MJ News for 10/21/2014

7greeneyes

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http://www.9news.com/story/news/loc...ban-brownies-cookies-candy-colorado/17612351/




Colo. health official recommends marijuana edibles ban




DENVER - A Colorado health official wants to ban many edible forms of marijuana, including brownies, cookies and most candies.

Jeff Lawrence of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment has recommended retail marijuana edibles be limited to lozenges and tinctures (also known as liquid drops.)

It's one of dozens being considered by a 22-member group meeting to develop new marijuana regulations for Colorado. The recommendation comes just days after Denver Police warned parents that trick-or-treaters should be careful about their children eating pot candy given out by strangers.

Gov. John Hickenlooper (D-Colorado) does not support such an edibles ban, his office told 9NEWS.

"We are confident that our working groups and the legislature can find solutions that keep marijuana out of the hands of kids while promoting safe access to edible products among adults," the governor's marijuana coordinator Andrew Freedman said to 9NEWS in a written statement, rejecting the idea that access to edibles needs to be curtailed in a broad sense.

Freedman, speaking for the governor's office, also expressed understanding for the position expressed by public health officials in the administration.

"It should come as no surprise," Freedman write, "that protecting kids from accidental ingestion of marijuana edibles is a top priority for the state's chief medical officer."

Freedman went on to outline what the governor's office considers "valid points" from opponents of a ban on edibles.

"Other experts will no doubt argue that restricting edibles betrays the will of the people in passing Amendment 64," wrote Freedman. "Still others will argue that restrictions have the potential to create a dangerous and unregulated black market for edibles."

State lawmakers earlier in 2014 ordered regulators to develop new rules about edibles after a spike in hospitalizations of children who accidentally ate marijuana-infused foods.

"To allow the production of retail marijuana edibles that are naturally attractive to children is counter to the Amendment 64 requirement to prevent the marketing of marijuana products to children," the recommendation reads. "The intent of the Amendment and subsequent laws and rules was to decriminalize the use of retail marijuana, not to encourage market expansion within the marijuana edibles industry that subsequently create potential consumer confusion or mixed messages to children."

The recommendation was obtained by 9NEWS in advance of a third, and possibly final, workgroup meeting Monday on identifiable markers or colors for edible marijuana products so they won't be confused with regular foods.

"By limiting the scope of allowable retail marijuana edibles to products that are not easily confused with ubiquitous food products, this recommendation creates a more defensible and transparent regulatory framework," the recommendation reads.

The health department's recommendation would effectively take most forms of edible marijuana off store shelves. The ultimate decision will be made by the Colorado Department of Revenue, which oversees retail marijuana sales.

The recommendation acknowledges that the proposed ban would not be met positively by marijuana industry representatives.

"However, their investment in the development of these products does not have to be lost. All edible products being produced could also be produced as a traditional food product [without marijuana] and marketed to the general public and not just in Colorado," the recommendation reads.

That's a laughable suggestion to edibles manufacturers, who have poured millions of dollars into equipment, health department certifications and recipe development.

"This recommendation would exact opposite effect," said Joe Hodas, a spokesman for the large edibles manufacturer Dixie Elixirs. "Just because they want to ignore edibles doesn't mean they'll go away."

The idea was immediately criticized by edibles manufacturers and even some state lawmakers who say a blanket ban on most edibles would violate the state constitution.

"I'm not a strict constitutional constructionist, but this seems pretty clear to me," Rep. Jonathan Singer (D-Longmont) said, who has been active on marijuana legislation.

Singer points to the definition in the text of Amendment 64, the voter-enacted law allowing marijuana sales:

"Marijuana products means concentrated marijuana products and marijuana products that are comprised of marijuana and other ingredients and are intended for use or consumption, such as, but not limited to, edible products, ointments and tinctures."

Amendment 64 goes on to outline that manufacture and sale of marijuana products are legal.

Other members of the 22-member group, which includes marijuana retailers, police representatives and legislators, called for better labeling and packaging. The group is set to discuss the recommendations later on Monday. Some Colorado marijuana stores report that edibles make up more than 30 percent of their sales.

The CDPHE released the following statement after their recommendation was released:

"The recommendation from CDPHE is just that, a recommendation to a working group as part of the deliberative process. We fully expect it will be debated and edited through open, frequent, frank and respectful communication between stakeholders of all stripes at all levels.

