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  • ShereeKrider 11:50 pm on June 14, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: AG Andy Beshear, Amy Stalker, Attorney Candace Curtis, Attorney Dan Canon, Bath County, cannabis, Dan Seum Jr., Danny Belcher, doctor patient relationship, Frankfort, Gov. Matt Bevin, , Jefferson County, , Kentucky Constitution, , , , , right to privacy, WLKY   

    (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…

     
  • ShereeKrider 11:19 pm on June 14, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Cancer, cannabis, FECO, , , Phoenix Tears Foundation, Rick Simpson, Run from the cure, Tim Allen   

    Shannon Dugas of “The Couch” Radio Show interviews Tim Simpson, member of Phoenix Tears 


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    Above is a link to the full official version of the Documentary “RUN FROM THE CURE”, released January 28, 2008.

    On June 11th, Shannon Dugas, Host of “The Couch” Radio Show, interviewed Tim Simpson, long time neighbor, advocate and friend of Rick Simpson.

    It is a very interesting and informative show and I urge everyone to take the time to listen to it. 

    This week we are truly humbled to have Tim Allen from Phoenixtears. He has some very important information that he wants to share with all of us.

    HERE IS A DIRECT LINK TO AUDIO OF SHOW USING IE

    Image may contain: 2 people, people smiling, people standing

    Above:  Shannon Dugas and Co-Host Erica

    Image may contain: 1 person, sitting

    Above:  Tim Allen

    No automatic alt text available.

    14455707_1790354534581867_1171295903_o

    http://phoenixtears.ca/

    https://epsilon.shoutca.st:2197/ondemand/dcn/Replay%20The%20Couch%20June%2011%202017.mp3

    https://business.facebook.com/dunet.ca/?business_id=466135496872213&ref=page_internal

    https://www.facebook.com/tim.allen.1675

    https://www.facebook.com/ricksimpsonofficial

    http://phoenixtears.ca/rso/video-library/

    https://www.youtube.com/user/RickSimpsonOilCure/videos

    https://business.facebook.com/dunet.ca/?business_id=466135496872213&ref=page_internal

    http://www.dunet.ca/thecouch.html

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zDJX7GqsQoA

     
  • ShereeKrider 2:50 am on May 30, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: 1937 Tax Act, cannabis, culture, Harry Anslinger, Hearst, , , Pharmaceutical Cannabis   

    The Origin of the Word ‘Marijuana’ 


    Anna Wilcox

    The word “marijuana” plays a controversial role in cannabis culture. Many well-known organizations such as Oakland’s Harborside Heath Center have publicly denounced “the M word” in favor of our favorite plant’s Latinate name, cannabis. Even Salon Magazine, a major press outlet outside of the cannabis industry, published an article titled “Is the word ‘Marijuana’ racist?” last year.

    As mainstream culture becomes a little more herb-friendly, the terminology used by the industry is coming to center stage. But, why exactly does the term “marijuana” cause so much debate? Even worse, why has the word gained publicity as a racist term?

    To save you from reading those lengthy history books or some boring academic articles, we’ve created this brief timeline to give you the low-down on “marijuana”’s rise to popularity in the United States. Here’s what you need to know:

    The Mexican Revolution

    1840-1900:

    Prior to 1910, “marijuana” didn’t exist as a word in American culture. Rather, “cannabis” was used, most often in reference to medicines and remedies for common household ailments. In the early 1900s, what have now become pharmaceutical giants—Bristol-Meyer’s Squib and Eli Lilly—used to include cannabis and cannabis extracts in their medicines.

    During this time, Americans (particularly elite Americans) were going through a hashish trend. Glamorized by literary celebrities such as Alexander Dumas, experimenting with cannabis products became a fad among those wealthy enough to afford imported goods.

    1910:

    Between the years of 1910 and 1920, over 890,000 Mexicans legally immigrated into the United States seeking refuge from the wreckage of civil war. Though cannabis had been a part of U.S. history since the country’s beginnings, the idea of smoking the plant recreationally was not as common as other forms of consumption. The idea of smoking cannabis entered mainstream American consciousness after the arrival of immigrants who brought the smoking habit with them.

