Tag Archives: medical marijuana

"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.”

CONTINUE READING…

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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. 

CONTINUE READING AND TO VIDEO!

(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.

CONTINUE READING…

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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Nevada bill would allow medical marijuana users to carry guns

Jenny Kane , jkane@rgj.com Published 4:09 p.m. PT March 20, 2017

Nevada lawmakers are trying to address everything from marijuana users’ gun rights to the danger that edible marijuana products pose to children.

On Monday, a wide array of marijuana-focused bills were introduced to both members of the Nevada Senate and the Assembly to help regulate the drug that’s now legal for recreational use in Nevada (and has been legal for medicinal use since 2000).

Sen. Kelvin Atkinson, D-Las Vegas, introduced a bill, SB 351, which would allow medical marijuana users to possess a firearm and a conceal and carry permit. Sheriffs currently are required to deny an application for a permit to carry a concealed firearm or revoke an existing permit if someone is a medical marijuana card holder.

Sen. Tick Segerblom, D-Las Vegas, co-sponsored a separate bill, SB 344, with Sen. Patricia Farley, Nonpartisan-Las Vegas, that revises the standards for the labeling and packaging of marijuana for medical use.

Map: A quick guide to all of Nevada’s marijuana dispensaries

Nevada bill would allow marijuana use in public

Get in trouble for marijuana before this year? Nevada bill could help you get off the hook

The proposed legislation establishes limits on how much medicinal marijuana may be sold in a single package and prohibits candy-like marijuana products that appeal to children. The bill also would prevent edible marijuana products that look like cookies or brownies to be sealed in see-through packaging, or any kind of packaging that children might be attracted to.

Segerblom introduced a separate, 147-page bill, SB 329, that would allow for medical marijuana research and hemp research. The same bill would add post traumatic stress disorder to the list of conditions that could qualify a patient for medicinal marijuana consumption.

Under Segerblom’s bill, non-profit medical marijuana dispensaries could accept donations of marijuana, and all medical marijuana establishments would have to install video security which law enforcement could remotely access in real time.

He also is proposing a bill, SB 321, that would allow American Indian tribes in Nevada to make agreements with the Governor that would allow the tribes to follow state law as related to both medical and recreational marijuana.

Segerblom and Farley also introduced a bill, SB 236, that would allow money raised from medical marijuana establishment applications to be spent not only on government costs and schools. Segerblom and Farley believe that the money should also be spent on programs used to educate people about the safe usage of marijuana.

Segerblom and Farley’s bill also suggests prohibiting counties and incorporated cities from imposing requirements upon marijuana establishments that are not zoning related. The bill also would limit the license tax that a county or city could impose upon a marijuana establishment.

Assemblywoman Brittney Miller also introduced a bill to the Assembly on Monday that would vacate the sentences of offenders who were convicted of possessing 1 ounce or less of marijuana before legalization was effective Jan. 1. Assemblyman William McCurdy II introduced a similar bill last week to the Assembly’s Committee on Corrections, Parole and Probation.

The legalized marijuana industry is growing more than

The legalized marijuana industry is growing more than pot. Analysts say it could create over a quarter of a million jobs while other industries decline. (Photo: USA TODAY video still)

CONTINUE READING…

How The ‘Cannabis Catch-22’ Keeps Marijuana Classified As A Harmful Drug

 

Marijuana grows in the home of two medical marijuana patients in Medford, Ore.

America has a long and storied history with marijuana. Once grown by American colonists to make hemp rope, by 1970, it was classified as a Schedule 1 narcotic. Possession of it was — and is — a federal crime, despite the fact that in recent years 25 states have legalized medical marijuana and four states and the District of Columbia have legalized cannabis for recreational use.

Author John Hudak, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, traces the history of America’s laws and attitudes toward cannabis in his new book, Marijuana: A Short History. He tells Fresh Air‘s Dave Davies that the recent shift in public policy is, in part, a recognition of the drug’s medicinal value, which became apparent in San Francisco during the AIDS crisis of the 1980s.

“People were saying, ‘If I smoke this and I get the munchies, maybe it will help people dying of AIDS who are so nauseated that they can’t eat and they’re dealing with clinical anorexia as a result of that,’ ” Hudak explains.

The grass-roots movement turned political, and in 1996, California became the first state to pass a medical marijuana ballot initiative. Other states followed, though the impetus for the movement grew beyond the medicinal.

