Tag Archives: marijuana

The Law of Unintended Consequences: Illicit for Licit Narcotic Substitution

Image result for heroin plant

Originally written July 15, 2014 at LINK below

Martin R. Huecker, MD and Hugh W. Shoff, MD, MS

 

The dealers will not use it. Heroin dealers have explicit knowledge of the addictive properties of their product. The heroin addict is no longer the desperate character living under a bridge. She is a 17-year-old high school senior who runs out of her grandmother’s oxycodone. He is the stockbroker who weighs the economics of purchasing one oxymorphone on the street for $100 or ten doses of heroin for $200. Because these people are ingesting and injecting products of unknown composition and unfamiliar potency, they can potentially overdose. If lucky, they end up in the emergency department rather than the morgue.

Kentucky ranks third in the nation in drug overdose mortality rate per 100,000 persons, with opioid pills making up the majority.1 In response to these statistics, the State of Kentucky passed House Bill One (HB1) in April 2012, effective October 2012. Also known as “the pill mill bill,” HB1 contains provisions intended to limit opioid prescriptions by pain management physicians and by other acute care providers such as emergency physicians. To prescribe narcotic pain medications, physicians must perform a full history and physical, prescribe only a short course, educate the patient on risks of controlled substances, and obtain a report from a statewide prescription monitoring program (PMP) (Kentucky All Schedule Prescription Electronic Reporting [KASPER]).2

As a result, the number of registered KASPER users in Kentucky has gone from 7500 to 23,000 from December, 2011 to November, 2012. Reports are up from 3300 to 17000 in the same time frame.3 According to the same press release, Kentucky witnessed a decrease of 10.4% total prescriptions in the first six months since HB1 was enacted.3

Mandating PMP reports, as sixteen states currently do, leads to an increase in reports, but so far no statistical difference in opioid overdose mortality.1,4,5,6 In fact, this legislation may not even lower the rate of opioid consumption, rather may shift which opioids are being prescribed.6

Researchers in Ohio looked at the impact of real time PMP information on opioid prescriptions. With PMP data, providers changed prescriptions in 41% of cases; 61% giving fewer opioids but 39% prescribing more opioids.7

House Bill One was intended to and has reduced opioid prescriptions in Kentucky. Forty-four pain clinics in Kentucky closed overnight.8 Preliminary analysis at a large, metropolitan emergency department has shown a decrease in prescriptions for hydrocodone and oxycodone, along with a decrease in ED administration of these medications. This type of “pill mill” legislation has been passed in Louisiana, Florida, Texas and California with varying results.9

Florida had a sharp decrease in opioid prescriptions after similar legislation. Having 90 of the top 100 physicians on the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) 2010 list of top opioid purchasers, Florida saw the number decrease to 13 in 2011, and zero as of April 2013.10 In 2011, Ohio passed a “pill mill bill” to crack down on pain management clinics.11 This legislation led to seizing of 91,000 prescription pills with 38 doctors and 13 pharmacists losing their medical licenses. In the end, 15 medical professionals were convicted on diversion charges.11 With all of this, pill overdose deaths began to decline, but heroin overdoses “skyrocketed.”11

The unintended but foreseeable consequence of such measures has been increase in distribution, abuse, and overdose of heroin. Heroin has gained market share in a similar way in the past. In 2010, Purdue Pharma began manufacturing a reformulated OxyContin after a $600 million fine for misrepresentation.12 Endo Pharmaceuticals Inc. followed in 2011 with an Opana ER reformulation. This resulted in making the pills harder to crush into powder for snorting or injecting.13,14 States such as Florida, Ohio, Minnesota, and Utah have seen patients turn to heroin after crackdown on prescription opioid availability.11,14

The New England Journal of Medicine warned us of what would be a two-fold increase in heroin use after the reformulation of Oxycontin.15 In the 2010 ODLL report, the United States DEA also attempted to warn health care organizations that Oxycontin users might switch to heroin.16,17 The first paper we know of to report this warning was published 3 years later in 2013.16 This paper, a qualitative study of the transition of opioid pill users to heroin users, provides insight into the economic and convenience factors associated with the switch. The researchers interviewed a small sample of heroin users, forty-one in all. All but one of the 19 heroin users aged 20–29 started with pills and progressed to heroin – “termed pill initiates.”16

Numerous popular news reports directly implicate decreased opioid pill availability in the rise of heroin abuse and overdose.16 However, very little discussion of this phenomenon has entered the emergency medicine literature.

The drug cartels have capitalized on the United States opioid appetite and now decreased supply of pills. The route from Mexico to Detroit, then south through Ohio, ends up in northern and central Kentucky. The Kentucky State Police recovered 433 samples of heroin in 2010. In 2012 the number was 1349.13 In Lexington, KY, the eight total heroin arrests in 2011 exploded into 160 in the first 6 months of 2013.18,19 Undercover narcotics officers in Lexington find it easier to buy heroin than marijuana.

Heroin-related overdoses in Kentucky increased from 22 cases in 2011 to 143 cases in 2012, and 170 in the first 9 months of 2013.8,20,21 Kentucky’s percentage of overdose deaths involving heroin went from 3.2 in 2011 to 19.5 in 2012 and up to 26 in 2013.8.21 This phenomenon has occurred in Florida, California, Massachusetts, New York, Oregon, Washington and Ohio.11,2224

The emergency medicine literature has minimal recent discussion of heroin overdose management in the ED; nor have we discussed secondary prevention. Supportive therapy suffices in the ED, with liberal naloxone use and airway protection. State and federal actions to curb heroin deaths can be effective. Good Samaritan laws, present in only one third of states, protect from prosecution those lay individuals attempting to help themselves or companions in overdose situations.

