Tag Archives: DEA

Trump Administration Battles Sick Kids on Access to Legal Pot

By Erik Larson February 14, 2018, 3:56 PM CST

In a New York courtroom packed with cannabis supporters, the Trump administration urged a federal judge to throw out a lawsuit that aims to pave the way for legal marijuana across the country.

The case was brought on behalf of two sick children, a former National Football League player who says athletes deserve a better way to treat head trauma than addictive opioids and the Cannabis Cultural Association. The suit, filed in July 2017, seeks a ruling that marijuana was unconstitutionally labeled alongside heroin and LSD as a so-called Schedule I drug — the harshest of five government ratings — when Congress passed the Controlled Substance Act in 1970.

In court on Wednesday, Justice Department attorney Samuel Hilliard Dolinger said the plaintiffs didn’t follow legal requirements before suing, beginning with a petition to the Drug Enforcement Agency.

“The right thing is to defer to the agency,” said U.S. District Judge Alvin Hellerstein, an 84-year-old who was nominated by former President Bill Clinton, who famously admitted to experimenting with pot while claiming he “didn’t inhale.”

Cannabis legalization has gained momentum in states, even with an unfriendly face in the U.S. Attorney General’s office. Nine states and Washington, D.C., allow adults to use the plant as they wish. More than one in five people can legally eat, drink, smoke or vape, according to state regulations. Twenty additional states have legalized pot for medicinal use.

Trump Interrupts Marijuana’s Path From Taboo to Legit: QuickTake

Hellerstein said he would issue a ruling later, and it was far from clear which way he was leaning. The judge, who had the courtroom erupting in laughter on more than a few occasions during the hearing, was skeptical of the government’s claim that there’s no medical benefit to marijuana.

“Your clients are living proof of the medical effectiveness of marijuana,” Hellerstein said to the plaintiffs’ lawyer, Michael Hiller.

The legal cannabis industry is predicted to reach $50 billion in sales by 2026, up from $6 billion in 2016, according to investment bank Cowen & Co. Still, the industry is rife with risk. Attorney General Jeff Sessions rescinded in January the Obama-era policies that ushered in legalization in many states.

The lawsuit has some star power with plaintiff Marvin Washington, who played for the New York Jets. He joined the case because the Controlled Substance Act made him ineligible for grants under the Federal Minority Business Enterprise program, which he planned to use for his medicinal cannabis business.

The suit also highlighted the human toll of the federal government’s war on marijuana with young plaintiffs whose lives have been saved or improved by cannabis, including 11-year-old Alexis Bortell of Colorado and seven-year old Jagger Cotte of Georgia.

Bortell’s epileptic seizures were brought under control by cannabis after her family moved from Texas to Colorado so she could legally use it in that state, according to the suit. Cotte, who suffers from Leigh’s Disease, was able to treat excruciating pain with medicinal marijuana and prolong his life by two years beyond his maximum prognosis, according to the suit.

The complaint notes that American presidents from George Washington and Thomas Jefferson to John F. Kennedy and Barack Obama have smoked pot. It also claims the Nixon administration was motivated by ulterior motives when it pushed for the Controlled Substance Act.

Cannabis was criminalized “not to control the spread of a dangerous drug, but rather to suppress the rights and interests of those whom the Nixon Administration wrongly regarded as hostile to the interests of the U.S. — African Americans and protesters of the Vietnam War,” the suit says.

At the hearing, Hellerstein said that argument wasn’t going to work with him.

The decision “will not depend on what may have been in the mind of Richard Nixon at the time,” Hellerstein said.

— With assistance by Jennifer Kaplan

CONTINUE READING…

Court hears challenge to federal marijuana laws

Trial begins for advocates suing Sessions and the DEA over …
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ALEXIS BORTELL V. JEFF SESSIONS; FEBRUARY 14, 2018 AT 11:00AM.

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Why risk everything in court instead of moving to Vancouver without a fight? This. This is medical cannabis. This is us. I am one of millions of faces not ‘the one face’. In two days they have to listen to ALL of us. I will go to the Supreme Court if I have to. #IStandWithAlexis . #AlexisBortell
Alexis Bortell

56 mins ·

Hearing is now moved up to 11 a.m. tomorrow. Please let everyone know. Thanks!

#IStandWithAlexis

Alexis Bortell

July 25, 2017 ·

JEFF SESSIONS SUED IN LANDMARK LAWSUIT CHALLENGING THE CONSTITUTIONALITY OF THE CONTROLLED SUBSTANCES ACT

“Beleaguered” Attorney General Jeff Sessions was named a defendant today in a federal lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the Controlled Substances Act as it pertains to Cannabis/Marijuana. In a 90-page Complaint, attorneys representing five plaintiffs maintain that the CSA, in classifying Cannabis as a “Schedule I drug,” is so irrational that it violates the U.S. Constitution.

In their Complaint, plaintiffs demonstrate that the Federal Government does not, and could not possibly, believe that Cannabis meets the definition of a Schedule I drug, which is reserved for the most dangerous of substances, such as heroin, LSD and mescaline. By way of comparison, cocaine and crystal meth are considered Schedule II drugs and are thus considered less addictive and less dangerous.

To be classified under Schedule I, a drug: (i) must have a high potential for abuse; (ii) must have absolutely no medical use in treatment; and (iii) cannot be used or tested safely, even under strict medical supervision. The plaintiffs point out that the Federal Government knows that Cannabis does not meet these requirements, especially given that, among other things, the Federal Government: (a) obtained its own medical patent based upon the Federal Government’s assertion that medical Cannabis is a safe and effective treatment for Alzheimer’s Disease, Parkinson’s Disease, and HIV-induced dementia (among other conditions); (b) established a national policy to refrain from investigating and/or prosecuting medical Cannabis businesses and users in the 29 States and three other areas under American jurisdiction (including Washington, DC) that have legalized Cannabis for medical and/or recreational use; (c) provided instructions, through issuance of the FinCen Guidance, on how financial institutions can bank Cannabis business; and (d) admitted that Cannabis does constitute medicine, including through statements by the U.S. Surgeon General and a Federal Administrative Law Judge.

