Abolish the Drug Czar’s Office!


NORML
04/14/2017

 

The Trump Administration is widely expected to pick Representative Tom Marino for Drug Czar.

Representative Marino is a longtime, rabid drug warrior who has a consistent record of voting against marijuana law reform legislation — a position that runs counter to that of the majority of voters and his own constituents. His appointment to this office highlights the fact that this administration remains committed to the failed 1980s ‘war on drug’ playbook.

The Trump administration promised to eliminate bureaucratic waste. It should start by eliminating the office of the Drug Czar. 

The White House Drug Czar is required, by statute, “to oppose any attempt to legalize the use of a substance that is listed in Schedule I” and to “ensure that no Federal funds … shall be expended for any study or contract relating to the legalization (for a medical use or any other use) of a substance listed in Schedule I.” This narrow-minded, Flat Earth mentality refuses to acknowledge the reality that the majority of the country is now authorized to engage in the use of medical cannabis and it mandates that US drug policy be dictated by rhetoric and ideology rather than by science and evidence.

NORML opposes Marino’s appointment to Drug Czar and we further call for this anti-science position to be abolished entirely.

Click here to send a message to President Trump – End the charade of the Drug Czar by abolishing the position. 

The Drug Czar’s office is a remnant of a bygone era when US drug policy was framed as a ‘war’ fueled largely by rhetoric and ideology. In 2017 we can do better and we must. The majority of Americans view drug abuse as a public health issue, they favor regulating cannabis as opposed to criminalizing it, and they are demanding policy changes based on science and evidence.

Tell President Trump: There is no place for ‘Czars’ in today’s American government, particularly those like Marino who still cling to the outdated and failed drug war policies and misplaced ideologies of the past.

Thanks in advance for standing together with the thousands of NORML members throughout the country.

The NORML Team

P.S. Our work is supported by thousands of people throughout the country as we work to advance marijuana reform in all 50 states and at the federal level. Can you kick in $5, $10 or $20 a month to help us keep going?

 

 

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Reality of Standing Rock


Published on Nov 22, 2016

Be a Creative Activist – http://www.jill2016.com/create

“The mainstream media is lying about what is happening at Standing Rock. As someone who was there, I confirm what the water protectors have been going through. We need water and we are done with big corporations hurting and destroying our environment for financial gain. This is not moral what’s so ever. People do terrible things to each other for money. Our world is being destroyed for money.” #NoDAPL #StandingRock

Credit: Normadic Sky
http://www.nomadicskye.com

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For more information on Jill Stein for President 2016 and the Green Party’s grassroots 2016 Presidential campaign see
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YOUTUBE SOURCE LINK

Marijuana backers worry over AG Sessions


Marijuana backers worry over AG Sessions

Supporters of liberalizing marijuana laws worry their relationship with the federal government is about to get a lot more contentious as members of the incoming Donald Trump administration signal they will take a harder line on drug policy.

During the Obama administration, Attorneys General Eric Holder and Loretta Lynch agreed not to enforce some drug laws in states where marijuana is legal. That is likely to change under Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), President-elect Trump’s nominee to become attorney general.

Sessions is considered one of the staunchest pot opponents in the Senate, a hard-line conservative who once remarked that he thought the Ku Klux Klan was “OK” until he learned members smoked marijuana. At a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing earlier this year, Sessions said he wanted to send a message that “good people don’t smoke marijuana.”

“Sessions doesn’t appear to have a very enlightened view about the war on drugs, so that’s somewhat discouraging,” said Pete Holmes, Seattle’s city attorney and one of the driving forces behind Washington’s decision to legalize marijuana for recreational use.

“When you hear the kind of knee-jerk biases expressed by a guy who will be the nation’s top law enforcement official, it’s scary.”

Supporters of liberalizing marijuana laws have scored big wins in recent years, as voters in both red and blue states have loosened marijuana laws. After November’s elections, more than half of states will allow the use of marijuana for medical purposes, and eight states will allow marijuana for recreational purposes. 

