New Hampshire Senators Walk the Talk “live Free or Die”

March 21, 2017, Energy and Natural Resources Senate Committee Public Hearing on House Bill 591 Relative to suction Dredging in the surface waters of the state. This bill was introduce under the premise that suction dredging was harmful to the environment and fish habitat. This bill would prohibit all motorized prospecting as well as rocker boxes. Gold prospectors assemble at the State House in Concord New Hampshire to testify in opposition to this bill, gold prospectors came prepared. Over the last several decades scientific studies have been conducted in numerous states by and or for government agencies such the US Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Fish and Wildlife of California and Washington State just to name a few, and peer reviewed. There were a number of these studies presented to the Committee as well as summaries of these studies prepared by two respected Scientist in this field. All of these studies come to the same conclusion that small scale suction dredging’s impact on the environment and fish habitat is less than significant. The Army Corps of Engineers states that any dredge less than a 6″ nozzle size impact on the environment is “De Minimus”. There was a lot of great testimony from prospectors you can hear the entire hearing here: Senate Committee Public Hearing HB 591.

If you can’t play the hearing here is the summary report of the hearing: Summary Report Public Hearing the audio is far better since this is just a summary.

I commend these Senators for their integrity and honesty, they weighed the facts and based their decision on the facts presented. Their recommendation to the Senate was that HB 591 was inexpedient to legislate. On March 29, 2017 the senate met and voted on HB 591 based on the recommendation of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee and HB 591 was officially killed.

Legislation should be based on facts, scientific, peer reviewed facts and not on assumptions, opinion or conjecture or even lies. Even the opinion of a professional such as a college professor or a biologist in the field, while this opinion may be the basis of a hypothesis, until that hypothesis is proven by scientific study and peer reviewed, is still nothing more than an opinion. The Senators of New Hampshire based their decision on the truth, unlike legislators of other states that pander to special interest groups, I will leave it up to the reader as to why they would pander to these special interest groups.

The Senators of New Hampshire give me hope that our form of government still works the way it should, with integrity and honesty, at least in one state. LIVE FREE OR DIE!!!

National Institute on Drug Abuse Updates Website, Now has “Marijuana as Medicine” Page

Colorado congressman says he’ll “fight the Attorney General” ~ The Cannabist

Rep. Mike Coffman suggested he’d use congress’ power to appropriate money for the administration’s budget.

DENVER — Rep. Mike Coffman is suggesting he might use the power of the purse to protect Colorado’s legal marijuana industry.

During a telephone town hall Wednesday evening the Republican congressman was asked about Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ threat to crack down on states like Colorado that have legalized recreational marijuana.

Coffman noted that he opposed the ballot measures that legalized both medical and recreational marijuana in the state. But he added that since voters approved them they are now Colorado law. He said the federal government should not interfere and he hopes Sessions doesn’t follow through on his warning.

If Sessions does take action Coffman said he’d “have to fight the Attorney General on this.” He suggested he’d do so through congress’ power to appropriate money for the administration’s budget.

Source: Colorado congressman says he’ll “fight the Attorney General” if need be on marijuana