Also present in only one third of states are laws to expand community access to reversal agents such as naloxone. Twenty-two states have laws requiring or recommending education for opioid prescribers. Medicaid expansion to cover substance abuse treatment has occurred thus far in less than half (24) of states.1

As more states enact measures intended to reduce total opioid prescriptions, legislators and healthcare providers alike must be aware of the predictable and devastating rise in heroin sales, abuse, and overdose. Funding for this legislation should include monies allocated toward substance abuse treatment programs and availability of naloxone. Similarly, pill mill bills could universally be coupled with Good Samaritan laws in anticipation of the increase in parenteral opioid overdoses. Funds could be allocated to lay population education via public service announcements. Stricter punishments for drug traffickers could accompany such legislative changes. Many of these measures have been presented as interventions to combat prescription opioid abuse and can now be applied to the subsequent heroin abuse and overdose dilemma.9

At the first line of medical care, emergency physicians must be involved in efforts to minimize collateral damage in this long-term process of curing America’s addiction to opioid drugs and their horrible consequences.

CONTINUE READING…

Maryland has recently been cited as a state with a high rate of opioid addiction, and now some are seeing legalizing marijuana as taking a lead against the epidemic and are also urging southern states like Kentucky to join in.

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Maryland has recently been cited as a state with a high rate of opioid addiction, and now some are seeing legalizing marijuana as taking a lead against the epidemic and are also urging southern states like Kentucky to join in.

Newsmax reports that nine states will be voting on marijuana legalization in 2016, but is there some specific reason Maryland is urging southern states to join in?

The Hill explained in an opinion piece on August 4 that Maryland will be fighting back at the opioid epidemic in their state by legalizing marijuana. They also state that some drug treatment specialists in Maryland are considering medical cannabis as treatment for opioid addiction due to a recent study from the University of Georgia.

Citizens in the state of Kentucky have also expressed an interest in this form of opioid treatment, but medical marijuana is still illegal in the state despite recent considerations, as previously reported by the Inquisitr.

Part of the reason that Maryland could be urging other states to join in with legalizing cannabis pertains to the lack of opioid treatment options in other states in the south.

For example, NPR reported on June 15 that those in the opioid treatment industry in Georgia were outraged when the state decided to place limits on opening new clinics.

The rehabilitation clinics they do have are needed because Georgia has almost 70 opioid treatment programs. By contrast, nearby Tennessee has 12, Alabama has 24, and Mississippi has one.

Although any clinic for opioid addiction is better than no clinic at all, many Kentuckians have learned from states like Massachusetts, that they need to have medical marijuana options, specifically for opioid addiction, according to CBS News.

States that use marijuana to treat addiction could also become leaders because the numbers of opioid deaths are rapidly increasing nationwide.

Whether it is heroin, painkillers, or fentanyl, Americans are now dying at higher rates from opioid drugs, and the rate exceeds other types of accidents. For example, Vox wrote on June 2 that more Americans were killed by painkillers (42,000) in 2014 than car crashes (34,000), or gun violence (34,000).

Naturally, any help Kentucky can get to fight opioid addiction with or without legalizing marijuana would be welcome, and a 2015 report from the Boston Globe about the epidemic in Eastern Kentucky quoted a drug treatment prevention worker stating the following.

“We’ve lost a whole generation of people who would have been paying taxes, and buying homes, and contributing to society.”

Eastern Kentucky has been highly documented in regards to having one of the worst opioid epidemics in America, and an investigative report about the Appalachian crisis in the Guardian in 2014 stated that “stigma and inadequate access to treatment are the biggest barriers to overcoming the ongoing crisis in Appalachia and across the country.”

However, outside of being an effective treatment for battling the state’s opioid epidemic, many Kentuckians are excited to see the other improvements that legalizing marijuana, or hemp, could have for economies like the one in Eastern Kentucky.

According to some reports, the process begins with decriminalizing marijuana. The act of decriminalization of marijuana will also likely protect the prominent illegal operations already deeply entrenched in Eastern Kentucky, as described by Columbus Dispatch.

Kentuckians for Medical Marijuana published a 2013 study by Charles B. Fields, Ph.D., Professor of Justice Studies at Eastern Kentucky University, that stated “economic benefits… can be realized by the State of Kentucky by both receiving tax benefits and reducing expenditures enforcing current marijuana laws.”

In other words, there is a price to pay to keep marijuana illegal in Kentucky, and legalizing cannabis or decriminalizing the growing, selling, or distribution could reduce Kentucky’s overall drug enforcement costs.

Currently, the unregulated marijuana industry in Eastern Kentucky produces an estimated $4 billion per year, according to a commonly cited 2008 History Channel documentary on Appalachia called Hillbilly: The Real Story.

CONTINUE READING…

Tobacco continues to green up Kentucky’s economy

 

 

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August 3, 2016

Tobacco continues to green up Kentucky’s economy

It used to be nearly impossible to drive through Kentucky in August and not see tobacco growing in a field.

In the summer of 1998, the leaf crop accounted for 25 percent of the state’s farm cash receipts and was grown by 46,000 farmers statewide. It was also grown by many of those farmers’ parents and their parents before them. For many, tobacco was Kentucky. 

Today the number of Kentucky tobacco growers has fallen to 4,500, but tobacco is still very much alive across the state. The crop accounts for a fair amount of all agricultural cash receipts– about six percent–at a time when overall agricultural cash receipts are at record levels. And that success is largely due to tobacco, too, says Governor’s Office of Agricultural Policy Executive Director Warren Beeler.

Beeler told the state legislative Tobacco Settlement Agreement Fund Oversight Committee today that Kentucky’s dedication of half of the funds received from a 1990s national master settlement with tobacco companies to agricultural diversification is the envy of many states. The appropriation was set out in 2000 House Bill 611 which helped propel the state to a record $6.5 billion in agricultural cash receipts in 2014.

