“You are being watched” H.R. 4310: National Defense Authorization Act

 

The link hereto is a direct link to the PDF Document of the new “Patriot Act”, revised effective June 19, 2012 for the fiscal year of 2013.

There is much discussion about what is happening with this legislation.

H.R. 4310: National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013

112th Congress, 2011–2012

To authorize appropriations for fiscal year 2013 for military activities of the Department of Defense, for military construction,

and for defense activities of the Department of Energy, to prescribe military personnel strengths for such fiscal year, and for other purposes.

Sponsor:
Rep. Howard “Buck” McKeon [R-CA25]
Status:
Passed House

 

Here’s the added clause in question:

“Nothing in the AUMF or the 2012 NDAA shall be construed to deny the availability of the writ of habeas corpus or to deny any Constitutional rights in a court ordained or established by or under Article III of the Constitution for any person who is lawfully in the United States when detained pursuant to the AUMF and who is otherwise entitled to the availability of such writ or such rights.”

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/ndaa-americans-indefinite-detention2012-11#ixzz2DfrztPqV

 

 

Use the above link to Twitter your Congressman and tell them to end indefinite detention.  It could be you!

“You are being watched” H.R. 4310: National Defense Authorization Act

 

The link hereto is a direct link to the PDF Document of the new “Patriot Act”, revised effective June 19, 2012 for the fiscal year of 2013.

There is much discussion about what is happening with this legislation.

H.R. 4310: National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013

112th Congress, 2011–2012

To authorize appropriations for fiscal year 2013 for military activities of the Department of Defense, for military construction,

and for defense activities of the Department of Energy, to prescribe military personnel strengths for such fiscal year, and for other purposes.

Sponsor:
Rep. Howard “Buck” McKeon [R-CA25]
Status:
Passed House

 

Here’s the added clause in question:

“Nothing in the AUMF or the 2012 NDAA shall be construed to deny the availability of the writ of habeas corpus or to deny any Constitutional rights in a court ordained or established by or under Article III of the Constitution for any person who is lawfully in the United States when detained pursuant to the AUMF and who is otherwise entitled to the availability of such writ or such rights.”

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/ndaa-americans-indefinite-detention2012-11#ixzz2DfrztPqV

 

 

Use the above link to Twitter your Congressman and tell them to end indefinite detention.  It could be you!

Kentucky Mayor Danny Sparks Busted for Selling Marijuana Near School

 

MM2_thumb

By Heather Manes, Thu, November 29, 2012

The mayor of a Kentucky town was arrested Wednesday evening for selling marijuana near a school, according to police.

 

The arrest took place after Danny Sparks, the mayor of Olive Hill in Carter County, sold the drugs to an undercover witness working with police.

Sparks faces a class D felony charge for trafficking marijuana within 1,000 feet of a school.

According to the police chief Bobby Hall, the bust took place in a parking lot next to an elementary school.

Sparks resigned Wednesday night after his arrest.

Hall said the arrest came after a series of tips were submitted to FADE drug task force officers, which is a coalition between five police departments.

“We had been looking into it for some time,” he said.

Sparks was re-elected mayor of 2,000-population town in 2010, and has been serving at least a decade, according to Hall.

“We’ve got drug problems, lawsuits, floods, this town has seen it all,” Hall said. “This is the last thing this town needs to deal with, it’s an embarrassment.”

 

CONTINUE READING….

Kentucky Mayor Danny Sparks Busted for Selling Marijuana Near School

 

MM2_thumb

By Heather Manes, Thu, November 29, 2012

The mayor of a Kentucky town was arrested Wednesday evening for selling marijuana near a school, according to police.

 

The arrest took place after Danny Sparks, the mayor of Olive Hill in Carter County, sold the drugs to an undercover witness working with police.

Sparks faces a class D felony charge for trafficking marijuana within 1,000 feet of a school.

According to the police chief Bobby Hall, the bust took place in a parking lot next to an elementary school.

