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United States: Veterans Affairs Secretary Shulkin: "We’re Interested In Looking At Medical Marijuana For Vets"

VA 2017

"If there is compelling evidence that this is helpful, I hope that people take a look at that and come up with the right decision." Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin said Wednesday he's open to expanding the use of medical cannabis to help service members suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), but cited the VA is limited by strict federal law.

In the United States, it is estimated that 22 veterans take their lives each day. “That should be unacceptable to all of us,” Shulkin said.

California: Melissa Etheridge Wows 'Em At Cannabis World Congress


By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Keynote speaker Melissa Etheridge on Thursday wowed a full house at the Cannabis World Congress, held Los Angeles Convention Center.

Etheridge, the Grammy-winning rock star who, a decade ago, famously beat breast cancer, told the rapt throng about her health battles, and how using cannabis helped her make it through a brutal regimen of chemotherapy.

"I can't imagine anyone going through chemotherapy without cannabis," Etheridge said, adding that the herb helped not only her physical nausea and pain, but added a spiritual dimension to her relief, as well. "I can't imagine asking anyone to go through that."

According to Etheridge, it was legendary musician Davis Crosby who, upon first learning Melissa had cancer, told her "you must try medical marijuana." Crosby, Etheridge reminded the crowd, is the biological father of her children and a lifelong friend. Once she'd experienced the relief cannabis provided from the effects of harsh chemotherapy, there was no looking back.

Melissa told the crowd how once her struggle with cancer was over, and she got over fears of losing her children, she decided to continue her cannabis use for the balancing effect it has, helping to ameliorate the stresses of everyday life.

"Once we learn to stop being so insane about cannabis, once we no longer have worry about losing our children, our homes and our jobs for choosing this herb, we'll become a better society," Etheridge said.

U.S.: Native American Organics Announces Launch of Cannabis Company


The launch of a new national company which will partner and assist in producing high grade marijuana products will benefit Native American Indian tribes, according to an announcement from Native American Organics, LLC.

"The company will provide cultivation, manufacturing, dispensing, processing, testing and regulatory support to ensure transparent and uninterrupted operations," according to a Tuesday press release. In addition, the company will focus on research-based laboratory testing.

The new corporation is a partnership between Red Tipped Arrow, LLC, a 100 percent Indian-owned economic development company, and Wright Family Organics, LLC, a California-based medical marijuana research and operations organization.

According to the company, the focus of Native American Organics is to partner with and support Indian Tribes situated in states where medical and or recreational marijuana is legal. "Through deployment of state of the art technology and equipment, NAO will guide and assist tribes in gaining entry into the fast growing and highly competitive Cannabis market with a strong focus on the development of organic natural products," NAO announced.

"Cannabis has been used to aid and assist with issues such as Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome, which impacts American Indian Veterans who served our country with bravery and honor," NAO announced. "Other areas of concentration will include Epilepsy, Cancer, Parkinson's disease and Alzheimer's."

Global: Partnership To Develop Cannabinoid Therapies For Ocular Allergies


InMed Pharmaceuticals Inc. on Tuesday announced it has formed an exclusive strategic collaboration with the University of Debrecen, Hungary, to develop novel phytocannabinoid-based therapies (plant-based cannabinoids) to treat ocular allergic symptoms.

The collaboration will leverage InMed's proprietary Intelligent Cannabinoid Drug Design Platform (IDP) and will be led by one of the world's leading cannabinoid researchers, Dr. Tamas Biro, MD, PhD, DSc. Dr. Biro has extensive research experience in studying the endocannabinoid system (ECS) and the closely related transient receptor potential (TRP) channels in various human diseases.

Under the discovery and development collaboration InMed's IDP Platform will be used to identify cannabinoid- and non-cannabinoid-based phytochemicals for ocular therapies focused on reducing various pro-inflammatory cytokines in in vitro and in vivo models.

"We have accumulated significant experience and expertise in developing cannabinoids to treat ocular disease, which forms the basis of this strategic collaboration," said Dr. Sazzad Hossain, chief scientific officer of InMed. "As we prepare to initiate Phase 1 clinical trials of our lead phytocannabinoid-based drug candidate CTI-085 for glaucoma, we look forward to expanding our ophthalmic therapy pipeline by developing ocular anti-allergic drugs, where we expect Dr. Biro's 18 years of experience in this specialty field to be invaluable."