"Considering only the public health perspective, however, edibles pose a definite risk to children, and that's why we recommended limiting marijuana-infused products to tinctures and lozenges.

"Our recommendation does not represent the view of the governor's office, nor was it reviewed by the governor. It was put together only in consideration of the public health challenges of underage marijuana ingestion. It does not account for the dynamics of the black market or the guidelines set forward by Amendment 64."
 

7greeneyes

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http://www.idigitaltimes.com/ebola-...aims-are-early-warning-big-weed-future-390916





Ebola Virus Outbreak 2014: Marijuana Ebola Cure Claims Are Early Warning of Big Weed Future





Heralding cannabis as the cure to nearly any disease has long been a stereotype of marijuana smokers, particularly of the aging hippy variety, but the newest claims—that marijuana can treat Ebola—take it to a new and potentially prophetic level. While corporate rapaciousness can usually be explained by profit motive, marijuana advocates seem less likely to apply the same logic to weed companies; whether in the well-established realm of medical marijuana, or the new frontier of fully legal recreational marijuana.

The same has long been true of all variety of New Age snake-oil buyers, with consumers of, say, homeopathy treatments willing to accept that pharmaceutical companies perpetuate disease (like Ebola) for profit, but unable to imagine that their own preferred peddler is capable of deception in their pursuit of that American green. But while homeopathy will always be a niche, marijuana is big business, with $1 billion in sales estimated for Colorado alone in 2014. So what happens when the inevitable cannabis conglomerate deceives customers who are all too willing to believe?

Marijuana and the Ebola Virus Outbreak of 2014

We are getting a taste of that world right now, with the CEO of one of the largest marijuana businesses, Cannabis Sativa, Inc., claiming that marijuana may be able to protect people against Ebola and combat the virus outbreak.

The assertion came from both Cannabis Sativa’s medical director, Dr. David B. Allen and the company president, former Libertarian candidate for US President Gary Johnson. Johnson made the claim marijuana could potentially help in the fight against the Ebola virus outbreak on the Fox Business Network. He was rebutted by on-air hosts but lauded by the credulous marijuana press.

Marijuana Press Peddles Ebola Virus Outbreak Cure

Here are just a handful of the myriad articles from the marijuana press that uncritically repeats the claim that marijuana could be used to fight Ebola:

Cannabis Culture: “Smoking Marijuana Can Protect You From Ebola”

Sasquatch Glass: “Weed Protects You From Ebola”

MTL Blog: “Smoking Marijuana Can Protect You From Ebola”

New Cure: “Can Cannabinoids in Cannabis Paste Fight Off Ebola?”

Collective Evolution: “Doctor Suggests That Marijuana Can Protect You From Ebola”

Hemp for Future: “Doctors Suggest That Marijuana Can Protect You From Ebola”

So, how about it? Can Marijuana Cure the Ebola Virus?

Treating Ebola with marijuana is unlikely to work. The proposed mechanism is in the prevention of a so-called cytokine storm, which is an immune reaction to disease (such as Ebola and H1N1) that generates a potentially fatal flood of enzymes. According to marijuana advocates, weed’s anti-inflammatory properties (backed by some studies) could activate the CB2 receptor, signaling cells to release fewer cytokines, potentially heading off a deadly cytokine storm.

But while more research into this kind of treatment would be more than welcome, right now it looks a little like prescribing cod liver oil to treat an eyeball poked out with a stick. Sure, cod liver oil is a great source of Vitamin A, which can aid eyesight, but cod liver oil is not the cure for sticks. Worse, this marijuana Ebola treatment is not unique to the drug. The beta-carophyllen that seems responsible for marijuana’s anti-inflammation properties can also be found in oregano, basil, cinnamon, and black pepper, but you don’t see me suggesting that Mom’s spaghetti alla puttanesca can cure Ebola, do you?

Medicine is complicated. Anyone claiming to work in the medical field would know not to make wild guesses without research. If marijuana is medicine, rather than alternative medicine, than we need to understand how its compounds play out in the human body long before making unstudied claims about marijuana use in Ebola treatment. We still don’t even fully understand cytokines, an area that, unlike marijunana, hasn’t been hampered by years of research-halting government crackdowns. So while it’s tempting to trumpet every potential use of marijuana in the face of a government preventing its study, it may ultimately prove counterproductive to discovering the true value of cannabis. We have no evidence that marijuana can be used against the Ebola virus outbreak, and it's not only irresponsible, but deceptive, for marijuana corporations to suggest otherwise.

