"Senator Rand Paul has tested positive for COVID-19,"

Rand Paul becomes first known senator to test positive for coronavirus

Paul tweeted that he “is feeling fine and is in quarantine.”

Image: Rand Paul

March 22, 2020, 12:51 PM CDT

By Allan Smith

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., on Sunday became the first known senator to test positive for COVID-19.

“Senator Rand Paul has tested positive for COVID-19,” Paul’s account tweeted. “He is feeling fine and is in quarantine. He is asymptomatic and was tested out of an abundance of caution due to his extensive travel and events. He was not aware of any direct contact with any infected person.”

“He expects to be back in the Senate after his quarantine period ends and will continue to work for the people of Kentucky at this difficult time,” the thread continued. “Ten days ago, our D.C. office began operating remotely, hence virtually no staff has had contact with Senator Rand Paul.”

Paul is the third member of Congress to announce a positive test for coronavirus, following Reps. Mario Diaz-Balart, R-Fla., and Ben McAdams, D-Utah. Several Republican lawmakers also self-quarantined earlier this month after learned they had interacted with someone who tested positive for the virus at the Conservative Political Action Conference. President Donald Trump, who attended CPAC and also interacted with multiple people at his Florida resort who later found out they were infected, tested negative for the virus.

In an interview with NBC News, Diaz-Balart said Saturday he is feeling better after a week but said the initial symptoms hit him “like a ton of bricks.” McAdams, meanwhile, told NBC’s “Today” last week that the symptoms “felt like I had a belt around my chest, and so I couldn’t breathe deeply.”

Paul, a libertarian, forced a delay on the Senate’s first coronavirus aid bill by pushing a doomed amendment. He later voted against it.

Paul suffered lung damage as a result of having his ribs broken during an altercation with a neighbor in 2017. Last year, he had part of his lungs removed in surgery.

CONTINUE READING…

Kentucky House Judiciary Committee advances medical cannabis bill! (hb136)

Kentucky House Judiciary Committee advances medical cannabis bill!

Seriously ill Kentuckians have been waiting long enough — urge your state legislators to support HB 136!

Today, Kentucky’s House Judiciary Committee voted 17-1 to pass HB 136, a bill that would legalize cannabis for medical use. Next the bill will proceed to the full House, where it is expected to receive a vote soon.

Please write your legislators today and urge them to pass this compassionate legislation!

Fifty-one of Kentucky’s 100 state representatives are cosponsors of HB 136, and Gov. Andy Beshear has indicated that he strongly supports medical cannabis.

However, some Senate leaders remain opposed, so the challenge for advocates will be getting a bill through both chambers of the legislature and to the governor’s desk.

It’s critical that legislators hear from their constituents who support medical cannabis. After you write your legislators, please share this message with your friends and family.

CONTINUE READING…

STOP SIGN

PLEASE BE ADVISED THAT HB136 IS A NON SMOKABLE NON GROWABLE BILL!  IT IS STRICTLY FOR MEDICAL CONSUMPTION ONLY!

“to prohibit smoking of medicinal marijuana;”

“to establish limits on the THC content of medicinal marijuana that can be produced or sold in the state”

“to exempt certain records and information from the disclosure under the Kentucky Open Records Act;”

“to permit an employer to restrict the possession and use of medicinal marijuana by an employee;”

GO

Sen. Perry Clark introduced SB105 on January 22, 2020 which DOES include adult use, small amounts of growing for personal use as well. Please view the Bill at this link!

“to allow for possession, growth, use, processing, purchasing, transfer, and consumption of cannabis;”

“to establish provisions for personal cultivation;”

“to establish provisions for palliative or therapeutic use of cannabis by persons under the age of 21;”

 

 

https://kentuckymarijuanaparty.com/2019/12/19/2020-kentucky-marijuana-bills/

KENTUCKY CANNABIS RALLY AT THE ROTUNDA IN FRANKFORT!

The people of Kentucky, all groups, all BILLS for Cannabis whether it be “Medical” or “Adult Use”, Republican, Democrat, Libertarian or Independent, are requested to join us in Frankfort Kentucky on March 11, 2020 to show our support for the effort in our State!

Please plan to be there!