California: Owner of Marijuana Dispensaries Sentenced To 21 Years


By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

An Orange County, California man who ran a string of what law enforcement described as illegal medical marijuana dispensaries was sentenced on Monday to more than 21 years in prison and ordered to pay more than $4.2 million in restitution.

John "Pops" Walker, 56, of San Clemente, pleaded guilty in an April plea agreement to drug trafficking, tax evasion and owning weapons as part of the drug trafficking, reports Joseph Serna at the Los Angeles Times.

He was indicted by a federal grand jury last fall along with 13 codefendants. As the alleged head of the "drug ring," Walker operated at least nine marijuana dispensaries in Los Angeles and Orange counties. He admitted to prosecutors that he made more than $25 million over a period of six years, and that he paid taxes on only a fraction of it.

Walker on Monday was ordered to pay $2.4 million to the Internal Revenue Service and $1.8 million to the California Board of Equalization. Government agents also seized $25 million in income, his luxurious home in San Clemente, several mobile homes in Mammoth Lakes, a property in Long Beach and his stake in two strip clubs.

He was sentenced to 262 months in federal prison, which is 21 years and 10 months.

Cannabis Common Sense: Friday's, 8-9PM Pacific Time (Live Stream)

Presented by Campaign for the Restoration and Regulation of Hemp (CRRH).

Cannabis Common Sense Friday's, 8-9PM Pacific Time (Live Stream)

The show that tells truth about marijuana & the politics behind its prohibition.

Live call in show, Friday's, 8-9PM Pacific Time, (503-288-4442) Cannabis Common Sense is intended to educate the public on the uses of cannabis in our society.

Feel free to call the show.

Watch the show on Ustream!

Be sure to check us out on Youtube!

Oregon: Medical marijuana fees put patients on fixed incomes in bind

By Kristina Nelson KVAL News

There is a truth that must be heard! EUGENE, Ore. - Elvy Musikka relies on medical marijuana to get through her day.

The 73-year-old Eugene grandmother joined Oregon's medical marijuana program in 2005 to treat her glaucoma.

Musikka also receives medical marijuana from the federal government as part of a now discontinued research program created in 1978.

But she said that medicine is so old it's no good.

"In other words, it probably would have been very nice as hemp for wearing but it obviously was no medicine for glaucoma," she said. "I cannot work with 11-year old garbage."

Fresher marijuana under Oregon's program filled the gap.

"I was getting 3 pounds from the State of Oregon and what I was doing was mixing it up," said Musikka from her home in South Eugene.

Last October, the state imposed new fees on medical marijuana card holders. The new fees doubled the annual cost of getting a medical marijuana card to $200. It also imposed grower fees of $50 and, if patients switch growers or change the address where it's grown, the state charges an additional $100.

Kentucky: Medical Cannabis Bill Named in Honor of Iconic Freedom Fighter Gatewood Galbraith

"Every generation must re-win its own freedoms." Gatewood Galbraith

By Michael Bachara, Hemp News Correspondent

Kentucky: Medical Cannabis Bill Named in Honor of Iconic Freedom Fighter Gatewood Galbraith On January 31st, legislation that would make cannabis a schedule II drug, thus legal for doctors to prescribe, was introduced in the Kentucky State Senate. Senate Bill 129, sponsored by Senator Perry B. Clark, D-Louisville, is being titled the "Gatewood Galbraith Memorial Medical Marijuana Act".

Gatewood Galbraith was a prominent lawyer from Kentucky and an avid supporter of cannabis legalization. He dedicated over forty years to the restoration of the cannabis plant. Galbraith passed away last month from complications of pneumonia.

"Marijuana has positive medical benefits for patients dealing with illnesses like cancer, multiple sclerosis, and AIDS, to name a few," Senator Clark said. "I want to allow this as another treatment option for those individuals."

Senate Bill 129 would limit patients who are prescribed the drug from possessing more than five ounces per month. The patient could choose to fill their prescription at a board-certified pharmacy or to grow their own plants. Patients deciding to cultivate plants would be prohibited to no more than five at one time.

Kansas: Medical marijuana bill slated for House committee hearing tomorrow

By Jonathan Bender, The Pitch

There is a truth that must be heard! For the third time in three years, a medical marijuana bill sits before the Kansas Legislature. And for the first time in three years, the bill will actually be heard.

