Mj news for 05/01/2015


Jul 25, 2008
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Teen demands right to use medical marijuana in N.J. school, wants ban overturned

MAPLE SHADE — The Genny Barbour who would arrive at school was docile, attentive and pleasant. The Genny Barbour who would step off the bus at the end of the day was irritable and aggressive. On the worst days, her arms would be covered with self-inflicted bruises from trying to escape the chair used to restrain her.

Roger and Lora Barbour of Maple Shade say they know what was happening to their 16-year-old daughter, who has epilepsy and autism: her medicine was wearing off during the school day.

The problem is that Genny's medicine is medical marijuana, and school officials say it's illegal to administer it to her on school grounds.

It's prompted a landmark legal battle that could reverberate in New Jersey and beyond. The Barbours are suing for their daughter's right to use medicinal marijuana in school, while attorneys for the Maple Shade school district say doing so would run afoul of the law because marijuana is still considered a controlled dangerous substance by the federal government with no medicinal value.

"She could have Valium or oxycodone, but not medical marijuana. Other children can take their medicine. My daughter cannot," Roger Barbour said. "My daughter is a citizen of this state, and this is a violation of her state and federal constitutional rights."

Genny had long suffered from frequent and severe seizures because of her medical condition, leading the Barbours to join a small but growing group of desperate parents in the country who have turned to marijuana as a last-resort treatment for their relentlessly sick children. In August, Genny began taking an eye dropper-sized dose of her mother's homemade cannabis oil in a small glass of cola in the morning, after school, and before bedtime. The number of seizures diminished, except in the afternoon. Her doctor recommended she also take a fourth dose with lunch, according to her medical records.

When her parents asked permission, the answer was a fast and flat no from the Maple Shade school district and the Larc School, the private school Genny attends for children with developmental disabilities in Bellmawr, according to court records.

The Barbours say in nine months, edible cannabis appears to have achieved what brain surgery, dozens of pharmaceuticals and a restricted diet have failed to deliver for their daughter: control over the frequency and intensity of her seizures. Cannabis has enabled Genny to be more attentive, verbal, and calm enough to enjoy her favorite past times of curling up on the couch to watch Disney cartoons or listen to music.

"There has been a total change in my daughter," Lora Barbour said. "She is more of a person."

New Jersey's medicinal marijuana law allows minors to participate in the program, but is silent on whether they can use it on school grounds.

"This can't be the situation the legislature contemplated. A child is legally obligated to go to school," said Tamar Todd, director of Marijuana Law and Policy for the Drug Policy Alliance, a national group that lobbies to change drug laws. She said a courtroom showdown was inevitable, with medicinal marijuana is legal in 23 states and the District of Columbia.

The Barbours lost the first round in state administrative court in January when a judge sided with the school district and the school. The family appealed, but must face the same judge who turned them down, said Roger Barbour, Genny's father and a lawyer representing his daughter and wife, who is Genny's registered medical marijuana caregiver. He said he expects the battle to wind up in federal court.

He argues the school district has violated his daughter's legal rights as a disabled person to receive an education. The marijuana extract calms the "firestorm in her head" and allows her to learn, he said.

In his Jan. 5 decision, however, Administrative Law Judge John S. Kennedy ruled that the school and the district offered the more compelling legal argument. The Drug Free School Act and the New Jersey Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act conflict with each other, Kennedy wrote. He also pointed out that no one at the school is Genny's designated caregiver — the only person who can administer her medicine, under the state law.

Barbour also failed to make a case that Genny would be "harmed" and suffer an increase in seizures if she couldn't have the midday dose, Kennedy wrote. Genny's attendance had vastly improved since she was getting the three doses of cannabis oil. "It is not at all certain G.B. will suffer an increase in the frequency of seizures," Kennedy wrote, noting the parents had not supplied sufficient documentation to prove the fourth dose was medically necessary.

The family was stunned by the decision. It implies the Barbours should be satisfied with the limited benefits medical marijuana has provided Genny, for the school's sake, her father said.

"My daughter could die from the seizures, and the judge said we haven't shown the harm?" he said.

