Lawmaker says top issue for constituents is marijuana; oncologist advocates for safe access


02/12/2017 12:39 PM

Far and away the largest number of phone calls from constituents of Rep. Jason Nemes, R-Louisville, are in support of marijuana legalization, and he says he’s heard plenty of other lawmakers also getting the calls.

Nemes recently published online what voters are calling him about, and in a phone interview with Pure Politics he said the calls on marijuana come in three forms: advocating for medical marijuana in pill form, medical marijuana that can be smoked and full-scale state legalization of the federally illegal drug.

“I’m getting contacted on all three of those areas, I don’t know where I am on it, but the Kentucky Medical Association tells me there’s no studies that show that it’s effective,” Nemes said in a phone interview on Wednesday.

Dr. Don Stacy, a board certified radiation oncologist who works in the Kentucky and Indiana areas, said there’s a reason there’s no studies proving effectiveness — studies have not been allowed to take place.

“It’s one of those things where we can’t provide randomized phase three studies in cannabis without making it legal — that is the gold standard for any sort of medicine,” Stacy said. “We have a variety of studies of that nature from other countries of course, but American physicians are very particular about American data. The database we have now is plenty enough to say we shouldn’t be arresting patients for trying to help themselves.”

Stacy said he became interested in marijuana after he noticed some of his patients were doing better with treatment than similar patients. In reviewing their records and through private discussions with the patients, he learned “a significant portion” of those doing better were the patients using marijuana.

“I was surprised by that,” he said. “I’ve always been a skeptic of alternative medicines, but then I began to research the data. I was impressed with the data.”

Dr. Stacy said he’s had some particular patients who showed minor or moderate improvements or side effects, but patients who had to stop treatment because the toxicity of the treatment was so severe. The patients who had to stop treatment tried marijuana, and then they were able to complete their treatments showing “dramatic differences,” Stacy said.

Because of the improvements in patients, Stacy is advocating for safe and legal access to the drug.

Twenty-eight states and the District of Columbia allow access to medical marijuana in different forms. Through those states allowing access, Stacy said several show improvements outside of overall medical care.

In states that have legalized medical marijuana the suicide rate has dropped by 10 percent among males 18 to 40, he said.

“It says when people have serious medical or behavioral issues — if you cannot find the treatment that helps you then some people decide to end their lives, and cannabis apparently prevents a certain portion of people from doing that.”

Stacy said that there is also a 10 percent decrease in physicians prescribing narcotics in medical marijuana states. The effect of that, Stacy said is a 25 percent decrease in overdose deaths linked to narcotics in states with medical cannabis laws. With the level of heroin and opiate abuse in Kentucky, he said there would be positive effects seen here too.

“I think that one-quarter of the people who will overdose and die of narcotics in this state in this year would be alive if we had a medical cannabis law.”

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Legalize marijuana for the state’s sake


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Editorial Board

In 1996 California became the first state to legalize medical marijuana. Since then 28 more states have approved the drug for medical use, with another eight, including California, allowing adults to use the drug recreationally. Unfortunately, Kentucky has been slow to adapt, despite the many benefits legalizing the drug would provide.

Back in the day, Kentucky used to thrive growing tobacco. That same land, rich for growing tobacco, is ideal for growing marijuana, which can also be used to produce hemp, a versatile product which can be manufactured into paper, textiles, clothing, food, plastic, and a multitude of other products. 

Marijuana would also be useful as a medical alternative for many in the state who are dependent on prescription drugs. 

 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Kentucky has the highest cancer rates of any state in the country, largely due to our large dependence on the coal and mining industries, which has left countless hard-working Kentuckians with lung cancer. The U.S. National Cancer Institute has said that marijuana kills cancer cells along with alleviating the nausea and other symptoms associated with chemotherapy, which poses a much more effective alternative to prescription drugs. 

With so much of our state crippled by a dying coal industry, legalizing marijuana would be an enormous jobs creator for people looking to farm the crop and others looking to get into the business side of the industry with dispensaries. 

While stigmas still exist surrounding the drug, the issue of marijuana legalization is slowly becoming more of a bipartisan issue that draws support from both Democrats and Republicans, including Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin, who has said in the past that he plans to sign a medical marijuana bill into law during his time in office.

 

It has become a trend in the mainstream media to avoid one of the most pressing issues, not …

States that have approved the drug for recreational use, such as Colorado, tax the drug, and use the money in a variety of ways, from helping the homeless, to improving infrastructure and education. In 2016 alone, Colorado is expected to bring in over $1 billion in tax revenue from marijuana. 

