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Sen. Morgan McGarvey Hosting Public Mtg RE: Medical Marijuana (KY) on February 18th in Louisville, Kentucky


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Senator Morgan McGarvey Hosting 2/18 Public Meeting

Legalize Kentucky Supporters:

Sen. McGarvey filed a bill to allow medical marijuana in last year’s Legislative session and is expected to do so again this year. We need to get a huge crowd to attend this Saturday to thank him for his past support, and show him there are still many supporters of this important issue!

Here is the information: 

Senator Morgan McGarvey

Public Meeting

10 AM

Saturday, February 18

Douglass Community Center

2305 Douglass Blvd

Louisville Police Have Quietly Built A Massive Online Monitoring Operation


By: Jacob Ryan, WFPL News

Louisville Metro Police

The Louisville Metro Police Department has spent nearly $140,000 in recent years on social media monitoring software that can track and compile data on a vast number of internet users.

Since 2014, the department has expanded the potential of this database, which can catalog up to 9.5 million social media postings and a limitless supply of individual profiles, according to a WFPL News investigation.

The department’s ability to surveil social media users comes with little oversight and no guiding policy, according to documents obtained through the Kentucky Open Records Act.

Department officials have declined multiple interview requests over the past two weeks. It remains unclear how LMPD uses this system, who they track and what becomes of their data.

To date, the department has provided virtually no detail about their relationship with SnapTrends, an Austin, Texas-based company that offers “location-based social insights” that provide a “the full story of every social conversation,” according to its website.

Police departments across the country spend thousands of taxpayer dollars to monitor local social media channels. The public agencies have said that monitoring Twitter and Facebook is now standard practice for law enforcement in the Internet Age.

But the mass surveillance of social media users raises concerns among privacy experts and civil liberty advocates.

“It undermines people’s speech and their associations when the entirety of their social media data is being analyzed by law enforcement,” said Jeramie Scott of the Electronic Privacy Information Center, a Washington, D.C.-based research group focused on emerging privacy and civil liberties issues.

In paying for the social media tracking service, LMPD also utilized an exemption in the city’s purchasing policy that allows an agency to forgo a typical competitive bidding process.

No Policy, No Public Discussion

The police department’s purchase of social media monitoring software in March 2014 came just days after a group of some 200 young people caused several acts of vandalism and violence downtown, starting at Waterfront Park.

A gas station was ransacked. Cars sitting at traffic lights were pummeled, and robberies were reported. Police said they received some 30 calls for assistance in the downtown area that night, which resulted in 17 police reports and at least 10 assaults, said Chief Steve Conrad in a briefing days later. Conrad called it “truly mob-like behavior.”

Mayor Greg Fischer quickly ordered the installation of $230,000 worth of high-definition cameras in and around Waterfront Park. Police racked up more than $1 million in overtime pay in the six weeks that followed, according to a report from The Courier-Journal. And via a state-of-the-art crime information center in downtown Louisville, police began monitoring cameras across the city.

Just over a week later, department officials made their first order for a subscription to SnapTrends. The service is employed by police departments, school districts and foreign governments.

Louisville police’s first SnapTrends purchase in 2014 gave seven users the ability to monitor and store more than three million postings. Since then, the department has continued to expand on the subscription service.

In all, LMPD has paid nearly $140,000 for the program.

The most recent agreement allows 19 users to mine 9.5 million social media postings and create a limitless database of user profiles.

Metro Hall

Metro Hall

Conrad, the police chief, has publicly praised the push for other tech tools: more cameras, the opening of the crime information center and, more recently, the adoption of a gunshot detection system. But the proliferation of LMPD’s social media surveillance effort has flown under the radar.

There has been scant public discussion of the effort and no briefing to the Metro Council.

The department has issued no public report on the surveillance program, and LMPD’s transparency website provides no information about its use of SnapTrends.

Through a spokesman, the LMPD major in charge of the program declined an interview to discuss the department’s use of the software.

The police department also declined a records request seeking all archived social media postings from March 2014 to August 2016, as well as records of correspondence with SnapTrends. The department cited an exemption in Kentucky’s open records law that allows records to be withheld if their disclosure would expose a vulnerability in preventing or protecting against a terrorist act.

