Tag Archives: Schedule 1

VA says it won’t study medical marijuana’s effect on veterans

The Department of Veterans Affairs says it will not conduct research into whether medical marijuana could help veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and chronic pain, as veterans groups are pushing for the use of the drug as an alternative to opioids and anti-depressants.

In a letter to U.S. Rep. Tim Walz (D-Minn.), Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin said VA’s ability to research medical marijuana is hampered by the fact that the drug is illegal federally. Shulkin’s letter came in response to an inquiry by 10 Democrats on the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee. The letter asks Shulkin to commit the VA to investigating whether medical marijuana can help veterans suffering from PTSD and chronic pain and identify barriers to doing so.

“VA is committed to researching and developing effective ways to help Veterans cope with post-traumatic stress disorder and chronic pain conditions,” Shulkin wrote in a response to the members of Congress. “However, federal law restricts VA’s ability to conduct research involving medical marijuana, or to refer veterans to such projects.”

The response comes as at least 29 states, plus the District of Columbia, Guam and Puerto Rico, have legalized the use of medical marijuana in some form. Veterans groups, including the American Legion, have been pushing for the drug to be studied and used to help ease the effects of PTSD, chronic pain and other disorders.

“What America’s veterans need prioritized right now is for cannabis to be treated as a health policy issue,” said Nick Etten, founder and executive director of the Veterans Cannabis Project. “We’re desperate for solutions for the conditions we’re dealing with.”

According to a 2017 VA review, about 15 percent of veterans treated at outpatient PTSD clinics reported using marijuana in the previous six months. According to an American Legion phone survey released in November, 22 percent of veteran household respondents said they used cannabis to treat a medical condition. Ninety-two percent of veteran households surveyed for the Legion said they support researching whether marijuana can effectively treat mental and physical conditions and 82 percent said they want to have medical cannabis as a legal treatment option.

Last month the Veterans Health Administration urged patients to discuss medical marijuana use with their doctors. The shift will allow doctors and patients to determine what, if any, effect marijuana use might have on treatment plans. Veterans were earlier concerned that admitting to marijuana use could jeopardize their benefits. But VA physicians still cannot refer patients to state medical marijuana programs because of the federal prohibition.

[ VA Clears The Air On Talking To Patients About Marijuana Use ]

John Hudak, deputy director of the Center for Effective Public Management at the Brookings Institution, said even though marijuana is illegal federally, research on the drug is not prohibited.

“Obviously it is federally illegal, but there are no restrictions on doing scientific research on it. Universities do this all the time and there’s a process to go through,” he said, noting that the National Institute on Drug Abuse funds cannabis research. “It’s really a cop out for the VA to say, ‘oh, we’re not doing work on this because of federal law’ when actually federal law allows them to do that.”

Shulkin’s response was “disappointing and unacceptable,” Walz, the House committee’s ranking member, said in a statement.

“VA’s response not only failed to answer our simple question, but they made a disheartening attempt to mislead me, my colleagues and the veteran community in the process” by stating that the VA is restricted from conducting marijuana research. Walz, a veteran, said he plans to send another letter to Shulkin asking for further clarification.

A spokesman for Shulkin pointed to the secretary’s past comments on medical marijuana. Shulkin said in May, “My opinion is, is that some of the states that have put in appropriate controls, there may be some evidence that this is beginning to be helpful. And we’re interested in looking at that and learning from that. But until the time that federal law changes, we are not able … to prescribe medical marijuana for conditions that may be helpful.”

Shulkin said VA is offering a suite of alternative treatments for patients with PTSD, including yoga, meditation, acupuncture and hypnosis. The letter also said VA has a program to reduce the amount of opioids prescribed to patients with chronic pain; since 2013, Shulkin wrote, 33 percent fewer patients were receiving opioids.

There has not been much research into marijuana for medical purposes, in large part because of regulatory hurdles and the fact that marijuana is classified as a Schedule 1 drug along with substances including heroin. Until 2016, only researchers at the University of Mississippi were allowed to grow marijuana for scientific use; the DEA relaxed the rules and let other institutions apply to do so, though none have yet been approved.

President Trump said during the campaign that he supports making medical marijuana available to the very sick. His attorney general, Jeff Sessions, is a staunch opponent of marijuana. Sessions this month made it easier for prosecutors to enforce federal law in states that legalized marijuana. Eight states and the District allow the recreational use of marijuana.

