Tag Archives: Hemp

Why Cannabis and Not Marijuana


 

January 31, 2017 GreenSleeves

You may be wondering why even though the word Marijuana is a very ingrained in American culture, we tend to use the word Cannabis.

Cannabis used as medicine is a significant part of American history. It was used mainly in the form of tinctures and very commonly prescribed for various ailments.

It’s only when a mass influx of legal Mexican immigrants came into the country between 1910 and 1920 to seek asylum from civil war that smoking Cannabis for recreational purposes became very popular as they brought the practice with them.

This of course brought with it a fear of the unknown and the term Marijuana became associated with the recreational smoking of the plant rather than its practical medicinal uses.

As the hysteria grew, especially in the Southern states about these immigrants bringing with them ‘’evil practices’’ which would corrupt the weak willed youth, the term became etched in society’s psyche not only as a derogatory term for the use of Cannabis but also perhaps the immigrants themselves.

Now, a word only has the power we assign it but considering there are many parts of the world that are deprived of safe treatment of their conditions through ignorance, we would like to champion the term that actually implies medicinal rather than recreational use.

We have no problem with either the word Marijuana nor its cultural roots but there is a very clear distinction between recreational and medicinal use.

Will the awakening from this hysteria induced slumber come from using different terminology? Doubtful but it does help to erode the stigma attached to the plant and distinguish medicinal use from recreational use or even abuse.

To cloud the issue even further there are Cannabis breeders who are giving their strains that they create very controversial names such as ‘’Green Crack’’ and ‘’Herijuana’’. Green crack in particular is supposedly very good for migraines and Herijuana is supposed to be a great strain for general pain relief hence its implied effects of heroin/marijuana combined.

Now if these are the only strains available that help with certain types of pain and users experience massive relief from them, we are not against using them but as a general rule we try to avoid promoting strains with names that only hurt the cause of ending prohibition. It’s a marketing gimmick that is outright irresponsible to the cause.

How many times have we heard about how much stronger Cannabis is today and therefore how dangerous it is? We don’t need the additional hysteria from ignorant members of society who believe that Cannabis should be scheduled alongside hard drugs.

Back to the term Marijuana, we don’t have a problem with it and may even use it from time to time but the term Cannabis, we believe is the proper term for the uses we want from the herb and that is medicinal first and foremost. Perhaps the distinction could help with demonstrating to the public that there is a difference between use/abuse and genuine medicinal need.

Kind Regards
The Canna-Base Team

CONTINUE READING…

WV Senate committee passes medical marijuana bill


The West Virginia Senate’s Health and Human Resources Committee narrowly passed a bill Friday morning that would allow certain patients to be prescribed marijuana for medicinal purposes.

The bill (SB386), called the West Virginia Medical Cannabis Act, now goes to the Senate Judiciary Committee. If it passes there, it would also have to pass a full vote in the state Senate and then in the House of Delegates.

Several amendments were passed Friday before it was ultimately approved on a 6-5 vote.

Sen. Ron Stollings, D-Boone and a doctor, offered amendments related to monitoring by the state Board of Pharmacy, allocating 10 percent of contracting proceeds to drug prevention and rehabilitation, and specifying that if enough veterans are interested, at least 10 percent of contracts be given to veterans participating in a state agriculture program.

An amendment from Senator Robert Karnes, R-Upshur, which would allow people with prescriptions to grow two marijuana plants, also was adopted.

“We’re talking about a weed here that anybody could grow,” he said, adding that he didn’t want to establish a group of “legal drug dealers.”

Senators Mike Maroney, R-Marshall, and Mike Azinger, R-Wood, spoke against the bill. Azinger said that marijuana “destroys the mind” and “destroys life” and Maroney said the bill was too “broad.”

Stollings said “I think it’s time for us not to be the last implementer but to go ahead and move this forward and I urge passage of the bill.”

Sen. Richard Ojeda, D-Logan, the bill’s lead sponsor, has said he does not believe House leaders support the bill. House spokesman Jared Hunt said earlier this week that House Speaker Tim Armstead, R-Kanawha, wouldn’t have time to speak that day about medical marijuana. Friday, in an email, Hunt noted that “the House did have a lengthy debate and vote on an amendment related to the matter earlier this year which was defeated by a roughly two-thirds majority, signaling there isn’t strong support on this subject.

“That being said, if the Senate were to approve and send the bill over, the Speaker would — as he does with all legislation — discuss the matter with his leadership team and gauge interest from the caucus before deciding a course of action,” he said.

Ojeda, a 24-year Army veteran, said he wants veterans suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder – his “brothers and sisters” — to have access to the drug. He said he also worries about the thousands of people in West Virginia who could find relief through access to the drug.

“We shouldn’t have them have to continue suffering because of any issues concerning leadership,” Ojeda said.

He said he believes the bill has plenty of support, although some lawmakers didn’t want their names attached.

“Marijuana has not destroyed communities and it hasn’t killed people,” he said. “Big Pharma doesn’t have their hooks on medical marijuana. What they have their hooks on is the opioids. Therefore they have to do everything in their power to make sure medical marijuana stays illegal.”

