion in our Commonwealth.”

The act’s regulatory framework has a three-tier licensing system which separates cannabis cultivators, processors and retailers independently to “prevent monopolization and vertical integration,” a component different from the framework proposed in Ohio.

Clark said the tax revenues would be in a restricted fund to increase SEEK funding for the state’s public schools and provide scholarships to Kentucky students who qualify for needs-based  assistance to both public and post-secondary schools in Kentucky.

Revenues would also help fund evidence-based substance abuse treatment programs, provide grants to local law enforcement agencies to purchase protective equipment and provide additional revenue to the state’s general fund.

During the 30-day short session, Clark brought up the medicinal studies and medical benefits of cannabis almost every day in the Senate.

Follow political reporter Brad Bowman at @bradleybowman for all state government and political news.

CONTINUE READING…

Red Vanwinkle explains why we must regulate cannabis like alcohol in kentucky

 

December 12, 2015

Good morning everybody!

Will you help me?

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Above: Patient in Illinois tends to a plant in 2010.

Today I will be sharing a story that only a handful of people knows about. Some know just enough, that I have been asked many times over the years to share publicly. I haven’t done so, because it could be seen as a weakness. So here goes, and it’s 100% true. As some of my longtime friends know.

It all started with extreme bloating. Eventually my belly got so big, I was about a 40 waist, but was drastically loosing weight. I was getting weaker everyday.

After some time, I had a bunch of symptoms hitting me. Some scary stuff. Like pain all over in my joints. Eyes so dry in the mornings, I would open them real slow, as to not rip my eyes. I was getting weak as a kitten, and bed ridden some days.

Then I started to get mind fog. So bad so, I got lost driving in Monticello KY. Which I know the place very well, and has only about 3 stop lights. I then my eyes started to change colors. Then my skin started to change colors. I started turning yellow. I was not able to get out of bed much at this point. I knew this was something that might kill me. I seen my family cry, and very afraid of their future. Which was hard for a man to swallow.

During this time we lived off the grid. Not much money at all. I cut and sold firewood, some crops, and a little homemade drink. Certainly not enough money to have doctors and hospitals find out what was wrong. With me being too week to cut and split much wood. We had less wood to sell. So we had less money.

I had started trying to get my affairs in order. But I was not giving up. I went into town (Monticello) almost everyday. I went to the library to do research online. Which is how I was getting lost, being by myself. But it wasn’t a major problem, just drive around for a minute, and I would be back on my road heading home.

Spelling simple 3 and 4 letter words, was becoming a major issue in my research. But I swallowed my pride, and started asking people how to spell words, when I ran into the issue. I know this sounds simple enough. But it is a hard task to ask someone how to spell "was". People think you’re mentally handicapped, completely uneducated, or on dope. Which during this time, I was not doing anything. No drinking, no pot, no over the counter pain meds, or anything I thought could place strain on my liver.

I had actually stopped smoking pot before I got sick. I stopped smoking cigarettes during that time too. And I rarely ever drink. When I do drink, I don’t drink much. I did when I was really young. But as I got older, the after effects got worse (hangover). So I quit that business long ago lol.

The mind fog continued to get worse, as I became more yellow in color. I had gotten to the point I was having a hard time remembering how to say some words. Conversation was becoming a difficult task.
There was several more symptoms. Too many to go into detail here, and that some I would rather not share. I got to where almost everything I ate caused me some type of issue. Which drove the wife nuts trying to see I was able to eat.

It got so bad, that my wife came to me crying, saying she can’t watch me die. I told her I was getting better. That it was just going to take time to show on the outside. Yes, a little white lie at the time. But I figured well placed. I soon after started being a jerk, so she would leave me. I had come to the conclusion. That if this killed me. I was going to die on my terms, and alone. As I did not want this burden on anyone else. Yet she didn’t go anywhere.

Yet, I was still not just going to give up. In my research. I knew my liver was shutting down. So I started buying different liver supporting substances. Like a vitamin called liver aid, milk thistle. I bought B12 to help increase energy. I bought acidophilus to help incase I had cancer. Which many signs was pointing at that. And I had recently had a close relative die from liver cancer. There was other various health items too, but the listed ones was my go to meds.

All this stuff was not cheap in the stores. But I knew I had to have it. I needed it to keep me going, so I could find out what was wrong with me. Luckily there was a salvage store in Pine Knot. This store on one day a week had all kinds of vitamins for cheap. They had boxes, and boxes of different vitamins, and over the counter meds. The wife and I would search through all those boxes for a bottle here and there. Most of the time, we would find enough to get me through the week. Which they had new stuff every week. So this became a weekly thing, of a couple hours. There was times we found extras, so I would buy all I could. I would even count change just to get as many of the found extras as we could. Hated to leave any bottles, as I knew I would sometime or another need them, and not have them. There was some weeks we didn’t find what I needed. So I would bum some from friends that had alcohol related liver issues. Just to make it to the next week. Good friends are worth more than gold to me!!!
So back to figuring out what was wrong. I had symptoms that matched cancer, and about 100 different rare genetic disorders. Genetic disorders are not contagious, it’s something a person is either born with or not. But could be dormant for years before coming to cause issues.