Sparks resigned Wednesday night after his arrest.

Hall said the arrest came after a series of tips were submitted to FADE drug task force officers, which is a coalition between five police departments.

“We had been looking into it for some time,” he said.

Sparks was re-elected mayor of 2,000-population town in 2010, and has been serving at least a decade, according to Hall.

“We’ve got drug problems, lawsuits, floods, this town has seen it all,” Hall said. “This is the last thing this town needs to deal with, it’s an embarrassment.”

 

CONTINUE READING….

Barren County Man Pleads Guilty to Huge Marijuana Grow

images2

 

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – The last of eleven defendants charged in one of the state’s largest indoor marijuana grow operations pleaded guilty this week in United States District Court before Chief Judge Thomas B. Russell to manufacturing and distributing a controlled substance, money laundering and possession of firearms by a convicted felon, announced David J. Hale, United States Attorney for the Western District of Kentucky.

According to information presented in court, Dallas Norris, age 70, of Barren County, Kentucky, and ten co-defendants operated a sophisticated indoor marijuana grow operation, considered by Kentucky State Police (KSP) to be one of the largest of its kind discovered in the Western District of Kentucky. An initial tip to KSP led troopers to Norris’s Glasgow, Kentucky home, where they discovered 1,267 marijuana plants on November 12, 2011.

“The successful prosecution of this multi-defendant drug production and distribution organization was made possible by a collaborative law enforcement approach,” stated David J. Hale, United States Attorney. “We are grateful for the good work of the State Police, the ATF and the Warren County Drug Task Force. As drug organizations become more sophisticated and often more brazen, we will rely on effective cooperation between federal and state authorities to protect the public and prosecute the offenders. Our communities are safer as a result of these efforts.”

“Kentucky State Police is committed to combating the marijuana drug trade,” said Rodney Brewer, KSP Commissioner. “These enterprises have no limits and further fuel other illicit criminal organizations and their violence.”

The investigation by KSP, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and the Warren County Drug Task Force revealed that the grow became operational in 2008 and had been producing seven to ten pounds of marijuana approximately every two weeks. Court records allege that Norris was selling the marijuana for $2,500 to $3,000 per pound and that he had taken elaborate measures to avoid detection of his operation including: illegally tapping the local power company main line to power the grow; and pumping and purifying cave water located on the property to water the extensive grow operation.

According to the plea agreement, between February 1, 2011 and November 12, 2011, Norris was the leader of the conspiracy involving ten indicted co-defendants and others to manufacture over 1,000 marijuana plants at premises maintained by Norris for the purpose of manufacturing, storing, and distributing marijuana. Between February 28, 2008 and March 12, 2008, Norris structured three transactions with financial institutions by purchasing three cashier’s checks each in the amount of $9,000. Norris used the cashier’s checks and an additional personal payment of $6,114 to purchase a 2006 Ford truck. Norris admitted to structuring these transactions to evade bank reporting requirements. At the time of his arrest, Norris, a convicted felon, based upon his previous conviction for manufacturing marijuana, was in possession of two firearms.

The ten co-defendants, charged in a May 16, 2012 federal superseding indictment, have pleaded guilty for their roles in the conspiracy and await sentencing. The defendants are Josephine Polan of Flagler Beach, Florida; Roger L. Goheen, Shelli Goheen and Dennis Cain Goheen of Wellston, Ohio; Darryl G. Newsome, Kimberly Newsome, and Darryl Allen Newsome of Springfield, Ohio; Vanessa Golden of Covington, Kentucky; and Gary and Victoria Kampschaefer of Louisville.

At sentencing, Norris faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison, supervised release of five years, and a fine of $21,500,000. Norris will forfeit to the United States, a 2006 Ford F-250 truck, property located in Barren County, Kentucky and Jackson County, Ohio, $22,621 US currency, and miscellaneous farm equipment and collectibles.