Only High Times struck an even mildly skeptical note in their article “Marijuana and Ebola.” Skepticism should have been the default position, particularly from weed advocates who assume that any claim of drug efficacy from a pharmaceutical company represents profit-motive-driven deception. Gary Johnson is only the first of many people who will stand to profit from the sale of weed by lying or exaggerating in order to peddle their product.

With marijuana becoming big business, it’s time for its consumers and press to begin treating the marijuana industry like big business. Corporations are amoral and individuals within them absolutely will elide the truth or flat out lie to make more money or protect their interests. There is no industry that is immune from this. And while the face of legal marijuana has so far been mom and pop stores, expect consolidation to create household name companies that dwarf cigarette manufacturers. It’s time pro-legalization supporters start treating them as antagonistic. Gary Johnson claiming that marijuana can cure cancer should be treated with the same scorn as Muhtar Kent, the CEO of Coca-Cola, arguing for cola's effectiveness in the fight against teen suicide.

Since the push for legal marijuana has been a long and ongoing process against a relentless government campaign of harassment, demonization, and imprisonment it makes sense that weed journalism is almost entirely advocacy journalism at this point. But the battle is being won and legal marijuana across the United States is beginning to feel inevitable. Now is the time for journalists covering marijuana to build healthy adversarial tactics, rather than allowing themselves to become the captured mouthpiece of an industry gorging on money and expanding like a tick.

Let’s begin by rebutting Gary Johnson, a man who stands to profit from marijuana sales, when he claims that marijuana can cure Ebola.
 

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http://lostcoastoutpost.com/2014/oct/20/fire-and-pot/




Feeling Threatened: When Firefighters Encounter Marijuana Growers




“Thank you, firefighters,” proclaimed signs that sprouted up in northern Mendocino County near the Lodge Lightning Complex soon after several blazes started in late July. Residents near wildland burns are often extremely grateful for lives and homes being saved, often at great risk by fire crews.

However, there are some individuals who perceive firefighters as a possible threat. Marijuana growers fear they’ll lose their crop or even be jailed when fire personnel encounter their rural gardens.

And, at the same time, firefighters fear that growers will get violent or that possibly booby traps set (very rarely) to protect a grow might injure crew members who encounter them. Out-of-the-area personnel on a blaze off of Hwy 36 on August 1st briefly panicked when they encountered wires at a marijuana grow near the incident. The firefighters feared that these were traps set by growers to injure people who might try to access the garden. The Humboldt County Sheriff’s Marijuana Eradication Team was called. It turned out that the wires were there for benign purposes but the incident serves to illustrate both the firefighters’ concerns and the reasons that some growers don’t want firefighters near their gardens

At the Lodge Lightning Complex, some growers, presumably fearful of being turned in to law enforcement, refused Cal Fire crews access to their properties.

Matthew Henderson, son of a firefighter and a popular wildfire photographer (see his work here,) related one incident he experienced at the Lodge Lightning Complex. He described an encounter with a man that he believes must have been a grower.

Henderson said that he and a Cal Fire crew were headed in a marked Cal Fire vehicle out a dirt road made by bulldozers near the front lines of the raging wildfire. Henderson describes being warned by Cal Fire personnel about marijuana growers. He said personnel told him that there were a number of pot farms near the perimeter of the fire where they were headed. He said he was told that “the pot farmers aren’t wanting to evacuate.”

Henderson and the crew did see a lot of marijuana grows. Henderson said, “It seemed like every house that we passed had at least a greenhouse. For the most part [the plants] were right out in the open.” He described seeing several homes with 20 to 30 foot greenhouses.

Henderson, like many of the Cal Fire crews, comes from an area outside the Emerald Triangle and was astounded by what he saw. “You could look right into the greenhouse and see the plants,” Henderson explained. “I didn’t even know [marijuana plants] got that big. I had thought they were the size of ferns.”

He added, “I kinda thought [marijuana] was more hidden than that. Some of the operations were pretty large. Like half of a football field. It seemed like an awful lot to be growing right out there.”

