Why do They feel the need to steal from us?

7976961615_e1457307a6_m

(Originally posted on Oct 14, 2017)

Any way that you look at it, none of it passes the “smell test”!

From Robert Weber of the Kentucky Legislative Research Commission came the following account of  a meeting of both the Interim Joint Committee on Health and Welfare and Family Services, and the Medicaid Oversight and Advisory Committee.  The title was,

“Lawmakers hear sobering account of opioid crisis”,

It went on to say that “At one Kentucky hospital, people are actually bringing in heroin and shooting up with patients.”

The following can be called my rendition of the opioid crisis in Kentucky, which would probably apply in most places, but I live here and can only truly state what I’ve seen and what my own experience has been.

I see this issue from all sides.  The side of the Lawmakers who are trying to control the horrible issue at hand as well as the side of the patient who needs opioid medication and the opioid abuser as well, as I have had close family members deal with this issue not the least of which was my youngest daughter.

In 2015 I wrote about HB 1 in Kentucky and how it affected patients who were cut off from their opioid medications that they had been used to getting on a regular basis with little or no warning and the position it put them into.  Some of them couldn’t pass the urine test required because of intermittent Cannabis use, some of them were cut off because of other opiates showing up in their urine tests, and a lot of them were disenfranchised by their doctors who just cut everyone off because of fear of the DEA.  They PASSED their drug tests and still were turned away.

I have talked to several M.D.’s about the situation and they all told me the same thing – they are afraid to prescribe even to patients who are obviously in need of medication for fear of the DEA and losing their license to practice.  IF there is any amount of opiate in your drug screen they will definitely not prescribe, period.  It just doesn’t matter if it is only a little “pot”.  One of them went so far as to say that they thought it was population control!  I agreed with them!  The degree of death from heroin, buprenorphine and other even stronger pharmaceuticals than the ones that everyone was worried about killing people to begin with has created a population culling/control.  Get rid of the addicts!

Now, imagine being a middle age person with chronic debilitating disease which causes pain, who has used marijuana for a very long time in order to keep from using too much opioid medication.  You go to your doctors appointment expecting to get your monthly prescription for 30 pain pills (not long-acting!),  so you can sleep at night and are requested to submit random urine test – which you fail, of course, because you smoked Cannabis for pain and severe anxiety – which leaves you out in the street – IF you have to have relief.  All I can say is thank God for Cannabis and the fact that it is a plant!  #PLANTSRIGHTS

Now imagine being 25-30 years old, maybe older, having debilitating pain from a health issue, which Doctor’s conveniently prescribed a sh*tload of opiates of all kinds for, (i.e., the cocktails)… Don’t forget the Oxycontin which was sold to us as a non-addictive narcotic!  You probably do not use much Cannabis because you know you may be randomly tested, and you NEED those drugs!  BUT, you can get by with using a “spice” product, or a little meth, or a little of something else as long as it gets out of your system before you have to go to the Pain Clinic again!  SOMEHOW you miscalculate and low and behold a positive urine screen comes back for “whatever” and you are kicked out in the cold with absolutely nothing after having been on all those opiates and benzo’s and whatever else they wrote the ten prescriptions for the last time you were there, AFTER they injected your spine with a poison concoction of unknown chemicals.

What are you going to do when your Doctor refuses to prescribe and you are conveniently addicted to all those medications which you can ONLY get from a Physician at a pain clinic?

DETOX on your own?  You got to work to pay the bills!  Rent doesn’t go away just because your Doctor did!  Now you have to find something, somewhere, that will keep you going no matter what, and your gonna need to work more because the cost of “your medicine” is going to eat up your paycheck.  And then a lot of the “drugs” disappear off of the street – practically all at once – because everybody lost their Doctors.  Now what?  Never fear, Heroin is here.

It is fucking human nature to find something to relieve pain.  Especially severe pain – ESPECIALLY if your already addicted to the opiates!  The Government made sure that everyone that was in “pain” was treated when they enacted the…

H.R. 756 (111th): National Pain Care Policy Act of 2009

Yeah, people are in pain.  In legitimate pain for a lot of reasons.  Years of abuse from employers, eating too much fast food which was sold to us by media marketing, abuse of alcohol and sugar and caffeine and tobacco.  Sedentary living in front of the TV.  Lack of exercise.  Bogus and unnecessary surgeries and medical mistakes and mishaps.  Veterans with service related injuries and mental issues.  The list goes on and on and on and EVERYONE is on this list somewhere.  They got us and they got our Children!  Hell, they even got our damn Dogs (tramadol)!  And then they gave the tramadol back to us!

Office of Drug Control Policy Executive Director Van Ingram testified that 1,404 Kentuckians died of a drug overdose last year.

In 2015 I posted this information which was attached to a link which is now defunct.  Imagine that.  At the time I did not print that information out and I haven’t had the time nor inclination to re-search it out again.  They effectively removed it from sight.  But it did exist and I think that it summarizes quite well how much the Kentucky Government felt about it’s opioid addicted Citizens.  Say what you will but I know there had to be a much better way to handle the situation!

One could theorize that the passage of HB50 which included a provision to “provide funding for the purchase and administration of naltrexone for extended-release injectable suspension”,   for Heroin overdoses was a calculated response to what they knew was going to happen when they discontinued “narcotics” at the Doctor’s office…more Heroin deaths.   Per the Interim Joint Committee on Judiciary on July 27, 2015…

Minutes of the 2nd Meeting of the 2015 Interim

July 27, 2015

The mandatory use of KASPER has resulted in three things: overall decreased prescribing of controlled substances, decreased inappropriate prescribing, and decreased “doctor shopping”. All three of these were goals of the bill, and all three have been successfully achieved. House Bill 217 was passed a year later, which cleaned up some parts of House Bill 1 and married the regulations to the statutory provisions. Representative Tilley asked members to note that those who are prescribing in high quantities are being monitored. Statistics have shown that since the passage of House Bill 1, heroin use increased. There has been an increase in heroin-related deaths.

