Kentucky is already a marijuana state; we just have chosen the least effective way to manage that fact…

GUEST OP-ED: Time to rethink Kentucky’s marijuana laws

100-seeds-Semen-Fructus-font-b-Cannabis-b-font-font-b-Cannabis-b-font-sativa-font

  • David Adams/Guest Op-Ed
  • Kentucky is already a marijuana state; we just have chosen the least effective way to manage that fact, causing incalculable harm and missing practically all the benefits of embracing a natural advantage at our fingertips.

    As our nation quickly approaches three dozen states with at least some form of legal marijuana production, our Commonwealth wastes money chasing people it can’t catch growing a medical crop it mostly can’t benefit from, serving a decades old propaganda scheme it doesn’t really take seriously. People with epilepsy, PTSD, multiple sclerosis, depression, cancer and arthritis seeking relief with cannabis risk not only arrest attempting to make a purchase, they face uncertain quality or effectiveness from sources stuck in the shadows while residents of three neighboring states already benefit from well established science ensuring results and safety.

    Spending limited available police resources hunting marijuana plants and imprisoning growers and consumers will never make a dent in anything except our economy. Attempting to avoid detection and prosecution inspires real criminal activity, creating potential for far more danger than a few plants. People caught in this web of official ineptitude then face being removed from the workforce for an extended period and then labeled a convict forever, further limiting their productivity. If we want to improve the fight against crime, ending the war on cannabis is a great place to start. Maybe we could even put that money back into police pensions in order to keep our protectors on their real job without the distraction of prosecuting medicine.

    Probably the oldest and most-accepted criticism of legal cannabis is that it is a “gateway drug.” But this rationale fails on two points in terms of justifying continued government prohibition. Colorado has seen a significant drop in opioid overdose deaths as its marijuana production has grown. Kentucky is going in the opposite direction. The myth of marijuana overdosing is just that: a myth. In fact, the greatest risk in youthful experimentation with marijuana probably comes from what passes for “drug education” in schools now. Our children are told that all illegal “drugs” are unsafe. If they try marijuana anyway and find it to be relatively mild, the temptation then is to think they may have been misled about harder substances too, sometimes with disastrous results. In fact, legal marijuana production could easily finance a public education campaign with facts from scientists about overuse rather than hoping that somehow black market dealers — or maybe Google — will provide education on responsible use.

    Lots of Kentuckians would be surprised to know how many of their friends and neighbors use marijuana responsibly. Government prohibition is full of unintended consequences. People who can benefit from purely medical use face real fear from law enforcement, while being forced to weigh that against their health and well-being. Prohibition encourages unscrupulous dealers, who might not concern themselves with poor quality product damaged by pesticides, mixed with other substances or cultivated incorrectly to address intended health benefits.

    Herbal Healing is a marijuana dispensary in Colorado Springs, Colorado run by Kentuckians. They moved there to set up and run a successful business serving people who get to benefit by the transparency of their public business. Their salaries support their families and their profits help grow other businesses around them. We aren’t stopping operators who would be like them with our laws, but we are limiting their ability to strengthen our communities by making them hide their activities. We already have a big enough problem of gifted Kentuckians leaving our state to seek better opportunities elsewhere. Marijuana prohibition is an outdated, failed, totally ineffective policy. End it now. 

    David Adams does financial consulting for businesses and individuals throughout Kentucky. He has written and been featured in local and national media for several years including the January 2018 Washington Post Magazine.

    CONTINUE READING…

    Advertisements

    Hemp is ‘the next big thing’ in pain management as growth and research expand in Ky.

    By Beth Warren Louisville Courier Journal

    To some it seems taboo. But a nationally renowned pain doctor says a four-letter word can ease aches and anxiety without the risk of addiction: H-E-M-P.

    “It’s gonna be the next big thing,” said Dr. James Patrick Murphy, a former president of the Greater Louisville Medical Society who treats patients in Kentucky and Indiana.