If a similar system of policy was applied in the Bluegrass, money could be used for better education throughout the state, a hot-button issue under Bevin’s administration due to his proposed, but unsuccessful, cuts to higher education. Revenue could also go towards helping revitalize eastern Ky. along with infrastructure, homeless, and veterans, following in the footsteps of Colorado’s successful endeavor with the green. 

According to a 2012 poll by Kentucky Health Issues, 78 percent of Kentuckians support the legalization of medical marijuana. It’s time for our lawmaker’s throughout the state to come together and enact a policy to reflect the will of the people. The longer we wait, the more potential tax revenue we miss out on that could go to benefitting Kentuckians in need. It’s time to

“Make Kentucky Green Again!”

Email opinions@kykernel.com

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Maryland has recently been cited as a state with a high rate of opioid addiction, and now some are seeing legalizing marijuana as taking a lead against the epidemic and are also urging southern states like Kentucky to join in.


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Maryland has recently been cited as a state with a high rate of opioid addiction, and now some are seeing legalizing marijuana as taking a lead against the epidemic and are also urging southern states like Kentucky to join in.

Newsmax reports that nine states will be voting on marijuana legalization in 2016, but is there some specific reason Maryland is urging southern states to join in?

The Hill explained in an opinion piece on August 4 that Maryland will be fighting back at the opioid epidemic in their state by legalizing marijuana. They also state that some drug treatment specialists in Maryland are considering medical cannabis as treatment for opioid addiction due to a recent study from the University of Georgia.

Citizens in the state of Kentucky have also expressed an interest in this form of opioid treatment, but medical marijuana is still illegal in the state despite recent considerations, as previously reported by the Inquisitr.

Part of the reason that Maryland could be urging other states to join in with legalizing cannabis pertains to the lack of opioid treatment options in other states in the south.

For example, NPR reported on June 15 that those in the opioid treatment industry in Georgia were outraged when the state decided to place limits on opening new clinics.

The rehabilitation clinics they do have are needed because Georgia has almost 70 opioid treatment programs. By contrast, nearby Tennessee has 12, Alabama has 24, and Mississippi has one.

Although any clinic for opioid addiction is better than no clinic at all, many Kentuckians have learned from states like Massachusetts, that they need to have medical marijuana options, specifically for opioid addiction, according to CBS News.

States that use marijuana to treat addiction could also become leaders because the numbers of opioid deaths are rapidly increasing nationwide.

Whether it is heroin, painkillers, or fentanyl, Americans are now dying at higher rates from opioid drugs, and the rate exceeds other types of accidents. For example, Vox wrote on June 2 that more Americans were killed by painkillers (42,000) in 2014 than car crashes (34,000), or gun violence (34,000).

Naturally, any help Kentucky can get to fight opioid addiction with or without legalizing marijuana would be welcome, and a 2015 report from the Boston Globe about the epidemic in Eastern Kentucky quoted a drug treatment prevention worker stating the following.

“We’ve lost a whole generation of people who would have been paying taxes, and buying homes, and contributing to society.”

Eastern Kentucky has been highly documented in regards to having one of the worst opioid epidemics in America, and an investigative report about the Appalachian crisis in the Guardian in 2014 stated that “stigma and inadequate access to treatment are the biggest barriers to overcoming the ongoing crisis in Appalachia and across the country.”

However, outside of being an effective treatment for battling the state’s opioid epidemic, many Kentuckians are excited to see the other improvements that legalizing marijuana, or hemp, could have for economies like the one in Eastern Kentucky.

According to some reports, the process begins with decriminalizing marijuana. The act of decriminalization of marijuana will also likely protect the prominent illegal operations already deeply entrenched in Eastern Kentucky, as described by Columbus Dispatch.

Kentuckians for Medical Marijuana published a 2013 study by Charles B. Fields, Ph.D., Professor of Justice Studies at Eastern Kentucky University, that stated “economic benefits… can be realized by the State of Kentucky by both receiving tax benefits and reducing expenditures enforcing current marijuana laws.”

In other words, there is a price to pay to keep marijuana illegal in Kentucky, and legalizing cannabis or decriminalizing the growing, selling, or distribution could reduce Kentucky’s overall drug enforcement costs.