All defendants are scheduled for sentencing on March 5, 2013, before Senior Judge Russell in U.S. District Court, Bowling Green, Kentucky.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Mac Shannon and was investigated by KSP, ATF and the Warren County Drug Task Force.

CONTINUE READING…

WORLD WAR D

From:  LinkedIn

 

 

Jeffrey Dhywood has sent you a message.

Date: 11/29/2012

Subject: Making sense of the fast-evolving drug policy debate

2012 has been quite an amazing year for drug policy reform and events are accelerating at breakneck pace after the historic marijuana legalization victories in Colorado and Washington.

 

World War D. The Case against prohibitionism, roadmap to controlled re-legalization

The domino effect is about to get started in the US, in Latin America and the rest of the world. A major global initiative will be launched on December 5, with the support of presidents Santos of Colombia and Perez Molina of Guatemala, as well as a dozen of ex-heads of states including Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter.

If you want to make sense of the rapidly evolving global drug policy debate, “World War-D” gives you a global understanding of all the facets of the issue, bringing common sense and sanity to an issue often shrouded in misconceptions, preconceptions and taboos. More importantly, “World War-D” gives you in-depth analysis of practical, pragmatic and realistic alternatives to prohibition, alternatives that can eliminates the harm related to drug trafficking while managing and minimizing the harm related to drug abuse. As prohibition is starting to crumble at the edges, no other book offers such depth and breadth of understanding.

Become a better informed activist and support global drug policy reform!

 
Order your own copy of “Word War-D”

The reference book on the War on Drugs and prohibition
A guide to psychoactive substances and substance abuse
A blueprint for global drug policy reform and controlled legalization

Order “World War-D” on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/0984690409/

With the holiday season fast approaching, you can give a gift of common sense and sanity to your loved ones, your friends and your relatives.

Tired of useless, senseless stockings stuffers? With our holiday discount, “World War-D” is now even affordable enough to be given away as meaningful stuffers this holiday season!

Order your own copy of “World War-D” at our already discounted price of $9.99 for the eBooks version (e-pub, kindle or PDF) or $14.99 for the print version (448 pages, 6×9 paperback), and get your 2nd copy for 50% off the cover price, or $5.99 for the eBook and $9.99 for the paperback version. Order 3 books or more, and get a 50% discount off your entire order.
Stay tuned and keep up the fight! Thank you for your continued support.

Jeffrey Dhywood
Investigative writer,

Author of “World War D – The Case against prohibition, roadmap to controlled re-legalization”
Download a free 50-page excerpt: http://www.world-war-d.com/.

“World War-D” on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/0984690409/

Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/worldward

Follow me on Twitter: @JDhywood

My readers routinely comment that “World War-D” should be required reading for politicians and lawmakers and strongly recommend it to those who want to understand all the facets of the issue and grasp its global complexity. No matter where you stand on drug prohibition, you will get a much clearer understanding of the issue in all of its multi-faceted complexity and with a global perspective. See readers’ reviews: http://www.world-war-d.com/reviews/readers-reviews

 

*******************************************************

*I am posting this as a public service to fellow activists.  I have not read the above book and can make no claims for or against it.  I am receiving no money for this endorsement.  ShereeKrider

WORLD WAR D

From:  LinkedIn

 

 

Jeffrey Dhywood has sent you a message.

Date: 11/29/2012

Subject: Making sense of the fast-evolving drug policy debate

2012 has been quite an amazing year for drug policy reform and events are accelerating at breakneck pace after the historic marijuana legalization victories in Colorado and Washington.

 

World War D. The Case against prohibitionism, roadmap to controlled re-legalization

The domino effect is about to get started in the US, in Latin America and the rest of the world. A major global initiative will be launched on December 5, with the support of presidents Santos of Colombia and Perez Molina of Guatemala, as well as a dozen of ex-heads of states including Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter.

