Tag Archives: medical marijuana

Arizona court: Hashish not included in medical marijuana law

Image result for hashish

An Arizona court has ruled that medical marijuana patients can still face arrest when in possession of hashish because it isn’t mentioned or included by name in a voter-approved pot initiative passed in 2010.

The Arizona Court of Appeals handed down the decision Tuesday in the case of Rodney Jones, a cardholder in the state’s medical marijuana program who was arrested in March 2013 at a Prescott hotel and indicted on a count each of cannabis possession and drug paraphernalia possession.

Police said at the time they had found Jones had 0.05 ounces of hashish in a jar, according to the appeals court ruling. After spending a year in jail, Jones waived his right to a jury trial in the case. He was later convicted and sentenced to more than two years in prison with credit for time served.

In his appeal, Jones had sought to have his conviction and sentence overturned by the court. But two of the judges on the three-member appeals court panel rejected his request, saying that the state’s medical marijuana act approved in 2010 “is silent” on hashish.

“If the drafters wanted to immunize the possession of hashish they should have said so,” the ruling said. “We cannot conclude that Arizona voters intended to do so.”

Hashish is a resin extracted from cannabis plants, and it is often used in oils and other medical marijuana products that are a part of the nation’s burgeoning, multibillion pot market.

The ruling had found that hashish is recognized under state law as a narcotic distinct from marijuana by the Legislature because of its potency levels.

Jones’ attorney did not immediately return a call requesting comment Wednesday.

Sarah Mayhew, who represented the Arizona Attorneys for Criminal Justice in supporting Jones in the lawsuit, said the parties would appeal the case to the Arizona Supreme Court.

“There are several things in this ruling that are just flat-out wrong,” said Mayhew, also an attorney in the Pima County Public Defender’s office.

She said the court had sought to apply marijuana and cannabis definitions in the state’s criminal code to the language drafted by medical marijuana advocates in the 2010 ballot initiative.

Voters had approved the medical marijuana act in order to provide broad protections to people seeking to access pot for medicinal reasons, she said.

By taking this step, the court narrowed the intent of the voters, Mayhew argued.

CONTINUE READING…

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U.S. judge weighs challenge to federal marijuana prohibition

Brendan Pierson

NEW YORK (Reuters) – The U.S. Department of Justice on Wednesday urged a federal judge to dismiss a lawsuit seeking to overturn the United States’ longstanding prohibition of marijuana, the latest court battle over federal policy under President Donald Trump’s administration.

The argument, before U.S. District Judge Alvin Hellerstein in Manhattan, came about a month after U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced he would abandon a policy of former President Barack Obama that had left regulation of the drug largely up to states.

Several states including, California, Colorado and Washington have legalized marijuana for recreational use, and 29 states allow some medical use.

The plaintiffs in the lawsuit, filed in July, include the parents of two children who use marijuana to treat illness, and former New York Jets player Marvin Washington, who works with a company that develops marijuana-based products.

They claim that the federal ban on marijuana violates the U.S. Constitution. Under the 1970 Controlled Substances Act, marijuana is classified as a “Schedule I” drug, meaning that it is considered to have a high potential for abuse and no medical use. Other Schedule I drugs include heroin and LSD.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Samuel Dolinger, arguing for the government, said federal law did not allow the plaintiffs to challenge the marijuana ban in court. Instead, he said, they must bring a petition through the Drug Enforcement Administration.

“The agency process is exhaustive,” he said.

Michael Hiller, lawyer for the plaintiffs, countered that the process was “futile,” and that there was no “rational basis” for marijuana to remain on Schedule I.

One of the children in the lawsuit, Alexis Bortell, successfully treats seizures using the drug, while another, Jagger Cotte, has used it to alleviate pain associated with a neurological condition called Leigh’s Disease, Hiller said.

“I represent people who need cannabis to live,” he said.

Hellerstein expressed sympathy for the plaintiffs during the hearing.

“How could anyone say that your clients’ lives have not been saved by marijuana?” he asked at one point.

However, the judge said he was not sure whether he had the authority to reschedule the drug. He also dismissed Heller’s argument that the prohibition was motivated by political concerns and racism when it was passed.

