Large moonshine operation busted in Louisville

Large moonshine operation busted in Louisville


LMPD investigators said they visited the location on an unrelated investigation. That’s when they noticed the stills and called Louisville Metro’s Alcoholic Beverage Control.

Turns out, ABC officers had been watching the alleged operation since June, waiting for the right time to make a move.

Tuesday, they said they went in with a warrant and found an operation that was making up to 200 gallons of moonshine a week. Some of it was ready for sale, some was still being made.

The owner of the place, 56-year-old Sherman Owen, was charged with three different offenses, including intent to sell.

Investigators also said Owen runs Artisan Resources, a company that, according to its website, provides advice to distilling companies and design distilling products.

The sting also included State ABC and LMPD’s 6th Division.

The last time a moonshine operation was discovered by ABC in Louisville was at Derby City Spirits in 2015.

When reached by phone, Owen said he did not want to comment.

CONTINUE READING…

(KY) Medical marijuana supporters pitch lawmakers

http://www.lrc.ky.gov/pubinfo/Photo/nemes082418.jpg

The photo features Rep. Jason Nemes, R-Louisville, presenting proposed legislation on medical marijuana alongside Rep. Diane St. Onge, R-Fort Wright.

For Immediate Release

Aug. 24, 2018

Medical marijuana supporters pitch lawmakers

FRANKFORT – Whether legalizing medical marijuana is the right prescription for Kentucky was pondered today by a state legislative panel.

“I know medical cannabis can help some folks,” said Rep. Jason Nemes, R-Louisville, while testifying before the Interim Joint Committee on Licensing, Occupations & Administrative Regulations. “I say that as someone who has never done any illegal drug. I say that as someone who tries to follow every law, even speeding limits. I would break the law willingly if it would help myself, my wife or my children.

“And if I would do it, it ought not to be illegal for our neighbors.”

He testified alongside Rep. Diane St. Onge, R-Fort Wright, on proposed legislation to legalize medical marijuana. The two stressed that they strongly opposed any legislation that might lead to the legalization of recreational marijuana.

St. Onge said the proposal would not specify what ailments would be legal to treat with marijuana.

“We are not doctors,” she said, “and we feel it is best left to our physicians to recommend in their confidential patient-doctor relationship what they feel might help alleviate some of the pain or some of the symptoms. Marijuana is not a cure that we know of to date. It is used for palliative effects. We believe that is best left to our physicians.”

Senate Majority Floor Leader Damon Thayer, R-Georgetown, applauded the fact Nemes and St. Onge said the proposal wasn’t an effort to raise money for the general fund as others have proposed.

“I think advocates for medicinal marijuana need to stop saying this is going to solve our pension problems,” Thayer said. “It is a false promise. We don’t tax pharmaceuticals in this state so why, if we passed medicinal marijuana, would we tax it? It is unfair.”

Thayer said he was against a provision in the proposal that would allow people to grow their own medical marijuana. He expressed skepticism that regulators could prevent homegrown marijuana from being diverted for illegal use.

St. Onge said she now supports a home-grow provision because it accommodates low-income residents unable to afford marijuana dispensaries or rural residents in counties with no dispensaries. St. Onge said the provision would also further discourage the illegal growing and selling of marijuana to medical patients.

Nemes said medical marijuana would be regulated by a new state agency called the Department of Cannabis Administration. He said any violations of the provisions of the proposed medical marijuana law would be a criminal offense.

“It will be their job to make sure the doctors are doing what they need to do and not overprescribing,” Nemes said. “We don’t want any marijuana mills like we have had pill mills.”

Registered users couldn’t smoke medical marijuana in public places, Nemes said. He added that landlords could also prohibit home growing of medical marijuana.

The proposal would discourage medical marijuana “vacationing” by restricting the sale of cannabis to out-of-state residents. Nemes said the proposed legislation is about helping the chronically and critically ill.

“I understand there is opposition to this,’ Nemes said. “ There is good-faith opposition to this. There is legitimate opposition to this. I was against this concept when I ran for office. I respect those who disagree with me today.”

Interim Committee Co-Chair Rep. Adam Koenig, R-Erlanger, asked if employers could fire employees for testing positive for marijuana use.

St. Onge said employers couldn’t discriminate against job applicants approved by a doctor to use medical marijuana. She said the employer could prohibit the use of medical marijuana on their premises. Nemes added that employers could also prohibit employees operating heavy machinery from using marijuana.

Rep. Al Gentry, D-Louisville, said he supported medical marijuana but asked about the legal liability of employing people using medical marijuana. Nemes said the proposal included suggestions from the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce designed to shield employers from those employees’ actions.

Rep. Kimberly Poor Moser, R-Taylor Mill, asked what it would cost to establish and operate the Department of Cannabis Administration. Nemes said it would be paid for by a licensing fee on medical marijuana businesses. The proposal calls for the fee to be set at a percent of the gross receipts for each business.

Rep. Susan Westrom, D-Lexington, said legalizing some form of marijuana has been a perennial issue during the nearly two decades she has been in the state legislature. She said that has given her an abundant amount of time to study the issue including visiting California and Colorado dispensaries and the doctors prescribing marijuana instead of opioids.

“I didn’t realize the science had become so perfected that you really could treat specific diagnoses,” Westrom said. “There is something very positive about medical marijuana. I think there are a lot of people here who could benefit from this. I just wish we could have some oncologists who could come in and discuss this.”

Senate Majority Caucus Chair Dan “Malano” Seum, R-Fairdale, said he has had several doctors tell him they wished they could recommend marijuana as another tool to treat patients. He added that there was at least one oncologist nurse in the audience.

