The Continuing Saga of Kentucky Cannabis…

Headlines from the past week on the continuing argument concerning Cannabis “legalization” in Kentucky…

Witnesses testify against Kentucky legalizing marijuana

LOUISVILLE (WHAS) — A proposal to balance Kentucky’s pension crisis with proceeds from pot sales has gained a lot of attention on social media. Thursday it was the focus of a hearing in Frankfort.  

Governor Matt Bevin has said he’s against recreational or “adult use” of marijuana but Senator Dan Seum, a powerful member of Governor Bevin’s own party, thinks it’s a way to bail Kentucky out of the pension crisis.

There’s still a way to go before even medicinal marijuana could be approved in Kentucky so the Interim Joint Committee on Veterans, Military Affairs, and Public Protection listened to a panel of experts opposed to pot.

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Law Enforcement Group Opposes Legalized Marijuana in Kentucky

As Kentucky lawmakers explore ways to pay for public employee pensions, a coalition of law enforcement groups say legalizing marijuana for recreational use isn’t the answer.

“I’m not willing to risk my grandchildren’s health to save my pension,” Kentucky State Police Commissioner Richard W. Sanders said yesterday while testifying before the Interim Joint Committee on Veterans, Military Affairs and Public Protection. “I don’t think that is the right way to go with this thing.”

Sanders is a 40-year law enforcement veteran with 21 years vested in the state’s hazardous duty pension.

Kentucky Office of Drug Control Policy Executive Director Van Ingram testified that marijuana is harmful to society.

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Hearing Held in Frankfort About Legalizing Recreational Marijuana in Kentucky

Hearing Held in Frankfort About Legalizing Recreational Marijuana in Kentucky

A public forum was held with the Committee on Veterans, Military Affairs and Public Protection. The committee heard testimony on cannabis and public safety.

Kentucky State Police, the Kentucky Office of Drug Control Police, the National Marijuana Initiative and Smart Approaches to Marijuana were representative to testify. There was also an opportunity for people who wanted to give their opinion but are not scheduled to testify.

STATE BY STATE: Kentucky Cannabis News

Sen. Dan Seum has said legalizing marijuana and taxing it could help the state dig out of the massive pension hole.

Kentucky State Police Commissioner Rick Sanders says this situation isn’t just about the pension.

“My 40 years in law enforcement tells me this is not the savior,” says Sanders. “I’m not willing to risk my children and grandchildren’s health to save my pension.”

During the meeting a committee voted to send a letter to the Food and Drug Administration asking for continued and accelerated research.

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Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin Will Veto Any Legislative Attempt to Legalize Recreational Marijuana

One Kentucky lawmaker is pushing for legalization as a way to solve the state’s pension problem, but Gov. Bevin says it’ll have to wait until he’s out of office.

With California, Massachusetts and Maine debuting recreational marijuana markets next year, it may seem like legal weed is everywhere. But beyond the country’s progressive coastal hubs, huge swaths of America are still being thrown in jail for cannabis crimes, with politicians who are supposed to be protecting their constituents pushing blatant lies about weed in an effort to protect prohibition’s status quo.

In Kentucky, Republican state Senator Dan Seum is ready to change those tired traditions, and has already voiced plans to introduce legislation to legalize recreational marijuana, with an eye towards funding the state’s floundering pension program through cannabis tax revenue.

However, rationally or not, Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin is firmly cemented in the past and will do everything in his power to block Seum’s legalization effort, effectively signaling a death sentence for Kentucky cannabis reform until at least 2020.

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RELATED:

This meeting was not supposed to known to the public… “Frankfort, Anti-Marijuana Discussion”

Additional information here:

KY4MM

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Former judge accused of rape, human trafficking indicted on more Kentucky charges

Image result for timothy nolan kentucky

By Karla Ward

kward1@herald-leader.com

Criminal charges continue to pile up for a former judge accused of rape and human trafficking in Northern Kentucky.

Former Campbell County District Judge Timothy Nolan, 70, was indicted by a Campbell County grand jury Thursday on eight additional felony charges. Those included two counts of human trafficking; one count of attempted human trafficking with a minor; one count of third-degree sodomy; one count of rape of a female over 12; two counts of unlawful transaction with a minor under 16 – controlled substance; and one count of unlawful transaction with a minor under 18 – controlled substance.