“The law is the law,” the judge said. “I‘m sworn to enforce the law.”

Reporting By Brendan Pierson in New York; Editing by Cynthia Osterman

CONTINUE READING…

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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Department of Defense Sidestepping FDA on MMJ for Soldiers on the Ground

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Congress has presented President Donald Trump with a bill that could provide an avenue for DoD to give active service members access to medical cannabis

A new defense bill could open the door for active duty soldiers to use marijuana for medicinal purposes. The National Defense Authorization Act (HR-2810) gives the Department of Defense, rather than the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the authority to approve drugs and medical devices.

The bill is designed “to reduce the number of deaths or the severity of harm to members of the armed forces… caused by a risk or agent of war.” It doesn’t specifically list medical marijuana, yet it could be used to allow military members serving outside the United States the freedom to use non-FDA-approved substances including cannabis. In other words, it would give the Pentagon the authority to distribute medical marijuana.

After being approved the U.S. House of Representatives on November 14, and then agreed to by the Senate on November 16, the measure was sent to President Donald Trump, who hasn’t given any indication as to whether he plans to sign the bill.

As of now, the FDA has the sole power to authorize medical drugs and devices. Federally, marijuana is classified as a Schedule I substance and therefore illegal, prohibiting Veterans Affairs (VA) from discussing and recommending medical cannabis.

Section 732 of HR-2810 would allow the Department of Defense to sidestep the FDA and marijuana’s Schedule I status to sign off on cannabis as a medical treatment to those serving the country overseas.

Lawmakers supporting the bill, including House armed Services Chairman Mac Thornberry (R-Texas), said the bill is long overdue and necessary, claiming the FDA isn’t acting swiftly enough to provide troops with the medical support they need.

“The chairman has perfect moral clarity on this provision, and there is no doubt in his mind that it is the right thing to do for the troops,” said House Armed Services spokesman Claude Chafin.

“This bill is the result of a lengthy, bipartisan process to ensure that United States military’s needs are properly met,” said Rep. Bill Shuster (R-PA), a senior member of the House Armed Services Committee.

PLEASE CONTINUE READING!

"It’s the height of hypocrisy,"…

FDA Is Open To Medical Marijuana For Vets, But Other Agencies Stand In The Way

Mona Zhang , Contributor

Dr. Sue Sisley, a medical marijuana researcher, speaks at the Arizona Secretary of State’s Office Wednesday, April 14, 2010 at the Capitol in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Matt York)

When the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned cannabidiol producers against making medical claims about cannabis products, it seemed par for the course for any federal agency. Cannabis is simply not considered medicine in the eyes of the government.

But the FDA actually appears pretty open to considering the potential of marijuana as medicine. “We’ve had good experiences working with the FDA,” said Brad Burge, communications director at the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS). The non-profit is currently conducting the first FDA- and DEA-approved clinical trial on whole-plant marijuana and enrolled its 30th participant on October 26.

“We have a long relationship with the FDA — a lot through our MDMA research. They’ve been open to approving research protocols into Schedule I drugs,” said Burge. “It’s other regulatory agencies that have been standing in the way.”

It’s certainly unhelpful that the National Institutes of Drug Abuse have a monopoly on growing research cannabis. The Drug Enforcement Administration and the Justice Department aren’t helpful on this front either. But the lack of support for the study from Veterans Affairs (VA) is even more egregious.

Dr. Sue Sisley, the trial’s lead researcher, says she’s determined to focus on veterans for this study. She plans to examine the effects of cannabis on 76 subjects with treatment-resistant PTSD. Her main motivation in focusing on veterans is the epidemic of veteran suicides in the U.S. The VA estimates that about 22 veterans commit suicide every day – Sisley thinks that number is probably higher.

“As a scientist, I’m skeptical of subjective claims,” said Sisley. “[But] we have a mountain of anecdotal reports from veterans claiming that cannabis is lifesaving.”

The implications go beyond saving their lives – Sisley has heard plenty of military spouses and children sing the praises of the drug. “The kids will say, ‘I got my dad back’ after years of [him] being disengaged, irritable and mean,” she said.

