Category Archives: Medical Cannabis

Senators introduce bill to end federal medical marijuana prohibition

Sessions asked Congress in May to allow the Justice Department to prosecute businesses and individuals in states with medical marijuana laws

Congress took a step toward easing its stance on medical marijuana on Thursday.

U.S. Sens. Rand Paul (R-Kentucky), Corey Booker (D-New Jersey) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-New York) introduced a bill that would end the federal prohibition of medical marijuana and take steps to improve research.

The Compassionate Access, Research Expansion and Respect States, or CARERS, Act would effectively change the Controlled Substances Act, allowing the possession, production and distribution of medical marijuana in states with established marijuana laws.

Twenty-nine states, as well as the District of Columbia, have already legalized marijuana, but the CARERS Act would prevent the federal government from prosecuting businesses and individuals in states where medical marijuana is legal, since federally marijuana is still illegal under the Controlled Substances Act.

“The reintroduction of the CARERS Act is the first of many steps we hope this Congress will take to end the federal prohibition of medical marijuana,” Don Murphy, director of conservative outreach for the Marijuana Policy Project, said in a statement. “Polls show overwhelmingly strong support for medical marijuana, and it spans the political spectrum.

“The federal government should not be meddling in state laws that allow it or obstructing research into its many medical benefits.”

The introduction of the bill comes days after news that Attorney General Jeff Sessions wrote a letter to leaders of Congress asking that they undo protections for the industry under the Hinchey-Rohrabacher Amendment. That amendment, which is tied to the federal appropriations bill, prevents the Justice Department from using federal funds to enforce federal prohibition in states with legal marijuana laws.

Don’t miss: The marijuana industry could be worth $50 billion annually by 2026

The act, which was first introduced in 2015, would also allow doctors to recommend medical marijuana to veterans in states where its legal and it would give researchers more access to cannabis to conduct studies, which has been an issue in the industry.

Marijuana is made up of a multitude of cannabinoids — the two most prominent being tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). While THC is the main psychoactive component, researchers believe CBD has potential medical uses. The CARERS Act would remove CBD from the Drug Enforcement Administration’s list of Schedule I drugs, according to Leafly, which would allow states to import it.

CONTINUE READING…

Review Identifies 140 Controlled Clinical Trials Related to Cannabis

Thursday, 08 June 2017

Cannabis Controlled Clinical Trials

Hurth, Germany: Scientists have conducted over 140 controlled clinical trials since 1975 assessing the safety and efficacy of either whole-plant cannabis or specific cannabinoids, according to a literature review published in the journal Critical Reviews in Plant Sciences.

A pair of German researchers identified 140 clinical trials involving an estimated 8,000 participants. Of these, the largest body of literature focuses on the use of cannabis or cannabinoids for the treatment of chronic or neuropathic pain. Authors identified 35 controlled studies, involving 2,046 subjects, assessing the use of marijuana or cannabinoids in pain management. In January, the National Academy of Sciences acknowledged that “conclusive or substantial evidence” exists for cannabis’ efficacy in patients suffering from chronic pain.

Cannabinoids have also been well studied as anti-emetic agents and as appetite stimulants. Researchers identified 43 trials evaluating marijuana or its components for these purposes, involving a total of 2,498 patients. They identified an additional 14 trials examining the role of cannabis or cannabis-derived extracts for the treatment of multiple sclerosis.

Researchers also identified several additional trials evaluating the use of cannabis or cannabinoids for a number of other diseases, including Crohn’s disease, Tourette’s syndrome, Parkinson’s disease, glaucoma, and epilepsy.

A 2014 study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association reported that pharmaceutical drugs typically gain FDA approval on the basis of one or two pivotal clinical trials.

For more information, please contact Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director, at: paul@norml.org. Full text of the study, “Medicinal uses of marijuana and cannabinoids,” appears in Critical Reviews of Plant Sciences.