WFPL News has appealed that decision to the state’s attorney general.

Other Kentucky Agencies Monitoring Social Media

Statewide, police use of social media monitoring is a mixed bag.

In Lexington, the state’s second largest city, police use WeLink, a platform that bills itself as a digital-risk management tool. Police spokeswoman Brenna Angel said the agency uses the software to “monitor public social media posts for information that could involve threats to public safety.”

Bowling Green police officials previously considered purchasing software from LifeRaft, a Canada-based company. Officer Ronnie Ward, a police spokesman, said the agency  “looked at it,” but “so far, haven’t been able to outweigh the cost with the benefit of it.”

“We just can’t justify it right now,” Ward said.

Police in Paducah and Frankfort reported that they didn’t use social media surveillance software. Kentucky State Police did not return a request for comment.

Exemption Allowed LMPD Secrecy in Purchase of Monitoring Software

In Louisville, the LMPD made four payments to SnapTrends each ranging from $19,500 to $53,000, according to invoices obtained by WFPL News.

Louisville Metro government purchasing policy requires a contract for all purchases regardless of amount, according to an August 2016 internal audit of the city’s procurement policy. Purchases exceeding $20,000 are to be made using a Professional Service Contract, the audit states, which must be reviewed by the Metro Council.

Three LMPD payments to SnapTrends exceed that threshold, records show. Yet in response to an open records request, the police department said “no records exist” of a contract detailing the agreement.

An invoice from SnapTrends to LMPD for $53,000.

A SnapTrends invoice to LMPD for $53,000.

Erica Allen, an administrator in the city’s office of management and budget, said the police department’s purchase is considered “a subscription” and thus exempt from such requirements.

City purchasing policy provides an exemption to “memberships, dues and purchase of periodicals in either paper or electronic format.” Exemptions exist when competitive bidding is not feasible or practical, the policy states.

Metro Councilman David James, chair of the council’s public safety committee and a former police officer, said that policy is vague.

“I don’t think we were thinking in terms of a subscription costing over $20,000,” he said. “Technology has gone beyond what our public policy is that we wrote, and so we need to go back and look at it and change it to adjust to 2016.”

The section of Metro purchasing policy dealing with exemptions.

The section of Metro purchasing policy dealing with exemptions.

Widespread Scrutiny of Social Media Monitoring

The surveillance of social media by law enforcement is under scrutiny across the country.

Some companies assisting law enforcement with conducting mass online surveillance are under fire for misusing social media data to help law enforcement track certain communities.

For instance, Geofeedia, a Chicago-based company, had its access to certain social media user data severed earlier this month by Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, after the ACLU reported it marketed its service as a way to monitor activists.

SnapTrends had its access cut by Twitter for similar reasons, according to a report from The Daily Dot.

A report from Bloomberg details SnapTrends use in the United Arab Emirates and Bangladesh, where the company provided Twitter data to a law enforcement agency classified by Human Rights Watch as a “death squad.”

The company did not respond to a request for comment.

Chris Burbank, director of law enforcement engagement for the Center for Policing Equity and a former police chief in Salt Lake City, said police are likely conducting social media surveillance regardless of whether they’ve purchased a subscription with a software company like SnapTrends.

“I only see it getting more significant,” he said.

But that doesn’t mean it’s inevitable, said Scott, national security counsel and director of the domestic surveillance project for the Electronic Privacy Information Center. He said individuals can push back against efforts to monitor their online lives, or at least help ensure such programs are justified.

“With any of these large-scale surveillance activities, social media monitoring including, it’s important transparency, oversight and accountability are implemented, and there are mechanisms in place that ensure there is not a disparate impact with the use of social media monitoring,” he said.

With no policy guiding the the Louisville police department’s surveillance of social media, it’s unclear just how they do it. No regulations dictate who they monitor, what they monitor or why.

And the department has provided no details on what justifies a profile or post being collected, how long the information is stored and who has access to the data.

The lack of oversight is “troubling” to the American Civil Liberties Union of Kentucky.

Widespread monitoring of social media by police can lead to the collection and storage of “innocent people’s personal data,” and how that data may be used is reason for concern, said Amber Duke, spokeswoman for the ACLU of Kentucky.

