Tag Archives: Hemp

NORML Forms Multi-State Workplace Drug Testing Coalition


by Kevin Mahmalji, NORML Outreach Coordinator February 14, 2017

The fact that 190 million Americans now live in states where marijuana has been legalized to some degree is raising a number of questions and issues about how to integrate the American workforce and marijuana consumers rights in regards to drug testing. With medical marijuana is legal in 29 states and recreational marijuana for adult use in 8 states and Washington DC, millions of responsible and otherwise law-abiding adults remain at risk of being excluded from the workforce due to a positive drug test — even where the use does not affect an individual’s job performance or has taken place days or weeks prior to the test.

NORML believes that this practice is discriminatory and defies common sense. As a result, a growing coalition of NORML Chapters in California, Oregon, Colorado and Washington have come together to advocate for necessary legislative and workplace reforms to protect responsible marijuana consumers.

NORML’s Workplace Drug Testing Coalition’s efforts will focus on these four areas:

  1. Reform workplace drug testing policies
  2. Expand employment opportunities for marijuana consumers
  3. Clarify the difference between detection technology and performance testing
  4. Highlight off-duty state law legal protections for employees

“Even though marijuana is legal and readily available in several states, consumers are being unfairly forced to choose between their job and consuming off the clock as a result of out-of-date employment practices,” said Kevin Mahmalji, National Outreach Coordinator for NORML. “That is why many NORML chapters active in legal states are now shifting their attention to protecting honest, hardworking marijuana consumers from these sort of antiquated, discriminatory workplace drug-testing practices, in particular the use of random suspicionless urine testing.”

Employer testing of applicants or employees for trace metabolites (inert waste-products) of past use of a legal substance makes no sense in the 21st century.  This activity is particularly discriminatory in the case of marijuana where such metabolites may be detectable for weeks or even months after the consumer has ceased use.

With the 2017 Legislative Session underway, this issue is finally getting the attention it deserves. Legislation has already been introduced in Oregon and Washington, and is gaining traction in those states.

“Random suspicionless drug testing of applicants or employees for past marijuana use is not just unfair and discriminatory, it’s bad for business,” said attorney Judd Golden of Boulder, Colorado, a long-time NORML activist and Coalition spokesperson. The modern workforce includes countless qualified people like Brandon Coats of Colorado, a paraplegic medical marijuana patient who never was impaired on the job and had an unblemished work record. Brandon was fired from a Fortune 500 company after a random drug test, and lost his case in the Colorado Supreme Court in 2015. The Court unfortunately found Colorado’s lawful off-duty activities law that protects employees for legal activities on their own time didn’t apply to marijuana use.

California NORML is also expecting legislation to be introduced this session to address this issue. Ellen Komp, deputy director of California NORML said, “One of the most frequently asked questions we have been getting since Prop. 64 passed legalizing adult marijuana use in California last November is, ‘Am I now protected against drug testing on my job?’ Sadly in our state, not even medical marijuana patients are protected against job discrimination, and it’s a priority of Cal NORML to change that. We are hoping to get a bill introduced at the state level and are working with legislators, unions, and other reform groups to make that happen.”

NORML Chapters across the country are advocating on behalf of the rights of responsible marijuana consumers against discrimination in the workplace. “Our coalition was formed with the intention of not only educating legislators, but also with businesses in mind.  It is important they know testing for marijuana is not mandatory, and that employers have testing options,” said Jordan Person, executive director for Denver NORML. The Denver chapter is currently working with companies that offer performance impairment testing of workers suspected of on-the-job impairment or use rather than unreliable bodily fluid testing to help provide options for employers.

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For decades drug testing companies and others have pushed their agenda through a campaign of misinformation. Until now there has never been an organized effort to challenge the profit- driven ideology of those who seek to benefit from intrusive drug screening. Mounting evidence continues to prove there is no logical reason why adult marijuana consumers should be treated with any less respect, restricted more severely, and denied the same privileges we extend to responsible adults who enjoy a casual cocktail after a long day at the office.

For legal questions, please contact Coalition spokesperson Judd Golden at juddgolden@outlook.com. For other marijuana related questions or an interview, please contact Kevin Mahmalji at kevinm@norml.org.