During spring break the week of April 13, Genny reached a milestone: she was seizure-free for seven days — the longest stretch of time since she was three months old, according to her parents. By being home, she was able to receive the lunchtime dose of cannabis oil. Genny's parents have decided that until there is a resolution in the case, she will attend only half-days at Larc. They love her school, but they can't risk compromising her health, Lora Barbour said.

Her daughter has spent her life on a cocktail of drugs that were not even approved for children, and left her in a catatonic state, she said. Since they introduced medical marijuana, daily grand mal seizures, (now known as tonic-clonic seizures), are once a week occurrences, if not less, she said. So far there are no side effects aside from diarrhea when the treatments began, according to her medical records.

Some school officials and parents are avoiding a showdown by using an unspoken "don't ask, don't tell" policy, Lora Barbour said. She knows of parents who secretly mix cannabis oil into their child's lunch, or are working quietly with supportive teachers and school administrators who "look the other way."

A south Jersey mother who spoke to NJ Advance Media on condition of anonymity said her daughter has been allowed for months to bring an insulated bag containing cannabis-laced yogurt to the school nurse who watches her daughter consume it at lunch. She said school officials were "thrilled and very supportive" when she approached them with the request.

"Her classwork has improved vastly," the woman said. "Is able to read on a 1st grade level, continues to retain math lessons and is able to type her spelling words on the computer. Every goal has been achieved."

The Barbours said they debated hiding the oil in Genny's lunch, "but we wanted to do the right thing," said Roger Barbour, son of the late George Barbour, a four-term state Assemblyman from Burlington County who headed the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities. "It boggles my mind — we can't be the only parents in the country willing to challenge this."

Although the Barbours may be the first to sue, patients and their families across the country are pushing schools to decide whether there is a place on campus for medicinal marijuana. Schools are pushing back, and in some cases, lawmakers are intervening.

A bill passed Monday by a legislative committee in Colorado that would grant a waiver for children to take non-smokeable forms of the drug at school. The bill is named "Jack's law" for Jack Splitt, a 14-year-old who uses a wheelchair and needs a ventilator to breathe because he has spastic quadriplegic cerebral palsy and the painful muscular disorder, dystonia. In February, a nurse at his high school peeled a cannabis skin patch off of his arm and confiscated a vial of cannabis oil from his personal nurse who attends school with him, his mother Stacey Linn said.

The Maine legislature is also considering a similar bill on behalf of parents group called Maine Children for Cannabis Therapy. Schools must "make reasonable accommodations" for children whose doctors recommend medical marijuana to consume non-smokeable forms of it during the school day, according to the legislation.

The blatant conflict between state and federal law is not the only barrier between students having unfettered access to medical marijuana at school. In the court of public opinion, the issue makes many physicians squeamish. The American College of Pediatrics does not support the use marijuana as a therapy for children.

Krista Lisdahl, director of the brain imaging and neuropsychology lab at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, led a discussion at last summer's American Psychological Association convention about evidence that pot can interfere with teenagers' memory, attention span, and shave off some IQ points, according to an association press release. "It needs to be emphasized that regular cannabis use, which we consider once a week, is not safe and may result in addiction and neurocognitive damage, especially in youth," she said.

Sharon Levy, the director for the Adolescent Substance Abuse Program at Boston Children's Hospital and an assistant professor of Pediatrics Harvard Medical School, said she doesn't understand why parents are okay with giving their kids "a crude form of marijuana." Their focus should be on lobbying for more research of cannabinoids, the active ingredients in the cannabis plant.

"Marijuana is not prescribed but loosely 'recommended' by a physician. There is no standardization of dose, formulation or product," Levy added. "I cannot imagine a school taking on the responsibility of administering such a product."

Last week, the Larc School and the Maple Shade School district sought guidance from acting Attorney General John Hoffman and the county prosecutors in Burlington and Camden County counties, where the Barbours live and Genny attends school, respectively.