Updates From The Western Mining Alliance

AMRA FUNDS LEGAL EFFORT
Many thanks to AMRA and AMRA members for contributing $3,000 to paying off our current legal bills. This brings us really close to being zero balance with the lawyers.
AMRA has repeatedly funded the right effort at the right time including contributing substantially to the Rinehart case, the Oregon case and our San Bernardino litigation.
Our thanks also to Motherlode Gold Hounds for helping
fund the Rinehart amicus brief.
SIERRA FUND AND LAKE COMBIE TO GET ANOTHER $6.1 MILLION
Based on the astounding success of being able to recover mercury ( 2 grams total) at the cost of $1 million per gram Governor Brown announced another healthy heaping of graft to be bestowed on the project. You can read the article here. https://yubanet.com/regional/governors-budget-includes-funding-to-improve-waterquality-and-water-storage-at-combie-reservoir/
WATER BOARD HEARINGS
We’re done with the Water Board hearings. We’ve provided them with a lot of information
and references which we hope they’ll read. Ultimately this is a political decision, not a science decision. If it was based on science we’d be confident of the outcome. We have continued to work with the Water Board through the public input period and we are trying
to schedule separate briefings to the directors of the Water Board. We hope to have this
meeting sometime in April. Thanks to everyone who took the time to attend, and present.
LEGAL SAN BERNARDINO HEARINGS PUSHED BACK AGAIN
Trial date is: July 12th, 2017
Environmentalists Push for Washington Ban
Yet another front in the dredging war is opened with environmentalists pushing for a California style dredging ban. You can read the article here. https://www.wateronline.com/doc/lawsuit-launched-rivers-salmon-from-destructive-suction-dredge-mining-0001
Pacific Legal Foundation submits Rinehart petition on time
On February 10th Pacific Legal submitted the petition for the U.S. Supreme Court to review the California Supreme Court decision in Rinehart.
WMA Preparing Amicus Brief in Support of Petition.
Thanks to everyone who provided supporting material for the Amicus brief in support of the Rinehart petition. Our brief is due on 10 March, we should have a draft of it this week.
Submit for Section 404 Permits Now
If you hope to dredge legally this summer then you should be requesting your Section 404 Clean Water Act permits from the Army Corps of Engineers. We have posted some samples on our web page, but each permit request must be specific to that operation. According to California Senate Bill 637 three permits are required. First you must obtain a federal Clean Water Act permit, this is the Section 404 permit. Secondly you must obtain a state water quality permit or waiver. The state, once you have a Section 404 permit, can issue a Section 401 certification, but only after you have obtained your federal permit. Finally, you must obtain a Fish and Game permit. Although it’s a long process, you are guaranteed to not
have a permit if you don’t submit.

Two years after the DEA admitted marijuana is less dangerous than heroin, Jeff Sessions would like to reconsider

March 15 at 2:58 PM

Less than two years after the Drug Enforcement Administration officially admitted that “heroin is clearly more dangerous than marijuana,” new Attorney General Jeff Sessions revisited that comparison in remarks today before law enforcement officials in Richmond:

I reject the idea that America will be a better place if marijuana is sold in every corner store. And I am astonished to hear people suggest that we can solve our heroin crisis by legalizing marijuana — so people can trade one life-wrecking dependency for another that’s only slightly less awful. Our nation needs to say clearly once again that using drugs will destroy your life.

Sessions remarks are contradicted by a wealth of medical and policy research.

For starters, researchers and policymakers aren’t suggesting that marijuana legalization will “solve” the heroin crisis. As I noted late last month, there is, however, abundant, peer-reviewed evidence suggesting that legalizing medical marijuana has led to decreases in opioid overdose and mortality rates in a number of states.
Video of Attorney General Jeff Sessions speaking equating Marijuana to Heroin

Sessions: ‘We don’t need to be legalizing marijuana’

 

Expressing his views on drug policy, Attorney General Jeff Sessions said marijuana legalization wouldn’t be “good for us.” He also doubted reports of marijuana’s effectiveness fighting opioid addiction, adding “we need to crack down more on heroin.” (Reuters)

And my list is already out-of-date: A new report published in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence last month found opioid hospitalizations decreased in states that allowed medical marijuana. Furthermore, those states saw no increase in the incidence of marijuana-related hospitalizations.

That speaks to Sessions’s second point: that marijuana dependency is “only slightly less awful” than heroin addiction. Drug dependency of any kind is, indeed, awful. And marijuana dependency is quite real.

But there is a spectrum of “awful”-ness of drug dependency, and evidence and common sense suggest marijuana and heroin are miles apart. For starters, heroin is lethal and kills 13,000 of its users each year. Nobody ODs on marijuana alone.

