7350

If you follow cannabis type news you are likely aware the DEA has assigned a separate drug code to cannabis extracts.

The Federal Register

If you follow cannabis type news you’ll know there’s a lot of hoopla over this because some folks are under the impression the DEA just outlawed Cannabidiol (CBD). I would hope, because you are a reader here, you know better. I would hope you are aware CBD always been, and still is a schedule I drug. Anything, any damned thing, having to do with “marihuana” is scheduled; the photons reflected by the leaves; the color green associated with the leaves… Okay, okay … maybe I was going a bit over the top with Sun rays and photosynthesis, but you catch my Drift.

A brief perusal of the inter-tubes indicates folks are going all panicky about the deal. The only periodical I came across with a clear headed piece on the subject was the L.A. Weekly.

Good on ’em.

I wonder if there isn’t more to the story though? Here, I’ll offer up a little something to really get folks in a tizzy.

The L.A. times quotes the DEA spokesman Russ Baer thusly, “However, Baer suggested that the separate tracking for extracts could help researchers who want ‘research protocol waivers” for work on CBD to get them faster. “It allows us to identify those applications from the scientific research community who want to do extract research and give them priority over other applications,’ he said. ‘It allows us to prioritize those to facilitate and support scientific research.'”

That sounds pretty darned good, now doesn’t it? I mean, with extracts coded differently than “marihuana,” then those extracts can be treated differently under the law, right? Hell, The L.A. times even mentions treating pediatric epilepsy with CBD. That’s all good, right?

Whatever happened to the cry about a person being forbidden from growing a cannabis plant between the tomatoes and peppers because of a plot by big pharma. Because a plant growing wild beside the road can’t be patented? What happened to those people?

CBD being rescheduled damn sure isn’t the story here (it hasn’t been). Ease of research? Take a look at the requirements for a university grow facility other than Mississippi. When that change was made everyone was, like “YAY!” Yeah, right.

Now look at this:
A Fortune

Damn, as I’ve written before, I do so wish I’d bought stock in that outfit way back when.

As the old adage goes, “Follow the money.”

Hap’nin?

Long time no blog.
The rains are here in the Pacific Northwest (they do that, return every September, October) and I crashed my bike a week or so ago (just a little bit. good timing, huh?) so I figured ‘What the hell, I may as well type and offer my views on various cannabis hap’nings of the recent.’ While jamming to goth metal, of course.

I’m not sure if I should start out with the DEA’s steadfast claim cannabis has no medicinal use, or the statistics about Medicare patients’ prescription habits in med-weed states, and how opioid overdose deaths are lower in the same. I’d like to do some sort of cool thing where at the end I tie it all together and finish, like, with one big period. You know, like when a person drops the microphone and walks off the stage?

Too dramatic?
Define “dramatic.” Does the following qualify?

Back around this April 4th the DEA responded to a letter from the then Washington State Governor Gregoire the Rhode Island Governor and other type folks about the CSA (Controlled Substances Act), DEA scheduling of “marijuana.” I write “then” because I think the letter was presented back around 2011. The DEA’s response was basically smoke and mirrors.

And then something happened along the same lines in 2015. Something. I have a hard time keeping up these days. This time the DEA’s response was more like the fun house at the county fair.
(man, I hope I got all of those links correct … ‘prolly not. sigh ;^)

And it was that one, that last DEA response, what had folks thinking they were reading between the lines; that the DEA was going to make a move on the classification of “marijuana,” that the end of this ridiculous prohibition was near… Hell, there were even reported “leaks” from an unnamed individual purportedly on the inside that cannabis would be, at a minimum, moved to Schedule II.

Folks were elated! and others were very concerned. With Schedule II the possession of cannabis would require a prescription (under federal law) and what of the “recreational states?” I mean, do you know of any that have laws reading Vicodin or Oxycodone can be taken for shits-and-giggles? What exactly would Scedule II, III or IV mean?!

Drama! Drama I tell you!