The Cannabis Care and Compassion Act, HB 2330, will be discussed tomorrow at an informational hearing of the Kansas House Committee on Health and Human Services. The measure, introduced by state Rep. Gail Finney (D-Wichita), would legalize and regulate the sale of medical marijuana in Kansas.

In 2010, a bill seeking to legalize medical marijuana failed to come to a vote. And last year's Kansas Cannabis Compassion and Care Act met the same fate.

If the bill passed, doctors would be able to issue patients with "debilitating medical conditions" and designated caregivers ID cards that they could use to purchase medical-grade marijuana at registered dispensaries known as compassion centers. The Department of Health and Environment would oversee the regulation and licensing. The bill, if passed, requires rapid implementation with a provision that calls for the rules governing the application process to kick in within 90 days of the effective date of the act.

Medical cannabis has been legalized in 15 states. Considering Kansas was the first state to ban K2 - a synthetic pot - back in 2010, it seems unlikely that it will be the 16th state to give patients a license to toke.

Oregon: Marijuana Group Gives Out Free Pot

By Sharon Ko, KDRV

There is a truth that must be heard!MEDFORD, Ore. -- Some of the patients who lost their medical marijuana to federal raids got free pot on Monday.

So-Norml, The Hemp and Cannabis Foundation and The Greenery joined forces and came up with an idea to help patients who lost their medical marijuana. They asked patients who had overages, meaning they had more than they could legally have, to donate instead.

Lori Duckworth, Executive Director of So-Norml, says many patients went back to pharmaceutical drugs after the pot raids, but still helped 300 patients before Monday's free giveaway.

So-Norml says they collected nearly 72 pounds of marijuana for the event, and for each patient that came in, organizers gave away an ounce.

The executive director says the entire cannabis group in Oregon is working to put several petitions up in the future, so voters can have the opportunity to vote. She adds the several groups want to get the word out to more community members hoping to educate them about the benefits of medical marijuana.


Arkansas: Group Trying To Push Medical Marijuana Issue

By Jordan Grummer, Times Record

Arkansas: Group Trying To Push Medical Marijuana Issue The leader of Arkansans for Compassionate Care said his group is hoping to gain more support in Sebastian County for a proposed measure that would legalize marijuana for medicinal purposes in the state.

In April, the organization was given until July 6, 2012, to collect 62,507 signatures from registered voters to qualify the proposal — The Arkansas Medical Marijuana Act — for the November 2012 general election ballot. So far, about 16,000 signatures have been gathered, but less than 1,000 of those have come from voters in Sebastian County, said ACC spokesman Ryan Denham on Wednesday during a meeting at Sweet Bay Coffee, 3400 Rogers Ave.

The meeting was for people interested in volunteering to gather signatures for the initiative that would make Arkansas the 16th state to legalize medical marijuana, but it only attracted two people not affiliated with the group. Denham remained optimistic about the movement in the Fort Smith area despite the lack of attendance. He said the meeting was only made official about three days ago, and more attention has been placed, so far, on places like Little Rock, Jonesboro and the northwest Arkansas region, where support has "been strong."

The meeting was also at 3 p.m. on a business day, he added.

United States: The Secret Weapon That Can Get Marijuana Legalized Nationwide

By Steve Elliott Toke of the Town/Special to The Silver Tour

There is a truth that must be heard! What if I told you there is a secret weapon that, if understood and utilized by the cannabis reform community, could fairly quickly and very decisively decide the issue of marijuana legalization once and for all?

Everybody knows that cannabis legalization is very, very near the tipping point in the United States. Even the folks at Gallup, not exactly known for wild-eyed political statements, said this month after examining their latest poll results -- which showed that a record-high 50 percent of Americans support legalization -- that "If this current trend on legalizing marijuana continues, pressure may build to bring the nation's laws into compliance with the people's wishes."

Drilling down into the results of that same Gallup poll reveals our potential secret weapon for marijuana legalization.

Support for legalizing cannabis is directly and inversely proportional to age, ranging from 62 percent approval among those 18 to 29, down to only 31 percent among those 65 and older.

United States: California Medical Assn. calls for legalization of marijuana

The doctor group questions the medical value of pot and acknowledges some health risk from its use but urges it be regulated like alcohol. A law enforcement official harshly criticizes the new stance.

By Anthony York, Los Angeles Times

There is a truth that must be heard! The state's largest doctor group is calling for legalization of marijuana, even as it pronounces cannabis to be of questionable medical value.