“Social media is, among other things, a driver for political conversation and activism,” she said. “Constitutionally protected speech shouldn’t make one a target for surveillance.”

Metro Councilman David James

Metro Councilman David James

James, the councilman, said he supports the police effort to keep watch on social media users.

“Public safety is the No. 1 responsibility of government, and this is just another tool in the toolbox,” he said.

James also said he doesn’t believe LMPD needs a policy to guide its surveillance effort.

“Why do you want to put more restrictions on the police than are on the general public? The general public can do the same thing,” he said. “They’re just looking at stuff that’s already out there.”

Walter Lamar, a former FBI agent and one-time senior adviser to the U.S. Department of the Interior’s office of law enforcement and security, said it’s difficult to argue against the need for a surveillance tool that can help law enforcement prevent crime or save a life.

“They’re just patrolling in a different venue, looking for criminal activity, looking for activity that might pose a threat or danger to the community,” said Lamar.

Burbank, of the Center for Policing Equity, said keeping the public out of such efforts can erode public trust in law enforcement.

“They have to write policy,” he said. “You can’t have a tool this strong and this powerful and this potentially invasive without some sort of policy.”

This story was reported by our affiliated newsroom, 89.3 WFPL News.

CONTINUE READING…

For Immediate Release March 2, 2016 Concealed carry bill passes House Judiciary panel


For Immediate Release

March 2, 2016

Concealed carry bill passes House Judiciary panel

FRANKFORT—The right of off-duty and retired law enforcement officers to carry concealed weapons in the same locations as on-duty officers would be affirmed under a bill passed today by the House Judiciary Committee.

Rep. Steve Riggs, D-Louisville, said he filed House Bill 314 at the request of the Jefferson County Attorney’s Office in response to a situation in which off-duty officers were prohibited from carrying concealed weapons into a Louisville Palace event. Such situations are especially problematic in Louisville where, Riggs said, police officers are required to carry their weapons both on-duty and off.

He said HB 314 clarifies current law that allows Kentucky law enforcement officers to concealed carry whether or not they are on-duty officers, retired officers, or off-duty officers authorized to concealed carry by their employer.

“What we’re trying to do here is just have a duplicate statute in a section that makes it really clear that this has always been our intent and we want to make it real clear,” said Riggs.

The bill passed the committee with the support of lawmakers like Rep. Robert Benvenuti, R-Lexington, who described HB 314 as a life-saving bill.

“There are many people who have had their lives spared because an off-duty police officer or retired police officer was able to deescalate or neutralize a threat. So we’re grateful to you, this is a great bill, I’m voting yes,” Benvenuti said.

Voting against the bill was Rep. Mary Lou Marzian, D-Louisville, who said carrying a gun “gives a false sense of security.”

“It just encourages and proliferates more violence in our society. I vote no,” she said.

HB 314, which is also sponsored by Rep. Charles Miller, D-Louisville, now goes to the full House for consideration.

-END-

Former Congressman Mike Ward pushing for medical marijuana in Kentucky


Image result for mike ward kentucky

01/25/2016 05:12 PM

Former U.S. Rep. Mike Ward has formed a nonprofit group to advocate for medical marijuana in Kentucky.

Ward, a Democrat from Louisville, will serve as the CEO of Legalize Kentucky Now, in an effort to convince state lawmakers to pass legislation making medical marijuana legal in the bluegrass state.

In an interview with Pure Politics, Ward said medical marijuana is something that Kentucky should adopt and could be a leader on. Currently, 23 states have passed some form of medical marijuana legalization.

“I think we just need to bring people together and explain the medical value of it,” Ward said. “And explain that you’ve got grandmothers getting their grandsons to go out and break the law, so that they can have an appetite or keep food down. This is not about pot heads.”

The group Ward represents supports a bill which would require a medical prescription to access the drug.

This session, Ward said the group could advocate one of two ways, either for a full plan for medical marijuana or a bill which simply adds marijuana to the list of substances available to be prescribed by a doctor — lawmakers would then have one year to figure out how to set up an industry.

“My real delightful outcome from this session would be that either House … has a vote on the floor on the bill, and it doesn’t pass, but they vote on it, and then they don’t get beat,” Ward said. “And then they can say to their colleagues this didn’t get me beat at home or the people who vote against it say they get beat up on.”