“The record makes clear that the CSA doesn’t make any rational sense, and the Federal Government knows it,” says Michael Hiller, lead counsel in the case. Hiller went on to explain that, “if the Federal Government doesn’t believe in the rationality of its own statute, it’s unconstitutional to enforce it.”

Among the other claims in the lawsuit are that the CSA: (i) was enacted and implemented in order to discriminate against African Americans and to suppress people’s First Amendment rights; and (ii) violates plaintiffs’ constitutional Right to Travel.

The plaintiffs include:

• retired professional football player and Super Bowl Champion, Marvin Washington, who desires, but is ineligible (due to the CSA) to obtain grants under the Federal Minority Business Enterprise program, to open a business that would allow professional football players (among others) to treat with medical Cannabis to reduce opioid dependency and addition;

• an 11-year old girl, Alexis Bortell, who moved to Colorado from Texas so that she could treat her intractable epilepsy with medical Cannabis;

• a six-year old Georgia boy suffering from Leigh’s Disease, Jagger Cotte, who has been using medical Cannabis to lengthen his life and control his otherwise excruciating pain;

• disabled military combat veteran Jose Belen, who uses medical Cannabis to control his post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD); and

• the Cannabis Cultural Association, whose membership includes many People of Color who contend that the CSA was enacted and has been enforced in a discriminatory manner, rendering them unable to participate in, among other things, the Cannabis industry.

Lauren Rudick, a member of Hiller’s firm representing Cannabis businesses, observed that, at present, “more than 60% of Americans live in a jurisdiction in which medical Cannabis is legal.” She also remarked that a “4/20/2017 Quinnipiac poll found that over 90% of Americans support the use of medical Cannabis – and it’s near impossible to get 90% of the Country to agree on anything.” These numbers led Joseph Bondy, a federal criminal defense attorney and legalization advocate working as co-counsel with the Hiller firm on this case, to “question the agenda of those who continue to push for enforcement of the CSA, given its unlawful and discriminatory impact and that so few in America support such an effort.”

The defendants in the case are Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Acting Administrator of the DEA Chuck Rosenberg, the Justice Department, the DEA and the Federal Government. Co-counsel David Holland, a litigator and longtime advocate for legalization of Cannabis, noted that the “the efforts to criminalize Cannabis are relatively recent and were largely underwritten by racial and ethnic animus.” As reflected in the Complaint, African Americans and other Persons of Color are four times as likely to be arrested under the CSA than white Americans, even though Cannabis is used equally by People of Color and Caucasians.

Contact: Michael S. Hiller (212) 319-4000 x. 308 and (646) 408-5995
Lauren Rudick (212) 319-4000 x. 319 and (917) 405-4206
Joseph Bondy (646) 335-3988
David Holland (212) 842-2480 and (917) 861-2678

#ForAllPatients #AlexisBortell
*Picture Originally shared by Mr. Clark.

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CONTINUE READING AND TO SOURCE

Video:  Girl taking medical marijuana sues Jeff Sessions and DEA

ALEXIS

https://mjbizdaily.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/ECF-Version-of-Complaint.pdf

Kathy Inman

Kathy Inman Great Work!!⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

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Rick Donaldson

Rick Donaldson Alexis, would it be of any benefit to get more people to sign on with these attorneys, to increase the sound/impact of this suit ?

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Jared Jennings

Jared Jennings Do you have a link to the initial or amended complaint? I’d love to read it.

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Alexis Bortell

Alexis Bortell It is on the Pacer system for New York courts we are told.

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Loretta SBuster

Loretta SBuster I love y’all im a Texan illegally trying to heal….

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Samantha Macaluso

Samantha Macaluso You’ve brought me to tears of joy! So happy that there’s a group of people willing to take a stand! I am praying for your continued healing with cannabis and for your lawsuit! May GOD be with you every step of the way!

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Crystal Ramos

Crystal Ramos She stands for freedom and for us all thank you Alexis

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Trevor J Jacovino

Trevor J Jacovino You’ve got so much support Alexis!!! Keep up the good fight, we are here for you!!!

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Pat Warren

Pat Warren WOW !!! the courage of an innocent child …… we should all take lessons from Alexis …..

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Leslie Henson Lindsey

Leslie Henson Lindsey How the crap can you place a patent on a plant. ? God owns all the “patents “

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Michele Ruscitti

Michele Ruscitti Here we go!!! Let’s hope they stay the coarse get all this foolishness out of the way!

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Cindy Ann Trimble

Cindy Ann Trimble God gave us the garden and all within it!

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Pamela Bourque

Pamela Bourque Alexis for president!

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Teddy Vas

Teddy Vas Way to go Alexis!!! God Bless you!!!!!!!

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Jordan Watts

Jordan Watts Huge step toward legalization!

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Kristy Nicole Hendricks

Kristy Nicole Hendricks Go Alexis Go!!! ~hugs from your hometown in Rowlett

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Steve Minton

Steve Minton Ha ha, another nail in the coffin of quivering theocratic fascist and stone-cold racist Jeff Sessions. Trump’s earliest supporter, he’s now finding out the hard way that if you play with the fire of an abusive psychopath like Trump, and defy the will of the people, you get burned.

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Mark Redhawk Nelson

Mark Redhawk Nelson Government and fda has zero control of herbs. Thats why there isnt a huge market for them. And they dont usually command a premium. But there is money to be made. And they have a criminal institution to prifit from. They dont want to lose tgier inco…See More

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David Smith

David Smith How do I get in on this as a plaintiff – to recoup all the money and stress damages from having to move my elderly mom to live with me in CA, where I am a patient, because of Texas prohibition?

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Annette Anderson

Annette Anderson Alexis Bortell, I am so proud of all the great things you have already accomplished and look forward to the amazing things from you in the future. Would love to meet a fellow Texan MMJ refugee but either this us you have planned, you’ll be very busy. I…See More

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Amber Michaels

Amber Michaels I’m with you Alexis!!!!! I may have epilepsy too which more and more docs think I do but to get to Denver to see a neurologist is gonna be the downside!!!! Gotta have a babysitter and got to have a car that’s been checked out before going the drive!!!!…See More

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Elaad Teuerstein

Elaad Teuerstein Good luck with the lawsuit. It’s about time the world got rid of this rediculous ban on MJ. It’s not just the US that tightly controls use of the plant but most countries around the globe have followed suit out of fear of confronting the US about it or…See More

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Terry Odom

Terry Odom Good luck in the fight. It’s such a screwed up system. The government is completely irrational in their logic. And , seriously, it’s always been here, they’re not ever going to eliminate it. Total waste of time, resources, and lives.