“We are the envy of all states with our tobacco money,” said Beeler. “We’ve gone from $3.7 billion (in total agricultural cash receipts) when we got the (settlement) money to $6.5 billion now, and I don’t think that’s a coincidence….”

Lawmakers thanked Beeler, former GOAP Executive Director Roger Thomas and others for speaking at last month’s Southern Legislative Conference Annual Meeting in Lexington about HB 611’s successes. Committee Co-Chair Rep. Wilson Stone, D-Scottsville, said many delegates to the meeting were impressed with Kentucky’s use of its tobacco settlement dollars to diversify its agricultural economy.

Beeler said he heard from individuals in state after state across the South who said “they wish they’d done what we’d done.” Kentucky’s efforts have almost doubled its receipts at the farm gate, he said.

“It’s no coincidence… Don’t tell me it is, because plain-and-simple fact is we know this money has worked,” he told the committee.

The biggest project in the history of the GOAP and the Kentucky Agricultural Development Board which it administers is a $30 million grain crops and forages center planned for construction on the property of the UK Research and Education Center in Princeton. Half of the project amount, of $15 million, will be provided as a matching grant from the Agriculture Development Board, said Beeler. UK must match the award for the center.

Beeler said the project, which is also supported by the Kentucky Corn Growers Association, Kentucky Small Grain Growers Association, Kentucky Cattlemen’s Association and others, will pay dividends for the next 50 years. Proposed work with ryegrass alone could have a big payoff, he said.

Sen. Paul Hornback, R-Shelbyville, gave special thanks to the Corn Growers Association which Hornback said purchased property for the center that will be leased to UK for repayment. “I appreciate what you all did,” he said to members of the association and all involved in the project.

“Everybody is very appreciative” for this project, Beeler assured lawmakers.

The center will feature new meeting facilities, laboratories, offices and improved internet access “so professors at the center can teach classes for students in Lexington,” according to a press release on the center from the University of Kentucky. “…All commodity areas based at Princeton including beef cattle, forages and pastures and horticulture will benefit from the improvements and expansion.”

–END–

Marijuana Foes Losing Direction in Kentucky

 
With Thomas Tony Vance and Angela Gatewood.
 
Thomas Tony Vance

 

An Informational Town Hall meeting on Medical Cannabis was held on November 8. 2015 in Alexandria, KY sponsored by Veterans of Foreign Wars Campbell County Post 3205 Auxiliary and Veterans for Medical Cannabis Access. Having given the keynote speech at that event I was surprised and somewhat curious when immediately afterward the opponents of marijuana legalization organized and held one on December 1, 2015. The ‘Marijuana Summit’ was published as giving both sides of the issue.

 
I attended the event. They offered a ‘Legislative Breakfast’ and all our local legislators were there. They seemed to be very close with the organizers of the event. During breakfast Mr. Tony Coder, the Assistant Director of Drug Free Action Alliance, presided over a lively discussion of the issues. Senator Perry Clark, who attended, responded to the notion that since we already have a heroin problem we don’t need to legalize another drug. Ignoring the obvious attempt to link heroin with marijuana Senator Clark pointed out the report published in the Journal of the American Medical Association of a 25% drop in opioid drug overdose deaths in states that have medical cannabis programs and that that percentage is increasing.

The response was a change of subject.

I was struck by the snarky way Mr. Coder regaled us with the story of him breaking California law and lying to obtain a medical marijuana card to prove how easy it was to get one. At this point I was able to get a word in and posed him this query.

California has had medical marijuana since 1996. You say that’s a scam and Californians can access marijuana any time they want. Ok, I’ll give you that, (when I said that he looked surprised, then I continued), however that means the citizens of California have had easy access to marijuana for 20 years. You have to answer this. Where are the bodies? Where are all the bad things you all say will happen if marijuana is legalized?

Another change of subject.

Mr. Coder repeated his easy access claim during the next session on marijuana prohibition history. I quickly pointed out that he proves my point.
Change of subject.

The 3rd session was a speech by Mr. Ed Shemelya, the National Coordinator for the National Marijuana Initiative, a retired police officer who worked extensively with the High Intensity Drug Task Force and gives speeches for a living. He did point out, among a load of numbers that if 2 of the 6 states that will have legalization on the ballot pass it in 2016 it is, as he put it, “all over folks!”
Oh I wish it were true!

I had to leave at the halfway point. The first session after lunch was about hemp which is legal and really only a problem for the helicopter eradication program. The last was about the last 2 Monitoring the Future surveys concerning teen access and use which has not changed significantly with legalization. The interesting thing here is that with the exception of medical need supervised by a Doctor, no State has or will legalize marijuana for anyone under 21, so it’s really a moot point.

They always come back to protecting the children. I wonder? Marijuana has been used by women for menstrual cramps and morning sickness for 4000 years. In all that time there is no anecdotal evidence of birth defects or problems in birth resulting from marijuana use during pregnancy. Given the role we now know the cannabinoid system plays in maintaining good health and the fact of marijuana’s zero toxicity, one can envision a future in which ones Cheerios come, “fortified with THC for your protection”.

The ‘Marijuana Summit’, although misguided was certainly sincere, however we would be better served by them joining in as legalization comes and helping to craft effective policy rather than opposing it completely and having no say in the policy eventually enacted.

 

SOURCE

Sen. Perry B. Clark introduces two new Bills in Kentucky, one for medical marijuana and another for Hemp – Kentucky Legislature gets fired up on Hemp and Cannabis in the last week to introduce new Bills

 

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On Wednesday, March 2, Sen. Perry Clark of Louisville introduced two new Bills, one for Hemp and another for medical marijuana.

