Not taking an action that can provide such benefit in fighting this (opioid) scourge is not only callus and inhuman but also morally indefensible!

 

Image may contain: 4 people, people standing and outdoor

 

Image may contain: 2 people, eyeglasses and text

By:  Msgt. Thomas Tony Vance, Alexandria, Ky.

Callus and Morally Indefensible!

Mercy Health Hospitals in an Op-ed in the May 11, 2017 Kentucky Enquirer talks about the opioid epidemic and calls for a multi-pronged approach in dealing with it. Their program of Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment, SBIRT, has screened thousands of patients. Unfortunately they do not give any stats that show the program is effective. They also state we should treat addiction as the disease it is. That is exactly what Nixon’s commission on drugs advised back in the early 70s. Instead we got the war on drugs!

As effective as the Mercy Health approach is, there is a more effective action that can drop the number of opioid overdose deaths by more than half. As reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association, States with medical cannabis laws see a 25% drop in opioid overdose deaths in the first year after legalizing medical marijuana which grows to 33% by year 6. We can cut our opioid overdose deaths by a third simply by legalizing medical marijuana.

In Colorado which has both medical and recreational marijuana legalization, have seen a drop of 66% since medical legalization was approved in 2012. They had 479 opioid overdose deaths for 2015 and that dropped to 442 for 2016.

Let us compare Kentucky and Colorado. Colorado has 5.5 million people and Kentucky has 4.5 million. Colorado has comparable medical and addiction services and is similar to Kentucky in many ways. The only major difference is Colorado has embraced marijuana legalization and Kentucky, even though medical legalization polls at 80% favorability and recreational at 60%, has rejected legalization. Colorado’s numbers for 2015 were 479 and Kentucky’s were 1278, almost 3 times that of Colorado.

Given the facts of the benefits of marijuana legalization in preventing opioid overdose deaths by more than half, as is the case in Colorado, no one can claim to be serious about opioid addiction and overdose deaths without including cannabis legalization as a tool to fight this epidemic. Cannabis legalization, in reality, has a better record of mitigating this epidemic than any other policy that has been tried or is currently in use! I dare our legislators to name another policy that can drop the number of these deaths by a third. They can’t.

Veterans suffering from chronic pain and Post Traumatic Stress stop taking an average of 8 different prescriptions for pain meds and meds to deal with the side effects of the various medicines they are given when they start using medical cannabis. Veterans claim far better outcomes than their counter parts who stay on the VA cocktail prescribed for pain and PTSD.

We need credible action to fight this devastating epidemic. What we are currently doing is not effective. Adding addiction services will help but it seems the easiest, most effective and credible action we can take right now is simply to legalize cannabis for medical and recreational uses and watch the numbers fall! Not taking an action that can provide such benefit in fighting this scourge is not only callus and inhuman but also morally indefensible!

CONTINUE READING…

Kentucky Surging Forward Following Legislative Session

commonwealth of kentucky

Commonwealth of Kentucky
Governor’s Office

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Woody Maglinger
502-564-2611
Woody.Maglinger@ky.gov

Kentucky Surging Forward Following Legislative Session

Op-Ed by Governor Matt Bevin

FRANKFORT, Ky. (May 16, 2017) – On the first Saturday in May each year, the Kentucky Derby captures the attention and fascination of the world and creates special moments that will long be remembered. The Derby is truly unmatched as a sporting event and spectacle.  A brief hush precedes the opening of the starting gate, followed by the roar of the crowd as the horses explode forward powerfully and majestically. The start to the Derby provides a powerful analogy for what we have experienced recently in our state. Thanks to an outstanding effort by the General Assembly and our administration, Kentucky is surging forward.

The 2017 legislative session was one of the most productive in Kentucky history. Much of our agenda was focused on making Kentucky a better place to do business. It should come as no surprise that the three largest economic development announcements in Kentucky history have occurred since January of this year. Amazon announced their decision to invest $1.5 billion in Northern Kentucky where they will build their Prime Air Hub. Toyota announced a $1.33 billion investment in their Georgetown facility. In April, Braidy Industries revealed their plans to invest $1.3 billion dollars in Greenup County, where they will build a state-of-the-art aluminum mill, creating 550 high-paying jobs. CEO, Craig Bouchard, made it clear during his remarks at the announcement that his company would not have considered locating here if Kentucky had not been a right-to-work state. Braidy, Amazon and others have also been very complimentary of our administration’s passion for recruiting businesses to Kentucky.