Nolan, of California, Ky., is accused of crimes involving 22 victims, including eight juveniles, the Kentucky attorney general’s office said in a news release Thursday. The crimes allegedly occurred between 2010 and May of this year.

Prosecutors have accused Nolan, who served as a judge in the 1970s and 1980s, of using drugs, money and threats to coerce women and juveniles to have sex with him.

Thursday’s indictment is the fourth issued against Nolan since May and brings the total charges against him to 28 felony counts and two misdemeanors.

His attorney has suggested that the charges are the result of a political vendetta.

Nolan is being held in the Campbell County Detention Center. His next hearing is scheduled for Oct. 27, and Nolan is scheduled to go to trial on Feb. 27.

Karla Ward: 859-231-3314, @HLpublicsafety

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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.

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Legendary pot grower Johnny Boone, leader of Kentucky’s ‘Cornbread Mafia,’ back in U.S.

636270046066628711-boone.jpg

John “Johnny” Boone, the leader of Kentucky’s “Cornbread Mafia,” once the nation’s largest domestic marijuana producing organization, is back in the United States after eight years on the lam.

Boone, who was once featured on “America’s Most Wanted,” was apprehended in Canada in December 2016 and was ordered detained Wednesday after appearing in U.S. District Court in Burlington, Vermont, about 90 miles south of Montreal.

He had been extradited to the U.S. and will be transported to Louisville soon, according to Kraig LaPorte, a spokesman for the U.S. attorney’s office in Burlington. Wendy McCormick, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney’s office in Louisville, said it could be a week or two before he is flown to Louisville on a U.S. Marshal Service flight.

Boone, 73, a legendary figure in central Kentucky, faces charges on a 2008 indictment that accused him of growing and distributing marijuana on his farm in Springfield, where more than 2,400 marijuana plants allegedly were found by Kentucky State Police and the Drug Enforcement Administration. The government is also trying to force him to forfeit cash, vehicles, a handgun and an AR-15 rifle.

He fled after a warrant was issued for his arrest, and he faces up to life in prison if convicted.

►EARLIER COVERAGE: ‘Cornbread Mafia’ fugitive in court

Federal prosecutors in Vermont requested his detention, saying he faces a long prison term and at age 73 has a strong incentive to flee. The motion also noted that he’d lived illegally in Canada for eight years, “which alone renders him a flight risk.”

The Cornbread Mafia, a group of mostly Kentuckians, pooled their money, machinery, knowledge and labor to produce $350 million in pot seized in Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska and Wisconsin, prosecutors said in 1989.

The organization operated on isolated farms in nine Midwestern states, some of which were guarded by bears and lions, and by workers described by the government as a “paramilitary force.” Boone’s exploits were the subject of a book, “Cornbread Mafia: A Homegrown Syndicate’s Code Of Silence And The Biggest Marijuana Bust In American History,” by Kentucky freelance writer James Higdon.

U.S. Attorney Joe Whittle said in 1989 that marijuana had been seized at 29 sites, including 25 farms outside Kentucky. Sixty-four Kentucky residents were charged, 49 of whom lived in Marion County.

The detention motion says Boone’s criminal history extends to 1969 and includes a 1985 conviction for marijuana possession with intention to distribute, for which he was sentenced to five years, and another conviction for unlawful manufacture of 1,000 plants or more, for which he was sentenced to 20 years and paroled in 1999.

Reporter Andrew Wolfson can be reached at (502) 582-7189 or awolfson@courier-journal.com.

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Louisville drug task force halted amid scandal

USA Today Network Beth Warren, The (Louisville) Courier-Journal Published 7:54 p.m. ET Feb. 28, 2017 |

636238935477448408-ups-worldport-strupp-18018.jpg

An elite Louisville task force that intercepted shipments of heroin and other illegal drugs at UPS’ worldwide hub — considered a “primary” drug pipeline for the region — has been disbanded following a police scandal.

Louisville Metro Police had led the multi-agency task force for more than a decade, until a probe by the Federal Bureau of Investigation last year uncovered a large theft by one of the task force’s on-duty detectives.

LMPD pulled the task force — which included federal agents with Homeland Security Investigations — out of the shipping giant’s Worldport air hub in September and reassigned LMPD detectives to other narcotics operations, a Courier-Journal investigation has found.

“Losing that is a major setback,” said Louisville Metro Councilman David James, head of the council’s public safety committee.