Currently, the unregulated marijuana industry in Eastern Kentucky produces an estimated $4 billion per year, according to a commonly cited 2008 History Channel documentary on Appalachia called Hillbilly: The Real Story.

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For some in the South, defying medical marijuana laws is the Lord’s work


By Quint Forgey, News21 August 19 at 6:30 AM

Image result for For some in the South, defying medical marijuana laws is the Lord’s work

Editor’s note: This is one in a series of articles on the legalization of marijuana, produced in partnership with the 2015 Carnegie-Knight News21 national student reporting project.

CHESTER, S.C. — She lives in the wooden house her grandfather built more than a century ago in Chester, S.C., a rural community about a two-hour drive southeast of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

The cluttered home is dimly lit and not air-conditioned, with the low hum of floor fans filling in rare lulls in conversation. Two chihuahuas, Cricket and Joe, scuttle around Ada Jones’s feet as she peers down through her eyeglasses at the iPad in her hands.

The tablet looks conspicuously out of place among the black-and-white photos hanging on the walls and the dangling, beaded divider into the next room. It serves as her connection to the outside world, as well as the outside world’s connection to Jones.

If someone needs medical marijuana, they contact her over the Internet.

Jones encourages those who reach out to her to purchase marijuana illegally and make their own cannabis oil. If they’re unsuccessful, she puts them in contact with a supplier who can sell them a more refined product.

“It’s almost like playing God,” Jones said. “If somebody contacts me, I have to look at them and wonder. I wonder if that’s police first, not if I can help their kid. I try not to do that, but you have to because you’re scared.”

Jones helps everyone she can, whether they be young mothers of epileptic children or older patients suffering from chronic pain. Her specific brand of civil disobedience, like so many other facets of Southern life, is captained by her faith.

“They talk about the South being the Bible belt, and praise the Lord we are,” Jones said. “I cannot not help somebody. I have to. As a Christian, that’s what I’m here for.”

Many Southern states have a long and failed history with medical marijuana, mired deep in forgotten statutes and a lost generation of patients. Only recently, as the marijuana movement sweeps through statehouses, have those laws become political tinder for a new debate in the Old South.

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Information on “KCHHI”–Kentucky Hemp Health Initiative


 

LINK TO KCHHI :

Petition2Congress Logo

 

Some background on the “KCHHI” Petition.

It was re-written by Mary Thomas-Spears and modeled after the CALIFORNIA HEMP HEALTH INITIATIVE (shown below) which was started in 2012.

It is important because it represents “REPEAL” of “PROHIBITION” at the State, Federal and Local levels of Government in the United States, in OUR case

KENTUCKY!

If “WE, THE PEOPLE” want to regain our freedom as a people to be “self-governed” we must take this very important step to push for what WE

believe is right. 

No one should be punished for growing, using as medicine or for recreational purposes and most certainly of all using “medicinal marijuana” for

OUR children’s HEALTH needs.  This is NOT to say that it is alright to give to a child under 18/21 years old when NOT being used medicinally! 

That having been, said NO CHILD should have to do without this God-given medicine because of Government intrusion into our lives!

I am praying that the citizens of Kentucky will examine the evidence – what we have seen so far is nothing more than Government

interference in our lives at the Statutory level – even when OUR children’s lives are at stake!

I realize that those with children in dire need are pressed to see ANY form of legislation enacted that would give their CHILD this medicine!

I can honestly say that if I were in that position I would leave the State of Kentucky for Colorado today!  NOT because I like what Colorado

has accomplished!  It is a mess out there – but at least my child would have what they need medically – forget everything else!

The only other alternative at this point is to try to “secretly” medicate my child and hope that I do not get caught and my CHILD be taken away

because the LAW doesn’t approve.  We all know the LAW is BULLSHIT!

I started preaching REPEAL in 2010 and Mary Thomas-Spears had it figured out before me.  Everyone thinks that this is not worth working on

and it is unobtainable.  I say it is!  If enough people will get behind the idea and we start telling our Government what we need as opposed to

letting OUR Government ‘TELL US WHAT THEY ARE GOING TO LET US DO!  WE ELECT THEM! Not the other way around – however this is changing

rapidly.  This is  a valid reason why all those who are eligible to vote MUST do so! Regardless of the fact that the elections are, at this point a “set up” we MUST

retain the right to the voting process – so everyone make sure they register and vote, even if you feel there is no reason!  At least it keeps the

freedom TO vote!