Shulkin cited a VA analysis of existing research, which found “insufficient evidence” that medical marijuana helps patients with chronic pain or PTSD and could increase harm in some areas, including car crashes. A study by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine that reviewed studies on the health effects of marijuana and associated products found they can provide a “significant reduction in pain symptoms” for chronic-pain patients. But many say there has been a paucity of research.

“There has been no meaningful clinical research conducted on PTSD and brain injuries,” Etten said.

CONTINUE READING…

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The legacy of Manfred Donike

Image result for manfred donike

For all of his hard work attending school and graduating as a German Chemist, while participating in the Tour de France in the 60’s, Manfred Donike was most widely known as an “doping expert” and is credited with the first accurate urine testing procedures.

He was Director for the Institute for Biochemistry at the German Sports University Cologne and head of drug testing operations at the 1972 Munich Olympics.

Manfred Donike, at 61 years old, suffered a major heart attack and died in flight to Johannesburg to set up a drug testing lab for the All-African Games in August of 1995. 

There is a Manfred Donike Institute, and a Manfred Donike Workshop which is closed to the public.  There is also a Manfred Donike Award !

At the time of his death, Dr. Don Catlin, head of the Paul Ziffrin Analytical Laboratory at UCLA stated:

“He devised all the chemical methods of identifying prohibited substances.  This is a staggering blow (to the anti-doping movement), but we will recover…”LINK

The first thing I saw on google January 3rd,  while browsing the news was an article at the Daily Beast written by Christopher Moraff.

Jeff Sessions’ Marijuana Adviser Wants Doctors to Drug-Test Everyone

I had to look two or three times with my glasses on just to make sure of what I was seeing.  I checked to see if it was a spoof – and it is not – as it is being reported by a number of news sites.

I immediately thought to myself, “I wonder if Manfred Donike knew what would happen when he came up with the procedure for drug-testing?”  Did he have any idea that this testing would be used to imprison people throughout the World?  Did he know how many Children would be separated from their Parents for nominal use of any substance that the Government saw fit to deem illicit?  Did he know how many people would go to jail or prison or possibly a mental health facility for smoking Marijuana?

Then, on January 4th we wake up to this news!

Sessions to rescind Obama-era rules on non-interference with states where pot is legal

Manfred Donike was appointed director of the Institute of Biochemistry at the German Sport University in Cologne in 1977, he is THE man who was responsible for the development of drug testing which is still used today.

Single handedly he is responsible for more people being imprisoned or confined in facilities for drug use than any other person on Earth.   Whether or not he realized at the time what would happen we will probably never know.   Continuing long after his death the long arm of drug testing has nestled into every Country on the face of the planet and threatens to control all of Society at large for a long time to come… 

His lab work also led to the massive drug bust at the 1983 Pan American Games  LINK

Dr. Robert Dupont formerly of NIDA, Kevin Sabet of Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM), and several other notable anti-legalization Activists joined Mr. Sessions in a meeting to discuss the situation regarding the many States who have “legalized” Marijuana in December. 

“I think it’s a big issue for America, for the country, and I’m of the general view that this is not a healthy substance,”  USAG Jeff Sessions  LINK       VIDEO LINK

As the meeting was closed-door there was no initial reports except to the fact that it did take place.  Mr. Sessions said this about the meeting…

We’re working on that very hard right now,” he said on Wednesday. “We had meetings yesterday and talked about it at some length. It’s my view that the use of marijuana is detrimental and we should not give encouragement in any way to it. And it represents a federal violation which is in the law and is subject to being enforced, and our priorities will have to be focused on all the things and challenges that we face.”(USAG Sessions) LINK

As of this morning, we know what he decided to do!  The “COLE MEMO” will be rescinded.

(CNN)In a seismic shift, Attorney General Jeff Sessions will announce Thursday that he is rescinding a trio of memos from the Obama administration that adopted a policy of non-interference with marijuana-friendly state laws, according to a source with knowledge of the decision. LINK

If anyone thinks that it is not feasible for the Federal Government to drug-test everyone, they would be wrong.  The health-care system is set up as a monitoring system.  At some point everyone will have to see a doctor for illness. 

A national model bill Dr. DuPont wrote in 2010 called for testing  anyone stopped for suspicion of DUI for all controlled substances, and arresting them if any trace amount at all is detected.

“Doctors already check for things like cholesterol and blood sugar, why not test for illicit drugs.”

