Residents of New Hampshire are enjoying a long-awaited expansion of their Second Amendment rights with the signing into law on Wednesday of a bill allowing them to carry a firearm without first obtaining government permission. The third time “is a charm,” it is said, and this bill passed on the third attempt. The previous two attempts passed both state houses but were vetoed by previous Democrat governors. […]
The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has removed marijuana misinformation from their website following months of public and legal pressure.
After months of public pressure, and a legal request by the nonprofit medical cannabis advocacy group Americans for Safe Access, the DEA has removed factually inaccurate information about marijuana from their website.
As part of the legal request, Americans for Safe Access argued that there was over 25 incorrect statements on the DEA’s website about cannabis, which violates the Information Quality Act, which prohibits government agencies from providing false information to the public, and requires them to respond to requests for correction of information within 60 days.
“The DEA’s removal of these popular myths about cannabis from their website could mean the end of the Washington gridlock” said Steph Sherer, Executive Director of Americans for Safe Access. “This is a victory for medical cannabis patients across the nation, who rely on cannabis to treat serious illnesses. The federal government now admits that cannabis is not a gateway drug, and doesn’t cause long-term brain damage, or psychosis. While the fight to end stigma around cannabis is far from over, this is a big first step.”
Americans for Safe Access’ full legal request which brought forth this change can be found by clicking here.
It’s a joint political effort to pass marijuana reform
Two members of Congress from both sides of the political aisle are joining forces to create the Cannabis Caucus.
Reps. Dana Rohrabacher, R-Calif., and Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore., are creating a caucus in hopes of improving the odds to passing federal marijuana reform bills.
“There needs to be more strategy between us, those of us who are engaged in this. More of a long-term strategy,” Rohrabacher told DecodeDC . “[And] we need to have a vehicle in which people on the outside will be able to work through and sort of have a team effort from the inside and the outside.”
Rohrabacher says Rep. Thomas Massie, R-Ky., is likely to emerge as the spokesman for the caucus, which he said will begin meeting in January.
The caucus will be made up of members of Congress who see marijuana reform as an important issue and it will focus on a bipartisan effort to pass bills, Rohrabacher said. He did not name lawmakers he expects to join.
“We want to make the states’ rights issue the core of what we are doing,” Rohrabacher said, referring to the argument that states should be able to choose for how to regulate and classify marijuana. “Republicans don’t see this as something that their constituents want and they may not be positive towards legalization of marijuana. But with the states’ rights issue, that’s how we’ve won the necessary votes from the Republican side in order to win the battle.”
Rohrabacher and Blumenauer have been vocal champions for years of marijuana decriminalization and a state’s right to choose how to regulate the drug.
Blumenauer also visited many states this year, campaigning for ballot measures that would legalize medical marijuana or recreational marijuana for adults.
The congressman introduced the Medical Marijuana Research Act of 2016, a bi-partisan bill that aimed to “cut through the red tape” that currently makes it very hard for scientific researchers to obtain marijuana for clinical trials. Additionally, he co-sponsored the Marijuana Businesses Access to Banking Act of 2015, which would have allowed marijuana businesses to stop functioning in all-cash.
According to Blumenauer, the two biggest issues currently facing the marijuana industry are that companies aren’t fairly taxed because federal law won’t allow them to fully deduct their business taxes — and that cannabis businesses can’t work with banks. Currently marijuana companies have to be all-cash businesses largely thanks to marijuana’s classification as a Schedule I drug, which puts it in the same category as heroin.
“We’ve had the movement crest,” Blumenauer told DecodeDC. “Two hundred and fifty million people have access to medical marijuana, a quarter of the population has access to adult use. We’re watching an industry now where 60 percent believe marijuana should be legalized, and public opinion mirrors what happened at the ballot box.”
Marijuana currently is legal for adult recreational use in eight states and medical marijuana is legal in 28 states and Washington, D.C.
Blumenauer says he has hope that marijuana reform will become a stronger bi-partisan effort on Capitol Hill in 2017.
“People who have been ambivalent about this before, all of a sudden just inherited constituents who care deeply about it,” he said. “Florida just passed an initiative for medical marijuana which makes it the second largest marijuana market in the United States. All of a sudden there are lots of legislators who just had their constituents vote more strongly for marijuana than they did for them.”