James, a former LMPD narcotics detective, said he had assisted task force members several times in intercepting drugs at the shipping hub.

“Worldport, while they are a tremendous asset to our community, the drug dealers see it as a tremendous opportunity for their businesses — making that one of their primary ways in the region for distributing drugs and funds,” James said.

►MORE FROM THE CJ: Concealed guns bill ‘on life support’

Narcotics investigators across the state are anxiously watching to see if the task force can be restored and operations resumed inside the 5.2 million-square-foot UPS facility, located at Louisville International Airport and billed as the heart of UPS’ global air network.

Former LMPD detective Kyle Willett pleaded guilty to

Former LMPD detective Kyle Willett pleaded guilty to $74,000 theft (Photo: provided by Louisville Metro Police Department)

Much of the illegal drugs are shipped from Mexican cartels, said U.S. Attorney John Kuhn, who is over federal prosecutors in the Western District of Kentucky. Investigators have used drug-detecting dogs to intercept packages headed to Louisville or through Worldport en route to other destinations.

“It’s so important that this task force be reconstituted,” Kuhn said. “We’re having productive conversations with UPS. They don’t want to be shipping poison.”

The task force was disbanded after veteran LMPD Detective Kyle Willett — once featured on the true crime TV show “48 Hours” — admitted intercepting packages, headed from drug dealers to larger suppliers, and taking them to his car several times last year. From January through August, he stole more than $74,700, according to his guilty plea in federal court in December. He is awaiting sentencing.

Police are still dealing with the ripple effects of his crimes.

“It’s disappointing,” LMPD’s Deputy Chief Michael Sullivan said Tuesday of Willett’s actions and the ensuing fallout. “We suspended what we were doing out there because we wanted to find out what was going on.

“We’ll look at policies and practices and see what we did right and what we did wrong,” he said.

►READ MORE: 3-day pain pill limit easily passes House

►SEE ALSO: Ky. House considers changes to drivers’ licenses

UPS must consent to allow the task force back on its private property to initiate drug investigations, Kuhn said, otherwise detectives would be required to have a search warrant, hamstringing investigators battling the region’s heroin and opioid crisis.

“The task force removed itself from Worldport. We did not remove them,” UPS spokesman Mike Mangeot said.

UPS has continued in-house security measures to intercept illegal packages and has called in LMPD and various law enforcement across the country, Mangeot said. He declined to discuss specifics.

“What we have here is a rogue cop. It’s exceedingly rare.”

News of the FBI investigation spread through Louisville’s police force and to reporters, who pressed the department and city officials for information Sept. 16. That night, LMPD spokesman Dwight Mitchell sent a news release announcing that Willett and one of his fellow task force members, Thomas Barth, had been placed on administrative reassignment after the force received information they “may have violated federal law.”

Willett and Barth were part of a task force that in 2011 had earned a competitive spot in the federal High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area program, a designation by the Office of National Drug Control Policy that requires federal, state and local partnerships. Investigators with Kentucky State Police and the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office were also part of the task force.

Their HIDTA team, known as the parcel interdiction task force or Airport Interdiction Unit conducted frequent inspections of shipments headed to or through Louisville in a partnership with UPS as well as other shipping companies like DHL Express, Fed-Ex and the United State Postal Service, which Kuhn said also are used by drug traffickers.

Within days of the task force pulling out of Worldport, LMPD officials also halted participation in the HIDTA program, which had augmented the task force with about $200,000 annually and linked its members to a network of resources and training.

Appalachia HIDTA executive director Vic Brown, who oversees 34 HIDTA initiatives in Kentucky and three other states from his London, Kentucky, headquarters, said LMPD officials told him in mid-September they were suspending requests for HIDTA funding — after the FBI investigation of the task force was made public.

“We didn’t cut off funding,” Brown said. “They came to us and said, due to the incident that happened, the task force is no longer operating.”

 

A California drug task force called LMPD last year to report something amiss at Worldport. Chief Steve Conrad referred the case to the FBI. The federal investigation included watching task force members on video surveillance. Something they discovered lead to the initial criminal investigation of Barth.

Five months later, the department hasn’t issued any news releases on the task force or any follow-ups on Barth.

The detective didn’t want to discuss the investigation with a reporter, according to his attorney, Steve Schroering. But Schroering said he was told several weeks ago that Barth wouldn’t face criminal charges federally or at the state level.