— Dr. Robert DuPont

Ultimately, it will all lead you back to Agenda 21/30.  The total control of the people through the food and medicine (and plants) you consume.  Add to that drug testing at your local PCP and the NWO has us rounded up pretty well.

The principle of fair play forbids saying someone is guilty without evidence.”

Therefore, we MUST have evidence.  And what better way to have the evidence at hand than to routinely urine test every citizen  as part of our healthcare, as a way to keep us free from addiction?  Not to mention the fact that it is all conveniently entered into a computerized health care system for easy access by any Federal entity that is deemed appropriate at the time.  Sounds like a great plan to me…(!!) if I were interested in maintaining total control over the population and keeping the prison industrial complex flowing…

Additionally, there was an article written by R. William Davis, entitled “Shadow of the Swastika – The Elkhorn Manifesto” which outlines the historical avenues which were taken to get us where we are at today.  Today, on the anniversary of Gatewood Galbraith’s death I invite you to take a look at it.  It is a very interesting and informative read.

After the morning news today there isn’t much more to be said about what is happening unless they literally declare martial law across the Nation just to control the potheads.

I can’t wait for the new “memo” to come out!

I’ll keep you informed…

RELATED:

“Rights and freedoms may in no case be exercised contrary to purposes and principles of the United Nations.” HOW THE UNITED NATIONS IS STEALING OUR “UNALIENABLE RIGHTS” TO GROW FOOD AND MEDICINE THROUGH THE U.N. CONVENTION ON NARCOTIC DRUGS AND AGENDA 21.

IMG_20140509_134339

https://www.thedailybeast.com/jeff-sessions-marijuana-adviser-wants-doctors-to-drug-test-everyone

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=txukr5zgHnw

https://www.c-span.org/video/?438309-1/attorney-general-sessions-makes-remarks-drug-policy

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/flo-jo-passed-all-drug-tests/

https://www.marijuanamoment.net/jeff-sessions-just-met-anti-marijuana-activists/

https://www.marijuanamoment.net/trump-administration-considering-marijuana-policy-changes-sessions-says/

https://fis.dshs-koeln.de/portal/en/organisations/manfreddonikeinstitut(370032ec-cc3e-4785-b263-4c184c4f91f8).html

https://www.agilent.com/en/manfred-donike-award

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27732762

http://mdi-workshop.com/login.php

http://articles.chicagotribune.com/1995-08-22/news/9508220085_1_doping-chinese-athletes-drug-testing

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Munich_massacre

https://www.justice.gov/iso/opa/resources/3052013829132756857467.pdf

https://kentuckymarijuanaparty.com/in-remembrance-of/gatewood/

https://kentuckymarijuanaparty.com/2015/10/26/rights-and-freedoms-may-in-no-case-be-exercised-contrary-to-purposes-and-principles-of-the-united-nations-how-the-united-nations-is-stealing-our-unalienable-rights-to-grow/

Sessions to rescind Obama-era rules on non-interference with states where pot is legal

By Laura Jarrett, CNN Updated 10:07 AM ET, Thu January 4, 2018

sessions mj

(CNN)  In a seismic shift, Attorney General Jeff Sessions will announce Thursday that he is rescinding a trio of memos from the Obama administration that adopted a policy of non-interference with marijuana-friendly state laws, according to a source with knowledge of the decision.

While many states have decriminalized or legalized marijuana use, the drug is still illegal under federal law, creating a conflict between federal and state law.

Sessions: DOJ looking at 'rational' marijuana policy

Sessions: DOJ looking at ‘rational’ marijuana policy

The main Justice Department memo addressing the issue, known as the “Cole memo” for then-Deputy Attorney General Jim Cole in 2013, set forth new priorities for federal prosecutors operating in states where the drug had been legalized for medical or other adult use. It represented a major shift from strict enforcement to a more hands-off approach, so long as they didn’t threaten other federal priorities, such as preventing the distribution of the drug to minors and cartels.

    The memo will be rescinded but it’s not immediately clear whether Sessions will issue new guidance in its place or simply revert back to older policies that left states with legal uncertainty about enforcement of federal law.

    The decision had been closely watched since Sessions was sworn in. He told reporters in November he was examining a “rational” policy.

    CONTINUE READING AND TO VIDEO!