 

Senate Bill 262 is AN ACT relating to industrial hemp.

 

The “Industrial Hemp Freedom Act” is an extension of the “Cannabis Freedom Act” and seeks to to allow industrial hemp farming as permissible under federal law.  It would require that to require the Department of Agriculture to promulgate administrative regulations to administer the industrial hemp licensure program among other things. 

(LINK TO PDF SB 262 HERE)

 

As well, Senate Bill 263 was introduced by Sen. Perry Clark on March 2.

Senate Bill 263 is AN ACT relating to medical cannabis.

This is a medical cannabis bill which is meant for patients only as opposed to SB 13, deemed the “Cannabis Freedom Act” which would repeal prohibition for both medical and recreational users of Cannabis in the State of Kentucky.

This bill seeks to establish a comprehensive system for medical cannabis, including provisions for medical verification of need, persons allowed to cultivate, use, and possess the drug, organizations allowed to assist in providing the drug, regulation by the state Department of Alcoholic Beverage and Cannabis Control, interaction on the part of state and local governments, including law enforcement, with persons and entities coming within the purview of the Act, and the establishment of required reporting and review procedures; rename the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control the Department of Alcoholic Beverage and Cannabis Control; amend various KRS sections to conform; name the act the Cannabis Compassion Act.

Although this Bill requires patient access only and verification of need, it DOES allow for patients to grow their own medicine.  At least the patients grow rights are maintained which would mean equal access to medication by the patients.

Although this can in no way be construed as a REPEAL Bill it could be seen as the “lesser of the two evils” as opposed to HB584 which is a much stricter version of a medical marijuana Bill which was filed by Rep. Denver Butler of Louisville on March 1st.  HB584 is definitely the most strict of the marijuana Bills introduced as it does not provide for a patient to be able to grow their own medicine.  The growing rights would be controlled by “cultivators” who could sell only to manufacturers, processors, or distributors.  As was pointed out in a previous article about this Bill, the way the program would be set up is akin to a Monopoly and should be discouraged.

(LINK TO PDF OF SB 263 HERE)

 

 

RELATED POSTS:

COMPARING THE “CANNABIS ACTS” IN THE KENTUCKY LEGISLATURE…

Sen. Perry B. Clark at University of Louisville on March 2nd!

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CLICK ON FLYER ABOVE TO GO TO THE FACEBOOK PAGE OF THE KENTUCKY CANNABIS COALITION FOR MORE INFO!

Kentucky to potientially become buds with bud

Posted by Julia Dake | Jan 28, 2016

Julia Dake, Staff Writer

No pun intended, but I think it’s high time weed became legalized in Kentucky.

Marijuana legalization has made some significant headway over the past few years, now legal for recreational use in four states and medicinal use in 25. Pretty soon another state, namely Kentucky, could be added to the list, either for medicinal and recreational use.

The Cannabis Freedom Act, a bill filed by state Senator Perry B. Clark of Louisville, would repeal Kentucky’s current ban on marijuana and legalize sales to people 21 and over, while those under age 21 could use it with a doctor’s prescription.

Taxes generated from the sale of marijuana would go toward a variety of government programs, including need-based scholarships to Kentucky students pursuing a college degrees. These taxes would also generate revenue for Support Educational Excellence in Kentucky (SEEK), which provides money for Kentucky’s school districts and grants to police departments to purchase gear.

In addition to the fact that we live in the 21st century, the tax revenue would greatly benefit Kentucky students seeking a college education. Tuition costs rise every year, putting college out of reach for some, and further stressing those already enrolled. So given the chance to alleviate some of the financial burden on students, why are some legislators so hesitant?

Legalizing weed would also promote tourism in Kentucky, seeing that we would be the first state on the Eastern seaboard where recreational marijuana would be legal. This would become an added incentive for people visiting our state, and would help the hospitality and tourism industries flourish. Not to mention, the state is ideally suited to grow marijuana. We used to be one of the top hemp producing states, which suggests that we just might be a pretty good at growing its more heady cousin.

Critics of marijuana legalization argue that not enough research has been done and that legalization could lead to the potential for marijuana monopolies, making it difficult to regulate. While these are valid concerns, proponents of the Cannabis Freedom Act have added clauses that would create a three-tier system, preventing any one entity from monopolizing all the facets of marijuana cultivation and sales. Senator Clark insists that marijuana would be regulated exactly like alcohol is, requiring an ID to purchase through licensed dealers.

The bottom line is Kentuckians are using marijuana every day and a lot of money is changing hands. So why not set it up so a portion of that money goes to help the state?

CONTINUE READING…

Legislation to legalize recreational and medicinal marijuana is unlikely to be addressed during this legislative session in Kentucky

 

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Legislation to legalize recreational and medicinal marijuana is unlikely to be addressed during this legislative session in Kentucky.

That’s according to the committee’s chairman who’s handling the proposal. So what about the state’s hemp pilot program?

Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles was in Owensboro Wednesday. He says he expects 200 farmers to plant more than 4,000 acres this year.

That’s 4 times as much as in 2015.
Former Agriculture Commissioner James Comer started the program last year.  Quarles says officials are encouraging more local companies to use hemp grown in the Commonwealth –

“There are car manufacturers in Kentucky who use plant products similar to industrial hemp, but we’re hoping to pitch them on the idea of using Kentucky grown industrial hemp, not just for the manufacturing industry, but also other manufacturers across the state as well.”

More than 100 farmers participated last year and twice as many are expected this year.  Kentucky is one of several states with a hemp pilot program.