The legal marijuana industry is becoming a billion-dollar boon for businesses and investors and a reliable new source of revenue for cash-poor cities and states. Earlier this month, voters in Massachusetts, Maine, California and Nevada joined Washington, Colorado, Alaska, Oregon and the District of Columbia in legalizing marijuana for recreational use.

But marijuana remains illegal at the federal level, and pro-pot advocates have maintained an uneasy truce with the Justice Department under President Obama.

As attorney general, Sessions has a host of options for changing the federal government’s posture toward marijuana.

He could follow precedent set by Holder and Lynch and let states chart their own path, or, on the other extreme, he could tell governors that any state that issues a license to permit marijuana sales would stand in violation of the Controlled Substances Act. 

Sessions could revisit the Cole memo, the August 2013 memorandum written to federal prosecutors by then-deputy Attorney General James Cole that lays out the Justice Department’s priorities in prosecuting drug cases. The Cole memo allowed prosecutors to skip cases in states that institute regulatory and enforcement systems to oversee marijuana sales.

To legal pot opponents, the Cole memo — and other steps the Obama Justice Department has taken — is an abdication of responsibility to implement federal law.

“We want to see federal law enforced. I think a clear letter asking states to stand down until Congress changes the law makes the most sense, and I think governors in these states would gladly oblige,” said Kevin Sabet, who heads Smart Approaches to Marijuana, a group that opposes legalization.

The debate over marijuana legalization is a proxy, however imperfect, for the larger question of states’ rights.

Legal marijuana backers say they hope Sessions and Trump let the states experiment as the founders intended.

Sessions co-sponsored a bill introduced by Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) last year that would have allowed states to challenge proposed federal rules under the 10th Amendment to the Constitution, which reserves rights for the states. That gives some legal marijuana backers at least a glimmer of hope that the incoming administration won’t crack the whip.

“Voters in 28 states have chosen programs that shift cannabis from the criminal market to highly regulated, tax-paying businesses. Sen. Sessions has long advocated for state sovereignty, and we look forward to working with him to ensure that states’ rights and voter choices on cannabis are respected,” said Aaron Smith, who heads the National Cannabis Industry Association in Denver. 

But opponents of marijuana liberalization say they see their own encouraging signs that the tide toward legalization may be turning.

“We’ve all wondered whether the Trump presidency would be ‘states rights’ or ‘law and order’ when it comes to drugs,” Sabet wrote in an email. “The Sessions pick makes many of us think it may be the latter.”

Even with Sessions overseeing the Justice Department, legal marijuana proponents are likely to continue pursuing liberalization through ballot measures and state legislatures. 

Marijuana legalization measures are already circulating in Ohio, Texas, Mississippi and Missouri. Legislatures in states like New Jersey, Vermont, Delaware and Rhode Island are likely to take up marijuana legalization bills in upcoming legislative sessions.

CONTINUE READING…

Petitioning to keep Kratom OUT of the Controlled Substance Act and Schedule I – We only have until December 1st!


kratom-plant

Recently I published an article with information pertaining to the rescheduling of Kratom by the U.S. Government via the DEA into Schedule I Status.

Fortunately the change was at least held off long enough for people to be able to make their comments on the subject.

The link to REGULATIONS.GOV where the DEA/Federal Government is accepting comments is only going to be active until December 1st so don’t forget to make your comment soon!

Additionally there is another petition to keep Kratom off the Controlled Substance list.  The link to that petition is here:

Do not place Kratom on the Controlled Substance List

Please sign this petition as well!

We are anti-prohibitionist’s!

sk

Remembering that the Founding Fathers did not want political parties,


Monday, October 24, 2016

political_parties_quote

http://www.notable-quotes.com/p/political_parties_quote.jpg

Remembering that the Founding Fathers did not want political parties, I think all political parties should be abolished as they are unethical and unconstitutional. What is a political party?  It is a group of people being told how they should believe and how to live, and what to do and say.  We believe that this country was founded on the principle of “by the people” and “for the people”, not “by the party” and “for the party”.  All Candidates should run on their name, and their own merit, not a group badge.