    “At a certain point, you have to realize this is against the law…”

    Image result for MARIJUANA JUSTICE

    Lawyers Handling Marijuana Business Operate in Hazy Legal Zone

    By Brian Melley | December 12, 2017

    Just as entrepreneurs getting into the retail pot industry need a good lawyer, some of those lawyers might be wise to consult an attorney of their own.

    Lawyers in the burgeoning business are entering a legal gray zone where the drug is permitted for some purpose in most states but illegal under federal law – in the same controlled substances category as heroin. Missteps could lead to prosecution for conspiracy, money laundering or aiding and abetting drug dealers.

    “Any lawyer that goes into this should be aware that a literal reading of federal law permits such a prosecution,”

    said Sam Kamin, a University of Denver marijuana policy law professor, whose research five years ago found lawyers more susceptible to being disbarred than criminally charged for cannabis-related work. “It probably makes sense for a lawyer to at least talk to a legal ethicist or get an opinion from a legal ethicist.”

    Attorney General Jeff Sessions reiterated his opposition to legal weed last week and a congressional amendment prohibiting federal prosecutors from targeting medical marijuana is due to expire at the end of the year.

    Sessions has not said if he will reverse a longstanding Justice Department policy not to interfere with purveyors complying with state laws but to focus prosecutions on trafficking, sales to minors, cartels and gangs in the business, violence or gun use in cultivation or distribution, and pot grown on public land.

    Despite a few instances of lawyers being prosecuted in federal and state court – including a pending San Diego County case – more attorneys are jumping into cannabis law. Legal needs range from financing to permits, real estate, water law, intellectual property, contracts and banking.

    With California allowing recreational pot retail sales Jan. 1, interested investors are reaching out to attorneys like Mitch Kulick to find out how to safely finance the potentially lucrative industry.

    Kulick, a New York lawyer who offers his expertise in many states, recently gave his typical scare spiel to a real estate magnate about the possible legal consequences, and said he could only help mitigate risk so much.

    “At a certain point, you have to realize this is against the law. There’s no insurance policy to take away the risk,” Kulick said he told the man. “If I was already a billionaire, I might not be taking the risk.”

    Kulick, who once worked as a lawyer for the Securities and Exchange Commission and a major international firm, had to do a similar risk analysis and soul searching before deciding to commit to the higher cause, so to speak.

    There has been a tipping point for many lawyers setting up boutique pot law firms and jumping from old-school law firms as demand for their services trumps fear of legal repercussions and the stoner stigma fades as more states legalize marijuana use.

    Attorney Chris Davis, who grew up in Berkeley around friends and family who use the drug, found people operating in the shadows who wanted to go legit when he returned to California from New York two years ago.

    “So many people were asking how to go legal and how to worry less,” said Davis, executive director of the National Cannabis Bar Association, which has about 300 members in the U.S. and Canada and is growing rapidly. “It became impossible to turn people away.”

    Lawyers specializing in the business see themselves at the frontier. That leaves a fascinating opportunity to shape laws and regulations and the daunting prospect of the unknown.

    “Lawyers like things to be settled,” Davis said. “It’s hard to get a lawyer to give you a yes or no answer. In the cannabis industry, there really is no yes or no answer.”

    Some state bar associations have given lawyers cover to counsel marijuana clients within the bounds of state law. Others say federal law keeps the area off-limits because ethical rules prevent them from helping clients commit crimes.

    Attorney Larry Donahue had several medical marijuana clients at his firm in Albuquerque, New Mexico, until the state bar issued a January 2016 opinion that said lawyers could be exposed to ethics charges for such work. Donahue had to terminate four or five clients.

    “It was a very chilling opinion,” he said. “It basically scared the hell out of us.”

    While prosecutions of attorneys are rare, a case in San Diego has gotten the attention of many lawyers, mainly because of aggressive tactics employed by the district attorney.

    Attorney Jessica McElfresh was charged with several felonies alleging she helped a client hide evidence of marijuana manufacturing.

    The case might have received less notice if prosecutors didn’t unsuccessfully try to get around the sacrosanct lawyer-client privilege and seek communications with all her marijuana clients.

    McElfresh, who vehemently denies the charges, said she knew specializing in pot law carried risks, but she couldn’t foresee “in a million years” police raiding her house. She and her boyfriend and mother were escorted into her backyard, where she was handcuffed barefoot in her pajamas during the search.

    She said she didn’t take the risks some lawyers do by sitting on the boards of a client’s company, owning a share in a business or introducing clients to one another.