Have no fear, my friends, as with all good dramas (except those where the protagonist croaks, of course) this one has a happy ending : The DEA elected NOT to change “marijuana’s” scheduling, quoting the verse from the CSA, “…no accepted medical use … high potential for abuse…” That’s right, we’re saved!

Are you getting dizzy? Hell, try sitting in my chair, it spins.

I won’t go off about how anybody with web access can take a look at all of the studies on PubMed related to various maladies’ responses to cannabinoid like molecules. I write “like molecules” because working with whole plant molecules is near impossible in this country, so synthetic analogs are typically utilized in research (shrug). Still, tripping a physiological/biological response with a near mirror image of the real thing is better than nothing. I guess.

But what about statistics? Raw numbers! (the word “raw” got your blood pumping, didn’t it?).

Some recent number crunching has come up with two very related causatum. Possibly, anyway.

In med-weed states the incidence of prescription opioid fatalities is below those without an allowance for the medicinal use of cannabis by around 25%. Here, don’t take my word for it:

JAMA

And as evidence sick folk find relief in the old world medicine we see that those utilizing Medicare for their insurance buy less pharmaceuticals in the med-weed states. It wouldn’t be too much of a leap to suppose cannabis has taken the place of some of those, would it? Oh, sure, I’ll cite something for you:

Health Affairs (abstract)

But this that and the other thing don’t include FDA approved methods of treatment, now do they?

Hold that thought. Pull your head from the box. Drop the paradigm.

What if we simply quit trying to make The Powers That Be recognize cannabis as a medicinal agent altogether? What if we simply demanded it be de-scheduled because humanity has been using it as a recreational agent for, uh, like 10,000 years (probably)? What if we just said screw the medicinal aspects, some of us would simply like the option of imbibing in a bit of cannabis after a hard day at the office rather than a tumbler with ice and booze: legally?

Hell, the damned Treasury Department regulates alcohol, not the FDA or DEA.

TTB.gov

Think about it.
Have we be fighting the battle in the wrong arena?

(drops mic, walks off)

Hodgepodge

‘Bout a month ago I started a post about all the folks who’ve been convicted of drug offenses getting early releases due to revisions made in sentencing guidelines. Oh, and don’t confuse “guidelines” with mandatory minimums: two different animals.

I was going to mention that the majority of the ‘offenders’ were either in halfway houses or on probation, so it wasn’t like someone just threw the gate open and said, “You’re free to go.”

I’d intended to rant about how those folks still had a long row to hoe, with a felony hanging around their neck; how, maybe, they shouldn’t have ever been convicted in the first damn place.

Blah, blah, blah. I decided not to. I sort of got lost in the research and all of the sudden it started to feel like work. Screw that.

By the way, I read in this morning’s newspaper President Obama had lunch with several of those “released” just the other day. I haven’t a clue what’s up with that. I mean, it’s not like he’s setting up some sort of platform for a reelection. I dunno.

And you know, it is a good thing people are beginning to speak about not only the futility of the War, but the social harm it’s responsible for. Yeah, definitely.

Heck, I’m hearing rumors the topic is on the carte du jour at the upcoming UN Drug Convention. Not that I’m optimistic much will come of it, but starting a conversation is, uh, a start. I guess.

Yeah, anyway, I bailed on the whole dope-prisoner release thing.

Here in Washington State pesticides used in cannabis agriculture is making the news. Just a while back some outfit (licensed outfit) got popped using a product that wasn’t on the approved list. Shortly thereafter the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board got some sort of emergency action going related to recalls. Because, uh, they didn’t have the authority, prior to.

Speaking of pesticides (on Washington pot) there is a list of approved products, all derived from ‘natural’ sources. The funny thing is, though, no one really seems to know what happens when you burn the stuff.

Yes, yes, I know everybody doesn’t smoke their cannabis, but a whole hell of a lot do.

Oh, and pesticide testing isn’t a requirement here because apparently there’s only one lab in the state that does that because it’s a real pain in the ass.

