Medical marijuana patient wins employment discrimination suit in Rhode Island


 

This April 15, 2017 file photo shows marijuana plants on display at a medical marijuana provider in downtown Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Richard Vogel)

 

By Andrew Blake – The Washington Times – Wednesday, May 24, 2017

A Rhode Island fabrics company violated the state’s medical marijuana law when it refused to hire a card-carrying patient who couldn’t pass a drug test, a state Superior Court judge ruled Tuesday.

Christine Callaghan sued Darlington Fabrics Corp. for compensatory and punitive damages in 2014 after the company said her medical marijuana usage precluded it from offering her a paid internship position while she pursued a master’s degree at the University of Rhode Island. Ms. Callaghan promised not to bring weed into the workplace or arrive for work stoned, but Darlington said her failure to pass a pre-employment drug test prohibited her hiring, according to court filings.

In a 32-page ruling Tuesday, Associate Justice Richard A. Licht said Darlington broke the state’s Hawkins-Slater Medical Marijuana Act by rejecting Ms. Callaghan because she legally uses pot to treat migraine headaches in accodance with state law.

“Employment is neither a right nor a privilege in the legal sense,” Judge Licht ruled, but protection under the law is, he added.

While employers aren’t required to accommodate the medical use of cannabis in the workplace under Hawkins-Slater, the ruling noted, the law specifies that “no school, employer or landlord may refuse to reenroll, employ or lease to or otherwise penalize, a person solely for his or her status as a cardholder.”

Darlington had argued that it rejected Ms. Callaghan not because her status as a medical marijuana cardholder but her inability to pass a drug test. The judge called his claim “incredulous” in Tuesday’s ruling and took aim at its interpretation of the state’s medical marijuana law.

“This argument is not convincing,” he wrote, adding: “…it is absurd to think that the General Assembly wished to extend less protection to those suffering with debilitating conditions and who are the focus of the [act].”

“The recreational user could cease smoking long enough to pass the drug test and get hired… allowing him or her to smoke recreationally to his or her heart’s content,” he continued. “The medical user, however, would not be able to cease for long enough to pass the drug test, even though his or her use is necessary…”

More than 17,000 Rhode Islanders are currently members of the state’s medical marijuana program, the Providence Journal reported. While most of those individuals are patients who use marijuana to treat covered medical conditions, that number also includes people categorized as official “caregivers,” the newspaper reported.

“This decision sends a strong message that people with disabilities simply cannot be denied equal employment opportunities because of the medication they take,” Carly Beauvais Iafrate, a volunteer American Civil Liberties Union attorney and Ms. Callaghan’s legal counsel, said in a statement after Tuesday’s ruling.

Darlington plans to appeal the ruling before the state Supreme Court, defense attorney Meghan Siket told the Journal. Neither the company nor its lawyer was immediately available to comment Tuesday, the Associated Press reported.

Medical marijuana laws are currently on the books in 29 states and Washington, D.C., including Rhode Island, notwithstanding the federal government’s prohibition on pot.

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What will New Orleans do with the Confederate statues?


NEW ORLEANS — Now that New Orleans has removed three prominent Confederate statues and a monument heralding white supremacy, what should it do with them?

The city will receive proposals from groups that want to take three of the monuments — the last is tied up in legal issues — and display them. Plans are also being made to fill the spaces they leave behind. The city wants to finish the work during its tricentennial year in 2018.

Across the world, cities have wrestled with what statues should be allowed to stand watch over parks and buildings. Here’s a look at what other places have done:

AFRICA

Monuments to colonial rule have been removed in many countries, though some remain. There is debate over whether to erase symbols of an era of white domination or preserve them as cautionary reminders of the past.

Statues of British imperialist Cecil John Rhodes, who died in 1902, were uprooted in Zimbabwean cities after independence from white minority rule in 1980, though his grave remains intact.

In 2015, students defaced a statue of him at South Africa’s University of Cape Town, which removed the monument. Last year, the University of Oxford in Britain, which allocates scholarships named after Rhodes, said it would not take down a statue of its benefactor despite protests by some students.

BALTICS

In Lithuania, the war in Ukraine prompted calls for the removal of all symbols of Soviet occupation, including statues of Red Army soldiers on a bridge in the capital Vilnius; they were removed in 2015.

Meanwhile, statues of Vladimir Lenin, Josef Stalin and other Soviet leaders ended up at Grutas Park, a quirky theme park popularly known as Stalin’s World dotted with relics of the country’s communist past.

In Estonia, a monument honoring Red Army WW2 soldiers became a source of riots in 2007 and a diplomatic standoff with Russia when the government debated dismantling or relocating it away from a prominent position in the capital Tallinn.

GERMANY

After World War II, the Allies occupied Germany and introduced a program of “Denazification” to purge society of remnants of Nazi ideology and power. It focused on people deeply involved with the Nazi regime, but also Nazi symbols like the swastika.

Flags were torn down, statues of Hitler destroyed and Nazi-era place names changed. Thus Berlin’s “Adolf Hitler Platz” reverted to “Reichskanzlerplatz,” or “German Chancellor Square,” after the war; today it’s “Theodor Heuss Platz,” after Germany’s first postwar president. U.S. military engineers blew up a massive swastika that towered over the Nazi parade grounds in Nuremberg.

IRAQ

Image result for Saddam Hussein’s statue in Baghdad in 2003

The toppling of Saddam Hussein’s statue in Baghdad in 2003 was one of the most famous moments of the U.S.-led invasion, but thousands of other Saddam-era statues and monuments were removed or modified as well including many removed by U.S. forces where they stationed.

In 2007, a government committee was tasked with reviewing what was left to remove them, starting with the crossed-sword archways Saddam commissioned to commemorate his victory over Iran. But the work was quickly halted after denunciations from artists and Sunni politicians. The government only removed hundreds of Iranian soldiers’ helmets.