Second, the federal government’s own research undermines any equivalency between dependency on marijuana and heroin. You can often gauge how bad a given drug addiction is by looking at what happens when a user tries to kick the habit. For heroin, the National Institute on Drug Abuse lists withdrawal symptoms including “muscle and bone pain, sleep problems, diarrhea and vomiting, cold flashes with goose bumps, uncontrollable leg movements severe heroin cravings.”

Heroin withdrawal is so bad that users occasionally die from it, particularly in harsh criminal justice environments where they’re unable to receive medical care.For marijuana, on the other hand, major withdrawal symptoms include “grouchiness, sleeplessness, decreased appetite, anxiety cravings.”Grouchiness and decreased appetite seem far — not “slightly” — less awful than severe pain and possible death.

Finally, researchers have generally ranked marijuana use as far less harmful to individuals and society than heroin use. In a 2010 Lancet report, dozens of researchers and public health experts rated the harm potential of a variety of drugs on a 0 to 100 scale, with 100 being the most harmful. Heroin scored in the mid-50s. Marijuana was rated at a 20.

Sessions’s remarks are “a sort of starting gun for a new war on drugs,” according to Michael Collins of the Drug Policy Alliance, a group working to reform drug laws. “It’s very disappointing that this DOJ and this attorney general are so anti-science and anti-evidence and anti-facts.”
Video on Legal Medicinal Marijuana States

How marijuana legalization in Washington, Colorado and Oregon is working out so far

Voters in California, Maine, Massachusetts and Nevada just approved recreational marijuana use. Here’s what they can learn from Washington, Colorado and Oregon, states where marijuana use has already been legalized. (Daron Taylor, Danielle Kunitz/The Washington Post)

Jeff Sessions: “Medical Marijuana has Been Hyped, Maybe too Much”, Marijuana “Slightly Less Awful” than Heroin

Maryland, hampered by lawsuits and legislation, struggles to get medical marijuana program off the ground

By Natalie Schwartz, Capital News Service

Patient registry begins this month, but concerned residents are worried that bills may push back the rollout date even further

Source: The Cannabist

ANNAPOLIS, Md. — After Carey Tilghman’s 6-year-old daughter, Paisley, suffered from a stroke, doctors drafted a plan to use a round of Botox injections and muscle relaxers to treat her condition.

Searching for an alternative for her daughter, Tilghman found that a transdermal patch filled with cannabis, which has been linked to shielding the brain from stroke damage, could possibly be helpful to her daughter, but she hasn’t been able access the drug in Maryland’s stalled medical cannabis industry.

Maryland has had one of the slowest rollouts of medical marijuana in the country.

The Natalie M. LaPrade Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission, which grants the licenses to growers, processors and dispensers, has been hampered by legal battles and pending legislation in the Maryland General Assembly since the state legalized medical cannabis in 2014.

This legislative session, state lawmakers are considering a spate of bills outlining different solutions intended to address a lack of diversity in licenses, and two lawsuits that have delayed the rollout of Maryland’s nascent medical cannabis industry.

The commission expects medical cannabis to be available to patients this summer, according to Vanessa Lyon, a spokeswoman for the group. Patient registry for the drug begins this month, but concerned residents are worried that bills may push back the rollout date even further.

“We can’t delay access,” Tilghman said. “(Paisley) deserves to have a transdermal patch and play like a kindergartener can play. They want her on muscle relaxers; they want her to have surgery. How do you be a kindergartner on muscle relaxers?”

“You can’t,” she added, choking up.

The commission was tasked with ensuring racial and geographical diversity in their selection process, and on Dec. 9 it announced pre-approvals for 102 businesses to sell medical cannabis, which broke down into 15 growers, 15 processors, and 72 dispensaries.

However, preference for minority business owners may violate the Constitution, said Cheryl A. Brown Whitfield, principal counsel of the Maryland Department of Transportation.

The state would need to conduct a study to evaluate whether discrimination does exist in the medical cannabis industry before it could take race-conscious measures in awarding licenses, said Zenita Hurley, the attorney general’s director of legislative affairs and civil rights. This study could take up to two years.