Don’t get me started on labs! Okay, I’ll go this far: apparently the ones with decent work loads are those that consistently provide decent results (I shrug).

And just as a side note: come July 1st many legitimate medicinal cannabis growers (personal use) will become black-market growers. July 1st is when a law becomes affective making specialty clinics no longer viable to receive a recommendation from. I’m guessing military veterans are really digging that, right? I mean, a VA doc can’t go there with the medicinal weed thing. It’s in the employee handbook. Many VA vets are hosed. Oh well.

Hey! Did you read about that whole Epidiolex thing? Epidiolex? That would be a GW Pharmaceuticals product for use in treating childhood epilepsy. Epidiolex had positive results in the Orphan Drug trials so it’s going on to the next phase.

Trials here in the States. Next phase here in the States. I mention the U.S. because Epidiolex is CBD (cannabidiol) derived from plants. Uh, CBD is a schedule I “drug” just like THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) is. How’s that going to work?

Some have said CBD would then have to be rescheduled. Interesting…

Something else I find interesting is this has all been driven in the interest of the children. Hell, I find it ironic even. I mean, one of the first things that typically comes out of a prohibitionists mouth is, “What of the children?!” Feed them CBD? Heh.

Did you read about the U.S. Supreme court declining to hear Oklahoma and Nebraska’s whining about Colorado’s recreational cannabis law? Those state’s complaint was about “spill over.” That is, people from Colorado taking weed into their states. Why didn’t they ever try to sue Mexico? Get over it, sheesh.

And finally (whew), what about all of those opioid deaths? It’s like forty people a day quit breathing because they took just one too many pills. From what I gather, the majority of these deaths aren’t related to abuse, but simply a person thinking just a bit more will offer a bit more relief. More is better, right? Well, I suppose if a person stops breathing then they’ve found the holy grail of pain relief. I shouldn’t joke. It really is some serious shit.

The prescription pain-killer deaths are around 46% less in states with med-weed laws (whole pot, not just CBD oil). Go ahead, look it up if you don’t believe me.

I know I’ve already mentioned the study Washington State University did related to the synergistic relationship between opioids and cannabinoids at the neurological level. The proof is in the pudding, as they say. Or, maybe, statistics (shrug).

But then, I guess no one really gives a fat rat’s about adults … unless, I guess, they’re dropping like flies.

Yeah, I was gonna write about that whole prisoner release thing.
But I changed my mind.

May I Get Personal?

I’d like to discuss pee. Oh, not just yours, but everybody’s. You know, pee, urine? Well, specifically, something that can be done with it once a person discharges it. I believe some call it, “Making Water.”

Of course this begs the question of whose pee it is once it’s discarded (shrug). I understand possession of my household garbage changes hands the second I put the cans on the street: from mine to the outfit with the waste collection contract.

But it’s way too early to digress…

Labs can test the stuff for all kinds of stuff. Looking at my last results I see, Biliruben, glucose, ketones, protein, erythrocytes… the values of these various elements found in what I discharge can tell a medical professional a lot about what’s going on with my biological systems. In this particular case my pee is a canvas upon which my lymph nodes, blood cells, and even various organs paint a picture (pretty snazzy prose there, eh?).

This is a good thing.

Now, let me flip to the next page on that U.A and see what various proteins, compounds, molecules, etc. were looked for/at in my waste water. Hmm, amphetamines, barbiturates, opiates, tetrahydrocannabinol… What the hell? (the screeching sound of tires under heavy braking on asphalt go here and maybe a crashing sound with broken glass for the big effect).

Oh, c’mon, you knew this is where this was going to go (sheesh ;^).

What does this tell the physician? Well, I suppose in my case it tells that I imbibed in cannabis in the last month but not heroin or speed in the last three days. What value is this information? I posit, not much.