Ojeda also questioned legislative priorities. “We are going to deny thousands upon thousands of people relief but we can now hunt a wounded bear with a collared dog,” he said. “You can now play Keno at the gas stations, which means what normally took you a long time — to get through the 7-Eleven — will take even longer.”

“Everybody wants to cry about a light. Give me a break,” he said, referring to Gov. Jim Justice’s decision to light the Capitol dome, a move that usually signals a state of the emergency.

“We are a state that is absolutely broke,” he said. “Coal is coming back, but it ain’t coming back the way we want it to come back and it ain’t going to be here forever.”

The bill, which has Democratic and Republican co-sponsors, would create a West Virginia Medical Cannabis Commission and a special revenue fund. The commission would license no more than 15 growers and issue patient and caregiver identification cards, among other responsibilities.

The commission’s purpose “is to develop policies, procedures, guidelines, and regulations to implement programs to make medical cannabis available to qualifying patients in a safe and effective manner,” the bill states.

Qualifying conditions include “a chronic or debilitating condition that results in a patient being admitted into hospice or receiving palliative care,” or chronic or debilitating diseases or conditions that produce: cachexia, anorexia or wasting syndrome; severe or chronic pain that does not find relief through standard pain medications; severe nausea; seizures; and severe or persistent muscle spasms. Refractory anxiety was also added during the committee meeting.

The bill also says that a “public criminal justice agency” would be the primary testing laboratory, and sets requirements for becoming a prescribing physician.

Legislative staff said they could not provide a tally of senators’ votes. Two senators representing Kanawha County, Tom Takubo, a Republican and the committee chair, and Corey Palumbo, D-Kanawha, were on the committee. Takubo voted against it and Palumbo voted for it.

Reach Erin Beck at erin.beck@wvgazettemail.com, 304-348-5163, Facebook.com/erinbeckwv, or follow @erinbeckwv on Twitter.

– See more at: http://www.wvgazettemail.com/news-politics/20170324/wv-senate-committee-passes-medical-marijuana-bill-#sthash.0RjGGgl3.dpuf

Moving Beyond Cannabis Culture: An Interview with Jodie Emery


By Jon Hiltz on March 23rd, 2017 at 8:20 am

6 ways

 

It’s impossible to look at the history of marijuana activism in Canada and not think of Marc and Jodie Emery. Their decades-long fight with the powers that be have culminated into a good part of the reason we are heading toward adult-use cannabis across the nation.

Throughout this battle, they have lost everything, and regained it again, just to lose it once more. The perfect example of this would be the four years Marc Emery spent in a U.S. prison for openly selling mail-order seeds across the border.

Canada’s unwillingness to stop this extradition of a nonviolent “criminal” was a stark example of a government not supportive of the needs of cannabis users everywhere.

Now, we are at a point where Canada is scheduled to legalize marijuana for everyone 18 and older. Despite that fact, the Emerys have once again been targeted by authorities; and this time, the government has taken away a most precious possession — their life’s work.

This week, as part of their bail conditions, Marc and Jodie have been forced to cut all ties with their brand Cannabis Culture.

Yesterday, Marijuana.com reported the facts on the ground as Jodie Emery headed to Vancouver to remove herself as director of the company. Once that task was complete Jodie took the time to speak with us about the reality she and her husband must confront.


What does it feel like to hand over something that you essentially put your blood, sweat and tears into?

When I moved to Vancouver in 2004 I wanted to do activism so I started working with Marc Emery at Cannabis Culture Magazine and Pot TV. In 2005, I was made the Assistant Editor of Cannabis Culture Magazine. I spent every day slaving away over that beautiful print publication and also engaging in activism because that very same year Marc was facing life in prison. I took great pride in what I did.

It’s not just a magazine, a head shop, a vapour lounge or dispensaries, it’s an idea of what legalization looks like. It’s a mission statement for people who believe that we shouldn’t go to prison for a plant. So, it is deeply upsetting to have to give up my involvement with what really has been my identity since I became an adult.

Now that you are free and clear of your business obligations, what are your next steps?

Marc and I are going to do a cross-Canada tour, because we need to have a marijuana truth tour. Right now [MP] Bill Blair is going across Canada and telling all of the police to enforce the [current] laws.

We need to educate the public on the facts about marijuana and remind them that this is a civil liberties issue. We have to make sure no one is being arrested anymore before people are able to profit. We need to talk about how marijuana is a safer choice for recreational consumption than alcohol and talk about the opioid crisis which is extremely newsworthy right now because so many people are dying.

How is Marc handling all this? I know he spent years locked up in a U.S. prison, which by comparison is much harsher, but how is he taking the loss of Cannabis Culture?

Marc is very used to this. He has been arrested, raided and jailed so many times. Marc has had everything taken from him numerous times and he always comes back, builds up again and fights for the cause.

He’s taking it well and he is giving me a hard time because I haven’t been arrested and put in jail before, except for Montreal, but I was arrested for four hours at a hotel, not too hard. This time I actually went to jail so I experienced what people go through and that was upsetting.

At the same time, Marc is wondering what to do next. He’s had many decades of work behind him and he’s tired of all this prohibition nonsense. I’m sure he would like to finally just retire and relax.