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Krizzy Carter

Krizzy Carter Alexis, I have finally moved back to TX and am finally home. My biggest wish is that you can be too one day. All the love and support… from Plano! ❤️

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Ben Morris

Ben Morris Your family is brave and inspiring. Any way to get cannabis legal federally and give access to medicine for kids should be celebrated

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Karen Lockwood

Karen Lockwood Awesome! Alexis, you’ve got a lot of people on your side of this issue. Let the battle begin!! Keep us minions updated, we’ll do whatever it takes to support this battle and fight for the win!

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Michelle Williams

Michelle Williams GOOOOOOO, ALEX!!! Giv’em hell girl!!!
I was living in Plano when u and ur family lived in Frisco, and then made the heartbreaking decision to leave friends, family, ur school to move to Colorado. Ive been with u since then! I commend ur bravery and pray one day this will all be a fading memory!!! Keep up the avocation and I’ll definitely be behind u will ALL my support!!!

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Sharon J. Tucker

Sharon J. Tucker My family and friends all support medical cannabis. We all have family and friends in desperate need of medical cannabis. We are tired of begging for this much needed medicine. Veterans too.

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Clarke Bohorfoush

Clarke Bohorfoush Alexis!! Our prayers are with you and you have our full support!! You’re an incredibly brave young lady and your courage will change this country and the world!!

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Samantha Macaluso

Samantha Macaluso Everyone please reach out to Sessions before his meeting on Thursday with DEA! Your voice matters!!!https://www.justice.gov/contact-us

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Casey Langham

Casey Langham Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness….. this plant represents all of these things …. thank you for fighting the good fight

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Darcelia Coleman Haney

Darcelia Coleman Haney Get ’em! Politics having way to much power regarding medicinal use.

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William Joey Dorsett

William Joey Dorsett I hope we win, I hope they end up having to pay, having the rescedual, and having to release people from jail…

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Suzanne Wall

Suzanne Wall Thank you! I am praying for God to give victory to all of you!! Us!!

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Emma Lee

Emma Lee You go girl!! All it takes is one strong will to change the world We’re all behind you cheering!

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J D Goodwin

J D Goodwin Children of the cannabis are coming for you Jeff…be very afraid.

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Jason McCathern

Jason McCathern Ya I knew ole Jeff Sessions was gonna be trouble for us weed smokers from the get-go!

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Belle Shildmyer

Belle Shildmyer

Tenor

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Rob Taft

Rob Taft Sign me up www.420central.org is behind you

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Pat Trahan

Pat Trahan If you need help please post. Good for you, many thanks!

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Shirley McNeal

Shirley McNeal You go Alexis, send them back to school so you can teach them a little more

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Mary Hartman

Mary Hartman The fact that there is even a prescription drug named Marinol negates the fourth paragraph!

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Ingrid Joiya-Warrick

Ingrid Joiya-Warrick FANTASTIC! This should slow Sessions happy ass up until Trump dumps him.

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Rob Paulk

Rob Paulk jeff.sessions. wud die from brain cancer if he only had a brain

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Luis Castellanos Padilla

Luis Castellanos Padilla Fight the good fight
Alexis, Wisconsin,God,&90%of Americans,are with you,!!!

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Adam Cericola

Adam Cericola Wow Alexis Bortell go get em! Prayers for you and your family.

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D Ronald Dudding Jr.

D Ronald Dudding Jr. Bob Goodlatte won’t get on board with nothing but heartless politicians we are seeing a change in Virginia his approval rating has dropped and that’s my opponent in 2018

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Lisa Reichenbach

Lisa Reichenbach What an amazing girl you are! Thank you from so many of us to you and your family for all that you are doing!

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Alexis Bortell

8 hrs ·

It is almost time. Tomorrow is our day. All of us…
I am not suing for money. All I want is freedom to live my life where I want and for the government to get out of MY way. We are standing against medical tyranny. http://ow.ly/Q3tz30in80R #IStandWithAlexis #AlexisBortell

Lawsuit Takes Aim at Trump Administration Marijuana Policy

In a sprawling complaint citing the benefits of pot reaching back 10,000 years, the suit seeks to decriminalize the drug under federal law.

nytimes.com

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James Meissner

James Meissner U go Alexis Bortell !! #WakeUpWorld #LifeOverLaw #EndTheWarOnPeople #EndTheDrugWar #OnePlant united! Its time!

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Robyn James

Robyn James When we have to fight the government, to treat our illness with a plant, the government is corrupt and needs to be overthrown!! Taking our power back one trial at a time!

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Alexis Bortell

51 mins ·

Hearing is now moved up to 11 a.m. tomorrow. Please let everyone know. Thanks! #IStandWithAlexis

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Penny Webb Ransom

Penny Webb Ransom Will have you and the others in my thoughts and prayers.
Tom McCain will peach-tree norm be following this or GA care?

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Robin Hurshman

Robin Hurshman Praying for you Alexis! We will be there with in spirit! Much love and support for such a strong young lady.

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Alexis Bortell

Yesterday at 9:50am ·

Why risk everything in court instead of moving to Vancouver without a fight? This. This is medical cannabis. This is us. I am one of millions of faces not ‘the one face’. In two days they have to listen to ALL of us. I will go to the Supreme Court if I have to. #IStandWithAlexis . #AlexisBortell

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Kyle Young

Kyle Young Two more days I will be praying for you Alexis. AG Sessions needs to eat his words and do what the American People WANT!!!

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Denise Chuck Schrader

Denise Chuck Schrader because marijuana should be the American peoples right…. it shouldn’t have anything stopping anyone that has tried it and it has helped…. #yougotthisgirl #IStandWithAlexis

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Alexis Bortell shared their post.

Yesterday at 6:27am ·

2 more days until our day in Federal Court! Here is the original post with the two images if people want to change their profile picture to show support for the case.

Many Alexis Bortell page friends will be there and we advise people to arrive early as it is going to be busy.