So there I was. I had either a possibility of various cancers, or a genetic disorder. Which most of these things I found was calling for a prognosis of death, with varying expected times. But there was hope. I had started eating super healthy, and taking my vitamins/meds. I was seeing improvement with my liver situation. The situation went from all bad, to sometimes improvement. While other times not. Which was also kinda scary, as this type improvements with these things, is also likely with liver cancer. But basically a little time buying. Either way, I was taking what I could get, and happy to have it. As the steady decline was even more scary. As the scariest thing was leaving my family without. This I had to fix!

With the small improvements, and the energy increase from eating lots of sublingual B12 tablets a few times a day. I was able to do more. Sublingual tablets absorb inside your mouth. So almost instant energy.

I started looking at getting back closer to her family. We logged the property, and bought a foreclosure. We got the home at a amazing price. The asking price was so low, we knew others would also be putting in offers. So I offered them $1200 more than asking price, and we got it. We was flat broke no furniture. An extension cord running from our new neighbors lol. But we had the house, and food in our belles. Which was completion of phase one. Make sure the family had enough to be ok when I left.

This new home needed all kinds of work, and still needs some. But it has awesome bones. Multi colored brick, new metal roof, a two car garage, and fenced in yard on an acre. This new home was out in the country. Yet a 15 minute drive to Elizabethtown KY. Which is very close to Fort Know KY.

The jobs was available here. I had no problem in getting jobs. Matter of fact, I got 3 as soon as I went looking. I applied for jobs I thought I could handle. Which I decided I was going to take them all. I felt like superman changing cloths on the fly lol.

One of the jobs was an advertising associate. Which I did sales, and mostly at my convenience. Which was easy enough. Just had to get some fancy duds, and a hair cut. I didn’t make a killing, but did ok.
The next job was a pizza delivery driver a few hours a day. Which again was easy enough. I just needed a gps tell me where to go. So I got one, and the job was a piece of cake. I made a sorry paycheck, but made good in tips.

The 3rd job was kind of tougher. Yet I still felt it was doable. I applied at a factory delivering parts to the different lines. Which I had a cart that I drove around. This one proved to be a bit more difficult. I had no gps to tell me where to go, and I would get turned around from time to time. Which I just applied my previous way of dealing with such. I drove until I figured out where I was lol. Most thought I was just having fun, so I played along. I would Aihooooo, and toot the horn as I would fly by hahahaha. This job was also long hours, and 7 day a week most weeks. So I was having a hard time doing so much. Yet I was making the most of my money on this job. Most, but not all my money. So I just needed something to bring in a few more bucks.

I quit the factory job, and started my handyman service. I had to act as if the client needed something major. I was not the best qualified to do the task. As really I was not able to do a lot physically, even though I had all the knowledge to compete almost any home repair. I just didn’t want to let be known, I was not physically able to do some task. I remember in the beginning. I was doing a painting job, and started to give out on a ladder. I told the home owner, the heavy onion smell, from something they was cooking was causing me issue, and I needed a break for fresh air. Which was likely true, as onions was one of the things that started making me sick if I ate them. Which the homeowner quickly aired out the home, while I was getting some fresh air. I also ate several b12 tablets. Which I was able to continue on.

As business increased, I was able to add the family. Which they worked hard, and we was as efficient as any small construction crew. I have several awesome short cuts, that makes things faster, and easier, with the same quality results (Work smarter, not harder).

You know I am not in such a condition now. So how, and when did I change things around. I was spending every spare moment researching medical conditions. We had wifi at our new place. Which made research a lot more convenient. I was doing lots of research on auto immune disorders(genetic disorder). Because I had seen in my research. Autoimmune disorders can have greatly varying symptoms. Which makes it difficult for medical professionals to track down. This also causes wrong diagnoses many times.

As I researched Autoimmune disorders. I learned that they can stay dormant in a person for many years, or never come about even if the person has the genetics to develop a Autoimmune disorder. That this can be triggered by several things. One of those things is surgery. Which just before my issues started, I had all my teeth pulled. Because I had bad teeth, due to a genetic disorder. Where I had no natural enamel coating on my teeth. So bells was going off, for me to concentrate my research here. I tested gluten, and gluten was a factor in the bely bloating, and pain. So I stopped gluten. With some results but still some things got worse. Which caused me to realize I could be affected by multiple genetic disorders.

I had been researching everything I could. Other medical practices in other places, and there findings, and treatments. Then somehow in my search I was reading some comments to a blog. One that said the US health department held a patent on cannabinoids having positive effects on Autoimmune disorders. So I copied, and pasted a search. Because at that time I didn’t know what cannabinoids was. As many people still don’t know what it is.
Sure enough, the US health department has this documented, and patented. This along with having positive effects in treating cancer. At this point, I am in shock that this is not know by the public. There has to be a reason. Because when I do searches on autoimmune, and cancer. There was thousands of different kinds of claims to be of benefit. But during that time, there was nothing unless you did a direct search for cannabinoids and cancer, or Cannabinoids and Autoimmune. I found the reason this was not very well known.

You know where cannabinoids are found? CANNABIS!!! Both hemp, and Marijuana has them.

Now I was starting to see another link. About the same time I quit consuming Cannabis, was about the same time I started getting sick. Could it be Cannabis was helping prevent autoimmune from developing? As I did my research, I found this to be very possible.