CONTINUE READING…

Kentucky "Cannabis Freedom Act" Summary

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Kentucky Cannabis Freedom Coalition·Saturday, December 12, 2015

Cannabis Freedom Act Summary

Section 1

(New Section of KRS Chapter 245)

Definitions

Section 2

(New Section of KRS Chapter 245)

Personal possession, use, and cultivation limits

Persons 21 years and older may:

Possess up to 1 ounce of cannabis on their person;

Cultivate up to 5 cannabis plants;

Store excess cannabis lawfully grown for personal use at the location where it was cultivated; or

Transfer up to 1 ounce of cannabis to another person age 21 or older without remuneration

Possession exemption for persons under 21 if recommended by a licensed physician

Section 3

(New Section of KRS Chapter 245)

Prohibition on smoking cannabis in public

Maximum penalty: $100 fine

Section 4

(New Section of KRS Chapter 245)

Prohibitions on access to retail cannabis facilities,

Persons under 21 years of age shall not:

o Enter retail cannabis facilities to purchase cannabis or cannabis products;

o Possess, purchase, or attempt to possess or purchase cannabis or cannabis products;

o Misrepresent their age or use false identification to induce an illegal sale of cannabis or cannabis products; or

o Remain on any premises that sells cannabis or cannabis products

Licensees, their agents, or employees are prohibited from permitting persons under 21 years of age from remaining on any premises where cannabis and cannabis products are sold.

o Maximum penalty: Class B misdemeanor

Section 5

(New Section of KRS Chapter 245)

Prohibition on unlawful possession of cannabis

Maximum penalty: $250 fine

Section 6

(New Section KRS Chapter 245)

Personal cultivation requirements

Person who chooses to cultivate for personal consumption must take reasonable precautions to ensure that any cannabis or cannabis plants are secure from unauthorized access and access by persons under twenty-one years of age.

Persons shall only cultivate cannabis for personal consumption on property that they own or with the consent of the person in lawful possession of the property.

o Maximum penalty: $500 fine

Section 7

(New Section KRS Chapter 245)

Prohibition on unlawful cultivation of cannabis (ULCC) with the intent to sell or transfer it for valuable consideration ULCC of 11 or more cannabis plants

o Maximum penalty: Class D felony

ULCC of 6-10 cannabis plants

o Maximum penalty: Class A misdemeanor

ULCC of 5 or fewer cannabis plants

o Maximum penalty: Class B misdemeanor

ULCC of six or more cannabis plants creates a presumption that unlawful cultivation was for sale or transfer

Section 8

(New Section of KRS Chapter 245)

Department of Alcoholic Beverage and Cannabis Control (ABCC) to promulgate administrative regulations to implement various aspects of Act within 180 days of the Act becoming law.

Section 9

(New Section of KRS Chapter 245)

ABCC to create licenses to operate the following cannabis-related entities:

Cannabis cultivation facility;

Cannabis processing facility;

Cannabis testing facility; or

Retail cannabis facility.

Licenses created pursuant to this section shall cost $5,000 and be valid for 12 months from the date of issuance

Section 10

(New Section of KRS Chapter 245)

Licensure requirements

Applicant must pay nonrefundable $100 application fee which will be applied to their licensing fee if a license is issued to the applicant

ABCC shall:

Create uniform license application form;

Issue a license to an applicant unless:

o The applicant has been convicted of crime which would qualify them as a violent offender;

o The applicant falsifies information on the application for a license; or

o The applicant has had a previous license issued by ABCC revoked within the 12 months prior to the reapplication.

Section 11

(New Section of KRS Chapter 245)

Excise tax imposed on licensees operating cannabis cultivation facilities selling or transferring cannabis to either a cannabis processing facility or a retail cannabis facility.

Effective January 1, 2017:

$30 per ounce on all cannabis flowers

$10 per ounce on all parts of the cannabis plant other than the flowers

$10 per immature cannabis plant

Reporting requirements

Department of Revenue may prescribe forms and promulgate administrative regulations to collect taxes created under this section

Section 12

(New Section of KRS Chapter 245)

Creates a revolving trust and agency account from licensure, renewal, and administrative fees Account to be used for the enforcement of the Act by ABCC

Section 13

(New Section of KRS Chapter 245)

The Kentucky Responsible Cannabis Use Program (KRCUP) fund is created as a restricted fund

The KRCUP fund is comprised off all the excise tax revenue collected under Section 11 of the Act and all the sales and use tax revenue collected on cannabis and cannabis products.

The proceeds contained in the fund are to be distributed according to the following formula:

30% of funds to go the public school fund to support education excellence in Kentucky (SEEK);

20% of funds to go to the Kentucky Department of Education for scholarships based on socioeconomic need for students to attend public institutions of postsecondary education in Kentucky;

20% of funds to go to the Office of Drug Control Policy to dispense grants to substance abuse treatment programs that employ evidence-based behavioral health treatments or medically assisted treatment;

15% of funds to go to the Kentucky Law Enforcement Council to dispense grants to county and local law enforcement agencies to buy protective equipment, communications equipment, and training; and

15% shall be deposited into the general fund.

Section 14

(New Section of KRS Chapter 245)

$500 Civil penalty for each violation of KRS Chapter 245

$1000 Civil penalty for failing to maintain written tax records and reports required by the Department of Revenue

Section 15

(New Section of KRS Chapter 245)

Corporate and individual liability for violations of KRS Chapter 245

Section 16

(New Section of KRS Chapter 245)

Cannabis or cannabis products which are held, owned, or possessed by any person other than those authorized by KRS Chapter 245 is declared contraband.

The ABCC can dispose of contraband cannabis and cannabis products using the same procedures and protocols that they currently use for contraband alcoholic beverages.

Section 17

(New Section of KRS Chapter 100)

Prevents local political subdivisions with zoning power from:

Using their zoning power to institute a moratorium on cannabis-related entities;

Using their zoning power to discriminate against cannabis-related entities by treating them differently from other similar entities;

Using their zoning power to impose more stringent security requirements than those required by ABCC; or Imposing additional fees in excess of what other applicants seeking to operate a business are charged.