    1913:

    The first bill criminalizing the cultivation of “locoweed” was passed in California. The bill was a major push from the Board of Pharmacy as a way to regulate opiates and psychoactive pharmaceuticals, and seemingly did not stem from the “reefer madness” or racialized understanding of “marijuana” that paved the way to full-on prohibition in the 1930s.

    The Aftermath

    1930s:

    The Great Depression had just hit the United States, and Americans were searching for someone to blame. Due to the influx of immigrants (particularly in the South) and the rise of suggestive jazz music, many white Americans began to treat cannabis (and, arguably, the Blacks and Mexican immigrants who consumed it) as a foreign substance used to corrupt the minds and bodies of low-class individuals.

    In the time just before the federal criminalization of the plant, 29 states independently banned the herb that came to be known as “marijuana.”

    Harry Anslinger:

    It would not be an overstatement to say that Harry Anslinger was one of the primary individuals responsible for creating the stigma surrounding cannabis. Hired as the first director of the recently created Federal Bureau of Narcotics in 1930, Anslinger launched a vigilant campaign against cannabis that would hold steady for the three decades he remained in office.

    A very outspoken man, Anslinger used the recent development of the movie theater to spread messages that racialized the plant for white audiences. In one documented incident, Anslinger testified before Congress, explaining:

    “Marijuana is the most violence-causing drug in the history of mankind… Most marijuana smokers are Negroes, Hispanics, Filipinos and entertainers. Their satanic music, jazz and swing, result from marijuana usage.”

    In another statement, Anslinger articulated: “Reefer makes darkies think they’re as good as white men…the primary reason to outlaw marijuana is its effect on the degenerate races.”

    In retrospect, Anslinger’s efforts with the Bureau of Narcotics were the reason “marijuana” became a word known by Americans all over the country. When making public appearances and crafting propaganda films such as Reefer Madness, Anslinger specifically used the term “marijuana” when campaigning against the plant, adding to the development of the herb’s new “foreign” identity.

    Cannabis was no longer the plant substance found in medicines and consumed unanimously by American’s all over the country.

    1937:

    The Marihuana Tax Act of 1937 was the culmination of Anslinger’s work and the first step to all-out prohibition. The bill federally criminalized the cannabis plant in every U.S. state. In order to discourage the production of cannabis use, the Tax Act of 1937 placed a one dollar tax on anyone who sold or cultivated the cannabis plant.

    On top of the tax itself, the bill mandated that all individuals comply with certain enforcement provisions. Violation of the provisions would result in imprisonment and/or a fine of up to $2,000.

    Though the word “marijuana” is the most common name for cannabis in the United States today, its history is deeply steeped in race, politics, and a complicated cultural revolution. Some argue that using the word ignores a history of oppression against Mexican immigrants and African Americans, while others insist that the term has now lost its prejudiced bite. Regardless of whether or not you decide to use the word yourself, it’s impossible to deny the magnitude and racial implications of its introduction to the American lexicon.

    CONTINUE READING…

     
  • ShereeKrider 1:46 am on April 14, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Canadian Cannabis Act, cannabis, , , medical, personal use,   

    Canada takes action to legalize and strictly regulate cannabis 


    News Release

    From Health Canada

    Proposed legislation would provide regulated and restricted access to cannabis and crack down on impaired driving

    April 13, 2017              Ottawa, ON      

                                                               Government of Canada

    The current approach to cannabis does not work. It has allowed criminals and organized crime to profit, while failing to keep cannabis out of the hands of Canadian youth. In many cases, it is easier for our kids to buy cannabis than cigarettes.

    That is why the Government of Canada, after extensive consultation with law enforcement, health and safety experts, and the hard work of the Task Force on Cannabis Legalization and Regulation, today introduced legislation to legalize, strictly regulate and restrict access to cannabis.

    The proposed Cannabis Act would create a strict legal framework for controlling the production, distribution, sale and possession of cannabis in Canada. Following Royal Assent, the proposed legislation would allow adults to legally possess and use cannabis. This would mean that possession of small amounts of cannabis would no longer be a criminal offence and would prevent profits from going into the pockets of criminal organizations and street gangs. The Bill would also, for the first time, make it a specific criminal offence to sell cannabis to a minor and create significant penalties for those who engage young Canadians in cannabis-related offences.   