Another monument built by Saddam to commemorate Iraqis killed in the Iran-Iraq War was turned into a museum honoring the overwhelmingly Shiite and Kurdish victims of Saddam’s Sunni-dominated regime.

RUSSIA

Hundreds of Soviet-era monuments were taken down in Moscow and St. Petersburg as the Soviet Union crumbled in 1991.

The removal of one, a statue to Felix Dzerzhinsky, the founder of the Soviet secret service, in front of jubilant crowds on Aug. 21, 1991, was perceived as a symbolic break with Russia’s totalitarian past.

The Dzerzhinsky monument and other Soviet landmark statues were taken to Muzeon, a park in central Moscow, while authorities were largely undecided about what to do with the busts and statues of Lenin, Dzerzhinsky and other Communist Party functionaries.

The Dzerzhinsky statue still stands in an alley at Muzeon while busts and smaller monuments are piled in a heap contained by a link fence.

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In Praise of Hemp


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by Jim Prues / September 29th, 2010

Hemp use predates the Agrarian Age, as hemp fibers have been found in pottery in China and Taiwan dating to 7,000 years ago. The classical Greek historian Herodotus (ca. 480 BC) reported that the inhabitants of Scythia would often inhale the vapours of hemp smoke, both as ritual and for their own pleasurable recreation. So presumably the Scythians were the first recorded stoners.

 

In Europe, hemp growing and production became quite popular during the Medieval Age, having disseminated in that direction along with much of the technology of the Arabic Golden Age in Northern Africa. In Europe hemp seeds were used for food and oils, the leaves for teas and the stalks for fibres, including rope, clothes, sails and paper. Estimates put the number of Europeans actively involved in hemp growing and production in the 15th and 16th century at well over 50%.

Hemp has a strong historical influence on every continent, with varied cultural and religious traditions. Many African spiritual practices involve consuming hemp smoke to enhance awareness and generate visions like the Dagga ‘cults’.

The Spaniards brought hemp to the Western Hemisphere and cultivated it in Chile starting about 1545. However, in May 1607, “hempe” was among the crops Gabriel Archer observed being cultivated by the natives at the main Powhatan village, where Richmond, Virginia is now  situated; and in 1613, 

Samuell Argall reported wild hemp “better than that in England” growing along the shores of the upper Potomac. As early as 1619, the first Virginia House of Burgesses passed an Act requiring all planters in Virginia to sow “both English and Indian” hemp on their plantations. The Puritans are first known to have cultivated hemp in New England in 1645.

In more modern times, hemp was a popular crop in antibellum Kentucky and other southern states. It was commonly used for a variety of products, most notably the paper on which the U.S. Constitution was written. Several of our founding fathers were hemp farmers.

All this changed with William Randoph Hearst, who began demonizing hemp in order to leverage his great tracks of forest for paper production instead of needing to buy hemp from other farmers. His effort to demonize the plant was also instigated by his racism, as many hispanics and blacks used hemp for recreation. The word, marijuana, is the hispanic term for that form of hemp which has psychoactive ingredients.

There are several varieties of hemp, most of which have very little THC [tetra-hydro-cannabanoid], the mind-effecting component. For most of U.S. history, the distinction was well-understood and laws reflected that awareness. Like so many with the power of media, however, Mr. Hearst did his best to cloud that distinction, as he was against hemp in any form. Indeed, industrial hemp was referred to as ‘ditchweed’, while hemp for medicinal or recreations purposes has come to be known as marijuana.

An analogy would be poppies, where you have the breadseed poppy seeds that can be found on bread or rolls, in contrast to the opium poppies grown to create morphine and heroin.

As reference, the timber and lumber industries, textile and petro-chemical industries are the most influential in keeping hemp illegal. As usual, we can follow the money. Then for pot there’s the pharmaceutical industry, the alcohol lobby and all those anti-drug agencies with self-preservation interests. We learn much from understanding these connections.

With this background, let’s consider how hemp might again play a pivotal role in our culture.

Assuming access to air and water, our most regular needs are for food and energy. In the World4 culture, these needs, at least for the industrialized world, are met through global corporations like ADM, Monsanto, BP and Exxon. And of course, hemp is illegal to grow in much of the industrialized world and particularly the United States.

But as noted above, hemp is easily grown with little required in the way of fertilizer or pesticides. As such, hemp typifies a sustainably-oriented plant. Corn, by comparison, requires heavy doses of fertilizer, especially nitrogen, and requires a good deal of pesticide use, with Roundup often used to kill weeds, and genetically modified corn seed that is resistant to the effects of Roundup. With the vast expanses of corn grown in this country, it should be no surprise that the runoff from these chemicals has created a huge dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico. And let us not forget that our tax dollars subsidize these efforts through farm and energy subsidies.

With hemp, we have a low-impact, high-yield crop that can be used for a variety of uses. The stalks and fiber can used for composites that can be a wood substitute in an array of products. They can also be processed to create ethanol. They can be burned as a carbon-neutral resource, since the carbon they release is but the carbon the plant ingested during it’s life. Durable, light-weight, and strong, it’s difficult to imagine all the uses for industrial hemp were we to focus on designing and building hemp-based products.

With hemp oil we have another energy-rich resource, which can be used in cooking, as lamp oil and as a medicinal, as its high concentration of essential fatty acids is great for the skin and overall health.

Hemp seed can be used as a food as well. The roasted seeds are crunchy, they can be used in soups and casseroles, mixed with cereals or other foods. They’re highly nutritious, have a good deal of protein and again, are positive-impact environmentally.

Hemp has remediation properties too. It absorbs heavy metals in the soil, reducing their toxicity and harmful environment effects. There are vast expanses of hemp in the area of the Chernobyl nuclear accident for just that reason.

