The following can be called my rendition on the opioid/lack of Medical Marijuana/ crisis in Kentucky,

Fighting

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Support the Marijuana Justice Act

(…or whatever else you want to call it!)

Any way that you look at it, none of it passes the “smell test”!

From Robert Weber of the Kentucky Legislative Research Commission came the following account of  a meeting of both the Interim Joint Committee on Health and Welfare and Family Services, and the Medicaid Oversight and Advisory Committee.  The title was,

“Lawmakers hear sobering account of opioid crisis”,

It went on to say that “At one Kentucky hospital, people are actually bringing in heroin and shooting up with patients.”

The following can be called my rendition of the opioid crisis in Kentucky, which would probably apply in most places, but I live here and can only truly state what I’ve seen and what my own experience has been.

I see this issue from all sides.  The side of the Lawmakers who are trying to control the horrible issue at hand as well as the side of the patient who needs opioid medication and the opioid abuser as well, as I have had close family members deal with this issue not the least of which was my youngest daughter.

In 2015 I wrote about HB 1 in Kentucky and how it affected patients who were cut off from their opioid medications that they had been used to getting on a regular basis with little or no warning and the position it put them into.  Some of them couldn’t pass the urine test required because of intermittent Cannabis use, some of them were cut off because of other opiates showing up in their urine tests, and a lot of them were disenfranchised by their doctors who just cut everyone off because of fear of the DEA.  They PASSED their drug tests and still were turned away.

I have talked to several M.D.’s about the situation and they all told me the same thing – they are afraid to prescribe even to patients who are obviously in need of medication for fear of the DEA and losing their license to practice.  IF there is any amount of opiate in your drug screen they will definitely not prescribe, period.  It just doesn’t matter if it is only a little “pot”.  One of them went so far as to say that they thought it was population control!  I agreed with them!  The degree of death from heroin, buprenorphine and other even stronger pharmaceuticals than the ones that everyone was worried about killing people to begin with has created a population culling/control.  Get rid of the addicts! 

Now, imagine being a middle age person with chronic debilitating disease which causes pain, who has used marijuana for a very long time in order to keep from using too much opioid medication.  You go to your doctors appointment expecting to get your monthly prescription for 30 pain pills (not long-acting!),  so you can sleep at night and are requested to submit random urine test – which you fail, of course, because you smoked Cannabis for pain and severe anxiety – which leaves you out in the street – IF you have to have relief.  All I can say is thank God for Cannabis and the fact that it is a plant!  #PLANTSRIGHTS  

Now imagine being 25-30 years old, maybe older, having debilitating pain from a health issue, which Doctor’s conveniently prescribed a sh*tload of opiates of all kinds for, (i.e., the cocktails)… Don’t forget the Oxycontin which was sold to us as a non-addictive narcotic!  You probably do not use much Cannabis because you know you may be randomly tested, and you NEED those drugs!  BUT, you can get by with using a “spice” product, or a little meth, or a little of something else as long as it gets out of your system before you have to go to the Pain Clinic again!  SOMEHOW you miscalculate and low and behold a positive urine screen comes back for “whatever” and you are kicked out in the cold with absolutely nothing after having been on all those opiates and benzo’s and whatever else they wrote the ten prescriptions for the last time you were there, AFTER they injected your spine with a poison concoction of unknown chemicals.

What are you going to do when your Doctor refuses to prescribe and you are conveniently addicted to all those medications which you can ONLY get from a Physician at a pain clinic?

DETOX on your own?  You got to work to pay the bills!  Rent doesn’t go away just because your Doctor did!  Now you have to find something, somewhere, that will keep you going no matter what, and your gonna need to work more because the cost of “your medicine” is going to eat up your paycheck.  And then a lot of the “drugs” disappear off of the street – practically all at once – because everybody lost their Doctors.  Now what?  Never fear, Heroin is here. 