Just last week, LINAK U.S. announced a $33 million expansion that will create an additional 413 full-time jobs. That announcement follows companies like UWH, TG Automotive, Traughber, Perfetti van Melle, PuraCap Laboratories, Bulleit Distilling Company and dozens of others which have also recently announced expansions or groundbreakings in our state. These announcements are only the beginning. Like those Derby horses bursting from the gate, Kentucky’s economic expansion is just getting started. Stay tuned. There is more to come.

It is important to note, however, the recent legislative session was about much more than just the economy. For instance, bills were passed that will allow our children in failing schools to have an opportunity to learn in high quality public charter schools and, going forward, we will base higher education funding on school outcomes. Another bill will return more authority to local school boards. These bills, now signed into law, will introduce competition into our education system and will result in better outcomes for all our students. Additionally, we passed a medical review panel bill that will lower medical costs and a bill that will allow funding for apprenticeship programs.

Pro-life laws were created that more accurately reflect the values of our voters. Kentucky is overwhelmingly a pro-life state. Huge bipartisan support for the twenty-week abortion ban and the ultrasound bill reflect that. We also moved Planned Parenthood, the nation’s number one abortion provider, to the back of the line for federal funds.

An important criminal justice law was signed to help the children and families of those who have paid their debt to society. The law allows for work release, work opportunities within prison, and the earning of professional licenses. By helping incarcerated individuals train to get work ready, we reduce recidivism and give children and their parents a chance to be a family again.

We passed legislation to better ensure that our state treats foster children with the respect and dignity they deserve. Kentucky will now allow the courts the leeway to place these children with fictive kin. These are non-blood relatives with whom the child already has a loving relationship and who are willing to provide a home for the child. Likewise, foster kids can now obtain their driver’s license at the age of 16, enabling them to gain independence as they acquire the mobility needed to get to school or to a part-time job.

A new law was passed that will put much needed limits (a three day supply) on the amount of opioid pain medication that can be prescribed at one time. Medical professionals were asked for extensive input as this law was drafted. As a result, there are ample exclusions for physicians who are treating patients with cancer and chronic pain, as well as those on hospice care or who have valid need for additional pain medication.

These are merely a few highlights of all that was accomplished during the 2017 legislative session.

I love the name of this year’s Kentucky Derby winner, “Always Dreaming.” That is the American way. From the beginning of our administration, we have repeatedly stated our vision for Kentucky to become the center of excellence in America for engineering and advanced manufacturing and for each of us, individually and collectively, to become the best version of ourselves. The 2017 legislative session has afforded Kentucky the opportunity to get off to a roaring start towards achieving these goals. I am confident that we will succeed, because #WeAreKY.

###

Owner of Old Louisville Pesticide Plant Prepares to Sell

Black Leaf property owner gives Courier-Journal exclusive look inside a property that triggered the state’s biggest ever urban environmental cleanup.

Image result for BLACK LEAF PROPERTY LOUISVILLE KY

Image result for BLACK LEAF PROPERTY LOUISVILLE KY

By JAMES BRUGGERS, The Courier-Journal

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Metal roofing has collapsed.

Trees are growing tall inside buildings. Walls are heavily tagged with graffiti.

And trespassers have set up makeshift camping or lounge areas among the arsenic and long-banned pesticides, having hauled in several couches in recent months – one of them with two small toy dolls left on the cushions.

It’s now about seven years into what Kentucky officials have called their largest urban environmental cleanup, and property owner Tony Young, on a rare tour of what he calls the Louisville Industrial Park, says: “I need to speak my piece. If I don’t do it now, I won’t have any chance.”

The 29-acre property, known by regulators as the Black Leaf site for a tobacco-based pesticide once made there, is scheduled for a foreclosure sale on Friday.

After long-banned pesticides like DDT and other dangerous chemicals or heavy metals were found in the soil, Young said he became unable to pay the $20,000 monthly mortgage he owed to First Capital Bank of Kentucky. He also owes the city nearly $1 million in back property taxes and the Metropolitan Sewer District $200,000 for several years of unpaid drainage fees. But as Young this week faces the loss of the property he’s owned since 1999, he is taking steps to recover financially while he promotes his plan to develop affordable housing for western Louisville.