"Given the relatively new nature of (the law), I would appreciate your guidance and advice on the following questions," school board attorney Patrick J. Madden wrote in an April 22 letter. "Does the (law) permit the storage of medical marijuana on the grounds of the school? Would the school's nurse be insulated from criminal or civil liability for her administration of medical marijuana? "

The district also asked whether the student's parent could come to the school and administer the drug far enough off campus so they wouldn't violate drug-free school zone laws, and return her to school. The school and the parents discussed this idea initially, but the Barbours say the school withdrew it, and they, too, had qualms because it would interrupt her routine and cause behavior problems.

Madden declined to be quoted for this article and the school's attorney did not return calls seeking comment. Maple Shade Schools Superintendent Beth Norcia said "as a parent, I sympathize," and said she recognized however it is ultimately decided, the Barbours have filed a "ground-breaking and a historic type of lawsuit." She declined further comment.

The state Department of Education declined to comment. State Health Department spokeswoman Donna Leusner said the department, which runs the medicinal marijuana program, had not been contacted by any school district to inquire about students using medical marijuana on campus.

State Sen. Nicholas Scutari (D-Union), one of the prime sponsors of the New Jersey Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act, said he never could have imagined that children who were sick enough to qualify for the program would be prevented from receiving their medication.

"That's outrageous," Scutari said. "It's medication, and as long as it is under the direction of a New Jersey licensed doctor, how can a local school district do this?"

Genevieve "Genny" Barbour, the first of the couple's two children was born healthy. "She was just starting to laugh and smile," said her mother. "All of that shut off with the seizures." She was three months old.
At 2-1/2, she had part of her brain removed at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia in an unsuccessful attempt to arrest the seizures. By age 4, she was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder.

About that time, the Barbours had another daughter, Marlee, who is a healthy, athletic 12-year-old. Raising the girls has been an exercise in daily triage.

Lora Barbour shares a bed with her oldest daughter to prevent her head from getting caught between the mattress and the bed railing. Genny will often wake up with a seizure, gasping for breath. When they are not in the same room together, Lora keeps an ear out, waiting for the sound of the "thud" of Genny's body hitting the floor as she convulses.

"When you hear a thud, your heart stops," Lora Barbour said. "I used to hear those thuds daily."

Marlee's passion is softball and her parents work hard to encourage her because "we have another daughter who deserves a normal life," their mother said. But a family outing to one of Marlee's games is a choreographed effort, with each parent running back and forth to see her play while the other stays with Genny, who on a good day can spend about 20 minutes at the ball field.

Against the chaotic backdrop, medical marijuana is a calming and steadying addition, the family says.

"We've all gotten used to it," Marlee said of her sister's edible marijuana. "It's good for her. It helps her seizures and if she doesn't take it, it's out of control and we can't stop them."

Lora Barbour buys the cannabis from the Garden State Dispensary in Woodbridge, and using a recipe from another parent with a sick child, she extracts the active ingredients using coconut oil and coffee filters, cooking it down in her oven and crockpot.

The Barbours didn't hide from the school that Genny was using cannabis at home. Her teachers saw the improvement — she was finally able to count to 10, identify colors, and speak in longer sentences. But after school officials declined to let Genny consume the cannabis oil during the day, the family tried to make do with the three doses.

According to daily progress reports in February and March, Genny began flying into a rage, hurting herself and disrupting the class on many afternoons. She was strapped her into a specialized chair to restrain her, sometimes as many as four and five times an afternoon, according to the reports. Seizures returned.

The issue could be settled if Congress and the Obama administration agreed to reclassify marijuana as a beneficial drug worthy of study. But until that happens, families like the Barbours are left to fight their own battles. They say they not backing down from the fight, now they have glimpsed a happier Genny.

Last month, Roger Barbour said his daughter walked up to him and said, "I love you." It wasn't just the feelings behind the words that moved him, but her ability to speak more than one word at a time.

"There has to be some way to accommodate my daughter."


Jul 25, 2008
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Do marijuana prisoners deserve amnesty?

(CNN)What to do with the prisoners of a failed war?

Since 2012, when voters in Colorado and Washington approved the tax and sale of recreational marijuana, the cognitive dissonance of America's drug penalties has become even more absurd.

Where we once incarcerated people for growing and selling "just a plant," we're now incarcerating people for growing and selling "just a plant" that tens of millions of people can grow and sell legally.