It is fucking human nature to find something to relieve pain.  Especially severe pain – ESPECIALLY if your already addicted to the opiates!  The Government made sure that everyone that was in “pain” was treated when they enacted the…

H.R. 756 (111th): National Pain Care Policy Act of 2009

Yeah, people are in pain.  In legitimate pain for a lot of reasons.  Years of abuse from employers, eating too much fast food which was sold to us by media marketing, abuse of alcohol and sugar and caffeine and tobacco.  Sedentary living in front of the TV.  Lack of exercise.  Bogus and unnecessary surgeries and medical mistakes and mishaps.  Veterans with service related injuries and mental issues.  The list goes on and on and on and EVERYONE is on this list somewhere.  They got us and they got our Children!  Hell, they even got our damn Dogs (tramadol)!  And then they gave the tramadol back to us!

Office of Drug Control Policy Executive Director Van Ingram testified that 1,404 Kentuckians died of a drug overdose last year.

In 2015 I posted this information which was attached to a link which is now defunct.  Imagine that.  At the time I did not print that information out and I haven’t had the time nor inclination to re-search it out again.  They effectively removed it from sight.  But it did exist and I think that it summarizes quite well how much the Kentucky Government felt about it’s opioid addicted Citizens.  Say what you will but I know there had to be a much better way to handle the situation!

One could theorize that the passage of HB50 which included a provision to “provide funding for the purchase and administration of naltrexone for extended-release injectable suspension”,   for Heroin overdoses was a calculated response to what they knew was going to happen when they discontinued “narcotics” at the Doctor’s office…more Heroin deaths.   Per the Interim Joint Committee on Judiciary on July 27, 2015…

Minutes of the 2nd Meeting of the 2015 Interim

July 27, 2015

The mandatory use of KASPER has resulted in three things: overall decreased prescribing of controlled substances, decreased inappropriate prescribing, and decreased “doctor shopping”. All three of these were goals of the bill, and all three have been successfully achieved. House Bill 217 was passed a year later, which cleaned up some parts of House Bill 1 and married the regulations to the statutory provisions. Representative Tilley asked members to note that those who are prescribing in high quantities are being monitored. Statistics have shown that since the passage of House Bill 1, heroin use increased. There has been an increase in heroin-related deaths.

Link:  http://www.lrc.ky.gov/LRCSiteSessionSearch/dtSearch/dtisapi6.dll?cmd=getdoc&DocId=752229&Index=E%3a\dtsearch_indexes\LRC_WebSite&HitCount=2&hits=11a+123+&SearchForm=

In what he described as a “rare bright spot, there were 70 million fewer dosage units of opioids prescribed last year in Kentucky than in 2011”. (That percentage doesn’t include buprenorphine, a semisynthetic opioid that is used to treat opioid addiction.) There are still about 300 million dosage units of opioids being prescribed in Kentucky.

Rep. Mary Lou Marzian, D-Louisville, asked how the state could fund the mental health, treatment and prevention programs needed.

The answer to Rep. Marzian’s question is that we won’t be funding mental health programs.  There is virtually no qualified Psychiatrist’s in the rural area’s of Kentucky and most of the people that they put in different “counseling services” to make it look like there is  mental health care are not qualified to handle the patients that they need to treat here. 

But there are plenty of “methodone clinics”.

Kentucky doctors have new restrictions for prescribing Suboxone after efforts to curb pill mills created a new cash-for-pills market and a street trade for the drug designed to safely wean addicts from heroin.
LINK

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Kentucky All Schedule Prescription Electronic Reporting Quarterly Trend Report 2nd Quarter 2017

The end result of all of this is that people are and will continue to suffer in Kentucky whether they be patients or addicts, or families of those who are patients or addicts.  The reasons for this can be debated over and over but it comes down to money.  And, how to ignore those who do not have any money. 

I, personally, am not a big fan of LEGALIZED medical marijuana, in and of itself.  I am surprised that Kentucky has not adopted that stance by now because when you “legalize” it, as a prescription medicine, you will open up all avenues for the prison industrial complex yet again.  It would be in their favor to “legalize” Marijuana for that reason – CONTROL.  However, the majority of Kentuckians have opted for “Medical Marijuana” and they have spoken loudly…

Let me say that I DO BELIEVE that their is room for regulated Cannabis in the Pharmaceutical market – BUT NOT at the expense of everyone’s rights to be able to grow this “medicinal” plant in our own backyard just as Oregano can be.  If the Government cannot do its job correctly and see that everyone is equally justified to use this plant as they see fit, then it should be immediately REPEALED from the CSA and any other Statute which may inflict harm upon a person for possessing, growing or using this plant!  Remove it from the Pharmacopeia and let the people do what they will with this plant.  We will learn to make our own medicine!