“I am a cancer survivor,” Seum said. “I’ll tell you point-blank if you get nausea after cancer surgery … you will be smoking a joint from here to that damn wall if it would take that damn nausea away from you – and I did just that.” 

Rep. C. Wesley Morgan, R-Richmond, said he supported the proposal even though he will not be returning for the next session of the General Assembly to vote.

“I will tell you over the last 50 years we have probably spent $40 trillion trying to enforce the drug laws,” he said, “and frankly, we have not succeeded. And that’s a fact.”

Sen. John Schickel, R-Union, who chaired the meeting, said opponents of legalizing medical marijuana in Kentucky are scheduled to testify at the interim committee’s next meeting on Sept 14.

— END —

“We are asking the Council to adopt a Lowest Law Enforcement Priority for cannabis possession in Jefferson County”

Image may contain: people sitting and indoor

RE: LOUISVILLE METRO COUNCIL AND MARIJUANA                 ENFORCEMENT.

Dan Seum

3 hrs ·

We will be addressing Metro Council this evening at 6:00.

 We are asking the Council to adopt a Lowest Law Enforcement Priority for cannabis possession in Jefferson County.

No more arrests Or citations for simple cannabis possession!

We have support in the council and we need the support of those who are skeptical….Please attend this meeting, and subsequent meetings, to show support for the Ordinance…Below is the written speech that I will use to plea for the ordinance…

Let’s Fill the room!

My name is Dan Seum, Jr.

I represent the majority of Kentucky and Jefferson County Citizens who believe cannabis should be legalized for medicinal and responsible adult use.

Polls throughout Kentucky have proven that the majority of our voting public support cannabis legalization. A most recent poll conducted by WHAS in Jefferson County reported over 85% approve of legalization to help with Kentucky’s pension crisis.

The enforcement of marijuana possession laws needlessly ensnares thousands of our otherwise law-abiding citizens into the criminal justice system and wastes millions of Kentucky taxpayers’ dollars that could be better invested in our communities. What’s more, it is carried out with staggering racial bias. Despite being a priority for police departments nationwide, the War on Marijuana has failed to reduce marijuana use and availability. In any given year Kentucky ranks #1,2, or 3 in marijuana production as well as exports.

All wars are expensive, and the War on Marijuana has been no different. Not only has our state and local governments blown millions that could have been otherwise invested, the personal cost to those arrested is often significant and can linger for years. When people are arrested for possessing even tiny amounts of marijuana, it can have dire collateral consequences that affect their eligibility for public housing and student financial aid, employment opportunities, and child custody determinations.

According to the ACLU’s original analysis, marijuana arrests now account for over half of all drug arrests in the United States. Nationwide, the arrest data revealed one consistent trend: significant racial bias. Despite roughly equal usage rates, Blacks are 4 times more likely than whites to be arrested for marijuana. Most people arrested cannot afford a $500 bond levied upon them and are forced to remain in jail until a formal hearing, which is another tremendous cost to the taxpayer.

There were 678 marijuana arrests in Jefferson County in 2016. That’s more than cocaine, meth and heroin combined. That doesn’t seem like a lot for Jefferson County but it doesn’t tell the whole picture. Even if the police just issue you a citation you still have a record and that record may follow you around for a long time. Defendants are forced into drug classes, which can be costly. There is subsequent drug testing, which is amazingly counterproductive as it incentivizes people to use spice, or opiates that are not detected as long.

Frankfort has failed to advance cannabis legislation year after year. We are asking that Our Metro Council adopt an ordinance making cannabis possession the Lowest Law Enforcement Priority of the Louisville Metro Police Department. We believe your unified voice of approval will send a message to our mayor and to Frankfort. Please lead us as we are determined to end the war on medical and responsible cannabis consumers.

SOURCE LINK

legalize-marijuana-leaf-red-white-blue-flag-300x300BELOW IS THE ORDINANCE AS WRITTEN:

LOWEST LAW ENFORCEMENT PRIORITY ORDINANCE FOR CANNABIS POSSESSION

We the people of Louisville ordain that investigations, citations, arrests, property seizures, and prosecutions for cannabis possession, cultivation or use in the Louisville metro area are the lowest law enforcement priority of the Louisville Metro Police Department. The Louisville Metro Council shall transmit notification of the enactment of this initiative to the state and federal elected officials who represent the city of Louisville, the Governor of Kentucky, The President of the United States of America and The Secretary General of the United Nations.

Findings:

(a) Current federal and state policies needlessly harm the citizens of Louisville. Numerous bills have been filed to remove criminal penalties for cannabis possession in the state legislature over the last five years and the Commonwealth has failed to act.

(b) The Institute of Medicine has found that cannabis has medicinal value and is not a gateway drug. Evidence shows cannabis is actually an exit drug from alcohol and opiate addiction.

(c) Cannabis is incorrectly scheduled and should be removed from federal scheduling.

(d) Louisville should determine its cannabis policies locally and Metro Council would prefer to move away from incarceration. We believe a regulated market that allows adult possession and medical use for minors under a doctor’s care should replace the current failed policies.

(e) Louisville Metro Council believes that current state laws punish medical patients unfairly and fail to reflect the reality of responsible adult use.

(f) Louisville Metro Council believes sufficient evidence exists to conclude cannabis prohibition, especially through drug testing, creates a bias toward alcohol and more dangerous drugs. This bias has exacerbated prescription drug abuse and is casual to the creation/use of synthetic marijuana.

(g) Law enforcement resources would be better spent fighting serious and violent crimes.