    “I am one of the most conservative and boring people you would ever meet in cannabis law,” she said. “The only way I could have been more careful would have been not to engage in this area of law at all.”

    A new district attorney took office after McElfresh was charged and allowed five co-defendants facing similar charges to plead guilty last month to misdemeanors and get probation.

    The San Diego district attorney’s office wouldn’t comment, but in a statement cited the recreational pot law passed by voters last year and the new administration’s “changing focus” as part of the reason for the plea deals. It’s not clear if that change will affect McElfresh’s pending case.

    CONTINUE READING…

    Marijuana may be legal in California, but it could get you deported

    Immigrant rights activists and attorneys are reminding immigrants of potential consequences of using marijuana at a time when President Donald Trump is ramping up deportation efforts.

    LEAF 445x451

    By Alejandra Molina | amolina@scng.com | The Press-Enterprise

    PUBLISHED: April 14, 2017 at 7:07 pm | UPDATED: April 14, 2017 at 10:31 pm

    It’s legal in California, but marijuana possession and use is still a federal offense that could cause serious problems for immigrants in the Golden State.

    “It is still a federal offense,” said Inland-based attorney Russell Jauregui. “Federal law controls immigration and thus people will still face severe immigration consequences for marijuana conviction/use.”

    Undocumented immigrants can be deported for marijuana consumption in certain circumstances and may risk not being admitted back into the United States if they leave.

    Immigrant rights activists and attorneys are reminding immigrants of potential consequences at a time when President Donald Trump is ramping up deportation efforts. The White House has said that any immigrant living in the U.S. illegally who has been charged or convicted of any crime, or even suspected of committing a crime, is now an enforcement priority.

    Virginia Kice, a spokeswoman with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, declined to say how the agency deals with immigrants accused or convicted of marijuana crimes in states where it’s legal.

    Instead, she reiterated the Department of Homeland Security’s focus on targeting all “removable aliens” who have committed crimes, beginning with those who have been convicted of a criminal offense.

    While those who pose a threat to public safety will continue to be a focus, the department will not exempt classes or categories of unauthorized immigrants from potential enforcement, she said.

    “All those in violation of the immigration laws may be subject to immigration arrest, detention and, if found removable by final order, removal from the United States,” Kice said.

    That’s why immigrants need to be aware of consequences surrounding marijuana use, advocates said.

    “It could happen that people think that now that it’s legalized, that it would be completely safe, but obviously in this era of increasing concern of criminalization, and the fact that the federal government has said it wants to crack down on marijuana on the federal level, we’re really just trying to help inform and be proactive with immigrants of these concerns,” said Angie Junck, a supervising attorney with the Immigrant Legal Resource Center, a San Francisco-based national nonprofit agency.

    U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions in February said that federal officials would try to adopt “reasonable policies” for enforcement of federal anti-marijuana laws. Sessions has said he believes violence surrounds sales and use of the drug.

    California is home to more than 10 million immigrants, according to the Public Policy Institute of California. Nearly half of all of the state’s immigrants are naturalized U.S. citizens and another 26 percent have some sort of legal status, including green cards and visas. It’s estimated that about a quarter of California’s immigrants are undocumented.

    In a state where the immigrant population is so vast, the Immigrant Legal Resource Center in January 2017 issued a flier that spells out what non-U.S. citizens should and should not do when it comes to marijuana.

    It advises non-U.S. citizens not to use marijuana until they are citizens, and not to work in marijuana shops. On top of that, it cautions undocumented immigrants not to leave the house carrying marijuana, a medical marijuana card, paraphernalia, or other accessories such as marijuana T-shirts or stickers. Additionally, they should never have photos, text messages or anything else connecting them to marijuana on their phone or social media accounts.

    Most importantly, it advises non-citizen immigrants to never admit to any immigration or border official that they have ever have used or possessed marijuana.

    What it boils down to, Junck said, is that immigration law is federal and marijuana use remains a federal offense, as well as grounds for deportation.

    Marijuana is still listed as an illegal drug in the Controlled Substance Act and the Immigration and Naturalization Act deems drug trafficking an “aggravated felony,” a type of crime that has been a deportation priority.

    Lawful permanent residents can be deported for any drug offense, with the sole exception of a conviction for possession of 30 grams or less of marijuana.