Are you concerned about your charges? Do you think they will be dropped?

My concern about our charges is that they’re conspiracy charges. That is a very broad charge to lay on somebody because you don’t even need to commit a crime to be found guilty. The fact that three people agree to break the law makes a conspiracy. They have chosen a very easy way to give us tough punishments and these allegations are very serious.

This government very much wants to shut us up, since they were unable to do so even when they called in the U.S. government to do it for them [through Marc’s previous sentence]. Our [case] will be in the court for a number of years and we do intend to fight it to the fullest. That will probably include a Charter challenge, where we will try to go to the Supreme Court of Canada to challenge the validity of prohibition entirely.

Do you think that the severity of the charges against you were because you were selling adult-use cannabis to anyone 19 or older, as opposed to at the very least, only selling to those with a prescription?

[Our]  stores being for 19+ adults and not pretending to be recreational was groundbreaking and a lot of people thought we were very courageous to do that.

It was something we wanted to do differently than everyone, but we were also addressing the concern people had about Canadians faking their illnesses or paying doctors for access. We thought we could just do away from that model, which was half farce and half unfairness for those who are [actually] sick.

We said time and time again, this is what legalization looks like. For the government and the licensed producers and police, they don’t like that model of legalization. They don’t want people to see that vision, they want people to accept their limited oligopoly.

We don’t have a liquor registry where if you want to drink booze you have to sign up with the government and give them your information, but for marijuana right now that’s what they are doing.

For myself, part of my bail conditions say that I have to use government-approved marijuana medically if I am going to possess any marijuana. In a very sad irony, what they are doing to me is what they are trying to do to Canada.

Do you have hope that things will change? Do you think that when adult-use marijuana comes into play that the government will have listened and that dispensaries will be a part of the mix?

It will take a lot of engagement for people to change the rules. Once it’s legal federally, it’s going to be up to the provinces and municipalities to do most of the regulating. We are going to need people to engage with their provincial governments to tell them what kind of model of distribution we should have.

Change will come, but it only comes when you keep pushing and campaigning. If you sit back and wait they will never do anything. That’s why it’s so important to push the envelope.

So to end on a happy note, what is your fondest memory of running Cannabis Culture?

The people. The wonderful love that we all have for this plant and this culture. It is almost spiritual in a way. It’s a calling that we know this plant is not just a simple little garden flower or vegetable.

We know that cannabis can help save lives. It can prevent people from dying, from sickness, or hard drugs. It’s endless the way this plant can truly help people. It sounds insane, but it’s more true than any god that I have ever heard of.


As Canada edges closer to some form of adult use cannabis, however that may emerge, the Emery’s will do everything in their power to ensure Canadians are given the access they deserve.

It’s clearly not just about being able to get high in peace, it’s about what we are allowed to do as adults in a free society. From Jodie’s point of view, marijuana may be the focus, but freedom to choose is and always has been the ultimate goal.

Photo courtesy of Allie Beckett.

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California lawmakers want to block police from helping federal drug agents take action against marijuana license holders


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Patrick McGreevy

With federal authorities hinting at a possible crackdown on state-licensed marijuana dealers, a group of California lawmakers wants to block local police and sheriff’s departments from assisting such investigations and arrests unless compelled by a court order.

A bill by six Democratic legislators has drawn strenuous objections from local law enforcement officials, who say it improperly ties their hands, preventing them from cooperating with federal drug agents.

“It really is quite offensive,” said Kern County Sheriff Donny Youngblood, president of the California State Sheriffs’ Assn., who said he objected to lawmakers “wanting to direct law enforcement how they want us to work.”

But proponents say the measure is needed to assure marijuana growers and sellers that applying for state licenses will not make them more vulnerable to arrest and prosecution under federal law, which designates cannabis as an illegal drug.

“Prohibiting our state and local law enforcement agencies from expending resources to assist federal intrusion of California-compliant cannabis activity reinforces … the will of our state’s voters who overwhelmingly supported Proposition 64,” said Assemblyman Reggie Jones-Sawyer (D-Los Angeles), the lead author of the new bill.

The act of resistance is similar to legislation that would prevent California law enforcement agencies from cooperating with federal immigration officials in the deportation of people in the country illegally. Senate Bill 54 would address that concern and make California a so-called sanctuary state for immigrants, while Jones-Sawyer’s legislation would similarly make the state a sanctuary for the marijuana industry.

The immigration and marijuana issues have been given new focus by the administration of President Trump, who state officials fear is breaking from the policy of former President Obama, who took a more hands-off approach to both issues.

U.S. Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions has indicated in public comments that he thinks marijuana is a danger to society. Last month, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer caused a stir when he said, “I do believe that you’ll see greater enforcement” of laws against the sale and use of recreational marijuana.

In November, California voters approved Proposition 64, which legalized the growing and sale of marijuana for recreational use. State agencies plan to begin issuing licenses early next year.

The new legislation would prohibit state and local agencies, unless served with a court order, from using agency money, facilities or personnel to assist a federal agency to “investigate, detain, report, or arrest” any person for actions that are authorized by state law. California authorities would also be unable to respond to requests by federal agencies for the personal information of anyone issued state licenses.