Hemp can be grown successfully in nearly every state in these United States. One can imagine a culture where locally produced hemp provides a good portion of the energy, food and product needs for our communities. This methodology would provide employment in both production and processing of the plant. It would reduce the environmental damage caused by our overused, subsidized corn. [Corn syrup is a cheap, low grade sugar that’s in a ton of processed foods.] Re-integrating hemp into our culture is just good, common sense.

And then there’s marijuana. The heathen devil-weed [a term coined by Heart’s yellow press] was blamed for all sorts of bad behavior as part of the demonization process. But as usual, someone who smokes pot and acts badly likely acts badly anyway, with marijuana as the straw man. Marijuana reduces aggressive behavior, unlike alcohol. This slander against the singular most influential plant in human history is but one example of the dysfunctionality of our culture.

Weed does indeed have psychotropic properties of note. Being stoned has a curious effect on the mind. Most say it tends to enhance whatever we feeling or experiencing at the time, offering a heightened experience of music or games or food [the proverbial munchies]. It is often used as a mind-quieting agent as well, as the stream of thoughts so constant to most of us becomes less pressing in a marijuana state of mind. In our fear-ridden, highly-stressed culture that alone could be of great value.

It’s worth noting that marijuana has not been placed as the medical cause in a single death in this country. Compare that with alcohol, tobacco, or the host of concoctions the pharmaceutical industry markets to us constantly. Mary Jane is decidedly benign.

As a medicinal, hemp oil has the afore mentioned essential fatty acids that are very effective for skin issues like excema and when ingested enhances body health. Medical marijuana is much in the news these days, being legal in California and a handful of other states. It’s value in alleviating the worst effect of cancer treatments,  chronic back ache and other issues is well-documented. Imagine if our culture actually encouraged research on medical marijuana. Not likely when the legal drug cartel we call the pharmaceutical industry has so much influence in government.

Proposition 19 is a measure on the ballot in California this fall that makes hemp legal. It merits our support for all the reasons indicated in this writing. Perhaps with this ballot measure passing we can begin to reverse the foolishness that has withheld leveraging this marvelous plant for the last 100 years.

Perhaps one of the most beneficial characteristics of this renewable resource is that the hemp plant can be used in its entirety, and that a streamlined life-cycle assessment yields positive impacts on the environment throughout the growth, harvest, and production stages. The industrial hemp plant offers a wide variety of high performance applications through the many aspects of community design, and will help strengthen our local economy, return power back to our local agricultural industry, and restore the environment as it grows. – Scott Blossom

Well said, Mister Blossom. Perhaps this fall [in California Ballot Measure Prop 19] we’ll begin to see a return to sanity in our policies toward this marvelous and versatile plant. And wouldn’t it be just swell to see this happen in the wider context of a return to localism. Very World Five – dude.

Jim Prues is the founder of World 5.0, a new cultural operating system based on peace and love. He can be reached at jim@world5.org. Read other articles by Jim, or visit Jim’s website.

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Hey Sheree, I find this photo annoying or distasteful. Would you please take it down?


ShereeKrider, May 20, 2017

WIN_20170520_17_02_00_Pro

President Lincoln did not issue the Emancipation Proclamation until January 1, 1863, more than one and a half years after the war started. His goal was initially to preserve the Union, and he only issued that proclamation when he felt doing so would promote that objective. One could argue that if the primary cause of the war was slavery then Lincoln’s first act would have been to free them. Historians have written many volumes on Lincoln’s timing and motivation, but one thing is clear: slavery was not his first priority. LINK

Jon Davis Msg

Although it is hard to read because the screenshot above is not very clear, the following is the message I received from a man named JonDavis on Facebook with whom I had absolutely no connection that I could find.  He also had no friends so I am assuming that he was some kind of troll.

You and Jon Davis aren’t connected on Facebook

11:07am

Hey Sheree, I find this photo annoying or distasteful.
Would you please take it down before I share it to every internet group that finds racism and monuments to slavery  distasteful. The fallout could cost you dearly.

 

CSA Glasgow

The following link was attached to the message which was a photo of a Statue of “Our Confederate Dead”, in Glasgow, Kentucky.

https://www.facebook.com/shereekrider/posts/10155481086732994

I love everyone.  I do not look at color, religion nor nationality when choosing friends or who to engage in conversation with.  I respect all peoples rights and would never intentionally hurt another person physically  or otherwise.  I care about everyone – yes, I care about the Confederate’s too.  That does not mean that I encourage nor agree with Slavery … the kind in the past OR the kind we live in right now OR the futuristic kind!  I believe in the freedom of humanity.  I believe in the right to live and let live.  I believe in the human rights of ALL people – worldwide.

Today, and for all of known history, that seems to be what the World is about…who gets to control the “Slaves” today?  How can we get the “Slaves” to follow us instead of “them”?  What kind of fucked up bullshit can we tell them that will bring them to “Our” side?  What will keep everybody up in arms and against each other because we all know that “a house divided always fails”! 

Above all, never let them know the truth of our history.  That would fuck up “Our” plans for sure!  We have to keep “them” believing that we are working towards a better future for “them”. 

Control of our bodies and minds is the way they will accomplish this.  Remove all historical truth and replace with bullshit lies that all pass the “smell test”.  As long as it “seems” believable, and “We” are in charge, they will believe “us”.  That keeps “us” in control of everything and everybody.

When debating the 13th amendment, many in Congress were not thinking of slaves, but rather white labor, as Senator Henry Wilson said, “The same influences that go to keep down and crush down the rights of the poor black man bear down and oppress the poor white laboring man.”  LINK

I thought I would use this as the reason to say something about the situation and to get out the facts as I see them, that our history is being robbed from us before our very eyes.