…the United States Constitution has always been silent on the issue of political parties; at the time it was signed in 1787, there were no parties in the nation. Indeed, no nation in the world had voter-based political parties. The need to win popular support in a republic led to the American invention of voter-based political parties in the 1790s.[1] Americans were especially innovative in devising new campaign techniques that linked public opinion with public policy through the party.[2]

So, let’s see if people are looking for a third-party Candidate.  If the U.S. is ready for a Third-Party the time to stop voting Democrat and Republican is now.  The Libertarians and the Green Party are both high profile Candidates in this year’s election.  Of course, the Republican and Democrat remains as the standard agenda dictates.  And therein lies the problem.  The media has been the dictator of elections in as much as the Third-Party Candidates do not get the same publicity in any form, and media most definitely does not allow fairness in the “debates”.  All major parties should be included in the debates.  If equal publicity for all candidates were maintained it could change the outcome considerably.

Some people may fear change because they fear terrorism and war and believe it could be imminent in a Republican or Third-Party Presidency.  To answer that I would say that, who is responsible for ISIS terrorism? Sept 11th happened and the U.S blamed and then attacked the Taliban and Bin Laden and Afghanistan.  The U.S. goes to the U.N. to get a coalition.  Everything progressed well until the French started arguing that more diplomacy is needed, and that no attacks should happen.  In doing so they could dissuade more countries from helping the U.S.  All of Europe except Great Britain pulled out their forces and dropped their support.

So why do we support the French?  Their diplomacy is why I think ISIS is still around.  It is because of France that we are in debt because after WWII President Roosevelt decided that the debt the French had incurred from us helping them would be forgiven.

The bombings in Belgium and France are terrible and they never should have happened. If we had had the support, we needed they never would have happened.  The bottom line is that ISIS needs to be stopped and we need a full coalition of countries to accomplish that.  Meanwhile, France preaches diplomacy and we get nowhere because ISIS is not diplomatic!

We need to unite this world and fight for peace!

 

Alex Kennedy

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blum%E2%80%93Byrnes_agreement

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Franklin_D._Roosevelt#Post-war_planning

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Political_parties_in_the_United_States

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/War_in_Afghanistan_(2001%E2%80%932014)

http://www.notable-quotes.com/p/political_parties_quote.jpg

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/France%E2%80%93United_States_relations

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-belgium-blast-paris-idUSKCN0X7099

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yugoslav_Wars

 

*Opinions expressed are those of the Writer alone, and not to be interpreted as being that of the Website itself nor the Website Owner.

 

 

So what if before our very eyes crimes of the century are committed?


Michael Aydinian

2 hrs ·

 

So what if before our very eyes crimes of the century are committed. I’ve passed the point of lamenting when people are going to wake up. Along with the inability to think, I’ve long since felt the dumbing-down process has also served to drastically reduce people’s empathy. Unless a problem directly affects our own interests, we simply don’t care. For many it’s simply a case of so long as I get my take-away pizza, put up my feet to watch mid-week soccer & X-Factor & have a 6-pack to wash it all down, I don’t give a shit. They’re all terrorists anyway!

Whether it’s by design or not, it sure is a sad indictment of mankind to say this is so true for so many people. Small wonder it’s hardly worth saying – how many more countries have to be destroyed?

We had 9/11 which was a Mossad operation; 19 Saudi hijackers were blamed along with Osama Bin Laden’s Al-Qaeda group which was founded & funded by the CIA. The CIA though is run by Zionists as is every major facet of US life & that most definitely includes US foreign policy. So far this manufactured Zionist war of terror has resulted in –

AFGHANISTAN – DESTROYED!

IRAQ – DESTROYED!

LIBYA – DESTROYED!

SYRIA – IN THE PROCESS OF BEING DESTROYED!

EGYPT – FINALLY DEMOCRACY PREVAILS ONLY FOR THE GOVERNMENT TO BE OVERTHROWN AFTER JUST 11 MONTHS. PRO-ISRAELI TYRANT SISI IS INSTALLED. THE ONE BORDER WHERE THE PALESTINIANS RECEIVED DESPERATELY NEEDED AID HAS BEEN CLOSED EVER SINCE!