Marijuana is legal only in certain states, and illegal under federal law. Still, it's worth asking what Congress would do with the thousands of pot offenders sent to federal prison each year if we repealed, or even just reformed, federal pot laws.

In 2010, Congress voted to change federal penalties for crack cocaine with the Fair Sentencing Act. Prior to the law's passage, 5 grams of crack cocaine triggered the same mandatory minimum sentence as 500 grams of powder cocaine. Congress reduced that disparity, from 100-to-1 to 18-to-1, which significantly reduced crack cocaine sentences. But Congress did nothing to change the sentences of the more than 8,000 federal crack prisoners who were locked up when the bill was signed into law.

So the repeal of federal marijuana laws could likely leave us with many thousands of federal pot prisoners serving sentences longer than what they'd receive in a post-reform courtroom.

What to do with these prisoners becomes all the more pressing when you consider that people still die in prison for marijuana offenses. In fiscal year 2013, more than 40% of all people who received life without parole sentences in federal courts were drug offenders, and 6% of those were marijuana sellers, according to the U.S. Sentencing Commission.

If Congress changes marijuana laws without allowing currently imprisoned pot offenders to seek new sentences, should this president or the next simply throw open the gates?

Clemency feels particularly appropriate for marijuana prisoners, who sit in cells for trafficking and dealing while state legislators argue over how to spend the revenues generated from pot taxes and newspapers tell us how to incorporate the plant in our cooking.

It should be cruel and unusual, indeed, to mete out life-without-parole-sentences for a drug so mainstream that Colorado is using state-collected pot taxes to build new schools.

In 2014, then-Deputy Attorney General James Cole announced a Justice Department initiative to review the petitions of federal prisoners serving sentences longer than what they'd receive if sentenced today, and to grant clemency to those whose early release would not compromise public safety. The second wave of clemencies granted since the initiative launched included both crack offenders and a single marijuana offender.

But clemency, by its very nature, benefits only a small number of people. Even if President Obama were to grant 2,000 commutations over the next 21 months — an unprecedented number — there are roughly 100,000 drug offenders in federal prison. The vast majority would be left to serve excessively long sentences.

Our drug policies -- and not just those pertaining to marijuana -- require sweeping, comprehensive, grand reform.

Federal drug laws across the board, as well as drug laws in states that have yet to embrace reform, are irreconcilable with evidence-based practices that actually reduce addiction and crime. One-size-fits-all mandatory minimum sentences for drug offenses are particularly arbitrary, harsh, insanely expensive, and, in the case of marijuana, incompatible with what a growing majority of voters want.

While marijuana may be the illicit drug used most by Americans, and thus the one we are most comfortable with as a culture, marijuana growers and dealers aren't disproportionately punished when compared to the makers and sellers of other illicit drugs.

All drug offenders are getting a raw deal from our criminal justice system. It would be a mistake to say, "Let out the people who sell a drug that I'm comfortable with, and to hell with all the rest." Federal and state legislators need to address bad policies for all drug types, and then establish a clear route to resentencing for pot dealers -- and everybody else.


Jul 25, 2008
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Colorado gov now says legalizing marijuana helps state's fiscal health

Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper seems to be softening his anti-pot stance.

The Democratic governor recently told Fox Business Network that the issue is “not as vexing” as he feared it would be, and partly ties Colorado’s strong fiscal health to the popularity and economic opportunities connected with the legal pot industry.

“It’s all those young people coming and they look at marijuana and say, ‘hey, we can drink whiskey, why can’t we have a legalized system with marijuana?’” he said on FBN.

He added, “If you look back, it has turned out to be not as vexing as some of the people like myself” initially anticipated it would be.

Hickenlooper had spoken out against legalizing the drug in the past and said “Colorado is known for many great things – marijuana should not be one of them.”

Now, though, he seems to have come around. He told FBN the state has been busy “building a regulatory system, making sure we keep it out of the hands of kids, making sure we keep our streets and roads safe.”