Young last week sued his bank, a bank holding company, and ExxonMobil, claiming in a U.S. District Court filing that businesses have entered into “a secret deal” that cut him out and could cost him more than $20 million. He said he believes a new business cooperating with the bank and ExxonMobil intend to buy the property in a process that will wipe away the liabilities for the new owner and will allow ExxonMobil’s plan to proceed.

But that plan, he contends, would require a lesser degree of cleanup than his, which would need to meet more stringent standards for residential development.

“I am going to get my money back, one way or the other,” Young told the Courier-Journal. But if the ExxonMobil plan wins the day, “it screws all the community” by leaving chemicals behind and not meeting demand for affordable housing, he added.

Still, his plan does not appear to be going anywhere.

Exxon plan favored

The state of Kentucky instead is casting its provisional blessing on an alternative proposal backed by the giant oil company, Occidental Chemical Corp., and Grief Inc. to get the property ready for recycling it into future industrial or commercial businesses, with the less extensive cleanup that would require. Each of those companies inherited liability for past pollution, state officials have said.

City officials see the foreclosure sale as potentially removing a logjam by getting the property into the hands of a business with the financial ability to bring economic development to the blighted property – and to remove a festering eyesore and safety hazard just two miles from downtown in one of the city’s most troubled neighborhoods.

Park Hill, where the property is located, is one of the crime-riddled communities Louisville Metro Police are focusing extra enforcement efforts in this year, along with Victory Park, Russell, Smoketown, Shawnee, Russell and Shelby Park

Theresa Zawacki, a senior policy adviser for Louisville Forward, the city’s economic development arm, said it is hard to predict the outcome of the foreclosure sale. But she said she expects more than one bidder on the property, now that businesses with liability for the pollution are ready to begin remediation. Friday’s sale is “another step in that process,” she said.

It’s large and directly served by rail, and suitable for industrial purposes, she said. “When things like this come up, there is typically a lot of interest,” she added.

Already, the state and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency teamed up to remove contaminated soil from dozens of homes near the industrial site.

But the Courier-Journal in 2016 reported that Kentucky Division of Waste Management officials had said they could not under state law force a full cleanup to residential standards inside the property. This week, a spokesman for the waste management division, John Mura, said state officials have accepted the technical portions of the ExxonMobil plan “with the caveat that Exxon must be able to demonstrate property access and the ability to place an environmental covenant on the property if necessary.

“To date, Exxon has not demonstrated that ability.”

He said state officials hope the Young lawsuit “does not further delay the restart of remedial work that could begin soon after the property access and ownership issues are resolved.”

Security concerns

Exxon has played a key role in working with the state on a remediation plan.

“ExxonMobil seeks access to the property to meet its environmental and regulatory obligations,” said Todd Spitler, company spokesman. “We continue to work under the direction of (Kentucky regulators) to develop and implement a remedy for this site that is protective of human health and the environment.”

A First Capital Bank of Kentucky representative did not return a request for comment.

Some of the chemicals found on the property have been measured at hundreds to thousands of times higher than state officials consider safe.

Young granted the Courier-Journal its first tour of the property on Monday, where he sought to make a case for his position. He portrayed himself as a man looking out for a neighborhood troubled by drugs and violence. He said he feels his bank, Exxon and state officials turned against him. “I’ve tried my best. I’ve cooperated with the state,” he said.

The Kentucky Resources Council, an environmental group, also supports cleanup to residential standards, said its director, attorney Tom FitzGerald.

That would best help to “redress a burden that the neighbors have borne for entirely too long, and to provide for the broadest range of future uses,” he said. Leaving polluted soils in place shifts costs to the next generation, he said, adding “it may be legal, but it does not make it just or moral.”

Metro Councilman David James, who represents the area, had also been pressing for a cleanup that would do what Young was seeking – allow for residential development.

James said Tuesday he has not yet heard from the state environmental agency on Black Leaf cleanup requirements and is frustrated that a problem discovered in 2010 remains unsolved.

“I would like to have had it resolved five years ago,” he said.

James also said he was concerned to hear that trespassers or squatters may have set up camps by bringing in couches. He said he did not see any of that several months ago on a visit to the property. “It makes it difficult for police because they don’t have access to it,” said James, a former police officer. “It’s private.”

He also said he may need to “find out why Mr. Young is not doing more to prevent people from coming onto the property he owns – like hiring private security.”

For his part, Young said the property is too large to keep everyone out.