(h) Decades of arresting millions of cannabis users have failed to control cannabis use or reduce its availability. Metro Council believes that a regulated market would be more effective than the current black market at limiting youth access.

(i) Cannabis prohibition disproportionately affects low income and minority communities.

Definitions:

For the purposes of this chapter, the following words and phrases shall have the meanings respectively ascribed to them by this section:

a) “Adult” means an individual who is 18 years of age or older.

(b) ”
Louisville Metro law enforcement officer” means a member of the Louisville Metro Police Department or any other city agency or department that engages in law enforcement activity.

(c) “Lowest law enforcement priority” means a priority such that all law enforcement activities related to all offenses other than adult, personal-use cannabis offenses shall be a higher priority than all law enforcement activities related to cannabis offenses, where the cannabis was intended for adult personal use, other than the exceptions designated in this chapter.

(d) “Cannabis” means all parts of the cannabis plant, whether growing or not; the seeds thereof; the resin extracted from any part of the plant; and every compound, manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture, or preparation of the plant, its seeds, or its resin.

Directives:

(a) Louisville Metro law enforcement officers shall make law enforcement activity relating to cannabis offenses, where the cannabis was intended for adult personal use, their lowest law enforcement priority. Law enforcement activities relating to cannabis offenses include, but are not limited to, investigation, citation, arrest, seizure of property, or providing assistance to the prosecution of adult cannabis offenses.

(b) This lowest law enforcement priority policy shall not apply to use of cannabis on public property or driving under the influence.

(c) This lowest law enforcement priority policy shall apply to cooperating with state or federal agents to arrest, cite, investigate, prosecute, or seize property from adults for cannabis offenses included in the lowest law enforcement priority policy.

(d) Louisville Metro law enforcement officers shall not accept or renew formal deputation or commissioning by a federal law enforcement agency if such deputation or commissioning will include investigating, citing, arresting, or seizing property from adults for cannabis offenses included in the lowest law enforcement priority policy.

(e) Louisville shall not accept any federal funding that would be used to investigate, cite, arrest, prosecute, or seize property from adults for cannabis offenses included in the lowest law enforcement priority policy. This shall not prevent Louisville from receiving any federal funding not used for purposes contrary to this chapter.

Oversight:

(a) The Louisville Metro Council shall ensure the timely implementation of this chapter by:

(1) Designing, with consultation with the Louisville Metro Police Department, a supplemental report form for Louisville Metro law enforcement officers to use to report all adult cannabis arrests, citations, and property seizures and all instances of officers assisting in state or federal arrests, citations, and property seizures for any adult cannabis offenses. The supplemental report form shall be designed with the goal of allowing the Metro Council to ascertain whether the lowest law enforcement priority policy was followed;

(2) Receiving grievances from individuals who believe they were subjected to law enforcement activity contrary to the lowest law enforcement priority policy;

(3) Requesting additional information from any Louisville Metro law enforcement officer who engaged in law enforcement activity relating to one or more cannabis offenses under circumstances which appear to violate the lowest law enforcement priority policy. An officer’s decision not to provide additional information shall not be grounds for discipline; and

(4) Reporting semi-annually on the implementation of this chapter, with the first report being issued nine months after the enactment of this chapter. These reports shall include but not necessarily be limited to: the number of all arrests, citations, property seizures, and prosecutions for cannabis offenses in Louisville; the breakdown of all cannabis arrests and citations by race, age, specific charge, and classification as infraction, misdemeanor, or felony; any instances of law enforcement activity that the Metro Council believes violated the lowest law enforcement priority policy; and the estimated time and money spent by the city on law enforcement and punishment for adult cannabis offenses. These reports shall be made with the cooperation of the County District Attorney’s Office, the Louisville Metro Police Department, and any other Louisville law enforcement agencies in providing needed data.

(b) Louisville law enforcement officers shall submit to the Metro Council a supplemental report within seven calendar days after each adult cannabis arrest, citation, or property seizure or instance of assisting in a state or federal arrest, citation, or property seizure for any adult cannabis offense in Metro Louisville.

Notifications:

Beginning three months after the enactment of this chapter, the city clerk shall execute a mandatory and ministerial duty of sending letters on an annual basis to the Louisville’s U.S. Representative, both of Louisville’s U.S. Senators, Louisville’s Senators and Representative members in the Kentucky State Legislature, the Governor of Kentucky, the President of the United States and the UN Secretary-General. This letter shall state, “The citizens of Louisville, Kentucky have passed an initiative to de-prioritize adult cannabis offenses, where the cannabis is intended for personal adult use or medical use by minors under a doctor’s care, and we request that State, Federal and International governments take immediate steps to enact similar laws.” This duty shall be carried out until state, federal and international laws are changed accordingly.

Enforceability; Severability:

All sections of this chapter are mandatory. A violation of this chapter is not a criminal offense.

If any provision of this chapter or the application thereof to any person or circumstance is held invalid, the remainder of the chapter and the application of such provisions to other persons or circumstances shall not be affected thereby.

Received from Tom Rector Jr.

ADDITIONALLY:

Tom Rector Jr.

Yesterday at 3:18 PM ·

I applaud the the city for taking this step in diverting low-level drug offenses to treatment instead of jail. Our “no arrests for cannabis” ordinance we introduced fits perfectly with this harm reduction strategy. Louisville citizens who possess cannabis don’t need treatment unless other drugs are involved.