Now, her main challenge is recruiting enough veterans who fit the study criteria and are able to participate on-site in Phoenix, Arizona. Sisley estimates that the Phoenix VA hospital has 20,000 veterans in their system who meet the study’s eligibility requirements. But the hospital is refusing to provide information about the study to its patients.

“[In] some of the states that have put in appropriate controls [for medical marijuana], there may be some evidence that this is beginning to be helpful,” said VA Secretary David Shulkin at a White House press briefing in May. “We’re interested in looking at that and learning from that.”

But Sisley says that Shulkin has so far refused to express support for her study: “It’s the height of hypocrisy,” she said.

“The VA Secretary could make a call to the Phoenix VA, and we could start sharing information with these patients,” said Sisley. “Why does it take political courage to defend a federally legal study? Not even defend it, just fast-track it. We’ve been stonewalled at every turn.”

The researchers have paid for various types of advertising and hired a veteran to oversee recruitment efforts. Still, “the issue for us is [getting] cooperation from the Phoenix VA hospital,” said Sisley. Recruitment has dwindled to a “pretty slow trickle.”

If the study fails to recruit 46 more veterans in the next couple of months, “we’ll have to reevaluate,” she said. “We fought for so many years and the veteran community has stood shoulder to shoulder with us, helping us kick down the doors… Many of them have adopted this trial as their own.”

The American Legion, a veterans organization that has more than 2 million members, called on the VA to support the clinical trial in September. “We ask for your direct involvement to ensure this critical research is fully enabled,” wrote the organization’s National Commander Denis Rohan in a letter to Shulkin. “[The study] could potentially produce scientific evidence that will enhance, improve, and save the lives of veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.”

But Shulkin has remained mum on the issue.

“I’m assuming that [Attorney General] Sessions has created an atmosphere of fear around the word ‘cannabis’ and so nobody’s willing to step out,” said Sisley. “The FDA deserves major commendation because they at least are responsive.”

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“…the riskiest pot is coming from the black market—which could be an argument for expanding legalization”

Marijuana: Why Dangerously Potent Pot Is Making People Lose Their Minds and Memories

Homegrown2017

By Jessica Firger On 10/19/17 at 4:44 PM

High-potency pot is causing psychiatric issues, including addiction and memory problems. New strains of the recreational drug have higher levels of the active chemical and not enough of another compound that keeps the drug safe. And as a new study this week documents, the riskiest pot is coming from the black market—which could be an argument for expanding legalization. 

The new report, published this week by Manchester Metropolitan University in the U.K., tested 50 samples of cannabis in the city of Manchester. The study was conducted by Volteface, a London-based policy think tank seeking reform for marijuana laws to improve safety of the drug by making it legal, and thus limiting demand on the local black market. All of the samples had high levels of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive component of the drug that produces the “high,” and inconsequential amounts of cannabidiols (CBDs), the protective compound of the drug that prevents marijuana from becoming unsafe.

Pot that is high in THC carries a greater risk of psychiatric problems, including psychosis, addiction and memory impairment. One study, for example, published in the British Journal of Psychiatry evaluated cannabis use in 280 people and compared them to a control group of 174 non-cannabis users. The study found that people who experienced their first psychotic episode were more likely to have used a higher THC potency form of the drug.

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Amir Englund, an expert in cannabinoid psychopharmacology at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience at King’s College London, tells Newsweek that the low levels of CBDs exacerbate the issues caused by high levels of THC. Additionally, frequent users often become tolerant to cannabis and slowly need a stronger product to get as high as they used to, he says.

“Because both THC and CBD are made from the same material in the plant, more of one means less of the other,” he says. Some recent research, he says, has shown that people using strains of marijuana that are also high in CBD—not just THC—are less likely to have mental health problems than those who opt for strains that have low CBD but high THC content. Some experiments he’s conducted show that CBD can counter the negative effects of high doses of THC in healthy volunteers.