It is close to the point that our entire Country will be under total control of every aspect of OUR lives, up to and including Religion and CHILD

rearing.  If Kentucky lets this happen – so goes the rest of the Country!  (Check out the story :

Connecticut Girl Speaks Out After Being Forced to Undergo Chemo) – Industrialism at it’s worse in my opinion, and it is happening

everyday!  So stop thinking we CAN’T and start thinking YES WE CAN put an end to the tyranny  that is surrounding us and moving in on ALL of OUR freedom’s

as we speak. STAND UP AND FIGHT FOR YOUR RIGHT TO BE FREE FROM PROHIBITION AND GOVERNMENT INTRUSION INTO OUR DAILY LIVES

FOR NO OTHER REASON THAN THEIR DOMINENCE OVER US!

We lost the first Civil War to the Industrialists.   LET IT NOT HAPPEN AGAIN!

If you do not understand this I urge you to watch “Hell on Wheels” an AMC production which very well explains how the Industrialists took over

and forced slave labor from one entity – the Agrarian (Farming) Community into the Industrialist building of the railroads and the war effort. 

Everyone was forced into leaving the family farms for the Industrial Revolution.  As a result we ended up with corporate farming.

Of note:  The Emancipation Proclamation which “freed the Slaves” was NOT enforced in Kentucky because Kentucky had not seceded from the Union.

It was only a strategy of War between the North and South and Kentucky “sat on the fence”  Don’t take me the wrong way…Slavery was never RIGHT!

And Abe Lincoln did NOT like Slavery which has been documented historically.  However, this information proves that if the Government seems to

be doing something “right” for the people you can bet it is for an ulterior motive.  With a legalize, tax and regulate mentality the Government owns us!

Fight for the freedom from prohibition of your freedoms!

Smk.

 

PLEASE FOLLOW THIS LINK AND SIGN FOR YOUR RIGHT AS A HUMAN BEING TO BE ABLE TO FARM AND USE CANNABIS!  A GOD-GIVEN PLANT!

 

Petition2Congress Logo

 

CALLIFORNIA HEMP HEALTH INITIATIVE 2012

 

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we petition the obama administration to: Remove the Whole Cannabis Plant from Schedule 1 for Medical Research & Patient Access


 

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Research & experience suggest medical cannabis helps with Alzheimer’s, Diabetes, epilepsy, cancer, Multiple Sclerosis, HIV, GI disorders, PTSD, eczema, Autism, arthritis, and other conditions.

Please remove the whole cannabis plant from the federal government’s banned Schedule 1 list.

Extensive research into various whole plant medicinal strains must be allowed to identify the full potential of this therapeutic plant. Research, mostly from other countries, already suggests the compounds in whole plant cannabis strains work synergistically to produce medicinal effects and help reduce side effects. Therefore, limited rescheduling of individual components for cannabinoid-based synthetic drugs alone will not work. Please allow the various strain options for research and medical access.

Published Date: Jan 05, 2015

LINK HERE:  WHITEHOUSE.GOV

Link to:  FACEBOOK GROUP:  SAFER KENTUCKY

Rand Paul’s Quiet Weed Overture


He’s carving out marijuana policy as an area of leadership, and that has some activists very, very excited.

By Lucia Graves

 

If he runs for president, Sen. Rand Paul will not be your typical Republican candidate. On Thursday the Kentucky senator filed yet another amendment protecting the states that have implemented medical-marijuana laws—as well as the patients and doctors acting in accordance with them—from federal prosecution.

The amendment, attached to the “Bring Jobs Home Act,” would allow states to “enact and implement laws that authorize the use, distribution, possession, or cultivation of marijuana for medical use” without threat of federal interference. The measure would also protect patients in places where medical marijuana is legal (23 states and the District of Columbia) from prosecution for violating federal marijuana laws.

Paul, who is widely believed to be eyeing the presidency, introduced a separate measure in June to stop the Drug Enforcement Administration from using federal funds to go after medical-marijuana operations that are legal under state law. A similar version of the amendment introduced by Reps. Dana Rohrabacher and Sam Farr easily passed the lower chamber in May, underscoring marijuana’s growing national acceptance.

Paul’s press person has said that the new amendment, if enacted, would go beyond the Farr-Rohrabacher legislation by providing a more formal framework for protecting states that have enacted medical-marijuana laws.