If Ward can show lawmakers that they don’t get beat at the ballot box for voting on this issue, then the real work of determining the industry could take shape in Frankfort.

For Ward the issue is also a personal one. His brother illegally obtained and used marijuana in the hospital while battling AIDS. But he also admits the drug would generate tax revenue and jobs in the state of Kentucky.

Watch the full interview with Ward below.

CONTINUE READING…

KY: Iraqi convicted in plot to aid terrorists gets court hearing


BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (AP)– An Iraqi refugee serving a life sentence for terror-related convictions is getting a court date in Kentucky to argue that he was poorly represented by his attorney.

Mohanad Hammadi says in court records that his lawyer, James Earhart, pressured him into pleading guilty without advising him of an offer from prosecutors to cooperate with investigators.

Federal Magistrate Judge Brent Brennenstuhl ordered an evidentiary hearing to be held April 21 in Louisville.

Hammadi, 28, pleaded guilty in 2012 to several crimes arising from an investigation into allegations that he and fellow refugee Waad Alwan attempted to provide money and weapons to terrorists in Iraq. The two had arrived in the U.S. as refugees.

Hammadi filed a motion in March to have his sentence vacated.

CONTINUE READING…

Kentucky "Cannabis Freedom Act" Summary


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Kentucky Cannabis Freedom Coalition·Saturday, December 12, 2015

 

Cannabis Freedom Act Summary

Section 1

(New Section of KRS Chapter 245)

Definitions

Section 2

(New Section of KRS Chapter 245)

Personal possession, use, and cultivation limits

Persons 21 years and older may:

Possess up to 1 ounce of cannabis on their person;

Cultivate up to 5 cannabis plants;

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

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

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

Section 3

(New Section of KRS Chapter 245)

Prohibition on smoking cannabis in public

Maximum penalty: $100 fine

Section 4

(New Section of KRS Chapter 245)

Prohibitions on access to retail cannabis facilities,

Persons under 21 years of age shall not:

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

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

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

o Remain on any premises that sells cannabis or cannabis products

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

o Maximum penalty: Class B misdemeanor

Section 5

(New Section of KRS Chapter 245)

Prohibition on unlawful possession of cannabis

Maximum penalty: $250 fine

Section 6

(New Section KRS Chapter 245)

Personal cultivation requirements

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

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

o Maximum penalty: $500 fine

Section 7

(New Section KRS Chapter 245)

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

o Maximum penalty: Class D felony

ULCC of 6-10 cannabis plants

o Maximum penalty: Class A misdemeanor

ULCC of 5 or fewer cannabis plants

o Maximum penalty: Class B misdemeanor

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

Section 8

(New Section of KRS Chapter 245)

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

Section 9

(New Section of KRS Chapter 245)

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

Cannabis cultivation facility;

Cannabis processing facility;

Cannabis testing facility; or

Retail cannabis facility.

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

Section 10

(New Section of KRS Chapter 245)

Licensure requirements

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

ABCC shall:

Create uniform license application form;

Issue a license to an applicant unless:

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

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

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

Section 11

(New Section of KRS Chapter 245)

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

Effective January 1, 2017:

$30 per ounce on all cannabis flowers

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

$10 per immature cannabis plant

Reporting requirements

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

Section 12

(New Section of KRS Chapter 245)

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

Section 13

(New Section of KRS Chapter 245)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

15% shall be deposited into the general fund.

Section 14

(New Section of KRS Chapter 245)

$500 Civil penalty for each violation of KRS Chapter 245

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

Section 15

(New Section of KRS Chapter 245)

Corporate and individual liability for violations of KRS Chapter 245

Section 16

(New Section of KRS Chapter 245)

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

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

Section 17

(New Section of KRS Chapter 100)

Prevents local political subdivisions with zoning power from:

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

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

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

Section 18

(New Section of KRS Chapter 65)

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

Section 19

(New Section of KRS Chapter 311)

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

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

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

Section 20

(Amends KRS 12.020)

Renames the Department of Alcoholic Beverage and Cannabis Control

Establishes the Division of Cannabis

Section 21

(Amends KRS 241.010)

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

Section 22

(Amends KRS 241.015)

Renames the Department of Alcoholic Beverage and Cannabis Control

Section 23

(Amends KRS 241.020)

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

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

Section 24

(Amends KRS 241.030)

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

Section 25

(Amends KRS 2.015)

Amends the age of majority statute in regards to cannabis.