Link:  http://www.lrc.ky.gov/LRCSiteSessionSearch/dtSearch/dtisapi6.dll?cmd=getdoc&DocId=752229&Index=E%3a\dtsearch_indexes\LRC_WebSite&HitCount=2&hits=11a+123+&SearchForm=

In what he described as a “rare bright spot, there were 70 million fewer dosage units of opioids prescribed last year in Kentucky than in 2011”. (That percentage doesn’t include buprenorphine, a semisynthetic opioid that is used to treat opioid addiction.) There are still about 300 million dosage units of opioids being prescribed in Kentucky.

Rep. Mary Lou Marzian, D-Louisville, asked how the state could fund the mental health, treatment and prevention programs needed.

The answer to Rep. Marzian’s question is that we won’t be funding mental health programs.  There is virtually no qualified Psychiatrist’s in the rural area’s of Kentucky and most of the people that they put in different “counseling services” to make it look like there is  mental health care are not qualified to handle the patients that they need to treat here.

But there are plenty of “methodone clinics”.

Kentucky doctors have new restrictions for prescribing Suboxone after efforts to curb pill mills created a new cash-for-pills market and a street trade for the drug designed to safely wean addicts from heroin.
LINK

subs

Kentucky All Schedule Prescription Electronic Reporting Quarterly Trend Report 2nd Quarter 2017

The end result of all of this is that people are and will continue to suffer in Kentucky whether they be patients or addicts, or families of those who are patients or addicts.  The reasons for this can be debated over and over but it comes down to money.  And, how to ignore those who do not have any money.

I, personally, am not a big fan of LEGALIZED medical marijuana, in and of itself.  I am surprised that Kentucky has not adopted that stance by now because when you “legalize” it, as a prescription medicine, you will open up all avenues for the prison industrial complex yet again.  It would be in their favor to “legalize” Marijuana for that reason – CONTROL.  However, the majority of Kentuckians have opted for “Medical Marijuana” and they have spoken loudly…

Let me say that I DO BELIEVE that their is room for regulated Cannabis in the Pharmaceutical market – BUT NOT at the expense of everyone’s rights to be able to grow this “medicinal” plant in our own backyard just as Oregano can be.  If the Government cannot do its job correctly and see that everyone is equally justified to use this plant as they see fit, then it should be immediately REPEALED from the CSA and any other Statute which may inflict harm upon a person for possessing, growing or using this plant!  Remove it from the Pharmacopeia and let the people do what they will with this plant.  We will learn to make our own medicine!

Another year has passed us by to no avail of Medical Cannabis in Kentucky.  Gov. Matt Bevin has made it clear what his intentions are at this time even though he had made “campaign promises” to many people to see that this issue was voted on favorably.  Yet we sit and wait.

What are we waiting for?  The Culling to end?

If it were my decision a low dose codeine, and a low dose hydrocodone would be available at the pharmacy, with no prescription, with restrictions on how often you could purchase.  Since we have all the new monitoring programs this shouldn’t be hard to accomplish.

A low dose benzodiazepine should be made available as well.

And Cannabis medicines should be commonly available just as they were before 1937.

I can promise you that you won’t see near the overdose deaths as you do now because people won’t be grabbing at heroin and methodone because they can’t get anything else.

Additionally, the Cannabis plant should be growing in everyone’s yard and it should be the first plant of choice for most everyday ailments – in addition to being a wonder drug to Cancer Patients and others with debilitating illnesses.   That is the beauty of Cannabis —  it can be utilized in so many different ways and help so many people.

God gave us all the plants and animals here on Planet Earth.

Why do they feel the need to steal them from us?

sk

RELATED:

KASPER Reports and Studies
The Pharmacies Thriving in Kentucky’s Opioid-Stricken Towns
Drug that was supposed to stem Kentucky’s heroin epidemic creates a whole new problem
House Bill 1 Information
When pot means no prescription for pain
Physicians’ legal duty to relieve suffering
Opioids and the Treatment of Chronic Pain: Controversies, Current Status, and Future Directions
A patient denied a same-day appointment at a pain-management clinic in Las Vegas shot and injured two employees Thursday before fatally shooting himself, police said.
DEA Inflicts Harm on Chronic Pain Patients
https://pharmacy.ky.gov/Pages/Links.aspx
https://kentuckymarijuanaparty.com/2015/09/14/a-summary-of-two-doctors/
http://www.lrc.ky.gov/lrc/ExecutiveTeam.htm
https://kentuckymarijuanaparty.com/2015/09/24/all-roads-in-kentucky-lead-you-through-hell/
https://app.box.com/s/hyd7xxdsbtbxqvgjdwvepvxx1qa12vbv
https://shereekrider.wordpress.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/

https://www.scribd.com/embeds/355207910/content?start_page=1&view_mode=scroll&access_key=key-u5FgJI9dW5qc0SFSjWdg&show_recommendations=true

Why do They feel the need to steal from us?

7976961615_e1457307a6_m

(Originally posted on Oct 14, 2017)

Any way that you look at it, none of it passes the “smell test”!

From Robert Weber of the Kentucky Legislative Research Commission came the following account of  a meeting of both the Interim Joint Committee on Health and Welfare and Family Services, and the Medicaid Oversight and Advisory Committee.  The title was,

“Lawmakers hear sobering account of opioid crisis”,

It went on to say that “At one Kentucky hospital, people are actually bringing in heroin and shooting up with patients.”

The following can be called my rendition of the opioid crisis in Kentucky, which would probably apply in most places, but I live here and can only truly state what I’ve seen and what my own experience has been.

I see this issue from all sides.  The side of the Lawmakers who are trying to control the horrible issue at hand as well as the side of the patient who needs opioid medication and the opioid abuser as well, as I have had close family members deal with this issue not the least of which was my youngest daughter.

In 2015 I wrote about HB 1 in Kentucky and how it affected patients who were cut off from their opioid medications that they had been used to getting on a regular basis with little or no warning and the position it put them into.  Some of them couldn’t pass the urine test required because of intermittent Cannabis use, some of them were cut off because of other opiates showing up in their urine tests, and a lot of them were disenfranchised by their doctors who just cut everyone off because of fear of the DEA.  They PASSED their drug tests and still were turned away.

