(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…

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Louisville judge sends defendant to prison because drug court ‘about to be eliminated’

By Jason Riley

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) — A Jefferson Circuit Court judge on Wednesday sent a defendant to prison instead of allowing her to get treatment in a local drug court, at least in part, he said, because drug court will soon no longer “be an option” in Kentucky.

“It’s about to be eliminated,” Chief Jefferson Judge Charlie Cunningham said in a hearing. “We don’t really have the money for it, so I’m not going to put anybody in drug court knowing that in a couple months that it’s going to cease to exist.”

Cunningham’s ruling came on the heels of testimony this week from Kentucky Chief Justice John Minton, who told legislators that proposed cuts to the court system will likely eliminate 600 jobs and shutter drug courts across the state, among other losses.

“The whole future of Kentucky’s court system hangs in the balance, and I have to make that known,” Justice Minton told the Senate budget committee Monday.

The case of Tabatha Newman’s in Jefferson County Wednesday is perhaps the first real-life example of what is in store if the budget bill passes.

Newman was in court on a motion by prosecutors to revoke her probation on drug and theft convictions, because she had been arrested on additional drug charges and failed to meet with her probation officer.

“We acknowledge she has a drug problem,” said Liam Michener, a law student working for the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s office. Michener told Cunningham that Newman has not received treatment and would continue to commit crimes if the judge didn’t take action.

Defense attorney Ryan Dischinger, who represents Newman, told Cunningham that his client had been getting drug treatment in jail since she had been arrested on the new charges in January.

“Clearly she has substance abuse issues,” Dischinger said. “I can’t hide from that.”

But Dischinger recommended that, instead of sending Newman to prison for up to three years, the judge order her to drug court where treatment could “stop the cycle of addiction.”

If sent to prison, Dischinger said, Newman would likely be released on parole soon, without having her problems fully addressed.

In drug courts, defendants remain out of prison but get close supervision and treatment and must meet goals such as finding jobs, getting an education and staying clean. Most courts across the state have drug court.

Kentucky Appeals Court Judge Irv Maze told legislators this week that losing Jefferson County’s drug court would be one of the painful casualties.

“I used to run it as the county attorney,” he said. “It is the right thing to do. It keeps people out of prison and it restores lives.”

Gov. Matt Bevin has proposed 9 percent cuts to the courts in each of the next two fiscal years.

He told WDRB in a statement last month that “Kentucky has serious financial issues to deal with, and the solution will come as a result of budgetary sacrifice on the part of many.”

Minton said closing drug court would affect about 2,500 current participants, possibly resulting in the incarceration of many of these people.

He told legislators that closing drug court programs in Kentucky right now, in the midst of the state’s drug and heroin epidemic, would “send the wrong message about our willingness to address the human aspect of this escalating problem.”

In court Wednesday, Cunningham called the possible elimination of drug courts “stupid, because the alternative is I’m going to spend a whole lot more money putting (Newman) in prison. But that’s what the General Assembly is basically saying to us.”

In an interview Wednesday, Cunningham said he believes drug courts will be among the first cuts made, before employees are laid off.

“I take people at their work when they tell me this is what will happen,” he said.

Still, Cunningham said that there is still some hope drug court will be saved and if a good candidate comes before him, he would consider the treatment option rather than prison.

Both Cunningham and Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Elizabeth Jones Brown said Newman was not a good candidate for drug court, given how many times she was arrested or skipped meetings with her probation officer.

“But we’re concerned with the potential loss of drug court because it is appropriate in certain instances,” Jones Brown said.

CONTINUE READING…

Kentucky cancer cases may be ‘cluster’, Researcher finds excessive rates in Jefferson County

Monday, September 8, 2003

The Associated Press

LOUISVILLE – A University of Louisville researcher says he’s identified an excessive number of cases of lung cancer in western and southern Jefferson County.

Looking at reported cases of cancer, ZIP code by ZIP code, epidemiologist and associate professor Timothy Aldrich attributed the large majority to tobacco smoke, but said it’s not clear on what role environmental and occupational contaminants play.