Section 26

(Amends KRS 218A.010)

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

Section 27

(Amends KRS 218A.050)

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

Section 28

(Amends KRS 218A.510)

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

Section 29

(Amends KRS 260.850)

Removes industrial hemp from the definition of cannabis.

Section 30

(Amends KRS 600.020)

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

Section 31

(Amends KRS 610.010)

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

Section 32

(Amends 630.020)

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

Section 33

(Amends KRS 218A.276)

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

Section 34

(Amends KRS 630.120)

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

Section 35

(Amends KRS 131.650)

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

Section 36

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

Section 37

(Short Title: Cannabis Freedom Act)

INFORMATION SOURCE LINK

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

KY Senator files "Cannabis Freedom Act" rolling medicinal and recreational use together in one hit


By Brad Bowman, Published: December 12, 2015 3:56PM

Clark talking about cannabis in a legislative committee meeting. Photo courtesy of the Legislative Research Commission.

Democrat Sen. Perry Clark of Louisville has advocated for the legalization of medical marijuana since the last legislative session to this summer at Mensa’s Annual Gathering where he cleared the smoke and myths surrounding marijuana. Friday he filed a bill rolling medical and recreational use in one big hit.

Clark filed the “Cannabis Freedom Act” which would regulate the use of cannabis just as the state regulates alcohol.

Touting the benefit of pot over pills and curbing opioid addiction for patients who use marijuana to overcome pain and problems from illness like multiple sclerosis, Clark has talked extensively in the Senate and legislative committees about the benefits and regulation of marijuana.

After the Mensa event this summer, Clark had told The State Journal he wanted to have a meaningful conversation about the senseless prohibition of the plant, which Clark said, has been financially backed by alcohol and tobacco companies blocking the legislation in other states.

The “Cannabis Freedom Act” would end the prohibition on marijuana cultivation, possession and selling the substance in regulatory framework similar to Colorado.

Quick takeaways on the act include: it would only be available to residents 21 and over;

• residents could possess up to 1 ounce on their person;

•cultivate up to 5 plants;

• store an excess of cultivated cannabis for personal use where it was cultivated or transfer 1 ounce to another person 21 or older without remuneration.

• persons under 21 could possess cannabis if it was recommended by a licensed physician;

• no smoking cannabis in public places

Other parts of the regulator framework would include only residents 21 and over could enter a retail facility for the purchase of cannabis or related products.

Clark’s bill would maximize unlawful possession at $250 and a $500 fine for illegal growing marijuana on a property without the property owner’s permission.

“It is abundantly clear to me that cannabis, while being much less harmful, should be treated the same as alcohol,” Clark said in a release. “The Cannabis Freedom Act is an outline on how to tax and regulate the sale of marijuana to adults 21 and older in Kentucky. It is time for this discussion in our Commonwealth.”

The act’s regulatory framework has a three-tier licensing system which separates cannabis cultivators, processors and retailers independently to “prevent monopolization and vertical integration,” a component different from the framework proposed in Ohio.

Clark said the tax revenues would be in a restricted fund to increase SEEK funding for the state’s public schools and provide scholarships to Kentucky students who qualify for needs-based  assistance to both public and post-secondary schools in Kentucky.

Revenues would also help fund evidence-based substance abuse treatment programs, provide grants to local law enforcement agencies to purchase protective equipment and provide additional revenue to the state’s general fund.

During the 30-day short session, Clark brought up the medicinal studies and medical benefits of cannabis almost every day in the Senate.

Follow political reporter Brad Bowman at @bradleybowman for all state government and political news.

CONTINUE READING…

Ky. senator files ‘Cannabis Freedom Act’


4:42 p.m. EST December 11, 2015

MEXICO-MARIJUANA-GREENHOUSE

FRANKFORT, Ky. (WHAS11)Kentucky Senator Perry B. Clark (D-Louisville) pre-filed an act that would legalize and regulate cannabis in a similar way the Bluegrass State handles alcohol.