Growers, he says, are cross-breeding plants to favor THC production over CBD. But the decision isn’t influenced only by the market’s demand. In many instances, it’s determined by the grower’s bottom line. “Some of the reasons why these varieties are more popular include the fact that they are more cost-effective to produce (more total drug-yield per plant) and more popular among frequent users,” says Englund.

A number of other factors also affect the potency of pot. According to Leafly, there will always be some variation when multiple growers cultivate the same strain because environment, growing technique and genetics all impact the composition of the plants.

A report published in 2015 by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment found the problem isn’t only with illegal sales. Labeling on regulated cannabis is often misleading, and the strain purchased could have higher or lower levels of potency than the label leads a consumer to believe.

“High THC, low CBD cannabis dominates the UK’s illicit market as it has a rapid growth period up to maturity and can be grown indoors,” the researchers write. “This enables those selling cannabis to make the greatest profit and presents the lowest risk. While popularity of this product is undoubtedly high, this may well be due to the fact that no other product is easily available and consumers have neither the access to nor the experience of any alternative.”

In other words, pot purchasers should look beyond the name—as nice as Black Beauty and Northern Lights may sound—and find out more about what they’re smoking. 

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(KY) GOV. MATT BEVIN AND AG ANDY BESHEAR GET SUED OVER MEDICAL MARIJUANA!

BECAUSE THIS STORY IS SO IMPORTANT IN KENTUCKY I HAVE INCLUDED TWO SOURCES OF INFORMATION.

PLEASE FOLLOW THE LINK TO THE VIDEO BELOW TO HEAR THE PRESS CONFERENCE WHICH WAS AIRED ON WLKY.

THE LAWSUIT WAS FILED TODAY, JUNE 14TH, 2017, IN JEFFERSON COUNTY KENTUCKY AGAINST GOV. MATT BEVIN AND AG ANDY BESHEAR BY DANNY BELCHER OF BATH COUNTY, AMY STALKER OF JEFFERSON COUNTY, AND DAN SEUM JR OF JEFFERSON COUNTY.

ky mj lawsuit

ABOVE:  LINK TO PRESS CONFERENCE VIDEO ON WLKY

FACEBOOK – WLKY PRESS CONFERENCE WITH COMMENTS

Mark Vanderhoff Reporter

FRANKFORT, Ky. —

Three people are suing Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin and Attorney General Andy Beshear over Kentucky’s marijuana laws, claiming their rights are being violated by not being able to use or possess medicinal marijuana.

The lawsuit, filed Wednesday morning in Jefferson Circuit Court, was filed on behalf of Danny Belcher of Bath County, Amy Stalker of Louisville and Dan Seum Jr., son of state Sen. Dan Seum, R-Fairdale.

Seum turned to marijuana after being prescribed opioid painkillers to manage back pain.

“I don’t want to go through what I went through coming off that Oxycontin and I can’t function on it,” he said. “If I consume cannabis, I can at least function and have a little quality of life.”

The plaintiffs spoke at a press conference Wednesday afternoon.

Seum does not believe the state can legally justify outlawing medical marijuana while at the same time allowing doctors to prescribe powerful and highly addictive opioids, which have created a statewide and national epidemic of abuse.

That legal justification lies at the heart of the plaintiffs’ legal challenge, which claims Kentucky is violating its own constitution.

The lawsuit claims the prohibition violates section two of the Kentucky Constitution, which denies “arbitrary power,” and claims the courts have interpreted that to mean a law can’t be unreasonable.

“It’s difficult to make a comparison between medical cannabis and opioids that are routine prescribed to people all over the commonwealth, all over the country, and say that there’s some sort of rational basis for the prohibition on cannabis as medicine when we know how well it works,” said Dan Canon, who along with attorney Candace Curtis is representing the plaintiffs.

The lawsuit also claims Kentucky’s law violates the plaintiffs’ right to privacy, also guaranteed under the state constitution.

Spokespeople for Gov. Bevin and Beshear say their offices are in the process of reviewing the lawsuit.