    In addition to legalizing and strictly regulating cannabis, the Government is toughening laws around alcohol- and drug-impaired driving. Under the Government’s proposed legislation, new offences would be added to the Criminal Code to enforce a zero tolerance approach for those driving under the influence of cannabis and other drugs. Additionally, the proposed legislation would authorize new tools for police to better detect drivers who have drugs in their body.

    Subject to Parliamentary approval and Royal Assent, the Government of Canada intends to provide regulated and restricted access to cannabis no later than July 2018.

    The Government will invest additional resources to make sure there is appropriate capacity within Health Canada, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the Canada Border Services Agency and the Department of Public Safety to license, inspect and enforce all aspects of the proposed legislation. These additional resources will also allow the Government to undertake a robust public awareness campaign so that Canadians are well informed about the dangers of driving under the influence of cannabis and other drugs.

    Working in partnership with provinces, territories, municipalities and local communities, the Government will also make appropriate investments to train and equip law enforcement so that Canada’s roads and highways are safe for all Canadians.

    In the months ahead, the Government will share more details on a new licensing fee and excise tax system. It will also continue to engage with all levels of government and Indigenous Peoples.

    Quotes

    “As a former police officer, I know firsthand how easy it is for our kids to buy cannabis. In many cases, it is easier for our children to get cannabis than it is to get cigarettes. Today’s plan to legalize, strictly regulate and restrict access to cannabis will put an end to this. It will keep cannabis out of the hands of children and youth, and stop criminals from profiting from it.”
    Bill Blair
    Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice

    “Today, we are following through on our commitment to introduce comprehensive legislation to legalize, strictly regulate and restrict access to cannabis and to create new laws to punish more severely those who drive under its influence. The Cannabis Act reflects an evidence-based approach that will protect Canadians’ public health and safety. By tackling alcohol- and drug-impaired driving with new and tougher criminal offences, Canadians will be better protected from impaired drivers and the number of deaths and accidents on our roads will be reduced.”
    The Honourable Jody Wilson-Raybould
    Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

    “The bills we propose today are aiming at putting drug dealers and organized crime out of the cannabis business. It will allow law enforcement to focus on other serious offences, including the distribution of cannabis to children and youth and driving under the influence of drugs. Drug-impaired driving puts the lives and the safety of drivers and passengers at risk every day, and we will lead a wide-ranging campaign to raise awareness of the dangers of driving while impaired. The proposed Bill will also provide more tools and stronger laws to punish more severely drivers who drive under the influence of drugs, including cannabis. We will continue to work with our law enforcement, provincial and territorial partners and stakeholders to develop a consistent enforcement approach and to provide support in building capacity across the country.”
    The Honourable Ralph Goodale
    Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

    “The Cannabis Act will help keep our children safe and address the health risks associated with cannabis. The proposed legislation would allow Canadian adults to possess and purchase regulated and quality-controlled cannabis products, while prohibiting sales to young Canadians and any products, promotion, packaging or labelling that could be appealing to young people.”
    The Honourable Jane Philpott
    Minister of Health

    Quick Facts

    • The Cannabis Act proposes that legal sales of cannabis would be restricted to people who are 18 years of age and over. Provinces and territories could increase the minimum legal age of sale, purchase and consumption.
    • The movement of cannabis and cannabis products across international borders would remain a serious criminal offence.
    • Following Royal Assent, the Government intends to bring the proposed Act into force no later than July 2018. At that time, adults would legally be able to possess up to 30 grams of legal cannabis in public, and to grow up to four plants per household at a maximum height of one metre from a legal seed or seedling. Until the new law comes into force, cannabis will remain illegal everywhere in Canada, except for medical purposes.
    • The provinces and territories would authorize and oversee the distribution and sale of cannabis, subject to minimum federal conditions. In those jurisdictions that have not put in place a regulated retail framework, individuals would be able to purchase cannabis online from a federally licensed producer with secure home delivery through the mail or by courier.
    • The proposed legislation would amend the Criminal Code to modernize and simplify the transportation provisions, strengthen the criminal law responses to impaired driving, and facilitate the effective and efficient investigation and prosecution of drug- and alcohol-impaired driving.
    • To facilitate detection and investigation of drug-impaired driving, law enforcement officers will be authorized and equipped to use oral fluid drug screeners at the roadside.