The measure has angered some local law enforcement officials — including Youngblood, who sees it as improperly meddling in law enforcement decisions in the same manner lawmakers are proposing with immigration law.

“This is ridiculous that this looks like a solution to somebody,” he said.

The sheriff said his agency frequently works with federal drug agents in task forces targeting illegal marijuana grows in forested areas of the county. He said he doesn’t want to be prevented from working with federal authorities, even if the state starts licensing pot farms.

“[Growing and selling marijuana] is still a federal felony and we are still in the United States of America, and the state of California cannot take over the United States,” Youngblood said, predicting that “at some point the federal government is going to have to step in and say, ‘You can’t do that.’ ”

The legislation has garnered initial support from marijuana industry leaders, including Hezekiah Allen, executive director of the California Growers Assn.

“The election of Mr. Trump as president, and subsequent confirmation of Mr. Sessions as attorney general, has been perceived by many of our members to have increased the risk of doing business,” Allen said. “Businesses will need to feel confident that the state will protect them from the federal government.”

Current protocol and law obligates local law enforcement to cooperate with federal drug agents, he said.

“It is very hard for federal agents to go into a rural county and kick down a bunch of doors and arrest a bunch of people without the local sheriff being a part of it.” Allen said. “It’s dangerous, actually. This is about giving them legal standing to actively not participate.”

Updates from Sacramento »

Assemblyman Rob Bonta (D-Oakland), a coauthor of the measure, said the legislation is needed because of a threat that the Trump administration might withhold federal funds from states that do not cooperate with federal authorities, although that threat has so far been limited to immigration enforcement.

“As this administration has threatened to defund California, we should not be expending scarce local and state resources to assist the federal government in ways that run counter to the crystal-clear wishes of California voters,” Bonta said, adding that the measure, Assembly Bill 1578, “will reassure responsible operators” that the state won’t turn them in to federal authorities.

The assemblyman said it is important that the bill also protects the personal information of license holders so that they are willing to share it with state regulators.

“California is committed to not sharing licensee information with the federal government and thereby upholding the will of the voters in creating a safe marketplace for medical and adult use,” Bonta said.

The current policy of the state Bureau of Medical Cannabis Regulation would be to treat any request for personal information as a formal request under the California Public Records Act. The agency “would determine, based on the information being requested, what is required to be released and what is exempt from disclosure under the law,” said Alex Traverso, a bureau spokesman.

Allen expects California to follow the lead of states such as Colorado, which makes public on a website the names of businesses and addresses of those who are given licenses to grow and sell marijuana.

The Colorado website lists growers and sellers by the names of limited liability corporations and does not list who the individual investors and partners are.

Allen said industry attorneys have advised him that some basic information about license holders will have to be made public.

The bill’s provision on personal information “is good symbolically and well-intentioned,” Allen said, “but we are not relying on anonymity as our pathway forward.”

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(IL) Illinois lawmakers propose legalizing recreational marijuana


Illinois recreational marijuana

 

Robert McCoppinContact ReporterChicago Tribune

Lawmakers are proposing to legalize recreational marijuana in Illinois but say the legislation probably won’t come up for a vote until next year.

Sponsors on Wednesday introduced bills that would make it legal for adults 21 and older to possess, grow and buy limited amounts of marijuana.

The state would license and regulate businesses to grow, process and sell the plant, and it would establish safety regulations such as testing and labeling requirements, sponsors said.

The measure would also allow residents to possess up to 28 grams of pot, or about an ounce, and to grow five plants.

The bills propose taxing marijuana at a rate of $50 per ounce wholesale, plus the state’s standard 6.25 percent sales tax.

Based on sales of recreational marijuana in Colorado, the Marijuana Policy Project, a national advocacy group, estimates sales in Illinois could generate about $350 million to $700 million per year.

Gov. Bruce Rauner and House Speaker Michael Madigan reserved judgment, as they typically do with new bills. But the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police opposes legalization, saying marijuana poses a threat to public health and safety, and causes potential enforcement problems because it conflicts with the federal prohibition on marijuana.


Illinois declines to expand medical marijuana conditions list

Illinois declines to expand medical marijuana conditions list

Robert McCoppin

Illinois will not expand the list of conditions that qualifies people to get medical marijuana, Gov. Bruce Rauner‘s administration announced Friday.

The announcement came despite pleas from patient advocates and medical marijuana business owners who say they need more patients to make the industry…

Illinois will not expand the list of conditions that qualifies people to get medical marijuana, Gov. Bruce Rauner‘s administration announced Friday.

The announcement came despite pleas from patient advocates and medical marijuana business owners who say they need more patients to make the industry…

(Robert McCoppin)


The co-sponsors, Sen. Heather Steans and Rep. Kelly Cassidy, both Democrats from Chicago’s North Side, said they don’t plan to call the bill for a vote this session but will hold hearings to get feedback and see whether some version of a legalization bill can get support next year.

“If we bring this out in the open, we can generate revenue legally rather than for the black market,” Steans said.

Cassidy said marijuana prohibition creates far more problems than it prevents. “Regulating marijuana and removing the criminal element from marijuana production and sales will make our communities safer,” she said.