James also said he was not aware of any discussions between Young and the city to bring low-income housing to the property. “At this point, Mr. Young has financial interests in the property and is looking for a way to cover his interests,” James said.

Young said he had been working with the nonprofit Housing Partnership Inc., on the low-income housing plan. The partnership has ties to the city – Mayor Greg Fischer is a board member – and several years ago looked into whether a several-hundred unit affordable housing plan was economically feasible prior to the discovery of the contaminated soils.

That kind of contamination “stops development in their tracks,” said Mike Hynes, president of the partnership.

Last year Hynes reiterated his partnership’s interest in the property for low-income housing if the environmental problems could be worked out. But Hynes said: “The property has to be safe for people to live there.”

Details lacking

Young said his cleanup plan, which he said has been rejected, would have piled a lot of contaminated soils in berms, where it would be permanently entombed.

But he also offered no details on its costs.

When the Courier-Journal on Monday requested details on the two cleanup plans from the state, Mura told the Courier-Journal to submit a request for documents under the Kentucky Open Records law because the matter was now in litigation.

The state, however, is not part of that litigation, and the Courier-Journal is still waiting for a response to the records.

For his part, Young tells a story of how what he thought would be a good, $1.9 million investment has turned into a nightmare that’s cost him dearly. He said he had the property checked out by environmental consultants – a bank requirement – before purchasing it, and they found none of the problems that state officials later discovered.

“I tried to do something good here,” he said. “I am still trying to do something good.”

CONTINUE READING…

Former Kentucky jail guard convicted of beating inmate who later died

 

 

KYRiverJail2.jpg

A former Kentucky jail guard was convicted of beating an inmate and leaving him lying with blood on his face, until another jail employee saw the victim and he was rushed to a hospital and pronounced dead, officials said on Friday.

A federal jury deliberated for an hour and a half before returning the verdict late on Thursday against William Howell, a former deputy jailer at Kentucky River Regional Jail in the town of Hazard, the U.S. Department of Justice said in a statement.

The panel found Howell guilty of excessive force and of ignoring the inmate’s injuries and he faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison for each criminal count when he is sentenced on Aug. 16 at a federal court in London, Kentucky.

Howell, 60, and another guard beat inmate Larry Trent, 54, on July 9, 2013, after he was booked on a charge of drunken driving.

It started when the two guards opened Trent’s cell door to remove a sleeping mat. Trent ran out and the jailers punched, kicked and stomped on Trent before taking him back to his cell, where Howell kicked Trent in the head while he lay on the ground, the Department of Justice statement said.

An autopsy found Trent died of a fracture to his pelvis that caused hemorrhaging and from blunt force trauma to his head, chest and limbs.

Damon Hickman, the other guard, pleaded guilty last year to depriving Trent of his legal rights and falsifying records for his role in the beating, according to court records. He has not yet been sentenced for those convictions.

CONTINUE READING…

http://perrycounty.ky.gov/da/Pages/jail.aspx

H.R.1227 – Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act of 2017

 

legalize-marijuana-leaf-red-white-blue-flag-300x300

 

 

 

PLEASE CONTACT YOUR REPRESENTATIVES TODAY AND SUPPORT THIS BILL TO REMOVE CANNABIS/MARIJUANA FROM THE CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE ACT!

THIS IS THE CLOSEST THING TO A “REPEAL” BILL THAT HAS BEEN OFFERED AND IT IS BEING SUPPORTED BY MOST ACTIVISTS!

 

Find your legislator HERE!

 

To write or call the White House, click here

AND FINALLY, WE USE TWITTER!

The White House 

@WhiteHouse

President Trump

@POTUS

February 27, 2017

Mr. Garrett (for himself, Ms. Gabbard, and Mr. Taylor) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce, and in addition to the Committee on the Judiciary, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned


A BILL

To limit the application of Federal laws to the distribution and consumption of marihuana, and for other purposes.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. Short title.

This Act may be cited as the “Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act of 2017”.

SEC. 2. Application of the Controlled Substances Act to marihuana.

(a) In general.—Part A of the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 801 et seq.) is amended by adding at the end the following:

“SEC. 103. Application of this Act to marihuana.