The environmentalist attack on suction dredging is merely a symptom of the much larger illness. The environmental elitists and the intelligentsia reap the rewards while the citizens foot the bill. The environmentalists have a dream of socialism in which they control the land and the means of production, but they are paid to protect it, rather than people being paid to produce with it.
The lucrative business of endangered species provides an endless flow of money to people who are willing to study the species, but no money goes to those who lost their jobs, their land or their means to earn a living. Money flows to people whose value in the free market is exactly zero, yet they have created an industry entirely funded by taxpayers whereby they earn princely sums of money like $750 an hour for lawyers to sue the government, and $200 an hour for frog researchers. In a free economy who would pay a frog researcher even minimum wage, let alone $200 an hour? A recent six page paper which found mercury moves with each major flood cost taxpayers $50,000 per page. Yet no one blinks an eye at this.
Only your government can afford to force the taxpayers to pay this. How much did you receive last year to study endangered species, to prepare six page research papers or to sue the government? If you’re like us, it was zero.
They’re All In It Together
The interconnected web amongst environmental groups, universities, corporations and the government runs deeper than we think, or would like to think. In July of 2015 the Western Mining Alliance published an article challenging the statements on mercury of a small environmental group with deep ties in the California legislature. In the article they quoted the California Office of Occupational Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) where the OEHHA web page stated no person in California had ever been sickened from mercury in sport fish. A statement which had been on their website for two years.
A mere two weeks later the website was changed. The statement was gone and it was replaced with dire warnings about the hazard of pregnant women eating mercury contaminated fish. This despite the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issuing new guidance on fish consumption which recommended eating more fish. Another recent study published in the January edition of the Journal of Epidemiology showed an increase in the IQ of children whose mothers ate large amounts of fish finding the benefits to the child outweighed any perceived risk of mercury. But, these studies are ignored by the environmentalists who reap millions from studying mercury. No dire threat – no cash.
Take for example a recent front page article in USA Today highlighting some third rate research from the University of California Sanata Barbara. The Sacramento Bee and the Huffington Post screamed headlines of “Toxic Legacy of the Gold Rush.”
Did anyone bother to actually ask if it was toxic? In over 150 years not a single person has been sickened by this mercury yet suddenly it’s “toxic?”
Only Environmentalists Hold the Truth
The Singer Study, which costs taxpayers $280,000 to tell us major floods move sediment and with that sediment the mercury travels down hill, is a study in bilking the taxpayers. Why did we need to spend $280,000 for a six page paper to tell us mercury travels downhills during major floods?
October 9, 2014
“With so much information coming out about the medical value of marijuana, and that marijuana is not as dangerous as alcohol, why was it made illegal in the first place?”
Looking for a history lesson
That is an excellent question. Now that many politicians and the public are taking a more objective look at marijuana, many are asking about the legal history of marijuana and how it ended up in the category of drugs deemed most dangerous by the federal government (Schedule I).
To understand how we ended up here, it is important to go back to what was happening in the United States in the early 1900’s just after the Mexican Revolution. At this time we saw an influx of immigration from Mexico into states like Texas and Louisiana. Not surprising, these new Americans brought with them their native language, culture and customs. One of these customs was the use of cannabis as a medicine and relaxant.
Mexican immigrants referred to this plant as “marihuana”. While Americans were very familiar with “cannabis” because it was present in almost all tinctures and medicines available at the time, the word “marihuana” was a foreign term. So, when the media began to play on the fears that the public had about these new citizens by falsely spreading claims about the “disruptive Mexicans” with their dangerous native behaviors including marihuana use, the rest of the nation did not know that this “marihuana” was a plant they already had in their medicine cabinets.
The demonization of the cannabis plant was an extension of the demonization of the Mexican immigrants. In an effort to control and keep tabs on these new citizens, El Paso, TX borrowed a play from San Francisco’s playbook, which had outlawed opium decades earlier in an effort to control Chinese immigrants. The idea was to have an excuse to search, detain and deport Mexican immigrants.
That excuse became marijuana.
This method of controlling people by controlling their customs was quite successful, so much so that it became a national strategy for keeping certain populations under the watch and control of the government.
During hearings on marijuana law in the 1930’s, claims were made about marijuana’s ability to cause men of color to become violent and solicit sex from white women. This imagery became the backdrop for the Marijuana Tax Act of 1937 which effectively banned its use and sales.