The bill would repeal Kentucky’s prohibition on marijuana cultivation, possession and sale. Instituted in its place would be a "regulatory framework designed to promote public safety and responsible cannabis consumption by persons over 21 years of age."

RELATED: Ohio could be first to legalize medicinal and recreational pot

Clark states that cannabis should be treated in a similar light as alcohol.

“It is abundantly clear to me that cannabis, while being much less harmful, should be treated the same as alcohol,” said Clark. “The Cannabis Freedom Act is an outline on how to tax and regulate the sale of marijuana to adults 21 and older in Kentucky. It is time for this discussion in our Commonwealth.”

RELATED: Founder of ‘Church of Cannabis" won’t use pot at service

Highlighted in the announcement is that tax dollars generated from the new commerce would go to supplement Kentucky’s public schools, post-secondary institutions and scholarships.

Portions of the revenue generated would also go toward "evidence-based substance abuse treatment programs."

“This is a common sense proposal that moves Kentucky positively forward,” Clark said.

The proposed bill will be considered during the 2016 Legislative Session, which convenes Tuesday, Jan. 5th, 2016.

CONTINUE READING…

FBI Louisville Seeks the Public’s Assistance in Identifying Public Corruption within the Commonwealth of Kentucky


FBI Louisville July 31, 2015

  • Louisville Press Office (502) 263-6000

Special Agent in Charge Howard S. Marshall of the FBI’s Louisville Division, joined by John E. Kuhn, Jr. United States Attorney for the Western District of Kentucky, and Kerry B. Harvey, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky, announced today a new initiative designed to solicit the public’s help in identifying public corruption within our community. The initiative includes the launch of a new, toll-free tip line (844) KYNOPC1 (596-6721), a billboard campaign, and a dedicated e-mail address Kentucky_PC_Complaints@ic.fbi.gov.

Public corruption is the FBI’s top criminal priority because it undermines the public’s trust in our government. A 2014 study by Harvard University’s Center for Ethics identified Kentucky as one of the most corrupt states in the country. In fact, in Kentucky between 2003 and 2012, approximately 300 individuals were convicted of federal crimes related to public corruption. It is a violation of federal law for any federal, state, or local government official to receive anything of value in exchange for or because of an official act. While the vast majority of public officials in Kentucky are dedicated and honest, SAC Marshall stressed “there is simply no acceptable level of corruption.”

“Public corruption victimizes everyone—taxpayers, voters, communities,” stated U.S. Attorney John Kuhn. “Public officials, whether elected or appointed, are more than mere employees. They are servants of the public interest, and we must insist on absolute honesty, integrity and trustworthiness from every one. The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Kentucky will continue working with our law enforcement partners to ensure crimes involving public corruption are prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”

U.S. Attorney Kerry Harvey agreed stating, “Public corruption is a terribly destructive force throughout Kentucky and has been a particularly pernicious problem in certain areas of the Eastern District of Kentucky. While the overwhelming majority of public officials serve honorably, those who corrupt the operations of government rob their communities-their friends and neighbors-of the fundamental right to honest government. We are pleased to continue our longstanding partnership with the FBI as we work together to combat this statewide problem.”

In a few short months, Kentucky will go to the polls for significant state-wide elections with a national election looming in 2016. SAC Marshall noted, “There is simply no greater right than to elect our political leaders. Anyone attempting to corrupt this process will be investigated as a top priority for our office.”

This year also presents a new opportunity for our state government to partner with the FBI to address a potential, long term problem. For the first time ever, audits for Special Purpose Government Entities will be due in September. The FBI will work with the Kentucky Auditor of Public Accounts to identify individuals who have violated the public’s trust and misused SPGE funds.

The FBI relies on our federal, state, and local partners to address corruption matters, but concerned citizens are our biggest asset when it comes to exposing officials who use their positions for personal gain. As a result, the Louisville Division has set up the following hotline and e-mail address seeking the public’s assistance in combating public corruption:

You will also see billboards around the state bearing this number and e-mail address. SAC Marshall noted, “The End Corruption Now campaign seeks to unite the commonwealth in the fight against corruption at every level, from the proverbial dog catcher, to the police officer, to the highest state and federal officials in the commonwealth.”