I have talked to several M.D.’s about the situation and they all told me the same thing – they are afraid to prescribe even to patients who are obviously in need of medication for fear of the DEA and losing their license to practice.  IF there is any amount of opiate in your drug screen they will definitely not prescribe, period.  It just doesn’t matter if it is only a little “pot”.  One of them went so far as to say that they thought it was population control!  I agreed with them!  The degree of death from heroin, buprenorphine and other even stronger pharmaceuticals than the ones that everyone was worried about killing people to begin with has created a population culling/control.  Get rid of the addicts! 

Now, imagine being a middle age person with chronic debilitating disease which causes pain, who has used marijuana for a very long time in order to keep from using too much opioid medication.  You go to your doctors appointment expecting to get your monthly prescription for 30 pain pills (not long-acting!),  so you can sleep at night and are requested to submit random urine test – which you fail, of course, because you smoked Cannabis for pain and severe anxiety – which leaves you out in the street – IF you have to have relief.  All I can say is thank God for Cannabis and the fact that it is a plant!  #PLANTSRIGHTS  

Now imagine being 25-30 years old, maybe older, having debilitating pain from a health issue, which Doctor’s conveniently prescribed a sh*tload of opiates of all kinds for, (i.e., the cocktails)… Don’t forget the Oxycontin which was sold to us as a non-addictive narcotic!  You probably do not use much Cannabis because you know you may be randomly tested, and you NEED those drugs!  BUT, you can get by with using a “spice” product, or a little meth, or a little of something else as long as it gets out of your system before you have to go to the Pain Clinic again!  SOMEHOW you miscalculate and low and behold a positive urine screen comes back for “whatever” and you are kicked out in the cold with absolutely nothing after having been on all those opiates and benzo’s and whatever else they wrote the ten prescriptions for the last time you were there, AFTER they injected your spine with a poison concoction of unknown chemicals.

What are you going to do when your Doctor refuses to prescribe and you are conveniently addicted to all those medications which you can ONLY get from a Physician at a pain clinic?

DETOX on your own?  You got to work to pay the bills!  Rent doesn’t go away just because your Doctor did!  Now you have to find something, somewhere, that will keep you going no matter what, and your gonna need to work more because the cost of “your medicine” is going to eat up your paycheck.  And then a lot of the “drugs” disappear off of the street – practically all at once – because everybody lost their Doctors.  Now what?  Never fear, Heroin is here. 

It is fucking human nature to find something to relieve pain.  Especially severe pain – ESPECIALLY if your already addicted to the opiates!  The Government made sure that everyone that was in “pain” was treated when they enacted the…

H.R. 756 (111th): National Pain Care Policy Act of 2009

Yeah, people are in pain.  In legitimate pain for a lot of reasons.  Years of abuse from employers, eating too much fast food which was sold to us by media marketing, abuse of alcohol and sugar and caffeine and tobacco.  Sedentary living in front of the TV.  Lack of exercise.  Bogus and unnecessary surgeries and medical mistakes and mishaps.  Veterans with service related injuries and mental issues.  The list goes on and on and on and EVERYONE is on this list somewhere.  They got us and they got our Children!  Hell, they even got our damn Dogs (tramadol)!  And then they gave the tramadol back to us!

Office of Drug Control Policy Executive Director Van Ingram testified that 1,404 Kentuckians died of a drug overdose last year.

In 2015 I posted this information which was attached to a link which is now defunct.  Imagine that.  At the time I did not print that information out and I haven’t had the time nor inclination to re-search it out again.  They effectively removed it from sight.  But it did exist and I think that it summarizes quite well how much the Kentucky Government felt about it’s opioid addicted Citizens.  Say what you will but I know there had to be a much better way to handle the situation!

One could theorize that the passage of HB50 which included a provision to “provide funding for the purchase and administration of naltrexone for extended-release injectable suspension”,   for Heroin overdoses was a calculated response to what they knew was going to happen when they discontinued “narcotics” at the Doctor’s office…more Heroin deaths.   Per the Interim Joint Committee on Judiciary on July 27, 2015…

Minutes of the
2nd Meeting of the 2015 Interim

July 27, 2015

The mandatory use of KASPER has resulted in three things: overall decreased prescribing of controlled substances, decreased inappropriate prescribing, and decreased “doctor shopping”. All three of these were goals of the bill, and all three have been successfully achieved. House Bill 217 was passed a year later, which cleaned up some parts of House Bill 1 and married the regulations to the statutory provisions. Representative Tilley asked members to note that those who are prescribing in high quantities are being monitored. Statistics have shown that since the passage of House Bill 1, heroin use increased. There has been an increase in heroin-related deaths.

Link:  http://www.lrc.ky.gov/LRCSiteSessionSearch/dtSearch/dtisapi6.dll?cmd=getdoc&DocId=752229&Index=E%3a\dtsearch_indexes\LRC_WebSite&HitCount=2&hits=11a+123+&SearchForm=

In what he described as a “rare bright spot, there were 70 million fewer dosage units of opioids prescribed last year in Kentucky than in 2011”. (That percentage doesn’t include buprenorphine, a semisynthetic opioid that is used to treat opioid addiction.) There are still about 300 million dosage units of opioids being prescribed in Kentucky.

Rep. Mary Lou Marzian, D-Louisville, asked how the state could fund the mental health, treatment and prevention programs needed.

The answer to Rep. Marzian’s question is that we won’t be funding mental health programs.  There is virtually no qualified Psychiatrist’s in the rural area’s of Kentucky and most of the people that they put in different “counseling services” to make it look like there is  mental health care are not qualified to handle the patients that they need to treat here. 

But there are plenty of “methodone clinics”.

Kentucky doctors have new restrictions for prescribing Suboxone after efforts to curb pill mills created a new cash-for-pills market and a street trade for the drug designed to safely wean addicts from heroin.
LINK

subs

Kentucky All Schedule Prescription Electronic Reporting Quarterly Trend Report 2nd Quarter 2017

The end result of all of this is that people are and will continue to suffer in Kentucky whether they be patients or addicts, or families of those who are patients or addicts.  The reasons for this can be debated over and over but it comes down to money.  And, how to ignore those who do not have any money. 