Jul 25, 2008
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Marijuana Legalization Oklahoma: Gov. Fallin Signs Bill Allowing Clinical Trials Of Medical Cannabis Derivative

Oklahoma took a small, first step Thursday toward legalizing one form of medical marijuana after Gov. Mary Fallin signed a bill that would allow medical trials of a cannabis derivative known as cannabidiol, or CBD, to move forward. Many say CBD is beneficial in treating children with debilitating seizure conditions. While Fallin, a Republican, made it clear that she remained opposed to legalizing marijuana outright, she said the bill would give researchers the opportunity to study the effects of CBD on children with epilepsy.

“This bill will help get sick children potentially life-changing medicine,” said Fallin, according to KSWO-TV. “By crafting the legislation in a way that allows for tightly controlled medical studies, we can ensure we are researching possible treatments in a responsible and scientific way.” The bill was introduced in the state legislature earlier this year and passed the House in February. The Senate approved the bill April 7.

The measure sets up a partnership among the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics, the commissioner of health and the OU Medical Center, which will oversee clinical trials. CBD is a derivative of the cannabis plant that is low in THC -- the ingredient in marijuana that gets users high.

Parents of epileptic children across the U.S. are urging lawmakers to soften their states’ marijuana laws to allow CBD to be used legally. In Nebraska, some parents met with lawmakers this week to ask them to support medical marijuana legalization, something Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts opposes.

Twenty-three states and the District of Columbia allow patients to smoke and grow marijuana for medical purposes. Several other states have legalized CBD.


Jul 25, 2008
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A pot for weed money: Lawmakers try to legalize marijuana banking

Legal marijuana businesses should have access to banks as a matter of public safety, says a new bill proposed by US lawmakers. Currently the legal pot dealers in 21 states operate on cash basis, making them a target for thieves.

Banks are currently banned from doing business with any marijuana sellers, even if they are licensed by the state, because doing so would be a violation of federal law. Marijuana is still listed under Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act. This means licensed dealers in states that have legalized the drug cannot access the banking system to accept credit cards, deposit their revenue, or write checks to pay taxes or wages.

House Resolution 2076, proposed by Representatives Ed Perlmutter (D-CO) and Dennis Heck (D-WA), seeks to change that, with lawmakers arguing this is in the interest of public safety.

“It is estimated that 40 percent of the marijuana-related businesses in Colorado are unbanked,” said Perlmutter. “This means hundreds of millions of dollars in cash are moving around the streets of Colorado.”

“The federal government can’t keep an eye on business practices if they are forcing them offline and underground,” said the bill’s co-author, Dennis Heck. “Forcing legitimate businesses to operate on a cash-only basis without bank accounts is an invitation for robbery, tax evasion and organized crime."

“With more states legalizing recreational or medical use of marijuana, no time is better than now to move forward with this change to the law,” Heck added. "Federal law needs to be updated to reflect the reality of the situation in the states.”

Colorado and Washington are among the 21 US states, as well as the District of Columbia, that have legalized marijuana possession or use to some extent.

A recent Pew Research Center survey showed that 53 percent of Americans support legalizing marijuana. Support runs as high as 68 percent among the young adults aged 18-34. Advocates hope the promise of added revenue from legalization would help change the minds of reluctant lawmakers.

Perlmutter and Heck’s “Marijuana Businesses Access to Banking Act of 2015” aims to revive the bill submitted in 2013 that never made it to the House floor for a vote. House Resolution 2652 had 32 co-sponsors, 29 Democrats and 3 Republicans. The “reboot” of the bill has only half that many lawmakers backing it, with Rep. Mike Coffman of Colorado as the sole Republican. Govtrack.us gives it a one percent chance of being enacted.


Jul 25, 2008
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Young Ga. cannabis oil patient passes away

BARNESVILLE, Ga. – A Barnesville girl overcome by a mysterious illness lost her fight on Thursday.

Savannah Talley parents fought to keep her alive -- even getting their hands on a temporary Georgia cannabis oil permit. But it was too late for the 8-year-old girl. Her parents took her off life support Thursday afternoon. She died a short time later.

The little girl fought, but the hundreds of seizures were just too much.

Her parents fought too. Just two days ago, they obtained one of the only temporary Georgia cannabis oil permits.