CONTINUE READING…

All roads in Kentucky lead you through Hell


 

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Subtitle:  How to age quickly and retire early from a life of Activism in Cannabis – via the DEA

Subtitle:  How to become a criminal vs. a patient in need of their medication…

 

May 7th, 2015

 

I really hate writing about myself.  I rarely do and when I do it is for a reason.  I have no other choice but to tell the story as it happened – and unfortunately it happened to me, although you could say that I have set myself up for “martyrdom” by being involved with Activism in any aspect which has to do with Cannabis.  That is my sin – I smoke Cannabis.  I know that it helps my anxiety but I also knew that Cannabis alone most likely would not be able to handle my “condition” and that it was “illegal” to use.  O.K., that much is fact.

In 1979 I was diagnosed with Chronic Major Depression, Dysthymia, and Acute Anxiety.  This is no secret as I have not tried to hide the fact that I suffer from this condition.

Skip forward to 1990 when I finally was placed with a Psychiatrist that was very knowledgeable in his field and I took to him quickly.  I was glad to have someone that knew more than I did prescribing my medication.

I never hid the fact that I worked as an Activist with the USMjParty from him.  I never hid the fact that I used Cannabis from him.

I left a pain clinic in 2003 where I tested positive for THC and the only medication they would prescribe at that point was Methadone which I had ironically enough just been able to detox myself from and was not taking anymore.  Hence, my reason for leaving.

My Psychiatrist, Dr. Theodore B. Feldman who works for U of L Psychiatric in Louisville Kentucky told me at that time that I did not have to worry about obtaining my medicine from him because he would never hold the THC against me.  My main two medicines were Zoloft and Xanax.  I had been tried on a multitude of drugs but this is what worked for me and I have been using the same medication since 1986.  He even filled out a form which is seen below, to send back to the pain doctors saying there wasn’t a reason to withhold my pain medication because of THC.

 

Theodore B. Feldmann, M.D., Associate ProfessorDr. Feldman is responsible for all aspects of the psychiatry curriculum during the four years of medical school. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Cincinnati and his medical degree from the University of Louisville. He completed his psychiatric residency training at the University of Cincinnati and received additional training at the Chicago Institute for psychoanalysis and Cincinnati Psychoanalytic Institute. Dr. Feldman received his board certification in psychiatry in 1986 and in forensic psychiatry in 1996. His clinical activities include general adult psychiatry, long-term intensive psychotherapy, and forensic psychiatry. He has been the principle investigator on research activities related to workplace violence and hostage and barricade incidents. Dr. Feldman serves as an expert witness in civil and criminal cases in state and federal courts. He is a psychiatric consultant to the Federal Bureau of Investigation which includes consultation in hostage situations, training of hostage negotiators, and psychological profiling of offenders. Dr. Feldman serves as a consultant to the Baldwin County (GA) Victim Assistance Program and to the Louisville Metro/Jefferson County (KY) Police Crisis Negotiation Team. He has published numerous scientific papers and serves as a peer reviewer for a variety of regional and national publications. In addition to his clinical service, Dr. Feldman supervises and lectures to medical students and psychiatry residents on topics related to psychiatric assessment, personality disorders and psychotherapy.

http://louisville.edu/medicine/departments/psychiatry/faculty/feldmann

Dr. Feldman THC

I had also been told by Dr. Feldman not to worry if I could not get to an appointment – I could reschedule.  The problem was that when I rescheduled he was always booked three to six months at a time so it could be hard for me to get in.

The first part of April this year I called in to get an appointment.  I had missed two previous, one because of weather and one because of taking my (ex)husband to an important heart cath appointment here in Glasgow.   When I called in I was told that I was NO LONGER A PATIENT OF DR. FELDMAN THAT I HAD BEEN DISMISSED FOR MISSED APPOINTMENT AND A PAST DUE BALANCE WHICH WASN’T PAID OFF.  I never received a letter to this effect from either Dr. Feldman, nor the office of the U of L Psychiatric Clinic.  I was told nothing until the day I called in for an appointment.  After much adieu the clinic called in my Zoloft and Xanax for one more month.  I needed them filled again by the first of May.

 

This is where I will go backwards a little bit.  I had also been a patient of Dr. Chandra Reddy here in Cave City.