    And, undocumented immigrants with a drug conviction can face a lifetime bar from ever gaining legal status. The only exception is a single conviction for possession of 30 grams or less of marijuana, and by showing extreme hardship to certain family members such as a spouse or children.

    However, certain provisions under immigration law don’t always require a conviction in order for a person to be considered for deportation.

    “Immigrants need to know that they can still face some consequences if they admit marijuana use to an immigration official,” Junck said.

    “The biggest concern is admission to an immigration official,” she said.

    Immigration officials can stop and ask people whatever they want; it’s just a question of whether the person decides to respond, Junck said. For example, when coming in from customs at the airport, officials can refer someone to what Junck referred to as secondary inspection.

    “They may ask questions and those questions can vary from, ‘What’s your immigration status?’ to ‘Have you committed crimes for which you’ve never been arrested?’” Junck said. “Or maybe there’s a basic question that can be like, ‘Have you ever used marijuana?’”

    Immigrant rights activists say the implications of admitting marijuana use are not widely known.

    “There is a stigma about marijuana use in Latino immigrant communities and we need to erase that stigma if we are going to talk honestly about the legal repercussions of its use for non-citizens,” said Luis Nolasco, an immigrant rights organizer in the Inland Empire. “This is particularly for the older generation of undocumented parents who may have youth that engages in marijuana use.”

    For now, it’s mostly unclear how federal authorities are going to address this legal situation. And in states where marijuana is legal, it’s a topic of serious concern for immigration attorneys and their clients.

    “Under the Obama administration, I think it was treated more like a wait-and- see where we’re just going to kind of let this evolve,” said David Kolko, an immigration attorney in Colorado, where marijuana is legal.

    “Under the Trump administration, I think people need to be even more cautious because there’s been certainly an impression that enforcement is going to be dealt with more aggressively and if they choose to use this marijuana issue as one enforcement tool, I think many immigrants … could be very vulnerable in terms of being able to stay in this country or move forward on their immigration cases,” Kolko said.

    CONTINUE READING…

    The Stakes Are High As DEA Reconsiders Waging War On The Herb Kratom

    11/30/2016 04:03 am ET

    Those who use and study the plant say an outright ban could do serious harm.

    Seven weeks after the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration officially withdrew its plan to ban kratom, the federal government is once again set to decide the fate of the herb and the people who rely on it for pain relief and other treatment.

    The DEA had initially planned to use its emergency scheduling power to push through the ban without input from the public, despite concerns from lawmakers and scientists ― as well as kratom users ― that the move would do more harm than good. In October, however, the DEA opened a public comment period allowing individuals to weigh in on the agency’s decision to place mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine, two active compounds in kratom, in Schedule I. Substances in this category include heroin and LSD and are considered to have no known medical benefit and a high potential for abuse.

    With the comment period set to close on Thursday, the DEA will now have to take into account the nearly 9,000 submissions from people who wanted to voice their opinions about this proposed expansion of the war on drugs.

    But kratom isn’t in the clear yet. The DEA is currently awaiting the results of a U.S. Food and Drug Administration analysis on the potential harms and health benefits of the herb, which will determine if kratom truly poses an “imminent hazard to the public safety,” as the agency initially claimed in August.

    The DEA doesn’t know when it will get the results of the FDA’s review, Russell Baer, a spokesperson for the agency, told The Huffington Post.

    “We’ve asked the FDA to expedite their analysis, but they’ve not given us any indication as to when that may be done, other than as soon as practical,” said Baer. “They’re involved in an exhaustive scientific review and evaluation, so these things do take time.”

    Although Baer said he expects the DEA to wait for the FDA’s analysis before deciding on an appropriate schedule for kratom ― or whether it should be scheduled at all ― he noted that the agency could still proceed with emergency scheduling even in the absence of more concrete scientific evidence.

    The DEA’s next steps will have huge implications for people like Joshua Levy. In the video above, Levy explains that he turned to kratom after struggling with dependence on the opioid painkillers he’d been prescribed following a hit-and-run accident. Like many kratom users, he says the herb gave him back the life that had been taken from him by addiction and other side-effects of narcotic painkillers.

    “Since I started taking kratom, since I had gotten off of the pain pills, my life has basically opened up dramatically,” Levy told HuffPost. “I got a new job. I’m building a friendship up with my sister that I haven’t had in a long time. I’m not lazy anymore. I don’t want to isolate myself. I want to go out, I want to be out of the house.”