Earlier this month Ga. Gov. Nathan Deal signed a bill legalizing cannabis oil in the state, but that is leading some to wonder what it will take for other people to get what they need/

"The big obstacle here is the federal government," said James Bell of the medical marijuana lobbyist group Georgia C.A.R.E. He says patients will have to jump through hoops.

"It still creates a black market," Bell said.

Bells said they'll have to convince a doctor they need it, enter the Georgia registry to receive a permit, and then get it -- in some cases illegally -- from another state like Colorado.

"It's illegal under federal law and it's illegal under many state laws to transport it outside of their state," Bell said.

In a statement to 11Alive, the Georgia Department of Public Health says it will have a system in place in 30 to 60 days. In the statement, the department said they "understand the need for the system to be implemented as quickly as possible, but there is an equal need for it to be done meticulously and accurately…"

In the meantime, future patients are waiting for specific answers on a drug that could improve their life.

Patients with the following conditions are eligible for medical cannabis oil under the new law: cancer, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), seizure disorder, multiple sclerosis, Crohn's disease, mitochondrial disease, Parkinson's and sickle cell.


Jul 25, 2008
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Italy: Army unveils 'cut-price cannabis' farm

The Italian army has unveiled its first cannabis farm, set up to try to lower the cost of medical marijuana in the country.

The army's foray into cannabis production was first announced by the government in September, and its first crop is coming along nicely, the Corriere della Sera website reports. The plants are being grown in a secure room at a military-run pharmaceutical plant in Florence, and the army expects to churn out 100kg (220lb) of the drug annually. The site also houses drying and packing facilities. "The aim of this operation is to make available to a growing number of patients a medical product which isn't always readily available on the market, at a much better price for the user," Col Antonio Medica tells the website. Medical marijuana is considered beneficial to treat a variety of conditions, particularly for managing chronic pain.

While Italian doctors can legally prescribe the drug, the cost isn't covered by the state. It is often prohibitively expensive for patients to buy it legally at pharmacies, something ministers want to change. At the moment medical marijuana is imported from abroad - primarily from the Netherlands - and costs up to 35 euros per gram. "We're aiming to lower the price to under 15 euros, maybe even around 5 euros per gram," says Col Medica. Private cannabis cultivation remains illegal in Italy, and selling the drug is also against the law.

The army laboratory was chosen for the project because it already had the necessary facilities and could guarantee security thanks to its surveillance system, Italian Defence Minister Roberta Pinotti said in September. While primarily tasked with providing medicines to the military, it has also been involved in helping during civil disasters - including the production of 500,000 potassium iodide tablets after the Chernobyl nuclear catastrophe in 1986.


Jul 25, 2008
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(Oregon) Attend The Global Cannabis March In Portland This Saturday


Call to Action: 16th Annual Global Cannabis March & Rally (Saturday, May 2, 2015 – 11am-5:30pm – Pioneer Courthouse Square, Portland – Featuring Mack & Dub & the Smokin’ Section, The Sindicate, Mad Dabber & Bad Habitat. Sponsored by CRRH, KBOO Community Radio & Oregon NORML)

On Saturday, May 2, nearly 300 cities worldwide, including Portland, will participate in the 16th annual Global Cannabis March. Portland participants will gather in Pioneer Courthouse Square for a rally that begins at 11:00am, with a scheduled cannabis freedom march beginning at 4pm through downtown Portland, accompanied by a police escort.

Musicians Mack & Dub and the Smokin’ Section, The Sindicate, Mad Dabber, Bad Habitat and Pass Margo have joined the lineup for the rally as well as many guest speakers and non-profit organization booths.

Last year, Keynote speaker, Oregon Congressmen Earl Blumenauer said the U.S. government should “re-appraise what can be only described as a failed war on drugs,” and discussed the importance of medical research on the effects of marijuana. “We have to a do a better job of breaking the stranglehold of this pernicious classification,” Blumenauer said in regard to the Schedule I status of Marijuana/Cannabis according to the federal government. “That’s like saying it is the same as Heroin, or LSD.”