I’m feeling really good about getting our cannabis ordinance passed, so come and support us tomorrow night Thursday at 6 p.m. 601 West Jefferson at the Louisville Metro Council meeting. We have three great speakers:

Dan Seum
Matthew Bratcher
Sean Vandevander

Join me and support these folks. Le
t’s get Kentucky’s two largest cities, Louisville and Lexington, to stop arresting people for cannabis BEFORE the 2019 KGA session!

youtube.com

Access Louisville: LEAD pilot program @LMPD @voamid @louisvillemayor @JeffCoAttyKY

What is LEAD? LEAD is an is an innovative…

Today, the Senate named their representatives to the House/Senate conference committee for the 2018 Farm Bill

Today, the Senate named their representatives to the House/Senate conference committee for the 2018 Farm Bill.  Here’s the full list of House and Senate conferees.

In a rare move, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell named himself to the conference committee – meaning he will be in the room when the permanent fate of hemp is decided.

As a reminder, the Senate’s version of the Farm Bill contains the Hemp Farming Act, sponsored by Leader McConnell and co-sponsored by a bi-partisan coalition of more than two-dozen Senators, including Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer.  The House version is silent on hemp.

The House/Senate conference committee will resolve the differences between the two bills – and McConnell will be twisting arms to ensure the Senate hemp language prevails.

He needs our help.

You can help ensure hemp is permanently legalized.

We’ve re-formatted our online portal to empower you to help get hemp across the finish line.  Input your zip code, and our portal will determine whether your Congressman and/or Senators serve on the conference committee.  If so, with a few keystrokes, you can send them a personalized email urging them to support the Hemp Farming Act language.  The portal will also enable you to send a message to your Members of Congress who don’t serve on the conference committee to urge them to reach out to their colleagues that do.

In just a few minutes, you can make a real difference.  Please link to our portal below and have your say NOW.  And please share this message and this call to action with your friends, colleagues, customers, and social media contacts today.

Our grassroots army helped kill the misguided Grassley Amendment a few weeks ago.  Now, together, we can extinguish Hemp Prohibition.  Forever.

Anita Maddux, 50, was charged with a felony for possessing a 10-milliliter sample bottle of cannabidiol (CBD)

One woman faces charges for hemp-derived cannabidiol oil despite its recent presence in local grocers

JACKSON HOLE, WY – A woman driving through Jackson, Wyoming, on her way to Montana left with a life-changing souvenir. On July 8, Anita Maddux, 50, was charged with a felony for possessing a 10-milliliter sample bottle of cannabidiol (CBD) oil from Cid’s, a Taos, New Mexico, health food store. Now Maddux could face up to five years in prison and a $10,000 fine pending an August hearing.

Independent of that incident, local and state law enforcement showed up to Lucky’s Market and Jackson Whole Grocer two weeks later to inform those stores that CBD products were illegal to sell if they contained any amount of THC, the psychoactive component of cannabis. Both stores have since removed those products from their shelves.

Most CBD oil sold in stores like Lucky’s and JWG purport to contain .3 percent (or less) THC, an amount that does not have mind-altering effects as outlined in the 2014 federal Farm Bill. Third party lab analysis obtained by Planet Jackson Hole shows that Maddux’s CBD oil was under that threshold at .06 total THC.

Indeed, as other states loosen cannabis laws and federal lawmakers sponsor legislation to do the same, Wyoming remains a dubious place to possess a hemp-derived product with even trace amounts of THC. It is a felony offense in Wyoming to sell, buy or possess more than .03 grams of CBD oil that contains any amount of THC. However, manufacturers maintain that if their product contains traces of up to .3 percent it is perfectly legal, sowing confusion for state residents and retailers.

At Cid’s, Maddux worked as an herbalist in the health and wellness department where she received a sample shipment of CBD oil from Functional Remedies. The Colorado company’s CBD oil was on the shelves at Lucky’s Market in Jackson when she was arrested.

Lucky’s did not return several requests for comment nor did Functional Remedies.

CBD is a non-psychoactive compound found in cannabis plants with a slew of reported health benefits. The Food and Drug Administration just approved it to treat epilepsy in the form of the new drug Epidiolex. (Wyoming does allow people with intractable epilepsy to use CBD oil under the care of a licensed neurologist.)

Cannabidiol may also treat everything from Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s to depression, anxiety, inflammation and pain, according to the World Health Organization. The WHO’s Expert Committee on Drug Dependence also recently said CBD does not have abuse or dependence potential.

It seems more of CBD’s potential health benefits are emerging by the day. According to a study published July 30, mice with pancreatic cancer that were treated with CBD and chemotherapy lived three times longer than mice treated with chemotherapy alone.

For her part, Maddux was using the oil for chronic back pain—she has a missing disc between her L1 and L2 vertebrae. CBD oil, she said, had brought her some relief, though she took it only sporadically.

Before her drive from New Mexico to Montana to care for her mother who has stage four colon cancer, Maddux placed the sample bottle in her bag and didn’t give it another thought.

Classification and Confusion

Despite the WHO’s recent findings, in the United States, CBD is a Schedule 1 drug under the Controlled Substances Act, meaning the federal government does not recognize its medicinal uses and considers it to have a high likelihood for abuse.

That classification hasn’t stopped its proliferation.

CBD oil has fueled a multimillion dollar industry online and at health food stores across the country. In September 2017, the retail giant Target was the first mega-chain to dip its toes into the cannabidiol waters. It wasn’t a pioneer for long, though. It pulled the products from its online shelves after just a few weeks. One month later, Lucky’s made the leap, becoming the first chain natural grocer to carry CBD products.

So why are mom and pop health stores and some chain retailers carrying the products if they are illegal?