New Orleans removes a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee from its perch of 133 years

I don’t know who was behind the actual message.  Obviously it came from a fake profile.  I don’t know why they find it “distasteful”?  I don’t know why they would want to infringe upon my right to post a picture I took at a Courthouse in my hometown.  I really do not know why they felt the need to threaten me, although I feel it was just a ploy to see what my reaction would be.  So …here is my reaction:

For some number of years there has been an ongoing attempt to eradicate our history.  It would probably be best for those who are most  served by ignorance to erase, from the minds of men, the history that got us where we are today.

For purposes of this opinion I will only go back as far as the Civil War,  however, the cover-up goes much deeper than that – further than most people can comprehend…

The individual is handicapped by coming face-to-face with a conspiracy so monstrous he cannot
believe it exists. The American mind simply has not come to a realization of the evil which has been
introduced into our midst. It rejects even the assumption that human creatures could espouse a
philosophy which must ultimately destroy all that is good and decent.”

The Civil War was not fought in order to free the slaves as we have been taught in school.  The Civil War was a fight between the  agriculturalists and the industrialists.  The slaves needed to be freed so that industry could prevail – they needed workers.  Immediately upon end of the Civil War the Slaves went to work for the railroads and many other industrial jobs – as paid slaves or “convicts”,  in not too different of a situation than from what they had come, and in some cases worse.  However, they could officially call themselves free men because they weren’t slaves any longer, they were convicts.

 

The history of our servitude can be researched back throughout our history on Earth.  It is imperative that we remember what has happened in our past.  Our history can foretell our future.  Removing statues of the Confederate history of our Country is a very dangerous thing to do because it erases our memories of what happened in our past – things that need to be remembered so that we can avoid them again – and to remember the people,  ALL of them, who fought and died for a cause, doing what they thought was right – at the time – to protect their way of life and most importantly defending the very lives of their family and friends – People who were being murdered by an opposing force – be it right or wrong – which had encroached upon their lives. 

After the Civil War, the 13th, 14th, and 15th Constitutional amendments were passed with the intention of establishing equality under the law for newly freed slaves, or so the story goes. The fact of the matter is that slavery was – and still is – completely legal in the United States, only in a much different form. The institution of slavery, as we’ve come to understand it, actually underwent an evolution of sorts. Instead of having the direct enslavement of blacks with an entire apparatus used to keep slaves in their condition, certain elements of the state apparatus were piecemealed over time to enslave blacks, namely the legal and prison systems. Hence, the act of enslavement itself changed as black convicts were no longer slaves to individual masters, but rather they were enslaved to the companies which they were leased out to. To create this system, there not only had to be the involvement of the Southern judicial system and individual Northern and Southern elites, but also the involvement and reinstitution of slavery within a corporate context.

Lincoln was caught in the middle between the Northern industrialists and the Southern agriculturists, who both wanted to dominate Western expansion because of the wealth it offered. The industrialists knew that the agriculturists depended on slavery because cotton, upon which Southern wealth was based, was very labor intensive and required the inexpensive labor that slavery provided. They knew that if the Western lands were declared “free states” then the Southern agriculturists would be unable to compete, and would be forced to leave Western expansion, and its potential profits, to the Northern industrialists.  LINK

I invite you to take the time to read  “The Elkhorn Manifesto”, and learn a little bit more about our history than you were probably taught in school.  Don’t fall as ignorant prey to the Nazification of America.  Many people who were born after WWII were not taught anything about this information either in school nor in their households.  I just happen to be the child of a WWII Veteran, my family was older, and I was allowed to listen to everyone talk around the dinner table.  I remembered some of what I had heard and as I got older and had access to the internet I looked up things on “google” Laughing out loud and I started to learn things.  True enough, you have to be careful about where you get your information from, however, most truthful information does not come from ABC, NBC, CBS or Cable News Services.

Another important and informative piece of information is “Hemp:  The Invisible Prohibition Revealed”.

Fight for the Freedom from Prohibition of Your Freedom’s!

Fight for the fucking truth!  Preserve our history!  Embrace it, learn from it, please do not eradicate it!

New Orleans can take down General Lee if they want to, but I’m keeping my picture of “Our Confederate Dead” on my Facebook Profile and my Confederate Flag in my closet (no pun intended – it is ripped)…

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Above:  My Grandson playing in the yard with Grandpa and the family dogs, Gus and Sassy.

 

To clearly understand the circumstances which existed during the 1930s and 1940s, and are the subject of this booklet, it would be helpful to first put the hemp / petrochemical conflict into historical perspective. The events which took place in the years leading up to World War II were a continuation of a struggle between agricultural and industrial interests that began before the American Revolution, a struggle which has yet to be decided, even today. LINK

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

http://web.archive.org/web/20041208084352/kentucky.usmjparty.com/policy_elkhorn.htm

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jeff-schweitzer/slavery-and-the-civil-war_b_849066.html

https://betterworldcampaign.org/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lincoln%27s_House_Divided_Speech

https://kentuckymarijuanaparty.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/

http://www.hamptoninstitution.org/convictleasesystem.html

https://www.google.com/?gws_rd=ssl#q=servitude+definition

http://web.archive.org/web/20041208084352/kentucky.usmjparty.com/policy_elkhorn.htm

http://idioms.thefreedictionary.com/pass+the+smell+test

http://www.constitutionalcannabis.com/uploads/1/3/5/9/13590809/chipr_web.pdf

http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/confederate-monuments-coming/

http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-new-orleans-general-lee-20170519-story.html

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10153869698472994&set=a.10151816278717994.1073741825.761977993&type=3&theater

http://www.cafepress.com/shereekrider

http://jackiewhiting.net/amstudies/Units1314/Liberty/SlaveryAbolition.html

Hope for Hemp: Cave City family sees future in new crop


Hannah McCarthyin Feature Long Reads

Story and photos by Hannah McCarthy

Just 2 miles outside of downtown Cave City, Kentucky, the landscape quickly turns from old brick and mortar to farmhouses and dirt roads. Down one such dirt road, a 45-acre plot of land rests nestled between patches of trees, large stretches of wildflowers and tall grasses. Two 2012 Clayton model mobile homes, an old red barn and a spattering of newer-looking structures dot the immense sea of green grass.