Henderson described the situation as a little unsettling for someone not used to the culture. He described seeing the grows as “interesting and a little scary at times.”

On the day of his excursion into the back country, after traveling awhile, he believes the Cal Fire driver must have made a wrong turn. A large pickup pulled abruptly across the road in front of them. Henderson said, “[The driver] was stopping us. He was parked in the middle of the road. He wasn’t going to let us past.”

The driver looked at them very intently and said, according to Henderson, “You must be lost. The road is in the other direction.”

This, Henderson said, was “a little odd.” The driver, he said, “was very serious. He wasn’t playing around…he wasn’t going to let us past.”

Eventually, he and the Cal Fire crew turned around and left after deciding that they weren’t in the right area. None of the marijuana grows or growers observed during the drive were disturbed or even reported by Cal Fire as far as Henderson knew.

However, marijuana growers do have a basis for their concerns. Firefighters at the Lodge Lightning Complex in northern Mendocino, were given special instructions on how to spot a “Cultivation Threat” and what to do if they spotted it. (See insert below.)

Under a section entitled “If You Encounter a Grow Site,” fire personnel are told to “report your find to your supervisor and law enforcement.” But, in practice, most firefighters locally are more concerned with building trust with the communities they serve, explained Diana Totten, a reserve captain for Briceland Fire Department who worked fighting fires for over 20 years all over the state. Firefighters, She said, try to reassure growers that “we’re here to fight the fire, not get your pot.”

“We were on a fire up in Orleans 8-10 years ago,” Totten said. The wildfire headed into an area thick with marijuana grows as well homes, she said. The fire was moving in towards a residential area. There were orchards, vegetable and marijuana gardens. “We did everything we could to protect those gardens. We saved almost all of them.” This strategy came from the supervisors on the fire. Cal Fire and US Forest Service from other areas, she explained, were surprised. In fact, she said, “A lot of the homeowners were also surprised… For the next few days as we mopped up…, there was a little less tension as the residents realized that our job was to work on the fire not to be law enforcement.”

However, a commenter on a recent article in the Outpost succinctly explained the reasoning behind such a policy. The commenter said, “The last thing we want is for people hesitating to call the Fire Dept because they’re worried about getting busted.”

Totten agreed, “It is a known fact that people have been severely injured and hesitated to call 911 because they were in the proximity of a marijuana garden. On behalf of firefighters, we want people to know their lives are our first priorities…Don’t hesitate to call… . First, we protect [people’s] lives and, then, we protect their property—whether it is an orchard, a vineyard or a pot garden—we protect them. That’s what firefighters do.”

Firefighter’s are often seen as heroes. But some marijuana growers perceive them as a threat. [Photo provided by Kim Sallaway. Like his Facebook page to see more of his photography.]

“Thank you, firefighters,” proclaimed signs that sprouted up in northern Mendocino County near the Lodge Lightning Complex soon after several blazes started in late July. Residents near wildland burns are often extremely grateful for lives and homes being saved, often at great risk by fire crews.

However, there are some individuals who perceive firefighters as a possible threat. Marijuana growers fear they’ll lose their crop or even be jailed when fire personnel encounter their rural gardens.

And, at the same time, firefighters fear that growers will get violent or that possibly booby traps set (very rarely) to protect a grow might injure crew members who encounter them. Out-of-the-area personnel on a blaze off of Hwy 36 on August 1st briefly panicked when they encountered wires at a marijuana grow near the incident. The firefighters feared that these were traps set by growers to injure people who might try to access the garden. The Humboldt County Sheriff’s Marijuana Eradication Team was called. It turned out that the wires were there for benign purposes but the incident serves to illustrate both the firefighters’ concerns and the reasons that some growers don’t want firefighters near their gardens

At the Lodge Lightning Complex, some growers, presumably fearful of being turned in to law enforcement, refused Cal Fire crews access to their properties.

Matthew Henderson, son of a firefighter and a popular wildfire photographer (see his work here,) related one incident he experienced at the Lodge Lightning Complex. He described an encounter with a man that he believes must have been a grower.