For one thing, the federal Drug Enforcement Administration hasn’t been shy about its indifference.

“While CBD currently is still Schedule 1, with our limited resources marijuana has not been our highest priority,” Barbara Carreno, a spokesperson for the DEA, told Planet Jackson Hole. “It is not a priority like opioids or synthetics which are killing people.”

What’s more, Carreno said everything could change when the DEA schedules Epidiolex for medical use on September 24. A plant or botanical could have both uses that are legal and safe and uses that are not, Carreno said. As an example, she pointed to the opium poppy: “you get heroin and oxycodone from that.”

Marijuana, meanwhile, “is a plant with many extracts, THC is one and CBD is another,” she said. “CBD has a small amount of THC but it is very, very low.”

But the overarching reason manufacturers are producing and selling these products en masse is because of the 2014 Farm Bill. That bill legalized the production of hemp under state pilot programs as long as those hemp products contain less than .3 percent THC.

Under the Farm Bill, 40 states have legalized hemp programs including Wyoming. Its program is slated to begin in 2019. That confuses matters because as Wyoming works to implement a hemp cultivation program, it is still illegal to sell or possess hemp products in the state if they contain THC.

The federal program has some legal experts arguing Maddux wasn’t in the wrong. “As long as hemp was grown as part of a state pilot program (like Maddux’s Functional Remedies CBD oil) then it is federally legal,” said Jonathan Miller, general counsel to the U.S. Hemp Roundtable. That means Maddux “is allowed to take it across state lines,” he said.

Miller said Maddux’s case is the first he has heard of someone being charged for carrying a vial of CBD oil. In fact, from his experience, in cases where people have been arrested for possession of both marijuana and CBD the “CBD was thrown out.”

Wyoming cannabis law, Miller continued, is confusing. “It is quite unfortunate law enforcement would take that confusing law and charge someone for having a product that has virtually no THC and which the World Health Organization has classified as harmless,” he said. “I would hope law enforcement was focusing instead on drugs that kill people.”

On the national stage, Congress is moving in a direction that would remove hemp (cannabis containing less than .3 percent THC) from its classification as a Schedule I controlled substance. Sen. Mitch McConnell–R, Kentucky, is leading that charge with the 2018 Hemp Farming Act. It handily passed in the Senate 86-11 on June 28.

Wyoming, though, is fond of bucking national trends, especially when it comes to cannabis. The state has a tight grip on cannabis laws even as public opinion swings drastically in the other direction.

For example, more than 80 percent of Wyomingites say they want to see the legalization of medicinal marijuana and 60 percent oppose jailing people for marijuana offenses, according to a 2016 survey by the University of Wyoming Survey and Analysis Center.

Jackson Whole Grocer herbalist Heather Olson agrees with those sentiments. She also believes in CBD’s long list of supposed health benefits and was unhappy to remove products from the shelves. But Olson said there is a problem with certain companies. She said officials from Wyoming’s Division of Criminal Investigation told her some of the products they tested carried higher levels of THC than what was indicated on the label.

But Wyoming’s crime lab—where DCI tests substances—cannot actually test for specific amounts of THC.

The Un-wild West

Local law enforcement has been in contact with Wyoming’s
Division of Criminal Investigation since fall 2017 when Lucky’s and Jackson Whole Grocer began carrying CBD oil. Jackson Chief of Police Todd Smith “reached out to us and asked us for some help because these products were being sold,” said Ronnie Jones of DCI. “Then we discovered this was going on across the state.”

Since then, Jones said DCI has been visiting retail stores and conducting investigations to confirm whether those CBD products contain THC.

Local law enforcement says as long as state law dictates it, they will enforce CBD’s prohibition. “I am duty-bound to uphold those laws,” Teton County Sheriff Jim Whalen said. “Clearly, if we were to talk philosophy, I might talk differently,” he added.

Whalen did not seem convinced Maddux’s felony charge would stick. He suspected it would be pleaded down and pointed to his department’s lenient proclivities. “In terms of misdemeanors, we would prefer to write a citation and send people on their way, which is different than many municipalities.”

Law enforcement is indeed “duty-bound” by laws set forth by the Wyoming Legislature. But cannabis advocates, like Laramie attorney and Wyoming House Minority Whip Charles Pelkey–D, Laramie, point to the state’s law enforcement as a barrier to softening cannabis laws.

Wyoming Rep. Stan Blake–D, Green River, “has introduced bills to make CBD oil readily available but we have gotten opposition from the Wyoming Association of Sheriffs and Chiefs of Police that any THC is a violation of the law,” Pelkey said.

It is true that sheriff and police associations throughout the country have pushed back against cannabis laws. Some point to Colorado’s rising crime rates since the state legalized recreational marijuana in 2014, though it is unclear if the two are related. Police Chief Smith said the notion that sheriffs and chiefs could hold that type of sway in the Legislature is absurd. “Law enforcement inherits the law from the Legislature,” he said. “We may get to testify our professional opinion but for any legislator to blame it on us is a cop out.”

I Fought the Law…

Maddux, meanwhile, is biding her time in Montana, caring for her ailing mother and going to job interviews. She does not dispute the reason why she was initially pulled over, which had nothing to do with CBD oil.

On Sunday, July 8, Teton County Sheriff’s Deputy Jesse Wilcox noticed her expired California license plate and pulled Maddux over. She was also driving without insurance and an expired license. Maddux said she has led a simple life and didn’t have the money to address those issues before hitting the road. “My plan was to just get to Montana, to be with my family and take care of everything there,” she said.