The dirt road leads to a gravel pathway almost up to the door of the main house. This is the new home and farm of the Wilson family, one of Kentucky’s first families to enter into the world of hemp farming through the Industrial Hemp Research Pilot Program.

Inside, two men, the heads of the two households, scurry around in the small kitchen of the main home. Dodging the kitchen island, the dog and each other, they are busy making phone calls to clients and searching for a product or a tool or a piece of paper. There is much to be done on this April day, as the summer is quickly approaching.

One of them is a burly bearded man in a farmer’s plaid button down. The hat he wears reads “Green Remedy,” and it is adorned with buttons and pins with pro-hemp sayings, phrases and images. Tufts of curly gray and black hair stick out from beneath the hat, and a salt-and-pepper goatee wraps around his bright smile.

This is Chad Wilson, sometimes better known as the Hemp Preacher.

He doesn’t remember when he first got the name or even who gave it to him; all he knows is that it has caught on over the years.

“I can get up on a soapbox pretty quick,” he laughs. “Thing is I get to speakin’ and it just turns to preachin’.”

Chad knows he is not the only one out there who preaches the power of hemp as a versatile and strong plant. He believes in its abilities to rejuvenate Kentucky farms and the agriculture industry across the nation.

As for his nickname, Chad does not want to end up as the face of Kentucky hemp, although he slowly starting to gain that reputation. He said his biggest goal is to spread the word about the industry and to help it grow with or without his name.

This year, Chad and his family are taking their involvement in the industry one step further. They will be planting and growing their own hemp in order to have a hand in every aspect of the production.

“We’re trying to get into a position where we help others, and we feel like it’s our calling; by doing that we help grow the industry.”

Hemp History and the IHRPP

Hemp has been planted on American soil since the Colonial Era. According to the Kentucky Department of Agriculture, Kentucky planted its first crop in 1775, and the state would become the leader in hemp production for years to come. In 1850, hemp production was at its peak with 40,000 tons of the crop coming out of Kentucky’s soil. However, in 1938 all forms of cannabis, including hemp, were outlawed, and so began its disappearance from the American farm.

During World War II, a small resurgence occurred in the industry, as hemp was used to make rope and materials for the war effort. Once the war ended, the crops began to dwindle and died out completely by 1958.

The “Second Prohibition,” as it is called by some hemp enthusiasts, occurred in 1970, when the Controlled Substances Act was passed, declaring Marijuana a “Schedule 1 substance.” Although hemp is also from the cannabis plant, it is grown and cultivated differently than marijuana. However, much of the legislation passed in the 19th and 20th centuries lumped both plants together without exception.

While marijuana is grown in a wider, spread out area, hemp farmers hope that stalks will grow up rather than out. Marijuana is also grown and harvested for its THC content. Hemp is cultivated for its seed and fiber. It has been used to make lotions, clothing and hair care products, but until recently it has been a U.S. import.

The 2014 U.S. farm bill allowed certain states to test hemp farm pilot programs. Kentucky was one of the first states to adopt the Industrial Hemp Research Pilot Program, and from its installation has seen the acreage of crops planted go from zero to 2,300 acres in just under 3 years. The Kentucky Department of Agriculture hopes to see continued growth in the industry as the 2017 season begins around late May. However, many local farmers still worry about the risks of industrial hemp farming.

In a letter included in the 2017 IHRPP Policy Guide, Ryan Quarles, KDA Commissioner, stated the importance of maintaining flexibility and strong communication between farmers, government officials and law enforcement agencies:

“Freedom, flexibility and latitude to try new methods and applications are essential to the success of any agricultural research pilot program… the Department must work closely with federal, state and local law enforcement officials to devise and oversee a research pilot program that encourages continued expansion of industrial hemp production while also effectively upholding laws prohibiting marijuana and other illegal drugs.”

Still, some small family farm owners have not seen this kind of flexibility from their local law enforcement and government. In fact, they have experienced quite the opposite sentiment as regulations on percentages of the cannabinoid, Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), are strictly enforced.

This month, Kentucky agriculture officials seized and burned almost 100 pounds of Kentucky industrial hemp from grower, Lindsay Todd. Her crop, when measured for THC percentage, came out at .4083 percent according to officials. That means the crop was one-tenth over the legal limit of .3 percent, giving officials the right to eliminate it.

Chad Wilson weighed in on the incident, saying that alternatives are necessary if the IHRPP is to continue successfully in Kentucky.

“There have to be rules and regulations, but there also have to be concerns for the farmer and mitigation of loss…the plants are affected by the environment, by the weather, by stress that can throw those levels off,” Chad said.

As long as the law remains at .3 percent and no compensation for loss is provided, Wilson worries other farmers will be reluctant to begin growing their own crops in Kentucky.

How it all began

For most of his life, Chad Wilson, like many of his now critics, had a deep-seated opposition to hemp based on the assumption that it was the same as marijuana and was detrimental to society.

“I didn’t understand what hemp was, that it wasn’t marijuana. That’s how we were raised here in the South,” said Chad. “So I’ve made this incredible journey from where I was to where I am now.”

In 2011, Chad Wilson discovered the benefits of hemp after he began seeing posts about its various uses on Facebook. He started to look deeper, and he found information about the use of industrial hemp farming for vital remediation of the soil.

Then, as he looked further, he found stories about medical hemp and CBD oil helping children and adults with epilepsy or other painful health problems.

After being given the book “The Emperor Wears No Clothes: Hemp and the Marijuana Conspiracy,” Chad said things changed. He is now an advocate and self-proclaimed activist for the agriculture industry and industrial hemp in Kentucky.