Henderson said that he and a Cal Fire crew were headed in a marked Cal Fire vehicle out a dirt road made by bulldozers near the front lines of the raging wildfire. Henderson describes being warned by Cal Fire personnel about marijuana growers. He said personnel told him that there were a number of pot farms near the perimeter of the fire where they were headed. He said he was told that “the pot farmers aren’t wanting to evacuate.”

Henderson and the crew did see a lot of marijuana grows. Henderson said, “It seemed like every house that we passed had at least a greenhouse. For the most part [the plants] were right out in the open.” He described seeing several homes with 20 to 30 foot greenhouses.

Henderson, like many of the Cal Fire crews, comes from an area outside the Emerald Triangle and was astounded by what he saw. “You could look right into the greenhouse and see the plants,” Henderson explained. “I didn’t even know [marijuana plants] got that big. I had thought they were the size of ferns.”

He added, “I kinda thought [marijuana] was more hidden than that. Some of the operations were pretty large. Like half of a football field. It seemed like an awful lot to be growing right out there.”

Henderson described the situation as a little unsettling for someone not used to the culture. He described seeing the grows as “interesting and a little scary at times.”

On the day of his excursion into the back country, after traveling awhile, he believes the Cal Fire driver must have made a wrong turn. A large pickup pulled abruptly across the road in front of them. Henderson said, “[The driver] was stopping us. He was parked in the middle of the road. He wasn’t going to let us past.”

The driver looked at them very intently and said, according to Henderson, “You must be lost. The road is in the other direction.”

This, Henderson said, was “a little odd.” The driver, he said, “was very serious. He wasn’t playing around…he wasn’t going to let us past.”

Eventually, he and the Cal Fire crew turned around and left after deciding that they weren’t in the right area. None of the marijuana grows or growers observed during the drive were disturbed or even reported by Cal Fire as far as Henderson knew.

However, marijuana growers do have a basis for their concerns. Firefighters at the Lodge Lightning Complex in northern Mendocino, were given special instructions on how to spot a “Cultivation Threat” and what to do if they spotted it. (See insert below.)

Excerpt from special instructions regarding marijuana grows given to firefighters at the Lodge Fire in northern Mendocino.

Under a section entitled “If You Encounter a Grow Site,” fire personnel are told to “report your find to your supervisor and law enforcement.” But, in practice, most firefighters locally are more concerned with building trust with the communities they serve, explained Diana Totten, a reserve captain for Briceland Fire Department who worked fighting fires for over 20 years all over the state. Firefighters, She said, try to reassure growers that “we’re here to fight the fire, not get your pot.”

“We were on a fire up in Orleans 8-10 years ago,” Totten said. The wildfire headed into an area thick with marijuana grows as well homes, she said. The fire was moving in towards a residential area. There were orchards, vegetable and marijuana gardens. “We did everything we could to protect those gardens. We saved almost all of them.” This strategy came from the supervisors on the fire. Cal Fire and US Forest Service from other areas, she explained, were surprised. In fact, she said, “A lot of the homeowners were also surprised… For the next few days as we mopped up…, there was a little less tension as the residents realized that our job was to work on the fire not to be law enforcement.”

However, a commenter on a recent article in the Outpost succinctly explained the reasoning behind such a policy. The commenter said, “The last thing we want is for people hesitating to call the Fire Dept because they’re worried about getting busted.”

Totten agreed, “It is a known fact that people have been severely injured and hesitated to call 911 because they were in the proximity of a marijuana garden. On behalf of firefighters, we want people to know their lives are our first priorities…Don’t hesitate to call… . First, we protect [people’s] lives and, then, we protect their property—whether it is an orchard, a vineyard or a pot garden—we protect them. That’s what firefighters do.”

A Cal Fire captain and crew member standing near one of the many marijuana plants found near firelines on the Lodge Lightning Complex. According to a grower near the front lines, no growers were arrested or plants removed during or after the blaze.

A landowner near the front lines of the Lodge Lightning Complex fire who wishes to remain anonymous explained that, in her experience, the firefighters were courteous and a bit curious. “Our ranch had mandatory evacuations,” she said. As the source of contact for the neighborhood, Cal Fire came up to her house multiple times. “They parked in front of my garden,” she explained. It had about 25 marijuana plants growing in it.

At one point, she said, there was a group of probably 20 guys standing above her garden. “One of them said do you sell this?” she noted. The landowner explained to the firefighters that she only grew plants high in CBD, a compound that reputedly has high medicinal value but does not produce the same “stoned” effect as plants high in THC. Her cannabis is used for its medicinal value, she said.