Drug testing via U.A. without cause was tossed out by many courts before the mid 1980’s as it was seen as a violation of the fourth amendment. I won’t bore you with court case history, but one around 1985 set the stage for the rampant disregard we see today. A horse racing commission wanted to test jockeys. Of course they told the state to stick it and off they went to court.

They state argued because of the stakes involved, the riders employment in such a vulnerable (cheating, etc.) trade, meant they should be allowed said scrutiny.

The court agreed.

Welcome to the pre-employment U.A.
Basically, what transpired was the U.A. was seen as voluntary, so therefore not in violation of the constitution. You don’t want to pee? Fine, go look for a job down the road. Easy-peasy.

The federal government jumped right on the bandwagon going so far as to require companies doing business with the government institute the same programs in their policies.

And a huge industry was born.
Just like the prison complex industry, court mandated counseling and the rest of licensed businesses dependant upon the War on Drugs for their bread and butter.

Okay, let’s step back a square or two here and ask: What is the purpose of pre-employment drug testing? Not everyone is a jockey working in an easily corrupted sport, right?

Well, that’s pretty simple, isn’t it? It’s all about preventing the “druggies” from killing people in the workplace, right? How can anyone have a problem with that! Hell, all of those programs have “prevention” written right in the titles, right?

Raises hand.
Wrong answer.

Drug testing doesn’t ferret out “druggies”.
All drug testing does is force a recreational cannabis user to abstain for 30 days before applying for work and occasionally blind side an employee.

I was having this conversation with an associate just the other day and she recounted an anecdotal event. A buddy of hers is a warehouseman. The cat jumped on a forklift, turned the ignition key and the battery exploded. His employer sent him off to pee in the cup. The guy came up clean, but that’s beside the point.

The point is, the defective battery was in no way related to the operator. It almost seems like an abuse of the system to test the guy under those circumstances, doesn’t it? Makes you wonder who he pissed off?

If a heroin addict can manage to stay clean for four days so will the urine be. It’s three or four days for meth and most other dope. Some can be gone in as little as hours (acid) or just a day.

I used to know a truck driver who quit smoking weed on Friday and Saturday nights and went to cocaine as his party drug. Unlike with pot, the coke would be gone in just a few days.

I’m of the belief the whole “Spice, Bath Salts, Etc.” industry is a result of drug testing. A case in point would be another associate of mine who was on probation for committing a crime. Said individual was subject to random U.A.s. Said individual wanted to alter his consciousness from time to time, so he turned to the “potpourri.” “Spice” wasn’t being tested for at the time.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not of the opinion it’s okay for the pilot in control of the next plane you get on to have a head full of coke. It’s probably a bad idea for a surgeon to smoke a fatty before picking up the scalpel. Etc. blah, blah.

I’m just thinking maybe some of this drug testing is not only a violation of one’s privacy, but in the long run it does more harm than good.

Telling an addict they’ll be U.A.’d once a week and every time they pop hot they’ll have to spend a week in jail and add another 24 hours to the drug counseling and be fined 100 bucks (the collection agencies get a piece of that pie) is the closest thing I can think of to a perpetual motion machine.

And the whole process is doomed to failure.

Wouldn’t it be better to help the individual secure employment and an open door to assistance, if and when they want it. I’m not talking a job like locomotive engineer, but certainly something is available. How different would the addicts abilities be than some disabled individual who’s given the opportunity to draw a wage?

Oh, and though possibly a bit tangential, how many functioning alcoholics would you guess are respected individuals in their respective fields (the first thing that came to your mind was Congress, wasn’t it? Heh.)?

And as I’ve ranted before, if the whole point of drug testing is all about impairment then why not test for that? Now, if someone wanted to come up with a multimillion dollar industry, a standardized impairment test would be a good one to pursue.

My whole point with this long drawn out soliloquy is:

1. Employer drug testing may well do more societal harm than good.

2. With 23 states allowing the medicinal use of cannabis and four the recreational, isn’t a positive U.A. for cannabis being grounds for dismissal or being passed over for employment ludicrous?