“One significant argument in favor of adult use marijuana that not many people talk about is a simple one, and that is some people just like to get high,” Hudak says. “I think in this policy debate, oftentimes seeing marijuana as a recreational product, it is frowned upon to discuss it, but it’s a reality. People enjoy it like people enjoy wine or people enjoy a good steak.”


Interview Highlights

On Harry Anslinger, who played a pivotal role in the effort to criminalize marijuana

Harry Anslinger was the nation’s first real drug czar. He came from the Bureau of Prohibition and was put in charge of a variety of federal government agencies that changed names over the course of time, but were effectively the precursors for the Drug Enforcement [Administration].

He was essentially the J. Edgar Hoover of drugs in the United States. He had the same types of tactics that Hoover had — that was being very aggressive with Congress, going into the media to try to advance his political and policy interests. He had, by all accounts, details and histories of members of Congress and senators that they did not want to become public, and he was a one-man force in expanding drug prohibition in the United States. He did this for a variety of drugs, but he had a special place in his heart for marijuana.

On how marijuana use was made into a racial issue

Anslinger brought to it this real racialized aspect. I mean, he was an absolute avowed racist, and when you look at the letters he wrote to different civic organizations or op-eds that he published, or even congressional testimony, it is riddled with racist language and racist claims about the use of marijuana really being only in Mexican communities in the Southwest, and then eventually it transitioned to be a product that was used by the individuals who were around jazz music, which of course was code language for the African-American community.

And so proceeded this racialized history, and [Anslinger] … claimed that marijuana would turn people into psychopaths, murderers, rapists — it would make women promiscuous, particularly promiscuous around men of color, and this was seen as something that was brought into communities by people of color in order to make the most vulnerable in society behave in ways that would appall society.

On government efforts to suppress studies that showed that marijuana was not as addictive or dangerous as had been claimed

In the 1970s President Nixon commissioned the former governor of Pennsylvania, Ray Shafer, who was a good friend, a fellow Republican, a good friend of Nixon’s, to commission this report about this evil drug infecting society, and Shafer came up, again, with the same answers — it wasn’t as addicting, that there were reasons to try to think about this drug in different ways than the federal government was thinking about it, that it wasn’t causing violent crime.

Shafer was actually called into the Oval Office and read off by the president for this draft report, and [Nixon] said to Shafer, “You cannot publish this.” And Shafer stood his ground. He said, “I’m publishing it.” And Nixon trashed that.

It was just this extended period of president after president asking for answers, not getting the answers that he liked, and then throwing the report away.

On what led to policy change for use of marijuana

This really began in the Castro District of San Francisco in the late 1980s and early 1990s. The AIDS epidemic was … ravaging this community, and it was one that individuals, I think, looked at this product that was largely being used recreationally and understood that it helped with pain relief.

So you had a few individuals — Dennis Peron is one; a woman named Brownie Mary who was an orderly at a hospital in San Francisco who would bake brownies laced with marijuana and deliver them to AIDS patients each day. This community popped up around delivering medical cannabis for those who are dying.

And it wasn’t only people dying of AIDS, it was people who had a variety of ailments — and that grass-roots, underground, even though it was pretty much in the daylight for some time, movement transitioned into a political one, and in 1996 California became the first state to pass a medical marijuana ballot initiative.

On arguments in favor of legalization

We have 750,000 arrests in a year that have to do with marijuana. And so in communities of color that criminal justice argument is a tremendous one. For libertarians you talk about personal liberty and privacy and property rights, and that is an important issue for them. For conservatives or liberals who are interested in balancing the budget, talking about all of the law enforcement dollars that are spent on the prosecution and investigation of marijuana crimes in a year, that’s budget savings, as well as revenue in the door on the tax side.

For others, it is about product safety, understanding that a regulatory system is going to be able to test the product and you’ll know exactly as a consumer what you’re getting, whereas on the black market you don’t know that.

On the federal government’s decision this past summer to continue the Schedule 1 classification of marijuana

One of the reasons for the maintenance of marijuana as a Schedule 1 substance was that the medical community is not convinced of its medical value. There are plenty of doctors who believe that there is medical value to marijuana, they’re willing to recommend it to patients, but the threshold required to demonstrate medical value for the medical community as a whole is much higher than it is for the reform community.