According to the landowner, “They responded very well to this.”

And, according to her, other bigger and more likely to be illicit grows were not just left alone but actively protected from the coming fire. For instance, she said, another neighbor much closer to the Lodge Lightning Complex front lines had a “large grow operation.” When bulldozing in the fire breaks, she said, the CDF “tried to save what [gardens] they could save. Because of the terrain and the contours of the terrain, there was one that had to be excluded [outside of the fire lines.]” But mostly, the fire breaks were cut in by the dozers in such a way as to provide protection for the gardens, she said.

The landowner said that Cal Fire personnel made it clear to her that their “number one priority was to protect human life, protect the homes and protect the pets, then to protect valuables.” In retrospect, she said, “they realized that what was valuable to us was our work. They saw that it was our livelihood.”

Totten, the reserve captain with Briceland Fire, agreed. She pointed out that firefighters aren’t the only non-growers encountering cannabis as they do their jobs. “The UPS driver, the propane delivery guy, the phone company, direct tv—they go to houses with marijuana in the area. They do their job without having any issues. Firefighters and emergency service people do the same thing. We deal with the emergency and marijuana isn’t the emergency.”
There’s a practical reason for this, she explained. “Almost every fire we go to in Southern Humboldt, there is a marijuana grow nearby.” If firefighters were to bring in law enforcement to deal with the situation, they would lose the trust of their communities and overwhelm law enforcment. “Its our job to just deal with the fire and move on,” she said.
 

7greeneyes

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http://www.phillymag.com/news/2014/...r-recipient-phillys-first-marijuana-citation/




Meet Mike Whiter, Recipient of Philly’s First Marijuana Citation





As of this morning, Philadelphia is the largest city in the country to decriminalize marijuana. You’ll now receive a $100 fine for smoking in public and a $25 for possession of up to 30 grams — but you will not be arrested. Pot advocate Mike Whiter called dibs on the first marijuana citation weeks ago, and today, he promptly lit up a joint in City Hall’s courtyard at 8 a.m. with police by his side. One quick puff and one handwritten ticket later, Whiter was the happiest man to pay a municipal fine I’ve ever seen.

On the eve of his marijuana citation, I sat down with Whiter to understand the motivation behind the ceremony, what led to him founding Pennsylvania Veterans for Medical Marijuana, and why he thinks marijuana can help millions with PTSD.

What message are you trying to send by smoking up at City Hall?

My intention is to point out that Philadelphia finally decriminalized marijuana, that it's the largest city in the country to do so, and I'm here representing veterans who use marijuana for medicine. And we still can't get our medicine legally. I can go out and smoke and get a $100 fine. I won't get put in cuffs, but I'm still not going to have legal access to my medicine.

How involved were the police ahead of time?

We've been having discussions with the police since Smoke Down Prohibition VI. After that, we decided that we'd extend an olive branch to them and let them know what our intentions were: just non-violent protesters trying to get our medicine. They were very receptive to sitting down with us and cooperating with us.

One of the main topics with decriminalization is the racial bias involved with marijuana arrests, and the hope that decriminalization will free up police to fight more serious crimes. Do you think this law will put a dent in that?

Minorities are arrested at a five-times higher rate than white people in Philly. I walk down Broad Street smoking a joint and nobody says a word to me. Black kid walks next to me, and we'll both get nailed. It's just not right. … The racial bias in marijuana arrests is something that we want to point out. The Mayor talks about focusing on real issues like how black men can't get jobs, but guess what, black men can't get jobs because they have arrests.

How did you go from being a marine fighting overseas to founding PA Veterans for Medical Marijuana?

I spent 11 years in the Marine Corps. I got my first taste of combat in Kosovo at 23. I went to Iraq and got hurt in 2005. The Marine Corps put me on a "personality disorder." After I got out, I went to the VA medical system and they said I didn't have a personality disorder, I had PTSD. They started throwing medication at me. I was on Methadone, Oxycontin, Lexapro, Celexa, Paxil, Prozac — you name it. I was on 40 medications. The VA put me on anti-depressants and turned me into a zombie. I literally sat in front of my TV all day and zoned out. I was 310 pounds. One day I was watching the National Geographic Channel and a medical-marijuana special came on. There was a guy with PTSD, and I thought I would try this. A friend gave me some weed — Mexican dirt weed, the worst stuff you can get — and I smoked and smoked and smoked. Then I decided I would stop taking pills. I knew the pills were not working. They were making me worse.