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Time 4 Hemp Presents: Cannabinoid Profiles: A Crash Course


Time 4 Hemp

Crash-Course in CBGs

The Time4Hemp Network has set up a very educational and informative series which they are calling the “Cannabinoid Profiles Series”.

Anyone who needs or wants to review a course in Cannabinoids should start here!

 

Cannabinoid Profile: Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)

 

The LINKS for the series is below:

Cannabinoid Profiles Series

1. Meet Your CB Receptors

2. A Crash Course in THC

3. A Crash Course in CBD

4. A Crash Course in THC

5. A Crash Course in CBG

6. A Crash Course in CBC

7. A Crash Course in THC

8. A Crash Course in CBN

9. A Crash Course in CBDs

SOURCE LINK:

Here’s how Attorney General Sessions could shut down the legal marijuana industry overnight


Mark Kleiman, professor of Public Policy at NYU/ Marron explains how the Trump administration could have a negative impact on the growing industry of legal marijuana. 

Follow BI Video: On Twitter

FULL TRANSCRIPT:

Josh Barro: With the new administration coming in, there’s some question over what the justice department will do. The Federal government has, so far, taken a pretty hands-off approach to states that legalize even though marijuana is illegal under Federal law. Are you concerned about what the Federal government might do there? And what sort of mess would that create if the Federal government decided that it wanted to enforce laws against marijuana in states that have legalized?

Mark Kleiman: Well, it could create as much of a mess as the attorney general wanted to create. If the president held still for it. I mean, it’s pretty clear the attorney general, thinks that, or at least he said he thought, that the Obama administration was doing the wrong thing by acquiescing in these state license violations of Federal law. I assume that the career staff there is giving advice — and he may actually already know this — that they didn’t have much choice.

Barro: Why’s that?

Kleiman: Because there are 4,000 DEA agents worldwide. There are 500,000 state and local cops. If a state doesn’t want to enforce its cannabis laws, the Federal government really cannot step into those shoes. And, again this is hard Constitutional doctrine. The Federal government may not require a state to make something criminal or to help enforce safe Federal law. 

So yeah, if … the justice department wanted to shut all the legal markets down, they could do that within weeks at very low resource cost. They go into the state regulatory agencies, they get all the license applications, which I think are public record, but if not, they can subpoena them, they take that pack of applications to the nearest US Federal District Court and say, “Your Honor. here are people who have signed an application for permission to commit a Federal felony. Please enjoin them from doing so.” That injunction issues without even hearing from a lawyer on the other side. And then you use the contempt power to enforce it.

So they could destroy the legal market overnight. But they’d just replace it with an illegal market. If Colorado and Washington reacted by repealing their cannabis laws, then instead of a taxed and regulated market, you’d have an untaxed and unregulated market.

And, yeah, you could, you could have the pleasure of sending some people to prison, but you couldn’t do anything about it. So my guess is, that’s the advice that the new attorney general will get from his staff, and that they will acquiesce as the Obama administration acquiesced in something they can’t stop.

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Hemp Industries Association Sues DEA For Ignoring 9th Circuit Decision in HIA v. DEA (& Please sign this petition for Hemp)


Hemp Industries Association Sues DEA

For Ignoring 9th Circuit Decision in HIA v. DEA

In 2001, the DEA issued new rules to ban hemp foods despite the fact that Congress had exempted them in the Controlled Substances Act. The HIA, Dr. Bronner’s, Nutiva and other plaintiffs went to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals to challenge the illogical rules and won a victory. This ruling prohibited DEA from treating legal hemp products as controlled substances and helped the burgeoning hemp foods market to take off. 

Despite this victory and the clear order from the court prohibiting DEA from enforcing the rules, DEA has continued to put out incorrect and confusing information advising the media and state officials that hemp foods are still illegal if they are intended for human consumption! 

Today the HIA filed a motion with the court to ask that DEA be found in contempt for refusing the follow the courts order. You can read the filing here.

 

Image result for kentucky hemp

Let American Farmers Grow Hemp Once Again to Create Jobs and Rebuild the Rural Economy – Sign This Petition

Created by E.S. on January 20, 2017 – Sign This Petition

Industrial hemp was once a dominant crop on the American landscape. This hardy and renewable resource was refined for various industrial applications, including paper, textiles, and cordage. Unfortunately hemp was conflated with marijuana but hemp can't be used as a drug.