Eight states have allowed the sale of the drug, generally by referendum. But in Illinois, it’s very difficult to get a binding vote on the statewide ballot, so it probably would take legislative action to change the law.

If approved, the plan would make Illinois the first state in the Midwest to allow the general public, including out-of-state visitors, to buy marijuana, though it would remain illegal to transport it across state lines. The proposal also calls for dividing the tax revenue, with half going to the state’s general fund and the rest to schools and drug abuse treatment and prevention.

Legal marijuana sales can generate windfall tax revenues, but the social and health costs are largely unknown, cautioned Rosalie Pacula, a senior economist at the Rand Corp., a nonprofit, nonpartisan public policy organization.

“The tax revenue comes right away,” Pacula said. “The data on emergency room visits, car crashes, graduation rates and absenteeism takes a lot longer.”

As with any new industry, marijuana can be regulated, but there are many variables, such as what pesticides should be allowed, Pacula said, so there should be provisions for new laws to expire or be changed along the way.

For more than a year, Illinois has had a pilot program allowing the sale of marijuana to patients with any of about 40 debilitating diseases, such as cancer or AIDS. But without a broad qualifying condition like chronic pain, as some other states have, the number of patients has been limited to about 17,000, with current retail sales of about $5 million a month.

The proposed new law would allow medical marijuana dispensaries to sell recreational pot for one year before newly licensed businesses would be allowed to enter the market.

Last year, a new state law also decriminalized the possession of less than 10 grams of marijuana, punishing it instead with fines.

Police have not noticed any significant problems with either law, according to Oak Brook Police Chief James Kruger Jr., who is first vice president of the Illinois Chiefs of Police Association, which opposes legalization. But he said the medical marijuana law is limited, and a lot of municipalities had previously decriminalized cannabis, so the effects were muted.

Kruger cited a rise in emergency room visits for medical marijuana ingestion among children in Colorado and studies showing the drug’s harmful effects on developing brains.

Advocates for legalization say kids are already getting marijuana illegally, but legalization would allow it to be more closely regulated.

“I think this does a good job of being very reasonable,” Illinois NORML Executive Director Dan Linn said. “It’s a realistic approach.”

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It’s with a great respect for all persons of the Kentucky Hemp Industry that I address you today as the new president of the Kentucky Hemp Industries Association


The KYHIA is pleased to welcome Chad Rosen as our new president. Chad shares his thoughts and thanks you for your support of the Kentucky hemp industry. 

It’s with a great respect for all persons of the Kentucky Hemp Industry that I address you today as the new president of the Kentucky Hemp Industries Association.

Dr. Trey Riddle will continue to serve as a board member for the KYHIA and we thank him for his leadership this past year.

For those of you that attended yesterdays Annual Conference, thank you for coming out to educate yourselves and engage with the community of advocates in our young industry in order to arm yourselves with knowledge that will continue to build upon the strong foundation of this industry that we are shaping. Also, thanks is due to the researchers across the state who continue to do the hard work of helping us understand what all is possible with this plant as we move to commercialize hemp in the myriad of possibilities. The research findings and presentations we heard yesterday are in large part what make Kentucky the leading state for our industry. 

I ask each of you individually as members of this industry to share with me your thoughts on how we can build a stronger industry alliance and think of what your role in this process might be. The members of the KYHIA board are volunteer, and it’s in the spirit of service that most serve. If you have ideas of how the KYHIA can have broader or better impact to serve our industry please speak up and take action, your voice serves to alert, and your action serves to lead and effect. The platitude about a rising tide lifting all boats could not be more acute to our highest objective as an industry and I hope to hear from you throughout the year as we continue to build an industry that serves our communities.

With Gratitude,
Chad Rosen

ps. for those of you that attended yesterdays event, a few asked me for the recipe of the hemp encrusted salmon. Enjoy!

(in) Legislature Considering Indiana’s First Medicinal Cannabis Laws


Submitted by Marijuana News on Tue, 03/21/2017 – 08:30

This legislative session, a record 11 proposals addressed the use of cannabis. Most of them never got a hearing, but two are still moving through the legislature and could become Indiana’s first medical cannabis laws.

Indiana is one of six states that have not passed any form of medical cannabis legislation, including CBD.

CBD stands for cannabidiol, also known as “hemp oil.” It is a non-psychoactive cannabis, with low tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC – so it can’t get people high.

For the past seven years, senators have sought Dr. Trent Jones’ testimony on the topic. He spoke from California last January, via Skype.

“The longer you wait on these children with catastrophic seizures the more damage you do to their ability to develop,” says Jones. “This is the seventh time I’ve personally testified for it, for CBD and industrial hemp in general.”

Jones is a Hoosier native and works now with the National Institute for Cannabis and Endocannabinoid Research or NICER. He strongly advised lawmakers to legalize a form of medical cannabis to treat epilepsy through Senate Bill 15.

This bill has support in the House and the Senate. A related bill defining CBD products as having no more than 0.03 THC also passed the House.

Bobbie Joe Young lobbies for cannabis legislation in Indiana, and is the co-founder of Higher Fellowship. While industrial hemp is legal for research, she says medicinal cannabis bills have never seen this much traction.