I, personally, am not a big fan of LEGALIZED medical marijuana, in and of itself.  I am surprised that Kentucky has not adopted that stance by now because when you “legalize” it, as a prescription medicine, you will open up all avenues for the prison industrial complex yet again.  It would be in their favor to “legalize” Marijuana for that reason – CONTROL.  However, the majority of Kentuckians have opted for “Medical Marijuana” and they have spoken loudly…

Let me say that I DO BELIEVE that their is room for regulated Cannabis in the Pharmaceutical market – BUT NOT at the expense of everyone’s rights to be able to grow this “medicinal” plant in our own backyard just as Oregano can be.  If the Government cannot do its job correctly and see that everyone is equally justified to use this plant as they see fit, then it should be immediately REPEALED from the CSA and any other Statute which may inflict harm upon a person for possessing, growing or using this plant!  Remove it from the Pharmacopeia and let the people do what they will with this plant.  We will learn to make our own medicine!

Another year has passed us by to no avail of Medical Cannabis in Kentucky.  Gov. Matt Bevin has made it clear what his intentions are at this time even though he had made “campaign promises” to many people to see that this issue was voted on favorably.  Yet we sit and wait. 

What are we waiting for?  The Culling to end?

If it were my decision a low dose codeine, and a low dose hydrocodone would be available at the pharmacy, with no prescription, with restrictions on how often you could purchase.  Since we have all the new monitoring programs this shouldn’t be hard to accomplish.

A low dose benzodiazepine should be made available as well. 

And Cannabis medicines should be commonly available just as they were before 1937. 

I can promise you that you won’t see near the overdose deaths as you do now because people won’t be grabbing at heroin and methodone because they can’t get anything else.

Additionally, the Cannabis plant should be growing in everyone’s yard and it should be the first plant of choice for most everyday ailments – in addition to being a wonder drug to Cancer Patients and others with debilitating illnesses.   That is the beauty of Cannabis —  it can be utilized in so many different ways and help so many people.

God gave us all the plants and animals here on Planet Earth.

Why do they feel the need to steal them from us?

sk

RELATED:

KASPER Reports and Studies
The Pharmacies Thriving in Kentucky’s Opioid-Stricken Towns
Drug that was supposed to stem Kentucky’s heroin epidemic creates a whole new problem
House Bill 1 Information
When pot means no prescription for pain
Physicians’ legal duty to relieve suffering
Opioids and the Treatment of Chronic Pain: Controversies, Current Status, and Future Directions
A patient denied a same-day appointment at a pain-management clinic in Las Vegas shot and injured two employees Thursday before fatally shooting himself, police said.
DEA Inflicts Harm on Chronic Pain Patients
https://pharmacy.ky.gov/Pages/Links.aspx
https://kentuckymarijuanaparty.com/2015/09/14/a-summary-of-two-doctors/
http://www.lrc.ky.gov/lrc/ExecutiveTeam.htm
https://kentuckymarijuanaparty.com/2015/09/24/all-roads-in-kentucky-lead-you-through-hell/
https://app.box.com/s/hyd7xxdsbtbxqvgjdwvepvxx1qa12vbv
https://shereekrider.wordpress.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/

https://www.scribd.com/embeds/355207910/content?start_page=1&view_mode=scroll&access_key=key-u5FgJI9dW5qc0SFSjWdg&show_recommendations=true

(KY) Hemp shows potential for treating ovarian cancer

Researchers demonstrate hemp’s ability to slow cancer growth and uncover mechanism for its cancer-fighting ability

Experimental Biology 2018

IMAGE

Results from some of the first studies to examine hemp’s ability to fight cancer show that it might one day be useful as plant-based treatment for ovarian cancer. Hemp is part of the same cannabis family as marijuana but doesn’t have any psychoactive properties or cause addiction.

Sara Biela and Chase Turner, graduate students in the lab of Wasana Sumanasekera at Sullivan University College of Pharmacy in Kentucky, will present new findings tied to hemp’s anti-cancer properties at the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology annual meeting during the 2018 Experimental Biology meeting to be held April 21-25 in San Diego.

“Hemp, like marijuana, contains therapeutically valuable components such as cannabidiol, cannabinol, and tetrahydrocannabinol,” explained Biela. “However, unlike marijuana, hemp’s therapeutic ability has not been studied in detail.”

Two new studies examined the therapeutic potential of an extract known as KY-hemp, which is produced from hemp grown in Kentucky. The plant strain, growing conditions and processing techniques were all optimized to produce an extract containing substances with potential therapeutic benefit and to eliminate any residue that could contaminate the product.

In one study, the researchers found that adding various doses of KY-hemp extract to cultured ovarian cells led to significant dose-dependent slowing of cell migration. This finding indicated that the extract might be useful for stopping or slowing down metastasis — the spreading of cancer to other parts of the body.

In a second study, the researchers explored the biology of KY-hemp’s protective effects against ovarian cancer, which they had observed in previous studies. Experiments with cultured ovarian cancer cells showed that KY-hemp slowed the secretion of the interleukin IL-1 beta. Interleukins produce inflammation that can be damaging and has been linked to cancer progression. The hemp-induced slowing of IL-1 β secretion represents a possible biological mechanism responsible for KY-hemp’s anti-cancer effects.

“Our findings from this research as well as prior research show that KY hemp slows ovarian cancer comparable to or even better than the current ovarian cancer drug Cisplatin,” said Turner. “Since Cisplatin exhibits high toxicity, we anticipate that hemp would carry less side effects. However, that needed to be tested in the future.”

The researchers plan to test the extract in mice after they complete additional studies in cultured cancer cells to learn more about how it leads to cancer cell death.

CONTINUE READING…

###


Schumer to introduce bill to decriminalize marijuana

cannabis-sativa-plant-1404978607akl

By Sophie Tatum and Veronica Stracqualursi, CNN

Washington (CNN)   Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer plans to propose legislation decriminalizing marijuana on a federal level.

While Schumer, who was elected to the Senate two decades ago, has been supportive of medicinal marijuana, he has now “evolved” his thinking on recreational marijuana.

“The time has come to decriminalize marijuana,” the New York Democrat said in a statement Friday announcing his plans to introduce a new bill in the Senate.