    Related Products

    – 30 –

    Contacts

    David Taylor
    Office of the Minister of Justice
    613-992-4621

    Media Relations
    Department of Justice Canada
    613-957-4207
    media@justice.gc.ca

    Andrew MacKendrick
    Office of the Minister of Health
    613-957-0200

    Media Relations
    Health Canada
    613-957-2983

    Scott Bardsley
    Office of the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness
    613-998-5681

    Media Relations
    Public Safety Canada
    613-991-0657
    media@ps-sp.gc.ca

    Public Inquiries:
    613-957-2991
    1-866 225-0709

    SOURCE LINK

     
  • ShereeKrider 7:28 pm on December 18, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: authority, cannabis, , , Marketwired,   

    DEA Hurts Growing Industry and Exceeds its Authority Regarding Scheduling Controlled Substances; Enacts Final Rule Seeking to Make Any Extract of the Cannabis Plant a Schedule 1 Drug 


    Hoban Law Group

    December 14, 2016 19:29 ET

    DEA Hurts Growing Industry and Exceeds its Authority Regarding Scheduling Controlled Substances; Enacts Final Rule Seeking to Make Any Extract of the Cannabis Plant a Schedule 1 Drug

    DENVER, CO–(Marketwired – December 14, 2016) – On December 13, 2016, the DEA issued its Final Rule, “Establishment of New Drug Code for Marihuana Extract,” which serves to potentially devastate developing businesses and consumer, textile and manufacturing industries related to cannabinoids. Robert Hoban, a cannabis, cannabinoid and hemp lawyer and expert as well as an adjunct professor of law at The University of Denver, states the DOJ and DEA cannot unilaterally make law and schedule controlled substances, thus causing this Final Rule to exceed the DEA’s authority. Instead, such actions require an act of Congress.

    As is the case here, the DEA is an agency that has previously sought to exceed its authority contrary to applicable law. It is anticipated that this “final ruling” and determination will be challenged both in court and administratively across the country. With 28 states that already have medical cannabis laws on the books, 8 states passing adult use laws in the November election, and numerous other states enacting industrial hemp legislation, the industry is up for the challenge of litigation against any government agency that operates contrary to prevailing law and enforcement policies.

    The DEA’s Final Rule seeks to broadly expand and override existing definitions of controlled substances by newly creating a “Marihuana Extract” classification. The effect of this Final Rule appears to be incorporation of any and all cannabinoids from the Cannabis plant as a Schedule 1 controlled substance, despite the fact that many such cannabinoids are naturally occurring derived from non-“marihuana” portions of the plant or or from entirely different plants altogether. Problematically, the Final Rule fails to acknowledge there exist certain parts of the plant, and certain types of the plant — namely, industrial hemp — which cannot and should not be treated as a “Marihuana Extract.” Notably, the DEA has sought to unilaterally create laws before, and has lost, when challenged.

    Hoban surmises, “The feeling is that this is an action beyond the DEA’s authority and we believe this is unlawful and we are taking a course of action for our clients. This Final Rule serves to threaten hundreds, if not thousands, of growing businesses, with massive economic and industry expansion opportunities, all of which conduct lawful business in reliance upon the Federal Government also acting pursuant to law, and as ordered by the Ninth Circuit in 2003 and 2004. We will see the Federal Government in court.”

    Image Available: http://www.marketwire.com/library/MwGo/2016/12/14/11G125277/Images/Hoban_Photo-82fa3561cc6d93ea991b06d3c4c27235.jpg

    Contact Information

     
  • ShereeKrider 4:27 pm on December 14, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: cannabis, delayed notice search warrants, , , ,   

    Uniting (and) Strengthening America (by) Providing Appropriate Tools Required (to) Intercept (and) Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001 (hereafter known as the Patriot Act, because that name is long and dumb) 


    Data shows Patriot Act used more often to justify drug warrants, not terrorism ones

    by Miranda Nelson on September 8th, 2011 at 11:24 AM

     

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    New York Magazine has put out an incredibly detailed compendium of 9/11 information on the eve of the 10th anniversary of the attacks that left over 3,000 people dead. The September 11 attacks, as you’re well aware, were the impetus (or used as justification, depending on how cynical you are) for pushing through the USA PATRIOT ACT, which was hurriedly signed into law on October 26, 2001.