The commission used Towson University’s Regional Economic Studies Institute to rank the company applicants. RESI used a double-blind system that did not take into account the race of owners, which resulted in the commission failing to award licenses that ensure adequate minority representation, said Delegate Cheryl Glenn, D-Baltimore.

While the commission has listed the rankings of each company, it has not released the scores and the criteria for which they were ranked, said Darrell Carrington, policy director for the medical cannabis division of Greenwill Consulting, a government relations firm.

“We’re all flying blind right now because the commission refuses to release the scores,” Carrington said. “The rankings are meaningless if we don’t have the scores. How do we know how to move forward properly and know if we’re really making corrections to increase diversity and the like, if we don’t know the difference between (the companies) was 5, 10, or 30 (points).”

Maryland includes a black or African-American population of 30.5 percent, a white population of 59.6 percent, and 9.9 percent who identify as another minority, according to data collected by the U.S. Census as of 2015.

The majority of the companies selected for pre-approvals for growing and processing are led by white owners.

Of the 11 companies with pre-approved growing licenses that reported demographic data to the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission, about 85 percent of the owners are white, about 8 percent are black, and about 7 percent identify as another racial minority. The nine pre-approved processing companies that reported data showed similar numbers, with 73 percent white ownership, about 15 percent black ownership, and about 12 percent other minority ownership.

The companies selected have about 76 percent male ownership and 24 percent female ownership.

Moreover, after complaints surfaced that the commission didn’t fairly include representation in areas of southeastern Maryland, the commission revised their original unanimous decision on the 15 companies slated to receive growing licenses by bumping two higher-scoring applicants and replacing them with two lower-scoring applicants in the underrepresented areas.

GTI, one of the companies originally awarded a coveted pre-approval license, had already picked out a site in Washington County and began developing a plan to produce medical cannabis when they were replaced, said Delegate Brett Wilson, R-Washington. The company has since joined the other business bumped from the list, Maryland Cultivation and Processing LLC, in suing the commission.

The commission has been operating without oversight or transparency, Glenn said. “They can’t answer why they made the decisions they made.”

To address the lack of ownership diversity, the Legislative Black Caucus, which Glenn heads, has proposed two emergency bills that would overhaul the 15-member commission and reinstate it with members who reflect the racial and geographical diversity of the state.

Sarah Hoyt, director of government affairs for the commission, wrote in testimony that this emergency legislation would “substantially delay the availability of medical cannabis to qualifying patients” by as much as two years.

But Glenn said her legislation would not slow the arrival of the medical cannabis industry.

“The commission operated in an arbitrary, opaque and misleading fashion,” said Pete Kadens, CEO and director of GTI, adding that overhauling the “inefficient” commission would actually speed the rollout of the long-awaited industry.

Kadens said he supported the 15 companies who have been pre-approved to start operating immediately.

“Even though we were displaced for the purpose of geographic diversity, even though we scored higher on merit than five of the companies that now have pre-approvals for the state, even though we feel we were wronged, we do not want the patients of the state to be further distressed,” Kadens said.

One of Glenn’s bills would issue five to seven more licenses for both growers and processors. The bill would also give heavier consideration to businesses with majority black ownership.

The second bill would disband the current commission to create a nine-member Natalie M. LaPrade Medical Cannabis Licensing Unit. This new group would award new grower licenses in future years and would have a fund to provide minority- and women-owned medical cannabis businesses with loans.

Wilson has proposed a separate bill that would increase the number of growers from 15 to 17 to reinstate the two geographically bumped companies’ on the list. This could fix what he called a “fairness issue,” adding that it will likely immediately stop any pending litigation, he said.

Wilson said he doesn’t oppose the other bills and that it’s possible a number of the five bills may merge into “one bill that accomplishes everything.”

“We’re not in conflict with other bills,” Wilson said. “We don’t stand against the other proposals in any way.”

Delegate David Vogt, R-Carroll and Frederick, has also proposed a bill that attempts to squash the pending lawsuits, while also increasing minority and women ownership. His solution would accept the commission’s next 10 ranked applicants, which have been selected as alternates should any of the 15 growing businesses that have been pre-approved fall through.