    The kratom community is full of success stories like Levy’s. But together, they form only anecdotal evidence of the herb’s benefits, which is not enough to support a more official confirmation of its medicinal value.

    Experts like Andrew Kruegel, an associate research scientist at Columbia University, hope the DEA will allow kratom to remain legal so they can keep working to unlock the herb’s potential.

    Kruegel’s studies have shown that kratom can be used to alleviate mild pain, and that the plant’s negative side effects are relatively minor.

    “As a scientist, I try to be as objective as possible and not overstate the promise of kratom,” said Kruegel. “We just don’t know that much about the plant yet.”

    But Kruegel also has bigger hopes for kratom, which he believes can be used to aid in the development of safer alternatives to the prescription opioids that claimed more than 18,000 lives in the U.S. in 2014 due to overdose.

    “Of course, if it’s in Schedule I, historically that greatly limits the ability to do research on it,” he said.

    CONTINUE READING…

    Petitioning to keep Kratom OUT of the Controlled Substance Act and Schedule I – We only have until December 1st!

    kratom-plant

    Recently I published an article with information pertaining to the rescheduling of Kratom by the U.S. Government via the DEA into Schedule I Status.

    Fortunately the change was at least held off long enough for people to be able to make their comments on the subject.

    The link to REGULATIONS.GOV where the DEA/Federal Government is accepting comments is only going to be active until December 1st so don’t forget to make your comment soon!

    Additionally there is another petition to keep Kratom off the Controlled Substance list.  The link to that petition is here:

    Do not place Kratom on the Controlled Substance List

    Please sign this petition as well!

    We are anti-prohibitionist’s!

    sk

    The DEA is withdrawing a proposal to ban another plant after the Internet got really mad

    By Christopher Ingraham October 12 at 10:42 AM

    The Drug Enforcement Administration is reversing a widely criticized decision that would have banned the use of kratom, a plant that researchers say could help mitigate the effects of the opioid epidemic.

    Citing the public outcry and a need to obtain more research, the DEA is withdrawing its notice of intent to ban the drug, according to a preliminary document that will be posted to the Federal Register Thursday.

    The move is “shocking,” according to John Hudak, who studies drug policy at the Brookings Institution. “The DEA is not one to second-guess itself, no matter what the facts are.”

    The DEA had announced in August that it planned to place kratom in schedule 1 of the Controlled Substances Act, the most restrictive regulatory category, as soon as Sept. 30. But since announcing their intent to ban kratom, the “DEA has received numerous comments from members of the public challenging the scheduling action,” acting administrator Chuck Rosenberg wrote in the notice, “and requesting that the agency consider those comments and accompanying information before taking further action.”

    A spokesman for the Drug Enforcement Administration did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

    [What it’s like to be high on kratom, according to the people who use it]

    Kratom is a plant from southeast Asia that’s related to coffee. It contains a number of chemical compounds that produce effects similar to opiates when ingested.

    People who take it have have said kratom helped them overcome addiction to opiates or alcohol and treat otherwise intractable pain. Researchers say that their work with kratom could eventually lead to the development of nonaddictive alternatives to powerful opiate painkillers. Placing kratom in schedule 1 would cripple researchers ability to study the drug, they say.

    U.S. lawmakers were among the groups expressing their displeasure with the DEA’s intent to ban kratom. A group of 51 U.S. representatives wrote to the DEA saying that the DEA’s move “threatens the transparency of the scheduling process and its responsiveness to the input of both citizens and the scientific community.”

    Another group of nine senators said the DEA’s “use of this emergency authority for a natural substance is unprecedented,” and urged the administration to reconsider.

    The DEA will now open up a period for public comment until Dec. 1 of this year. It is also asking the FDA to expedite a “scientific and medical evaluation and scheduling recommendation” for the active chemical compounds in kratom.

    At the close of the comment period, a number of things could happen. The DEA could decide to permanently place the plant in a schedule of the Controlled Substances Act, which would require an additional period for lawmakers and the public to weigh in. It could also decide to temporarily schedule kratom, which would not require any additional comment.

    It could also decide to leave kratom unregulated.

    [Police arrest more people for marijuana use than for all violent crimes — combined]

    Advocates for kratom use, who say the plant has helped them treat pain and stop taking more powerful and deadly opiate painkillers said they are elated.

    “I am in tears,” Susan Ash of the American Kratom Association said in an email. “Our voices are being heard, but we still have a long road ahead of us.