There is this cannabis Catch-22 and it is, as a Schedule 1 drug, it is very difficult to do research on the plant. There are only certain researchers who will get the certification and licensure necessary to handle the drug. Then, of course, you need the funding to study it. You need approval from university institutional review boards, and the burdens that exist to do the type of research on a Schedule 1 drug are tremendous. But that research is what will inform the medical community as to its medical use, and so what you need and what you can do are entirely prevented by this federal government policy.

CONTINUE READING INTERVIEW…

Leukaemia and Cannabis Oil: The Story of the Late Ronnie Smith

 

 

Above:  right to left Brian McCullough, Cher Ford McCullough, Richard Rawlings, Heidi Drake and Ronnie Smith aka Roland A Duby, taken at Reefer Rumble in Cincinnati circa 2001

 

One of the all-stars of the cannabis counter culture, Ronnie Lee Smith ranks right up there with Rick Simpson, Jack Herer, and many others. Ronnie, at the age of 47 regretfully passed away in Colorado, on April 3rd 2014. The cause of death is said to be complications from leukaemia.

That’s why Ronnie’s case is particularly important. That’s because Ronnie died of a disease for which he has supposedly treated others in similar situations. Ronnie, with his rocket-scientist in-the-rough intellect, was as familiar to You Tube viewers as Rick Simpson.

I watched several of his videos months earlier. He was the go-to person when a patient needed help in either obtaining Rick Simpson Oil (RSO), or getting safe, reliable advice for their condition. He was also a professional comedian and a radio-show host. He was as compassionate as he was generous.

If you had a cancer and needed RSO, he would provide it at no charge. The true sign of selflessness is giving. He certainly gave and claims to have treated hundreds of patients over the years. He even ran for sheriff in 2010 in Gallatin County Kentucky; indicating that if elected, he would provide free, on demand, cannabis oil to anyone in the county who needed it.

Yet, everyone is asking the same question. If cannabis helps treat leukaemia, why did it fail to treat Ronnie, one of the most ardent supporters of health freedom using cannabis and other alternative strategies in America?

As we know, some families seem particularly prone to cancers of many types. In Ronnie’s family cancer was running wild; his brother Lester died of lymphoma in 2003, his mother died of brain cancer—metastatic from decades of smoking and the development of stage IV lung cancer—which had spread to her brain, three days after his brother died. A couple of years after that, his father died of prostate cancer. Had any of them tried cannabis oil? It did not appear to help, if they had tried it. Which is very disappointing to say the least. But I’m only guessing since there are no further details.

It would be of great benefit to know. I personally am trying to gather a database on the efficacy of marijuana in treating cancers but the existing data is so meagre and disorganized that, for the time being, I cannot make a determination. Those that make wild claims of treating cancers, especially those that actually run dispensaries or “clinics” like the ones located in the Bay Area of California, here in the US, are not willing to share their stories save for a few cases that end up on the internet. They say that they have treated hundreds of end stage cancer victims. If so, please provide the proof we need. Reveal these cases so that others may learn of these treatments. Being secretive does not help our cause.

Ronnie Lee Smith was born on August 20, 1966 at the old St. Elizabeth North Hospital in Covington, Kentucky.

Ronnie and Rick Simpson met around 2006. In 2007, Jack Herer enlisted Ronnie’s formidable brain in editing his now classic forthcoming book The Emperor Wears No Clothes. It was around this time when something odd happened.

After Jack and Ronnie became friends, Ronnie would help out making bubble hash with trimmings from Jack’s grow operation. It was then that Ronnie Lee Smith had discovered cancerous lumps “in between each knuckle”, and “a lump hanging out of my rear.” He next describes an astonishing event. Ronnie continues:

“While making the hash I would eat a spoonful on occasion, and I did that four or five times a day for a couple months. I noticed after a month that the lumps between my knuckles got softer and after 2 months, they were gone. Jack said that he wrote in his book about a college study where they killed cancer in rats with THC in the 70’s. His wife Googled the article and in the search, she found Rick Simpson and the story about the oil. This was 2006, and we called Rick, and Rick turned out to be a big fan of Jacks, so Jack had him on the Jack Herer TV show every week. Rick said he needed someone in America to make oil and I volunteered. He sent me referrals for 3 years before he got stuck in Europe. By 2010, I had cured over 200 people. I decided to run for Sheriff and make the cure available for free to anyone in my county. Ronnie Lee Smith co-starred in the hemp documentary about Jack Herer called [[The Emperor Wears No Clothes]], which was based on his popular book.”