CONTINUE READING…

TRUMP’S DHS CHIEF JUST FLIPPED! WHAT HE SAID ABOUT THE WAR ON DRUGS IS GAME-CHANGING!

 

Untitled

The Next News Network

Published on Apr 18, 2017

MORE INFO: http://CannaSense.com | Email Jordan jpage@cannasense.com | Sub for more: http://nnn.is/the_new_media | Eliot Nelson for the Huffington Post reports, Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly said that marijuana “is not a factor in the drug war,” placing him at odds with a number of other Trump administration officials.
Take action MORE INFO: http://CannaSense.com
Email Jordan jpage@cannasense.com
See the report here:
https://youtu.be/LM-f3qlRYMM
ref:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/j…
————————————————————————————
SUPPORT THE NETWORK WITH THE LINKS BELOW!
————————————————————————————
Patreon $5/mo: http://nnn.is/monthly-gift-5
Give Once: http://nnn.is/one-time-gift
Give BTC: 13Hd1HFqS5CDLCMcFQPWu9wumubo6X2hSM
Tip Brian The Editor: http://nextnewsnetwork.com/tip-the-ed…
T-Shirt Shop: http://nnn.is/get-your-gear-here
Teach Your Child About Liberty: http://nnn.is/1HvxU37
Get the Smartphone app that is restoring freedom here:
http://nnn.is/Download-Candid-Here
Learn What Stocks Will Survive The Collapse:
http://nnn.is/n3-trade-genius
Watch Us on Tiger Steam!
http://nnn.is/GET-TIGER — $50 off promocode: BUYTIGERSTREAM
Get The Tea!
http://GetTheTea.com
Stock Up On Survival Food Today!
http://www.foodforliberty.com/nextnews
GET YOUR TACTICAL GEAR!
Get The Light! http://nnn.is/tac-lights
Get The Pen! http://nnn.is/tac-pen
Get The Headlamp! http://nnn.is/tac-headlamp
—————————————-
FOLLOW US ON SOCIAL!
—————————————
http://Facebook.com/NextNewsNet
http://Twitter.com/NextNewsNet
http://NextNewsNetwork.com
Hashtag: #N3
Copyright Disclaimer: Citation of articles and authors in this report does not imply ownership. Works and images presented here fall under Fair Use Section 107 and are used for commentary on globally significant newsworthy events. Under Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976, allowance is made for fair use for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research.

CONTINUE TO VIDEO!!!

Good morning! My name is Virgil Anderson, and I’m a mesothelioma cancer patient at The National Cancer Institute.

 

14455707_1790354534581867_1171295903_o

 

March 15, 2017

Good morning!

My name is Virgil Anderson, and I’m a mesothelioma cancer patient at The National Cancer Institute.

I was reading through kyusmjparty.weebly.com, and I was hoping you had a minute to check mesothelioma.net. Mesothelioma dot net is the world’s most comprehensive informational site on mesothelioma treatment.

Because of this cancer’s very poor prognosis, our site cover a wide range of therapeutic treatment options, including medicinal marijuana and CBD oils. You can read more at mesothelioma.net/medical-marijuana-mesothelioma/.
In fact, we have over 1000 pages on health therapies alone, ranging from nutritional to naturopathic therapy.

Ultimately, I was hoping you could take a minute to review some of that information and consider consider linking back to our site. If you need additional literature, or would like to hear about other treatment options, please let me know. I’d be delighted to chat.
I applaud your work at kyusmjparty.weebly.com, and I appreciate your time in advance. Anything you can do to help would go a long way.
Hope you’re off to a good start in 2017, and God Bless.
Virgil
Virgil Anderson
Cancer Patient @NCI
Mesothelioma.net

Health care refugees: Medical marijuana and new hope

By Elizabeth Cohen, CNN Senior Medical Correspondent
Video produced by John Bonifield, CNN

Updated 12:16 PM ET, Mon November 28, 2016

Paramedics transport Abby Muszynski to the air ambulance that will fly her from Florida to Colorado.