We have heard there are no phones or cameras allowed in the court room but we haven’t spoken to the courthouse security directly yet to confirm. If someone confirms first, please let us know.

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Alexis Bortell added 2 new photos.

February 5 at 12:06pm ·

Here are two images people can use if they want to as their profile pictures to support our case and the hearing on Feb 14th. Your support means a lot to all o…

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Randy Carter

Randy Carter

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Dan Drouin

Dan Drouin I do hope they at least allow TV cameras in there

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Alexis Bortell

Alexis Bortell In front they will

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Alexis Bortell shared OneLuv Organics‘s post.

February 11 at 8:36am ·

I get asked by lots of people if they can sell our soaps in their businesses. Yes, you can and we put a post out about it this morning on our OneLuv Organics page.

Quick summary: You can email support@oneluvorganics.com subject “Reseller” and we will send you details .

It is very easy.

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OneLuv Organics

February 11 at 8:22am ·

Three questions we get often are:

1. How do we join your reseller program and is it hard to join?
To join, email support@oneluvorganics.com subject “Reseller …

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Alexis Bortell

February 10 at 11:58am ·

By using code ‘HHLEX’ you save $10 per bottle of Haleigh’s Hope (they make my medicine) and they donate to my ‘Patches of Hope’ feed the hungry program. This has already raised almost $400 for Patches of Hope. Thanks! http://ow.ly/h0Gl30ik6ig My Soap Store: http://ow.ly/j9gG30ik6eJ

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Alexis Bortell

February 10 at 9:37am ·

4 more days and WE WILL have our day in federal court. Article: http://ow.ly/JER830ik184 Attached is the form with the court information if you want to attend. They are expecting LOTS of people inside and outside the courthouse because it is open to the public. #IStandWithAlexis

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Netha Morgan

Netha Morgan Alexis, gold star mother here, all of our ancestors that have gone before us including my son specialist David John Badie U.S.ARMY(k.i.a.8/1/08) are with you stand strong along with all of those Warriors they will hold you they will guide you and they will help to kick sessions ass good luck my little sister

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Alexis Bortell

Alexis Bortell Thank you.

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Jennifer Leigh Scott

Jennifer Leigh Scott So my son is 12, this is what I’m gonna need from you. I’m gonna need you to marry my son when you grow up because I cannot imagine having a more bad ass daughter in law than you! ❤️
#IstandWithAlexis
#MyIdol

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Alexis Bortell

Alexis Bortell Um, lol.

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PETITION: Demand President Trump Stop the Criminalization of Kratom!

Kratom Warriors:

As many of you know, we just announced that nine noted scientists, working with the American Kratom Association (AKA), authored a letter to President Trump’s White House Opioid Crisis Team Leader Kellyanne Conway and Acting DEA Administrator Robert W. Patterson.

This letter amplified the voice of the scientific community – now it’s time for President Trump and Ms. Conway to hear YOUR voice with this petition.

In their letter, the scientists called out the FDA directly for their use of “bad science” when determining the safety profile of kratom.

And that’s why you and I must demand they disregard the FDA’s latest disinformation campaign against kratom.

Please take a few moments and sign the petition to demand the President and Ms. Conway help protect the freedom of consumers to make their own choices about their health and well-being and to stop the criminalization of kratom.

There are organizations across the United States and within the Federal Government working day and night to criminalize kratom.

They don’t care about the truth, the science, or the disastrous impacts banning kratom would have on millions of Americans.

We MUST come together as a kratom community RIGHT NOW to say with one unified voice – STOP THE ATTACK ON KRATOM!

Below is the text of the petition being sent to President Trump and Ms. Conway:

———————————————————————————————————

PETITION TO PRESIDENT TRUMP AND KELLYANNE CONWAY

We the undersigned ask for your immediate action to protect the freedom of consumers to make their own health care decisions, and stop the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) from their broad regulatory overreach and the criminalization of millions of Americans who use kratom. 

Kratom is a safe herbal supplement that is used by Americans to manage their health and well-being. Many have found kratom to be an effective alternative pain management therapy to dangerously addictive and deadly opioids. Leading scientists have concluded that banning kratom will create an unsafe kratom black market, and force kratom users who manage acute or chronic pain to deadly opioids and will lead to increased opioid deaths in America.

Mr. President, we ask that you direct the FDA and the National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA) to research how kratom can best be used as both an alternative pain management therapy, and as a potential step-down from opioid addiction; and direct the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to return the proposed scheduling recommendation for kratom to the FDA and NIDA for those additional studies — and leave those Americans who use kratom for their personal health and well-being alone!

————————————————————————————————————————

CLICK HERE TO SIGN THE PETITION TO PRESIDENT TRUMP AND MS. CONWAY – LET’S SEND A CLEAR MESSAGE THAT KRATOM SHOULD BE PROTECTED!

Once you sign this petition, please forward this email to friends, family and even neighbors. Even if they are not a kratom consumer, please try to get their help in supporting this petition.

It is only because of your continued support that we are able to keep fighting to protect kratom. Thank you for your immediate action today.

Dave Herman

American Kratom Association

#IAMKRATOM

#teamAKA

State agents seize Heber City shop’s supply of CBD oil

by DJ Bolerjack   Thursday, December 28th 2017

cbd indiana

(KUTV) – The owner of a Heber City business, Medical Vanguard and Aspen Grove Rustics, is baffled after his cannabidiol, or CBD oil product, a nonpsychoactive byproduct from cannabis plants, was confiscated from his store’s shelves.

Manager of the business, Jenifer Tringham, told 2News Wednesday that they had checked with the DEA and found it was legal in all 50 states at the time.

The manager found the law confusing and since numerous smoke shops across Utah were selling the product, he assumed it was legal.

That profit was on the shelf for weeks, and Tringham said they were helping a lot of people and making a nice profit from it. But when the Department of Occupational and Professional Licensing found out about them selling CBD, they were served a subpoena by state agents.

“We didn’t realize that here in Utah, those that have a medical card and that suffer from epilepsy, they’re the only ones I can really have a CBD oil on hand,” Tringham said.

Dr. Marc Babitz, with the Utah Health Department, said CBD oil is legal only by use in Utah, not to sell.