Here I was, had not consumed Cannabis for years. Didn’t really want to spend the money to get it. Takes time to grow. So I had to think long and hard. First I talked with my wife and son. I told them, and showed them what I had found. I asked them what they thought about me trying this to get better. They both looked at me like I was stupid. Not because it would be shameful. Because they didn’t care if I had to eat horse poop to get better. So with them it was a definite wanting me to give it a try.

Next I went and talked with my inlaws. As they have always been against any drugs, drinking, and even smoking. I rarely ever even smoke around them still today. Father inlaw was acting like he was ok, but I really didn’t know. Mother inlaw was acting tolerant as she knew I was sick. But was skeptical about any possible improvements.
The next input I went to seek was my friends. Which I even actually made a post. Back then, about 30 friends was all I had on my friends list lol. If the person was not an actual friend, they was not on my list in those days. Those post has since been deleted. As I deleted all post when I did my first TV show. All my friends that knew I was sick, and the ones just finding out I was sick, everyone said go for it.

Once I decided to go for it. Then I needed to figure out where to get it at a price I could afford. Lets just say I have many friends. Which has helped me. Even if I don’t have any money. If I am having issues. They take care of me best they can.

But even with knowing the right people, it was a gamble. As jail was no place for a person as sick as I was. Even now, a long sit in jail, could possibly cause a relapse. So another issue that needs to be fixed. Hence I started publicly supporting Cannabis reform in KY. Because I really don’t want to have to leave my home for safe access to what I need.

I started out as a hemp, and medical marijuana advocate. But once I started gaining notoriety, I started to learn Medical only in KY, would only be a money making sham. One the common person could not afford. I know this, as I was offered an in on this money making plan. I then seen this would be for the wealthy only. I seen this would create a group to fight further Cannabis reform. Such as a group of people whom would not be making as much, if full regulated came about. I was not selling out, while the common people suffer. Even if this would fix my situation. So now I advocate for Cannabis to be regulated like alcohol.

But before I did. I looked at all angles. When you look at Cannabis verses alcohol. It is clear that Cannabis is safer, less addictive, and pose fewer issues for a community than alcohol. I seen the fact alcohol is harder for teens to get than Marijuana. This is because street dealers don’t ask for ID. So with regulations like alcohol has. Cannabis would be harder for teens to obtain. So I seen no adverse reason that out weighed the good of regulating Cannabis like alcohol.
I seen the economic boost. I seen the decrease in consumption of heroin, and prescription pain pills.

I saw KY being a leading economy in the US. As KY grew 98% of the hemp for WWII. This is because KY has the best overall U.S. environment to grow Cannabis.

To bring this full circle. My mother inlaw would fire into anyone that says I shouldn’t consume Cannabis. She has went to Cannabis reform meetings. She has prepared food for Cannabis reform events. She has attended Cannastock. She has had discussions with her friends. She has helped me anyway she can. To help me help KY bring Cannabis reform to KY.  I have autoimmune disorder. It’s genetic, and Cannabis turns off the illness for me, and many other people.

Even though I didn’t really want to share. I did so in hopes of gaining as much help as possible.

Will you help me bring Cannabis reform to KY?

Would you want to face jail every time you need a prescription filled?

That is my world. Even though I don’t act like it bothers me, it DOES!
It’s not fair. It’s not fair people get pain meds they don’t really need, while I can’t get safe access to what I need. It’s not fair Sudafed is legal, and is what meth is made from. Because people how have a runny nose needs it. So they say the risk is worth it. Meanwhile heck no for Marijuana. Reason, someone will get high. Even though the high from marijuana has NEVER killed 1 person with overdose.

Here are some things you can do, if you you would like to help me.
You can call your KY legislators and ask them to support the new measure to regulate Cannabis in KY like alcohol. The number is (800) 372-7181.

You can tell pass this information on to any Kentuckian you know. And encourage them to make the call as well.

You can email your legislators asking them to support the new measure to regulate cannabis like alcohol.

There will be more you can get involved with. Just be watching as I will be posting various things to help bring this reform to KY.

You are welcome to share this post.

As always, thank you for your continued Cannabis support ,’-) Aihooooo

Written by:  Red Vanwinkle, Kentucky.

SOURCE LINK

Join him on Facebook HERE.

Ky. senator files ‘Cannabis Freedom Act’

4:42 p.m. EST December 11, 2015

MEXICO-MARIJUANA-GREENHOUSE

FRANKFORT, Ky. (WHAS11)Kentucky Senator Perry B. Clark (D-Louisville) pre-filed an act that would legalize and regulate cannabis in a similar way the Bluegrass State handles alcohol.

The bill would repeal Kentucky’s prohibition on marijuana cultivation, possession and sale. Instituted in its place would be a "regulatory framework designed to promote public safety and responsible cannabis consumption by persons over 21 years of age."

RELATED: Ohio could be first to legalize medicinal and recreational pot

Clark states that cannabis should be treated in a similar light as alcohol.

“It is abundantly clear to me that cannabis, while being much less harmful, should be treated the same as alcohol,” said Clark. “The Cannabis Freedom Act is an outline on how to tax and regulate the sale of marijuana to adults 21 and older in Kentucky. It is time for this discussion in our Commonwealth.”

RELATED: Founder of ‘Church of Cannabis" won’t use pot at service

Highlighted in the announcement is that tax dollars generated from the new commerce would go to supplement Kentucky’s public schools, post-secondary institutions and scholarships.