 

This is the second part of a series on health care refugees. Read the first part here.

(CNN)Rich and Kim Muszynski know when their 5-year-old daughter, Abby, is about to have a grand mal seizure because her pupils enlarge, and she’ll seem to fixate at something in the distance that only she can see.

Then it starts. Abby’s extremities shake. She gasps for air.

By the time she turned 3, Abby had tried about eight different anti-seizure medications. None of them worked very well. Panicked to see their daughter getting worse and worse, the Muszynskis drove three hours to Orlando to see Dr. Ngoc Minh Le, a board certified pediatric neurologist and epileptologist.

Le told them that chances of another anti-seizure drug working on Abby were tiny. He recommended medical marijuana. The timing was right: Just months before, Gov. Rick Scott had legalized the use of a type of non-euphoric cannabis called Charlotte’s Web.

The formulation had been a miracle for a little girl with epilepsy named Charlotte Figi. The Muszynskis had seen her story on Dr. Sanjay Gupta’s CNN documentary “Weed.”

Charlotte’s Web did help Abby, but not as much as it had helped Charlotte. She still was having about two grand mal seizures a week, each lasting about eight to 10 minutes.

Le explained to Kim and Rich that Charlotte’s Web has only tiny amounts of THC, one of the psychoactive ingredients in marijuana. Medical marijuana with higher levels of THC was Abby’s best hope, he told them.

But at this point, in 2015, high-THC marijuana wasn’t legal in Florida for Abby. To get it, the Muszynskis would have to move, leaving behind their friends and family, including two older children.

    Kim thought about Colorado, where Charlotte Figi lived. She’d checked with parents of disabled children there, and they told her the state had a fair and efficient Medicaid program.

    Getting to Colorado would be a challenge: Abby’s doctors said it wasn’t safe for her to fly on a commercial plane or to take a long car ride across the country.

    The Muszynskis began their final fight with Florida Medicaid — one that would leave Kim and Abby homeless for several days.

    Kim says that in mid-August, she started talking to Medicaid officials about getting an air ambulance to Colorado. On September 19, Rich drove the family car out to Colorado. They planned for Kim to attend the closing on their house in Boynton Beach on September 23 and leave on the air ambulance with Abby that afternoon.

    Kim had emailed and spoken with various Florida officials, and it seemed to her that everything was in order. “Please give a call today so we can finalize travel arrangements!” Mary Joyce, a senior registered nurse supervisor at Children’s Medical Services at the Florida Department of Health, wrote in an email to Kim on September 20.

    But then several days passed, and there was still no final approval for the transport.

    Their house sold, Kim and Abby were homeless. They moved in with Kim’s best friend and her husband. All of Abby’s equipment, like her bed with guardrails, was with Rich on their way to Colorado. Kim slept with Abby on the floor.

    Abby’s cries at night kept Kim’s friends awake. Kim wrote emails begging Florida officials for help. But for the first time, she added someone not previously included on the email: this CNN reporter.

    Three days later, she learned that the transport had been approved.

      A spokeswoman for Florida’s Agency for Health Care Administration gave this statement:

      In this case relocation services are not covered by Medicaid, per federal Medicaid guidelines. However, thanks to Safety Net funds made available by Governor Scott and the Legislature, the state supported this family by covering the costs to provide relocation services via the air ambulance of the mother’s choice. Working with the family, the state arranged transport as quickly as possible,” wrote the spokeswoman, Mallory McManus.

      CONTINUE READING STORY HERE!

      The DEA could resume sending medical marijuana patients and caregivers to prison at the end of this month — unless you act right now.

      The DEA could resume sending medical marijuana patients and caregivers to prison at the end of this month — unless you act right now.

      You probably already know that for the past two years our movement has succeeded in passing Congressional amendments preventing the Justice Department from interfering with state medical cannabis laws.