    One of the main focuses of the Uniting (and) Strengthening America (by) Providing Appropriate Tools Required (to) Intercept (and) Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001 (hereafter known as the Patriot Act, because that name is long and dumb) is Title II, which is all about surveillance. That’s right: even though those dastardly terrorists who hate our freedom came from overseas (as was the rhetoric beaten into the collective consciousness post 9/11), the U.S. government thought it was prudent to pass a bunch of surveillance laws so it could spy on its own citizens.

    Let me quote the relevant section before we proceed:

    SEC. 213. AUTHORITY FOR DELAYING NOTICE OF THE EXECUTION OF A WARRANT.

    …(b) DELAY- With respect to the issuance of any warrant or court order under this section, or any other rule of law, to search for and seize any property or material that constitutes evidence of a criminal offense in violation of the laws of the United States, any notice required, or that may be required, to be given may be delayed if–

    (1) the court finds reasonable cause to believe that providing immediate notification of the execution of the warrant may have an adverse result (as defined in section 2705);

    Delayed-notice search warrants: we won’t tell you we’re breaking into your house to look around if we think there will be adverse results, like you calling up your terrorist buddies to let them know we’re on to you.

    Something seems wrong with this graph (courtesy New York Magazine).

    But between 2006 and 2009, do you know how many times the Patriot Act was used to issue delayed-notice warrants relating to terrorists and related activities? That would be a whole 15 times—even though the act mentions the word terrorism 161 times and terrorism 175 times.

    Aside: did you know that not a single person has been brought to justice on American soil for those deaths?

    In the same time period, New York Magazine reports that 1,618 delayed-notice search warrants were issued in relation to drugs and related activity. If you had any doubts about the true mandate of the Patriot Act, doubt no longer. Congratulations America on using a senseless tragedy to justify targeting marijuana users!

    And why am I concluding that these people are primarily low-level marijuana offenders and not cocaine smugglers or meth manufacturers? The statistics on arrests and imprisonment make it clear: in 2006, 829,627 marijuana-related arrests were made in the United States, 89 percent of which were for mere possession. Not for growing or selling. Just for holding onto the stuff. In 2010, 50,383 arrests were made in New York City alone for possession.

    The Patriot Act: great for the War on Drugs, bad for anyone who likes to smoke a joint, laughable in regards to stopping terrorism.

    Follow Miranda Nelson on Twitter at @charenton_.

    CONTINUE READING…

     
  • ShereeKrider 6:17 pm on October 12, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: cannabis, , Drug Testing index, , , , Quest Diagnosis, urine testing kits   

    New Study Confirms Marijuana Use Up Drastically in Workforce 


    Cully Stimson / @cullystimson / October 12, 2016 / comments

    This November, there are a record number of ballot initiatives in at least nine states regarding so-called medical marijuana or outright legalization of the Schedule I drug. The pot pushers, both small businesses and large, want more people smoking, eating, and consuming more pot because it is good for their bottom line.

    Before voting yes, voters—and, in particular, employers—should take a look at more disturbing data that was released two weeks ago at a national conference.

    At the annual Substance Abuse Program Administrators Association conference, Quest Diagnostics—one of the nation’s largest drug-testing companies—unveiled the results of its Drug Testing Index. The index examines illicit drug use by workers in America each year.

    In 2015, Quest examined more than 9.5 million urine, 900,000 oral fluid, and 200,000 hair drug samples. Following years of decline in overall illegal drug usage, the results showed that the percentage of employees testing positive for illicit drugs has steadily increased over the last three years to a 10-year high.

    The Drug Testing Index is an analysis of test results from three categories of workers—including federally mandated, safety-sensitive workers, the general workforce, and the combined U.S. workforce

    Oral fluid drug testing results—best at detecting recent drug usage—showed an overall positivity rate increase of 47 percent over the last three years in the general workforce to 9.1 percent in 2015 from 6.7 percent in 2013.

    According to Quest, the increase was “largely driven by double-digit increases in marijuana positivity.” In fact, according to the report, in 2015 there was a “25 percent relative increase in marijuana detection as compared to 2014.” The report also showed a significant increase in heroin positivity in urine tests for federally mandated safety-sensitive employees.

    Another disturbing trend is the rising positivity rate for post-accident urine drug testing in both the general U.S. and the federal mandated, safety-sensitive workforces. According to the index, post-accident positivity increased 6.2 percent in 2015, compared to 2014, and increased a whopping 30 percent since 2011.