Portions of the revenue generated would also go toward "evidence-based substance abuse treatment programs."

“This is a common sense proposal that moves Kentucky positively forward,” Clark said.

The proposed bill will be considered during the 2016 Legislative Session, which convenes Tuesday, Jan. 5th, 2016.

CONTINUE READING…

woe to you of earth and sea i come bringing "Transparency"

Tom Johnson
Tom Johnson

10 hrs

Hateful Ignorance

woe to you of earth and sea
i come bringing "Transparency"

1 if by land
2 if by sea
this time
its 3

Information Technology

a world of deception
lost in perception
after closer inspection
its based on miss direction

It’s in front of your eyes,
but you dont see
your a walking zombie
a talking pelosi
an adolescent baby
me me me me me

tattoos football beer and money
eating GMO’s
made from milk & honey
you’re so blind
its always sunny

liberally conservative brains,
of uneducated goo’s,
sit and watch,
the TV news
from your mouth
their hatred spews…….

(THEM) you’re a liberal, right wing conservative tea bagging racist pothead with a conspiracy theory….you’re a truther!!!!

I’m a truther
and thats ok
i dislike
the other way

(THEM) thats not what I meant!!!

what kind of people
say things they dont mean
they speak in opposites
from what ive seen

propaganda pimps, and media hos
political pundits, our nightly foes
they tell a lie
and strike a pose
thats how
the story goes
the truth is out there
but you dont know
…hateful ignorance…
is what you sew

(THEM) so…so what…. I dont care!!

oh contrair
monfrair
its no wonder
i have gray hair

streets of despair
chemtrailed air
eating fukushima tuna
without a care

open borders
new world disorder
fracking and drinking
contaminated water

pipelines across babylon
for miles and beyond
remember Kuwait in 91?
When oil fires,
blocked the sun?
do ya think National Security
envisioned that one?

to those that study the theory of evolution
and scholars of the constitution
to the smartest minds of all institutions
here’s a global warming solution
STOP CORPORATE POLLUTION!!!

marijuana is an herb
nutrients for the nerves
incarceration
undeserved
they bust your face into a curb
then give a lesser sentence
to a perv

PAIN!!!!! PAIN!!!! PAIN!!!!

Pain is the Gateway to drugs,
not cannabis
but only an ignoramus
disagrees with this
a us patent
by HHS
6630507
truly exists
for those that say its a ruse
ha ha i cooked your goose
that patent
holds the truth

why do people argue
because they cant handle the truth
rationalized conjectured opinions
are seriously MOOT

paralysis and blue screens of death
vaccinating like it dont make sense
big pharma creates the pestilence
doctors inoculate with ignorance
while autism attacks the innocence
turning your head
is cognitive dissonance

oh lord
i thought id seen it all
now little kids
cant play ball
aluminum salts and thimersol,
pharmaceutical…..wind fall

Obamacare
healthcare
you know
they dont care
and when our vets come home
there aint nothing there
the end result
nothing spared
all because
you didnt care

from spreading the wealth around
this is what I have found
the government took us broke
and our futures not sound
if this goes on any longer
it will crash to the ground

Quantitative easing
its not so deceiving
they devalue the dollar
to keep on thieving

they rob peter to pay paul
bankrupt the people
to pay for it all
hey man,
that’s against the law

they bailed out the bankers
and corporations too
now put the foot on
the other shoe
do unto them
because they did you

arrest the federal reserve
they created
the market curve
time to give them
what they deserve
taking it back
is justice served

Bill Clinton repealed
the glass stegal act
now $200,000 speeches
at Goldman Sachs
while Ted Cruz’s wife
sits on their lap
now the people want
their houses back
Thats a Fact
Jack!!!

NAFTA, CAFTA, TPP
they sold our jobs overseas
its all so disastrous
dont you see?
the freedom terrorists
live in DC

lies of deception
lies of deceit
a 20 trillion dollar deficit
is OUR receit
Dont tell me Nazi history, didnt repeat.

from the NSA,
to the TSA
better do what they say
or ND AA
Indefinite Detention FE MA
now they’re trying to take
your guns away

Infringing on the 2nd
during a time of war
is aiding the enemy
under Article 104
Ladies & Gents
We are at War!!!

Sieg Heil!
Yes We Can!
harry reid
sells our land
threatening
the Bundy Clan
welcome to
Amerikhastan

they created racism umongst man
spread fear & terror across the land
whenever people get off a boat
there’s a name to be had
so much injustice we cant stand
politicians play the race card
at every hand

knowing your history
is a way to see
along with truth
comes transparency

those that dont want to disclose the truth
have something to hide
now this, i cannot deny
open the 28 pages Mr. President
and show the lie
death to America
comes from inside

Kennedy
spoke of a Secret Society
now this is nothing new to me
a court ruling
is there to see
our Government killed
Dr. King

Illuminati
New Age Nazi
Hillary Clinton’s
the Butcher of Benghazi!

what difference does it make
the history of evil you forsake
government devils tongue like a snake
we the people need to awake

stop the political chatter
I’m mad as a hatter
open your eyes
lives have been shattered
can you see
or doesn’t it matter