At this point it appears that Ronnie’s leukaemia was in remission. From discovering the nodules between his knuckles in 2006 to the year 2010 he was doing great. By his own admission he had treated over 200 people by then.

Note, before we go any further, that Ronnie had initially used bubble hash which does not involve cooking or the use of heat. Therefore, Ronnie’s initial treatment stemmed from using the carboxylated (the acid) form of THC, CBD and the remaining cannabinoids. This is in sharp contrast to RSO which is a cooked formula and therefore de-carboxylated, and presumably the most powerful variation to take for medical conditions.

In other words, these are very different oils, yet they may possess similar powerful effects. There is continuing debate on the use of acidic forms such as fresh-squeezed marijuana and hashish (eaten) versus the decarboxylated RSO-type preparations. They both seem to have potent curative properties but many insist that cancers be treated with RSO analogues. Most of what I have written about involves RSO or RSO-like essential oils.

So what went wrong? Let’s examine what took place in the months preceding his premature demise.

On April 24, 2013, while driving through Yavapai County, Arizona, Ronnie was pulled over, searched, and arrested for possession of marijuana. The Arizona State Patrol found 2 ounces of marijuana in the trunk of Ronnie’s car, plus cannabis oil (Phoenix Tears AKA RSO). It was during a protracted jail sentence that he was not able to use RSO and this ultimately may have led to his death. Sometime between April and June of 2013, while Ronnie was in the Yavapai County Jail for over 3 months, the State of Arizona never allowed Ronnie to take his medical marijuana to prevent his leukaemia from regenerating.

On February 25, 2014, during a Bobby Pickles podcast, Ronnie Lee Smith explained how his cancer regenerated while he was in the Arizona jail. “I got arrested in Arizona and went to jail for my medical marijuana, which I told the cop was for cancer. So I was in jail for 3 months and developed hardcore leukaemia while I was in there, and then they had rushed me to Emergency Room and got me a [blood] transfusion. That was the only way I got out of jail, because they released me because I was dying and they didn’t want to pay the hospital bill.” … “They finally had to rush me to the hospital for a blood transfusion where they diagnosed me with leukaemia and said I would be dead in 2 weeks.”

As I have written previously some forms of leukaemia appear to be treatable using cannabis oil. The acute leukaemia being more difficult while the chronic forms and the paediatric leukaemia are the easiest to put into remission.

Do not underestimate the power of stress to induce illness or to reverse remissions in cancers. It’s the one problem that most people do not emphasize enough. Stress kills. Here’s a man with a deadly leukaemia which he had been able to keep in remission for at least six years. Now take away his medication and throw him into probably the unhealthiest, stressful, squalid condition possible and watch your cancer grow.

Prison food is notoriously unhealthy. Lacking in micro-nutrients, high in pesticide residues, high in sugars and carbohydrate—the preferred food for cancer cells to grow, and lacking in living nutrients. It’s not too much of a leap to suggest that three months of processed junk food contributed to decreasing his immunity. Add to that lack of sunlight exposure. Vitamin D is a potent anti-cancer hormone.

What I find astonishing is how law enforcement withheld his medication in a medical marijuana state. They knew that it could lead to a regrowth of his cancer and an early demise, yet did nothing.
Lastly there is some speculation that some of the last cannabis oil Ronnie took may have been tainted. Ronnie’s ex-wife presumably had some analysed but there is no further information.

Dr. Christopher Rasmussen

Dr. Christopher Rasmussen

Dr. Christopher Rasmussen MD,MS, an anesthesiologist with a Master’s degree in traditional Chinese medicine, is a professor, lecturer, seminar provider, and world authority on preventive medicine. For more information on preventive medicine see http://www.inflaNATION.com.

CONTINUE READING…

COMPARING THE "CANNABIS ACTS" IN THE KENTUCKY LEGISLATURE…WHAT TO PROMOTE AND WHEN TO SAY NO!