“My thinking — as well as the general population’s views — on the issue has evolved, and so I believe there’s no better time than the present to get this done. It’s simply the right thing to do,” he said.

    Schumer announced the proposed legislation Thursday in an interview with “Vice News Tonight.”

    The senator told Vice News he had “seen too many people’s lives ruined because they had small amounts of marijuana and served time in jail much too long.”

    Trump promises GOP lawmaker to protect states’ marijuana rights

    Schumer further explained his decision in a Medium post Friday.

    “A staggering number of American citizens, a disproportionate number of whom are African American and Latino, continue to be arrested every day for something that most Americans agree should not be a crime,” Schumer wrote. “Meanwhile, those who are entering into the marijuana market in states that have legalized are set to make a fortune. This is not only misguided, but it undermines the basic principles of fairness and equal opportunity that are foundational to the American way of life.”

    According to Schumer’s office, under the new bill, marijuana would be removed from the list of substances classified under the Controlled Substances Act.

    Schumer’s legislation would leave in place decisions by states on how to regulate marijuana, the authority of federal law enforcement to penalize trafficking from states that have legalized the drug to those that have not, and federal regulation of marijuana advertising so children aren’t targeted.

    The bill also seeks to allocate funds for women and minority-owned marijuana businesses and public health research regarding the effects of THC, the main active chemical in marijuana.

    CNN’s Manu Raju contributed to this report.

    CONTINUE READING AND TO VIEW VIDEO…

    Schumer to introduce bill to decriminalize marijuana

    cannabis-sativa-plant-1404978607akl

    By Sophie Tatum and Veronica Stracqualursi, CNN

    Washington (CNN)   Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer plans to propose legislation decriminalizing marijuana on a federal level.

    While Schumer, who was elected to the Senate two decades ago, has been supportive of medicinal marijuana, he has now “evolved” his thinking on recreational marijuana.

    “The time has come to decriminalize marijuana,” the New York Democrat said in a statement Friday announcing his plans to introduce a new bill in the Senate.

    “My thinking — as well as the general population’s views — on the issue has evolved, and so I believe there’s no better time than the present to get this done. It’s simply the right thing to do,” he said.

      Schumer announced the proposed legislation Thursday in an interview with “Vice News Tonight.”

      The senator told Vice News he had “seen too many people’s lives ruined because they had small amounts of marijuana and served time in jail much too long.”

      Trump promises GOP lawmaker to protect states’ marijuana rights

      Schumer further explained his decision in a Medium post Friday.

      “A staggering number of American citizens, a disproportionate number of whom are African American and Latino, continue to be arrested every day for something that most Americans agree should not be a crime,” Schumer wrote. “Meanwhile, those who are entering into the marijuana market in states that have legalized are set to make a fortune. This is not only misguided, but it undermines the basic principles of fairness and equal opportunity that are foundational to the American way of life.”

      According to Schumer’s office, under the new bill, marijuana would be removed from the list of substances classified under the Controlled Substances Act.

      Schumer’s legislation would leave in place decisions by states on how to regulate marijuana, the authority of federal law enforcement to penalize trafficking from states that have legalized the drug to those that have not, and federal regulation of marijuana advertising so children aren’t targeted.

      The bill also seeks to allocate funds for women and minority-owned marijuana businesses and public health research regarding the effects of THC, the main active chemical in marijuana.

      CNN’s Manu Raju contributed to this report.

      CONTINUE READING AND TO VIEW VIDEO…

      Norton to Introduce Legislation to Permit Medical Marijuana Use in Public Housing,

      Norton to Introduce Legislation to Permit Medical Marijuana Use in Public Housing, Speak at National Cannabis Festival, Saturday

      Apr 20, 2018

      Press Release

      Norton to Speak at National Cannabis Festival, Saturday

      WASHINGTON, D.C.—Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) today announced that she will both introduce a bill and file an amendment to the House fiscal year 2019 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development appropriations bill to permit the use of medical marijuana in states where it is legal in federally-assisted housing, including public housing and the Section 8 housing program.  Norton also will speak at the third annual National Cannabis Festival tomorrow, Saturday, April 21, 2018, at RFK Stadium Festival Grounds (2400 East Capitol Street SE).

      The Congresswoman said that while she strongly supports nationwide legalization of marijuana, she is focusing on medical marijuana as a first step in light of growing bipartisan congressional support for local medical marijuana policies.  For the last several years, Congress has prohibited the Department of Justice from using federal funds to prevent jurisdictions from implementing their medical marijuana laws, but has never agreed to a similar provision for recreational marijuana.  The use of marijuana for medical purposes is currently legal in 29 states and the District of Columbia.  Norton thanked advocates from DCMJ for bringing to her the idea for the legislation.

      “Individuals living in federally funded public housing who are prescribed legal, medical marijuana should not fear eviction for simply treating their medical conditions,” Norton said.  “Our legislation should attract bipartisan support because it also protects states’ rights.  Over 90 percent of Americans support legalized medical marijuana.  Congress needs to catch up with its own constituents and protect individuals who live where medical marijuana is legal, but who still have no way to use it because they live in federally funded housing.”

      Under current law, the users of drugs illegal under federal law, including medical marijuana, are prohibited from being admitted to federally assisted housing.  Federal law allows landlords to evict current residents based on drug use.  Under Norton’s stand-alone bill, a person may not be denied federally assisted housing, for the use of medical marijuana in jurisdictions where medical marijuana has been legalized.  Under the amendment, no fiscal year 2019 federal funds may be used to carry out any law, rule or regulation that denies federally assisted housing to a person for the use of medical marijuana in jurisdictions where medical marijuana has been legalized.

      ###

      CONTINUE READING…

      Norton to Introduce Legislation to Permit Medical Marijuana Use in Public Housing,

      Norton to Introduce Legislation to Permit Medical Marijuana Use in Public Housing, Speak at National Cannabis Festival, Saturday

      Apr 20, 2018

      Press Release

      Norton to Speak at National Cannabis Festival, Saturday

      WASHINGTON, D.C.—Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) today announced that she will both introduce a bill and file an amendment to the House fiscal year 2019 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development appropriations bill to permit the use of medical marijuana in states where it is legal in federally-assisted housing, including public housing and the Section 8 housing program.  Norton also will speak at the third annual National Cannabis Festival tomorrow, Saturday, April 21, 2018, at RFK Stadium Festival Grounds (2400 East Capitol Street SE).