Jose’…..cant you see
you are not free
living in the land
of blaspheme
no right to liberty
denied by
Governmental Authority
from sea to shining sea
it’s all plain to me
uninvisible as can be
that’s why it’s called
Transparency

the revolution will not be televised
the boob toob is for the ill advised
conspiracy theorists have been justified
research the internet to realize
a hostile takeover from the inside
put me on a stand and ill testify
that everything government is a lie
i cross my heart and hope they fry

im poor white trash
do you hear what i say
im like a bad rash
that wont go away
ill be a witness
on judgement day

Game Over!
I dont play
their own rules
they don’t obey
this is our life
they cast astray
if there is justice
they will pay
i speak this,
to my dying day

im not politically correct
and i tried to show respect
but hey man, what the heck
democrats & republicans
should swing from the neck

now here’s something our politicians can do
google your bing until it yahoos a clue
I had enough of listening to you
I didnt sign the constitution
and neither did you
legally they cant tell US,
what to do
goo goo ga choo
ga
goo goo ga choo

Ipso Facto
its null and void yo

Qui Vult Decipi
Decipitaur
a k a
Caveat Emptor

for the crimes they do
the red white & blue
will be the new
Orange

they have become destructive
upon our means
Now….do you see what I mean?
Everyone for Prison in 2016

Tom Johnson

Pa. Chairman US Marijuana Party

USMJparty.com

 

CONTINUE READING…

Kevin Sabet Is The Marijuana Movement’s Biggest Threat, But Can He Really Stop ‘Big Pot’?

By Joel Warner @joelmwarner j.warner@ibtimes.com on December 09 2015 8:02 AM EST

Judiciary Committee Holds Hearing, Drew Angerer, Getty

BETHESDA, Maryland — Kevin Sabet, the man Salon called the quarterback of the new anti-drug movement, the guy Rolling Stone labeled the No. 1 enemy of marijuana legalization, the 36-year-old political wunderkind whom High Times has declared the devil himself, takes the stage in a sprawling conference hall at the annual conference of the Association for Addiction Professionals (NAADAC) and gazes with confidence over his audience. But what comes out of the mouth of the founder of the three-year-old nonprofit, Smart Approaches to Marijuana, or Project SAM, isn’t typical anti-marijuana rhetoric.

“We cannot be Reefer Madness 2.0,” he tells his audience. “We went overboard.” Sabet doesn’t suggest marijuana is a gateway drug, doesn’t resort to scare tactics like the “This Is Your Brain on Drugs" public service announcement from the 1980s. In fact, Sabet agrees with his pro-marijuana opponents on many matters. He’s opposed to harsh drug laws that have long criminalized people – mostly minorities – for smoking or possessing small amounts of marijuana. He concedes that components of marijuana might hold medical promise and wants the federal government to make it easier to study the plant. And, most strikingly, he concedes the war on drugs was a failure.

But he’s not willing to give up the fight. He’s launched a new war against marijuana legalization, one focused on a new bogeyman. “These are the guys who keep me up at night,” he says with dramatic flair during his presentation, clicking to a slide depicting not ominous drug dealers or disheveled hippies, but three slick-looking guys in suits and ties. They’re the co-founders of Privateer Holdings, a powerful marijuana private equity firm. (With his boyish, clean-cut looks and thickset frame swaddled in a jacket and tie, Sabet would fit in among the trio.)

“In my mind, legalization equals commercialization,” says Sabet, explaining that legal cannabis will lead to the rise of corporations whose bottom lines will be tied to promoting the use of an inebriating and habit-forming substance. Like the alcohol industry, these marijuana businesses will target excessive users. “This is the addiction business,” he says. “The industry has an incentive to encourage heavy use.” And like the tobacco industry, marijuana businesses will try to hook potential customers when they’re young – hence the growing ubiquity of marijuana-infused gummy bears and other candies.

It’s a compelling argument: Our country has already allowed the mass commercialization of two intoxicating substances, alcohol and tobacco, which together cause more than 500,000 U.S. deaths and $500 billion in social costs each year. Do we want to follow the same path for marijuana?

Now, more than ever before, the country may be ready to embrace Sabet’s line of reasoning. A legalization initiative in Ohio that would have granted an oligopoly to its deep-pocketed funders failed at the polls in November, but not before shifting the national dialogue around cannabis. Media outlets are reporting on the rise of “Big Pot" and marijuana advocates are bemoaning the fact that the country is entering a new era of cannabis reform in which “industry is taking over the legalization movement.” Sabet says the Ohio initiative has energized him and led to several new Project SAM donors.

"There’s a real tipping point here,” says Sam Kamin, marijuana law professor at the University of Denver. “It’s whether the industry runs this going forward or the policy wonks do. There’s real room for Sabet and others to say, ‘Let’s keep this from being tobacco and alcohol.’”

All it might take for the marijuana movement to lose ground is someone like Sabet, who has launched Project SAM chapters in three dozen states, to capture the hearts and minds of the people he calls “the marijuana middle,” the vast majority of Americans who don’t smoke pot but also don’t want to put people in jail for it. This could be why cannabis advocates are so antagonized by Sabet; maybe, deep down, they know he has a shot at stopping them.

But can Sabet even capture the hearts and minds of addiction specialists? At the end of his NAADAC conference presentation, he draws a hearty round of applause – from the 60 or so people in attendance. It’s a small fraction of the crowd the conference hall can hold.