RotundaRally3.11.20

LOCATED AT CAPITOL ROTUNDA

700 CAPITOL AVE

FRANKFORT, KY  40601

https://apps.legislature.ky.gov/record/19rs/hb136.html

AN ACT relating to medicinal marijuana and making an appropriation therefor.

https://apps.legislature.ky.gov/record/20rs/hb148.html

AN ACT relating to the regulation of cannabis and making an appropriation therefor.

https://apps.legislature.ky.gov/record/20rs/hb236.html

AN ACT relating to hemp and declaring an emergency.

https://apps.legislature.ky.gov/record/20rs/hb221.html

AN ACT relating to marijuana possession.

https://apps.legislature.ky.gov/record/20rs/hb102.html

AN ACT relating to employment-related drug screens.

RELATED GROUPS/PAGES ON FACEBOOK!

MY RIGHT TO DECIDE

https://www.facebook.com/MYRIGHTTODECIDE/

KY4MM

https://www.facebook.com/groups/ky4mm/?ref=br_rs

KENTUCKY 411 UNCENSORED

https://www.facebook.com/groups/2091597957797912/

KENTUCKY MARIJUANA PARTY

https://www.facebook.com/USMjPartyKY/?ref=br_rs

FREE THE WEED KENTUCKY

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1428715180676475/?ref=br_rs

With Farm Bill in Rearview, Kentucky Strives to Revive Hemp Industry

August 1, 2014 By Josh Long 1 Comment

Posted in News, Cannabis, Regulatory Issues, Government, American Herbal Products Association (AHPA)

Editor’s Note:This story is the fifth part in a series of articles and video documentaries that surveys the state of the legal marijuana and hemp industries.To read the previous article on hemp and marijuana executives tied to crimes, go here.

MURRAY STATE UNIVERSITY, Kentucky—In 1994, Chris Boucher planted industrial hemp at the USDA Research Center in Imperial Valley, California. As the owner of a company that sold hemp T-shirts, wallets, backpacks and hemp seed oil, Boucher figured it would be just a few years before growing hemp in the United States was legal.

Earlier this month, Boucher was beaming while exploring a hemp field at Murray State University. 

“We’ve waited almost 20 years to this day for hemp to be legal in the United States," he declared here on a muggy-free day in July.

The trek to legalize marijuana’s cousin hemp is far from over. Earlier this year, Congress authorized the cultivation and growth of industrial hemp—but only for research purposes.

Industrial hemp hails from the same plant species (Cannabis Sativa L.) as marijuana, and federal law still classifies hemp as a Schedule I controlled substance along with such hardcore drugs as heroin, LSD and peyote. That’s in spite of the fact that hemp contains little of the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana that makes a smoker high: THC. Under this year’s Farm Bill, a plant meets the definition of “industrial hemp" if it contains no more than 0.3 percent of THC, otherwise known as delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol.

Chris Boucher of CannaVest Corp. inspects a hemp field at Murray State University. CannaVest donated the seeds for the hemp research project.

Chris Boucher of CannaVest Corp. inspects a hemp field at Murray State University. CannaVest donated the seeds for the hemp research project.

“I always like to say there’s more opiates in a poppy seed than there is THC in a hemp seed," said Boucher, who manages US Hemp Oil, a division of CannaVest Corp., a developer and marketer of hemp-based consumer products with a focus on the compound cannabidiol (CBD). “Looking at it from that standpoint, I think logic will dictate the outcome here on the legality of industrial hemp."

Kentucky Leads Hemp Pilot Projects

Of the world’s industrialized countries, the United States is the only one that prohibits production of industrial hemp, according to the Kentucky Department of Agriculture. An estimated 55,700 metric tons of industrial hemp are produced annually around the world, with China, Russia and South Korea supplying 70 percent of a crop that is used in such products as paper, foods and nutritional supplements, the state agency said.

Kentucky, whose largest industry is agriculture, is striving to capitalize on hemp production should Congress eventually authorize it for commercial production. Section 7606 of the Farm Bill is the first step in that journey. President Obama signed the bill into law on Feb. 7, 2014, authorizing institutions of higher education or state agriculture departments to study the growth, cultivation or marketing of industrial hemp in states that permit the growth or cultivation of the crop.

Hemp has not been grown in the United States since 1957, according to Vote Hemp, a grassroots hemp advocacy organization.

"With the U.S. hemp industry estimated at over $500 million in annual retail sales and growing, a change in federal law to allow colleges and universities to grow hemp for research means that we will finally begin to regain the knowledge that unfortunately has been lost over the past 50 years," Vote Hemp president Eric Steenstra said in a statement following passage of the Farm Bill. "This is the first time in American history that industrial hemp has been legally defined by our federal government as distinct from drug varieties of cannabis."