In an effort to spread the word about hemp and provide hemp-based products to a larger market across the state and country, Chad and his partner, Chris Smith, founded Green Remedy, Inc., in October 2014. It is a company dedicated to the production of solely hemp products such as hair and skin care items, foods, and oils. The company also sells Cannabidiol products such as tinctures, capsules and concentrates.

Cannabinoids can be found in both hemp and marijuana plants. Unlike tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), cannabidiol (CBD) does not cause euphoria or intoxication, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Instead, preclinical studies have shown that CBD has “anti-seizure, antioxidant, neuroprotective, anti-inflammatory, analgesic, anti-tumor, anti-psychotic, and anti-anxiety properties.”

Green Remedy, Inc. specializes in the now-legal production of this medicinal cannabis product.

In March 2015, hemp hit home for the Wilson family when Chad’s father suffered a stroke that left him virtually speechless for months. He would look with blank expression at his family members and respond to them with a simple “yes” or “no.”

“I knew we had to get CBD into his body,” Chad said.

Chad’s sister was a nurse practitioner who did not agree with the use of CBD, and she was especially against using it on her father. Not wanting to cause a divide in the family, Chad let go of the idea.

Six months later, Chad’s father was still having trouble formulating full sentences and engaging in conversation. His eyes looked different. They were dimmer than before.

Chad, unable to wait any longer, took his father to his computer. He sat him down and told him to read about the U.S. government patent on CBD oil, which states, “nonpsychoactive cannabinoids, such as cannabidiol, 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.”

“Take it,” Chad’s father looked at him with pleading eyes. “I’ll take it.”

In less than 10 days, Chad noticed a change. His father was speaking again, in full sentences. A year later he was laughing, joking and living on his own with a new lease on life.

“They said he would never drive again. They said he would never live on his own again. He would probably never speak again, never ride his motorcycle or be able to care for himself. We put him on CBD, and now I have my daddy back,” Chad said behind tear-filled eyes. “I have my daddy back.”

The Local Perspective

Not everyone shares the Wilsons’ sentiments about hemp and its role in American agriculture. Chad has faced ignorance and even discrimination from people around the country. Some of the most obvious opposition and lack of knowledge comes from his own locale, South Central Kentucky.

On Broadway Street, one can find a variety of antique shops, small restaurants and a number of “For Sale” signs. Squatty buildings with chipping paint and once-bright shop signs beckon a number of town locals and some tourists on a good day. Along Broadway, one patio set-up seems to catch the eye.

Magaline’s Antique Mall, with its plastic patio chairs and array of flowers and small trees, sits awaiting customers.

Inside, Magaline Meredith stands behind the counter.

“Hemp!? You mean that marijuana stuff? I’m afraid I don’t know nothing about that, darlin’,” she said.

A clay-like concealer covered her creviced face, and bright eyes shown through the thick black mascara under her polka-dotted hat.

“Come right on in, sugar,” said the old woman with raspy southern drawl. Her attention drifted to a raincoat-clad customer walking in the door.

“What can I do ya for…oh, well hey there honey,” she said, growing louder with the realization that her guest was actually someone she had been expecting. The man began to chat with Magaline’s husband behind her and they quickly engaged in a conversation about a plastic credit card scanner.

“Ya know, we used to use that hemp in the Navy. Made ropes and such,” he said.

“Yeah, and they’re usin’ it to make plastic and lotsa cool things nowadays,” said the man in the raincoat.  “Hell, they could probably make this credit card swiper outta hemp.”

“So it doesn’t get you high like real marijuana then?” Magaline asked, her bright eyes now sporting a look of confusion.

“I guess not,” said her husband.

“Well then, I guess I’m fine with them plantin’ it,” Magaline said, and they all went back to their search, leaving the conversation behind without a second glance.

Scenes like the one at Magaline’s are common in the state of Kentucky. While some people do know about hemp’s alternative uses, many still group the plant with its high-in-THC counterpart, marijuana.

In May of 2016, Chad paid a visit to the Warren County Justice Center to help his son get a driver’s license. Once he entered the building, Chad was told that he would have to leave the premises if he did not remove his Green Remedy hat. According to the Bowling Green Daily News, the officials said that Chad’s hat “promoted marijuana” and so he would have to remove it before going any further.

Chad, not wanting to cause a scene, removed the hat but was disheartened by the entire event. After having explained himself to the officials and telling them that he was in fact a licensed grower, they still made him take off the hat.

“The only way this industry is gonna grow is if people take down these walls and freely communicate and share ideas,” Chad said. “And right now we’re still not seeing that.”

The Plan of Action

Back on his own farm, Chad and his son, Jordan, patiently await planting day. For now, June 1 is the set date when the first cutting will be placed in the soil. The Wilsons will be experimenting with cloning their plants rather than planting seeds.

“Cloning helps us ensure that the plant has good genes,” said Jordan. “That way it’ll be easier to regulate those THC levels and the quality of the plants we’re farming.”

With the planting of the cuttings quickly approaching, there is still much to be done on the farm- a shop to be furnished and cemented, greenhouses to be readied and careful protection of the plants themselves. Although the weather has been an obstacle in the process, the Wilsons remain hopeful that they will have a fully functioning farm within the next couple of months.

“We have a pretty good outline of what we’re going to do,” said Jordan. “But we don’t want to make anything too strict because things happen. It may rain. We may have some other setback. We just know what our end goal is, and we know we’ll make it happen.”

The Wilsons hope that the entire farm will one day become a place that draws people to Cave City. Chad believes that his farm has the potential to bring life back to the small town with an agritourism approach.

Jordan has planted radishes and carrots while he waits for the day to start planting the hemp cuttings. Another goal for the Wilson family, which Jordan is especially passionate about, is to run a certified Kentucky Organic produce farm. First, they will have to prove to the KDA that the land has been free of pesticides and chemicals for a three-year period.

Both Chad and Jordan are confident that they will receive the certification, as most of the land has not been farmed in years. Except for the back, where there was corn and soybean production, the Wilson family can prove that there have not been any chemicals or sprays on the land for around six to 10 years.