The moderate turnout hints at the challenges that lie ahead for Sabet. While his kinder, gentler opposition to cannabis could be just what the anti-marijuana movement needs, with more than half of Americans now supporting legalization, are such efforts too little, too late? And if Sabet really has a realistic plan for marijuana that avoids both of hysterical excesses of the war on drugs and the corporate hazards of all-out legalization that the majority of Americans could get behind, why so often does it feel like he’s fighting this war all alone?

Driven to Compete

“Marijuana is more potent, it’s being marketed to kids, heavy use is at record highs … ”

It’s several hours before Sabet’s NAADAC presentation, and he’s hunched over a laptop in the 14th floor executive lounge of JW Marriot in downtown Washington, D.C. Through the lounge’s sweeping windows, the Washington Monument pierces the early morning sky. He’s prepping for several packed days of meetings and presentations, going over key talking points he has to hit not just at the addiction professionals convention, but in sit-downs with staff at the White House’s Office of National Drug Control Policy, a drug court judge and other power players.

This is what Sabet does: He roves all over the country and beyond on the dime of the various policy groups that have invited him, hammering home key facts and figures. But right now he’s being extra diligent with his preparations. He only has three days here in D.C., where the future of national drug policy will be decided, before he’s off to his next excursion, to Ireland. It’s imperative he’s at the top of his game.

Usually the Kevin Sabet show is a solo operation, but this morning he’s joined by two Project SAM staffers, both recently hired. One is Jeff Zinsmeister, a former State Department narcotics affairs officer in Mexico who left a consulting job at Bain & Company to work for Project SAM. The other is Will Jones, who at 24 launched “Two Is Enough,” an organization that tried – and failed – to stop D.C.’s marijuana legalization initiative in 2012.

Zinsmeister and Jones look tired as they help Sabet finalize a PowerPoint presentation. At one point Jones makes a run for coffee. Sabet passes on the caffeine. He’s wide awake and ready to go, even though he got in late last night after a flight from Melbourne.

Sabet has always been like this: driven to compete, driven to win. “ The guy is always on,” says Zinsmeister. Buoyant and approachable, albeit well-versed enough in politics to stick to the script, Sabet likes telling stories of how he actively chats up hardened opponents, dismantling their assumptions of “the devil Kevin Sabet.” His wife Shahrzad, a postdoctoral fellow in international affairs at Harvard University, says she fell for him when they were both studying at the University of Oxford in 2004 because of his sincerity – “He totally wears his heart on his sleeve,” she says – compared to the slick alpha males she was used to at the institution.

But Sabet also has an aggressive side, one that arises and flourishes on the debate stage. His mentors vividly recall the moment when, at an Orange County, California, event, 17-year-old Sabet faced off against local Superior Court Judge James Gray and wiped the floor with the libertarian drug war critic. And his supporters speak in reverential tones of his ability to verbally spar with the marijuana movement’s most eloquent advocates. “He is probably one of the best debaters I have ever seen,” says Christine Miller, director of Project SAM’s Maryland chapter.

Sabet’s competitive streak was honed on the tennis courts of the upper-middle class southern California suburb in which he grew up. He was known for besting more powerful players who underestimated him, for thriving when all hope seemed lost. He did it all as a singles player.

“I hated doubles,” he says. “I didn’t want to let my partner down, and I wanted to rely on myself. I was going to go down alone or triumph in victory.”

His interest eventually shifted to another competition: Fighting marijuana. His crusade was inspired by a tragedy in high school. “A friend of his in school was killed in a drug-related car accident,” says his older sister, Mina Sabet. “He felt very passionate about it and wanted to find out the reason for it.” It’s the sort of anecdote that Sabet could use for political leverage, but he won’t go into details. “I don’t want to talk about my friend out of respect to the family,” he says.

The son of Iranian immigrants, avoiding alcohol and drugs was part of Sabet’s Baha’i faith growing up. But the stories his parents told of social injustices in their home country made him reluctant to fully embrace the strict criminal penalties of the war on drugs. “Our own family experienced persecution in Iran,” says Homa Tavangar, his older sister. “We grew up with a very strong sense of social justice, and taking a very big stand around issues like human rights.”

Becoming an anti-pot advocate at a young age was at times a lonely endeavor for Sabet, but it also got him noticed. “He always stood out,” says Robert DuPont, first director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse and one-time drug czar, who was one of Sabet’s mentors. “He was never like other people. You meet him and he is so clear on the issues, so outspoken, so against the stereotype.”

Launching Citizens for a Drug-Free Berkeley while an undergrad at the famed freewheeling school helped land Sabet a research job with President Bill Clinton’s Office of National Drug Control Policy, then another drug policy position under President George W. Bush. Finally he became a senior adviser to President Barak Obama’s first drug czar. He had high expectations for Obama’s marijuana policies. “I saw legalization coming down the pike, and I hoped this president didn’t get distracted by these really seductive arguments,” he says.

But instead there were setbacks, including the 2009 “Ogden Memo,” the Department of Justice notice that U.S. attorneys shouldn’t prosecute those in compliance with state medical marijuana laws, a memorandum that fueled dispensary industries around the country. According to Sabet, the memo blindsided the Office of National Drug Control Policy, triggering what he remembers as “pit in my stomach.”