3. The War on Drugs won’t be won until the industries dependant upon it acquiesce. Such is the way of it in these United Corporations of America.

4. ‘We’ need to end this madness.

TED: Ethan Nadelmann

Yesterday was the 100 year anniversary of the Harrison Tax Act of 1914. I was doing a bit of research on the subject (surfing) when I came across this TED talk.

Now, I’m sure Ethan’s a bit of a controversial character, most any “activist” is. I don’t care much to get into the cat’s views, opinions or methods. This ‘talk’ however I found very compelling.

The guy is voicing my thought on the War on Drugs to a tee. The talk is 17 1/2 minutes long and in my opinion well worth the time. Check it out

TED: Nadelmann

Dominos

And now there are five; sort’a, kind’a, but probably not.
I’m writing of Oregon, Alaska and Washington D.C. passing recreational cannabis laws, of course, joining Colorado and Washington State.

The thing with D.C., though, is whatever the District does has to get passed Congress. You may recall D.C.’s medicinal cannabis law was held up for years by those up on The Hill. There are legislators already making noises about tossing a wrench in the works. Sheesh. So, D.C. is the “probably not” even though its citizens have passed it by a resounding 2:1 margin. Such is the way of it in the Republic … I guess.

Something interesting to note (and a bummer for Washingtonians) is Washington is the only state without a (recreational) home growing provision. Colorado, D.C. and Alaska allow for the private cultivation of six plants while Oregon’s number is four. Washington allows zero. Zip. Nada.

As an 11-5-14 Article in the Seattle pi’s “The Pot Blog” points out —

Bummer Deal, Dude

— Washington State has really blown it with its handling of Initiative 502. Though, in all fairness, in the beginning the legislature’s hands were tied in making changes. There’s a two-year provision with Washington initiatives that makes it tough for the legislature to modify them.

That time period has come and gone. Not to be redundant (with the article), but if the lawmakers would simply add private home cultivation into the law it would sure make things easier for the patients currently authorized to use cannabis for treatments.

Because, you see, the Honorable Senators and Representatives are poised to take a chainsaw to the current medicinal laws do to those pesky dispensaries gumming up the works, and perceived cash flow.

I suppose now that the elections are over I’ll start drafting my letter pleading for a humanitarian outcome with the upcoming session.

Welcome, Oregon and Alaska. Don’t screw it up, eh? Oh, and my “best of luck!” to D.C. Though I suppose that’s worth about what this post is. Zero. Zip. Nada.

I’ve been busy

AND a bit lazy, too, I’m afraid. I haven’t posted anything in ages AND there’s a lot going on.

Colorado and Washington State peddling weed from retail outlets is old news now, though Washington’s stores just recently opened their doors. Colorado got a jump on Washington (though both laws were enacted close together) because it had a medicinal dispensary system already in place. Washington is currently a cannabis ‘mess.’

Many of Washington’s municipalities have outright banned anything to do with cannabis, leaving just a smattering of retail stores, producers and processors. Washington hasn’t had a legal system for distributing cannabis (medicinally) from the inception of I-692 (medweed) in 1998 so there was no ‘foundation’ for the recreational arena.

Even at an astronomical price per gram (gram?!) supply can’t keep up with demand and the retailers are threatening the producers with a lawsuit for price gouging and fixing. No really, man. I’m not joking. I surely do wish I was.

Tie that with the State Legislature getting ready to hose medicinal users, basically gutting the current law that I-692 became (69.53A), and it really gets crazy. AND scary.

Certain legislators are using the retiring Western Washington U.S. attorney’s (Jenny Durkan) veiled threat to take action if the state didn’t get its medicinal system in order to force ‘patients’ into the hobbled recreational system. No really, man. I’m not joking. I surely do wish I was.

And the really twisted thing is, all of this could have been avoided if the governor (Gregoire) back in 2011 (I think it was) hadn’t line item vetoed a bill passed by the legislature (E2SSB 5073) that would have revamped the medweed law (69.51A) to allow and regulate medicinal cannabis dispensing.