“Number one: You must see your neurologist, somebody that specializes in seizure disorder who documents that you have a seizure disorder. They fill out forms, you fill out forms, bring them to the Department of Health, verify the information is correct and if everything is fine we issue you a card in the card allows you to be in possession of CBD oil.” Babitz said.

That oil has to be purchased outside of the state in places where it’s legal. Like Nevada and Colorado. With that card, it’s legal to bring back into the state.

“I don’t know of anything that would allow the sale of marijuana products of any kind,” Babitz said.

Now, it’s unclear whether the owner will face charges.

“Right now we’re not selling it. We are abiding by what we were told to do and that was to take it off the shelf and that’s what we’re doing right now.” Tringham said.

If you want to hear more from business owners or the Department of Health on this issue watch the news story above.

CONTINUE READING….

MISC.

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http://kutv.com/news/local/state-agents-seize-heber-city-shops-supply-of-cbd-oil

Colorado girl suing U.S. attorney general to legalize medical marijuana nationwide

Posted 9:24 pm, November 9, 2017, by Rob Low,

LARKSPUR, Colo. — Alexis Bortell is hardly the first child whose family moved to Colorado for access to medical marijuana.

But the 12-year-old is the first Colorado kid to sue U.S. Attorney Jeff Sessions over the nation’s official marijuana policy.

“As the seizures got worse, we had to move to Colorado to get cannabis because it’s illegal in Texas,” said Bortell, who was diagnosed with epilepsy as a young child.

The sixth-grader said traditional medicine wasn’t helping her seizures and doctors in her home state were recommending invasive brain surgery.

But a pediatrician did mention an out-of-state option: Medical marijuana.

Shortly after moving to Larkspur, Bortell’s family began using a strain of cannabis oil called Haleigh’s Hope.

A drop of liquid THC in the morning and at night has kept her seizure-free for 2 1/2 years.

“I’d say it`s a lot better than brain surgery,” Bortell said.

But Bortell said the federal prohibition on marijuana prevents her from returning to Texas.

“I would like to be able to visit my grandparents without risking being taken to a foster home,” Bortell said on why she’s joined a lawsuit that seeks to legalize medical marijuana on the federal level.

Haleigh’s Hope.

Since the 1970s the Drug Enforcement Agency has classified marijuana as a Schedule One drug, which in the eyes of federal policy makes marijuana more dangerous than meth or cocaine and on par with heroin.

“How is that rationale? It’s not compassionate either, but rationality? It’s just outrageous,” said Alexis’ dad Dean Bortell.

He showed his backyard fields, where he grows five acres of marijuana plants used to derive the medicine that helps his daughter and patients he’s never met.

“When you look at it from a distance and you see it saving their lives, me as a father and an American, I go, what are we doing? How could you possibly look at someone who`s benefiting from this as a medicine and threaten to take it away?” Bortell said.

Twenty-nine states and the District of Columbia have legalized medical marijuana.

Alexis’ New York attorney Michael Hiller argues it should be legal nationwide.

“As it pertains to cannabis, the (Controlled Substances Act) is irrational and thus unconstitutional,” said Heller, who added the U.S. government “made a representation that cannabis has medical application for the treatments of Parkinson`s Disease, HIV-induced dementia and Alzheimer’s disease and yet at the same time the United States government maintains that there is absolutely no medical benefit for the use of cannabis. That is of course absurd.”

Denver attorney Adam Foster represents marijuana businesses.

He said he thought the lawsuit was clever but admitted its success might be a long shot.

“Whenever you sue the government, the deck is really stacked against you,” Foster said.

But he added the federal government might have a hard time arguing medical marijuana has no known medical benefits.

“We now live in an era where 62 percent of Americans live in a state where the medical use of cannabis is legal at the state level,” he said.

Alexis Bortell said she hopes her lawsuit will normalize medical marijuana but also legalize it.

“We’ll be able to be treated like what you call ‘normal’ families,” she said.

Bortell is joined in the lawsuit by another child, a military veteran, a marijuana advocacy group and former Broncos player Marvin Washington, who played on the 1998 Super Bowl-winning team.

The federal government has already lost its first motion to have the case dismissed.

CONTINUE READING AND TO VIDEO!

Pot Was Flying Off the Shelves in Uruguay. Then U.S. Banks Weighed In.


Pot Was Flying Off the Shelves in Uruguay. Then U.S. Banks Weighed In.

By ERNESTO LONDOÑOAUG. 25, 2017

A line outside a pharmacy selling legal marijuana last month in Montevideo, Uruguay. Credit Matilde Campodonico/Associated Press

The pharmacies selling pot were doing a brisk business.

After Uruguay became the first country in the world to fully legalize marijuana sales for recreational use last month, some of the pharmacies struggled to keep up with the demand.

Then came the stern letters from American banks.

The letters immediately sent officials in Uruguay scrambling to make sense of the Patriot Act and other American laws that could doom an essential part of their country’s new marijuana market.

American banks, including Bank of America, said that they would stop doing business with banks in Uruguay that provide services for those state-controlled sales.

Afraid of losing access to the American banking system, Uruguayan banks warned some of the pharmacies over the last couple of weeks that their accounts would be shut down, potentially signaling a broader international impasse as other countries, including Canada, set out to legalize marijuana.

“We can’t hold out false hope,” President Tabaré Vázquez of Uruguay told reporters this week, adding that his administration was trying to come up with a solution.

Uruguay’s Marijuana Law Turns Pharmacists Into Dealers JULY 19, 2017

The snag mirrors challenges that such businesses have faced in American states that have legalized medical and recreational cannabis. Under the Patriot Act, which was passed weeks after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, it is unlawful for American financial institutions to do business with dealers of certain controlled substances, including marijuana. The provisions were designed to curb money laundering and drug trafficking.

American banks, including Bank of America, said they would stop doing business with banks in Uruguay that provide services for the country’s state-controlled marijuana sales. Credit Spencer Platt/Getty Images

The Obama administration indicated in 2014 that banks were unlikely to face penalties for offering services to marijuana businesses in states where the trade is legal, as long they screened accounts for signs of money laundering and ensured that customers followed state guidelines. This enabled some of the businesses to get accounts at credit unions, but major banks have largely stayed away from the expanding industry, concluding that the burdens and risks of doing business with marijuana sellers were not worth the hassle.