MALI, CENTRAL AFRICA REPUBLIC, SUDAN, ERITREA & SOMALIA – ALL MUSLIM NATIONS THAT IN SOME WAY OR ANOTHER HAVE BEEN ATTACKED BY THE WEST UNDER THE GUISE OF TERRORISM WHEN IN FACT IT’S ALL ABOUT OUTRAGEOUS EXPLOITATION BY BIG BUSINESS!

Not to mention the horrific refugee problem that is also serving the Zionist cause by creating turmoil in several European nations. Moreover the media isn’t missing a trick when it comes to initiating the age old Zionist trick of divide & conquer. Refugees are being referred to as migrants even though it was never their desire to leave their homeland. They are terrible victims yet the media is doing all it can to incite hatred. Just imagine what would be happening if these refugees were Israelis.

However, when it comes to Syria, notably President Assad & Russia’s role, the lies being told by the media & our puppet politicians literally couldn’t be further from the truth. On my GMMuk FB page, the short description reads – If you really do have a yearning for the truth there’s a simple rule worth sticking to – WHATEVER THE MEDIA SAYS, IMAGINE THE EXACT OPPOSITE!

Now though the media is as biased as it can be & I know they lie all the time, this was nevertheless written in a rather tongue-in-cheek manner. Yet with Syria this statement couldn’t be more appropriate – whatever the media says regarding Syria, one SHOULD imagine the exact opposite if one really wishes to know the truth. Though this indicates how desperate they have become, the Zionists will not stop. THEY HAVE TO BE STOPPED!

My worry is I cannot imagine how they can be stopped & who is ultimately going to stop them.

All that’s saved Syria from becoming another Iraq & Libya is Russia. Fortunately for Assad, quite how long President Putin can stand the vilification of the Western media & the downright lies perhaps isn’t open to question because the Russians are anything but foolish. They know the moment Syria falls, attacking Iran will once again be firmly on the agenda. Such a confrontation could well lead to WW III. So the Russians know they have to make a stand with Syria but the harsh reality is the West, under it’s lunatic Zionist overlords who are hell bent on world domination, is slowly but surely being forced into a conflict with Russia & China. People better start waking up quick!

It could never be more obvious that only Israel wants what’s occurring in Syria. I decided the best way to get this message across is by including three pieces. First this excellent 3 minute clip – this lady, a peace activist, says everything that the world needs to know. Share it far & wide & thanks to Linda Wal for the heads up.

I thought I’d back this up with a fantastic edition of UK Column News where Vanessa Beeley SAYS EXACTLY HOW IT IS. This lady is a superstar in my eyes. If you want to know the truth about Syria & the fact we are not fighting the terrorists but helping them, listen to this. Vanessa absolutely nails it. The first 30 minutes is breath-taking stuff. Once again UK Column News makes the sparks fly. Do I love you guys!

Finally, a short while before her appearance on UK Column News Vanessa Beeley talked of her visit to Syria on Patrick Henningsen’s 21st Century Wire radio show. She was part of a peace delegation that went on to meet President Assad. She expressed how she was amazed at the decency of the Syrian leader & how conciliatory he was towards those who took up arms against him. When I first listened to it I thought this typifies the media – lies & nothing but lies! I will try & find the actual radio clip. In the meantime here’s a link where Vanessa talks of her visit to Syria –

The two videos & the link are on my website here:

http://gmmuk.com/syria-the-media-can-lie-no-more/

 

SOURCE LINK

 

http://gmmuk.com/syria-the-media-can-lie-no-more/

 

 

 

*Opinions expressed are those of the Writer alone, and not to be interpreted as being that of the Website itself nor the Website Owner.

Appeals court upholds ban on gun sales to medical marijuana card holders


Published August 31, 2016

Associated Press

 

A federal government ban on the sale of guns to medical marijuana card holders does not violate the 2nd Amendment, a federal appeals court said Wednesday.

The ruling by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals applies to the nine Western states that fall under the court’s jurisdiction, including California, Washington and Oregon.

It came in a lawsuit filed by S. Rowan Wilson, a Nevada woman who tried to buy a firearm in 2011 after obtaining a medical marijuana card.