    Hemp won’t alleviate acute pain, Murphy said, but it can lessen more moderate pain — allowing some patients to reduce or stop taking addictive pain pills that fuel the heroin and opioid epidemic.

    With Louisville losing an average of one person a day to drug overdoses, doctors and patients are scrambling to find safer ways to treat pain.

    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration hasn’t approved hemp products for use as medicine, and clinical trials on cannabinoids or CBD oil — extracted from the hemp flower —are pending. But Murphy and other doctors seethe oil as a promising option, and many people who are trying it for themselves say it works.

    “People are coming in using this stuff,” Murphy said. “We have to learn about it.”

    CBD oil has been credited with significantly reducing the severity of violent and potentially deadly epileptic seizures — especially in children.And hemp seeds are considered a “superfood,” rich in omegas and protein.

    Yet the hemp plant is often confused and dismissed as a forbidden relative of marijuana.

    “Cheers” actor Woody Harrelson grabbed national attention in June 1996 by planting four hemp seeds in Eastern Kentucky on a Lee County farm. His arrest was a stunt to highlight the difference between pot and hemp.

    Both are the same plant species, Cannabis sativa. And they have the same pointy leafs and pungent scent. But hemp has a breadth of uses and a negligible amount of the mind-altering ingredient THC.

    “Cars can run on hemp oil,” the actor wrote in a letter published in Courier Journal after his arrest. “Environmentally friendly detergents, plastics, paints, varnishes, cosmetics and textiles are already being made from it” in Europe.

    Still, U.S. lawmakers would take nearly two decades longer to embrace it.

    A federal law many dub the “2014 Farm Bill” cleared a path for its comeback.

    Now Kentucky is among the nation’s top producers, trailing Colorado.

    Brian Furnish, an eighth-generation tobacco farmer, was among the first in decades to legally plant hemp seeds in Kentucky soil. He grows and promotes hemp as an executive with Ananda Hemp, one of the commonwealth’s largest growers.

    Furnish is not only a grower, he’s a consumer. He says a few drops of CBD oil ease his neck and back pain due to old football injuries and heavy lifting of feed sacks and other strenuous chores.

    Now, he doesn’t work the farm without it.

    ‘I feel great’

    Murphy is among the doctors who first learned about the potential benefits of hemp from their patients.

    Curious, he did some research, reading about CBD oil and even testing it on himself for four days. Although he didn’t need it for pain, he verified it didn’t give him a buzz or any negative side effects.

    He decided to recommend it to 200 patients.

    About 90 percent of the 175 who tried CBD oil spray or pills reported benefits, such as fewer migraines and tension headaches and more tolerable leg and back pain and arthritis, he said. Others had more restful sleep and less anxiety.

    But it’s not for everyone.

    Murphy doesn’t recommend it to patients who are taking blood thinners or who have heart conditions.

    And a small number of his patients opted to stop taking hemp after becoming dizzy. Others didn’t notice any relief from migraines or enough relief from severe pain.

    Those who opted not to try hemp included an elderly patient whose husband wouldn’t let her try anything related to marijuana.

    Dr. Bruce Nicholson, a Pennsylvania pain expert, also recommends hemp to many of his patients.

    Dozens have reduced or stopped taking opioids, he said. Patients reported less trembling from neuropathy and relief from achy muscles. The doctor personally uses hemp several times a week, rubbing a cream on his achy joints.

    “In the medical profession, we knew nothing about it,” said Nicholson, who began reading up on it about three years ago.

    Nicholson estimates that as many as 80 percent of his patients suffering from chronic pain also face anxiety or depression. He said hemp can help that too.

    “Now I recommend it every day to my patients,” he said.

    Ready to try hemp? From beer to bedding, hemp products are easily found at some stores that may surprise you

    Lisa Whitaker, 50, one of Murphy’s patients on disability for migraines and herniated discs, said CBD oil didn’t ease her severe headaches but did help her back pain.

    It took four to six weeks before she noticed significant relief.