    To those of us who have warned about the growing liberalization of the use of marijuana, from so-called “medical marijuana” to recreational abuse of the Schedule I drug, the results of the index are all too predictable.

    It is also not surprising that none of the major organizations that push for pot legalization and decriminalization of marijuana have written major stories about the Quest Diagnostics report.

    The more people use marijuana, the more likely it is that those who work and are subject to testing will pop positive for marijuana, even in safety-sensitive jobs. Think about that next time you hop on an airplane, ride Amtrak, or go about your daily life thinking everyone is focused on their job and your safety.

    CONTINUE READING…

     
  • ShereeKrider 6:12 pm on October 12, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: cannabis, , Drug Addiction, Drug Bust, , , prison,   

    Why are more Americans in jail for marijuana use than violent crime? 


    More people in the United States are now in jail for marijuana possession than for all violent crimes combined, a new study finds….On any given day in the US, at least 137,000 Americans are in prison on drug possession, not sales, charges, says a new report that finds that the “tough on drugs” policies may be disproportionately affecting low-income, black Americans.

    By Ellen Powell, Staff October 12, 2016

    More people in the United States are now in jail for marijuana possession than for all violent crimes combined, a new study finds….

    The report, released Wednesday by the American Civil Liberties Union and Human Rights Watch, points out that violent crime arrests in the US have dropped 36 percent in the past two decades. Meanwhile, arrests for drug possession – including marijuana and other illicit drugs – are up 13 percent. Those arrests tend to be concentrated in neighborhoods with high crime rates, where police officers are on the lookout for any offense. As a result, lower-income, black Americans are most likely to be arrested for possessing even trace amounts of illicit drugs. (Black Americans are 2.5 times as likely to be arrested on drug-related charges, according to federal data, even though they use drugs at the same rate as white Americans.) Those who can’t afford to post bail spend substantial amounts of time in jail, even before their case goes to trial.

    Tougher sentencing was intended to get chronic repeat offenders off the street, reduce drug use, and protect public health. But the “tough on drugs” policy prevalent since the 1980s isn’t working, the report argues. Criminalizing drug possession is derailing individuals’ lives and hurting the families who depend on them, while doing little to prevent drug use and abuse.

    “While families, friends, and neighbors understandably want government to take action to prevent the potential harm caused by drug use, criminalization is not the answer,” Tess Borden, the study’s author, said in a Human Rights Watch press release. “Locking people up for using drugs causes tremendous harm, while doing nothing to help those who need and want treatment.”

    csmarchives/2010/10/1013-wires-marijuana2.jpg

    Test your knowledgeHow much do you know about marijuana? Take the quiz

    The report comes at a time when the Obama administration and a bipartisan effort in Congress has already taken steps at judicial reform. For example, the 2010 Fair Sentencing Act erased a 5-year-minimum sentence for simple crack possession. As The Christian Science Monitor reported, “much of the Obama administration’s work has been done courthouse by courthouse. For one, the Department of Justice has guided prosecutors to curb the use of mandatory minimums for drug crimes. But the president has also made broader strokes.” 

    Since 2014, the Obama administration expanded the criteria for clemency-seekers, leading to hundreds of who were given long-term sentences for drug charges to be released. 

    But the ALCU report says that in some states, such as Texas, a “habitual offender” law means prosecutors still can push for longer sentences, including life sentences, for those with two prior convictions. The actual amount of the drug that individuals possess doesn’t matter.

    And what most concerns many low-income Americans is the impact on families. While the accused are in jail, even before trial, they’re not earning a wage, meaning that in some homes the water and lights could be cut off. A woman in Louisiana with a prison record told the rights groups that because of her probation, her family could not get food stamps for a year. That means her children will be eating whatever she can find in the dumpster, she explained. It can also be hard for those arrested to find a job when they get out. 

    “When you’re a low-income person of color using drugs, you’re criminalized…. When we’re locked up, we’re not only locked in but also locked out. Locked out of housing…. Locked out of employment and other services,” said one New York City man who had been repeatedly arrested for drug charges over the past 30 years.

    Criminalizing drugs, the report says, can actually increase the risks associated with drug use. Driving traffic underground “discourages access to emergency medicine, overdose prevention services, and risk-reducing practices such as syringe exchanges.”