The gun store refused, citing the federal rule on the sale of firearms to illegal drug users.

Marijuana remains illegal under federal law, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has told gun sellers they can assume a person with a medical marijuana card uses the drug.

The 9th Circuit in its 3-0 decision agreed that it’s reasonable for federal regulators to assume a medical marijuana card holder is more likely to use the drug.

In addition, a ban on the sale of guns to marijuana and other drug users is reasonable because the use of such drugs “raises the risk of irrational or unpredictable behavior with which gun use should not be associated,” Senior District Judge Jed Rakoff said.

The 9th Circuit also rejected other constitutional challenges to the ban that were raised by Wilson.

An email to Wilson’s attorney was not immediately returned.

CONTINUE READING…

The DEA is looking for candidates to grow marijuana for research – but will it find any takers?


Wanted: Someone to grow marijuana for the federal government. Benefits: A contract likely worth millions and the chance to enable medical research. Requirements: Ability to deal with the costs and regulations that come with growing an illegal drug for the federal government.

For more than four decades, the University of Mississippi has had an exclusive license with the government to grow marijuana for federally sanctioned research. But this month, the Drug Enforcement Administration announced it would grant permission to other growers — an effort, it said, to expand the supply and variety of marijuana available for research.

So has the change set off a gold rush to grow the green? Not exactly.

STAT contacted almost a dozen agricultural schools, including those with industrial hemp programs, to gauge their eagerness to grow marijuana for the government.

Not interested, said Cornell University, the University of Kentucky, and Virginia Tech. Ditto, said Michigan State University, the University of Vermont, and Western Kentucky University.

No plans, said University of California, Davis, and University of Nebraska, Lincoln. Same with Colorado State University, Oregon State University, and Purdue University.

“We are very boring that way,” Janna Beckerman, a plant pathologist who researches hemp at Purdue, wrote in an email.

Some interested groups could be keeping their plans under wraps. And other possible candidates may be trying to get a better sense of what the DEA wants. But any reluctance might stem from more than being boring.

More on this…

To register with the agency, applicants will need to show that they will have security measures in place to protect the marijuana and be willing to comply with a host of other requirements. And depending on the scale of the operation, prospective growers will likely have to make significant investments to get it up and running.

Bob Morgan, an attorney at Much Shelist who formerly led the Illinois medical marijuana program, said that facilities in states that have strict regulations on medical marijuana growers are probably looking at multimillion-dollar expenditures for construction alone.

“I think everybody is just thinking about how to approach this,” said Dr. Igor Grant, director of the Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research at the University of California, San Diego. “What will it really take to get one of these DEA licenses?”

Grant said he would consider talking with other universities and agencies in California to see if it was worth the effort to get a cultivation operation in the state, but beyond that had not heard of groups intending to apply.

One researcher in the running is Lyle Craker, who studies medicinal plants at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and has tried in the past to get approval to grow marijuana. He did not reply to an email requesting comment, but a spokesman for a group called the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies — which sponsors related research — said it is supporting Craker’s efforts to get a license, as it has in the past.

Other possible applicants include independent growers who operate in states where medical and recreational marijuana is legal. Some cultivators have an expertise in running a large-scale marijuana facility — with state-of-the-art practices and security measures and experience dealing with state regulators — that in theory might appeal to federal authorities.

But the fact is, their existence contravenes federal law.

In a memo announcing the policy change, acting DEA Administrator Chuck Rosenberg said that it would consider whether applicants have “engaged in illegal activity involving controlled substances … regardless of whether such activity is permissible under state law.” While that doesn’t disqualify current cultivators, policy experts and people in the industry say the DEA won’t look highly upon them.

“They made it very clear that if you have been in violation of the [Controlled Substances Act], that would be weighted heavily against you,” said Rachel Gillette, an attorney at Greenspoon Marder in Colorado who represents marijuana businesses.

That might not stop people from trying, though.

Charlie Bachtell is the CEO and founder of Cresco Labs, which grows medical marijuana at three sites in Illinois. Bachtell said he is considering applying to the DEA because he wants to support research that could show marijuana has medical benefits.