If you want to make sense of the rapidly evolving global drug policy debate, “World War-D” gives you a global understanding of all the facets of the issue, bringing common sense and sanity to an issue often shrouded in misconceptions, preconceptions and taboos. More importantly, “World War-D” gives you in-depth analysis of practical, pragmatic and realistic alternatives to prohibition, alternatives that can eliminates the harm related to drug trafficking while managing and minimizing the harm related to drug abuse. As prohibition is starting to crumble at the edges, no other book offers such depth and breadth of understanding.

Become a better informed activist and support global drug policy reform!

 
Order your own copy of “Word War-D”

The reference book on the War on Drugs and prohibition
A guide to psychoactive substances and substance abuse
A blueprint for global drug policy reform and controlled legalization

Order “World War-D” on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/0984690409/

With the holiday season fast approaching, you can give a gift of common sense and sanity to your loved ones, your friends and your relatives.

Tired of useless, senseless stockings stuffers? With our holiday discount, “World War-D” is now even affordable enough to be given away as meaningful stuffers this holiday season!

Order your own copy of “World War-D” at our already discounted price of $9.99 for the eBooks version (e-pub, kindle or PDF) or $14.99 for the print version (448 pages, 6×9 paperback), and get your 2nd copy for 50% off the cover price, or $5.99 for the eBook and $9.99 for the paperback version. Order 3 books or more, and get a 50% discount off your entire order.
Stay tuned and keep up the fight! Thank you for your continued support.

Jeffrey Dhywood
Investigative writer,

Author of “World War D – The Case against prohibition, roadmap to controlled re-legalization”
Download a free 50-page excerpt: http://www.world-war-d.com/.

“World War-D” on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/0984690409/

Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/worldward

Follow me on Twitter: @JDhywood

My readers routinely comment that “World War-D” should be required reading for politicians and lawmakers and strongly recommend it to those who want to understand all the facets of the issue and grasp its global complexity. No matter where you stand on drug prohibition, you will get a much clearer understanding of the issue in all of its multi-faceted complexity and with a global perspective. See readers’ reviews: http://www.world-war-d.com/reviews/readers-reviews

 

*******************************************************

*I am posting this as a public service to fellow activists.  I have not read the above book and can make no claims for or against it.  I am receiving no money for this endorsement.  ShereeKrider

Why Are We Testing Newborns for Pot?

The science is alarmingly inconclusive, but the punishment for mothers is severe.

November 23, 2012  |  

Employees at US hospitals are testing more and more newborns for cannabis exposure. And, with alarming frequency, they are getting the wrong results. So say a pair of recent studies documenting the unreliability of infant drug testing.

 

 

In the most recent trial, published in the September edition of the Journal of Clinical Chemistry , investigators at the University of Utah School of Medicine evaluated the rate of unconfirmed "positive" immunoassay test results in infant and non-infant urine samples over a 52-week period. Shockingly, authors found that positive tests for carboxy THC, a byproduct of THC screened for in immunoassay urine tests, were 59 times less likely to be confirmed in infant urine specimens as compared to non-infant urine samples. Overall, 47 percent of the infant positive immunoassay urine samples evaluated did not test for the presence of carboxy THC when confirmatory assay measures were later performed.
Immunoassay testing – the standard technology used in workplace drug testing – relies on the use of antibodies (proteins that will react to a particular substance or a group of very similar substances) to document whether a specific reaction occurs. Therefore, a positive result on an immunoassay test presumes that a certain quantity of a particular substance may be present in the sample, but it does not actually identify the presence of the substance itself. A more specific chemical test, known as chromatography, must be performed in order to confirm any preliminary analytical test results. Samples that test positive on the presumptive immunoassay test, but then later test negative on the confirmatory test are known as false positives.
False positive test results for cannabis’ carboxy THC metabolite are relatively uncommon in adult specimens. Among newborns’ specimens, however, false positive results for alleged cannabis exposure are disturbingly prevalent.
In April, researchers at the University of North Carolina reported in the journal Clinical Biochemistry that various chemicals present in various baby wash products, such as Johnson’s Head-to-Toe Baby Wash and CVS Baby Wash, frequently cross-react with the immunoassay test to cause false positive results for carboxy THC.