In a February interview on NewsRadio 840 WHAS, Bevin said the following in response to a question about whether he supports medical marijuana:

“The devil’s in the details. I am not opposed to the idea medical marijuana, if prescribed like other drugs, if administered in the same way we would other pharmaceutical drugs. I think it would be appropriate in many respects. It has absolute medicinal value. Again, it’s a function of its making its way to me. I don’t do that executively. It would have to be a bill.”  CONTINUE READING…

Lawsuit challenges Kentucky’s medical marijuana ban

By Bruce Schreiner | AP June 14 at 6:38 PM

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Kentucky’s criminal ban against medical marijuana was challenged Wednesday in a lawsuit touting cannabis as a viable alternative to ease addiction woes from opioid painkillers.

The plaintiffs have used medical marijuana to ease health problems, the suit said. The three plaintiffs include Dan Seum Jr., the son of a longtime Republican state senator.

Another plaintiff, Amy Stalker, was prescribed medical marijuana while living in Colorado and Washington state to help treat symptoms from irritable bowel syndrome and bipolar disorder. She has struggled to maintain her health since moving back to Kentucky to be with her ailing mother.

“She comes back to her home state and she’s treated as a criminal for this same conduct,” said plaintiffs’ attorney Daniel Canon. “That’s absurd, it’s irrational and it’s unconstitutional.”

Stalker, meeting with reporters, said: “I just want to be able to talk to my doctors the same way I’m able to talk to doctors in other states, and have my medical needs heard.” 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.
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CONTINUE TO VIDEO!!!

Pro-marijuana church active in Alabama: Members tout ‘God and cannabis’

By Greg Garrison | ggarrison@al.com
Email the author | Follow on Twitter
on March 20, 2017 at 6:12 AM, updated March 20, 2017 at 2:40 PM

Marijuana in Alabama

With a stained-glass window behind them, a lineup of speakers stepped to the front of the church and talked about the potential health benefits of legalizing plants that are currently outlawed in Alabama.

“I smoke cannabis on a daily basis for my pain,” said Janice Rushing, president of the Oklevueha Native American Church of Inner Light in Alabama. “If I did not, I’d be on pain pills.”

Her husband, Christopher Rushing, chief executive officer of Oklevueha Native American Church of Inner Light, says he also uses marijuana routinely.

The Rushings founded the Oklevueha Church in 2015 and claim that it has a legal exemption for its members to smoke marijuana and ingest hallucinogenic mushrooms and peyote cactus.

At a January forum with an audience of about 30 gathered at Unity Church in Birmingham, which allowed the use of its facilities, speakers discussed the potential benefits of marijuana and other substances for medicinal purposes.

“I had an ungodly facial rash,” said Sherrie Saunders, a former U.S. Army medic who is now a member of Oklevueha Native American Church in Alabama.

“We made a cream that completely got rid of that rash,” Mrs. Rushing said.

Someone in the audience discussed a heart problem and sleep apnea.

“That could be something that cannabis could help,” Saunders said.

She also said marijuana can ease manic bipolar disorder and Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome.

“The medical establishment took away cannabis so they could sell us pills,” Saunders said.

Before marijuana was stigmatized as an illegal drug, Native Americans valued it as a natural herbal treatment for more than 90 percent of sicknesses, she said.  “A woman in Nicaragua showed me how to cure cancer with cannabis,” Saunders said.

The woman had a son who was cured, she said. “I know why,” Saunders said. “God and cannabis.”

The National Cancer Institute, in its overview of cannabis in treatment of cancer, makes no claims for curative powers, but acknowledges that cannabis has been used for medicinal purposes for thousands of years and that it “may have benefits in the treatment of cancer-related side effects.” 

Chris Rushing stood in the pulpit and preached a sermon that mixed theology and a belief in natural, hallucinogenic plants. “That is God’s way of turning our brain on,” Rushing said.

“These entheogens work like tools to open up spaces and pathways of the mind,” Rushing said. “Yet it’s illegal. We all walk around producing natural chemicals that do the same.”

Rushing said it does not make sense that pharmaceutical companies make large profits on harmful synthetic and dangerous drugs, while plant and herbal medicines are illegal.

Rushing said the health benefits of marijuana, mushrooms and cacti are enormous. They can combat depression and cure people of addictions, he said.