Folks in Washington who use cannabis in the treatment of their malady about to get royally hosed when the legislature convenes.

But enough about my problems…

There’s that doc down at the U. of A. who got canned because she pissed off a couple of state legislators (‘least one, anyway). Well, she also had worked for four years to get all of the required government approvals to do a study on the effects of cannabis on PTSD. Okay, it hasn’t been proven that’s why she got sent packing, but everything seems to point to it.

The Phoenix New Times has an excellent article about the matter.

Oregon and Alaska are poised to legalize recreational cannabis. Oregon recently passed legislation allowing medicinal dispensaries. Hopefully, that will give them a bit of a head start like Colorado had.

Some Dravet Syndrome kids don’t respond to CBD-only oil. Sometimes a touch of THC will facilitate the desired results. sometimes the whole effort is fruitless. I just thought I’d mention it.

Speaking of CBD oil for kids with epilepsy…

Did you hear nine states have passed legislation allowing the possession and administration of CBD to the kiddies? Yeah, I find it rather symbolic (useless?) myself. Where and how are the parents supposed to procure this product? What, when the stork drops off the little bundle of joy there’s a care package included with the blanket?

And what’s up with the East Coast and all of the gyrations it seems to be having with medicinal cannabis? It’s like the laws get passed and then the regulatory outfits come up with every conceivable obstacle possible to make it near impossible to implement. Sheesh.

Oh, and let’s not forget Florida. Hopefully that attorney cat (Morgan) didn’t shoot himself in the foot giving that little speech in a bar while he was all boozed-up. Morgan’s put several million dollars into the florida medical cannabis initiative. His foul-mouthed carrying on did nothing for the cause (don’t look at me like that! Heh). I’m sure he wishes he hadn’t done it. I do.

Okay, I guess that’s all I got for this afternoon. After I eat these last two cookies (of two packages of two) I’m going to go start dissasembling a motorcycle transmission.

Or, maybe I’ll go take a nap.

What We’ve got Here…

…is a failure to communicate.

And just to confuse things a bit more, though this post is related to medicinal cannabis, I’m posting it in the Prohibition Category (obviously).

I’m about to go off on a rant about the Washington State Legislature and the heinous efforts on both their part, and a regulatory agency, to toss me (and a bunch of us) under the bus in an effort to capture funds for the state coffers.

And its’ complicated.
This might be kind’a long.

I want to start with the passage of I-502 (Shirley, you know what that is), but I’m thinking I need to go back to I-692, from 1998 – that peoples’ initiative would be the Medical Marijuana Act. It was codified into law as 69.51a. The law was very ambiguous at the get-go. That ambiguity allowed what’s commonly called the “grey market” to develop. The development being dispensaries without any law addressing dispensaries. At first many called themselves ‘Designated Providers’ and when that loophole was closed those business folks found a new hole, and renamed their stores ‘Collectives.’

A good part of the product those outfits have on their shelves is bought from people holding a medicinal cannabis recommendation finding themselves with a bit more product than they require. Hey, with a whopping electric bill wouldn’t you be looking for a way to recoup a bit? I’m not saying it’s right or wrong, just that I can see the lure – and telling you the way of it.

So, without any real law addressing the thing (from the get-go) this whole “grey market” was born (borne?). This is the circumstance that lead the Western Washington Federal Attorney Jenny Durkan to state the (Washington) medical marijuana system was not tenable.

Still with me?

Jenny said so, after that I-502 thing passed. Yes, Shirley, that would be that recreational weed initiative.

Oh, a Senator tried to fix the whole mess just a few years ago with a bill commonly called 5073. That piece of legislation would have set up a regulatory system for dispensing cannabis here in Washington. The legislature passed it and it landed on the Governor’s desk. The then governor line vetoed all the sections that had to do with the state having any part in it. 36 sections. It left a mess.