This year, we are honored to have Representative Lew Frederick, a Democrat from District 43 in Portland, as our Keynote speaker. Rep. Frederick has submitted House Bill 3372, legislation that would expunge all nonviolent, marijuana related convictions from Oregon residents. The historic bill, if passed, would send a signal that Oregonians support a comprehensive, pragmatic, moral, and sensible reform to drug policy. He will be speaking directly after the march.

The rally cry for the event is the protection of our civil liberty and the need to end discrimination against cannabis consumers. Even after Measure 91 goes into effect, one can still lose their job, housing, doctor, children and student benefits. Education is still important, as many people won’t understand the nuances of Measure 91 and some will continue to go to jail. Remember, Measure 91 was not a legalization initiative; it was simply a decriminalization initiative, now law.

Oregon taxpayers spend $30,000 per year to incarcerate each of our state’s 200 citizens who are locked up for nonviolent marijuana convictions, according to data supplied via The Bus Project. Despite the passage of Measure 91, we still have a long way to go in the fight to end the senseless war on cannabis. According to The Human Solution International, a grassroots organization marching this year, the single most important thing you can do to help end prohibition is take action.

Reasons to participate in the march & rally include:

Support House Bill 3372, the bill to expunge all nonviolent, marijuana related convictions from Oregon residents.

Protect the OMMP and continuing the fight for patient rights and access to medicine.

Prevent of over-regulation of marijuana under M91 by the OLCC that could hinder, rather than aid, the creation, regulation and stabilization of legal marijuana related businesses.

No Federal Scheduling – Removal of Cannabis from the Controlled Substances Act. It is time for the federal government to remove cannabis from the Controlled Substances Act.

Write your Representative to support Measure 91 Implementation & House Bill 3372! We will have a postcard and letter writing campaign to our elected officials.

Networking with Other Local Groups – Campaign for the Restoration and Regulation of Hemp (CRRH), The Human Solution International, Parents 4 Pot , Students for Sensible Drug Policy Portland State (SSDP), Portland NORML, National Cannabis Coalition and more!

Come down and join us in the march for freedom. To continue tradition, a bio-diesel bus has confirmed they will be offering free rides along the march route to the disabled. The bus will be parked nearby the Pioneer Square for boarding. There will also be ASL interpreters for the hearing impaired. Come out and have your voice heard!

Who: Nearly three hundred cities worldwide, including Portland, Oregon, will participate in the annual Global Cannabis March.

What: 16th Annual Global Cannabis March

When: Saturday, May 2nd – 11:00am-5:30pm (March at 4pm!)

Where: Pioneer Courthouse Square – 701 SW 6th Avenue, Portland, OR 97204

Why: To bring an end the failed war on cannabis!

Event Schedule: (Emcee Urb Thrasher)

11:00-11:10am – Opening Ceremony (Roots/Joel) – Dedicated to Melodie Silverwolf, Jim Greig & Jim Klahr

11:10-11:40am – Band – Pass Margo

11:45-11:50am – Brian the Red, Activist
11:50-11:55am – Brandon Krenzler, Erin Purchase, Brave Mykayla
11:55-12:00pm – Charlie Bott, Activist
12:00-12:35pm – Band – Mad Dabber
12:35-12:40pm – Lindsey Rinehart, Activist
12:40-12:45pm – Jared Allaway, SAFER Shirts
12:45-12:50pm – Russ Belville, Portland NORML
12:50-12:55pm – John Lucy IV, Attorney
12:55-1:00pm – Kristin Flor, The Human Solution International

1:00-1:35pm – Band – John Cornett & Friends

1:35-1:40pm – Ray Christl, Activist
1:40-1:45pm – Anna Diaz, Parents 4 Pot
1:45-1:50pm – Don Skakie, Real Legalization Washington
1:50-1:55pm – Madeline Martinez, Activist
1:55-2:00pm – Casper Leitch, Activist

2:00-2:35pm – Band – The Sindicate

2:40-2:45pm – Romain Bonilla, Students for Sensible Drug Policy SSDP/ PDX
2:45-2:50pm –
2:50-2:55pm – “Epic” Eric Lewallen, CRRH
2:55-3:00pm – Nickie Gates, Activist