“[The] addition of Head-to-Toe Baby Wash to drug-free urine produced a dose dependent measureable response in the THC immunoassay,” the investigators concluded . “Addition of other commercially available baby soaps gave similar results, and subsequent testing identified specific chemical surfactants that reacted with the THC immunoassay. … Given these consequences, it is important for laboratories and providers to be aware of this potential source for false positive screening results and to consider confirmation before initiating interventions.”

Following the publication of the UNC study, researchers at the University of Utah screened for the presence of baby soap contaminants in infant urine. Surprisingly, they didn’t find any . Rather, they concluded that the disproportionately high rate of false positive test results discovered among their samples were the result of a cross-reaction with some other yet-to-be determined constituent. They cautioned: “Until the compounds contributing to positive urine screen results in infants are identified, we encourage the use of alternative specimens for the detection and investigation of neonatal exposure to cannabinoids. Screen-positive cannabinoid results from infant samples should not be reported without confirmation or appropriate consultation, because they cannot currently be interpreted.”
Yet despite these warnings, in many instances, hospitals fail to confirm the results of presumptive drug tests prior to reporting them to state authorities. (Because confirmatory testing is more expensive the immunoassay testing, many hospitals neglect to send such presumptive positive urine samples to outside labs for follow-up analysis.) Ironically, such confirmatory tests are required for all hospital employees who test positive for illicit substances. But presently, no such guidelines stipulate that similar precautions be taken for newborns or pregnant mothers. Explains Lynn Paltrow, executive director of National Advocates for Pregnant Women : “NAPW has had calls from numerous parents who were subjected to intrusive, threatening, and counterproductive child welfare interventions based on false or innocent positive test results for marijuana. We have learned that pregnant patients receive fewer guarantees of accuracy than do job applicants at that same hospital.” 

Regardless of whether or not the drug screen results are confirmed, the sanctions for those subjects who test positive are often swift and severe. Typically, any report of alleged infant exposure to cannabis will trigger a host of serious consequences ranging from the involvement of social services to accusations of child endangerment or neglect. In some instances, mothers whose infants test positive for carboxy THC will lose temporary child custody rights and be mandated to attend a drug treatment program. In other instances they may be civilly prosecuted. At least 18 states address the issue of pregnant women’s drug use in their civil child neglect laws; in 12 states prenatal exposure to any illegal drug is defined by statute as civil child abuse. (One state, South Carolina, authorizes the criminal prosecution of mothers who are alleged to have consumed cannabis, or any other illicit substance, during pregnancy and carry their baby to term.) 
Of further concern is the reality that the hospital staff’s decision to drug test infants or pregnant mothers appears to be largely a subjective one. There are no national standards delineating specific criteria for the drug testing of pregnant women, new mothers, or their infants. In fact, the only federal government panel ever convened to advise on the practice urged against its adoption. As a result, race and class largely influence who is tested and who isn’t. A study published in the  Journal of Women’s Health reported that "black women and their newborns were 1.5 times more likely to be tested for illicit drugs as non-black women," after controlling for obstetrical conditions and socio-demographic factors, such as single marital status or a lack of health insurance. A separate study published in the New England Journal of Medicine reported similar rates of illicit drug consumption during pregnancy among both black and white women, but found that “black women were reported [to health authorities] at approximately 10 times the rate for white women.”
How many mothers have been accused of child neglect or abuse because of false positive drug test results? Nobody knows for sure. But no doubt some mothers have been penalized solely as a result of the test’s inherent fallibility – and many more are likely to face similar sanctions in the future. That’s because the practice of drug testing infants for cannabis exposure remains a relatively popular even though there exists limited, if any, evidence to justify it.
“No child-health expert would characterize recreational drug use during pregnancy as a good idea,” writes Time.com columnist Maia Szalavitz. “But it’s not at all clear that the benefits, if any, of newborn marijuana screening – particularly given how selectively the tests are administered – justify the potential harm it can cause to families.”
Richard Wexler, executive director of the National Coalition for Child Protection Reform agrees, telling Time.com that the emotional damage caused by removing an infant child from their mothers, as well as the risk of abuse inherent to foster care, far outweigh any risks to the child that may be caused by maternal marijuana use during pregnancy. 
In fact, the potential health effects of maternal marijuana use on infant birth weight and early development have been subject to scientific scrutiny for several decades. One of the earliest and most often cited studies on the topic comes from Dr. Melanie Dreher and colleagues, who assessed neonatal outcomes in Jamaica, where it is customary for many women to ingest cannabis, often in tea, during pregnancy to combat symptoms of morning sickness. Writing in the journal  Pediatrics in 1994, Dreher and colleagues reported no significant physical or psychological differences in newborns of heavy marijuana-using mothers at three days old, and found that exposed children performed better on a variety of physiological and autonomic tests than non-exposed children at 30 days. (This latter trend was suggested to have been a result of the socio-economic status of the mothers rather than a result of pre-natal pot exposure.)
Separate population studies have reported similar results. A 2002 survey of 12,060 British women reported, “[C]annabis use during pregnancy was unrelated to risk of perinatal death or need for special care.” Researchers added that “frequent or regular use” of cannabis throughout pregnancy may be associated with “small but statistically detectable decrements in birthweight.” However, the association between cannabis use and birthweight failed to be statistically significant after investigators adjusted for confounding factors such as the mothers’ age, pre-pregnancy weight, and the self-reported use of tobacco, alcohol, caffeine, and other illicit drugs.”