The Governor had contacted the Washington State Federal Attorneys asking about the risk to state employees should she sign the bill. Jenny Durkan told her state actors would be in jeopardy of federal prosecution for crimes related to the distribution of an illegal drug. The Gov got out her red pen.

Still with me?
It’s okay if it doesn’t seem to make any sense to you.
It doesn’t. Any of it.
And it gets worse.

So, the law makers in the state got all in a panic because the United States Attorney General’s office wrote they would just kick back and see what happens with all of this ‘legalization stuff’ as long as the states played by certain rules. 5073, by the way, would have met that criteria. The same bill Jenny Durkan…never mind. You get it, right?

So, the legislature wasn’t in a panic about the recreational end, but the medicinal grey market. Obviously, that was gonna have to go. And maybe there was another opportunity as well?

In the process of coming up with last year’s budget, the Legislature tasked the Liquor Control Board to make recommendations on reconciling the medicinal and recreational markets. The Board’s plan was brilliant. Basically, their recommendations would make receiving a cannabis approval from a doctor near impossible. VA patients would be hosed. If, somehow, an approval was made the suggested plant limit would have made it near impossible for a person to maintain a supply.

Because, see, with the new recreational law there really wasn’t a need to have a medicinal. Rather than repeal it I suppose they figure it would be easier to simply gut it. Because, now, anyone over 21 can go to a retail store and buy pot. Sheesh.

So bills started getting introduced into the legislature. Bills, basically, following the Liquor Boards recommendations. At the beginning it was like watching a horse race. There was 2149, 6178, 5887 and maybe one or two more. 5887 made it right to the wire and then stumbled, rolled over and died: because the Republicans and Democrats couldn’t agree on how the tax dollars from the new recreational market (currently without a single store) would be divvied up. Or so it looks on the surface. No, I’m not joking.

5887 was introduced by Senator Ann Rivers. When 5887 bit the dust she made the following statement to the media: “I don’t think people realize what a blow this is to the medical-marijuana community. I am legitimately fearful for the patients who rely on medical cannabis because the medical market remains completely unregulated, which leaves a lot of room for the federal government to intervene or even shut down the entire medical-marijuana system in our state. Without this legislation, 14 year-olds are still able to access medical marijuana authorizations without their parents’ consent.

“I think patients should plan to use and pay for recreational marijuana because as it stands today, Washington’s medical-marijuana market is outside its legal bounds and was actually deemed ‘untenable’ by the U.S. Attorney General’s office.”

And with that I must ponder. If the “market” is the issue, why pass laws that affect patients directly? Why not address the “market” and leave folks like me, a vet dependent on the V.A. for my health care, growing a few scraggly plants under fluorescent tubes alone.

Oh wait, duh…sometimes I’m a little slow. I am the market.

Cannabis Saves Lives?

No, I haven’t mistaken the category. This post isn’t about the promising research and results in treating various maladies with (various) cannabinoids. It’s about people off’ing themselves, car crash fatalities and cannabis ‘possibly’ being a mitigating dynamic in both.

I’m going to give you a link to two studies, each on the subjects I mentioned above, before I do, though, I’d like to ‘talk’ about them for just a moment. If you don’t mind?

It appears that states that’ve adopted medicinal cannabis laws have seen a drop in both.

Now, two things are glaringly apparent in the studies. The first that catches my eye is, the fact two of three individuals are the researchers in both.

I’d like to think that isn’t uncommon. I mean, say, you have a couple of neurologists working on the same concept(s), wouldn’t you expect to see their names joined on several papers? I’m just hoping there isn’t some sort of biased indicated. I just thought I’d mention that before someone else caught it and mentioned it. It is something to consider, I guess.

What’s the adage? “Statistics don’t lie, but you can lie with statistics.” I’ll give you a link to all of the cool graphs and charts here in a moment.

Before I do, however, I want to mention the second commonality: alcohol. It’s inferred in both studies the reduction in fatalities, by one’s own hand and vehicular, could be related to individuals substituting cannabis for booze. Or, something like that.