      The Congresswoman said that while she strongly supports nationwide legalization of marijuana, she is focusing on medical marijuana as a first step in light of growing bipartisan congressional support for local medical marijuana policies.  For the last several years, Congress has prohibited the Department of Justice from using federal funds to prevent jurisdictions from implementing their medical marijuana laws, but has never agreed to a similar provision for recreational marijuana.  The use of marijuana for medical purposes is currently legal in 29 states and the District of Columbia.  Norton thanked advocates from DCMJ for bringing to her the idea for the legislation.

      “Individuals living in federally funded public housing who are prescribed legal, medical marijuana should not fear eviction for simply treating their medical conditions,” Norton said.  “Our legislation should attract bipartisan support because it also protects states’ rights.  Over 90 percent of Americans support legalized medical marijuana.  Congress needs to catch up with its own constituents and protect individuals who live where medical marijuana is legal, but who still have no way to use it because they live in federally funded housing.”

      Under current law, the users of drugs illegal under federal law, including medical marijuana, are prohibited from being admitted to federally assisted housing.  Federal law allows landlords to evict current residents based on drug use.  Under Norton’s stand-alone bill, a person may not be denied federally assisted housing, for the use of medical marijuana in jurisdictions where medical marijuana has been legalized.  Under the amendment, no fiscal year 2019 federal funds may be used to carry out any law, rule or regulation that denies federally assisted housing to a person for the use of medical marijuana in jurisdictions where medical marijuana has been legalized.

      ###

      CONTINUE READING…

      Marijuana’s effects on young brains diminish 72 hours after use, research says

      By Mark Lieber, CNN

      Updated 11:17 AM ET, Wed April 18, 2018

      (CNN)Marijuana is notorious for slowing certain cognitive functions such as learning, memory and attention span (maybe that’s why they call it “dope”?). But new research in young people suggests that these cognitive effects, while significant, may not persist for very long, even among chronic users.

      The meta-analysis, published Wednesday in the journal JAMA Psychiatry, combines data from 69 previous studies that look at the effects of heavy cannabis use on cognitive functioning in adolescents and young adults. It found that those young people who identified as heavy marijuana users scored significantly lower than non-users in a variety of cognitive domains such as learning, abstraction, speed of processing, delayed memory, inhibition and attention.

      “There have been a couple of meta-analyses done in adult samples, but this is the first one to be done specifically in adolescent and young adult samples,” said Cobb Scott, assistant professor of psychiatry at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania and a lead author of the study.

        “We looked at everything from learning and memory to different aspects of executive functioning such as abstraction ability,” Scott said. “And we basically showed that the largest effects — which was around a third of a standard deviation — was in the learning of new information and some aspects of executive functioning, memory and speed of processing.”

        Weed users found to have poorer verbal memory in middle age

        Weed users found to have poorer verbal memory in middle age

        But when the researchers separated the studies based on length of abstinence from marijuana use, the difference in cognitive functioning between marijuana users and non-users was no longer apparent after 72 hours of marijuana abstinence. That could be an indication “that some of the effects found in previous studies may be due to the residual effects of cannabis or potentially from withdrawal effects in heavy cannabis users,” Scott said.

        The study comes as America continues to debate the merits of marijuana legalization. Recreational marijuana use is legal in nine states. Twenty-nine states and the District of Columbia have legalized some form of medical marijuana use, with at least three additional states potentially deciding on the issue in the upcoming November election, according to Melissa Moore, New York deputy state director for the nonprofit Drug Policy Alliance.

        Studies on the long-term cognitive effects of marijuana use among adolescents and young adults have shown inconsistent results. A 2008 study reported that frequent or early-onset cannabis use among adolescents was associated with poorer cognitive performance in tasks requiring executive functioning, attention and episodic memory.

        A 2014 study also warned against the use of marijuana during adolescence, when certain parts of the brain responsible for executive functioning — such as the prefrontal cortex — are still developing.

        “There have been very important studies showing evidence for irreversible damage (from marijuana use), and so there needs to be more research in this area,” said Kevin Sabet, assistant adjunct professor at the Yale School of Medicine and president of the nonprofit Smart Approaches to Marijuana, who was not involved in the new study.

        “I hope they’re right. We want there to be little effect after 72 hours. But given the other studies that have had very large sample sizes that have been published over the past five years in prominent journals, I think we need to look into that more,” added Sabet, whose group is focused on the harms of marijuana legalization.


        Marijuana legalization could help offset opioid epidemic, studies find

        But a number of recent studies have also shown that the association between marijuana use and reduced cognitive functioning disappears after controlling for factors such as psychiatric illness and substance use disorders, according to Scott.

        In an attempt to make sense of these discordant results, the new research combined data from 69 previous studies, resulting in a comparison of 2,152 frequent marijuana users with 6,575 non-users. Participants ranged in age from 10 to 50, with an average age of 21.

        The researchers found that, overall, the cognitive functioning of frequent marijuana users was reduced by one-third of a standard deviation compared with non-frequent marijuana users — a relatively small effect size, according to Scott.

        “It surprised, I think, all of us doing this analysis that the effects were not bigger than we found,” Scott said. “But I would say that the clinical significance of a quarter of a standard deviation is somewhat questionable.”

        But according to Sabet, even a relatively small effect size could be important, especially in a large meta-analysis such as this one.

        “The small effect size may be meaningful in a large population, and again, all (cognitive) measures are worse for those using marijuana,” Sabet said.

        “The study is pretty bad news for marijuana users,” he added. “Overall, I think this is consistent with the literature that marijuana use shows worse cognitive outcomes among users versus non-users.”

        In an effort to identify other potential factors that could have affected the relationship between marijuana use and cognition, the researchers also separated the studies based on the length of marijuana abstinence, age of first cannabis use, sociodemographic characteristics and clinical characteristics such as depression.