Another year has passed us by to no avail of Medical Cannabis in Kentucky.  Gov. Matt Bevin has made it clear what his intentions are at this time even though he had made “campaign promises” to many people to see that this issue was voted on favorably.  Yet we sit and wait.  What are we waiting for?

If it were my decision codeine, and hydrocodone – up to 5mg –  would be available at the pharmacy, with no prescription, with restrictions on how often you could purchase.  Since we have all the new monitoring programs this shouldn’t be hard to accomplish. 

As well, a low dose benzodiazepine should be made available as well.  And Cannabis medicines should be commonly available just as they were before 1937. 

Additionally, the Cannabis plant should be growing in everyone’s yard and it should be the first plant of choice for most everyday ailments – in addition to being a wonder drug to Cancer Patients and others with debilitating illnesses.   That is the beauty of Cannabis —  it can be utilized in so many different ways and help so many people.

God gave us all the plants and animals here on Planet Earth.

Why do people feel the need to steal them from us?

RELATED:

KASPER Reports and Studies
The Pharmacies Thriving in Kentucky’s Opioid-Stricken Towns
Drug that was supposed to stem Kentucky’s heroin epidemic creates a whole new problem
House Bill 1 Information
When pot means no prescription for pain
Physicians’ legal duty to relieve suffering
Opioids and the Treatment of Chronic Pain: Controversies, Current Status, and Future Directions
A patient denied a same-day appointment at a pain-management clinic in Las Vegas shot and injured two employees Thursday before fatally shooting himself, police said.
DEA Inflicts Harm on Chronic Pain Patients
https://pharmacy.ky.gov/Pages/Links.aspx
https://kentuckymarijuanaparty.com/2015/09/14/a-summary-of-two-doctors/
http://www.lrc.ky.gov/lrc/ExecutiveTeam.htm
https://kentuckymarijuanaparty.com/2015/09/24/all-roads-in-kentucky-lead-you-through-hell/
https://app.box.com/s/hyd7xxdsbtbxqvgjdwvepvxx1qa12vbv
https://shereekrider.wordpress.com/2015/10/26/rights-and-freedoms-may-in-no-case-be-exercised-contrary-to-purposes-and-principles-of-the-united-nations-how-the-united-nations-is-stealing-our-unalienable-rights-to-grow/

https://www.scribd.com/embeds/355207910/content?start_page=1&view_mode=scroll&access_key=key-u5FgJI9dW5qc0SFSjWdg&show_recommendations=true

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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.

CONTINUE READING…

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.

CONTINUE READING…

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.

CONTINUE READING…

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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.

CONTINUE READING…

RELATED:

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

Additional information here:

KY4MM

Republican state Senator will propose recreational marijuana as way to create needed pension revenue

10/04/2017 03:11 PM

VIDEO THROUGH THIS LINK!

With one of the worst funded pension systems in the entire nation in the commonwealth, Republican state Sen. Dan Seum says the need for new revenue could take the state higher, legally.

Seum, R-Fairdale, suggests legalizing marijuana could add badly needed new revenues to the state coffers totaling $100 million or more a year. The money represents an untapped stream of cash to pay down estimated unfunded liabilities ranging from $37 billion to $64 billion in the state pension systems.

“I think desperation might help — we need a billion dollars (a year),” Seum said of the chances of legalizing marijuana in Kentucky.

Legislative leaders expect their proposals to reform the state pension systems will be made public in the next 10 days, but those proposed tweaks are not expected to deal with revenue in a special session likely called this year.

Seum says he will propose legislation allowing adult use of cannabis in Kentucky before the 2018 regular session.

“I’m looking at adult use, because that’s where the money is at,” Seum said.

The upcoming session will mainly focus on crafting and passing a two-year state budget, and Seum thinks the need for money to address unfunded pensions will open the door to marijuana.

“Once we come out of the special session the governor is about to call, then we’re going to have a real, hopefully a real understanding of what the needs are when it comes to revenue,” he said.