The Ogden Memo was the turning point for Sabet. Marijuana advocates suddenly seemed more politically savvy, replacing buzzwords like “legalization” with more palatable options like “taxation and regulation.” In the fall of 2011, he left his job with the Obama administration to adopt his own approach to anti-marijuana advocacy. He recruited two contrasting heavyweights to his cause: Patrick J. Kennedy, the former Democratic U.S. representative from Rhode Island whose struggles with drugs and alcohol inspired him to become a steadfast anti-legalization proponent, and David Frum, a neoconservative speechwriter for George W. Bush. With their help, he launched what he titled “the third way” on marijuana policy, instead of outright criminalization or legalization.

“We had lost the middle,’” he says. “We had to rebrand.”

The Third Way

In January 2013, two months after Colorado legalized recreational marijuana, Sabet and Kennedy launched Project SAM in Denver. “We’re opening the doors to allowing a new, powerful industry to downplay the effects of a substance they will be profiting off of and to downplay the effects of addiction,” Sabet told the media at the time.

While the United States generally accepts big companies running major industries, Sabet argues a line should be drawn for potentially addictive products like marijuana. “Big Tobacco was a disaster for our country in terms of the marketing machine that was activated, while the government looked the other way for a century,” he says. “Do we want to repeat that with yet another substance? And one that in fact, unlike tobacco, produces intoxication and therefore leads to car crashes, workplace accidents, school dropouts and mental illness?”

Project SAM launch, REUTERS, Rick Wilking Former Rep. Patrick Kennedy, D-R.I., (left) and Kevin Sabet at the 2013 launch of Project SAM.  Rick Wilking/Reuters

It’s why Project SAM opposes any form of legalization. But then what does the organization want in its place? Sabet has repeatedly promised to develop model laws, but so far, policy proposals encapsulating Project SAM’s preferred legal reforms, such as reduced marijuana arrests and increased public health campaigns and treatment options, haven’t materialized.

“What do they want as a policy?” says Tom Angell, chairman of the pro-legalization group Marijuana Majority. “They make these assertions, how it’s something in the middle, but it’s very vague.”

Sabet says his organization has been working with drug-law experts and political consultants on the matter, and Project SAM-backed policy initiatives are coming soon. “We have to go on the offense,” he says. “I am sick of saying, ‘Vote no, vote no.’ We want to be ‘yes.’”

Sabet insists these proposals will be a major shift from the punitive “War on Drugs” approaches of old, including policies he worked on as a White House adviser. But some of his opponents wonder if his evolution is simply political expediency. “For many, many years he was a major driving force behind jailing and demonizing marijuana users,” says Brian Vicente , a Denver marijuana attorney who co-authored Colorado’s 2012 legalization initiative. “Now that public opinion has shifted away from the drug war, he has attempted to rebrand himself as the ‘Smart,’ middle approach, without acknowledging his past.”

Then there’s the fallout Sabet predicted from the country’s first experiments with legalized marijuana, how he promised in 2014 that in Colorado, people should expect “criminal organizations to adapt to legal prices,” “our teens to be bombarded with promotional messages from a new marijuana industry seeking lifelong customers” and “the social costs ensuing from increased marijuana use to greatly outweigh any tax revenue.” Two years in, has the doom and gloom he foretold come to pass?

Marijuana Support Over Time | InsideGov

Sabet and others point to reports concluding that problems such as marijuana use among youth, cannabis-related hospitalizations and marijuana traffic deaths have all increased since Colorado legalized marijuana. But others argue these reports feature selectively parsed data to suit the authors’ purposes, and note that other studies indicate marijuana might lead to reduced driving fatalities and underage use.

The sky hasn’t fallen in Colorado or Washington State since marijuana became legal, concludes Jonathan Caulkins, a Carnegie Mellon University professor who studies marijuana policy. But that’s because, he says, it’s too soon to determine the social impacts of the policy change. He thinks that anyone who tries to spin the short-term data to either promote or condemn legalization is missing the bigger question: What happens years from now to the first generation to grow up not just with legalized but potentially mass-marketed cannabis?

“Only an idiot would predict that the problems would come in two years,” says Caulkins. “I think we are going to legalize this nationally, we are going to let Big Tobacco play, and 25 years from now we will say, ‘What were we thinking?’”

A Thousand Kevins

As his three-day Washington, D.C., junket progresses, Sabet and his two-person Project SAM entourage ping-pong from one appointment to the next. As an Uber driver transports the trio to the NAADAC conference, Sabet conducts a news interview with a British journalist over his cell phone while Zinsmeister and Jones tweak their boss’ conference slideshow. At the convention center in Bethesda, Maryland, the three grab granola bars and potato chips from a Starbucks to make do for lunch, then power-walk through the facility, looking for the right conference hall.

Throughout their exploits, there’s talk of money. Before the insurance association meeting, the three brainstorm as to how best ask for financial support. After Sabet’s NAADAC talk, Jones suggests they acquire a smartphone credit-card reader, so they can take donations from inspired audience members after future speeches. As they are driven through posh D.C. suburbs, they admire the sprawling residences, making cracks that “multimillion-dollar drug warriors” like themselves should get mansions like these.