Trustees of the California Medical Assn., which represents more than 35,000 physicians statewide, adopted the position at their annual meeting in Anaheim late Friday. It is the first major medical association in the nation to urge legalization of the drug, according to a group spokeswoman, who said the larger membership was notified Saturday.

Dr. Donald Lyman, the Sacramento physician who wrote the group's new policy, attributed the shift to growing frustration over California's medical marijuana law, which permits cannabis use with a doctor's recommendation. That, he said, has created an untenable situation for physicians: deciding whether to give patients a substance that is illegal under federal law.

"It's an uncomfortable position for doctors," he said. "It is an open question whether cannabis is useful or not. That question can only be answered once it is legalized and more research is done. Then, and only then, can we know what it is useful for."

Oregon: Feds give Eugene woman free pot

By Kristina Nelson, KVAL News

There is a truth that must be heard! EUGENE, Ore. - You might call it her morning routine.

With her lighter in hand, 72-year-old Elvy Musikka gets a cannabis buzz every day, courtesy of the federal government.

"It does give you a push. The high is nothing but feeling good about things," she said sitting on her couch in her South Eugene apartment.

The grandmother, who uses cannabis for her glaucoma, is part of a very unique club.

Since 1988, Musikka has been getting more than three and a half pounds of pot every year from the federal government.

"These are the tins that the federal government sends to the University of Miami," she said pointing to her rolled joints. "I have to go there and see my doctor and pick up a prescription. I call them my green Pall Malls."

She's part of the "Compassionate New Drug Access Program."

It started in 1976 after a man sued the government, claiming only pot helped his glaucoma.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse or "NIDA" provided rolled joints for sick people until the first Bush Administration halted it in 1992.

"Every single one of us had to have reliable doctors that they would count on, extensive medical records, and had to prove to FDA, DEA and NIDA," Musikka said. "I eventually became the first woman to join the two men who were smoking legally at the time."

United States: 4 Americans get medical pot from the feds

There is a truth that must be heard!

By Nigel Duara, AP
Photo by Don Ryan, AP

There is a truth that must be heard! EUGENE, Ore. — Sometime after midnight on a moonlit rural Oregon highway, a state trooper checking a car he had just pulled over found pot on a passenger.

The discovery was not surprising in a marijuana-friendly state like Oregon, but the 72-year-old woman's defense was: She insisted the weed was legal and given to her by none other than the federal government.

A series of phone calls from a dubious trooper and his supervisor to federal authorities determined that the glaucoma patient was not joking — the U.S. government does grow and provide pot to a select few people across the United States.

For the past three decades, Uncle Sam has been providing patients with some of the highest grade marijuana around as part of a little-known program that grew out of a 1976 court settlement and created the country's first legal pot smoker. The program once provided 14 people government pot. Now, there are four left.

Advocates for legalizing marijuana or treating it as a medicine say the program is a glaring contradiction in the nation's 40-year war on drugs — maintaining the federal ban on pot while at the same time supplying it.

Washington: Kitsap cities cloudy on how to handle provisions of medical pot law

By Chris Henry, Kitsap Sun

There is a truth that must be heard! BREMERTON — Legislation passed revising Washington state's medical marijuana laws this year turned the focus from dispensaries to collective gardens.

But Kitsap County's cities have been slow to shift gears.

Legislators last spring debated a revision of Washington State's medical marijuana law dealing with cannabis dispensaries. Proponents of the bill (ESSB 5073) sought regulation of dispensaries to clarify their legitimacy. After Gov. Chris Gregoire vetoed the bill, however, the only substantive new option for authorized patients was a provision for collective gardens.But Kitsap County officials have not moved as swiftly on regulations of gardens as their peers around the Puget Sound region did. And local opinions are all over the board.

The new state law, effective July 22, allows up to 10 authorized patients to cultivate up to 45 cannabis plants in a single location, but no individual can own more than 15 plants. Not clear in the law is how many gardens can be on one tax parcel, how many gardens a patient can belong to or the minimum length of time a patient must be a collective garden member.

The lack of clarity has unsettled cities and counties around the state, many of which recently enacted moratoriums or interim zoning ordinances on the gardens, essentially buying time to weigh the law's ramifications.

Ohio: Group submits petitions to legalize marijuana

Kettering woman supports Constitutional amendment.