Seum refers to marijuana legalization in Kentucky as a “jobs bill,” adding that Kentuckians should look no further than the bourbon industry to see the ancillary revenue that is generated from the industry.

Twenty-eight states have legalized some form of marijuana, and Seum says his bill will largely mirror what’s in place currently in Colorado, which approved legalized use by adults over 21 years old in 2012.

Seum said his son, Dan Seum Jr., visited Colorado this year to see how the 2012 legislation was written and what tweaks have been made in the years following passage, and that’s the model the Fairdale Republican will follow when he prefiles a bill later this year.

Jason Warf, political director of Alliance for Innovative Medicine, said that he thinks the market in Kentucky could be larger than what Colorado has seen, and thus more revenue could be expected.

“Obviously, it’s a time here in Kentucky where we need to look at our options,” Warf said.

Warf said that in Colorado dispensaries are licensed through the Department of Revenue and enforced by a self-funded marijuana enforcement division, a model he thinks Kentucky could duplicate with success.

Seum said he is also in favor of bringing in expanded casino gaming to the state in an effort to create as much new revenue as possible.

“As a legislator I’m not inclined to look at any kind of taxes, new taxes or additional taxes until we have explored the possibility of creating new monies,” he said.

CONTINUE READING…

Police used hidden video camera, microchips to track marijuana found at ex-sheriff’s farm

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By Bill Estep

bestep@herald-leader.com

September 18, 2017 11:49 AM

Former Jackson County Sheriff Denny Peyman allegedly supplied marijuana plants to two other men to grow on Peyman’s farm, a state police detective testified Monday.

Peyman was a participant in the state’s experimental effort to develop hemp as a commercial crop for farmers.

Darren Allen, the state police detective, said he suspected that Peyman and the two men allegedly involved with him thought police would think the marijuana was hemp.

Allen testified that state police spotted suspected marijuana plants at Peyman’s farm during aerial surveillance in July. The plants were in a tree line and were surrounded by weeds about 350 yards from the industrial hemp on Peyman’s farm in the southern part of Jackson County, Allen said.

State police sneaked to the plants without Peyman’s knowledge, took samples, mounted hidden cameras near the plants and a nearby parking spot, and put tracking microchips in six of the 61 plants at the site, Allen said.

Police covertly checked the plot on Sept. 5 and found that the marijuana had been harvested. The video showed two men who were allegedly involved with Peyman harvesting the plants the day before, Allen said.

Police got a warrant to search Peyman’s barn and house on Sept. 6 and arrested him after finding suspected marijuana plants. The plants were in a hidden room in his barn, Allen said.

There were 71 plants. It is possible that some of the original 61 split while being harvested, Allen aid.

Allen testified that five of the microchips he had put in the suspected marijuana plants at the back of Peyman’s farm were found in plants in the barn.

Tests showed that the plants had a higher level of the “high”-producing chemical than industrial hemp plants involved in Kentucky’s pilot program are allowed to have, Allen said.

The two men who were allegedly growing the pot on Peyman’s farm, Edward Hoskins and Arthur “Fuzzy” Gibson, told police they understood that Peyman was in danger of losing his farm and wanted to get into the marijuana business to save the farm, Allen said.

Both men said Pyeman supplied them the plants found growing on his farm, and that they were growing the pot for him, Allen testified.

Jackson District Judge Henria Bailey Lewis ruled that there is probable cause to forward Peyman’s case to a grand jury for a possible indictment.

She set a hearing for Nov. 7 for Peyman to answer the indictment if the grand jury charges him.

Peyman is charged with cultivating marijuana and trafficking in steroids. He is free on bond.

Sean Southard, a spokesman for the Kentucky Department of Agriculture, said Peyman left the state’s pilot industrial hemp program after he was arrested.

Bill Estep: 606-678-4655, @billestep1

CONTINUE READING…

Other states allow medical marijuana. Judge asks why Kentucky shouldn’t join them.

Amy Stalker says she had more control over her own health when she lived in Colorado, where marijuana can be legally prescribed as medicine. Stalker now lives in Kentucky, where medical use of marijuana is banned.