      But those provisions are set to expire on September 30 — just 24 days from now.

      Please take one minute and send a message to your representative and senators urging them to extend federal protections for medical marijuana patients and providers.

      Last month, a federal court sided with us — and against the DEA — in deciding that the amendment does what it says: The Department of Justice can’t spend any money to prosecute people for activity that’s in compliance with state medical cannabis laws.

      But the court issued our movement and the patients who benefit from our work a dire warning:

      “DOJ is currently prohibited from spending funds…for prosecutions of those who complied with state law. But Congress could appropriate funds for such prosecutions tomorrow.

      The annual funding bill that contains the medical marijuana provision is set to expire at the end of this month, and we need to make sure Congress includes language protecting people who rely on medical marijuana in next year’s bill, too.

      It just takes one minute to type in your contact info and send the prewritten letter we’ve drafted for you.

      Medical marijuana patients are counting on you. Will you step up and ask your legislators to do the right thing?

      Take Action

      Thanks for all that you do.

      Sincerely,

      Tom Angell
      Founder and Chairman
      Marijuana Majority

      Connect With Us:

      Facebook

      Twitter

      CENSORSHIP: THE 1947 MEDICAL CANNABIS STUDY COVERUP

      By Erin Elizabeth

      June 24, 2016

      Government Censorship

       

      (Editor’s note: The Antique Cannabis Book is a free resource on the internet and houses “over  600 2,000 Pre-1937 Medical Cannabis Products Documented;—a Great Resource book for the Antique Cannabis Collector”. But don’t think of it just as a picture book, it’s also an amazing resource. It would take me too long to paraphrase all the info on this particular topic so I’ll present it to you here. Yes, it’s long, but it’s worth the read. Enjoy. XO- Erin)

      This section of the Antique Cannabis Book, was meant primarily as a tool for active News Media Reporters who needed a quick (yet well documented) source of information on the subject of Governmental Censorship as it relates to Medical Cannabis. As such this (1947) study, which was openly published and never actually under the threat of censorship, would normally not qualify for inclusion.

      However, a quick look beneath the surface shows a different story. One that reveals, wheels within wheels, circles within circles, all spinning around . . . . let’s just say that this study, came very close to (ah, how shall we put it), going the way of oh so many other Medical Cannabis studies.

      The author is convinced that had Anslinger (or anyone at the D.E.A.) known about the study BEFORE IT WAS PUBLISHED , it most assuredly would have been CENSORED.   Either that or (doing what the Narc’s do now), killed it in its cradle by simply denying the researchers the needed licenses and permits.

      This one however, seems to have slipped though the cracks. Here let us go over the facts (those we’ve been able to locate), and let the reader to decide.

      1.1 – STUDY SUMMARY
      The following, located via 420 Magazine [1] Cannabis Works. ”

      Anti-Epileptic Action Of Marijuana-Active Substances BY JEAN P. DAVIS, M.D., and H.H. RAMSEY, M.D. [2]

       

      PLEASE CONTINUE READING THROUGH THIS LINK!

      ANTIQUE CANNABIS BOOK ONLINE

      Barry Lambert: "Bad laws deserve to be broken. I am fully supportive. It is the right thing to do."

      "Bad laws deserve to be broken. I am fully supportive. It is the right thing to do," says Barry Lambert of campaigning ... 

       

      Barry Lambert is gazing out the picture window of his Sydney home at a multimillion-dollar beach view. Around him his grandchildren fiddle on their phones while his wife Joy sips tea. Lambert drinks a cappuccino he’s just bought at the local café. It’s a charming family scene – except for one thing. At the table beside him, his son Michael is committing a crime that carries a sentence of up to two years’ jail.

      Michael, 44, takes out a tube that says “Hemp Oil 20 per cent CBD”, squeezes it and smears the brown paste onto a corn chip which he then gives to his daughter Katelyn, who is draped sleepily on her mother Saowalak’s lap. Katelyn, Lambert’s four-year-old granddaughter, wakes briefly and chews on the chip.