    “This has been a lifesaver,” Whitaker said.

    Southern Indiana resident Valerie Reed, 36, said she began a daily regimen of the oil about a year ago after being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. She didn’t want to take the narcotic her doctor prescribed because of a host of potentially “scary” side effects.

    Within months, she said: “The tremors, shaking, that’s gone.”

    Severe headaches on her right side also eased and she could bear hip pain from walking.

    Reed said she told her neurologist and her general practitioner she was using the hemp product daily. “Both were OK with it.”

    “As long as I take it, I feel great,” she said.

    Riley Cote, a Canadian native known as a bruiser on the ice during his tenure with the National Hockey League, said hemp eases his arthritis and inflammation and helps him relax and fall into a deeper sleep. He has become a hemp activist, starting the Hemp Heals Foundation and encouraging former Philadelphia Flyer teammates and other athletes to use the oil instead of opioids, sleeping pills and muscle relaxers.

    Cote came to Kentucky recently to tour Ananda Hemp’s farm in Harrison County, northeast of Lexington. The company imported hemp seeds from Australia and has expanded its crops to cover 500 acres in Kentucky with plans to keep growing.

    “It’s just gonna get bigger and better,” the retired hockey star said of the hemp industry. “We’ve barely scratched the surface.”

    Where’s the proof?

    It’s easy to find someone who claims using hemp oil with CBD helped them feel better or sleep better.

    But doctors, scientists and others — including the FDA — are eager for clinical proof.

    Some promising research came out in May.

    An article published in the May 25 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, reported the results of an extensive clinical trial led by Dr. Orrin Devinsky and colleagues. It found that CBD hemp oil lessened the frequency of violent and dangerous seizures in children and young adults with Dravet syndrome, a complex childhood epilepsy disorder with a high rate of death.

    Barry Lambert, an investor in Ananda Hemp’s parent company, Ecofibre, who grew up on a dairy farm in the Australia Bush, wrote a testimonial on how CBD oil saved his granddaughter’s life from debilitating seizures that “tore away at her brain and body every 15 seconds.”

    Can you get high off hemp? We’ll help clear the fog about marijuana’s ‘kissing cousin’

    Research on other potential health benefits is underway across the nation.

    Kentucky is leading the way with 17 studies at seven universities: the University of Louisville, University of Kentucky, Sullivan University, Western Kentucky, Murray State, Morehead and Kentucky State, said Brent Burchett, head of the state Department of Agriculture’s division of value-added plant production.

    University of Louisville’s research includes evaluating hemp as a fuel source.

    The University of Kentucky is examining the best growing conditions of hemp and plans to study the oil in mice for two years. If they find negative side effects, it could lead the FDA to pull projects from shelves, said Joe Chappell, a professor of drug design and discovery.

    If they don’t find problems, he said it could help clear the way for its mainstream use.

    “There’s a lot of anecdotal information, of course. There can be some relief from pain and inflammation,” he said.

    Chappell hopes to lead testing to answer these questions: “Who is it safe for? For what duration? At what doses?”

    Researchers are in the early stages of verifying hemp’s full potential.

    It’s too soon to know the full scope of how much money the leafy crop can bring farmers, processors and businesses — or how many ways it can benefit pain sufferers.

    ‘Questions and curiosity’

    Consider it the new era of hemp.

    Furnish describes his farming family as “very old style, conservative people” initially leery of hemp.

    But after deciphering fact from fiction surrounding the controversial crop, he has taken a leadership role in the hemp movement.

    “Hemp will keep another eight generations of farmers working the land,” he said.

    Individual states can now pass laws allowing industrial hemp to be grown under a pilot program. The state was among the first to give the go-ahead in 2014, but farmers and processors must gain approval from the Kentucky Department of Agriculture.

    Seventy-four of the state’s 120 counties are growing and/or processing the diverse plant, according to the agriculture department’s most current figures. That includes Jefferson County, which has 10 growers or processors.