By John Cheves

jcheves@herald-leader.com

August 22, 2017 4:55 PM

Frankfort

A Franklin Circuit Court judge on Tuesday asked attorneys for the state why Kentucky should not make medical marijuana available to patients who believe it might help them, given that “we’ve pretty much decriminalized” the drug around much of the nation and even in parts of the state.

Judge Thomas Wingate is considering motions by Gov. Matt Bevin and Attorney General Andy Beshear to dismiss a lawsuit filed in June by three Kentuckians who want the legal right to use marijuana as medicine in the state where they live. Wingate said he expects to hand down a decision on the motion in the near future.

Since 1996, 29 states and the District of Columbia have authorized the medical use of marijuana within their borders. But Kentucky’s General Assembly has rejected several bills to legalize the drug for medicinal purposes.

During Tuesday’s hearing, Wingate noted that attitudes about marijuana have softened. The penalties for marijuana possession vary widely inside the state depending on the attitudes of local law enforcement, he said. Someone might face a $100 fine — if that — in one county but a stiff jail sentence in another, he said.

Wingate asked Taylor Payne, an attorney for Beshear, to justify the state’s absolute ban on marijuana given that his own experience as a judge has shown him many examples of men abusing women while drunk on alcohol, a legal product, but never while high on marijuana.

“So what do you say toward that?” Wingate asked.

“I think that’s an issue for the legislature to address,” Payne replied.

And that was a key point for Bevin and Beshear’s legal teams: The legislature, not a judge, should be the one to decide if Kentucky is ready to loosen its marijuana laws. In every state that has legalized medical marijuana so far, elected lawmakers made that call, not the courts, said Barry Dunn, a lawyer for Bevin.

The Kentucky General Assembly is likely to get another bill on medical marijuana in 2018, Dunn said.

“Let it continue to percolate around there and see what happens,” Dunn said.

Attorneys for the state also said the courts already have decided this issue. They cited a 2000 decision by the Kentucky Supreme Court in a case involving actor Woody Harrelson, who had argued that Kentucky’s marijuana laws were overly broad and should not be used to prevent him from planting hemp seeds in Lee County.

In that case, the Supreme Court found there was “valid public interest in controlling marijuana” and added that “reliance by Harrelson … on great moral issues of the current times is unpersuasive.”

However, the plaintiffs — Dan Seum Jr. and Amy Stalker of Jefferson County and Danny Belcher of Bath County — say they have lobbied the General Assembly to change the law for years without success. (Seum’s father is a Republican state senator.) They claim the state’s cannabis ban violates their rights under the Kentucky Constitution to privacy and to be free of the “absolute and arbitrary power” of the state over their “lives, liberty and property.”

Kentucky violates privacy rights of medical marijuana patients, lawyer says

Dan Canon, a Louisville attorney who represents several people suing to overturn Kentucky’s ban on medical marijuana, says the Kentucky Constitution guarantees a right to privacy and to be free of arbitrary police powers.

jcheves@herald-leader.com

“Our clients have been to the legislature. They’ll continue to go to the legislature,” attorney Candace Curtis told Wingate. “But you’re the only person who can look at the facts of this case and say, ‘Look, this law is arbitrary and it does violate their right to privacy.’”

Smoked or ingested, cannabis has been used as medicine for most of recorded history. It was a legal remedy in the United States as recently as the mid-20th century. In 1970, however, as the war on drugs began, the U.S. government classified marijuana as a Schedule 1 controlled substance, the designation intended for drugs, such as heroin, that are supposed to have a high potential for addiction and no medical value.

In their suit, the plaintiffs explain that they have used marijuana for years to help them with a variety of ailments.

Seum is a school football coach who suffers from back pain. Belcher is a Vietnam War veteran who suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder, alcoholism and a compression fracture in his spine. And Stalker said she has a long history of health problems due to irritable bowel syndrome and bipolar disorder and the powerful pharmaceutical drugs that were prescribed to her to treat those conditions.

Stalker briefly lived in Colorado, where medical marijuana is legal, and had a valid prescription for it there. But she returned to Kentucky to care for her mother.

John Cheves: 859-231-3266, @BGPolitics

CONTINUE READING AND TO VIDEO’S!

(KY) GOV. MATT BEVIN AND AG ANDY BESHEAR GET SUED OVER MEDICAL MARIJUANA!