“The future of this industry definitely starts with research,” Bachtell said. “The opportunity to help progress the acceptance, the elevation, and the professionalism of the medical cannabis industry really starts with research.”

The DEA’s policy change also opened the door to a new group of candidates: drug makers. While the Mississippi marijuana is funneled to academic research, Rosenberg wrote that marijuana can now be grown “for strictly commercial endeavors … aimed at drug product development.”

GW Pharmaceuticals, a company that is developing a drug for epilepsy from a component of marijuana called cannabidiol, said it has not made a decision about a growing facility in the United States, but remained vague enough to suggest possible interest. The company makes the drug, Epidiolex, in the United Kingdom, where it is based.

“We are exploring additional growing facilities in places around the world,” the company said in a statement.

The DEA’s application process is open, but the agency has set no deadline to select growers. The agency has indicated it wants just enough marijuana to be produced so research demands are met, but not more than that.

“It could be that two years from now, we still only have one registrant,” said Alex Kreit, an expert on marijuana law at Thomas Jefferson School of Law.

Even if cultivators gets licenses, they will confront a chicken-and-egg quandary: If they get special approval to grow marijuana, where do they get the supply they need to start it?

They could obtain marijuana from the University of Mississippi, but that would defeat the purpose of trying to expand the genetic variety of plants available. Or they could get seeds and plants from another country, such as Canada or Israel, with the proper permits.

An existing grower could also surrender some marijuana to law enforcement, which could then hand it over to a newly registered grower.

For its part, a spokesman wrote in an email that that the DEA “would require manufacturers to obtain their seeds from a lawful source, and the DEA would assist the new manufacturers in this regard.”

CONTINUE READING…

Marijuana studies

Craker is known for proposing that medical grade marijuana be available for scientific studies into its possible health benefits. Since the marijuana available for studies is too weak for any kind of medical study, he proposed that medical grade marijuanna be made available for research purposes. He has been named in many newspapers on this subject. The federal government refuses to give him a license to grow medical grade marijuana. On April 29, 2009, Senators Edward M. Kennedy and John F. Kerry wrote a letter to the Honorable David W. Ogden urging the Deputy Attorney General to delay a final decision on the application by Lyle E. Craker of the University of Massachusetts Amherst to produce research-grade marijuana for use in federally approved clinical trials[3][2][4][5]

The DEA has filed notice of intent to add Kratom to schedule 1


 

Mitragyna speciosa111.JPG

Various forms of kratom and teas made from the plant’s leaves are sold in cafes and on the internet. Their primary effect is to provide a short-lived peaceful and calm feeling that is described as pleasant. Consistent with this effect being opioid-like, anecdotal reports indicate that some users have used kratom to successfully recover from physical and psychological dependence on prescription opioids and heroin. Comments on my last report on kratom have also indicated the successful use of teas made from the plant in managing chronic pain without the side effects and addictive potential of prescription opioids like oxycodone, hydrocodone and morphine. LINK

Due to be published in the “Federal Register” on August 31st, 2016 is the DEA’s “Intent to reschedule” the opioids mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine  These are the “ingredients” of the plant Kratom and they are placing it into schedule I using the “temporary scheduling provisions” of the Controlled Substances Act.

Federal Register Kratom

The Department of Justice, Drug Enforcement Administration, issued this document:

DOJ Kratom

There is a petition at Whitehouse.Gov that is asking the Federal Government to not go thru with this decision.

KRATOM PETITION

 

The “drug war” has taken enough of our plants and enough of our lives.  We cannot continue to let them regulate us out of every plant of food and medicine which were given to us as Our “inalienable rights” as Human Beings and laid out in Our Constitution as such, and regulate it out of our reach through the use of “Agenda 21” as laid out by the United Nations, in which the United States is one of only five “permanent members”!

First, PLEASE SIGN THE PETITION, and then make phone calls and write letters to your Representatives concerning this issue!