Project SAM’s opponents have long wondered who is paying the nonprofit’s bills. Critics have scrutinized the fact that when Project SAM first launched, it received support from Community Alliances for Drug Free Youth, a California nonprofit that’s received funding from the Federal Drug-Free Communities Act, which means the organization could have a financial interest in preserving the country’s current drug policies and related grants. And they’ve pointed out that Project SAM appears to enjoy a cozy relationship with several local DEA task forces, which have long operated as an advance guard in the country’s war on drugs.

Sabet’s detractors also make note of the fact that Stuart Gitlow, an outspoken member of Project SAM’s board of directors, is the medical director for a pharmaceutical company marketing Zubsolv, a drug designed to treat opioid addiction, and that Robert DuPont, Sabet’s mentor, helps run a consulting firm specializing in drug testing management. Sabet himself was an advisory board member of the Drug Free America Foundation, an organization founded by Mel and Betty Sembler after they shut down STRAIGHT, Inc., a highly controversial drug treatment company. Drug manufacturers and drug testing companies are also major sponsors of anti-marijuana organizations like NAADAC. Could they be bankrolling Project SAM, too?

Sabet insists that his organization receives zero funding from pharmaceutical companies, drug-testing interests or the government, although some of his trips and talks have been financed by organizations that do. And while Project SAM hasn’t yet filed taxes for 2014 – the first year the 501c3 nonprofit was in operation – Sabet says that when it does, the records will show an annual operating budget of around $100,000, funded entirely by small donations and a few larger contributions from organizations like the Bodman Foundation and Patrick Kennedy’s Kennedy Forum. While recently new funding sources have allowed Project SAM to make two additional hires in Washington, D.C., the organization is still far from flush with cash. “On one hand, it’s a badge of honor how much we have done with so little,” says Sabet. “On the other, it’s kind of embarrassing.”

Project SAM’s financial situation isn’t just embarrassing; it also highlights just how much has changed since the days of bush-league cannabis activists going up against the war on drugs machine. In 2013, the Marijuana Policy Project posted $1.6 million in revenue, while the Drug Policy Alliance boasted over $9 million, and these organizations have used their coffers to outspend their opponents on major legalization initiatives by a factor of 10 or more. And while reporters now have a plethora of pro-marijuana spokespeople they can mine for comments on the importance of legalization, on the anti-legalization side, they mostly just have Sabet. While the head of Project SAM may be a capable spokesman, is his voice powerful enough?

“When we had the ‘Just Say No’’ press on drugs, we had the first lady leading the charge, and that’s powerful,” says Tom Gorman, director of the Rocky Mountain High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area and longtime drug-war soldier. “The anti-legalization side doesn’t have that crusader that people are going to look to follow right now, and that’s a real deficit. Kevin’s not a radical; he is very reasonable; he is looking at the science, but he’s just Kevin Sabet trying to do the right thing.”

Late on his first day in Washington, D.C., Sabet returns to the JW Marriot’s executive lounge to unwind over a club soda. He doesn’t drink, but it’s clear the long day is getting to him. His polished talking points slip away, and anger seeps into his voice. But he’s not mad at pro-marijuana advocates, the ones he’s endlessly battling. He’s mad at anti-marijuana activists, or rather the lack thereof.

“I want there to be a thousand Kevins,” he exclaims. “There can’t be just one Kevin. Kevin is not going to be able to do this alone. Kevin can’t just do this year after year, he is going to have a heart attack.”

Running Out Of Time

After his D.C. lobbying trip, Sabet flies to Dublin followed by London for meetings and presentations, then he’s off to upstate New York for a fundraising event. After that, there are strategy meetings in San Diego, followed by a trip south to speak at a conference in Mexico before returning to New York City, where he lives with his wife Shahrzad. Sabet says his international work is partially about correcting misconceptions about U.S. policy, but also “advocates abroad [who] ask me to come to give a shot in the arm to their efforts.”

Through it all he’s prepping for 2016. At last count, there are more than a dozen legalization and medical marijuana initiatives being readied for state ballots next year. “Obviously, I think 2016 is important,” says Sabet. “If we can figure out the angles that are important and be smart about it and not shoot ourselves in the foot, as we often do, we have a shot.”

But even some of Project SAM’s staunchest supporters are starting to sound like they’re losing hope. “We are not as far as I would have expected us to be,” says Patrick Kennedy, the organization’s co-founder. “I am proud to be affiliated with Project SAM and doing what I can to help, but I am facing the same ambivalence and intransigence he is facing. It’s very disheartening.”

But Sabet, for one, won’t be giving up the fight. He’s a “happy warrior,” says Kennedy.

It’s like he’s back on the tennis court, begging his opponents to underestimate him, hoping to thrive when all hope seems lost. He’ll keep fighting to the end – even if he’s all alone. “This is deep in my veins,” says Sabet. “I feel like it is my calling.”

At one during Sabet’s D.C. junket, his packed schedule risks getting the best of him. He’s slated to appear on what he believes is a taped BBC News segment, but the car service that’s taking him, Zinsmeister and Jones to the television studio gets snarled in beltway gridlock. While they’re still several blocks away, Sabet gets a call from the studio: The segment is live, not taped, and cameras are rolling in just a few minutes.

The three scramble out of the car and take off. Zinsmeister and Jones look stressed, but not Sabet. Running down the sidewalk, he’s grinning, like he’s having the time of his life.

“We’re running out of time,” he says. “It’s a good analogy.”

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