This bill wouldn’t impact how the commission measures any of the businesses that have been tentatively approved, but it would impact any new ones that haven’t been measured by requiring the commission to give extra weight to minority- and women-owned businesses.

Vogt’s bill also proposes to distribute grant money to the businesses’ local communities. The money would be used for infrastructure improvements, increased security and community development. He added that the amount, $250,000 for each area, is a “nominal amount” and that “ultimately, (the state is) going to get that impact money back — 10, 20 times over — with the tax revenue.”

Vogt, like Wilson, noted that he thinks it’s likely to create one bill that combined components from each to address the problems in the long-awaited industry.

However, Glenn said she only supports the bills she is sponsoring.

Brian Bickerton, chairman of Mazey Farms, an alternate growing company ranked twentieth by the commission, said while he supports Vogt’s bill, he’s in favor of any legislation that moves the industry forward. His company has been waiting to officially launch its business for over two years.

“(It’s) been a long and arduous process,” Bickerton said. “There’s been a lot of tears on our end, but we believe in what we do, we believe in this industry, and we believe in the much-needed medicine that needs to get to the patients.”

Mazey Farms is majority minority-owned, Bickerton said, adding that he thinks the best way to address the lawsuits and the diversity issues is to allow the commission’s next 10 alternative businesses to obtain licenses.

Carrington said it’s hard at this point to know which bill will be “the vehicle that will move (the industry) forward.”

However, taking the next 10 growing alternates, as Vogt’s bill proposes, would significantly address the diversity problem without a delay, Carrington said.

“I can’t stand another delay,” Tilghman said, her daughter, Paisley, leaning on her. “If another delay is put in place (Maryland will) lose a lifelong resident.”

 

Study: Cannabidiol (CBD) May Help Treat Anxiety-Related and Substance Abuse Disorders.

Trump’s Leading Choice for FDA Chief has Prescribed Medical Marijuana | The Joint Blog

Bills that would legalize medical cannabis have been filed in West Virginia’s House of Delegates and Senate.

March 06, 2017

Delegate Mike Pushkin (D) filed House Bill 2677, and Senator Richard Ojeda (D) filed Senate Bill 386. Both would legalize medical cannabis, albeit in different manners. HB 2688 has no cosponsors, whereas SB 386 is cosponsored by a bipartisan coalition of nine senators.

HB 2677 would legalize the possession of up to six ounces of cannabis, and the cultivation of up to 12 plants, for those with a qualifying condition who receive a recommendation from a physician. Qualifying conditions include:

(A) Cancer, glaucoma, positive status for human immunodeficiency virus, acquired immune deficiency syndrome, hepatitis C, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Crohn’s disease, agitation of Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, anxiety, addiction to opiates or amphetamines or the treatment of these conditions;

(B) A chronic or debilitating disease or medical condition or its treatment that produces one or more of the following: Cachexia or wasting syndrome; severe or chronic pain; severe nausea; seizures; or severe and persistent muscle spasms, including, but not limited to, those characteristic of multiple sclerosis; or

(C) Any other medical condition or its treatment added by the department, as provided in section six of this article.

The proposal would established a system of licensed and regulated cannabis dispensaries, as a means of safe access to the medicine.

SB 386 would also legalize medical cannabis – including license dispensaries – but in a more limited way. Qualifying conditions include:

(A) A chronic or debilitating disease or medical condition that results in a patient being admitted into hospice or receiving palliative care; or

(B) A chronic or debilitating disease or medical condition or the treatment of a chronic or debilitating disease or medical condition that produces:

(i) Cachexia, anorexia, or wasting syndrome;

(ii) Severe or chronic pain that does not find effective relief through standard pain medication;

(iii) Severe nausea;

(iv) Seizures; or

(v) Severe or persistent muscle spasms.

 

HB 2677 has been assigned to the House Prevention and Treatment of Substance Abuse Committee. SB 386 has been assigned to the Senate Health and Human Resources.

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