The Oklevueha Native American Church of Inner Light in Warrior has been licensed as a federally registered branch of the Oklevueha Lakota Sioux Nation Native American Church, Rushing said.

The church has a religious exemption to use psylocibin mushrooms and peyote cactus, both of which have properties that augment traditional Native American spiritual beliefs and experiences, Rushing said. He calls their use in religious ceremonies a sacrament.

All 120 members in the Alabama church carry photo identification, similar to a driver’s license, that identifies them as members of a church that has a federal religious exemption to use natural drugs that are otherwise prohibited by law, he said.

He believes all natural plants should be legal for medicinal use, including marijuana, peyote cactus and psylocibin mushrooms.

Researchers at UAB and other universities are studying the benefits of such natural treatments, including the use of psylocibin mushrooms in treating cocaine abuse. Peter Hendricks, a clinical psychologist at UAB, is currently doing research on the use of the active ingredient in psylocibin mushrooms.

Hendricks spoke in May 2016 at a Homewood Public Library event sponsored by the church. He spoke again in January at the event at Unity Church in Birmingham.

Hendricks said he only talks about his research at the church-sponsored events and does not endorse Rushing’s church or whether its use of drugs is legal or not. The events give Hendricks a chance to advertise the research trials, which still need volunteers. Hendricks’ research explores the use of mushrooms in weaning addicts off serious drug addictions.

“I don’t support criminalizing any drug use,” Hendricks said. “People who have addictions are not helped by criminalization. If it were up to me, there would be more emphasis on providing treatment, less emphasis on punitive measures for people who are addicted.”

Rushing carries around with him documentation of court rulings such as a unanimous ruling in United States v. Robert Boyll in the U.S. 10th Circuit Court of Appeals, which found that a non-Native American who was arrested for possession and intent to distribute peyote had the same constitutional protections as Native American members of the church.

Rushing said he was licensed in the church by James Warren “Flaming Eagle” Mooney of Utah, who won a court battle with the state of Utah. The Utah Supreme Court ruled in Mooney’s favor in 2004, in State of Utah vs. Mooney’s and Oklevueha Native American Church. The state had argued that Mooney was engaged in a criminal enterprise for distributing peyote and tried to seize the church property. The Supreme Court ruled that the Native American Church was entitled to the religious exemption.

Legal marijuana: Is it coming to Alabama?

As legalized marijuana spreads across the United States, most observers remain skeptical that recreational marijuana will be legal anytime soon in Alabama.

After the Jan. 21 forum at Unity Church, some in attendance expressed hope Alabama might soon follow in the footsteps of other states that have legalized marijuana. More than half of the states have decriminalized marijuana for medical uses and eight states have decriminalized marijuana for recreational uses.

Some of them say the Oklevueha Native American Church of Inner Light in Alabama is helping raise awareness.

“I think Chris’ work is vital,” said Jonah Tobin, founder of the Alabama Mother Earth Sustenance Alliance, or MESA.  “People like him are part of that movement.”

MJ Church.JPG

Janice Rushing, president of the Oklevueha Native American Church of Inner Light in Alabama, in the pulpit, and Sherrie Saunders, left, talk about the medical benefits of marijuana on Jan. 21, 2017, at Unity Church in Birmingham, Ala.

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Spannabis 2017: Lessons On Spain’s And Barcelona’s Marijuana Industry

By Hilary Bricken

Mar 20, 2017 at 4:20 PM

Spain flag cannabis

From March 10th through 12th, I was in Barcelona attending Spannabis. My firm’s Barcelona lawyers constantly get inquiries from serious international businesspeople wanting to start a cannabis social club or some other sort of cannabis business in Spain. And with more than 200 medical marijuana social clubs in Barcelona alone, I wanted to go there to meet with key industry players to learn more about what is going on with marijuana in Catalonia’s capital city and in the rest of Spain.