“(a) Prohibition on certain shipping or transportation.—This Act shall not apply to marihuana, except that it shall be unlawful only to ship or transport, in any manner or by any means whatsoever, marihuana, from one State, territory, or district of the United States, or place noncontiguous to but subject to the jurisdiction thereof, into any other State, territory, or district of the United States, or place noncontiguous to but subject to the jurisdiction thereof, or from any foreign country into any State, territory, or district of the United States, or place noncontiguous to but subject to the jurisdiction thereof, when such marihuana is intended, by any person interested therein, to be received, possessed, sold, or in any manner used, either in the original package or otherwise, in violation of any law of such State, territory, or district of the United States, or place noncontiguous to but subject to the jurisdiction thereof.

“(b) Penalty.—Whoever knowingly violates subsection (a) shall be fined under title 18, United States Code, imprisoned not more than 1 year, or both.”.

(b) Table of contents.—The table of contents for the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act of 1970 (Public Law 91–513; 84 Stat. 1236) is amended by striking the item relating to section 103 and inserting the following:

“Sec. 103. Application of this Act to marihuana.”.

SEC. 3. Deregulation of marihuana.

(a) Removed from schedule of controlled substances.—Subsection (c) of Schedule I of section 202(c) of the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 812(c)) is amended—

(1) by striking “marihuana”; and

(2) by striking “tetrahydrocannabinols”.

(b) Removal of prohibition on import and export.—Section 1010(b) of the Controlled Substances Import and Export Act (21 U.S.C. 960) is amended—

(1) in paragraph (1)—

(A) in subparagraph (F), by inserting “or” after the semicolon;

(B) by striking subparagraph (G); and

(C) by redesignating subparagraph (H) as subparagraph (G);

(2) in paragraph (2)—

(A) in subparagraph (F), by inserting “or” after the semicolon;

(B) by striking subparagraph (G); and

(C) by redesignating subparagraph (H) as subparagraph (G);

(3) in paragraph (3), by striking “paragraphs (1), (2), and (4)” and inserting “paragraphs (1) and (2)”;

(4) by striking paragraph (4); and

(5) by redesignating paragraphs (5), (6), and (7) as paragraphs (4), (5), and (6), respectively.

SEC. 4. Conforming amendments to Controlled Substances Act.

The Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 801 et seq.) is amended—

(1) in section 102(44) (21 U.S.C. 802(44)), by striking “marihuana,”;

(2) in section 401(b) (21 U.S.C. 841(b))—

(A) in paragraph (1)—

(i) in subparagraph (A)—

(I) in clause (vi), by inserting “or” after the semicolon;

(II) by striking (vii); and

(III) by redesignating clause (viii) as clause (vii);

(ii) in subparagraph (B)—

(I) by striking clause (vii); and

(II) by redesignating clause (viii) as clause (vii);

(iii) in subparagraph (C), by striking “subparagraphs (A), (B), and (D)” and inserting “subparagraphs (A) and (B)”;

(iv) by striking subparagraph (D);

(v) by redesignating subparagraph (E) as subparagraph (D); and

(vi) in subparagraph (D)(i), as redesignated, by striking “subparagraphs (C) and (D)” and inserting “subparagraph (C)”;

(B) by striking paragraph (4); and

(C) by redesignating paragraphs (5), (6), and (7) as paragraphs (4), (5), and (6), respectively;

(3) in section 402(c)(2)(B) (21 U.S.C. 842(c)(2)(B)), by striking “, marihuana,”;

(4) in section 403(d)(1) (21 U.S.C. 843(d)(1)), by striking “, marihuana,”;

(5) in section 418(a) (21 U.S.C. 859(a)), by striking the last sentence;

(6) in section 419(a) (21 U.S.C. 860(a)), by striking the last sentence;

(7) in section 422(d) (21 U.S.C. 863(d))—

(A) in the matter preceding paragraph (1), by striking “marijuana,”; and

(B) in paragraph (5), by striking “, such as a marihuana cigarette,”; and

(8) in section 516(d) (21 U.S.C. 886(d)), by striking “section 401(b)(6)” each place the term appears and inserting “section 401(b)(5)”.