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

RELATED STORIES:

“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 FOOD AND MEDICINE THROUGH THE U.N. CONVENTION ON NARCOTIC DRUGS AND AGENDA 21. Sheree Krider

The FDA Just Outlawed Hemp Oil – Secrets of the Fed.Com

FORBES announced today:  The DEA Is Placing Kratom And Mitragynine On Schedule I

Take Back Kentucky Legislative Action Alert

(KY) Oppose: Senate Bill 136: Banning of the Kratom Herb 2/22/2016

The stark difference in how doctors and the government view marijuana


By Christopher Ingraham August 29 at 11:23 AM

 

Nathaniel P. Morris is a resident physician at Stanford Hospital specializing in mental health. He recently penned a strongly worded op-ed for ScientificAmerican.com on the differences between how some in the medical community view marijuana and how the federal government regulates it.

“The federal government’s scheduling of marijuana bears little relationship to actual patient care,” he wrote in the essay published last week. “The notion that marijuana is more dangerous or prone to abuse than alcohol (not scheduled), cocaine (Schedule II), methamphetamine (Schedule II), or prescription opioids (Schedules II, III, and IV) doesn’t reflect what we see in clinical medicine.”

Here’s Morris’ money quote:

For most health care providers, marijuana is an afterthought.

We don’t see cannabis overdoses. We don’t order scans for cannabis-related brain abscesses. We don’t treat cannabis-induced heart attacks. In medicine, marijuana use is often seen on par with tobacco or caffeine consumption — something we counsel patients about stopping or limiting, but nothing urgent to treat or immediately life-threatening.

He contrasts that with the terrible effects of alcohol he sees in the emergency room every day, like car crash victims and drunk patients choking on their own vomit. Morris points out that excessive drinking causes 88,000 deaths per year, according to the CDC.

ADVERTISING

[Every minute, someone gets arrested for marijuana possession in the U.S.]

The medical and research communities have known for some time that marijuana is one of the more benign substances you can put in your body relative to other illicit drugs. A recent longitudinal study found that chronic, long-term marijuana use is about as bad for your physical health as not flossing. Compared to alcohol, it’s virtually impossible to overdose on marijuana alone. On a per-user basis, marijuana sends fewer people to the emergency room than alcohol or other drugs.

The scientific consensus was best captured in a 2010 study in the Lancet, which polled several dozen researchers working in addiction and drug policy. The researchers rated commonly used recreational drugs according to the harm they pose to individuals who use them, as well as the harm they pose to society as a whole. Here’s what their results looked like:

Screen Shot 2016-08-26 at 1.09.12 PM

The experts rated marijuana as less harmful to both users and to society than either tobacco or alcohol, or indeed than many other recreational drugs, such as heroin, cocaine or methamphetamine. Alcohol was, by far, the most socially harmful drug the committee rated, as well as one of the most harmful drugs to individual users.

Research like this is one reason surveys have shown a substantial majority of doctors support the use of medical marijuana. And although big medical groups, such as the American Medical Association, haven’t shifted gears on marijuana, other groups, such as the California Medical Association, are now openly calling for marijuana legalization.

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This year has also seen the formation of the nation’s first doctor’s group devoted to legalizing marijuana, Doctors for Cannabis Regulation. The group views marijuana legalization primarily as a public health issue.

None of this is to say, of course, that marijuana is completely “safe” or “harm-free.” As with any drug, using too much weed can lead to dependency on it. And as with any other drug, marijuana can have particularly harmful effects on young, developing minds.

But the federal approach to marijuana has stood at odds with the science on the drug for decades. As far back as the 1970s, an expert report commissioned by Richard Nixon recommended that the federal government decriminalize marijuana use, given the drug’s mild effects.

Nixon, of course, ignored the report’s findings. In the years since, there have been hundreds of thousands of arrests for marijuana possession each year, people have lost their homes and their property over suspicion of marijuana use, and decades of racially biased policing tactics have decimated many minority communities.

How marijuana legalization is working out so far

Play Video1:58

What we can learn about legal marijuana from Washington, Colorado and Oregon. (Daron Taylor, Danielle Kunitz/The Washington Post)

8

Comments

Christopher Ingraham writes about politics, drug policy and all things data. He previously worked at the Brookings Institution and the Pew Research Center.

Follow @_cingraham

CONTINUE READING…