      The oil is an extract of cannabis, a substance prohibited under the NSW Drug Misuse and Trafficking Act of 1985. It is being used to treat a dangerous form of childhood epilepsy known as Dravet syndrome, although there is as yet little hard evidence to prove its effectiveness.

      Asked how he feels about the use of an illegal cannabis product to treat Katelyn, the 70-year-old Lambert, who has sat quietly as his family squawks and scraps around him, pauses a little awkwardly before answering softly but firmly.

      “Bad laws deserve to be broken. I am fully supportive. It is the right thing to do.”

      Until last year Barry Lambert was known in Australian business circles chiefly for his success in building Count Financial, a chain of accounting and financial planning shopfronts that he started 35 years ago and eventually sold to the Commonwealth Bank for more than $373 million. That 2011 sale landed him a spot on the BRW Rich 200, where he was ranked the 156th wealthiest Australian last year.

      So it was a surprise when Lambert publicly associated himself with the cause of medicinal cannabis. With little warning, he gave a press conference in August at which he announced that he and his family would donate $34 million to the University of Sydney for what is called the Lambert Initiative for Cannabinoid Therapeutics.

      Lambert’s mind-boggling donation has put him at the crossroads of some of the most difficult issues in health, ethics and business. Suffering families welcomed the boost he has given to research that could benefit thousands, if not millions, of sick people. Police and conservative politicians, however, worry that medicinal cannabis will be a Trojan horse for legalisation of recreational drugs and quack therapies. There are also doctors who will not recommend medicinal cannabis given its still unproven benefits.

      Ingrid Scheffer, professor at Melbourne University and the Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health, is one of them. The world expert in paediatric neurology, to whom the Lamberts turned for advice, says cannabis is potentially beneficial in some cases but has been hyped. “It is not a silver bullet.” She says she is not yet able to recommend it because so far there is no hard scientific evidence of its benefits in treating epilepsy, although she is optimistic that proper clinical trials will give an answer in the very near future.

      “It worries me how often I don’t get asked about the risks of medicinal cannabis,” says Professor Scheffer. “There is good data showing a link between cannabis and psychosis and we know there are people we see through our adult epilepsy program whose epilepsy won’t come under control until they stop taking cannabis. We need to weigh up the risks and benefits but I think that medicinal cannabis will have a place in the treatment of epilepsy in the near future.”

      Read more: http://www.afr.com/brand/afr-magazine/why-millionaire-barry-lambert-invested-34-million-in-medicinal-cannabis-20160313-gni315#ixzz47EFdeRZj
      Follow us: @FinancialReview on Twitter | financialreview on Facebook

      Another push for medical pot in Indiana not likely to work

      Odds against Indiana legislators backing medical marijuana

      Posted: Sunday, January 3, 2016 5:00 am | Updated: 5:14 pm, Sun Jan 3, 2016.

      By Jeff Parrott South Bend Tribune

      Posted on Jan 3, 2016

      The husband and father was near death from Crohn’s Disease in 2009….

      Over a three-month period, his weight dropped from about 175 pounds to 117 pounds. He had his large intestine, colon and rectum removed, and he was largely confined to his bed or a chair.

      He had no appetite and was surviving largely on IV fluid. He was so worried about accidentally jarring the stapled incision in his abdomen that his muscles ached from the constant tension.

      Marijuana had just been legalized for medical use that year. At his wife’s suggestion, he tried smoking some, first illegally because he wanted to see whether it helped him before he went through the process of applying for a legal permit.

      “It was amazing,” recalled the man, who lives in Michigan, just a few miles from the Indiana line. “Instantaneous. I could feel my shoulders drop and my body relax. In less than 10 minutes, I was feeling the urge in my stomach to eat. I started feeling better. I ate more. Started gaining more weight.”