According to the probable cause affidavit, Wilcox asked Maddux if she could pay an $850 fine for the tickets or appear in court on July 31. The affidavit stated Maddux said she could do neither. She didn’t think her brutal honesty would land her in jail, Maddux said. “I have never been pulled over before. So I thought the best thing to do was just to be honest about my situation.” Indeed, a July 30 background check on Maddux showed she has had no prior run-ins with the law.

After he deemed her “a flight risk” because she could not pay the fines and was likely to not appear in court, Wilcox arrested Maddux.

At Teton County jail, personnel found her CBD oil and used a NIK test to determine the presence of THC. NIK tests are “rudimentary,” as Smith put it, however. They only confirm the mere presence of THC, not the actual amount. The oil, then, was sent to Wyoming’s crime lab for “analysis” and Maddux sat in jail for roughly 36 hours. She was released on a $1,000-dollar bond.

Life has already changed for Maddux. To help pay for an attorney, she sold her car for $550 and is now relying on the generosity of friends to make ends meet. Maddux worries the volunteer and service work that has become a large part of her identity will no longer be an option if she is convicted of a felony. She worked as a disaster relief volunteer in Haiti after its 2010 earthquake and in the Philippines after its 2013 typhoon.

She also volunteered as a yoga instructor teaching yoga to inmates in Oregon prisons. Maddux’s experience in Jackson has her wondering about some of those inmates and their predicaments. That is to say, had she lacked the resources and life experience to question what happened and obtain a lawyer, she could have slipped through the cracks of the legal system, she said.

While local law enforcement seems confident that a felony will not stick on her record, Maddux said in the meantime she agonizes about her August 16 hearing. Her life “has been thrown into upheaval.”

CONTINUE READING…

Legal cannabis must be option for pain sufferers, panelists say

He didn’t like the black market, so he cultivated at his home. He was arrested and received five years of probation.

HENDERSON – Advocates for medicinal marijuana said Tuesday the time is now to push for statewide legalization.

They said research is clear that cannabis helps those suffering from a variety of painful conditions, yet, the word marijuana is still taboo for many in society.

Jaime Montalvo deals daily with multiple sclerosis. After being diagnosed, the Louisville man discovered that cannabis improved his quality of life far more than anything else he’d tried.

He didn’t like the black market, so he cultivated at his home. He was arrested and received five years of probation.

“I lost custody of my son for six months, not for cultivation, but for testing positive,” Montalvo said. “So that’s what’s motivated me for the last six years or so, to change the laws and give people safe access to cannabis.”

Montalvo is a cannabis educator and director of KY4MM (Kentuckians for Medicinal Marijuana). He and others who took part in a panel discussion at Henderson Community College were preaching to the choir; most of the 50 or so in attendance seemed sympathetic to legalization.

The challenge, speakers said, is convincing state legislators.

Lawmakers in Kentucky and Indiana have legalized hemp oil, also known as CBD oil. But speakers said the positive impact of that is very small compared to what legal medicinal marijuana could do.

“You’re just really scratching the surface” with CBD oil, said Ashly Taylor, a Lexington native who is now a cannabis industry entrepreneur living in Colorado. “We’re looking to get legalization so we can help more people.”

Taylor, who used to work in the pharmaceutical industry, explained at Tuesday’s forum what a legalized marijuana industry would look like.

She said in a regulated market, all cannabis grown comes from state-licensed, taxpaying cultivation facilities, monitored from seed to sale.

All plants are tagged and entered into a state regulated tracking system.

They are processed at a state-licensed product manufacturing facility, with OSHA guidelines enforced and a staffed human resources department.

The product would pass testing from a state-licensed facility before being distributed for legal consumption.

“All of the things you see with other big industry, you’re going to see here,” Taylor said.

Legal medicinal marijuana “is not that new of a thing,” Taylor noted. It’s been legalized or decriminalized in a long list of countries, from Canada to Australia and many European countries.

It is legal in 30 states, and Taylor cited a shift in public opinion on the subject: 64 percent favorability according to one Gallup poll. She said those who support legalization show varied political bent.

Sympathy for legalization has reached local elected officials in Henderson. The City Commission recently passed a resolution stating support for medicinal marijuana.

Henderson City Commissioner Brad Staton said he and his colleagues were moved by testimony from many city residents, including a veteran with post-traumatic stress disorder who spoke about suicidal thoughts and depression.

“I didn’t think there was any way we would even take a vote much less pass it,” Staton said. “But we said we have people in the state of Kentucky who are suffering, and we can do something about it.” The vote was 5-0.

Forum speakers said cannabis helps with appetite and sleep, in addition to pain relief. They said the addiction potency is comparable to sugar.

A pharmacist in the audience asked the panelists about studies showing negative effects of long-time marijuana usage, and concerns about children’s usage.

Panelists said marijuana already is pervasive in the culture. Montalvo cited a study showing that in Kentucky, about 40 percent of teens have used marijuana.

“We need to decrease that,” he said. “In my opinion the way to decrease it is regulate the product and keep it out of the hands of children. Right now everybody is prohibited, but it’s still everywhere.”

Taylor said Kentucky authorities in 2016 seized and destroyed more than 560,000 plants, placing the state in the nation’s top five.

Kentucky that year spent $56.8 million for marijuana eradication.

“If we can take the money we save and do something better with it, it seems like a win-win to me,” Taylor said.

Grace Henderson would agree. The Henderson resident, an organizer of Tuesday’s forum, suffers from a list of chronic conditions, such as Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome and Chron’s disease.

She’s on a list of medications which she said interact and cause other health problems.