Section 18

(New Section of KRS Chapter 65)

Prevents county and local governments from instituting de facto or de jure moratoriums on cannabis related entities.

Section 19

(New Section of KRS Chapter 311)

Allows any licensed physicians acting in good faith to recommend cannabis or cannabis products to their patients.

Physicians who recommend cannabis or cannabis products to patients under the age of 18 must obtain parental consent and a second recommendation from another licensed physician.

Provides civil, criminal, and licensing immunity to physicians who, in good faith, recommend cannabis or cannabis products.

Section 20

(Amends KRS 12.020)

Renames the Department of Alcoholic Beverage and Cannabis Control

Establishes the Division of Cannabis

Section 21

(Amends KRS 241.010)

Amends definition of “board” and “department” to reflect the addition of cannabis

Section 22

(Amends KRS 241.015)

Renames the Department of Alcoholic Beverage and Cannabis Control

Section 23

(Amends KRS 241.020)

Empowers the Department of Alcoholic Beverages and Cannabis Control to regulate traffic in cannabis and cannabis products.

Creates the Division of Cannabis to administer the laws in relation cultivation, processing, testing, and sale of cannabis and cannabis products.

Section 24

(Amends KRS 241.030)

Adds one appointed position to the Alcoholic Beverage and Cannabis Control Board to act as director of the Division of Cannabis.

Section 25

(Amends KRS 2.015)

Amends the age of majority statute in regards to cannabis.

Section 26

(Amends KRS 218A.010)

Removes the definition of marijuana from Kentucky’s Controlled Substances Act.

Section 27

(Amends KRS 218A.050)

Removes marijuana, tetrahydrocannabinols, and hashish from the list of Schedule I controlled substances.

Section 28

(Amends KRS 218A.510)

Removes references to marijuana and hashish from the definition of drug paraphernalia.

Section 29

(Amends KRS 260.850)

Removes industrial hemp from the definition of cannabis.

Section 30

(Amends KRS 600.020)

Includes cannabis offenses in the definition of status offense action under Kentucky’s Juvenile Code.

Section 31

(Amends KRS 610.010)

Grants jurisdiction of juvenile cases involving cannabis to either the juvenile session of District Court or the family division of the Circuit Court.

Section 32

(Amends 630.020)

Adds cannabis offenses to list of status offenses which have to be adjudicated in juvenile court.

Section 33

(Amends KRS 218A.276)

Removes obsolete reference to marijuana statutes that would be repealed if this Act becomes law.

Section 34

(Amends KRS 630.120)

Prevents juveniles who are adjudicated guilty of cannabis offenses from being committed to the Department of Juvenile Justice for detention (mirrors alcohol and tobacco offenses).

Section 35

(Amends KRS 131.650)

Removes obsolete reference to a taxing statute which would be repealed if this Act becomes law.

Section 36

(Repeals KRS 138.870, 138.872, 138.874, 138.876, 138.878, 138.880, 138.882,138.884, 138.885, 138.886, 138.888, 138.889, 218A.1421, 218A.1422, 218A.1423)

Section 37

(Short Title: Cannabis Freedom Act)

INFORMATION SOURCE LINK

UPDATED LINK TO THE KENTUCKY LEGISLATURE WILL BE POSTED WHEN AVAILABLE!

Red Vanwinkle explains why we must regulate cannabis like alcohol in kentucky

 

December 12, 2015

Good morning everybody!

Will you help me?

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Above: Patient in Illinois tends to a plant in 2010.

Today I will be sharing a story that only a handful of people knows about. Some know just enough, that I have been asked many times over the years to share publicly. I haven’t done so, because it could be seen as a weakness. So here goes, and it’s 100% true. As some of my longtime friends know.

It all started with extreme bloating. Eventually my belly got so big, I was about a 40 waist, but was drastically loosing weight. I was getting weaker everyday.

After some time, I had a bunch of symptoms hitting me. Some scary stuff. Like pain all over in my joints. Eyes so dry in the mornings, I would open them real slow, as to not rip my eyes. I was getting weak as a kitten, and bed ridden some days.

Then I started to get mind fog. So bad so, I got lost driving in Monticello KY. Which I know the place very well, and has only about 3 stop lights. I then my eyes started to change colors. Then my skin started to change colors. I started turning yellow. I was not able to get out of bed much at this point. I knew this was something that might kill me. I seen my family cry, and very afraid of their future. Which was hard for a man to swallow.

During this time we lived off the grid. Not much money at all. I cut and sold firewood, some crops, and a little homemade drink. Certainly not enough money to have doctors and hospitals find out what was wrong. With me being too week to cut and split much wood. We had less wood to sell. So we had less money.

I had started trying to get my affairs in order. But I was not giving up. I went into town (Monticello) almost everyday. I went to the library to do research online. Which is how I was getting lost, being by myself. But it wasn’t a major problem, just drive around for a minute, and I would be back on my road heading home.

Spelling simple 3 and 4 letter words, was becoming a major issue in my research. But I swallowed my pride, and started asking people how to spell words, when I ran into the issue. I know this sounds simple enough. But it is a hard task to ask someone how to spell “was”. People think you’re mentally handicapped, completely uneducated, or on dope. Which during this time, I was not doing anything. No drinking, no pot, no over the counter pain meds, or anything I thought could place strain on my liver.

I had actually stopped smoking pot before I got sick. I stopped smoking cigarettes during that time too. And I rarely ever drink. When I do drink, I don’t drink much. I did when I was really young. But as I got older, the after effects got worse (hangover). So I quit that business long ago lol.