Over time, the use of industrial hemp has evolved into an even greater variety of products, including health foods, body care, clothing, auto parts, construction materials, biofuels, plastic composites and more.

Farmers in Europe, Canada and China all grow hemp and over $600 million in imported hemp products were sold in the USA in 2016. Congress has 2 bipartisan bills which would bring back hemp farming and create rural jobs. We request that President Trump work with Congress to pass hemp legislation in 2017 – Sign This PetitionSign This Petition

9 ways federal marijuana laws are limiting rights of residents in legal weed states


Federal status of marijuana is affecting both everyday cannabis consumers and people attempting to work in the industry.

By BROOKE EDWARDS STAGGS / STAFF WRITER

Published: Feb. 4, 2017 Updated: Feb. 5, 2017 2:45 p.m.

 Derek Peterson, CEO and president of Terra Tech. Just weeks after Prop. 64 passed, Peterson learned the company that for two years had managed Terra Tech's payroll and health benefits would be dropping them, Dec. 31, because of concern over their role in the cannabis industry. “The decision came out of nowhere,” he said. “We have almost 200 employees that spent their holiday season stressed about the possibility of not having their health benefits available in the new year, let alone a reliable pay schedule.” (File Photo by ED CRISOSTOMO, Orange County Register/SCNG)

Federal law still classifies cannabis as a Schedule I narcotic, a category reserved for drugs such as heroin that are said to be highly addictive and have no medical value. There’s been no movement to ease that stance even though polls show a record number of Americans now believe marijuana should be legal, 28 states now permit medical marijuana and eight more allow recreational use.
One thing that has changed is the optimism some cannabis enthusiasts expressed prior to the November election.
As the biggest state in the nation prepared to vote on legalizing recreational use with Prop. 64, the thinking was that California could become a tipping point that would ultimately lead to federal approval of cannabis.
Prop. 64 easily passed. But confidence in the impact of that vote has dimmed as the reality of a GOP-controlled federal government headed by President Donald Trump – and the prospect of marijuana-opponent Jeff Sessions as Attorney General – has settled in.
For individuals, the ongoing conflict with federal law can make it harder to get everything from housing to healthcare, even if they use cannabis for medical reasons says Paul Armentano, deputy director of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, or NORML.
And for Californians who want to make money in the cannabis industry, the differences between state and federal law can affect how they bank, pay taxes and more.
“It’s a serious hindrance,” said John Hudak, a senior fellow with the Brookings Institution who specializes in marijuana policy.
“It creates a scenario in which companies are able to get up and running, but not operate like a normal business.”
Here are nine ways the federal status of marijuana is affecting both everyday cannabis consumers and people attempting to work in the industry, no matter what their state law says.

PLEASE CONTINUE READING…

Marijuana lobby goes mainstream


By Reid Wilson – 02/01/17 06:00 AM EST

Marijuana lobby goes mainstream

State regulators and government officials involved in crafting rules for the budding legal and medical marijuana industry are going to pot. 

In a sign that the budding marijuana industry is moving away from the fringes and into the political mainstream, into the political mainstream, a number of officials once tasked with managing the growing legal cannabis sector are leaving their government positions to take jobs in the sector.  

Many are advising states and cities as voters loosen marijuana restrictions across the country. Others are becoming industry advocates, lobbying the former colleagues and coworkers they left behind to craft more favorable rules and regulations. 

In Colorado, Andrew Freedman, once the state’s director of marijuana coordination, and Lewis Koski, who headed the state Marijuana Enforcement Division, teamed up to form a consulting firm that advises local and state governments on crafting new marijuana regulations. Laura Harris, Koski’s predecessor at the Marijuana Enforcement Division, took a post this month as director of the Colorado Cannabis Chamber of Commerce. 

Manny Munson-Regala, who oversaw Minnesota’s medical marijuana program, now runs a consulting firm of his own. John O’Brien resigned his post overseeing New Jersey’s medical marijuana program to take a job as chief compliance officer of a New York cannabis company. And several former top officials at Washington State’s Liquor and Cannabis Board have left in recent years to form their own firms. 