BECAUSE THIS STORY IS SO IMPORTANT IN KENTUCKY I HAVE INCLUDED TWO SOURCES OF INFORMATION.

PLEASE FOLLOW THE LINK TO THE VIDEO BELOW TO HEAR THE PRESS CONFERENCE WHICH WAS AIRED ON WLKY.

THE LAWSUIT WAS FILED TODAY, JUNE 14TH, 2017, IN JEFFERSON COUNTY KENTUCKY AGAINST GOV. MATT BEVIN AND AG ANDY BESHEAR BY DANNY BELCHER OF BATH COUNTY, AMY STALKER OF JEFFERSON COUNTY, AND DAN SEUM JR OF JEFFERSON COUNTY.

ky mj lawsuit

ABOVE:  LINK TO PRESS CONFERENCE VIDEO ON WLKY

FACEBOOK – WLKY PRESS CONFERENCE WITH COMMENTS

Mark Vanderhoff Reporter

FRANKFORT, Ky. —

Three people are suing Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin and Attorney General Andy Beshear over Kentucky’s marijuana laws, claiming their rights are being violated by not being able to use or possess medicinal marijuana.

The lawsuit, filed Wednesday morning in Jefferson Circuit Court, was filed on behalf of Danny Belcher of Bath County, Amy Stalker of Louisville and Dan Seum Jr., son of state Sen. Dan Seum, R-Fairdale.

Seum turned to marijuana after being prescribed opioid painkillers to manage back pain.

“I don’t want to go through what I went through coming off that Oxycontin and I can’t function on it,” he said. “If I consume cannabis, I can at least function and have a little quality of life.”

The plaintiffs spoke at a press conference Wednesday afternoon.

Seum does not believe the state can legally justify outlawing medical marijuana while at the same time allowing doctors to prescribe powerful and highly addictive opioids, which have created a statewide and national epidemic of abuse.

That legal justification lies at the heart of the plaintiffs’ legal challenge, which claims Kentucky is violating its own constitution.

The lawsuit claims the prohibition violates section two of the Kentucky Constitution, which denies “arbitrary power,” and claims the courts have interpreted that to mean a law can’t be unreasonable.

“It’s difficult to make a comparison between medical cannabis and opioids that are routine prescribed to people all over the commonwealth, all over the country, and say that there’s some sort of rational basis for the prohibition on cannabis as medicine when we know how well it works,” said Dan Canon, who along with attorney Candace Curtis is representing the plaintiffs.

The lawsuit also claims Kentucky’s law violates the plaintiffs’ right to privacy, also guaranteed under the state constitution.

Spokespeople for Gov. Bevin and Beshear say their offices are in the process of reviewing the lawsuit.

In a February interview on NewsRadio 840 WHAS, Bevin said the following in response to a question about whether he supports medical marijuana:

“The devil’s in the details. I am not opposed to the idea medical marijuana, if prescribed like other drugs, if administered in the same way we would other pharmaceutical drugs. I think it would be appropriate in many respects. It has absolute medicinal value. Again, it’s a function of its making its way to me. I don’t do that executively. It would have to be a bill.”  CONTINUE READING…

Lawsuit challenges Kentucky’s medical marijuana ban

By Bruce Schreiner | AP June 14 at 6:38 PM

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Kentucky’s criminal ban against medical marijuana was challenged Wednesday in a lawsuit touting cannabis as a viable alternative to ease addiction woes from opioid painkillers.

The plaintiffs have used medical marijuana to ease health problems, the suit said. The three plaintiffs include Dan Seum Jr., the son of a longtime Republican state senator.

Another plaintiff, Amy Stalker, was prescribed medical marijuana while living in Colorado and Washington state to help treat symptoms from irritable bowel syndrome and bipolar disorder. She has struggled to maintain her health since moving back to Kentucky to be with her ailing mother.

“She comes back to her home state and she’s treated as a criminal for this same conduct,” said plaintiffs’ attorney Daniel Canon. “That’s absurd, it’s irrational and it’s unconstitutional.”

Stalker, meeting with reporters, said: “I just want to be able to talk to my doctors the same way I’m able to talk to doctors in other states, and have my medical needs heard.” CONTINUE READING…

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

 

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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!

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