      It’s stories like his that have prompted two Democratic lawmakers, Sen. Karen Tallian of Ogden Dunes and Rep. Sue Errington of Muncie, to sponsor medical marijuana bills in the Indiana General Assembly session that starts Monday. Indiana would join 23 other states in legalizing marijuana and become part of a national debate over the medical merits.

      The odds of success for the legislators, however, are not great. Bills they introduced in the 2015 session died in committee for lack of a hearing. With Republicans in firm control of both houses, Tallian isn’t overly optimistic 2016 will be any different.

      Sen. Joe Zakas, R-Granger, echoes the sentiments of many in his party. He stops short of disputing that marijuana can provide relief for some medical problems, but he thinks that would be overshadowed by a corresponding increase in recreational use and abuse.

      "I would listen to the arguments as to its medical use," Zakas said. "I just haven’t heard a convincing argument on that yet. I want to hear the evidence from solid sources that it’s a viable medical tool."

      Tallian, a criminal defense attorney who thinks it’s wasteful to jail people for smoking pot when recreational use is now legal in four states, had for the past three years introduced bills to decriminalize recreational marijuana use. It would still be illegal but possessing small amounts would be treated as an infraction, similar to a traffic ticket. Her bills have never received a hearing.

      In 2015, Tallian changed tack, authoring a bill to legalize medical marijuana by creating an Indiana Department of Marijuana Enforcement that would regulate it much like pharmaceuticals, in a pilot program for people suffering a specific list of ailments.

      Her bill also would have allowed Indiana universities and pharmaceutical companies to conduct research on medicinal use. Errington introduced a companion measure in the House.

      In the coming session, Tallian and Errington said they’ll introduce bills for both decriminalization and medical use. Tallian said she would be willing to drop the decriminalization component if it meant finally getting a hearing for medical use.

      “We move by inches down there, so I’d take every inch I could get,” she said. “I have a lot of votes over there on the Republican side if I could just get a hearing.”

      Last session, her bill was assigned to the Health and Provider Services Committee, where chair Patricia Miller, R-Indianapolis, declined to give it a hearing. Miller was unavailable for comment.

      “Pat Miller kept saying, ‘We don’t have enough proof yet” that marijuana offers medicinal benefits, Tallian said. “That’s because we haven’t had the opportunity to do research.”

      Her bill has yet to be assigned a committee for the 2016 session.

      ‘A buzz or a high’

      Asked to identify a supportive Republican, Tallian mentioned Sen. Jim Tomes of Poseyville, a small, rural town outside Evansville. Tomes this year introduced a bill to legalize the growing of hemp, a form of marijuana that lacks THC, the drug that gives marijuana smokers a high.

      In addition to a variety of industrial textile uses, hemp can produce cannabis oil, which has a well-documented record of alleviating seizures in children with epilepsy.

      Tomes said parents of children with epilepsy have increasingly turned to him for their cause.

      “This is extremely different than what Sen. Tallian is trying to do,” said Tomes, who doesn’t support legalizing medical marijuana.

      “I understand there are certain applications and I’m not taking that away from anyone,” he added. “But it also has the ability to give people a buzz or a high. That’s a factor I just cannot support.”

      The concept has found more traction in other states. Illinois recently launched a Medical Cannabis Pilot Program, allowing 13 licensed dispensaries to open around the state. Sales began in November to about 3,900 licensed patients.

      Kentucky last year became one of 18 states that allows use or research of cannabis oil for seizure treatment.

      Ohio voters last month overwhelming rejected a ballot initiative to legalize recreational use, but observers have attributed that more to the fact that the right to produce and distribute marijuana would have been concentrated in the hands of a few wealthy producers.

      In the coming year, recreational marijuana may be on the ballot in 11 states, including Michigan, according to Ballotpedia, a website that tracks ballots issues nationwide. Another five states might consider medical pot initiatives.