THIS STORY CONTINUES THRU THIS LINK….PLEASE CONTINUE READING

Why Are We Testing Newborns for Pot?

The science is alarmingly inconclusive, but the punishment for mothers is severe.

November 23, 2012  |  

Employees at US hospitals are testing more and more newborns for cannabis exposure. And, with alarming frequency, they are getting the wrong results. So say a pair of recent studies documenting the unreliability of infant drug testing.

 

 

In the most recent trial, published in the September edition of the Journal of Clinical Chemistry , investigators at the University of Utah School of Medicine evaluated the rate of unconfirmed "positive" immunoassay test results in infant and non-infant urine samples over a 52-week period. Shockingly, authors found that positive tests for carboxy THC, a byproduct of THC screened for in immunoassay urine tests, were 59 times less likely to be confirmed in infant urine specimens as compared to non-infant urine samples. Overall, 47 percent of the infant positive immunoassay urine samples evaluated did not test for the presence of carboxy THC when confirmatory assay measures were later performed.
Immunoassay testing – the standard technology used in workplace drug testing – relies on the use of antibodies (proteins that will react to a particular substance or a group of very similar substances) to document whether a specific reaction occurs. Therefore, a positive result on an immunoassay test presumes that a certain quantity of a particular substance may be present in the sample, but it does not actually identify the presence of the substance itself. A more specific chemical test, known as chromatography, must be performed in order to confirm any preliminary analytical test results. Samples that test positive on the presumptive immunoassay test, but then later test negative on the confirmatory test are known as false positives.
False positive test results for cannabis’ carboxy THC metabolite are relatively uncommon in adult specimens. Among newborns’ specimens, however, false positive results for alleged cannabis exposure are disturbingly prevalent.
In April, researchers at the University of North Carolina reported in the journal Clinical Biochemistry that various chemicals present in various baby wash products, such as Johnson’s Head-to-Toe Baby Wash and CVS Baby Wash, frequently cross-react with the immunoassay test to cause false positive results for carboxy THC.

“[The] addition of Head-to-Toe Baby Wash to drug-free urine produced a dose dependent measureable response in the THC immunoassay,” the investigators concluded . “Addition of other commercially available baby soaps gave similar results, and subsequent testing identified specific chemical surfactants that reacted with the THC immunoassay. … Given these consequences, it is important for laboratories and providers to be aware of this potential source for false positive screening results and to consider confirmation before initiating interventions.”