Medical cannabis, she said, needs to be a option for people like her who, at times, struggle to simply get out of bed.

“We need a safe, viable alternative that does not kill people,” Henderson said. “And this is it.”

CONTINUE READING…

More: City of Henderson backs medical cannabis resolution

More: Henderson woman tells how cannabis brings relief

Anita Maddux, 50, was charged with a felony for possessing a 10-milliliter sample bottle of cannabidiol (CBD)

One woman faces charges for hemp-derived cannabidiol oil despite its recent presence in local grocers

JACKSON HOLE, WY – A woman driving through Jackson, Wyoming, on her way to Montana left with a life-changing souvenir. On July 8, Anita Maddux, 50, was charged with a felony for possessing a 10-milliliter sample bottle of cannabidiol (CBD) oil from Cid’s, a Taos, New Mexico, health food store. Now Maddux could face up to five years in prison and a $10,000 fine pending an August hearing.

Independent of that incident, local and state law enforcement showed up to Lucky’s Market and Jackson Whole Grocer two weeks later to inform those stores that CBD products were illegal to sell if they contained any amount of THC, the psychoactive component of cannabis. Both stores have since removed those products from their shelves.

Most CBD oil sold in stores like Lucky’s and JWG purport to contain .3 percent (or less) THC, an amount that does not have mind-altering effects as outlined in the 2014 federal Farm Bill. Third party lab analysis obtained by Planet Jackson Hole shows that Maddux’s CBD oil was under that threshold at .06 total THC.

Indeed, as other states loosen cannabis laws and federal lawmakers sponsor legislation to do the same, Wyoming remains a dubious place to possess a hemp-derived product with even trace amounts of THC. It is a felony offense in Wyoming to sell, buy or possess more than .03 grams of CBD oil that contains any amount of THC. However, manufacturers maintain that if their product contains traces of up to .3 percent it is perfectly legal, sowing confusion for state residents and retailers.

At Cid’s, Maddux worked as an herbalist in the health and wellness department where she received a sample shipment of CBD oil from Functional Remedies. The Colorado company’s CBD oil was on the shelves at Lucky’s Market in Jackson when she was arrested.

Lucky’s did not return several requests for comment nor did Functional Remedies.

CBD is a non-psychoactive compound found in cannabis plants with a slew of reported health benefits. The Food and Drug Administration just approved it to treat epilepsy in the form of the new drug Epidiolex. (Wyoming does allow people with intractable epilepsy to use CBD oil under the care of a licensed neurologist.)

Cannabidiol may also treat everything from Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s to depression, anxiety, inflammation and pain, according to the World Health Organization. The WHO’s Expert Committee on Drug Dependence also recently said CBD does not have abuse or dependence potential.

It seems more of CBD’s potential health benefits are emerging by the day. According to a study published July 30, mice with pancreatic cancer that were treated with CBD and chemotherapy lived three times longer than mice treated with chemotherapy alone.

For her part, Maddux was using the oil for chronic back pain—she has a missing disc between her L1 and L2 vertebrae. CBD oil, she said, had brought her some relief, though she took it only sporadically.

Before her drive from New Mexico to Montana to care for her mother who has stage four colon cancer, Maddux placed the sample bottle in her bag and didn’t give it another thought.

Classification and Confusion

Despite the WHO’s recent findings, in the United States, CBD is a Schedule 1 drug under the Controlled Substances Act, meaning the federal government does not recognize its medicinal uses and considers it to have a high likelihood for abuse.

That classification hasn’t stopped its proliferation.

CBD oil has fueled a multimillion dollar industry online and at health food stores across the country. In September 2017, the retail giant Target was the first mega-chain to dip its toes into the cannabidiol waters. It wasn’t a pioneer for long, though. It pulled the products from its online shelves after just a few weeks. One month later, Lucky’s made the leap, becoming the first chain natural grocer to carry CBD products.

So why are mom and pop health stores and some chain retailers carrying the products if they are illegal?

For one thing, the federal Drug Enforcement Administration hasn’t been shy about its indifference.

“While CBD currently is still Schedule 1, with our limited resources marijuana has not been our highest priority,” Barbara Carreno, a spokesperson for the DEA, told Planet Jackson Hole. “It is not a priority like opioids or synthetics which are killing people.”

What’s more, Carreno said everything could change when the DEA schedules Epidiolex for medical use on September 24. A plant or botanical could have both uses that are legal and safe and uses that are not, Carreno said. As an example, she pointed to the opium poppy: “you get heroin and oxycodone from that.”

Marijuana, meanwhile, “is a plant with many extracts, THC is one and CBD is another,” she said. “CBD has a small amount of THC but it is very, very low.”

But the overarching reason manufacturers are producing and selling these products en masse is because of the 2014 Farm Bill. That bill legalized the production of hemp under state pilot programs as long as those hemp products contain less than .3 percent THC.

Under the Farm Bill, 40 states have legalized hemp programs including Wyoming. Its program is slated to begin in 2019. That confuses matters because as Wyoming works to implement a hemp cultivation program, it is still illegal to sell or possess hemp products in the state if they contain THC.

The federal program has some legal experts arguing Maddux wasn’t in the wrong. “As long as hemp was grown as part of a state pilot program (like Maddux’s Functional Remedies CBD oil) then it is federally legal,” said Jonathan Miller, general counsel to the U.S. Hemp Roundtable. That means Maddux “is allowed to take it across state lines,” he said.

Miller said Maddux’s case is the first he has heard of someone being charged for carrying a vial of CBD oil. In fact, from his experience, in cases where people have been arrested for possession of both marijuana and CBD the “CBD was thrown out.”