With big plans ahead of them, the Wilsons work daily to ensure that their farm will run smoothly. Chad wakes up almost every morning at 5 a.m. to begin his day making phone calls, doing business and readying the farm.

After the cuttings of hemp are planted in the greenhouse beds, the Wilsons will finally have a hand in all aspects of hemp agricultural production.

“I especially care about keeping [the hemp plants] inside, away from external factors like bugs and bad weather, especially if they will be used medicinally,” Chad said, mentioning the importance of knowing exactly where your hemp products come from.

Chad will get to oversee every part of the process from plant birth to the lab at Green Remedy and then, he hopes, into the lives of people in need.

Once everything is up and running smoothly, the final steps in Chad’s plan include making the farm a training center for anyone who wants to grow hemp. Old farmers who want to try something new. New farmers who have never put one seed in the ground. Anyone with a true desire to grow the plant will be welcome to listen and learn the Hemp Preacher’s lessons.

“My hope is that I can build something that’s a benefit to the farmer and the agricultural economy around Cave City. Then, eventually we can experiment with new crops…see what works and what doesn’t, and then we can train farmers based on that research,” Chad said.

“We’re starting a new page of history for this farm.”

CONTINUE READING AND TO SEE PICS OF FARM!

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


 

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By:  Msgt. Thomas Tony Vance, Alexandria, Ky.

Callus and Morally Indefensible!

Mercy Health Hospitals in an Op-ed in the May 11, 2017 Kentucky Enquirer talks about the opioid epidemic and calls for a multi-pronged approach in dealing with it. Their program of Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment, SBIRT, has screened thousands of patients. Unfortunately they do not give any stats that show the program is effective. They also state we should treat addiction as the disease it is. That is exactly what Nixon’s commission on drugs advised back in the early 70s. Instead we got the war on drugs!

As effective as the Mercy Health approach is, there is a more effective action that can drop the number of opioid overdose deaths by more than half. As reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association, States with medical cannabis laws see a 25% drop in opioid overdose deaths in the first year after legalizing medical marijuana which grows to 33% by year 6. We can cut our opioid overdose deaths by a third simply by legalizing medical marijuana.

In Colorado which has both medical and recreational marijuana legalization, have seen a drop of 66% since medical legalization was approved in 2012. They had 479 opioid overdose deaths for 2015 and that dropped to 442 for 2016.

Let us compare Kentucky and Colorado. Colorado has 5.5 million people and Kentucky has 4.5 million. Colorado has comparable medical and addiction services and is similar to Kentucky in many ways. The only major difference is Colorado has embraced marijuana legalization and Kentucky, even though medical legalization polls at 80% favorability and recreational at 60%, has rejected legalization. Colorado’s numbers for 2015 were 479 and Kentucky’s were 1278, almost 3 times that of Colorado.

Given the facts of the benefits of marijuana legalization in preventing opioid overdose deaths by more than half, as is the case in Colorado, no one can claim to be serious about opioid addiction and overdose deaths without including cannabis legalization as a tool to fight this epidemic. Cannabis legalization, in reality, has a better record of mitigating this epidemic than any other policy that has been tried or is currently in use! I dare our legislators to name another policy that can drop the number of these deaths by a third. They can’t.

Veterans suffering from chronic pain and Post Traumatic Stress stop taking an average of 8 different prescriptions for pain meds and meds to deal with the side effects of the various medicines they are given when they start using medical cannabis. Veterans claim far better outcomes than their counter parts who stay on the VA cocktail prescribed for pain and PTSD.

We need credible action to fight this devastating epidemic. What we are currently doing is not effective. Adding addiction services will help but it seems the easiest, most effective and credible action we can take right now is simply to legalize cannabis for medical and recreational uses and watch the numbers fall! Not taking an action that can provide such benefit in fighting this scourge is not only callus and inhuman but also morally indefensible!

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Updates Following Descheduling Press Conference Held On Capitol Hill


Rev. Mary

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So in an attempt to find out what actually took place on the Hill, As I was not actually able to attend or see the actual Press Conference, this is all I was even able to locate in the News or On-line about it. ~

Congressman focuses bright D.C. cannabis spotlight on popular legalization bill
https://www.cannabisbusinessexecutive.com/2017/05/20536/

May 18, 2017 by David Hodes 0 Comments

Yesterday, May 17, Virginia Fifth District Congressman Tom Garrett announced more details of his bill, H.R. 1227, “Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act of 2017” which he introduced in Congress in February. He updated the crowd of advocates and reporters with more on the hoped-for success of the bill that is going forward now with a host of new co-sponsors.

The bill, which the congressman says is similar to a bill by Senator Bernie Sanders that floated around briefly in Congress in 2015 (some say there is…

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Started by a group of Kentucky Fried Chicken investors in the early 1980s, CCA quickly grew into the largest private prison operator in the world.


Colorado’s For-Profit Prisons a Bad Bet, Says Ex-Employee Turned Author

Thursday, May 18, 2017 at 8:26 a.m.

By Alan Prendergast

After it was taken over by a private-prison operator in 1996, the Bent County Correctional Facility soon doubled its capacity — and then doubled it again, to more than 1,400 inmates.

Sue Binder’s quarrel with the private-prison giant Corrections Corporation of America began shortly after she started to work at one of CCA’s cut-rate hoosegows in southeastern Colorado. It continued for thirteen years, right up until Binder resigned in 2015 from her job as a mental-health coordinator at the Bent County Correctional Facility — and got shorted on her last paycheck in a dispute over medical leave.

Started by a group of Kentucky Fried Chicken investors in the early 1980s, CCA quickly grew into the largest private prison operator in the world. But it’s also been dogged by bad press about poorly trained staff, inadequate medical care, outbursts of violence and riots, and studies that indicate turning to the private sector to manage inmate populations doesn’t really save money. The company recently changed its name to CoreCivic as part of a rebranding effort.