        Of these, only the length of marijuana abstinence was found to significantly affect the association between chronic marijuana use and reduced cognitive functioning. Specifically, cognitive functioning appeared to return to normal after about 72 hours of marijuana abstinence — a threshold identified in previous studies, according to Scott.

        “The reason we chose the 72-hour mark is that in looking at the data on cannabis withdrawal effects in heavy cannabis users, 72 hours seems to be past the peak of most withdrawal effects that occur,” he said.

        Marijuana legalization by the numbers

        However, the 69 studies included in the review did not have a uniform definition for “chronic” or “frequent” marijuana use, one of the study’s main limitations, according to Sabet.

        “When you put all of these studies together that have different definitions of marijuana users and are from different times, it’s not surprising that you’d get a smaller effect size,” Sabet said.

        The studies also relied on a variety
        of tests to determine cognitive functioning, including the Trail Making Test, the Digital Span Memory Test and the California Verbal Learning test, according to Scott.

        “The other thing that’s important to highlight is that we’re only looking at cognitive functioning. We’re not looking at risks for other adverse outcomes with cannabis use, like risk for psychosis, risks for cannabis use problems or other medical issues like lung functioning outcomes,” Scott said.

        See the latest news and share your comments with CNN Health on Facebook and Twitter.

        But the results still suggest that the negative cognitive effects of marijuana use, while significant in the short-term, probably diminish with time. They also shed light on the need for more research in this area, particularly as cannabis policy in the United States continues to change at a rapid pace.

        “As attitudes change about cannabis use and cannabis use becomes a little bit more accepted in terms of policy and government regulation and medical cannabis use increases, I think we need to have a real understanding of the potential risks and benefits of cannabis use,” Scott said.

        CONTINUE READING…

        420 bringing massive marijuana party to Denver for nation’s largest public light up

        420 means big money: $1.1 billion in pot sales expected

        Author: Trevor Hughes, USA TODAY

        Published: 2:01 PM EDT

        DENVER — Marijuana stores across the country are expected to sell more than $1 billion worth of cannabis as pot enthusiasts celebrate the annual “420” holiday by lighting up in public across America.

        April 20 has long been a day filled with civil disobedience by marijuana users, who gather in public to light up at 4:20 p.m. The phrase “420” is a code for marijuana users, who work it into dating profiles or post it on signs to show their shared interest.

        While it used to be a celebration held with a certain level of furtiveness, the rapidly expanding legalization of cannabis means more and more Americans no longer face significant, if any, punishment for smoking pot.

        More: Pot lore: The true story of 420, a marijuana tradition, told by the stoners who invented it

        “It’s holiday season for cannabis retailers right now,” said Ryan Smith, the CEO of cannabis sales platform LeafLink. “Last year was the biggest day ever. This year will be the biggest day ever. And next year will be even bigger than this year.”

        Tens of thousands of people are expected to gather in Denver for what’s considered the world’s largest 420 celebration, filling hotel rooms and packing restaurants during what would otherwise be a quiet time of the year. In advance of the actual event, dozens of companies are offering tours and arranging visits to commercial growing operations, aimed at tourists who fly in to partake in state-legal weed.

        Denver’s Mile High 420 Festival this year features performances by Lil Wayne and Lil Jon, along with dozens of food trucks.

        “To us, this is a cultural celebration for a year in a life of cannabis,” said Kyle Speidell, the CEO of The Green Solution, a chain of 16 marijuana stores in Colorado. “It gives everybody the opportunity to unify at a time when we’re really ostracized as an industry.”

        Speidell’s stores are sponsoring a separate cannabis festival in Denver over the 420 holiday. Called 420 on the Block, it’s a three-day music-centered festival featuring Action Bronson and Matisyahu that expects to draw up to 15,000 people.

        Every year, April 20 is the single-biggest sales day, and the days leading up to it are a combination of Thanksgiving, Christmas and Black Friday rolled into one. Since Colorado became the first state to legalize recreational marijuana in January 2014, participation has risen nationally. Now, nine states and the District of Columbia permit recreational marijuana use, and 30 states permit some form of medical use.

        LeafLink predicts retailers will sell about $1.17 billion worth of cannabis products for this year’s 420 celebrations, and sales are common. In Denver, Terrapin Care Station, for instance, is offering 1 gram joints for just $5— half off the usual price.

        LeafLink’s analysis also shows a consistent shift away from loose “flower” marijuana and into branded products. When marijuana stores first opened, buyers flocked to purchase pieces of marijuana flowers, which they smoke. But there’s been a significant shift toward pre-packaged joints and, particularly, branded marijuana-infused foods like chocolate or candy.

        A large reason for the shift toward products known as “edibles” has been driven by laws banning public marijuana consumption, although those are widely ignored during Denver’s 420 celebration at Civic Center Park, when the mass light up leaves a heavy cloud of pot smoke hanging over the crowd. Edibles are also far easier to travel with, especially for cannabis tourists willing to risk smuggling them back home.

        At My 420 Tours in Denver, most slots for the company’s upcoming party bus trips are already sold out for the end of the week even through they’ve tripled the number of offerings, said company spokeswoman Cynthia Ord. Tour participants first visit a dispensary to buy marijuana, and then consume it on the bus before visiting grow houses.

        “People are both wide-eyed and bleary-eyed at the same time,” she said with a laugh. “It can get pretty emotional for people.”

        Ord said about 90% of the company’s customers are out-of-state tourists, largely from Texas and other southern states. The company also offers 420-friendly hotel rooms for people visiting during the celebration, but all 70 are sold out, she said. She said the company hasn’t seen much of a change since California began legal sales on Jan. 1.

        “Business is as strong as ever,” Ord added.

        The service Weedmaps, a Yelp for marijuana stores, sees its traffic triple on April 20 each year, with peak time coming from 8-10 a.m. as users “wake and bake,” according to the company. Search traffic normally peaks in the evening, she said.

        The Colorado State Patrol is planning enhanced patrols around the 420 events; troopers have written more than 3,000 marijuana-related driving citations since 2014, the agency said.

        Mason Tvert, who led Colorado’s legalization initiative, said marijuana consumers are no different than drinkers who can attend beer festivals and wine tastings: “Adults are able to go out and openly consume alcohol all the time, but 4/20 is the one day of the year that many feel comfortable being open about their cannabis use.”