“That’s how America works. You work for the government, then you become a lobbyist,” said Ian Eisenberg, a leader in the legal marijuana industry who runs Uncle Ike’s, a dispensary in Seattle, Wash. “I don’t think it’s any different than the defense industry.”

Those who have made the jump from the government sector to the private sector say they offer a valuable service, both to governments that need to establish new rules and to the businesses that need to navigate complex regulatory schemes that have never been implemented before.

“We’re the only ones to have stood this up before,” said Freedman, who now consults with governments looking to set up their regulatory structures. “There’s a real opportunity to come in and show lessons learned quickly.”

The comparison between legal marijuana and the defense industry is apt: North American consumers spent $6.9 billion on legal cannabis products in 2016, a figure that is expected to grow to $21 billion by 2021, according to an analysis by Arcview Market Research, a leading industry observer.

“This is an industry that ultimately is going to be, in gross revenues, what, eleven figures,” said Rob Kampia, co-founder of the Marijuana Policy Project. “Wouldn’t you rather have the most well-informed people in the private sector and the government sector actually knowing what they’re talking about?”

But opponents of legalized pot, and some government transparency groups, say the relationship between the marijuana industry and its regulators should be treated like any other.

“The revolving door from government to private sector isn’t anything new, but it represents the worst of our politics. This isn’t the paper clip or oven mitt lobby, this is the drug lobby,” said Kevin Sabet, who heads Smart Approaches to Marijuana, a group that opposes legalization. And we know that the pot lobby wants to make money, just like big tobacco executives do.”

Aaron Scherb, legislative affairs director at the government transparency group Common Cause, said states should implement a cooling-off period between the time when a regulator leaves government service and when he or she begins working on behalf of the industry.

“These individuals are the most familiar with the rules and regulations of a particular industry, and their experience means they’re able to exploit loopholes,” Scherb said. “At least some minimal amount of time is appropriate so we can avoid this revolving door problem.” 

At least one state, Minnesota, required its regulators to take a year off before returning to work in the field they oversaw. Munson-Regala, the former head of the state’s medical marijuana program, said that reminded him of other industries he helped regulate, like the insurance business. 

“Embedded in that one-year cooling off period was an understanding that regulators are in a good position to help folks who are being regulated, in part because they understand what it takes to be compliant,” Munson-Regala said in an interview.

The revolving door is just one of the ways an industry that was once seen as the domain of hippies is trying to professionalize. Just a few years ago, proponents of legalizing marijuana brought 1970s-era stoner icon Tommy Chong to Capitol Hill to woo lawmakers. 

Today, Chong is gone, replaced by a booming industry of cultivators and retailers — and the trade shows, consultants and lobbyists who offer services to boost their business.

On Tuesday, the National Cannabis Industry Association kicked off a two-day Seed to Sale trade show in Denver, focusing on business practices for producers and retailers. The group’s first trade show several years ago attracted 800 participants; this year, they expect 2,000 vendors — and 4,000 to 5,000 at the annual Cannabis Business Summit and Expo, said Taylor West, the group’s deputy director. In November, 10,000 people showed up to another trade show in Las Vegas.

“This industry is not slowing down,” West said.

Around the country, hundreds of lobbyists are already bending lawmakers’ ears on marijuana measures. In Colorado alone, 81 lobbyists reported advocating on marijuana proposals before the state legislature, according to data filed with the Secretary of State’s office. 

Recreational marijuana use has been legal in Washington and California since 2013. Voters passed legalization measures in Alaska, Oregon and the District of Columbia in 2014, and in California, Nevada, Massachusetts and Maine this year. On Monday, Maine’s legalization measure became law.

Marijuana is now legal to possess and consume in the four states where voters passed legalization laws this year. But purchasing and selling marijuana and cannabis edibles are on hold until regulators come up with rules governing everything from production to retail — what the industry calls Seed to Sale. 

Most states have a year, under ballot measures passed in November, to implement their new structures. And as regulators move to create those rules, they will receive plenty of input from those who structured systems in other states.