      Sen. John Broden, D-South Bend, said he isn’t ready to commit to supporting medical marijuana, but he hopes it will at least receive a committee hearing in the coming session.

      “For me, it’s very important that it be very narrowly tailored so it does address medical issues, it’s administered by the health care community or by a doctor,” Broden said. “I’m certainly open to hearing about it.”

      Conducting committee hearings would allow testimony from officials in other states that have legalized medical marijuana, such as law enforcement officials in Michigan.

      “If these other states have had positive experiences or at least not had negative experiences … that would be critical for me,” he said.

      When asked whether she knew of any doctors who wish they could legally prescribe marijuana, Errington pointed to Dr. Bruce Ippel, a 66-year-old family practice physician near Muncie. Over his 40 years as a doctor, Ippel said, many of his patients have reported using marijuana for relief from ailments such as headaches and migraines, as well as appetite stimulation for people with cancer and chronic intestinal illness from diabetes.

      He isn’t sure if medical marijuana will become legal in Indiana in his lifetime. But while admitting he’s cynical, Ippel thinks Indiana lawmakers eventually will legalize marijuana so that they can tax it and grow state revenue. Colorado collected almost $70 million in marijuana taxes last fiscal year, nearly double the $42 million collected from alcohol taxes, according to Time magazine.

      Ippel noted that even in Indiana, society has grown more tolerant of pot.

      "The landscape has changed," he said. "Twenty years ago, anyone using marijuana was at high risk of being locked up. Indiana law enforcement agencies have largely backed off common users. I think that’s a change in the last six to eight years that’s been a benefit."

      CONTINUE READING…

      Three Individuals Growing Medical Marijuana In WA State Convicted And Sent To Prison

      By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor

      Entreating the Godfather

      Nearly a year and a half ago we featured a story describing the plight of the “Kettle Falls Five” who were arrested by the federal Drug Enforcement Agency on charges relating to marijuana cultivation and firearms violations.  I am reprinting here portions of my previous article which has many details of the original case. Now, three of these defendants were sentenced to federal prison.

      The confusion as to what constitutes lawful medical marijuana grows with federal deference and ten year punishments for doing so, the United States Department of Justice prosecuted five rural Eastern Washington residents accused of growing seventy-four medical marijuana plants in a private collective. Washington State is a Medical Marijuana State. The accused include a seventy year old man who states he uses the medicine to treat pain from a job related injury, his wife for her arthritis, and their son.  The patriarch of the family, the accused Larry Harvey, had the charges dropped but has since died of cancer.

      While state law at the time permitted the cultivation of up to forty-five plants, federal law prohibits any cultivation.  Originally confusion of the numbers of plants that might be permissible under state law (in aggregate) should take into consideration that multiple individuals had separate grows and this led to a misunderstanding.  While the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office told the accused to remove those plants in excess of the amounts allowed, the DEA later arrived and raided their farms.

      What compounds the severity for these five individuals is that within the thirty-three acre property, two of the defendants’ residence had inside several firearms, including rifles which are used by the family to hunt and for protection from wild animals. Firearms are very common in residences in rural Eastern Washington. Yet, the firearms in relation to the marijuana grow add an additional five year minimum sentence, adding to the defendants’ minimum of ten years imprisonment, something the senior defendant claimed to be a “death sentence.”

      What is rather extraordinary in this effort by the department of justice, despite guidelines in not allocating resources to prosecute medical marijuana patients, the defendants claim it was a misunderstanding of Washington’s medical marijuana laws that caused them to go from legal users to being potentially imprisoned for ten years.  Many viewed this case as necessitating jury nullification.

      At the federal trial, the defendants were not permitted to mention that medical treatment was the reason for these grows, though it was allowed during closing arguments.