    Lawmakers who criticized the initial announcement to ban kratom are also pleased. “Concerned citizens across the country have made it clear, they want the DEA to listen to the science when it comes to the potentially life-saving properties of kratom,” said Mark Pocan (D.-Wis.) in an email.

    Researchers are welcoming the move, but they point out that the future of their work with the plant is an uncertain one.

    “It’s certainly a positive development,” said Andrew Kruegel of Columbia University in an email. Kruegel is one of the researchers working to develop next-generation painkillers based on compounds contained in kratom.

    Kruegel says that the FDA’s evaluation of the drug will carry a lot of weight in the DEA’s decision. But the kind of rigorous, controlled trials that the FDA typically refers to in situations like this simply don’t exist for kratom.

    “Unfortunately, in the United States I don’t think we have a good regulatory framework for handling this situation or taking perhaps more reasonable middle paths” between banning the drug outright or keeping it unregulated, Kruegel says.

    Still, he says, “the FDA is a scientific agency rather than a law enforcement agency, so I am encouraged that they will now be having more serious input on this important policy decision.”

    Marc Swogger, a clinical psychologist at the University of Rochester Medical Center who has published research on kratom use and earlier called the decision to ban the plant “insane,” said in an email that “I’m happy to see this. It is a step in the right direction and a credit to people who have spoken out against scheduling this plant.”

    CONTINUE READING…

    Appeals court upholds ban on gun sales to medical marijuana card holders

    Published August 31, 2016

    Associated Press

     

    A federal government ban on the sale of guns to medical marijuana card holders does not violate the 2nd Amendment, a federal appeals court said Wednesday.

    The ruling by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals applies to the nine Western states that fall under the court’s jurisdiction, including California, Washington and Oregon.

    It came in a lawsuit filed by S. Rowan Wilson, a Nevada woman who tried to buy a firearm in 2011 after obtaining a medical marijuana card.

    The gun store refused, citing the federal rule on the sale of firearms to illegal drug users.

    Marijuana remains illegal under federal law, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has told gun sellers they can assume a person with a medical marijuana card uses the drug.

    The 9th Circuit in its 3-0 decision agreed that it’s reasonable for federal regulators to assume a medical marijuana card holder is more likely to use the drug.

    In addition, a ban on the sale of guns to marijuana and other drug users is reasonable because the use of such drugs “raises the risk of irrational or unpredictable behavior with which gun use should not be associated,” Senior District Judge Jed Rakoff said.

    The 9th Circuit also rejected other constitutional challenges to the ban that were raised by Wilson.

    An email to Wilson’s attorney was not immediately returned.

    CONTINUE READING…

    The DEA has filed notice of intent to add Kratom to schedule 1

     

    Mitragyna speciosa111.JPGVarious forms of kratom and teas made from the plant’s leaves are sold in cafes and on the internet. Their primary effect is to provide a short-lived peaceful and calm feeling that is described as pleasant. Consistent with this effect being opioid-like, anecdotal reports indicate that some users have used kratom to successfully recover from physical and psychological dependence on prescription opioids and heroin. Comments on my last report on kratom have also indicated the successful use of teas made from the plant in managing chronic pain without the side effects and addictive potential of prescription opioids like oxycodone, hydrocodone and morphine. LINK

    Due to be published in the “Federal Register” on August 31st, 2016 is the DEA’s “Intent to reschedule” the opioids mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine  These are the “ingredients” of the plant Kratom and they are placing it into schedule I using the “temporary scheduling provisions” of the Controlled Substances Act.

    Federal Register Kratom

    The Department of Justice, Drug Enforcement Administration, issued this document:

    DOJ Kratom

    There is a petition at Whitehouse.Gov that is asking the Federal Government to not go thru with this decision. 

    KRATOM PETITION

     

    The “drug war” has taken enough of our plants and enough of our lives.  We cannot continue to let them regulate us out of every plant of food and medicine which were given to us as Our “inalienable rights” as Human Beings and laid out in Our Constitution as such, and regulate it out of our reach through the use of “Agenda 21” as laid out by the United Nations, in which the United States is one of only five “permanent members”!

    First, PLEASE SIGN THE PETITION, and then make phone calls and write letters to your Representatives concerning this issue!

    We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

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    FORBES announced today:  The DEA Is Placing Kratom And Mitragynine On Schedule I

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