CONTINUE READING…

(OR) Senate Bill 301 may make marijuana drug tests illegal in the workplace


by Kimberly Kolliner

Monday, January 30th 2017

MEDFORD, Ore. – Regardless of if it’s legal in the state, right now, failing a marijuana drug test could cost you your job.

“For us, marijuana is still classified federally as a schedule 1 controlled substance so we do include it in our drug screening,” People’s Bank Chief Operating Officer, Jeri Reno.

However, this may change.

The Oregon Senate has introduced Bill 301, which proposes marijuana testing in the work place to be illegal, because its use in the state is legal.

This is something that Reno sees no immediate threat with.

“I think that’s going to be a wave of the future in that just like alcohol, marijuana is going to be used recreational and it would be honored as such. I think we’ll just see what it brings,” Reno said.

As an employer, Reno says work performance is the only thing she would be concerned with.

Something the bill also clearly outlines.

“We essentially are looking for employees who are productive and without possibility of being impaired in the workplace,” Reno said.

She believes if marijuana is used on employees off time, it should have no burden on employees while they’re on the clock.

“I would think our employees would continue to be responsible in the way they use marijuana or alcohol and I wouldn’t see much difference in the workplace,” Reno said.

CONTINUE READING..

Neil Gorsuch & Marijuana: What Are His Views on Legalization?


By Stephanie Dube Dwilson

neil gorsuch

President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Neil Gorsuch, hails from Colorado, a state known for marijuana legalization and being a strong proponent of state’s rights over the federal government. Has Gorsuch said anything about his views on legalization?

Here’s what you need to know.

There’s really not a lot to go on when it comes to determining Gorsuch’s views on marijuana. There’s little evidence for how he feels about this topic.

However, there is one case that can provide a few clues. As New York Daily News reported, Gorsuch once ruled on a case in 2015 where a Colorado dispensary, Total Health Concepts, had to pay taxes on business expenses that they had previously deducted. The dispensary claimed that they shouldn’t have to disclose the nature of their business, due to self-incrimination. They argued, among other things, that because the government couldn’t know if their expenses were related to federally unlawful substances, they shouldn’t be prevented from making those deductions. (You can read the case in full here.)

Gorsuch and the judges on his panel denied the motion. But he did state that he believed the problems was caused by confusion from President Barack Obama’s administration saying it wouldn’t prosecute offenders, but the IRS not treating marijuana the same way.

In the beginning of the case, he wrote:

This case owes its genesis to the mixed messages the federal government is sending these days about the distribution of marijuana. … They run the business [dispensary] with the blessing of state authorities but in defiance of federal criminal law. … Even so, officials at the Department of Justice have now twice instructed field prosecutors that they should generally decline to enforce Congress’s statutory command when states like Colorado license operations like THC. At the same time and just across 10th Street in Washington, D.C ., officials at the IRS refuse to recognize business expense deductions claimed by companies like THC on the ground that their conduct violates federal criminal drug laws. … So it is that today prosecutors will almost always overlook federal marijuana distribution crimes in Colorado but the tax man never will.”

So he made it clear that he didn’t agree with the mixed messages, but never stated which side of the debate he sided with.

The only other “hint” we have is an article written by “The Joint Blog,” where the author states that a former student of Gorsuch asked if he supported legalization. He recounted that Gorsuch said, at the very least, he supported the government getting out of the business of prohibiting it. However, this statement is obtained third-hand, and Gorsuch hasn’t yet spoken publicly about his views to media.


Neil Gorsuch’s Family: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

Learn all about Neil Gorsuch’s family, including his wife, his two daughters Emma and Belinda, his parents Anne and David, and his sister and brother.

Click here to read more

Stephanie Dube Dwilson is a news, entertainment & science/tech contributor to Heavy. She’s also a cat blogger, runs a post-apocalyptic blog, and is an attorney (currently not practicing, so she can write more!) In her spare time, Stephanie writes screenplays and novels. You can follow her on Twitter at @StephanieDube or contact her by email here.

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Kentucky Cops Confiscate $600k In Marijuana & Brag About It


 

Published on Aug 9, 2016

Deputies in Grayson County, Kentucky found more than $600,000 worth of marijuana hidden in a corn field, confiscated it and then left a note stuck in the corn leaves letting the growers know about it. Deputies then started the hashtag #WeGotYoWeed in a Facebook post to taunt the growers…
Read More At:
http://www.rawstory.com/2016/08/kentu…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5rQv8LepIvk

Ignorance abounds in Kentucky concerning cannabis law


 

In October, farmworkers transported harvested marijuana plants at Los Suenos Farms, America’s largest legal open-air marijuana farm, in southern Colorado.