Following the publication of the UNC study, researchers at the University of Utah screened for the presence of baby soap contaminants in infant urine. Surprisingly, they didn’t find any . Rather, they concluded that the disproportionately high rate of false positive test results discovered among their samples were the result of a cross-reaction with some other yet-to-be determined constituent. They cautioned: “Until the compounds contributing to positive urine screen results in infants are identified, we encourage the use of alternative specimens for the detection and investigation of neonatal exposure to cannabinoids. Screen-positive cannabinoid results from infant samples should not be reported without confirmation or appropriate consultation, because they cannot currently be interpreted.”
Yet despite these warnings, in many instances, hospitals fail to confirm the results of presumptive drug tests prior to reporting them to state authorities. (Because confirmatory testing is more expensive the immunoassay testing, many hospitals neglect to send such presumptive positive urine samples to outside labs for follow-up analysis.) Ironically, such confirmatory tests are required for all hospital employees who test positive for illicit substances. But presently, no such guidelines stipulate that similar precautions be taken for newborns or pregnant mothers. Explains Lynn Paltrow, executive director of National Advocates for Pregnant Women : “NAPW has had calls from numerous parents who were subjected to intrusive, threatening, and counterproductive child welfare interventions based on false or innocent positive test results for marijuana. We have learned that pregnant patients receive fewer guarantees of accuracy than do job applicants at that same hospital.” 

Regardless of whether or not the drug screen results are confirmed, the sanctions for those subjects who test positive are often swift and severe. Typically, any report of alleged infant exposure to cannabis will trigger a host of serious consequences ranging from the involvement of social services to accusations of child endangerment or neglect. In some instances, mothers whose infants test positive for carboxy THC will lose temporary child custody rights and be mandated to attend a drug treatment program. In other instances they may be civilly prosecuted. At least 18 states address the issue of pregnant women’s drug use in their civil child neglect laws; in 12 states prenatal exposure to any illegal drug is defined by statute as civil child abuse. (One state, South Carolina, authorizes the criminal prosecution of mothers who are alleged to have consumed cannabis, or any other illicit substance, during pregnancy and carry their baby to term.) 
Of further concern is the reality that the hospital staff’s decision to drug test infants or pregnant mothers appears to be largely a subjective one. There are no national standards delineating specific criteria for the drug testing of pregnant women, new mothers, or their infants. In fact, the only federal government panel ever convened to advise on the practice urged against its adoption. As a result, race and class largely influence who is tested and who isn’t. A study published in the  Journal of Women’s Health reported that "black women and their newborns were 1.5 times more likely to be tested for illicit drugs as non-black women," after controlling for obstetrical conditions and socio-demographic factors, such as single marital status or a lack of health insurance. A separate study published in the New England Journal of Medicine reported similar rates of illicit drug consumption during pregnancy among both black and white women, but found that “black women were reported [to health authorities] at approximately 10 times the rate for white women.”
How many mothers have been accused of child neglect or abuse because of false positive drug test results? Nobody knows for sure. But no doubt some mothers have been penalized solely as a result of the test’s inherent fallibility – and many more are likely to face similar sanctions in the future. That’s because the practice of drug testing infants for cannabis exposure remains a relatively popular even though there exists limited, if any, evidence to justify it.
“No child-health expert would characterize recreational drug use during pregnancy as a good idea,” writes Time.com columnist Maia Szalavitz. “But it’s not at all clear that the benefits, if any, of newborn marijuana screening – particularly given how selectively the tests are administered – justify the potential harm it can cause to families.”
Richard Wexler, executive director of the National Coalition for Child Protection Reform agrees, telling Time.com that the emotional damage caused by removing an infant child from their mothers, as well as the risk of abuse inherent to foster care, far outweigh any risks to the child that may be caused by maternal marijuana use during pregnancy. 
In fact, the potential health effects of maternal marijuana use on infant birth weight and early development have been subject to scientific scrutiny for several decades. One of the earliest and most often cited studies on the topic comes from Dr. Melanie Dreher and colleagues, who assessed neonatal outcomes in Jamaica, where it is customary for many women to ingest cannabis, often in tea, during pregnancy to combat symptoms of morning sickness. Writing in the journal  Pediatrics in 1994, Dreher and colleagues reported no significant physical or psychological differences in newborns of heavy marijuana-using mothers at three days old, and found that exposed children performed better on a variety of physiological and autonomic tests than non-exposed children at 30 days. (This latter trend was suggested to have been a result of the socio-economic status of the mothers rather than a result of pre-natal pot exposure.)
Separate population studies have reported similar results. A 2002 survey of 12,060 British women reported, “[C]annabis use during pregnancy was unrelated to risk of perinatal death or need for special care.” Researchers added that “frequent or regular use” of cannabis throughout pregnancy may be associated with “small but statistically detectable decrements in birthweight.” However, the association between cannabis use and birthweight failed to be statistically significant after investigators adjusted for confounding factors such as the mothers’ age, pre-pregnancy weight, and the self-reported use of tobacco, alcohol, caffeine, and other illicit drugs.”