“Tommy Barth did not break any laws whatsoever and he’s looking forward to resuming his career with the police department,” Schroering said.

On Monday, Mitchell confirmed an ongoing internal investigation by the Professional Standards Unit, which evaluates if any departmental policies or procedures have been violated. Neither Barth’s attorney nor the department spokesman would discuss the nature of the ongoing investigation.

But Schroering said “there was never any allegation that Tommy Barth stole anything. He’s on light duty, administrative duties, not out on the street actively patrolling. He’s certainly hopeful he’ll remain with LMPD.”

 

Kuhn confirmed that Willett was the only task force member his office planned to prosecute.

“What we have here is a rogue cop,” the U.S. Attorney said. “It’s exceedingly rare.”

Still, he acknowledged that rebuilding trust between UPS and law enforcement will take time.

He has discussed intensifying management and oversight of the task force, possibly designating Homeland Security in a co-leadership role with LMPD.

LMPD’s Sullivan called discussions with UPS “very preliminary,” too early to predict how the task force would be structured. He said the department is still reviewing policies and procedures of the operations to see if adjustments need to be made.

“We’re having productive conversations with UPS. They don’t want to be shipping poison.”

 

“We want to make sure we have the systems in place to mitigate the possibility of these types of things happening in the future,” the deputy chief said.

“Obviously, being a major hub, it’s very important. There’s definitely a need for us to be there.”

Kuhn, who is on the Appalachia HIDTA executive board, said, “It’s understandable UPS would be concerned about this, but I’m confident we can take care of their concerns.”

As to whether the task force could resume participation with the HIDTA program, Brown said:  “If they come back to us with a proposal and are back to work, we would consider funding it again.

“We’re just waiting for the dust to settle,” he said. “I don’t know what the future holds for it.”

Reporter Beth Warren can be reached at (502) 582-7164 or bwarren@courier-journal.com.

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“Our lives matter just as much as anybody’s. …

Chief removes Punisher emblem, ‘Blue Lives Matter’ from police cars after public reacts

The Catlettsburg Police Department installed the decals on eight vehicles in December.

By Fernando Alfonso III

falfonso@herald-leader.com

Catlettsburg

An Eastern Kentucky police chief has removed large decals with the Punisher skull and “Blue Lives Matter” from eight police cars after a backlash following the publication of a Herald-Leader story.

The Catlettsburg Police department, which employs eight full-time and two part-time officers for a population of about 2,500, featured the images on the hoods of its 2013 and 2017 Ford Interceptor sedans and sport-utility vehicles, assistant police chief Gerry Hatzel said. The stylized skull was from “The Punisher” comic book series.

The vinyl decals featuring “Blue Lives Matter” and the Punisher logo were created in Louisiana and affixed to the Catlettsburg Police Department vehicles. Fernando Alfonso III falfonso@herald-leader.com

The logo was praised by local residents but raised questions among others in the commonwealth.

The designs were spearheaded by Police Chief Cameron Logan, who worked with a vinyl decal shop in Louisiana to get the decals printed. Logan installed the decals on all the police vehicles in December. He would not discuss how much the decals cost.

“That design is basically to give back to the police officers,” Logan, who has been with the department for 13 years, said before reversing course on the emblems. “Our lives matter just as much as anybody’s. … I’m not racist or anything like that, I’m not trying to stir anything up like that. I consider it to be a ‘warrior logo.’ Just ’cause it has ‘Blue Lives Matter’ on the hood, all lives matter. That decal represents that we will take any means necessary to keep our community safe.”

Overdoses and drug-related crimes have been on the rise, the chief said.

The city council and Mayor Randall Peterman approved the designs, Logan said. The Herald-Leader unsuccessfully sought comment from the mayor.

Richard “Andy” Brown, 37, who was elected to the six-person council after its vote on the decals, was critical of the decals.

“I don’t see why they’d waste the money, honestly,” said Brown, a Catlettsburg native whose family owns the IGA grocery in town. “My main objective is to make sure the taxpayers’ money is used in the most efficient way possible. It wasn’t expensive, but still. If it’s something they feel strongly about, they’re risking their lives and I understand that. I just think it’s a little bit strange. There’s been a lot of people mistreated by police, and their lives matter, too, like that guy in North Carolina.”

The shooting Brown referred to was of Keith Lamont Scott, 43, in September 2016 by a Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officer.