Describe how PTSD impacted you?

I would be walking down the street, see a trash bag on the side of the road, and it'd scare the **** out of me, because I didn't know if the trash bag was gonna blow up. I was in Ikea, and somebody dropped a box behind me and I hit the deck. Weed saved me, man.

Do you think it's significant that Tom Corbett has backed medical marijuana for children with seizures?

He's supporting CBD-only legislation for children with intractable epilepsy. And the thing about the governor coming out and saying that, is now he's got these senators listening to him and the House listening to him. When Senate bill 1182 first went into the Senate, it had 40-plus conditions on it. They amended it to I think 10 conditions now. PTSD, traumatic brain injury are included. Cancer is included. They took HIV/AIDs off it. That's ridiculous man.

That piece of legislation overwhelmingly passed the Senate (43 to 7), but won't be voted on in the House this year. What are the prospects of passage in the future?

It's not going to happen soon. When Corbett gets out of there, I don't know if that's going to change things. If Tom Wolf gets elected, I know he's pro-legalization, but we have these conservative politicians in this red state that we live in that are just like, no, marijuana's a drug, it's a bad drug, it's a gateway drug. It's a gateway to the freaking fridge, man! There are people saying yay for the bill that the Senate passed. They're saying it's a step. It's not a ******* step, man, it's a step for a medical marijuana program like New Jersey's, which absolutely doesn't work, because it doesn't help patients. It helps the state gain revenue, because they're charging $500 an ounce for 10% THC weed. But it doesn't help the patients. And that's what medical marijuana is about, it's about helping the people that need it. It's not about gaining the money for the state, it's about sick people. It's medical.
 

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http://reason.com/archives/2014/10/20/you-got-your-weed-in-my-kids-trick-or-tr




Are People Really Trying to Drug Kids With Marijuana-Laced Halloween Candy?




Last week the DPD posted a video in which Patrick Johnson, proprietor of Denver's Urban Dispensary, warns that "there's really no way to tell the difference between candy that's infused and candy that's not infused" once the products have been removed from their original packages. The video illustrates Johnson's point with images of innocuous-looking gummy bears and gumdrops. He advises parents to inspect their kids' Halloween haul and discard anything that looks unfamiliar or seems to have been tampered with.

Det. Aaron Kafer of the DPD's Marijuana Unit amplifies that message in an "Ask the Expert" podcast, saying "there's a ton of edible stuff that's out there on the market that's infused with marijuana that could be a big problem for your child." Noting that "all marijuana edibles have to be labeled," Kafer recommends that parents make sure their kids "avoid and not consume anything that is out of the package."

CNN turned these warnings into a widely carried story headlined "Tricks, Treats and THC Fears in Colorado." According to CNN, "Colorado parents have a new fear to factor in this Halloween: a very adult treat ending up in their kids' candy bags."

Actually, this fear is not so new. For years law enforcement officials have been warning parents to be on the lookout for marijuana edibles in their kids' trick-or-treat sacks. And for years, as far as I can tell, there has not been a single documented case in which someone has tried to get kids high by doling out THC-tainted treats disguised as ordinary candy. Since 1996, the year that California became the first state to legalize marijuana for medical use, the newspapers and wire services covered by the Nexis database have not carried any reports of such trickery, although they have carried more than a few articles in which people worry about the possibility.

After the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) raided a San Francisco manufacturer of marijuana edibles in September 2007, for instance, the agency claimed it was protecting children, especially the ones who dress up in costumes and go begging for candy on October 31. "Kids and parents need to be careful in case kids get ahold of this candy," said Javier Pena, special agent in charge of the DEA's San Francisco office. "Halloween is coming up." According to the Contra Costa Times, medical marijuana advocates "dismissed Pena's Halloween reference as an 'absurd' attempt at 'pure publicity.'"