But whatever it calls itself now, it’s safe to say that working for CCA made an indelible impression on Binder, who became convinced that management at the Bent County lockup was more interested in keeping the place as full —and profitable — as possible than in helping inmates prepare for release or treating staff fairly. She decided to write a book that would encompass not just her experiences, but how the private corrections industry works. The result is Bodies in Beds: Why Business Should Stay Out of Prisons (Algora).

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“The longer I was there, especially the last four or five years, the more I became disillusioned,” says Binder, who now works at a community mental-health center in Lamar. “I can’t say I was burned out, but I was becoming more aware of what was happening behind the scenes at the company I worked for. At first I thought I would just do my personal story, but then I began researching more and more. It kind of ballooned on me.”

Part memoir, part overview, Bodies in Beds offers unsettling glimpses into what it’s like to work at a private prison — not just as a turnkey, but as someone who’s supposed to offer actual services to inmates. For a while, Binder managed to rationalize her position to herself, figuring that maybe she could make a difference to some of the mentally ill prisoners she saw. But as CCA’s cost-containment strategies kept multiplying the duties and thinning the staff, Binder found herself not only having to screen every new inmate, but divide with just one other mental-health specialist a caseload of more than 400 inmates diagnosed with some degree of mental illness. At the same time, she was asked to meticulously document every action she took — a request that was supposed to help her get more staff, but was actually used to justify the status quo. On a good day, she was lucky to spend a few minutes each with maybe ten or twelve inmates between mounds of paperwork.

“I felt like I’m not helping these guys very much,” she says. “We were pushing these inmates through like cattle. What could have been thirty or forty minutes with them, trying to help them, I saw that not happening. Some of them have opportunities and should be out of prison — but we need to give them help.”

After a 2004 riot at CCA’s badly understaffed Crowley County Correctional Facility, the Colorado Department of Corrections stepped up its monitoring of private-prison operators. But whistleblowers like Binder are not all that numerous; most staffers at the company’s facilities live in remote areas, with few economic opportunities, and need to hold on to their jobs. Once Binder realized that her job was more about providing the appearance of mental-health services rather than the services themselves, she began to prepare an exit strategy.

In her current position as a behavioral-health specialist at the High Plains Community Health Center, Binder occasionally runs across former Bent County inmates. “About half my caseload are people on probation, so I continue to work in the system,” she says. “Now and then you see somebody where you think, maybe you made a little difference. That makes it worthwhile.”

CONTINUE READING…

Senators from both parties try to ease banking for marijuana businesses


Cannabis grower Steve Dillon tends to his plants on his farm in Humboldt County, California, U.S. August 28, 2016.  REUTERS/Rory Carroll

By Lisa Lambert | WASHINGTON

Republican and Democratic senators on Wednesday renewed their drive to make banking easier for marijuana-based businesses in those U.S. states where the drug is legal, undeterred by signals from the Trump administration about maintaining tough marijuana restrictions nationally.

The eight senators, who spanned the political spectrum from libertarian-leaning Republican Rand Paul to liberal Democrat Cory Booker, introduced the bill to block federal banking regulators from somehow pushing a financial institution to stop serving a state-sanctioned marijuana business or the businesses’ landlords or lawyers.

The government would also not be allowed to give banks incentives to cut off the businesses.

While marijuana is legal for medicinal or recreational use in 44 states, the federal government still considers it an illegal and highly dangerous drug.

Under former President Barack Obama, a Democrat, regulators gave banks guidance on working with cannabis-related businesses and staying within the law. But the guidance intimidated most financial institutions and they cut ties with the sector, saying compliance with extensive requirements was too expensive and did not assure them they would not be prosecuted in the future.

The current situation leads dispensaries to either deal all in cash or hide their business’ true nature from banks, creating public-safety and legal risks, lawmakers say.

The unlikely collection of senators sponsoring Wednesday’s bill have attempted to get similar legislation approved before, and gained wider support with each try. That could help the legislation pass the closely divided Senate.

Since President Donald Trump took office in January, marijuana advocates have staged demonstrations in Washington, including distributing hundreds of free joints on inauguration day.

But last week, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who has long opposed easing pot restrictions, ordered the Justice Department to toughen prosecutions of all magnitudes of drug crimes. He has also made drugs a top issue for his crime-reduction task force.

Proponents of legalizing pot, meanwhile, were worried by a statement Trump released when he signed a massive spending bill at the beginning of the month.

In part, Trump used the statement to signal that he would like to go after states’ medical marijuana laws. The spending bill bars Justice from using any funds to block states from implementing those laws, a prohibition that Trump said goes against his constitutional responsibility to faithfully execute federal laws.

(Reporting by Lisa Lambert; Editing by Tom Brown)

CONTINUE READING…

Shop owner pleads guilty in marijuana pipe case


YGTBFKM

 

Daniel Borunda , El Paso Times Published 6:30 p.m. MT May 16, 2017

An El Paso woman pleaded guilty Tuesday to a federal charge for selling marijuana pipes to undercover officers at her smoke shop in Sunland Park, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in New Mexico said.

Brenda Riveroll, 36, pleaded guilty in federal court in Las Cruces to a charge of selling drug paraphernalia. She was sentenced to five years’ probation as part of a plea deal, prosecutors said in a news release.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office said that Riveroll was the owner and only employee of The Smoke Shop on Palomas Court, which sold bongs, glass and metal pipes, scales and grinders for marijuana.

On May 12, 2016, the shop was raided by law enforcement a few weeks after Riveroll had sold the pipes to the undercover officers. On April 3, Riveroll was arrested by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration after she was indicted.

CONTINUE READING…

We are ANTI-PROHIBITIONISTS! We are "Constitutionalists"! We are "Overgrowing the Government"

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