“The reason that politicians are concerned is, in our opinion, strictly wording,” says Young. “We’re breaking the stigma and saying hey ‘look at the education, look at the medical background, look at the research.’”

She and fellow lobbyist David Phipps say public opinion is changing and the stigma is fading.

“Bills similar to SB 15 have passed unanimously through the House,” says Phipps, “We expect the same thing to happen and the next obstacle will be the governor’s desk.”

But it may not be smooth sailing, Gov. Eric Holcomb has said he had no plans to expand legal drug use, especially in light of the state’s opioid epidemic.

The Controlled Substances Act of 1970 still classifies all forms of cannabis as Schedule 1 drugs. A recent study did not definitively prove the benefits of medicinal cannabis.

At the same hearing that took testimony from Dr. Trent Jones in January, Republican Sen. Aaron Freeman says he worries about the grey lines.

“I mean law enforcement has to have clear guidelines as to is this legal or not and I worry how is it they are going to know where it was grown,” says Freeman.

Sen. Karen Tallian has proposed cannabis related legislation for the past seven years and is a co-author on the CBD bill for epilepsy. She’d like to add a provision to the bill, in hopes to pave the way for more medical cannabis legislation.

“A study for the health committee during the summer, to look and see about other conditions that may benefit.” Tallian says.

As the debate continues, many are watching it closely. Bettyjo Bouchey lives in Fishers. She is a mother and a doctor, and says her friend from Colorado offered to buy her some CDB hemp oil after her son was diagnosed with primary generalized epilepsy two years ago.

“I fear I would go to jail for helping my son,” says Bouchey, “I mean can you imagine, going to jail for giving your child something that may help with their seizures?”

She says she’d like to know more about CBD it for her 12-year-old. She worries about him being on so many pharmaceuticals.

“If anything we just want the chance to see if it works. You know, let’s do some clinical trials, lets do some proof of concept, you know I’m a doctor I believe in evidence, I get it.” Bouchey says.

SB 15 would include a registry for approved patients. The proposal will be heard in the House in the coming weeks.

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ORGANIC HEMP IS IN DEMAND BUT CURRENTLY IT CANNOT BE CERTIFIED IN THE U.S.


 

ORGANIC HEMP IS IN DEMAND

BUT CURRENTLY IT CANNOT BE
CERTIFIED IN THE U.S.

HELP US CHANGE THIS!
See “Take Action” Section Below to Act Now.

Your participation in this call-to-action is crucial to our collective progress regarding organic certification of domestic hemp production.

Currently, hemp cultivated in the U.S. per Sec. 7606 Farm Bill regulations cannot be certified organic by the USDA, due to misinterpretation by the National Organic Program that aligns industrial hemp with other forms of cannabis.

We are asking all our supporters to register public comments for the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) Spring 2017 Meeting, which is being held in Denver, Colorado, this April 19-21.

Background

Congressionally mandated by the Organic Foods Production Act of 1990 (OFPA) and governed by the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA), the NOSB considers and makes recommendations to the USDA National Organic Program (USDA-NOP) on a wide range of issues involving the production, handling, and processing of organic products.

Out of any rule-making process left functioning at the federal level, the NOSB is the most openly democratic in that any citizen is able to contribute to the process through written and oral public comment. It is because of this process that we have such robust standards where if international production is under equivalency and certified compliant under USDA-NOP standards, it may carry the USDA Organic Seal.

The USDA-NOP is currently basing approval of organic certifications for domestically-produced industrial hemp on a misinterpreted definition articulated on the “Statement of Principles on Industrial Hemp,” which is in contravention of the Sec. 7606 definition and is confusing certifiers, producers, consumers, State Departments of Agriculture and law enforcement in the implementation of legal hemp pilot programs.

Take Action! Here’s What We Need YOU to Do:

The official NOSB-USDA-NOP Docket for the meeting can be found here. All written comments must be registered through this site by 11:59pm ET, Thursday, March 30, to be considered.

We are collectively recommending the main points in our registered written comments to the NOSB,

feel free to copy & paste the following points into the NOSB-USDA-NOP Docket page:

  1. We highly-value the congressionally-mandated NOSB process and the integrity of the USDA Organic Certification. 
  2. Like many other common crops, hemp is bioaccumulative in that it has the potential to uptake toxins in whatever medium it is growing. It is important for hemp products consumed by humans and animals to be distinguished as organic if they are grown as such, for consumers with these food safety considerations in mind.
  3. We ask that the NOSB make a strong recommendation to the USDA-NOP to immediately clarify the instruction “Organic Certification of Industrial Hemp Production” to allow organic certifications of Industrial Hemp adhering to the congressional intent of the Sect. 7606 definition, and removing the language “as articulated in the Statement of Principles on Industrial Hemp” from the instruction.

Please consider adding your own comments on how this issue affects you and your involvement in the hemp industry.

We encourage you to share this action so that others may join in solidarity.

Thank you for all you do!