      Federal prosecutors alleged the five were conspiring to manufacture and distribute marijuana and possession of firearms in relation to drug trafficking. The defendants deny they intended to distribute the marijuana and claim they grow the marijuana for their own usage. They faced a minimum of ten years imprisonment if convicted on all charges.  Though the prosecution attempted to convince the jury that one hundred plants were being grown, and therefore necessitating a greater penalty, the jury did not agree yet found them however guilty in the growing of less than one hundred.

      Larry Harvey

      Larry Harvey

      According to Americans for Safe Access, a group that advocates cannabis for medicinal and research use, 100,000 Washingtonians use medical marijuana. Presently there are about thirty state licensed retail marijuana growers who are permitted under state law to grow thousands of plants for distribution to eventually several hundred licensed marijuana retailers.

      But there has been irregular enforcement and ambiguity with regard to the federal Drug Enforcement Agency and the Office of the US Attorney. The office posted guidelines in August of 2013 listing priorities and what resources the federal government would consider in whether to prosecute marijuana grows or uses. A copy of this guideline can be found HERE

      Within this memorandum one of the guidelines seems to be permissive on this incident:

      The Department’s previous memoranda specifically addressed the exercise of prosecutorial discretion in states with laws authorizing marijuana cultivation and distribution for medical use. In those contexts, the Department advised that it is likely was not an efficient use of federal resources to focus enforcement efforts on seriously ill individuals, or on their individual caregivers. In doing so, the previous guidance drew a distinction between the seriously ill and their caregivers, on the one hand, and large-scale, for-profit commercial enterprises, on the other, and advised that the latter continued to be appropriate targets for federal enforcement and prosecution. In drawing this distinction, the Department relied on the common-sense judgment that the size of a marijuana operation was a reasonable proxy for assessing whether marijuana trafficking implicates the federal enforcement priorities set forth above.

      The memorandum does not confer any rights or defenses, according to its wording, but purports itself to be a guide to prosecutions and delegation of federal resources.

      The underlying incident that brought about this prosecution, reportedly ready for trial in June, allegedly happened in August of 2012 when a sheriff’s deputy arrived at the home of 70 year old Larry Harvey to cut down SOME of his marijuana plants, telling the patients state law only allows forty five plants among a collective grow. The plants originally were alleged to have been sixty eight in number. Mr. Harvey stated he believed he was in compliance because under Washington’s Medical Marijuana Laws, a medical marijuana patient is permitted to grow fifteen plants themselves and among the five of them, they should have been permitted to grow seventy five plants.

      Apparently, the sheriff’s office then notified the federal DEA which then arrived at Larry’s home, seized his marijuana plants along with eight of his firearms.

      Larry Harvey

      Essentially Larry was put into this jeopardy of his freedom because of numbers. According to Washington Law he could not have more than forty five plants in one collective but if he had instead divided the garden into three areas, perhaps leasing the land to the other defendants, he would have been in compliance. But, since he was allegedly out of compliance the DEA went after them. If the deputy in this case would have recognized this was simply a misinterpretation of the law, according to Larry, a teachable moment might have corrected the matter. Why the DEA was called is unknown. But along with this alleged numbers game, the DEA drew in to the firearms issue to rack up another potential five year penalty. There is a strong possibility the government will seize their farmland.

      Here are the sentences of the remaining defendants as handed down by U.S. District Court Judge Thomas Rice:

      • Rhonda Firestack-Harvey, One year and one day in federal prison
      • Rolland Gregg, Thirty-three months imprisonment
      • Michelle Gregg, One year and one day imprisonment

      Scapegoats of the empire

      By Darren Smith

      Sources:

      USNews
      KREM News
      KXLY
      NextNewsNetwork
      US Department of Justice

      The views expressed in this posting are the author’s alone and not those of the blog, the host, or other weekend bloggers. As an open forum, weekend bloggers post independently without pre-approval or review. Content and any displays or art are solely their decision and responsibility.

      PLEASE CONTINUE READING THIS ARTICLE AND COMMENTS THROUGH THIS LINK!