    Hemp has been used in more than 25,000 products, from foods, supplements, textiles, paper to building materials and cosmetics, according to a March report by the Congressional Research Service. It’s even a fiberglass alternative for cars and planes.

    Hemp sales in the United States are at nearly $600 million annually, according to the report.

    “I don’t know of another crop that has that many uses — well more than corn, soy or cotton,” said Duane Sinning, manager of Colorado’s industrial hemp program.

    “The interest is higher” today in growing hemp and using its products, he said. “I think it’ll continue to grow.”

    Many predict the variety of hemp products and use across the state and nation will continue to increase if studies back up the many anecdotal claims of health benefits.

    That could push Congress to ease or remove federal restrictions.

    Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles said he’s working with lawmakers to remove hemp from the list of controlled substances.

    “We owe it to farmers to explore all aspects of industrial hemp,” he said, “just like soybeans in the 1960s when they were an experimental crop.”

    Wellness experts at Rainbow Blossom Kentuckiana markets are doing their part to promote hemp products. They co-hosted “hemp week” in June, fielding questions from customers.

    Summer Auerbach, the natural food stores’ second-generation owner, said “people are coming in with a lot of questions and curiosity” about hemp.

    She’s a customer herself, rubbing a hemp salve on her shoulders, neck and jaw before bed. She said the CBD oil in the balm lessens tightness and aches from temporomandibular joint disorder, or TMJ, and she awakens with fewer headaches.

    “It’s exciting to see so much of the innovation of hemp in Kentucky,”

    she said. “We’re not even close to seeing what it can do.”

    CONTINUE READING…

    Burying our heads in the weeds

    LEO Weekly

    By Aaron Yarmuth

    We have a weed crisis in this country.

    Weed needs to be legalized as soon as possible. Nationally, sure. But in Kentucky, a poor state with a pension crisis, there should be no hesitation in mining this (green) gold rush.

    For the first time, real data proves that the weed industry is an emerging economic boon, and its social impacts are not what detractors would like you to believe.

    A recent Washington Post article — real news — revealed the overwhelmingly positive economic impact the marijuana industry has had in Colorado, where weed was legalized and began selling commercially Jan. 1, 2014. According to the state-commissioned study by the Marijuana Policy Group, the industry generated $2.4 billion in economic activity in 2015, including the creation of 18,000 new, full-time jobs.

    To be clear, this does not mean that Coloradans and weed-seeking tourists spent $2.4 billion of their money on weed.

    That figure is the amalgamation of sales, increased demand for local goods and services, warehouse and commercial space and farming/growing equipment, as well as professional services, such as lawyers and accountants. In fact, the retail sale of pot in 2015 was reportedly close to $1 billion.

    Legalization opponents like to demonize users as degenerate addicts wasting their rent money on marijuana. But the other significant finding was that “the legal marijuana industry is not coming from new, previously untapped demand for cannabis, but rather from a reduction of the unregulated black market.”

    This is a tremendously important point because it disproves opponents who argue that America will become one big stoner state if they could get high legally.

    Anecdotally, I’ve always known this to be true. I have friends who smoke, or have smoked in the past — or baked a weed treat. They vary in every way possible: age, race, sex, religion and political party affiliation.

    My friends who don’t smoke aren’t potheads in waiting, either… It’s not that pot is illegal that deters them from getting high. In fact, they could smoke now if they wanted to — so could I, and so could you.

    But I have no interest in smoking weed because I don’t like it. Tried it, didn’t care for it, and decided it’s not for me. But there’s no question I could get it anytime — a phone call away. And that’s the lie about marijuana — people who want it, get it, and people who don’t… don’t.

    A Gallup Poll from a few weeks ago showed that 64 percent of Americans support legalizing marijuana — a record high (no pun intended). It’s bipartisan, too: 72 percent of Democrats and 51 percent of Republicans now favor legalization.