“The Jefferson County piece is our local version of a much larger picture,” said Aldrich, of the university’s School of Public Health and Information Sciences. “The state has enormously high lung cancer rates.”

In his draft study, done at the request of the Courier-Journal newspaper, Aldrich reported what he said were excessive rates and “evidence of clustering” for bladder and cervical cancers and leukemia in various locations around Jefferson County. The study also identified 16 ZIP codes with high breast cancer rates, but Aldrich said he found no apparent pattern to their occurrence.

Aldrich’s study is the first to address some of the health questions raised by Louisville-area air monitoring that has found numerous chemicals or compounds at levels federal, state and local environmental regulators consider unsafe. It follows one published in 1997 by the Louisville and Jefferson County Board of Health that found no clusters but identified the highest cancer death rates in western and southwestern Jefferson County, attributing them largely to lack of early diagnosis and treatment.

Aldrich said he found that it’s likely the public doesn’t have to worry about the environment as a cause of three categories of cancer sometimes associated with chemical pollutants: pediatric cancers, brain cancer and liver cancers. In all three, he said, he found no evidence of excessive rates or clustering.

But Aldrich said he cannot rule out that hazardous air pollutants might explain some of the excess lung, bladder and leukemia cancers in certain ZIP codes and may cause or contribute to other illnesses he did not study.

Other medical experts have also said smoking and poor air quality could combine to produce more lung cancers.

“The environment (as a cause of cancer) is not immaterial, but you have to keep it in perspective,” Aldrich said. “I don’t want to tell people it isn’t important – it’s important.”

To answer the question of how important it is, he and several other researchers at UofL have begun a two-year research project to determine what part, if any, environmental or occupational contaminants play in Louisville’s lung cancers.

Aldrich and other Louisville medical experts said lifestyle factors such as diet, smoking and alcohol consumption, along with genetics, play the dominant role in determining whether someone gets cancer, and prevention measures should continue to focus on lifestyle factors.

“All of these factors come together in very complicated ways, in addition to air quality,” said Dr. Donald Miller, director of the James Graham Brown Cancer Center at the University of Louisville. “Clearly if you are looking at cancer prevention targets, smoking is at the head of the list.”

Air pollution “is a big problem,” said Dr. Wayne Tuckson, a colorectal surgeon who worked on the 1997 cancer study. “But it’s just another one of the problems.”

Aldrich is scheduled to discuss his research at a meeting Thursday of the Rubbertown Community Advisory Council that will include several presentations from university experts.

The Louisville Metro Health Department is studying Aldrich’s findings, and Metro Mayor Jerry Abramson and metro government’s Air Pollution Control District have promised to take residents’ air pollution concerns seriously.

Art Williams, director of the air district, said the agency will continue its efforts to curb hazardous air pollutants.

“We will move as aggressively as we can to reduce air toxics to safe levels,” Williams said.


CONTINUE READING…

 

Related:

New lung is only potential cure

The dual neuroprotective–neurotoxic profile of cannabinoid drugs

British Journal of Pharmacology – Library of Cannabis Information

 

 

October 7, 2003

United States Patent
6,630,507

Hampson ,   et al.
October 7, 2003


Cannabinoids as antioxidants and neuroprotectants

Abstract

Cannabinoids have been found to have antioxidant properties, unrelated to NMDA receptor antagonism. This new found property makes cannabinoids useful in the treatment and prophylaxis of wide variety of oxidation associated diseases, such as ischemic, age-related, inflammatory and autoimmune diseases. The cannabinoids are found to have particular application as neuroprotectants, for example in limiting neurological damage following ischemic insults, such as stroke and trauma, or in the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and HIV dementia. Nonpsychoactive cannabinoids, such as cannabidoil, are particularly advantageous to use because they avoid toxicity that is encountered with psychoactive cannabinoids at high doses useful in the method of the present invention. A particular disclosed class of cannabinoids useful as neuroprotective antioxidants is formula (I) wherein the R group is independently selected from the group consisting of H, CH.sub.3, and COCH.sub.3. ##STR1##

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CONTINUE READING…

Extensive in vitro and in vivo studies have shown that cannabinoid drugs have neuroprotective properties and suggested that the endocannabinoid system may be involved in endogenous neuroprotective mechanisms.