Barcelona and medical marijuana felt to me like some combination of California, Oregon, and Washington seven years ago. Namely, it feels like an unregulated, quasi-commercial gray market chock-full of “collective” non-profits and rotating patient members, unclear laws, and inconsistent enforcement of those laws. For a breakdown on the current medical marijuana laws in Spain and in Barcelona, go here. This unclear and pioneer atmosphere was also in full force at Spannabis, which was in many respects just like pretty much every other marijuana trade show/expo I’ve attended in the United States: light on serious education about marijuana laws and regulations and heavy on promoting marijuana consumption and on seeking to preserve the counter-culture. But with cannabis cups and consuming events dwindling in the U.S. from increasing state marijuana regulations, I would be remiss if I did not mention how the Spannabis fairgrounds managed to maintain a steady cloud of overhanging marijuana smoke from its more than 3,000 attendees who openly and consistently consumed despite the presence of law enforcement.

Spannabis had only a single panel on the legality and rules surrounding Barcelona’s (mostly medical) marijuana social clubs and the panelist gave little detail or explanation about the law that enables cannabis clubs to operate. That panel was made up of one criminal defense attorney telling attendees about the national and local government’s conflicting policy positions on health and law enforcement and the rights of individuals to consume cannabis for medical use. Needless to say, since our cannabis lawyers represent the business side, I didn’t find this panel very helpful. More importantly, this panel served as just another indication that Barcelona and Spain as a whole have just not yet really “arrived” yet as destinations for those seeking to form and operate a cannabis business fully compliant with local (in this case Barcelona), provincial (Catalonia), and federal (Spain) laws.

But as many in the industry there were quick and emphatic about telling me, the cannabis scene in Barcelona and in Spain is slowly maturing and slowly getting “more legal.” As we wrote just last week, the regional Parliament of Catalonia has proposed reforms in line with a 2014 initiative advocated by Regulacion Responsible in advance of the 2014 Spain national elections. The initiative’s aim was to create a framework for the national reform of cannabis laws to permit regions like Catalonia and cities like Barcelona to set their own cannabis policies. Though the 2016 legislative initiative stalled, it has recently reemerged and anticipation is building for a revised version of this bill that would mean increased regulation for legalized marijuana businesses on a regional basis. Given the inconsistent enforcement of current laws (within both Catalonia and Spain) and the lack of meaningful or comprehensive business regulations, such reforms cannot come soon enough to better protect and give more structure to those cultivating and distributing marijuana for and to patients. Patients would also benefit from such regulation as it would increase both transparency around the sourcing of cannabis products and cannabis quality assurance standards.

Even though marijuana social clubs in Spain exist in a risk-laden gray area, it’s clear that manufacturing and distributing CBD is a popular and, more importantly, legal practice in Spain and Barcelona (in contrast to the United States). Indeed, the majority of booths on the exhibitor floor at Spannabis focused on hemp seeds (there was even a company there from Humboldt County) and CBD-based products. Manufacturing and distributing cannabis paraphernalia or equipment used for consuming, cultivating, or handling are also legal and ancillary companies are alive and well in Barcelona, just like in most of the U.S. This is why foreign investors looking at Spain are mostly focusing on financing, starting, managing, or assisting ancillary companies and not so much on marijuana social clubs, all of which are non-profit because of existing laws prohibiting commercial “trafficking.” The Arcview Group (well-known for angel investments in ancillary marijuana businesses) held an investor meeting in Barcelona for the first time last week.

Barcelona’s medical marijuana marketplace remains immature and risky (these were the words used by many of those with whom I spoke while I was in Spain), but it no doubt has tremendous potential. Once local governments in Spain are given the freedom (and they might soon) to take the reins on cannabis regulation and to create a better business atmosphere for cultivators, manufacturers, and distributors, Barcelona will no doubt quickly become a major marijuana city in terms of popularity, investment, and access.


Hilary Bricken bio photoHilary Bricken is an attorney at Harris Bricken, PLLC in Seattle, and she chairs the firm’s Canna Law Group. Her practice consists of representing marijuana businesses of all sizes in multiple states on matters relating to licensing, corporate formation and contracts, commercial litigation, and intellectual property. Named one of the 100 most influential people in the cannabis industry in 2014, Hilary is also lead editor of the Canna Law Blog. You can reach her by email at hilary@harrisbricken.com.

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