Wyoming cannabis law, Miller continued, is confusing. “It is quite unfortunate law enforcement would take that confusing law and charge someone for having a product that has virtually no THC and which the World Health Organization has classified as harmless,” he said. “I would hope law enforcement was focusing instead on drugs that kill people.”

On the national stage, Congress is moving in a direction that would remove hemp (cannabis containing less than .3 percent THC) from its classification as a Schedule I controlled substance. Sen. Mitch McConnell–R, Kentucky, is leading that charge with the 2018 Hemp Farming Act. It handily passed in the Senate 86-11 on June 28.

Wyoming, though, is fond of bucking national trends, especially when it comes to cannabis. The state has a tight grip on cannabis laws even as public opinion swings drastically in the other direction.

For example, more than 80 percent of Wyomingites say they want to see the legalization of medicinal marijuana and 60 percent oppose jailing people for marijuana offenses, according to a 2016 survey by the University of Wyoming Survey and Analysis Center.

Jackson Whole Grocer herbalist Heather Olson agrees with those sentiments. She also believes in CBD’s long list of supposed health benefits and was unhappy to remove products from the shelves. But Olson said there is a problem with certain companies. She said officials from Wyoming’s Division of Criminal Investigation told her some of the products they tested carried higher levels of THC than what was indicated on the label.

But Wyoming’s crime lab—where DCI tests substances—cannot actually test for specific amounts of THC.

The Un-wild West

Local law enforcement has been in contact with Wyoming’s
Division of Criminal Investigation since fall 2017 when Lucky’s and Jackson Whole Grocer began carrying CBD oil. Jackson Chief of Police Todd Smith “reached out to us and asked us for some help because these products were being sold,” said Ronnie Jones of DCI. “Then we discovered this was going on across the state.”

Since then, Jones said DCI has been visiting retail stores and conducting investigations to confirm whether those CBD products contain THC.

Local law enforcement says as long as state law dictates it, they will enforce CBD’s prohibition. “I am duty-bound to uphold those laws,” Teton County Sheriff Jim Whalen said. “Clearly, if we were to talk philosophy, I might talk differently,” he added.

Whalen did not seem convinced Maddux’s felony charge would stick. He suspected it would be pleaded down and pointed to his department’s lenient proclivities. “In terms of misdemeanors, we would prefer to write a citation and send people on their way, which is different than many municipalities.”

Law enforcement is indeed “duty-bound” by laws set forth by the Wyoming Legislature. But cannabis advocates, like Laramie attorney and Wyoming House Minority Whip Charles Pelkey–D, Laramie, point to the state’s law enforcement as a barrier to softening cannabis laws.

Wyoming Rep. Stan Blake–D, Green River, “has introduced bills to make CBD oil readily available but we have gotten opposition from the Wyoming Association of Sheriffs and Chiefs of Police that any THC is a violation of the law,” Pelkey said.

It is true that sheriff and police associations throughout the country have pushed back against cannabis laws. Some point to Colorado’s rising crime rates since the state legalized recreational marijuana in 2014, though it is unclear if the two are related. Police Chief Smith said the notion that sheriffs and chiefs could hold that type of sway in the Legislature is absurd. “Law enforcement inherits the law from the Legislature,” he said. “We may get to testify our professional opinion but for any legislator to blame it on us is a cop out.”

I Fought the Law…

Maddux, meanwhile, is biding her time in Montana, caring for her ailing mother and going to job interviews. She does not dispute the reason why she was initially pulled over, which had nothing to do with CBD oil.

On Sunday, July 8, Teton County Sheriff’s Deputy Jesse Wilcox noticed her expired California license plate and pulled Maddux over. She was also driving without insurance and an expired license. Maddux said she has led a simple life and didn’t have the money to address those issues before hitting the road. “My plan was to just get to Montana, to be with my family and take care of everything there,” she said.

According to the probable cause affidavit, Wilcox asked Maddux if she could pay an $850 fine for the tickets or appear in court on July 31. The affidavit stated Maddux said she could do neither. She didn’t think her brutal honesty would land her in jail, Maddux said. “I have never been pulled over before. So I thought the best thing to do was just to be honest about my situation.” Indeed, a July 30 background check on Maddux showed she has had no prior run-ins with the law.

After he deemed her “a flight risk” because she could not pay the fines and was likely to not appear in court, Wilcox arrested Maddux.

At Teton County jail, personnel found her CBD oil and used a NIK test to determine the presence of THC. NIK tests are “rudimentary,” as Smith put it, however. They only confirm the mere presence of THC, not the actual amount. The oil, then, was sent to Wyoming’s crime lab for “analysis” and Maddux sat in jail for roughly 36 hours. She was released on a $1,000-dollar bond.

Life has already changed for Maddux. To help pay for an attorney, she sold her car for $550 and is now relying on the generosity of friends to make ends meet. Maddux worries the volunteer and service work that has become a large part of her identity will no longer be an option if she is convicted of a felony. She worked as a disaster relief volunteer in Haiti after its 2010 earthquake and in the Philippines after its 2013 typhoon.

She also volunteered as a yoga instructor teaching yoga to inmates in Oregon prisons. Maddux’s experience in Jackson has her wondering about some of those inmates and their predicaments. That is to say, had she lacked the resources and life experience to question what happened and obtain a lawyer, she could have slipped through the cracks of the legal system, she said.

While local law enforcement seems confident that a felony will not stick on her record, Maddux said in the meantime she agonizes about her August 16 hearing. Her life “has been thrown into upheaval.”

CONTINUE READING…