“Banks are businesses, and they can pick and choose who they do business with,” said Frank Robison, a lawyer in Colorado who specializes in marijuana regulation. “From a banking industry perspective, the marijuana industry might be perceived as a flea on a dog’s back.”

Several pot businesses in states like Colorado and Washington — the first to legalize recreational marijuana — have opted to remain cash-only businesses. Others have found small banks willing to take a calculated risk.

But finding a workaround in Uruguay may be hard. Sales of marijuana represent a small share of business for pharmacies, which are currently the only merchants licensed to sell it, and the pharmacies say they need banking services to operate.

Similarly, bankers in Uruguay will probably find it much more important to remain in good standing with American financial institutions than to preserve the accounts of a small number of pharmacies.

The threat of losing their bank accounts has led some of the roughly 15 pharmacies that initially signed up to participate in the new market to give up on marijuana sales, said Pablo Durán, a legal expert at the Center of Pharmacies in Uruguay, a trade group. Twenty other pharmacies that were expected to join the market are holding off while the government explores solutions, he said.

The American regulations are counterproductive, supporters of the legal market in Uruguay contend, because they may inadvertently encourage, not prevent, illicit drug sales.

Fighting drug trafficking was one of the main reasons the Uruguayan government gave for legalizing recreational marijuana. Officials spent years developing a complex regulatory framework that permits people to grow a limited supply of cannabis themselves or buy it at pharmacies for less than the black market rate. Lawmakers hoped that legal structure would undercut illicit marijuana cultivation and sales.

“There probably isn’t a trade in Uruguay today that is more controlled than cannabis sale,” Mr. Durán said.

As a candidate, President Trump said that American states should be free to chart their own courses on marijuana, and he promised to pare back regulation in the financial sector. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, however, has been a sharp critic of legalization and has compared marijuana to heroin.

Now, some members of the cannabis industry wonder whether the United States government will resolve the conflict between its banking laws and the expanding patchwork of measures to legalize recreational and medical marijuana use around the world. The guidance from the Obama administration, issued by the Justice and Treasury Departments in a pair of memos in 2014, addressed the matter domestically but not for international banking.

“Uruguay may be the tip of the iceberg,” said Mr. Robison, the Colorado lawyer who specializes in marijuana regulation.

Pharmacists in Uruguay were incredulous to learn that their bank accounts could be shut down, considering the years of study and planning that preceded the start of retail marijuana sales last month. The country’s marijuana law was passed in 2013.

“We can’t understand how the government didn’t have the foresight to anticipate this,” said Gabriel Bachini, a pharmacy owner in the coastal city of Colonia.

Buying marijuana in a pharmacy in Montevideo. Credit Andres Stapff/Reuters

Since sales began, the number of registered buyers in Uruguay has more than doubled. As of Aug. 15, more than 12,500 people had enrolled in a system that verifies customers’ identities with fingerprint scanners and allows them to buy up to 40 grams per month (at a price of about $13 for 10 grams, enough for about 15 joints, advocates say). Under the law, only Uruguayan citizens and legal permanent residents are allowed to buy or grow marijuana.

“Demand has been very strong,” Mr. Bachini said. “People are thrilled that they no longer have to go to private homes or venture out into neighborhoods” to get marijuana.

In emailed statements, the Treasury and Justice Departments said that their earlier guidance was still being applied. But banking and legal experts say the Trump administration has yet to lay down clear markers on this area of policy.

Officials in Uruguay are hopeful that American lawmakers will pass legislation allowing banks to do business with marijuana sellers in states and countries where it is regulated. Representative Ed Perlmutter, Democrat of Colorado, introduced a bill in April that would do that, but marijuana advocates say they do not expect a prompt legislative change.

“It is ironic that laws aimed at fighting drug trafficking and money laundering have created a roadblock for a system that intends to do just that,” said Hannah Hetzer, an analyst at the Drug Policy Alliance, which supports decriminalization of marijuana. “Uruguay is creating a legal market that displaces the illicit marijuana market.”

Mr. Bachini, the pharmacist, said he had not yet heard from his bank. But if it threatens to shut down his account, he said, he will not think twice about giving up marijuana sales.

“This pharmacy has been around for 30 years,” he said. “I’d just stop until this issue with the United States is resolved.”

Correction: August 26, 2017

An earlier version of this article misidentified the state that Ed Perlmutter represents in the House. It is Colorado, not Oregon.

Mauricio Rabuffetti contributed reporting.

A version of this article appears in print on August 26, 2017, on Page A1 of the New York edition with the headline: Uruguay’s Legal Pot Is Imperiled by U.S. Banks. Order Reprints| Today’s Paper|Subscribe

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SITSA creates a new “Schedule A” that gives the Attorney General of the United States the power to ban any “analogue” of an opioid that controls pain or provides an increase of energy.

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Kratom Advocates:

If you’ve had one of those days that starts with friends calling you with bad news, and the news just gets worse and worse as the day goes on – then that describes my day perfectly.

On Friday of last week, Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa, and Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California, dropped a bill in the U.S. Senate that our lobbyists believe will give the FDA and DEA a backdoor way of banning kratom completely in the United States.

S. 1327 is euphemistically called the SITSA Act.  And a companion bill in the US House of Representatives has already been filed, H.R. 2851, by Representative John Katco of New York.

The SITSA Act stands for the “Stop Importation and Trafficking of Synthetic Analogues Act of 2017.”
SITSA creates a new “Schedule A” that gives the Attorney General of the United States the power to ban any “analogue” of an opioid that controls pain or provides an increase of energy.

That is kratom. Because kratom’s 2 primary alkaloids, mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine, though not opioids, act similarly in some ways.
They could of just called this bill the “Schedule Kratom” Act.

This legislation will allow the Attorney General, and his supporters at the DEA, to add kratom to Schedule A on a “temporary basis” that will last for 5 years.
And once added to Schedule A, the Attorney General can convert it to a permanent schedule.
After everything that we’ve fought successfully against and endured together as a movement, our lobbyists are concerned that this is now the perfect storm for banning kratom.