        CONTINUE READING…

        Marijuana's effects on young brains diminish 72 hours after use, research says

        By Mark Lieber, CNN

        Updated 11:17 AM ET, Wed April 18, 2018

        (CNN)Marijuana is notorious for slowing certain cognitive functions such as learning, memory and attention span (maybe that’s why they call it “dope”?). But new research in young people suggests that these cognitive effects, while significant, may not persist for very long, even among chronic users.

        The meta-analysis, published Wednesday in the journal JAMA Psychiatry, combines data from 69 previous studies that look at the effects of heavy cannabis use on cognitive functioning in adolescents and young adults. It found that those young people who identified as heavy marijuana users scored significantly lower than non-users in a variety of cognitive domains such as learning, abstraction, speed of processing, delayed memory, inhibition and attention.

        “There have been a couple of meta-analyses done in adult samples, but this is the first one to be done specifically in adolescent and young adult samples,” said Cobb Scott, assistant professor of psychiatry at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania and a lead author of the study.

          “We looked at everything from learning and memory to different aspects of executive functioning such as abstraction ability,” Scott said. “And we basically showed that the largest effects — which was around a third of a standard deviation — was in the learning of new information and some aspects of executive functioning, memory and speed of processing.”

          Weed users found to have poorer verbal memory in middle age

          Weed users found to have poorer verbal memory in middle age

          But when the researchers separated the studies based on length of abstinence from marijuana use, the difference in cognitive functioning between marijuana users and non-users was no longer apparent after 72 hours of marijuana abstinence. That could be an indication “that some of the effects found in previous studies may be due to the residual effects of cannabis or potentially from withdrawal effects in heavy cannabis users,” Scott said.

          The study comes as America continues to debate the merits of marijuana legalization. Recreational marijuana use is legal in nine states. Twenty-nine states and the District of Columbia have legalized some form of medical marijuana use, with at least three additional states potentially deciding on the issue in the upcoming November election, according to Melissa Moore, New York deputy state director for the nonprofit Drug Policy Alliance.

          Studies on the long-term cognitive effects of marijuana use among adolescents and young adults have shown inconsistent results. A 2008 study reported that frequent or early-onset cannabis use among adolescents was associated with poorer cognitive performance in tasks requiring executive functioning, attention and episodic memory.

          A 2014 study also warned against the use of marijuana during adolescence, when certain parts of the brain responsible for executive functioning — such as the prefrontal cortex — are still developing.

          “There have been very important studies showing evidence for irreversible damage (from marijuana use), and so there needs to be more research in this area,” said Kevin Sabet, assistant adjunct professor at the Yale School of Medicine and president of the nonprofit Smart Approaches to Marijuana, who was not involved in the new study.

          “I hope they’re right. We want there to be little effect after 72 hours. But given the other studies that have had very large sample sizes that have been published over the past five years in prominent journals, I think we need to look into that more,” added Sabet, whose group is focused on the harms of marijuana legalization.


          Marijuana legalization could help offset opioid epidemic, studies find

          But a number of recent studies have also shown that the association between marijuana use and reduced cognitive functioning disappears after controlling for factors such as psychiatric illness and substance use disorders, according to Scott.

          In an attempt to make sense of these discordant results, the new research combined data from 69 previous studies, resulting in a comparison of 2,152 frequent marijuana users with 6,575 non-users. Participants ranged in age from 10 to 50, with an average age of 21.

          The researchers found that, overall, the cognitive functioning of frequent marijuana users was reduced by one-third of a standard deviation compared with non-frequent marijuana users — a relatively small effect size, according to Scott.

          “It surprised, I think, all of us doing this analysis that the effects were not bigger than we found,” Scott said. “But I would say that the clinical significance of a quarter of a standard deviation is somewhat questionable.”

          But according to Sabet, even a relatively small effect size could be important, especially in a large meta-analysis such as this one.

          “The small effect size may be meaningful in a large population, and again, all (cognitive) measures are worse for those using marijuana,” Sabet said.

          “The study is pretty bad news for marijuana users,” he added. “Overall, I think this is consistent with the literature that marijuana use shows worse cognitive outcomes among users versus non-users.”

          In an effort to identify other potential factors that could have affected the relationship between marijuana use and cognition, the researchers also separated the studies based on the length of marijuana abstinence, age of first cannabis use, sociodemographic characteristics and clinical characteristics such as depression.

          Of these, only the length of marijuana abstinence was found to significantly affect the association between chronic marijuana use and reduced cognitive functioning. Specifically, cognitive functioning appeared to return to normal after about 72 hours of marijuana abstinence — a threshold identified in previous studies, according to Scott.

          “The reason we chose the 72-hour mark is that in looking at the data on cannabis withdrawal effects in heavy cannabis users, 72 hours seems to be past the peak of most withdrawal effects that occur,” he said.

          Marijuana legalization by the numbers

          However, the 69 studies included in the review did not have a uniform definition for “chronic” or “frequent” marijuana use, one of the study’s main limitations, according to Sabet.

          “When you put all of these studies together that have different definitions of marijuana users and are from different times, it’s not surprising that you’d get a smaller effect size,” Sabet said.

          The studies also relied on a variety
          of tests to determine cognitive functioning, including the Trail Making Test, the Digital Span Memory Test and the California Verbal Learning test, according to Scott.

          “The other thing that’s important to highlight is that we’re only looking at cognitive functioning. We’re not looking at risks for other adverse outcomes with cannabis use, like risk for psychosis, risks for cannabis use problems or other medical issues like lung functioning outcomes,” Scott said.

          See the latest news and share your comments with CNN Health on Facebook and Twitter.

          But the results still suggest that the negative cognitive effects of marijuana use, while significant in the short-term, probably diminish with time. They also shed light on the need for more research in this area, particularly as cannabis policy in the United States continues to change at a rapid pace.

          “As attitudes change about cannabis use and cannabis use becomes a little bit more accepted in terms of policy and government regulation and medical cannabis use increases, I think we need to have a real understanding of the potential risks and benefits of cannabis use,” Scott said.

          CONTINUE READING…