A similar motive could be discerned three years later, when the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department "warned parents to be on the lookout for marijuana-laced candy, soda, freezer pops and other edibles that could be handed out on Halloween," as the City News Service put it. "You really can't tell the difference," said Capt. Ralph Ornelas of the department's Narcotics Bureau. "We felt obligated to share this information with the parents and the community." As critics noted, Ornelas felt obligated to share this information just four days before voters decided the fate of Proposition 19, a marijuana legalization initiative opposed by his boss, Sheriff Lee Baca.

State officials also have been known to use Halloween as an excuse to remind people that drugs are bad. In 2008 Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum warned that "federal and state law enforcement agencies have reported that flavored drugs, particularly methamphetamines, heroin and marijuana, are circulating throughout the United States and could be ingested by unsuspecting children." He advised parents to "check their children's candy for anything which may resemble one of these new drug forms." McCollum gets extra credit for mentioning candy-flavored meth, an apparently apocryphal threat that the DEA was never able to confirm.

Sometimes drug warriors play the Halloween card just because it's there. Last October, after campus police seized 40 pounds of marijuana-infused candy at West Chester State University in Pennsylvania, the Associated Press reported that Chester County Deputy District Attorney Patrick Carmody "says there's no indication students planned to distribute the candy to children for Halloween." Rather, "Authorities believe the candy was meant to be shared and sold among university students." Carmody still could not resist. "With Halloween just around the corner," he said, "the last thing we want to see is drug-laced candy hitting the streets."

Reporters do not necessarily need prodding from law enforcement officials to draw this connection, based purely on temporal coincidence. In October 2012, Buffalo police raided a college party and seized 640 pot-infused lollipops that had been shipped from California. Here is how the A.P. story began: "Just in time for Halloween…"

A year later, KYTV, the NBC station in Springfield, Missouri, reported that police had intercepted a package of cannabis candy mailed from Colorado to Joplin. "Halloween is just around the corner," KYTV noted, adding that "the sheriff wants everyone to know that candy like these lemon drops are being circulated throughout the area, a safety concern for kids." To ratchet up that fear, the station quoted a random mother of three. "I hope it was never intended to give to kids or to harm children," she said, "but it is scary, especially with Halloween coming up, that they might be in contact with something like that, so it's frightening."

The prospect of seemingly friendly folks slipping your kids cannabis candy on Halloween is a bit less frightening when you realize how little evidence there is that anyone wants to do that. With marijuana edibles selling for much more than the regular candy you can get by the bagful at Walmart, it would be a pretty pricey prank. So far it does not seem that anyone has been tempted to play it. Dispensaries have been selling marijuana edibles for years in Colorado, where medical use of cannabis has been legal since 2001. Yet Michael Elliott, executive director of Colorado's Marijuana Industry Group, says he is not aware of any incidents where edibles have been surreptitiously distributed to trick-or-treaters in that state or any of the 22 others that allow medical use.

"We don't have any cases of it," confirms Ron Hackett, a spokesman for the Denver Police Department. Nor does he know of any such cases in other jurisdictions. "This is our first year with [recreational] edibles, and we just kind of wanted to put it out there as a reminder," Hackett says. "It's just something that we really wanted to get out there and get ahead of, because kids will eat anything."

A blogger at Ladybud, a "women's lifestyle publication with a focus on activism specific to Drug War reform and other socially progressive issues," detects a more sinister agenda. "This is just another way for those who most benefit from marijuana prohibition to try to convince the public that prohibition protects children," she writes. "The real message here is that the average citizen should be wary of cannabis users; they might want to drug your kids and get them 'hooked' too."

She has a point, although one should not discount the perennial appeal of urban legends about children in peril, especially the sort of unconfirmed yet scary tales that led many parents to anxiously examine their kids' Halloween treats long before marijuana edibles were openly sold in stores. If you worry that malicious strangers are sticking needles into chocolate bars or dosing caramel apples with poison, you probably will also worry that they are passing off expensive marijuana edibles as dime store candy—just for kicks.

There is a cost to such bogeyman stories, and it goes beyond needlessly discarded candy. These rumors portray the world as a darker, more dangerous place than it really is, which is probably not conducive to a happy childhood or a successful adulthood. At the same time, the credence that public officials lend to such fanciful fears makes any reasonably skeptical person doubt other warnings from the same authorities, an unfortunate result when those warnings happen to be accurate and useful. I assume that happens from time to time, although no examples spring to mind.
 

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