 

KY CANNABIS

 

HB 584(BR-1994)

Tuesday, March 1, 2016 – introduced in House

Create new sections of KRS Chapter 211 to define terms; require the Department for Public Health (DPH) to operate a medical marijuana program; establish a process to license and permit cultivators, distributors, manufacturers, and processors of medical marijuana;

This Bill was just Introduced in House yesterday, March 1.  It is a true-blue highly regulated “medical marijuana” Bill with absolutely NO growing rights for Patients or otherwise!  It is a Bill that is attempting to pacify the group of Kentuckians who do not wish to see any growing rights or recreational rights at all and just want to access Marijuana for purely medical reasons, most are worried about their Children and simply want it for their Children’s sake.  I am all for access to whatever kind of medical CBD or THC that those Children or other patients may need. THIS IS NOT the way to get it!  With over regulation and burdensome legislation the real question is even IF it was enacted, how long would you have to wait to have access to it?  The short answer is, a LONG time.  I will NOT promote this Bill!

It includes but is not limited to the following requirements:

*require the Department for Public Health (DPH) to operate a medical marijuana program

*require prospective patients to possess a diagnosis from a physician and possess a registry identification card issued by the department

*require the department to license no more than 10 grows

*allow for licensure of 2 cultivators, 2 manufacturers, 2 processors, and other subcategories within each economically depressed county participating in the program

*establish a process by which cultivators sell only to manufacturers, processors, or distributors

*allow only distributors to sell medical marijuana to a dispensary

*require the department to publish an annual list of varieties of marijuana that contain a low level of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC);

*require prioritization of low-THC-containing varieties of marijuana by the department;

*grant priority access to children and individuals with medication-resistant seizures to low-THC marijuana;

*require patients under 18 to receive marijuana with a low-THC content;

*clarify that cannabadiol is included in low-THC marijuana products;

*allow a dispensary to dispense cannabadiol regardless of whether it is classified as industrial hemp or medical marijuana;

*establish guidelines for registry identification cards;

Now, if you look at the Bill and think about it a while, what do you think is happening here? 

Kentucky politicians are mostly of the rich, by the rich and for the rich.  They can set up their own tight little growing and dispensing operation which allows NO ONE the option to grow their own for ANY reason, and then they will set up their own little processing and dispensing facilities which is akin to a Monopoly, encumbered with regulation to the hilt so as to prevent any common Citizen from being involved.  I would bet that becoming a “medical marijuana patient” in the State of Kentucky would be about like jumping over fire with flames 10 feet high (no pun intended).  Now, if you succeed at jumping over that flame and in fact end up in the “medical marijuana” program, what type of “medicine” will you be able to receive?  How much will it cost you, because it damn sure is NOT FREE and insurance will not pay for it!   Therefore, that pretty much puts the entire program into the more wealthy “patients” hands, leaving out those who might only be able to access it IF they can grow their own! 

On top of that situation you can imagine that the more wealthy people of Kentucky who have stock in pharmaceutical companies are trying to pave the way for the pharma industry to move right on into Kentucky with their Pharma grade marijuana pills, oils, foods, etc., as soon as it can be accomplished through relaxed Federal Legislation.  Hmmm, this must be why HR 173 is being worked on as we speak.  A “Resolution” to the FDA to “study medical marijuana”!  As if we really need more studies before we use Cannabis….Well, here are a few that the FDA can start copying!  SEE THIS LINK!

Last but not least, this new Bill, if enacted, in fact will promote stiffer penalties for those who are found to be in possession of “non-medically certified marijuana” or without a Patient Registration identification!

If I had a child in need of immediate treatment with Cannabis, and the “Cannabis Freedom Act” does not pass this year, I would pack up and leave — taking my Child to a “legal” State to be treated.  I would not stay here and risk my Child’s health and risk having a Child taken from me for using Marijuana for their illness, when they in fact, NEED it!  There is no reason for them to stay here and take that chance when there are other places to go.  There are also agencies that will help them with relocation if need be! Keep this in mind!

The LINKS below are to the KRS as they exist TODAY.

Any offender failing to affix the appropriate tax stamps, labels, or other tax indicia to any marijuana or controlled substance as required by KRS 138.874 is guilty of a Class C felony

218A.050 Schedule I controlled substances.

218A.1422 Possession of marijuana -Penalty –Maximum term of incarceration.

218A.1421 Trafficking in marijuana –Penalties.

218A.1423 Marijuana cultivation –Penalties

Basically, Possession of marijuana is a Class B misdemeanor, Marijuana cultivation of five (5) or more plants of marijuana is for a first offense a Class D felony,

Trafficking in less than eight (8) ounces of marijuana is for a first offense a Class A misdemeanor.