All Actions H.R.1227 — 115th Congress (2017-2018)

03/16/2017
Referred to the Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security, and Investigations.
Action By: House Judiciary

03/03/2017
Referred to the Subcommittee on Health.
Action By: House Energy and Commerce

02/27/2017
Referred to House Judiciary
Action By: House of Representatives

02/27/2017
Referred to House Energy and Commerce
Action By: House of Representatives

02/27/2017
Referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce, and in addition to the Committee on the Judiciary, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned.
Action By: House of Representatives

02/27/2017
Introduced in House
Action By: House of Representatives


https://www.whitehouse.gov/contact

https://www.whitehouse.gov/contact/write-or-call

https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-bill/1227/all-actions

https://www.congress.gov/115/bills/hr1227/BILLS-115hr1227ih.pdf

https://www.congress.gov/115/bills/hr1227/BILLS-115hr1227ih.xml

Additional LINKS of Information:

http://www.constitutionalcannabis.com/kentucky-house–senate-action-alerts.html

https://www.facebook.com/Kentucky-House-Senate-Action-Alerts-133526500152199/

2017 Kentucky Marijuana Legalization Vote: Key Dates To Watch

14466869_1790354527915201_1637070348_o

Above:  Unfortunately the above picture was not taken in Kentucky!

 

Have you been trying to follow Kentucky marijuana legalization news online and find you cannot figure out if it is legalized or if the bill died in the Kentucky State Senate?

Current Kentucky medical marijuana laws were introduced in late 2016 by Kentucky state senator, Perry Clark. This particular senator has introduced similar laws in the past, but the one that was due to be voted on in 2017 by Kentucky state lawmakers is called The Cannabis Compassion Act, and it was filed as BR409.

While there were plenty of fans that were excited about this news in early 2017, after the bills for Kentucky legal marijuana were filed, no one seemed to know when anything was going to happen next. It was not really clear to many Kentuckians if lawmakers had denied or confirmed a bill to legalize marijuana.

Worse, the Kentucky State Senate closed their main legislative session on March 31, and there was no news about where the legal marijuana bill was going. In order to get a few facts straight, some careful online sleuthing was done to get all of the right information in the right place.

Medical marijuana touted by supporters to Trump.Protesters organized in January to tell Donald Trump they wanted support for medical marijuana. [Image by Theo Wargo/Getty Images]

As previously reported by the Inquisitr, Kentucky did not pass medical marijuana in early 2017. The confusion was caused when several articles were published in February that quoted a news source that had misinformation on the topic.

Instead, the bill to pass medical marijuana in the state of Kentucky is actually two different bills. The names of these bills are SB76 and SB57.

When information is reviewed about Kentucky’s medical marijuana bills that are being proposed in 2017, it shows on the SB76 and SB57 websites that they have been “assigned” to various committees for review — and are therefore still in progress.

SB57 is currently assigned to Health and Welfare, while SB76 is with Licensing, Occupations, and Administrative Regulations.

Regardless, what these pages do not clearly indicate is whether or not these bills are still being considered, when they will be considered, or when they will be voted on.

Thankfully, by cross-referencing with the 2017 interim calendar for the Kentucky State Senate, there is helpful information about approximate dates to expect Kentucky marijuana legalization news.

Rand Paul Kentucky is pro-marijuana.Kentucky U.S. Senator, Rand Paul, is pro-marijuana legalization, but he is not a voting member for the Kentucky State Senate. [Image by Mark Wilson/Getty Images]

As far as SB76 goes, Licensing, Occupations, and Administrative Regulations will meet the second Friday of each month between June and October. In November, Licensing, Occupations, and Administrative Regulations will meet on the 17th.

For SB57, Health and Welfare meet the third Wednesday of each month during the June-November Kentucky State Senate interim calendar.

With the basic information needed to target key dates to listen out for the legalization of marijuana in Kentucky, the next question is whether or not the state senators will actually vote for it.

Although there have been many supporters of the medical marijuana bill in Kentucky, there have also been a few opponents.

For example, in La Crosse, Wisconsin, they reported that a retired Kentucky state trooper, Ed Shemelya, is the director of the National Marijuana Initiative, according to WXOW. In La Crosse, Shemelya is educating attendants of his talks about how “marijuana is one of the most dangerous drugs due to what we do not yet know about its effects.”

As an anti-weed advocate, Ed Shemelya has also visited Glasgow, Kentucky, with a similar message.

This time, instead of children, Glasgow Daily Times stated that Shemelya’s audience for his anti-marijuana message was comprised of “law enforcement officials, and others ranged from health educators to youth service and family resource center coordinators.”

Countering anti-weed messages like Ed Shemelya’s are multiple medical marijuana town hall meetings that have been scheduled throughout Kentucky.