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Pro-marijuana church active in Alabama: Members tout ‘God and cannabis’


By Greg Garrison | ggarrison@al.com
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on March 20, 2017 at 6:12 AM, updated March 20, 2017 at 2:40 PM

Marijuana in Alabama

With a stained-glass window behind them, a lineup of speakers stepped to the front of the church and talked about the potential health benefits of legalizing plants that are currently outlawed in Alabama.

“I smoke cannabis on a daily basis for my pain,” said Janice Rushing, president of the Oklevueha Native American Church of Inner Light in Alabama. “If I did not, I’d be on pain pills.”

Her husband, Christopher Rushing, chief executive officer of Oklevueha Native American Church of Inner Light, says he also uses marijuana routinely.

The Rushings founded the Oklevueha Church in 2015 and claim that it has a legal exemption for its members to smoke marijuana and ingest hallucinogenic mushrooms and peyote cactus.

At a January forum with an audience of about 30 gathered at Unity Church in Birmingham, which allowed the use of its facilities, speakers discussed the potential benefits of marijuana and other substances for medicinal purposes.

“I had an ungodly facial rash,” said Sherrie Saunders, a former U.S. Army medic who is now a member of Oklevueha Native American Church in Alabama.

“We made a cream that completely got rid of that rash,” Mrs. Rushing said.

Someone in the audience discussed a heart problem and sleep apnea.

“That could be something that cannabis could help,” Saunders said.

She also said marijuana can ease manic bipolar disorder and Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome.

“The medical establishment took away cannabis so they could sell us pills,” Saunders said.

Before marijuana was stigmatized as an illegal drug, Native Americans valued it as a natural herbal treatment for more than 90 percent of sicknesses, she said.  “A woman in Nicaragua showed me how to cure cancer with cannabis,” Saunders said.

The woman had a son who was cured, she said. “I know why,” Saunders said. “God and cannabis.”

The National Cancer Institute, in its overview of cannabis in treatment of cancer, makes no claims for curative powers, but acknowledges that cannabis has been used for medicinal purposes for thousands of years and that it “may have benefits in the treatment of cancer-related side effects.” 

Chris Rushing stood in the pulpit and preached a sermon that mixed theology and a belief in natural, hallucinogenic plants. “That is God’s way of turning our brain on,” Rushing said.

“These entheogens work like tools to open up spaces and pathways of the mind,” Rushing said. “Yet it’s illegal. We all walk around producing natural chemicals that do the same.”

Rushing said it does not make sense that pharmaceutical companies make large profits on harmful synthetic and dangerous drugs, while plant and herbal medicines are illegal.

Rushing said the health benefits of marijuana, mushrooms and cacti are enormous. They can combat depression and cure people of addictions, he said.

The Oklevueha Native American Church of Inner Light in Warrior has been licensed as a federally registered branch of the Oklevueha Lakota Sioux Nation Native American Church, Rushing said.

The church has a religious exemption to use psylocibin mushrooms and peyote cactus, both of which have properties that augment traditional Native American spiritual beliefs and experiences, Rushing said. He calls their use in religious ceremonies a sacrament.

All 120 members in the Alabama church carry photo identification, similar to a driver’s license, that identifies them as members of a church that has a federal religious exemption to use natural drugs that are otherwise prohibited by law, he said.

He believes all natural plants should be legal for medicinal use, including marijuana, peyote cactus and psylocibin mushrooms.

Researchers at UAB and other universities are studying the benefits of such natural treatments, including the use of psylocibin mushrooms in treating cocaine abuse. Peter Hendricks, a clinical psychologist at UAB, is currently doing research on the use of the active ingredient in psylocibin mushrooms.

Hendricks spoke in May 2016 at a Homewood Public Library event sponsored by the church. He spoke again in January at the event at Unity Church in Birmingham.

Hendricks said he only talks about his research at the church-sponsored events and does not endorse Rushing’s church or whether its use of drugs is legal or not. The events give Hendricks a chance to advertise the research trials, which still need volunteers. Hendricks’ research explores the use of mushrooms in weaning addicts off serious drug addictions.

“I don’t support criminalizing any drug use,” Hendricks said. “People who have addictions are not helped by criminalization. If it were up to me, there would be more emphasis on providing treatment, less emphasis on punitive measures for people who are addicted.”

Rushing carries around with him documentation of court rulings such as a unanimous ruling in United States v. Robert Boyll in the U.S. 10th Circuit Court of Appeals, which found that a non-Native American who was arrested for possession and intent to distribute peyote had the same constitutional protections as Native American members of the church.

Rushing said he was licensed in the church by James Warren “Flaming Eagle” Mooney of Utah, who won a court battle with the state of Utah. The Utah Supreme Court ruled in Mooney’s favor in 2004, in State of Utah vs. Mooney’s and Oklevueha Native American Church. The state had argued that Mooney was engaged in a criminal enterprise for distributing peyote and tried to seize the church property. The Supreme Court ruled that the Native American Church was entitled to the religious exemption.

Legal marijuana: Is it coming to Alabama?

As legalized marijuana spreads across the United States, most observers remain skeptical that recreational marijuana will be legal anytime soon in Alabama.