By Lynn Hulsey, Dayton Daily News
Photo by Teesha McClam, Dayton Daily News

There is a truth that must be heard! DAYTON – A group supporting legalization of medical marijuana in Ohio has taken the first steps to place a Constitutional amendment on the November 2012 ballot.

Supporters turned in 2,143 signatures on petitions containing summary language of the proposed amendment to Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine, who has sent the signatures out to local boards of election to verify.

The group needs 1,000 signatures before DeWine will determine if the summary is a fair and truthful statement. After that, it is forwarded for review by the Ohio Ballot Board and to Ohio secretary of State Jon Husted. The group would then need to gather at least 385,245 valid signatures on petitions to place the amendment on the ballot, said Matt McClellan, press secretary for Husted.

"I'm totally opposed to that amendment," said Montgomery County Sheriff Phil Plummer. "I think it would make too much marijuana available to kids in the community."

He said it would create traffic problems because people high on marijuana could be driving and causing accidents and it would be an issue for employers, including him, who want drug-free employees.

Maine: For wounded veteran, medical marijuana's been a godsend

'My mood’s stable now,' says Ryan Begin of Jackman, who fought in Iraq

By Michael Shepherd, Maine Today

There is a truth that must be heard! AUGUSTA -- Ryan Begin was checking a report of an improvised explosive device in Iskandariya, Iraq, on Aug. 1, 2004.

Then the U.S. Marine Corps corporal saw one. It detonated, blowing apart his right arm.

More than 30 surgeries later, Begin said he has regained some use of his arm. But the psychological damage has taken a harsher toll, including drug addiction and violence.

Begin told doctors in federal health centers high-grade medical marijuana was his only hope for tamping down the innumerable nightmares, flashbacks and fears that followed him from the battlefield.

"My mood's stable now -- no peaks and valleys, just stable ups and downs," he said.

His mother, Anna -- "a little bit apprehensive" about medical marijuana at first -- is a believer.

"When he started the marijuana, it was like having my son back," she said.

Doctors in the federal veterans' health care system aren't as convinced. The substance remains illegal under federal law, and guidelines for federal health centers don't support medical marijuana.

That ended Begin's relationship with the federal health system.

Battle scars

Today, Begin is unemployed, and one of 1,807 patients registered with the state to use marijuana medicinally.

On The Money: Medical Marijuana Controversy

By CBS 13 Staff

There is a truth that must be heard! SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – Marijuana is no medical marvel — that's according to a new federal ruling generating plenty of controversy across California.

The Drug Enforcement Administration decree states that "marijuana has no currently accepted medical use" – in other words, this bud is not for you.

Yet in California you can easily get pizza, brownies, even cannabis cookies because medical marijuana is incredibly edible and of course, smokable. And all you need is a medical marijuana card – it's easy to get – but the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration has ruled that “marijuana lacks accepted safety for medical use under supervision.”

"I’m here to disagree with the DEA," said Shane Randall, a medical marijuana patient at Alternative Medical Source (AMS) in Fair Oaks.

He told CBS 13, "I'm a type one diabetic. I also have auto-immune disease. I've been using medicinal marijuana for 5 years now."

South Dakota: Medical Marijuana Measure Qualifies for Ballot

By City News Service

There is a truth that must be heard! A referendum aimed at overturning restrictions on medical marijuana in San Diego got enough voter signatures to qualify for the ballot, City Clerk Elizabeth Maland said Wednesday.

The results mean that the City Council will have to decide whether to repeal the laws, approved in April, or put the issue to a public vote — most likely on the June 5, 2012, ballot. Council members also have the option to call a special election, but the cost makes it less likely.

The ordinances, which address zoning, permitting and public safety concerns, restrict marijuana dispensaries to commercial and light industrial zones 600 feet from sensitive locations, such as residences, schools and playgrounds. Operators would also have to obtain a condition use permit that would cost thousands of dollars and take as long as two years to get.

Around 44,000 voter signatures were turned in by opponents of the laws, and because the projected number of valid names was close to the total needed
to qualify — 31,029 — petitions were hand counted by the county Registrar of
Voters, Maland said.

California voters passed the Compassionate Use Act, which decriminalized the use of marijuana for medical purposes, 15 years ago, but the county of San Diego and area municipalities have only addressed regulation of dispensaries in the past couple of years.


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