3:00-3:35pm – Band – Mack & Dub and the Smokin’ Section

3:40-3:45pm – Bonnie King, Salem-News
3:45-3:50pm – Paul Loney, Attorney
3:50-3:55pm – Leland Berger, Attorney
3:55-4:00pm – Paul Stanford, Campaign for the Restoration and Regulation of Hemp

4:00-4:40pm – Police Escorted March Through Portland

4:45-4:55pm – Keynote Address Rep. Lew Frederick, District 43 (Sponsor of HB 3372, the bill to expunge records and free non-violent cannabis prisoners in Oregon)
4:55-5:00pm – Kimberly McCullough, Oregon ACLU Legislative Director
5:00-5:05pm – Larry Kirk

5:05-5:35pm – Band – Bad Habitat

5:30-5:40pm – Closing Ceremony

Check out the event on Facebook


Jul 25, 2008
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What Are Cannabis Topicals And How Do THey Work?

New methods of cannabis consumption are bringing us further away from the notion that marijuana belongs solely in a bong or joint – or that it has to get you high, for that matter. Cannabis-infused topicals are an example of how new modes of consumption are revolutionizing perceptions of marijuana as their accessibility, safety, and efficacy invite even the most unlikely patrons into the world of medical cannabis.

What Are Topicals?

Topicals are cannabis-infused lotions, balms, and oils that are absorbed through the skin for localized relief of pain, soreness, and inflammation. Because they’re non-psychoactive, topicals are often chosen by patients who want the therapeutic benefits of marijuana without the cerebral euphoria associated with other delivery methods. Other transdermal innovations are fast arriving in the cannabis market, including long-lasting patches and tingly lubricants for patients and recreational consumers alike.

Strain-specific topicals attempt to harness certain terpenes and cannabinoids in a chemical profile similar to that of Blackberry Kush, Permafrost, Blueberry, or whatever other strains the processor wishes to imitate. Along with THC, CBD, THCA, and other cannabinoids, topical producers may also select ingredients and essential oils for additional relief, like cayenne, wintergreen, and clove.

How Do Marijuana-Infused Topicals Work?

Cannabis-infused lotions, salves, oils, sprays, and other transdermal methods of relief work by binding to a network of receptors called CB2. These CB2 receptors are found throughout the body and are activated either by the body’s naturally-occurring endocannabinoids or by cannabis compounds known as "phytocannabinoids" (e.g., THC, CBD).

Even if a topical contains active THC, it still won’t induce that intense “high” you’d get from smoking or ingesting cannabis. When applied topically, cannabinoids can’t breach the bloodstream; they only penetrate to the system of CB2 receptors. Transdermal patches, however, do deliver cannabinoids to the bloodstream and could have psychoactive effects with a high enough THC content.

What Symptoms Do Marijuana-Infused Topicals Treat?

Topicals are most popularly chosen for localized pain relief, muscle soreness, tension, and inflammation, but anecdotal evidence is beginning to show a widening spectrum of potential benefits, from psoriasis, dermatitis, and itching to headaches and cramping.

A THC-rich rub infused with cooling menthol and peppermint is a perfect way to wind down from a brutal workout or hike. For intense localized pain, you may try a warming balm that combines the deep painkilling properties of cannabinoids with a tingling, soothing sensation. Inflammation symptoms may require a different chemical profile, as Cannabis Basics’ CEO Ah Warner explains:

“Arthritic pain is caused by inflammation. My products have [THCA] and CBD, both of which are anti-inflammatory. Active THC is not for inflammation, but when left in its acid form and combined with CBD, the two work to get rid of inflammation and the pain that comes with it.”

Different topicals have different benefits to offer depending on the way they are processed and the ingredients that are used, so experiment with various transdermal products to see what works for you. Medical marijuana states are seeing more and more options for topical remedies as time goes on, and for sufferers of pain and inflammation, it’s worth exploring. You’d be surprised the difference that one special ingredient makes.

If you're interested in trying out some cannabis-infused topicals, check out our two-part list highlighting topical products made in the Pacific Northwest to give you an idea of the type of product you'd like to try:

The Best Topicals in the Pacific Northwest: Part 1
The Best Topicals in the Pacific Northwest: Part 2

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