Kentucky Forfeiture law: 

All real property, including any right, title, and interest in the whole of any lot

or tract of land and any appurtenances or improvements, which is used or

intended to be used, in any manner or part, to commit, or to facilitate the

commission of, a violation of this chapter excluding any misdemeanor

offense relating to marijuana, …

 

SB 13(BR-161)/LM/CI

Wednesday, January 6, 2016 – introduced in Senate

Establish KRS Chapter 245 to regulate the cultivation, testing, processing, taxing, and sale of marijuana to persons aged twenty-one years and older; amend various sections to conform; repeal KRS 218A.1421, KRS 218A.1422, and KRS 218A.1423.

Senator Perry B. Clark pre-filed this Bill in December of 2015.  It is an all around good Bill because it is a “Freedom” Bill.  Meaning that it opened up Medical Cannabis to patients as well as recreational Cannabis to Kentucky residents over the age of 21.  Although it is not a true REPEAL Bill that I would like to see happen, it allows a Kentucky Citizen to:

Possess up to 1 ounce of cannabis on their person;

Cultivate up to 5 cannabis plants;  (Six or more would be considered as trafficking)

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

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

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

It allows for access to retail cannabis facilities, creating the ABCC (Alcoholic Beverage and Cannabis Control) to create licenses to operate the following cannabis-related entities:

Cannabis cultivation facility; Cannabis processing facility; Cannabis testing facility; or Retail cannabis facility.

It also provides for an Excise tax imposed on licensees operating cannabis cultivation facilities selling or transferring cannabis to either a cannabis processing facility or a retail cannabis facility.

So in ONE BILL the Patients, the Recreational users, personal growers, those who would like to grow for dispensaries or medical patients, those who wish to operate legal dispensaries for patients and for recreational users and an EXCISE TAX for the State of Kentucky were taken care of legitimately!  This IS THE BILL that has my full APPROVAL!  Thank You, Sen. Perry Clark!

With as many phone calls, letters, emails and personal visits from the people of Kentucky who wish to see this Bill passed has had, there should be no reason for it NOT TO BE considered, and PASSED!

But as usual, the Kentucky money hungry Politicians are planning on this ‘patient care’ ultimately to be handed over to the pharmaceutical companies, which is why they are going to try to seriously limit the growing operation and usage of “medical marijuana” thru HB 584, so as to be able to withdraw those growers rights as soon as a pharmaceutical can take it over.  Much like they tried to do (and succeeded for a while) in Canada.

*Federal judge to decide if medical marijuana patients can grow their own

*The Liberal government will have to do substantial work on the international stage before it can follow through on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s promise to legalize marijuana, new documents suggest

 

HR 173(BR-1583)

Thursday, February 25, 2016 – introduced in House

This is a Kentucky RESOLUTION to encourage the United States Food and Drug Administration to study the use of medical marijuana.

The Sponsors are David Osborne, Lynn Bechler, and Brad Montell.

As if we really need more studies before we use Cannabis….Well, here are a few that the FDA can start copying!  SEE THIS LINK!

 

AND FOR GOOD MEASURE YOU CAN ADD THIS TO THE LIST TOO: 

SB 136(BR-1420)/LM/CI    Define “kratom” and add kratom to schedule I.

Thursday, January 28, 2016 – introduced in Senate

Related post:  OPPOSE SB 136: BANNING THE KRATOM HERB

 

OTHER RELATED POSTS:

Jan 28, 2016 

Legislation to legalize recreational and medicinal marijuana is unlikely to be addressed during this legislative session in Kentucky

 

Jan 26, 2018

Former Congressman Mike Ward pushing for medical marijuana in Kentucky

 

Jan 5, 2016

Ex-congressman’s group wants medical marijuana in Kentucky

 

Dec 13, 2015

Kentucky “Cannabis Freedom Act” Summary

 

Feb 29, 2016

A KENTUCKY RESOLUTION to encourage the United States Food and Drug Administration to study the use of medical marijuana

 

Nov 1, 2015

Willie Nelson’s crusade to STOP BIG POT!

 

OTHER:

 

Kentucky Revised Statutes  Includes enactments through the 2015 Regular Session (search “marijuana”)

 

Image result for marijuana plant

 

Additionally, as a patient and recreational user,

I am a FIRM BELIEVER in a “misdemeanors”

worth!