    The minority of Americans who remain opposed to this need to understand that this is going on, whether it’s legal or not. The moral objection, as with alcohol and other perceived vices, is perfectly understandable. However, to argue against the medical, economic and social benefits is just plain wrong.

    Further, it would be an entirely different debate if the underground weed economy didn’t already exist. As this study showed, in Colorado close to $1 billion has made its way out of the shadows, off the street corners and into the economy. The idea that it can be stopped is plain wrong, and to think otherwise at this point is willful ignorance.

    Kentucky needs to unearth an economic gold mine now more than ever. At risk are the promised retirements of hundreds of thousands of teachers and other public employees. Their pensions are in peril. The future of our schools is in jeopardy, because if we can’t fulfill the promise to the last generation of teachers, how will we attract the next generation?

    Opponents of weed have a choice: Bring the black-market for marijuana into the system, tax it, regulate it and save teachers’ pensions — resetting the economic trajectory of Kentucky…

    Or, bury your head in the weeds.

    CONTINUE READING…

    Msgt. Thomas Vance: (KY) Pot Legalization Opponents Looking Desperate

    (From Msgt. Thomas Tony Vance via Facebook comes the following opinion)

    Thomas Tony Vance's Profile Photo, Image may contain: 1 person

    There was a Kentucky Assembly Joint Interim hearing of the Veterans, Military Affairs and Public Protection Committee held on 12 October 2017. There was short notice of the hearing and the main topic was cannabis legalization as it relates to Public Protection. All of the scheduled speakers were members of organizations that oppose cannabis legalization. Among cannabis activists it was being called the ‘anti-legalization’ hearing.
    Two of the speakers were old friends who were involved in the ‘Marijuana Summit’, held in Covington on Dec 1, 2015. Mr. Coder of Smart Approaches to Marijuana and Mr. Shemelya of the National Marijuana Initiative both spoke at the December ‘Summit”. That forum was billed as a neutral look at the issue but was clearly an anti-legalization entity.
    The speakers at Thursday’s hearing were Mr. Coder and Mr. Shemelya, Rick Sanders of the Kentucky State Police and Van Ingram of the Kentucky office of Drug Control Policy.
    Mr. Shemelya spoke mainly of recreational legalization and how the higher potency of today’s cannabis products are a danger because we don’t understand it. After speaking about DUID, driving under the influence of drugs, he tried to blame marijuana for an increase in fatal traffic accidents, 2 seconds later, he quickly mentioned that fatal traffic accidents are actually down. Then it was back to potency and saving the children. Since cannabis would be legal only for adults over 21 this seems to be a moot point.
    Mr. Ingram of the Kentucky Office of Drug Control Policy, was next and began by claiming we do not know what will happen if cannabis is legalized like tobacco. However with 20 years of citizen access in California, none of the reported claims of doom and gloom having materialized there puts his claim in serious doubt.
    Mr. Coder began by wondering what effect cannabis legalization would have on employers and the economy. Stating that employers are having to change their drug screens or they will not be able to find workers etc. One wonders why cannabis would not be treated as any other commodity and problems worked out in the Assembly and the courts.
    Lastly Commissioner Rick Sanders of the Kentucky State Police spoke. He went on about adult use and proceeded to repeat all the tired old claims of the negatives of legalization. Next he proceeded to list the bodies. Deaths from opioids, 52,000, from alcohol, 88,000 and tobacco 48,000 but he stopped there. No mention of cannabis deaths! Twenty-two years of citizen access since California passed medical legalization in 1996 should surely yield some deaths if it is as harmful as the speakers claim.
    The discussion ended with various Legislators comments and a resolution to support and pursue research into the medical benefits of cannabis. Observers posited that the speakers looked a little desperate and it reminded me of what Mr. Shemelya said at the ‘Marijuana Summit’. He said that if California passes recreational legalization in November of 2016, which they did, then, “it’s all over folks!”

    SOURCE

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

    Fighting

    30766779544_776467f567_o

    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

    subs

    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

    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…

    article image

    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…