While the Act was ruled unconstitutional years later, it was replaced with the Controlled Substances Act in the 1970’s which established Schedules for ranking substances according to their dangerousness and potential for addiction. Cannabis was placed in the most restrictive category, Schedule I, supposedly as a place holder while then President Nixon commissioned a report to give a final recommendation.
The Schafer Commission, as it was called, declared that marijuana should not be in Schedule I and even doubted its designation as an illicit substance. However, Nixon discounted the recommendations of the commission, and marijuana remains a Schedule I substance.
In 1996, California became the first state to approve the use of marijuana for medical purposes, ending its 59 year reign as an illicit substance with no medical value. Prior to 1937, cannabis had enjoyed a 5000 year history as a therapeutic agent across many cultures. In this context, its blip as an illicit and dangerous drug was dwarfed by its role as a medicine.
Opponents of medical marijuana regulations claim that there is not enough research to warrant medicinal use, but supporters of medical marijuana point to the 5000 years of history where cannabis was widely used as evidence for its medical efficacy.
Now that 23 states, plus Washington, DC, have passed medical marijuana laws, the public is questioning the utility of keeping marijuana under lock and key, especially in light of the racist and propagandized basis for making it illegal in the first place.
In just a few weeks, Florida, Oregon, Alaska and Washington DC voters will have the opportunity to put an additional nail in the coffin of prohibition by voting to legalize medical access in Florida and adult access in Oregon, Alaska and Washington DC. Changing the marijuana laws in these states and more to come is one of the first steps in dismantling the racially motivated war on drugs.
Dr. Malik Burnett is a former surgeon and physician advocate. He also served as executive director of a medical marijuana nonprofit organization. Amanda Reiman, PhD, holds a doctorate in Social Welfare and teaches classes on drug policy at the University of California-Berkeley.
I woke up yesterday morning the same as I do every day about 10 am and wandered out to the kitchen to fire up the coffee pot. As I was passing by the dining room table I glanced, as I do every morning, at the daily paper laying face up with the headlines easy to read. What caught my eye wasn’t the headline for the day but a teaser line at the top corner of the paper placed there to guide the reader to the story on a following page.
What I read on page two caused me to stop and consider if something I had heard and even said over the years had come true.
HELL HATH FROZEN OVER!!!
Yes for a moment or two I figured it to be true because the teaser headline read “Maryland Looks To Legalize POT”
I read the story and it turns out people really are waking up to the potential of legal cannabis. It’s pretty much the same as legalized gambling. It’s good for everybody on many different levels.
Maryland is in the process of setting up its medical cannabis program and it is happening at a snail’s pace. People like myself wait patiently while the lawmakers and politicians drag their feet taking years to set up what took Colorado weeks to figure out. How to create and market legal weed.
How much pain does one have to be in to be considered “chronic” pain and what exactly does that term mean ?
Let me take a few minutes to explain my version of “chronic” pain.
When I was eight years old I fell through the ice on a small stream and almost froze to death. That was my introduction to pain that is explained these days with numbers. You know… the 1 to 10 scale anyone with chronic pain can relate to. It was the first time a Dr. ask me to describe my pain with a number. After I thawed out my number was an 8 in most places and a 10 in my hands and feet.
My next major source of lifetime pain came from a fifty foot fall I took when I was twenty. I bounced 3 times on the way down from a perch on a carnival ride I was working on, breaking something else important every time I bounced. More on all of these stories coming soon in a book.
The last big event that left me with a lifetime of miserable nerve pain was the direct hit I took from a bolt of lightning in 2001 which left me smoking and dead for 10 minutes in the remote camp my wife and I were in. It is true each of these events is a huge story by its self but for now I am sharing them to give my readers an idea of the amount of pain I endure 24 hours a day, 365 days a year so far.
Chronic pain is only one of many medical reasons people use cannabis and THC in one form or another. I would type the meds off my fingers to make a full list and I’m not even sure anyone knows everything to make such a list. The point is it is huge and growing every day.
Maryland is joining a growing list of states that have wised up to the fact that the money available to be made in taxes, research, marketing, and consumption are enormous and it is about time the citizens of Maryland enjoy the benefits of all that money and the free use of cannabis like the other five or six states that have had the gumption to go full-blown legal.
In closing I think it is safe to say that Hell is still fairly warm and “FREED WEED” is about to be a reality in more places including the Free state of Maryland.
Here is the full story from the Washington Post.