The mind fog continued to get worse, as I became more yellow in color. I had gotten to the point I was having a hard time remembering how to say some words. Conversation was becoming a difficult task.
There was several more symptoms. Too many to go into detail here, and that some I would rather not share. I got to where almost everything I ate caused me some type of issue. Which drove the wife nuts trying to see I was able to eat.

It got so bad, that my wife came to me crying, saying she can’t watch me die. I told her I was getting better. That it was just going to take time to show on the outside. Yes, a little white lie at the time. But I figured well placed. I soon after started being a jerk, so she would leave me. I had come to the conclusion. That if this killed me. I was going to die on my terms, and alone. As I did not want this burden on anyone else. Yet she didn’t go anywhere.

Yet, I was still not just going to give up. In my research. I knew my liver was shutting down. So I started buying different liver supporting substances. Like a vitamin called liver aid, milk thistle. I bought B12 to help increase energy. I bought acidophilus to help incase I had cancer. Which many signs was pointing at that. And I had recently had a close relative die from liver cancer. There was other various health items too, but the listed ones was my go to meds.

All this stuff was not cheap in the stores. But I knew I had to have it. I needed it to keep me going, so I could find out what was wrong with me. Luckily there was a salvage store in Pine Knot. This store on one day a week had all kinds of vitamins for cheap. They had boxes, and boxes of different vitamins, and over the counter meds. The wife and I would search through all those boxes for a bottle here and there. Most of the time, we would find enough to get me through the week. Which they had new stuff every week. So this became a weekly thing, of a couple hours. There was times we found extras, so I would buy all I could. I would even count change just to get as many of the found extras as we could. Hated to leave any bottles, as I knew I would sometime or another need them, and not have them. There was some weeks we didn’t find what I needed. So I would bum some from friends that had alcohol related liver issues. Just to make it to the next week. Good friends are worth more than gold to me!!!
So back to figuring out what was wrong. I had symptoms that matched cancer, and about 100 different rare genetic disorders. Genetic disorders are not contagious, it’s something a person is either born with or not. But could be dormant for years before coming to cause issues.

So there I was. I had either a possibility of various cancers, or a genetic disorder. Which most of these things I found was calling for a prognosis of death, with varying expected times. But there was hope. I had started eating super healthy, and taking my vitamins/meds. I was seeing improvement with my liver situation. The situation went from all bad, to sometimes improvement. While other times not. Which was also kinda scary, as this type improvements with these things, is also likely with liver cancer. But basically a little time buying. Either way, I was taking what I could get, and happy to have it. As the steady decline was even more scary. As the scariest thing was leaving my family without. This I had to fix!

With the small improvements, and the energy increase from eating lots of sublingual B12 tablets a few times a day. I was able to do more. Sublingual tablets absorb inside your mouth. So almost instant energy.

I started looking at getting back closer to her family. We logged the property, and bought a foreclosure. We got the home at a amazing price. The asking price was so low, we knew others would also be putting in offers. So I offered them $1200 more than asking price, and we got it. We was flat broke no furniture. An extension cord running from our new neighbors lol. But we had the house, and food in our belles. Which was completion of phase one. Make sure the family had enough to be ok when I left.

This new home needed all kinds of work, and still needs some. But it has awesome bones. Multi colored brick, new metal roof, a two car garage, and fenced in yard on an acre. This new home was out in the country. Yet a 15 minute drive to Elizabethtown KY. Which is very close to Fort Know KY.

The jobs was available here. I had no problem in getting jobs. Matter of fact, I got 3 as soon as I went looking. I applied for jobs I thought I could handle. Which I decided I was going to take them all. I felt like superman changing cloths on the fly lol.

One of the jobs was an advertising associate. Which I did sales, and mostly at my convenience. Which was easy enough. Just had to get some fancy duds, and a hair cut. I didn’t make a killing, but did ok.
The next job was a pizza delivery driver a few hours a day. Which again was easy enough. I just needed a gps tell me where to go. So I got one, and the job was a piece of cake. I made a sorry paycheck, but made good in tips.

The 3rd job was kind of tougher. Yet I still felt it was doable. I applied at a factory delivering parts to the different lines. Which I had a cart that I drove around. This one proved to be a bit more difficult. I had no gps to tell me where to go, and I would get turned around from time to time. Which I just applied my previous way of dealing with such. I drove until I figured out where I was lol. Most thought I was just having fun, so I played along. I would Aihooooo, and toot the horn as I would fly by hahahaha. This job was also long hours, and 7 day a week most weeks. So I was having a hard time doing so much. Yet I was making the most of my money on this job. Most, but not all my money. So I just needed something to bring in a few more bucks.

I quit the factory job, and started my handyman service. I had to act as if the client needed something major. I was not the best qualified to do the task. As really I was not able to do a lot physically, even though I had all the knowledge to compete almost any home repair. I just didn’t want to let be known, I was not physically able to do some task. I remember in the beginning. I was doing a painting job, and started to give out on a ladder. I told the home owner, the heavy onion smell, from something they was cooking was causing me issue, and I needed a break for fresh air. Which was likely true, as onions was one of the things that started making me sick if I ate them. Which the homeowner quickly aired out the home, while I was getting some fresh air. I also ate several b12 tablets. Which I was able to continue on.

As business increased, I was able to add the family. Which they worked hard, and we was as efficient as any small construction crew. I have several awesome short cuts, that makes things faster, and easier, with the same quality results (Work smarter, not harder).

You know I am not in such a condition now. So how, and when did I change things around. I was spending every spare moment researching medical conditions. We had wifi at our new place. Which made research a lot more convenient. I was doing lots of research on auto immune disorders(genetic disorder). Because I had seen in my research. Autoimmune disorders can have greatly varying symptoms. Which makes it difficult for medical professionals to track down. This also causes wrong diagnoses many times.