 

The following story was printed on Kentucky.com and my response is included.

By Thomas Vance

The world is watching Colorado and is finding out that everything we have been told by our government about marijuana has not been factual, to put it nicely.

Colorado legalized medical marijuana in 2012 and recreational in 2014. They have paid more than $150 million in taxes on $1.3 billion in sales for 2016 and have created more than 20,000 full-time jobs in the process and none of the predicted harms of legalization have materialized.

California has had an easy access medical marijuana program for 20 years and none of the terrible things we have been told will happen should cannabis be legal have happened.

All we have to do is copy Colorado’s regulations and standards and get on with it. What are we waiting for? The people in our eastern counties are praying for something to replace the coal industry. God has one ready to go for us and we are ignoring his help.

It’s like the old joke about the guy trapped on his roof in a flood. He prays for God to save him. A helicopter comes by and offers to pick the man up. “No, no, thanks anyway but God said he would save me.”

After a while a boat comes and offers to pick up the man. Again he says no because, “God will save me.”

Later on that night, the waters rose and the man drowned. When he gets up to Heaven He asks God, “Why, why God, didn’t you save me?” and God replies, “I sent you a boat and a helicopter, why didn’t you get in?”

Let’s take this winning lottery ticket the good Lord has given us: an industry safer and healthier than coal. Alleviate the suffering of our eastern counties, create thousands of jobs, garner millions in revenue, enable billions in economic activity and put that money to work for the citizens of our great state.

It would seem that if we get to the end of this legislative session and nothing is done, one could reasonably conclude the Republican-controlled legislature is being derelict in its duty to improve the lives and the well being of our citizens and our state.

Thomas Vance of Alexandria is senior adviser for Veterans for Medical Cannabis Access.

Sample of comments:

H.B. Elkins ·

Media Consultant at Kentucky Valley Media Consulting

Industrial hemp, medical marijuana and recreational marijuana are three distinctly different and separate issues. Far too many times, advocates have appeared to champion the first two and then they show their true colors and advocate for the third. This puts a cloud of suspicion over the motives for supporting industrial hemp and medical marijuana.
You do your cause no favors by mentioning Colorado’s approval of recreational use if you are really advocating medical use. I suspect you are really for full legalization and are just using medical use as an incremental step.
Be honest about your motives. It won’t make me support recreational legalization — I don’t — but it will allow me to respect your efforts.

 

MY RESPONSE:

It is people like HB and JOHN below who are complicit in keeping the repeal of cannabis hemp laws out of KY. Unfortunately most of the politicians in KY have the same mindset.

It all boils down to who has the money now and who they don’t want to have any in the future.

Personally, I am not a legalizer, I am a repealer, meaning that I believe all Cannabis statutes from the Federal Government and UN should be abolished as they are illegal to begin with in my opinion. (Do your own research because I am tired) Legalization renders to regulation which renders to incarceration because, well, what can be more profitable than the prison industrial complex?

This plant has been useful for all of humanity’s existence and will continue to be,  regardless of whether it is legalized or not. (Again, do the research).. The sad part is all the people that could be helped (and one day it may be YOU) that will suffer and die needlessly because of evil people whose only concern in life is how much money they can scarf up from everyone else.

In the meantime, many peoples lives are being saved or at least made better by an illegal plant that God put here, by people who are risking there very lives to get this to those that need it – real patients.

Yes, there are those of us who enjoy smoking a good cannabis ‘cig’ – It helps relieve the mind of stress and pain. Sure is a lot better than the alcohol which most people consume on a daily basis and end up dying from in the long run…

So, I guess until everyone gets their heads on straight about Cannabis, everyone will continue to suffer from statutes, regulation, and imprisonment because people are either too stupid to educate themselves, or are too evil to care.

Which one are YOU???

sk

SOURCE AND LINK TO ORIGINAL ARTICLE ON KENTUCKY.COM