While passage of the amendment is unlikely—it’s not even expected to come up for a vote—the news of its introduction was excitedly written up by a host of advocacy sites, including Hemp News, Stop the Drug War and Ladybud, where advocates encouraged readers to contact their senator in support of Amendment 3630. “When calling or writing, remember that you catch more flies with sugar than honey,” advises one post, presumably meaning you catch more flies with honey than vinegar. “Reframing the medical cannabis issue as a human-rights issue, not a partisan one, will also help.”

Paul also has been outspoken in his support for industrial hemp, working with his fellow senator from Kentucky, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, to pass a measure earlier this year allowing states to grow industrial hemp for research. The legislation is a boon to farmers in Eastern Kentucky, and while it may seem like little more than a pet project for Kentuckians, marijuana activists have been quietly cheering ever since they first got wind of Paul’s plan.

Republicans’ views on medical marijuana have been shifting over the past few years and the Farr-Rohrabacher vote in the House is only the most recent proof. Recent polling by the Pew Research Center found most Americans think pot should be legal, in contrast to a decade ago when voters opposed it by a 2-to-1 ratio, and that there’s broad agreement that government enforcement of marijuana laws is not worth the cost. One poll from 2013 found that 78 percent of independents and 67 percent of Republicans think government enforcement efforts cost more than they’re worth. Younger Americans are even more likely to think so.

A recent story in the Los Angeles Times details why Republicans are slowly embracing marijuana, arguing that the rise of the tea party has given an unforeseen boost to legalization. The story notes tea partiers see the federal government’s position on marijuana as an example of government overreach, and quotes Dan Riffle, then a lobbyist with the Marijunana Policy Project, saying Igor Birman, a tea-party candidate looking to knock out Democrat Ami Berra in a congressional swing district in California, is among a growing number of pro-reform Republicans.

“To many political observers, it looks like Rand Paul is already eyeing a run for the GOP nomination for president in 2016,” marijuana activist Joe Klare wrote in The 420 Times at the time. “Someone in the White House that supports industrial hemp—and drug-policy reform in general—would be a huge boost to the prospects of actual reform on a federal level.”

Marijuana has been called “the sleeper issue of 2016” and something that’s only going to get bigger. As a libertarian senator, Paul has long been in favor of decriminalization and is quite clearly the most pro-reform Republican 2016 contender on the issue of marijuana. (While other likely contenders, such as Florida’s Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio, haven’t weighed in on medical marijuana, others, like New Jersey’s Chris Christie have come out against it.) Paul has been considered a leader on the issue in Congress, and even sided with President Obama in noting that minorities are unfairly burdened by drug laws. And as Slate‘s Dave Weigel noted earlier this year, conservatives have stayed with him on the issue, especially as Paul assured them his interest was not in legalizing hard drugs but in reducing minimum sentences. (In 2013 he alienated some activists by claiming the drug was “not healthy“).

For now, Paul is not backing away from those marijuana-reform bona fides, and the fact that he’s been so outspoken on the issue this summer should encourage activists. Indeed on other issues, such as his position on relations with Israel, he’s been massaging his approach ahead of an expected run.

“It’s pretty clear that Rand Paul is working hard to appeal to diverse constituencies as he weighs throwing his hat into the race for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination,” Tom Angell, a spokesman for the pro-legalization group Marijuana Majority, said in an email. “With polls showing supermajority support for medical marijuana across virtually every demographic group, it makes sense Sen. Paul would want to be at the forefront of efforts to modernize these outdated federal laws. And with five U.S. House floor votes in a row coming out favorably for cannabis-policy reformers over the past few months, we expect to see more senators realizing that getting onto the winning side of this issue is a smart move.”

It certainly might expand the pool of people who’d consider voting for a Republican.

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COMFYTREE PRESENTS A SYMPOSIUM IN LOUISVILLE AND LEXINGTON KENTUCKY ON JANUARY 11TH AND 12TH


THE U.S. MARIJUANA PARTY OF KENTUCKY HAS BEEN INVITED TO PARTICIPATE IN THIS IMPORTANT EVENT IN OUR STATE…

CTC Cannabis Academy KY Palm,

SPEAKERS INCLUDE BUT NOT LIMITED TO REV. MARY THOMAS-SPEARS SPEAKING ON BEHALF OF REPEAL OF PROHIBITION OF THIS PLANT AND HOW REPEAL WILL END THE WAR ON CANNABIS FOR EVERYONE.

PLEASE PLAN TO ATTEND ….