 

Reddy 2013

 

He had been my primary doctor since I moved here in 2011.  He had filled my medications as needed for the most part – until I was caught by a drug test by him back in 2014.  At about that same time, in July of 2014 Dr. Reddy, himself, was found to be trading scripts for marijuana!  Kentucky.com reported the following on July 7th, 2014:

According to last week’s order restricting Reddy from prescribing controlled substances, Berry said patients would call for narcotic prescriptions without coming to the office. She also claimed to have a sexual relationship with her married boss and to have traded cash and prescription narcotics for marijuana for his use.

http://www.kentucky.com/2014/07/07/3326421/the-candy-man-and-pain-clinic.html#storylink=cpy

 

Here is the PDF Document of the outcome of his demise.

 

The end of this scenario with Dr. Chandra Reddy is that he is now back in his office practicing medicine after having had these charges against him and he had admitted to smoking marijuana as well. 

Now, I move forward to current time.  The Physician I went to after Dr. Reddy was out of business was located in Glasgow.  I was referred to him by T.J. Samson Hospital approximately six months ago.

I will not use his name because he is currently still my physician.  He has done no wrong.  He is just doing what he has to do to keep his license.  When H.B. 1 was passed in January of this year all the Physicians who were already on edge, increased their drug testing and removal of patients who smoked Cannabis, because the new laws just served to create a free fall for all Medical Cannabis user’s.  We were immediately pegged because of drug testing in the Doctor’s office which is how I came to be in this situation to begin with.

When I went to my current Physician in Glasgow they got me with a drug test.  I was positive for THC and he could no longer prescribe me “scheduled narcotics” – which would include the medicine I need the most to survive in this chaotic world I live in, Xanax.

Do to the fact I thought ahead and always kept an extra few weeks of medicine put back in case of emergency, which I think this definitely qualifies as an emergency, I am able to sit here today and write the story of what is happening to me.

The only thing my current Physician could do is refer me to a new Psychiatrist in Bowling Green for which my appointment is not until September! 

It is documented fact that after being on this medication for so many years, my age, my heart conditions and anxiety, I could die from withdrawals.  So therefore they know that that withdrawal will force me into a hospital for treatment (I’ve never had to be hospitalized for my condition before) and force me to “retire” from Activism all together – get me out of their way, an activist “culling” of sorts, and I damn well know that it is not just me that is being hung by the neck in this scenario.  It has to be playing out with many people – all Cannabis user’s.  In all areas of the Country.  It is just particularly bad in Kentucky — and my name is Sheree Krider.

 

So effectively I have been given a death sentence by our Government and Health Care System.  If I do not become a criminal and find Xanax on the “street”, it is quite likely I may end up dead – or worse.

They have judiciously made me into a criminal for being ill and speaking out for something I believe in and not trying to hide the fact.  I was, in fact, very naïve to think that I could trust any Doctor – even Dr. Feldman who I felt I could be truthful with, after twenty-four years, kicked me out like an old rag.  Due to the fact that he is involved in Forensics I have to ask myself why I ever felt I could trust him.  These people are good at what they do.  And they damn well know EXACTLY what they are doing to me.

Let my scenario be your warning!  The legalization movement is truly a war.  And they are going to keep knocking us down every time we think we are getting a step up.  The Activists who are in my age range are particularly vulnerable because of other healthcare issues.  Legalize, tax and regulate as a form of control is not going to change this scenario.  Only true repeal of the prohibition of this plant would do us any good now.  Yes, you can “legalize” a schedule II Cannabis drug that will give the plant to the Pharmaceutical Companies to patent, and prescribe to patients…But you will never be able to grow a plant in your yard for your own use.  You will have to have a RX in order to get this medication and it will come straight through the FDA and DEA and don’t get caught with someone else’s “Cannabis RX” in your pocket!

 

I just cannot figure out how a Doctor can be sanctioned for bartering RX’s for Marijuana and be back in business within six months and I am a patient, half dead already, and cannot get my mental health medication filled because I smoke Marijuana ?????

 

That’s it, and that’s that.

 

All the years of hard work by Activists to free a plant are quickly going to Hell in a Hand Basket.  So enjoy while you can.

 

God Bless,

ShereeKrider

 

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HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO MY AUNT RUBY!