Central to the decals was the Punisher, the nom de guerre of the Marvel anti-hero Frank Castle, a former Force Reconnaissance Marine and Vietnam War veteran who doles out justice “using torture, murder and kidnapping in his anti-crime crusade,” according to Time Magazine. The logo has been unofficially used by military units and was popularized in the award-winning film “American Sniper.”

The “Blue Lives Matter” movement unofficially began in December 2014 after two New York Police Department officers were shot and killed “by a fanatic who believed the lies of Black Lives Matter, the media, and politicians,” states Bluelivesmatter.blue, a media company founded by active and retired officers. The movement has since been embraced by President Donald Trump and has been used to describe a series of bills in Mississippi and Kentucky that would label crimes against police officers as hate crimes.

Kentucky’s “Blue Lives Matter” legislation is House Bill 14. The bill passed in Kentucky’s House on Feb. 13 after Donna Mayfield, R-Winchester, was called a racist by Black Lives Matter protesters angry over her support of the legislation. Louisiana became the first state to pass a “Blue Lives Matter” bill in May 2016.

Some Catlettsburg residents said they hope Kentucky is the next to formally embrace the “Blue Lives Matter” movement.

Daniel Ray, 63, grew up in Catlettsburg and said that respect for police has suffered nationwide.

“I think everybody should be out there supporting their police and their community,” Ray said. “They’re out there putting their lives on the line every day. They get little gratitude for that already, and when we have silly people who challenge them and wonder what’s going to happen, what do you expect is going to happen? We shouldn’t be challenging our police officers. We should be supporting them.”

That opinion was shared by Charles Allen, the pastor of Catlettsburg’s United Methodist Church. Allen has lived in Catlettsburg since 1968 and is originally from Michigan.

“I think it’s a good thing,” Allen said. “I think all lives matter. Nothing to do with color. Black lives, yellow lives, red lives, whatever color of your skin. To God, every human being has a soul and we matter to God and we matter to each other.”

Photos of the Catlettsburg police cars were positively featured on the Kentucky Going Blue’s Facebook page, but on Reddit’s Kentucky community, the response was more critical. Reddit users questioned the legality of the decals and suggested the Punisher was “a really poorly thought-out message for a law enforcement agency to be putting out there.”

Syracuse University’s Roy Gutterman, who also is director of the school’s Tully Center for Free Speech, said the Catlettsburg Police Department was within its rights to feature the decals, which are often “an ordinary governmental administrative decision.”

“Even though the slogan mimics the ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement, I would not say that ‘Blue Lives Matter’ necessarily demeans any other slogan that would subject the city to any other additional criticism,” Gutterman said.

Gutterman also said the department’s use of the Punisher could generate negative attention from the Walt Disney Co., which acquired Marvel Entertainment in December 2009 for $4.2 billion. Disney threatened legal action against a gun accessory manufacturer in Nov. 2015 for using its Punisher imagery. The city didn’t seek Disney’s approval, the chief said. Disney did not respond to a request for comment.

“If the department is using an actual comic book character, I suspect this usage is an infringement of intellectual property rights, specifically the copyright held by the creators or owners of that character,’ Gutterman said before the decals were removed Friday. “The appropriation of that image might be more troubling than whatever the character may stand for. They might as well put Batman or Superman on the cruisers while they’re at it.”

Fernando Alfonso III: 859-231-1324, @fernalfonso

CONTINUE READING…http://www.kentucky.com/news/state/article134722264.html

Free KY Amish Farmer Samuel Girod

We the people ask the federal government to Take or explain a position on an issue or policy:

Free KY Amish Farmer Samuel Girod

Created by S.O. on January 27, 2017
Sign This Petition

Needs 99,999 signatures by February 26, 2017 to get a response from the White House

 

100,000 goal

The FDA is trying to put Sam in jail for 58 YEARS for a labeling infraction. Please sign and share this petition far and wide. His trial is 2/27/17 and we need 100,000 signatures to get Trump's attention before then!

Basic story here: http://www.davidgumpert.com/2783-2

Indictment here with explanations: http://www.kyfreepress.com/2017/01/fda-girod-indictment/

Local CBS affiliate story here: http://www.wkyt.com/content/news/WKYT-Investigation-Amish-farmer-in-jail…

Updates coming asap!

SOURCE LINK AND SIGN PETITION!