After the Jan. 21 forum at Unity Church, some in attendance expressed hope Alabama might soon follow in the footsteps of other states that have legalized marijuana. More than half of the states have decriminalized marijuana for medical uses and eight states have decriminalized marijuana for recreational uses.

Some of them say the Oklevueha Native American Church of Inner Light in Alabama is helping raise awareness.

“I think Chris’ work is vital,” said Jonah Tobin, founder of the Alabama Mother Earth Sustenance Alliance, or MESA.  “People like him are part of that movement.”

MJ Church.JPG

Janice Rushing, president of the Oklevueha Native American Church of Inner Light in Alabama, in the pulpit, and Sherrie Saunders, left, talk about the medical benefits of marijuana on Jan. 21, 2017, at Unity Church in Birmingham, Ala.

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Clarification of the New Drug Code (7350) for Marijuana Extract


Note regarding this rule – In light of questions that the Drug Enforcement Administration has received from members of the public following the publication of the Final Rule establishing a new Controlled Substance Code Number (drug code) for marijuana extract, DEA makes the following clarification:

  • The new drug code (7350) established in the Final Rule does not include materials or products that are excluded from the definition of marijuana set forth in the Controlled Substances Act (CSA).1
  • The new drug code includes only those extracts that fall within the CSA definition of marijuana.
  • If a product consisted solely of parts of the cannabis plant excluded from the CSA definition of marijuana, such product would not be included in the new drug code (7350) or in the drug code for marijuana (7360).

As explained in the Final Rule, the creation of this new drug code was primarily intended to give DEA more precise accounting to assist the agency in carrying out its obligations to provide certain reports required by U.S. treaty obligations. Because the Final Rule did not add any substance to the schedules that was not already controlled, and did not change the schedule of any substance, it was not a scheduling action under 21 U.S.C. §§ 811 and 812.

The new drug code is a subset of what has always been included in the CSA definition of marijuana. By creating a new drug code for marijuana extract, the Final Rule divides into more descriptive pieces the materials, compounds, mixtures, and preparations that fall within the CSA definition of marijuana. Both drug code 7360 (marijuana) and new drug code 7350 (marijuana extract) are limited to that which falls within the CSA definition of marijuana.

Because recent public inquiries that DEA has received following the publication of the Final Rule suggest there may be some misunderstanding about the source of cannabinoids in the cannabis plant, we also note the following botanical considerations. As the scientific literature indicates, cannabinoids, such as tetrahydrocannabinols (THC), cannabinols (CBN) and cannabidiols (CBD), are found in the parts of the cannabis plant that fall within the CSA definition of marijuana, such as the flowering tops, resin, and leaves.2 According to the scientific literature, cannabinoids are not found in the parts of the cannabis plant that are excluded from the CSA definition of marijuana, except for trace amounts (typically, only parts per million)3 that may be found where small quantities of resin adhere to the surface of seeds and mature stalk.4  Thus, based on the scientific literature, it is not practical to produce extracts that contain more than trace amounts of cannabinoids using only the parts of the cannabis plant that are excluded from the CSA definition of marijuana, such as oil from the seeds. The industrial processes used to clean cannabis seeds and produce seed oil would likely further diminish any trace amounts of cannabinoids that end up in the finished product. However, as indicated above, if a product, such as oil from cannabis seeds, consisted solely of parts of the cannabis plant excluded from the CSA definition of marijuana, such product would not be included in the new drug code (7350) or in the drug code for marijuana (7360), even if it contained trace amounts of cannabinoids.5

1 The CSA states: “The term ‘marihuana’ means all parts of the plant Cannabis sativa L., whether growing or not; the seeds thereof; the resin extracted from any part of such plant; and every compound, manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture, or preparation of such plant, its seeds or resin. Such term does not include the mature stalks of such plant, fiber produced from such stalks, oil or cake made from the seeds of such plant, any other compound, manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture, or preparation of such mature stalks (except the resin extracted therefrom), fiber, oil, or cake, or the sterilized seed of such plant which is incapable of germination.” 21 U.S.C. § 802(16).

2 H. Mölleken and H. Hussman. Cannabinoid in seed extracts of Cannabis sativa cultivars. J. Int. Hemp Assoc. 4(2): 73-79 (1997).

3 See id.; see also S. Ross et al., GC-MS Analysis of the Total Δ9-THC Content of Both Drug- and Fiber-Type Cannabis Seeds, J. Anal. Toxic., Vol. 24, 715-717 (2000).

4 H. Mölleken, supra.

5 Nor would such a product be included under drug code 7370 (tetrahydrocannabinols). See Hemp Industries Association v. DEA, 357 F.3d 1012 (9th Cir. 2004) (Hemp II). However, as the Ninth Circuit stated in Hemp II, “when Congress excluded from the definition of marijuana ‘mature stalks of such plant, fiber . . . , [and] oil or cake made from the seeds,’ it also made an exception to the exception, and included ‘resin extracted from’ the excepted parts of the plant in the definition of marijuana, despite the stalks and seed exception.”  Id. at 1018. Thus, if an extract of cannabinoids were produced using extracted resin from any part of the cannabis plant (including the parts excluded from the CSA definition of marijuana), such an extract would be included in the CSA definition of marijuana.

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