According to WSAZ, Justin Lewandoski, a member of the town hall in Paintsville, Kentucky, says the medical marijuana meeting planned for April 20 was meant to educate people by letting people speak about their “experiences with medical marijuana and the relief it provided them.”

While Kentucky is still in the process of potentially voting for medical marijuana, the state continues to prosecute buyers, growers, and distributors. Naturally, keeping marijuana illegal means that budget-strapped Kentucky must pay law enforcement and jails for marijuana arrests.

In addition to the arrests of marijuana growers that know they have THC in their crops, WKYT says that authorities are so overzealous about the illegality of marijuana in Kentucky that they recently burned a crop of commercial hemp because it allegedly had “too much THC.”

Not having legal marijuana in Kentucky also means that the state is targeted for trafficking from outsiders. For example, WKMS reports on April 19 that Kentucky state police arrested a man from Washington state that was trafficking 75-pounds of marijuana through Lyon County.

Kentucky also continues to prosecute marijuana grower John Robert “Johnny” Boone, allegedly the “Godfather” of the Cornbread Mafia. After eluding authorities for almost 10 years, John Boone was finally isolated and captured in 2017.

When John Boone was arrested and convicted in 1988, he went to jail for a decade for having one of the biggest marijuana growing syndicates of all time that had farming operations in almost 30 states, according to U.S. News & World Report.

About the reasons he grew marijuana, John Boone stated the following in federal court when he was sentenced in the late 1980s.

“With the poverty at home [in Kentucky], marijuana is sometimes one of the things that puts bread on the table. We were working with our hands on earth God gave us.”

Updates on Kentucky’s medical marijuana bills can be followed on Legiscan.

CONTINUE READING…

UPDATED: Sam Girod v FDA

Samuel Girod's all-natural herbal products

By Sally Oh on March 30, 2017 | Comments 4 | Affiliate Disclosure

First, please sign and share the petition here: bit.ly/freeamishsam.

Click here for more details and links to all court documents and the indictment.

Feel free to copy and repost on your blog, social media, or print and handout, use as a cover letter for a printed petition (click here to download petition). Since the Amish don’t use the internet, many of them don’t even know about Sam’s situation! Please share the printed petition, get their signatures, then email or mail to me here.

Samuel Girod [G as in Gee: gi-ROD] and his family have been making and selling three all-natural herbal products for nearly 20 years.

No one has ever been harmed by the products; the Girods have pages of testimonials and scores of repeat customers.

Similar products are currently made and sold online worldwide (including on Amazon) by other people using the same or similar basic ingredients. The recipes are online as well, you can make them in your kitchen.

In 2001, an FDA agent informed Sam that his product labels were making medical claims regarding healing certain conditions. At the time, Sam’s label said, ““[g]ood for all skin disorders. Skin cancer, cuts, burns, draws, and poison ivy.”

Sam had to change his label, removing the skin cancer claim specifically, or do very expensive testing proving the claims. Sam changed the label, removing any reference to skin cancer.

Sam did not receive any further communication from the FDA until 2012 when someone called the FDA and reported that a store in MO was selling Sam’s products and that medical claims were being made.

The “medical claims” were in fact customer testimonials contained in a brochure about Sam’s products! These testimonials are no different than Amazon reviews.

Then the FDA claimed to have found a MO customer who had been harmed by Sam’s bloodroot salve.

In early 2013, during the investigation on that claim, FDA agents went to Sam’s home and demanded a warrantless search. Wanting to be cooperative, Sam said OK on one condition: that no photographs were taken (the Amish are religiously opposed to photography). The agents said no problem, no photos.

Then they got on the property, whipped out their cameras and took photos of everything.

Several months later, the Girods went before a federal judge in MO re the medical claims and the person supposedly injured. Turns out, not only has this customer never been identified or produced, the bloodroot salve this customer used was not even Sam’s!!!

Yet that judge put an injunction on Sam’s products with three stipulations:

  1. none could be sold until all medical claims were removed (referring to the brochures);
  2. Sam’s bloodroot salve could never be sold again EVER (1); and
  3. Sam had to allow inspection of his property where the products were made FOR FIVE YEARS.

Sam complied with 1 and 2: he stopped selling the bloodroot salve and stopped using the brochures. He was not so compliant with the searches.

In late 2013, after the injunction, FDA agents came to do a second search. Sam informed them that nothing had changed since the first search 7 months earlier, and that, since they had lied and taken photos during the first search, they were not welcome to do a second.