Judicial Nominating Commission announces nominees for vacant Court of Appeals

Kentucky Court of Justice
Judicial Nominating Commission announces nominees for vacant Court of Appeals judgeship

Press Release Date:
Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Contact Information:
Jamie Neal
Public Information Specialist
502-573-2350, x 50033
jamieneal@kycourts.net
http://courts.ky.gov

FRANKFORT, Ky. — The Judicial Nominating Commission, led by Chief Justice of Kentucky John D. Minton Jr., today announced nominees to fill the vacant Court of Appeals judgeship for the 4th Appellate District, Division 1, which consists of Jefferson County. The judicial vacancy was created by the resignation of Judge Thomas B. Wine effective Jan. 6, 2012.

The three attorneys named as nominees to fill the vacancy are Irvin G. Maze, Ruth Ann Cox Pence and Harold Gwyn Wren, all of Jefferson County.

Maze has served as a Jefferson Circuit Court judge since 2008. He received his juris doctor from the University of Louisville Louis D. Brandeis School of Law.

Pence is associated with the firm of Pence & Ogburn in Louisville. She received her juris doctor from the University of Louisville Louis D. Brandeis School of Law.

Wren was of counsel for attorney James R. Voyles from 2000-2009. He previously served as dean and professor for the University of Louisville Louis D. Brandeis School of Law.  He graduated from Columbia University School of Law and Yale Law School. 

Judicial Nominating Process
When a judicial vacancy occurs, the executive secretary of the Judicial Nominating Commission publishes a notice of vacancy in the judicial circuit or the judicial district affected. Attorneys can recommend someone or nominate themselves. The names of the applicants are not released. Once nominations occur, the individuals interested in the position return a questionnaire to the Office of the Chief Justice. Chief Justice Minton then meets with the Judicial Nominating Commission to choose three nominees. Because the Kentucky Constitution requires that three names be submitted to the governor, in some cases the commission submits an attorney’s name even though the attorney did not apply. A letter naming the three nominees is sent to Gov. Steve Beshear for review. The governor has 60 days to appoint a replacement, and his office makes the announcement.

Makeup of the Judicial Nominating Commission
The Judicial Nominating Commission is established in the Kentucky Constitution. Ky. Const. § 118; SCR 6.000, et seq. The commission has seven members. The membership is comprised of the chief justice of Kentucky (who also serves as chair), two lawyers elected by all the lawyers in their circuit/district and four Kentucky citizens who are appointed by the governor. The four citizens appointed by the governor must equally represent the two major political parties, so two must be Democrats and two must be Republicans. It is the responsibility of the commission to submit a list of three names to the governor and the governor must appoint a judge from this list of three.

Court of Appeals
Nearly all cases heard by the Kentucky Court of Appeals come to it on appeal from a lower court. If a case is tried in Circuit Court or District Court and the losing parties involved are not satisfied with the outcome, they may ask for a higher court to review the correctness of the trial court’s decision. Some cases, such as criminal case acquittals and divorces, may not be appealed. In a divorce case, however, child custody and property rights decisions may be appealed. Cases are not retried in the Court of Appeals. Only the record of the original court trial is reviewed, with attorneys presenting the legal issues to the court for a decision.

Fourteen judges, two elected from seven appellate court districts, serve on the Court of Appeals. The judges are divided into panels of three to review and decide cases, with the majority determining the decision. The panels do not sit permanently in one location, but travel throughout the state to hear cases.

Administrative Office of the Courts
The Administrative Office of the Courts in Frankfort is the operations arm for the state court system. The AOC supports the activities of nearly 3,300 court system employees and 403 elected justices, judges and circuit court clerks. As the fiscal agent for the state court system, the AOC executes the Judicial Branch budget.