The indicated reduction in traffic fatalities was about 9%.
Here’s the study, with a bunch of cool math and stuff:

Crashing Sux

Interestingly, the reduction in suicide by women
wasn’t ‘significant.’ In men, however, the reduction for those in their 20’s was 10.8%; those in the 30’s 9.8%. Here’s the neat charts and more stuff:

Suicide

In both studies there are a few issues with the methods, comparisons and other niggly details. I look forward to some peer review publications. But maybe, just maybe, cannabis saves lives?

It’s for the Children

(I’m double dipping this go’round. This post will appear in both the prohibition and medicinal cannabis categories)

Dravet Syndrome (why is ‘everything’ a syndrome?) has been in the news quite a bit of late. It’s a form of epilepsy that strikes children within a year of birth. It’s a real son of a bitch.

A kid can have 300 seizures a week. You can imagine the havoc that reeks on not only their bodies, but also their minds. Standard pharmaceuticals don’t work worth a damn. Dravet’s is bad news. Bad, bad news.

Hold that thought.

I think it was down in California where CBD prevalent cannabis first started catching on with medicinal users. Folks with intractable pain, Parkinson’s, MS – that sort of thing – found the cannabidiol worked rather well for their malady.

And I’m going to guess that move away from THC was driven by published clinical studies. Believe it or not, folks truly using cannabis medicinally have a tendency to research and read up on the latest literature.

So, for some, catching a buzz is fine and dandy, but to get to the root of the problem CBD ( not a psychoactive cannabinoid) is the ticket.

And then some California kid’s mom gave their seizing child a dose of cannabis oil and the episodes lost frequency. And then they all but stopped.

It about created an uproar. I mean, a responsible parent would never dream of giving their child pot, right?! RIGHT!?

Maybe if the parent were at wits end and was trying to save the child’s life? Maybe. And what if it wasn’t ‘pot?’

The California kid got a little press, not a whole bunch, but some. Though It was enough folks began to give it some thought. Especially a parent with a child suffering from Dravet’s.

The next news story was from Colorado. It went big because a T.V. doctor included Charlotte’s story in a documentary on medicinal cannabis. It went real big.

You can read about Charlotte here.

Pot no one wanted (’cause Colorado aint California?) possibly saving a child’s life. Pot nobody wanted and parents desperate to save their kid’s life.

And now we move to Utah.
Yes, I wrote “Utah.”
Dravet’s is alive and well in Utah, too.
Medicinal cannabis ain’t legal in Utah.
But, parents with ‘Dravet Kids’ apparently do their research, too.

And a group of mothers (“moms” I’m writing of) have petitioned the state legislature to allow them to (legally) treat their seizing children with CBD.

Man, I don’t want to sound callous, but I find this whole unfolding terribly interesting; from a scientific standpoint, sociological and legislative. It really is one hell of a story.

The mom’s don’t want cannabis. They want the CBD extract. Not the plant. Not THC. Not “medicinal cannabis.” The CBD extract. They want to save their childrens’ lives.

So, as any parent would (I’d hope) they’ve taken action. In their case they’ve chosen to bang on the door of with the state legislature.

It appears legislation will be introduced that will allow these folks to (legally) provide a viable treatment for their childrens’ malady.

You can read about it here in the S.L. Tribune.

Did you read it? Did you see where Representative Froerer wonders if any legislation is required? If a CBD extract is same-same as any hemp product routinely sold in the United States?

I find it all terribly interesting. And a bit ironic.

In that flick Reefer Madness the narrator (Dr. Carroll) closes with the statement, “Because the dread Marihuana may be reaching forth next for your son or daughter….or yours….or YOURS!”

Dread?
Or lifesaving?

If you are reading this, then I’d guess you’ve some interest in cannabis science and law. May I suggest you watch and see what happens in Utah? Could they breach a barrier? A barrier many of us might not even knew existed? That of medicinal cannabis and cannabinoids.

After all, it’s for the children.

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