Sam had a Bath County Sheriff’s deputy there who witnessed the entire event and told the agents to leave the property.

Unfortunately for Sam, he knows his constitutionally-guaranteed rights and he relied on them to make his next decisions.

These three product sales are how Sam’s family made their living. They had been denied this right via an arbitrary regulation made up by a federal agency with no true jurisdiction in the states — and with NO VICTIM.

So the Girods started selling their products again. Then, in 2014, Sam started a legal private membership club and sold his products to members via that framework. Perfectly legal.

Meanwhile, the FDA started criminal proceedings against Sam for disobeying the injunction (selling his products and refusing the search) plus two other very serious charges:

1. The FDA agents claimed that, when they came for the 2nd search, Sam and his family threatened them with physical violence. That is ludicrous enough on the face of it. Plus, the Sheriff’s deputy testified under oath that absolutely no threats were made, that, essentially, the FDA agents lied under oath.

2. The FDA also charged Sam with witness tampering. The witness who was supposedly tampered with? Read the eyewitness account of Mary Miller’s testimony, link below. (2)

The Trial 2.27.17

The Amish do not use lawyers as a rule and Sam did not. This is a decision made by the community, not just the accused. Apparently the Amish don’t trust lawyers. Imagine that.

Because he barely presented a defense against federal prosecutors for whom money and conscience are not problems, Sam was convicted on all counts. (3)

The judge ordered Sam to remain in jail until sentencing on 6/16/17. He’s been in jail since 2/27/17.

Had Sam had a good attorney, he would certainly have been acquitted on the most egregious counts (threatening federal agents and witness tampering). These charges were clearly manufactured solely to make Sam into a “real” criminal, with the FDA being the only victim.

The only other charges — selling “drugs” across state lines — were manufactured out of whole cloth as well. The FDA’s own tests proved that the products were not drugs, that they were made from all-natural ingredients!!! These charges should have been dismissed from the start.

Sam’s sentencing is 6/16 and he is looking at 68 years in prison. This is essentially a life sentence for charges stemming from an innocent labeling infraction!

Sam should not spend a minute in jail. Please sign and share our petition to President Trump for a presidential pardon: bit.ly/freeamishsam

Burning Questions

  • How does the FDA get away with determining what constitutes a “medical claim” anyway?
  • How are they able to define “drug” so broadly that a topical salve made from all edible ingredients becomes a “drug?”
  • Why are Amazon reviews ok but Sam’s customers’ testimonials a basis for criminal charges?
  • How is the FDA able to create criminal penalties for violation of arbitrary rules?
  • How does this kind of action against an Amish grandfather making salves from all-natural ingredients protect the public, particularly considering that every 19 minutes, someone dies from an FDA-approved pharmaceutical, an actual drug that has been tested and “proven safe”?
  • How will Sam’s incarceration for life make the American public any safer?
  • Considering that no one was harmed by his products, how has spending millions of dollars on Sam’s prosecution and 16 years of harassment made the world a better place?

A SOLUTION

There is a better way to handle this. Let us Americans make healing claims on our products with the disclaimer, “These claims have not been scientifically proven. Please use your internet and library to verify claims to your own satisfaction prior to use.”

Sam’s prosecution is a prime example of bureaucracy run amok, enforcement for enforcement’s sake to justify an agency’s existence. There are literally thousands of people in jail (4) for breaking agency regulations fabricated by the agencies! Their rules and regulations are as arbitrary and illegal as they can be, with the result of making us all criminals in our own homes.

Who exactly is being protected here?


Resources:


(1) In the indictment, bloodroot is repeatedly referred to as “dangerous” with no documentation whatsoever. Bloodroot is from a plant grown in North America, it’s perfectly legal and used by millions of people for centuries for healing purposes. Bloodroot products are sold all over the internet, including on Amazon.


(2) Mary Miller is the 2nd witness called: http://www.kyfreepress.com/2017/03/trial-fda-v-samuel-girod-day-2/


(3) Trial Day 1, Trial Day 2, Trial Day 3


(4) http://thefreedomcoalition.com

Sally Oh

Sally Oh

Sally Oh is a native Kentuckian, wife, mother, blogger, homesteader, chickenista, recovering REALTOR® and Functional Medicine Practitioner. A liberty activist and registered voter, that’s her falling down a rabbit hole.

CONTINUE READING…