    The report calls for an increase in rehabilitation programs and a move to treat drug use as a public health issue, rather than lumping it in with violent crime. That’s an approach the Obama administration is on-board with, Mario Moreno, spokesman for the Office of National Drug Control Policy, suggested. “We cannot arrest our way out of the drug problem,” he told CBS.

    CONTINUE READING…

     
  • ShereeKrider 1:53 pm on September 25, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: cannabis, carrot test, , , , natural rights, , Ron Kiczenski   

    Unless we tell the real truth about why folks shouldn’t support "legalization", we are as negligent as the legalization supporters… 


     
  • ShereeKrider 1:07 pm on July 10, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: cannabis, , descheduling, , , , Medical Maijuana   

    Is pot as dangerous as heroin? Feds’ decision on rescheduling marijuana coming soon 


    El Monte Police Lt. Christopher Williams looks over a portion of about 500 marijuana plants in various stages of growth after serving a search warrant at a home at 4300-block of Huddart Avenue in El Monte on Monday March 9, 2015.

     

    By Brooke Edwards Staggs, The Orange County Register

    Posted: 07/09/16, 8:37 PM PDT

     

    At the same time Californians are preparing to vote on the legalization of adult marijuana use, the federal government is weighing whether pot should continue to be classified as a top-tier narcotic on par with heroin.

    Within a month, the Drug Enforcement Administration is expected to release a much-anticipated decision that could alter cannabis’ ranking in the hierarchy of controlled substances — a formal listing that affects everything from medical research to taxing policy.

    Since the list was created in 1970, marijuana has been ranked in Schedule I — the most restrictive category ­alongside heroin, LSD and peyote. The designation is reserved for drugs the DEA says have no proven medical use and are highly addictive.

    What about Congress?

    Even if the Drug Enforcement and Food And Drug administrations don’t recommend changing where marijuana falls on the controlled substances list, Congress could.

    Elected officials are more likely to be influenced by growing public acceptance of marijuana — particularly if they represent one of 25 states with legal marijuana programs.

    “I think that’s probably an easier sell than the decision coming from doctors and police,” said John Hudak, a deputy director with the Brookings Institution.

    Some members of Congress support rescheduling marijuana, including Sen. Barbara Boxer. Some have even pitched descheduling it, including presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders. But none of those efforts gained traction, and Paul Armentano with the advocacy group NORML isn’t optimistic Congress will act on the issue anytime soon.

    “I’m not aware of a single hearing much less a vote even in a subcommittee that has ever taken place at the Congressional level specific to the notion of reclassifying marijuana,” he said.

    “We’re bound by the science,” said Melvin Patterson, spokesman for the DEA.

    But many experts and advocates say the current classification is increasingly at odds with scientific studies on marijuana, which suggest the drug has medical value in treating chronic pain, seizures and a number of other conditions, with a lower addiction rate than alcohol.

    The DEA ranking also lags behind a growing public consensus. Roughly 80 percent of Americans believe medical marijuana should be legal, according to recent polls, while some 60 percent support legalizing the drug for all adults.

    “In 2016, this notion that cannabis possesses potential harms equal to that of heroin … simply doesn’t pass the smell test,” said Paul Armentano, deputy director of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, or NORML.

    Medical marijuana is now legal in 25 states. Recreational use is allowed in four states plus Washington, D.C. If California green-lights recreational use this November, one in six Americans would live in a state where adults would be allowed to freely use cannabis.

    The question of how cannabis should be ranked has been hotly debated since Congress placed it in the Schedule I group when it passed the Controlled Substances Act nearly 46 years ago. The drug’s classification has been reviewed periodically, with the latest reexamination prompted by a petition filed with the DEA five years ago by the then-governors of Rhode Island and Washington.

    In April, the DEA advised Congress that it expected to announce a decision in the first half of 2016.

    Patterson said officials now “clearly anticipate something happening in the next month.”

    The agency has several options: keep cannabis as a Schedule I drug; reclassify some or all of its compounds to a lower schedule; or remove the plant from the controlled substances list altogether.

    There is a greater chance than ever that marijuana will be rescheduled, said John Hudak, who studies the topic as a deputy director with the Brookings Institution. But he still expects pot to remain a Schedule I drug.