THIS STORY CONTINUES THRU THIS LINK….PLEASE CONTINUE READING

Ag commissioner: Sheriff’s support for industrial hemp a big boost to legalization efforts

Industrial hemp was widely grown in Kentucky until the late 19th century and was re-established briefly in the 1940s to make products for the military.

 

FRANKFORT, Ky. (Nov. 28, 2012) — Agriculture Commissioner James Comer applauded Christian County Sheriff Livy Leavell Jr. on Wednesday for supporting the production of industrial hemp in Kentucky during the annual conference of the Kentucky Association of Counties in Louisville.

RELATED: Kentucky Industrial Hemp Commission ramps up; receives $100,000 in donations

“Sheriff Leavell’s support is a big step for the industrial hemp initiative,” Comer said. “By having a high-ranking member of Kentucky’s law enforcement community on our side, we can more effectively break down any myths that are still attached to this potential crop. I am so grateful to all the local elected officials for their overwhelming support of this effort. Together, we will bring jobs to Kentucky and new opportunities to our farmers.”

Comer was joined in his remarks to KACo by Katie Moyer, chairperson of the Kentucky Hemp Coalition, and John Riley, a former magistrate from Spencer County. Moyer and Riley are members of the Kentucky Industrial Hemp Commission, which is chaired by Comer.

“I am so proud of my hometown sheriff,” Moyer said. “Sheriff Leavell made the effort to get the facts about industrial hemp — what it is, what it isn’t, and how it can benefit Kentucky’s economy.”

Comer told the assembled county judge/executives, magistrates, sheriffs and other county officials that legislation to allow Kentucky farmers to grow industrial hemp will be one of his top legislative priorities in 2013. The Kentucky Industrial Hemp Commission will meet again before the 2013 session of the Kentucky General Assembly to finalize legislation it hopes will pass during the session.

Industrial hemp would create manufacturing jobs in Kentucky, Comer said, and provide farmers with another crop that would help them continue to make a living on the farm. He said it is important for Kentucky to be first in the nation to establish an industrial hemp production and manufacturing industry.

The industrial hemp initiative also continues to make progress on the national level. Recently elected U.S. Rep. Thomas Massie of northern Kentucky on Tuesday became the 36th co-sponsor of federal legislation that would require the federal government to honor state laws allowing production of industrial hemp. U.S. Sen. Rand Paul of Bowling Green sponsored a companion bill in the U.S. Senate in August.

Industrial hemp was widely grown in Kentucky until the late 19th century and was re-established briefly in the 1940s to make products for the military. A Congressional Research Service study says hemp is contained in as many as 25,000 products in the global market including textiles, automotive applications, furniture, food products, paper, construction materials and personal care products.

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