Under the current Controlled Substances Act, the FDA and DEA have to prove conclusively that kratom is dangerously addictive and unsafe for consumer use. That’s why we were able to stop them in their tracks when they tried to ram through an “emergency scheduling” ban on kratom.

And it is why the FDA is having such a tough time in finding some justification to schedule kratom under regular rulemaking.

So now the anti-kratom bureaucrats in Washington want to ban kratom simply by claiming it has the same effects as an opioid – calling it an “analogue” of the opioid.

And the SITSA Act can enforce a ban on kratom by criminalizing any manufacturer or distributor of kratom. Ten years imprisonment just for manufacturing or selling a kratom product, and a fine of $500,000 if you are an individual, $2,500,000 if the defendant is a company.

If you import or export kratom, it is a 20-year sentence.

And then there are harsh penalties for what they call “false labeling” of a Schedule A substance.
That’s why am writing – because I need your help again.

We have to convince Sen. Grassley, Sen. Feinstein, and Representative Katko that they have to exempt natural botanical plants from the SITSA Act.
We have to act quickly, because I learned today that the House Judiciary Committee is looking to schedule a Hearing before they leave for recess next month.

So I hope you will help by doing three specific things:

1.    Click on the link below and sign our petition that the AKA will have delivered to every member of the Senate and House Judiciary Committees. 

PLEASE SIGN THIS PETITION URGING LAWMAKERS TO REMOVE KRATOM FROM THE SITSA ACT.

2.    I need you to pick up the phone and call Sen. Grassley’s office, Sen. Feinstein’s office, and Representative Katco’s office. When the staff member answers the phone, tell them that their boss should exclude natural botanicals like kratom products from the SITSA Act.

Here are the phone numbers you should call:

Senator Grassley:    (202) 224-3744
Senator Feinstein:    (202) 224-3841
Congressman Katco:    (202) 225-3701

When you call, be polite, but firm.  Kratom should be exempted from SITSA.

3.    Please click on the donation link below and help us once again to take on this fight with a team of lawyers, lobbyists, and public relations professionals.  Please consider making a monthly contribution to the AKA.

DONATION LINK TO HELP THE AKA FIGHT THIS LEGISLATION.

I know I am asking a lot.

But we need to fight back hard, or they will steal our freedoms from us to make our own decisions about our health and well-being.

So please, sign the petition, call the the sponsors of SITSA, and please, please, give as generous a contribution as you can to help us put our team on the ground in Washington, D.C.

With your help, we have established ourselves as a real force in Washington.

With your continued help – help that I am so grateful for – we can win this battle against the enemies of kratom.

Your contribution will help us hire the lawyers we need for a brief on why this legislation violates due process and current law; our lobbyists to knock on doors on Capitol Hill; and our public relations team to rally the press to tell our story.

We will stand up for freedom.

Thank you for your continued support.

Sincerely,

Susan Ash
Founder and Spokesperson
American Kratom Association
www.americankratom.org

http://mailchi.mp/americankratom/new-legislative-attack-on-kratom?e=2709219685

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Cannabis and the Constitution: A Brief History of Cannabis in the U.S.

Lisa Rough

The Constitution of the United States is arguably the most important document in the history of this country, aside from possibly the Declaration of Independence. It forms the backbone of America’s most basic rights, liberties, and laws upon which democracy is founded.

In its original form, the Constitution contained no mention of drugs or alcohol. In order to enact alcohol prohibition, the Eighteenth Amendment was introduced and ratified in 1919, specifically stating that the production, transport, and sale of alcohol was illegal. The prohibition of alcohol lasted 13 years, until the Twenty-first Amendment was introduced to repeal the Eighteenth Amendment in its entirety and re-legalize alcohol.

There is no mention of cannabis, nor any other drugs, in the Constitution. Does that mean that the prohibition of cannabis is unconstitutional?

There is no mention of cannabis, nor any other drugs, in the Constitution. Does that mean that the prohibition of cannabis is unconstitutional?

The first international prohibition of drugs came in the form of the International Opium Convention, an international drug treaty commissioned in response to the rising opium trade. The International Opium Convention was signed on January 23, 1912 and went into force globally in 1919, when it was incorporated into the Treaty of Versailles. The initial objective of the treaty was not prohibition or criminalization of drugs, but rather restricting exports of opium, coca, and cannabis.

In the United States, the Pure Food and Drug Act of 1906 was the first law of its kind to deem cannabis, along with alcohol, morphine, and opium, as “addictive and/or dangerous.” The law required drug labels to list any of these ingredients, and was primarily a “truth in labeling” law, although it was credited with paving the way for the eventual creation of the Food and Drug Administration. Curiously, cannabis, cocaine, heroin, and other such drugs continued to be available legally without a prescription, so long as they were properly labeled.

Then, along came Harry Anslinger.

RELATED STORY

The Origin of the Word ‘Marijuana’

As head of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics, Anslinger took note of the rising use of cannabis in the 1930’s. In 1935, he urged Franklin D. Roosevelt to adopt the Uniform State Narcotic Act, using the Hearst newspaper chain to promote the campaign. The Uniform State Act defined “habit forming drugs” as coca leaves, opium, “cannabis indica,” or “cannabis sativa,” and although only nine states adopted the regulations, it was drafted without any scientific study or evidentiary basis for the marijuana section.

Anslinger continued on a nationwide campaign against cannabis, declaring that marijuana causes temporary insanity. He produced films and advertisements that featured young people smoking cannabis, committing crimes, and killing themselves or others. This is exemplified in the infamous propaganda film, Reefer Madness.

The U.S. government official also made no compunctions about who, exactly, the campaign was aimed against. “Reefer makes darkies think they’re as good as white men,” Anslinger said. “The primary reason to outlaw marijuana is its effect on the degenerate races.” He also offered a charming portrait of the average cannabis consumer, to his knowledge. “Most are Negroes, Hispanics, Filipinos, and entertainers. Their Satanic music, jazz and swing, result from marijuana use. This marijuana causes white women to seek sexual relations with Negroes, entertainers, and any others.”

RELATED STORY

It’s Time to Treat Medical Cannabis Like Medicine

In 1937, Anslinger drafted the Marijuana Tax Act, which did not criminalize the possession or use of cannabis; rather, it imposed a tax equaling roughly one dollar on anyone commercially dealing in cannabis or hemp.