As I researched Autoimmune disorders. I learned that they can stay dormant in a person for many years, or never come about even if the person has the genetics to develop a Autoimmune disorder. That this can be triggered by several things. One of those things is surgery. Which just before my issues started, I had all my teeth pulled. Because I had bad teeth, due to a genetic disorder. Where I had no natural enamel coating on my teeth. So bells was going off, for me to concentrate my research here. I tested gluten, and gluten was a factor in the bely bloating, and pain. So I stopped gluten. With some results but still some things got worse. Which caused me to realize I could be affected by multiple genetic disorders.

I had been researching everything I could. Other medical practices in other places, and there findings, and treatments. Then somehow in my search I was reading some comments to a blog. One that said the US health department held a patent on cannabinoids having positive effects on Autoimmune disorders. So I copied, and pasted a search. Because at that time I didn’t know what cannabinoids was. As many people still don’t know what it is.
Sure enough, the US health department has this documented, and patented. This along with having positive effects in treating cancer. At this point, I am in shock that this is not know by the public. There has to be a reason. Because when I do searches on autoimmune, and cancer. There was thousands of different kinds of claims to be of benefit. But during that time, there was nothing unless you did a direct search for cannabinoids and cancer, or Cannabinoids and Autoimmune. I found the reason this was not very well known.

You know where cannabinoids are found? CANNABIS!!! Both hemp, and Marijuana has them.

Now I was starting to see another link. About the same time I quit consuming Cannabis, was about the same time I started getting sick. Could it be Cannabis was helping prevent autoimmune from developing? As I did my research, I found this to be very possible.

Here I was, had not consumed Cannabis for years. Didn’t really want to spend the money to get it. Takes time to grow. So I had to think long and hard. First I talked with my wife and son. I told them, and showed them what I had found. I asked them what they thought about me trying this to get better. They both looked at me like I was stupid. Not because it would be shameful. Because they didn’t care if I had to eat horse poop to get better. So with them it was a definite wanting me to give it a try.

Next I went and talked with my inlaws. As they have always been against any drugs, drinking, and even smoking. I rarely ever even smoke around them still today. Father inlaw was acting like he was ok, but I really didn’t know. Mother inlaw was acting tolerant as she knew I was sick. But was skeptical about any possible improvements.
The next input I went to seek was my friends. Which I even actually made a post. Back then, about 30 friends was all I had on my friends list lol. If the person was not an actual friend, they was not on my list in those days. Those post has since been deleted. As I deleted all post when I did my first TV show. All my friends that knew I was sick, and the ones just finding out I was sick, everyone said go for it.

Once I decided to go for it. Then I needed to figure out where to get it at a price I could afford. Lets just say I have many friends. Which has helped me. Even if I don’t have any money. If I am having issues. They take care of me best they can.

But even with knowing the right people, it was a gamble. As jail was no place for a person as sick as I was. Even now, a long sit in jail, could possibly cause a relapse. So another issue that needs to be fixed. Hence I started publicly supporting Cannabis reform in KY. Because I really don’t want to have to leave my home for safe access to what I need.

I started out as a hemp, and medical marijuana advocate. But once I started gaining notoriety, I started to learn Medical only in KY, would only be a money making sham. One the common person could not afford. I know this, as I was offered an in on this money making plan. I then seen this would be for the wealthy only. I seen this would create a group to fight further Cannabis reform. Such as a group of people whom would not be making as much, if full regulated came about. I was not selling out, while the common people suffer. Even if this would fix my situation. So now I advocate for Cannabis to be regulated like alcohol.

But before I did. I looked at all angles. When you look at Cannabis verses alcohol. It is clear that Cannabis is safer, less addictive, and pose fewer issues for a community than alcohol. I seen the fact alcohol is harder for teens to get than Marijuana. This is because street dealers don’t ask for ID. So with regulations like alcohol has. Cannabis would be harder for teens to obtain. So I seen no adverse reason that out weighed the good of regulating Cannabis like alcohol.
I seen the economic boost. I seen the decrease in consumption of heroin, and prescription pain pills.

I saw KY being a leading economy in the US. As KY grew 98% of the hemp for WWII. This is because KY has the best overall U.S. environment to grow Cannabis.

To bring this full circle. My mother inlaw would fire into anyone that says I shouldn’t consume Cannabis. She has went to Cannabis reform meetings. She has prepared food for Cannabis reform events. She has attended Cannastock. She has had discussions with her friends. She has helped me anyway she can. To help me help KY bring Cannabis reform to KY.  I have autoimmune disorder. It’s genetic, and Cannabis turns off the illness for me, and many other people.

Even though I didn’t really want to share. I did so in hopes of gaining as much help as possible.

Will you help me bring Cannabis reform to KY?

Would you want to face jail every time you need a prescription filled?

That is my world. Even though I don’t act like it bothers me, it DOES!
It’s not fair. It’s not fair people get pain meds they don’t really need, while I can’t get safe access to what I need. It’s not fair Sudafed is legal, and is what meth is made from. Because people how have a runny nose needs it. So they say the risk is worth it. Meanwhile heck no for Marijuana. Reason, someone will get high. Even though the high from marijuana has NEVER killed 1 person with overdose.

Here are some things you can do, if you you would like to help me.
You can call your KY legislators and ask them to support the new measure to regulate Cannabis in KY like alcohol. The number is (800) 372-7181.

You can tell pass this information on to any Kentuckian you know. And encourage them to make the call as well.

You can email your legislators asking them to support the new measure to regulate cannabis like alcohol.

There will be more you can get involved with. Just be watching as I will be posting various things to help bring this reform to KY.

You are welcome to share this post.

As always, thank you for your continued Cannabis support ,’-) Aihooooo

Written by:  Red Vanwinkle, Kentucky.

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