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    “It needs to cross a threshold that says it has an accepted medical value,” Hudak said. “While there are plenty of patients and doctors who do believe it has medical value, that’s not a universal belief in the medical community.”

    Leslie Bocskor, president of Las Vegas-based cannabis advisory firm Electrum Partners, thinks the odds slightly favor a reclassification of marijuana to Schedule II. That category includes morphine and cocaine, which the DEA says are highly addictive but have some medical value. A form of cocaine, for example, is used by some dentists as a local anesthetic.

    The least restrictive of the five schedule categories, Schedule V, includes cough syrup with a bit of codeine.

    Alcohol and tobacco aren’t included on the DEA’s controlled substances list, even though federal studies have found both are associated with higher dependency rates than marijuana.

    Patterson said the DEA frequently hears from people frustrated that marijuana hasn’t been rescheduled sooner.

    “They have their mind made up on what marijuana does in the short term,” he said. “But what about different strains? What about 10 years from now or even 20 years from now? Long-term effects matter.”

    For the medical marijuana community, even reclassifying cannabis as a Schedule II drug would offer some vindication.

    “At a minimum, it would bring an end to the federal government’s longstanding intellectual dishonesty that marijuana ‘lacks accepted medical use,’ ” Armentano said.

    Such a shift by the DEA also might offer a small boost to at least half-a-dozen states with medical or recreational marijuana initiatives on the ballot this November.

    That potential to give some credence to legalization efforts is one of the reasons a few members of Congress, including Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa, and the organization Smart Approaches to Marijuana, or SAM, cite in arguing against reclassifying marijuana.

    “Rescheduling would simply be a symbolic victory for advocates who want to legalize marijuana,” SAM wrote in a policy paper on the issue.

    But both the California and American medical associations say rescheduling pot could lower the barriers a bit for federally sanctioned drug research.

    The DEA has never turned down a marijuana research request that met federal criteria, Patterson said. But experts say red tape related to Schedule I drug research is so formidable that it discourages applications. So while there are tens of thousands of peer-reviewed studies on marijuana, there are few costly and rigorous double-blind, placebo-controlled trials involving cannabis.

    Moreover, researchers say, marijuana studies are saddled with restrictions that don’t apply to other Schedule I drugs.

    Since 1968, for example, the federal government has said only a tightly controlled stock of high-quality marijuana grown under contract by the University of Mississippi can be used for FDA-approved studies. Armentano said that restricts the supply available for research.

    If marijuana were reclassified to at least Schedule III — alongside Tylenol with codeine and anabolic steroids — it would mean the nation’s rapidly growing number of cannabis-related businesses could begin deducting operating expenses from their federal taxes.

    Under a tax rule imposed during the Reagan Administration’s 1980s anti-drug war, businesses dealing in Schedule I or II substances are prohibited from writing off common expenses such as rent, utilities or advertising.

    Harborside Health Center, a large Oakland dispensary, has been battling the IRS over the rule for five years, after being assessed $2.4 million for illegal deductions. A decision in that case is expected soon.

    Even if cannabis was moved down the controlled substances list to the least-restrictive category, the industry would still be likely to face business and regulatory hurdles.

    Armentano likened such a change, should it come, to the first stride in a marathon.

    “Technically, it gets you closer to the finish line,” he said. “But you still have a whole hell of a long way to go.”

    Pot would remain an illegal substance under federal law. Reclassification wouldn’t necessarily open access to banking services, Hudak said. And doctors wouldn’t automatically switch to writing prescriptions, as opposed to “recommendations,” for medical marijuana, since that’s only allowed for FDA-approved drugs.

    “There are certain people who play up rescheduling as an earth-shattering reform,” Hudak said. “It is not.”

    He said sweeping changes would only come in the unlikely event that cannabis was completely descheduled, putting it on par with alcohol.

    That would allow local governments to create cannabis policies free from federal interference, Armentano said, the way they can set their own hours for when bars stop serving alcohol or make entire counties “dry.”

    Armentano isn’t optimistic the DEA will move marijuana to a less restrictive category, but he said there’s been one positive result from the current review.

    “There’s attention being paid to how they handle this situation in a way that just wasn’t there before,” he said. “If the DEA goes down the same path as it has in the past, I think they’re going to have some explaining to do.”

    CONTINUE READING…

     
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