Dr. William Woodward, legislative counsel to the American Medical Association, vehemently opposed the bill, noting that much of the “evidence” presented originated from Anslinger himself, and that the use of the word “marijuana,” which was largely unknown at the time, prevented physicians from realizing they would lose cannabis as medicine. “Marijuana is not the correct term,” argued Woodward. “Yet the burden of this bill is placed heavily on the doctors and pharmacists of this country.”

Anslinger may not have actually created the law to prohibit cannabis, but he is certainly responsible for changing the public perception of cannabis from an innocuous substance available in many tinctures and medicines at the pharmacy to a dangerous, addictive, stigmatized drug, a perception that persists today.


RELATED STORY

How Mexican ‘Herbolarias’ Transformed Hemp into Psychoactive Marijuana

In 1969, Richard Nixon drafted the Controlled Substances Act, the legislation that criminalized the use and possession of cannabis, and ruled that marijuana has a high potential for abuse and no established medicinal value. The term “controlled substance” was defined to exclude alcohol and tobacco, an important exemption, as these are two of the most widely used drugs (with some of the most addictive properties).

The United States Constitution was drafted in order to spread power among many groups, by a system of checks and balances to ensure that no one person has too much power. Thus, the Controlled Substances Act could be changed by the Attorney General, the Drug Enforcement Administration, Congress, the Department of Health and Human Services, or by petition from any interested party.

Since 1970, there have been numerous petitions to reschedule cannabis. The first petition was filed by NORML in 1972 and was not given a hearing until 1986, and another attempt in 1981 from Representative Stewart McKinney was also shot down. Since then, it has been a recurrent theme of petition and denial through the years.

“Marijuana, in its natural form, is one of the safest therapeutically active substances known to man.”

Francis L. Young, DEA Administrative Law Judge

During a hearing on the subject in 1988, DEA Administrative Law Judge Francis L. Young concluded that, “In strict medical terms, marijuana is far safer than many foods we commonly consume…Marijuana, in its natural form, is one of the safest therapeutically active substances known to man.”

Whether or not the prohibition of cannabis is unconstitutional, perhaps it is time to reconsider whether the prohibition of cannabis is truly for the safety of the country, or simply for the peace of mind of a few select opponents still entrenched in the past.

CONTINUED…

DoJ Task Force Moves to Review Federal Cannabis Policy

In a DoJ memo, AG Jeff Sessions called for a subcommittee on marijuana and an email shows the DEA inquiring about Colorado cases.

By Aaron G. Biros

In a memo sent throughout the Department of Justice on April 5th, attorney general Jeff Sessions outlines the establishment of the Department’s Task Force on Crime Reduction and Public Safety. That task force, largely focused on violent crime, is supposed to find ways that federal prosecutors can more effectively reduce illegal immigration, violent crimes and gun violence.

The task force is made up of subcommittees, according to the memo, and one of them is focused on reviewing federal cannabis policy. “Task Force subcommittees will also undertake a review of existing policies in the areas of charging, sentencing, and marijuana to ensure consistency with the Department’s overall strategy on reducing violent crime and with Administration goals and priorities,” the memo reads. “Another subcommittee will explore our use of asset forfeiture and make recommendations on any improvements needed to legal authorities, policies, and training to most effectively attack the financial infrastructure of criminal organizations.” Those existing policies that Sessions refers to in the memo could very well be the 2013 Cole Memorandum, an Obama administration decree that essentially set up a framework for states with legal cannabis laws to avoid federal enforcement of the Controlled Substances Act.

In the past, Sessions has said he thinks the Cole Memo is valid, but remains skeptical of medical cannabis. In the last several months, comments made by Sessions and White House press secretary Sean Spicer have sparked outrage and growing fears among stakeholders in the cannabis industry, including major business players and state lawmakers. As a general feeling of uncertainty surrounding federal cannabis policy grows, many are looking for a safe haven, which could mean looking to markets outside of the U.S., like Canada, for example.

Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL)
Photo: Gage Skidmore, Flickr

Washington State’s former Attorney General Rob McKenna, Washington State’s former Chief Deputy Attorney General Brian Moran, and Maryland’s former Chief Deputy Attorney General Kay Winfree recently went on the record identifying the BioTrack THC traceability system as fully compliant with the Cole Memo. “The key to meeting the requirements of the Cole Memorandum is ‘both the existence of a strong and effective state regulatory system, and an operation’s compliance with that system’,” says the former attorney general and chief deputy attorneys general in a press release. “As described above, Washington State has a robust, comprehensive regulatory scheme that controls the entire marijuana supply chain.

The email sent to Colorado prosecutor Michael Melito

The flagship component of this regulatory scheme is the WSLCB’s seed to sale inventory system, the BioTrackTHC Traceability System.” Those commendations from a former attorney general could provide some solace to business operating with the seed-to-sale traceability software.

Still though, worries in the industry are fueled by speculation and a general lack of clarity from the Trump Administration and the Department of Justice. In an email obtained by an open records request and first reported by the International Business Times, a DEA supervisor asked a Colorado prosecutor in the state attorney general’s office about a number of cannabis-related prosecutions. The DEA supervisor asked for the state docket numbers of a handful of cases, including one involving cannabis being shipped out of state, according to The Denver Post. “Some of our intel people are trying to track down info regarding some of DEA’s better marijuana investigations for the new administration,” reads the email. “Hopefully it will lead to some positive changes.” So far, only speculations have emerged pertaining to its significance or lack thereof and what this could possibly mean for the future of federal cannabis policy.

CONTINUE READING…

H.R.2020 – To provide for the rescheduling of marijuana into schedule III of the Controlled Substances Act

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115th Congress (2017-2018) | Get alerts

Bill

Sponsor:
Rep. Gaetz, Matt [R-FL-1] (Introduced 04/06/2017)

Committees:
House – Energy and Commerce; Judiciary

Latest Action:
04/06/2017 Referred to House Judiciary  (All Actions)

ext: H.R.2020 — 115th Congress (2017-2018)All Bill Information (Except Text)

As of 04/08/2017 text has not been received for H.R.2020 – To provide for the rescheduling of marijuana into schedule III of the Controlled Substances Act.

CONTINUE TO DETAILS…