Adam Watson, industry hemp program coordinator for the Kentucky Department of Agriculture, said his agency is leading the hemp pilot projects that the Farm Bill authorized.

“To the best of my knowledge, we have the most aggressive pilot program out there," he said.

Although a number of states have passed hemp laws, Boucher is aware of only one other state that is conducting research on hemp cultivation: Colorado, which happens to be only one of two states that has legalized marijuana for recreational use. In fact, Amendment 64—the 2012 ballot initiative that legalized recreational pot—also directed Colorado lawmakers to enact legislation governing the cultivation, processing and sale of industrial hemp.

Following passage of an industrial hemp law last year by the Colorado General Assembly, roughly 200 private growers have registered with the Colorado Department of Agriculture for research and commercial purposes, said Ron Carleton, deputy commissioner of the agency. Of the 1,555 acres registered with the state agriculture department, 1,312 acres are for commercial purposes while 243 acres are for R&D, he said.

“I think once other states start to see … the success of this test crop, then we’ll see other states start to figure out how to get their rules lined up so they can do this," said Michael McGuffin, president of the American Herbal Products Association (AHPA), commenting on the hemp plants at Murray State University. 

AHPA, CannaVest Executives Visit Hemp Field

McGuffin and a colleague from AHPA, Chief Information Analyst Merle Zimmermann, recently visited the hemp field there and met with CannaVest executives and university officials.

In Kentucky, under the oversight of the state agriculture department, a number of educational institutions are studying myriad aspects of industrial hemp from its sensitivity to herbicides (University of Kentucky) to how well it grows if the soil isn’t tilled (Murray State University). 

Murray State University has grown what is perhaps the nation’s first legal industrial hemp in generations. The plants are located on a 250-acre farm that the university’s agriculture school manages to study various crops such as corn, tobacco and soybeans.

“This hemp was planted May the 12th, the first in the State of Kentucky and we believe in the nation," said Tony Brannon, dean of the Hutson School of Agriculture, which enrolled nearly 900 students last fall and ranks among the largest non-land grant agriculture colleges in the nation. 

By mid-summer, some plants had soared to be eight-feet tall.

Kentucky is a logical place to study hemp. Some locals have parents and grandparents who grew the crop. During World War II, Kentucky was a leader in hemp production, Brannon said.

“Our farmers are very good at adapting to whatever crop is there," he said. “It’s been said that you give us a market and Kentucky farmers will be overproducing it in a couple of years … If [industrial hemp is] a legal crop and it’s of economic value to our farmers and to our area, we definitely want to play whatever role we can."

Boucher and other CannaVest executives recently flew into Nashville, Tennessee from their offices in San Diego and drove the roughly two hours northwest to see the hemp field and chat with university officials about various aspects of the project, including future testing of the hemp and equipment needed to harvest the crop.

In the meetings, university staff expressed the importance of strictly following legal protocols, especially after the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency seized hemp seeds that were bound for the state agriculture department. The seeds were later released and distributed to a number of universities after the state agriculture department filed a lawsuit against the DEA.

At Murray State University, where harvesting is likely to occur in October, CannaVest donated more than 100 pounds of hemp seeds, which are derived from France and are known as Futura 75. Those seeds were never seized by DEA. CannaVest also donated a bag of seeds to The Growing Warriors Project, a program that helps veterans grow produce.

Boucher, CannaVest’s vice president of product development, said professional hemp seed breeders designed the seeds to grow predominantly hemp fiber and seed.

“A farmer can sell his seeds and sell his fiber on the market and make a good profit," he said.

Industrial Hemp: No ‘Get-Rich-Quick Scheme’

It could be years, though, before the United States commercializes industrial hemp, and the opportunities are difficult to fully ascertain for obvious reasons: there is no domestic market yet and hemp is still classified as a controlled substance that cannot be cultivated outside the limited scope of the Farm Bill. 

“Ultimately, it’s going to take time to determine what the ultimate marketable crop or products are going to be and it’s going to be economically driven," Watson said.

He said three to five years of data is required in order to be indicative of how a crop performs under various conditions such as dry and wet seasons and an average year.

“Producers need to have a crop reliably come off the field," Watson said. “They’ve got bills every season they’ve got to pay."

Brannon also is realistic about the opportunities for farmers.

“This is certainly no get-rich-quick scheme," he said. “We don’t know what the true economic value is going to be. But that’s where you start. That’s why we start with higher education to determine all the different variables."

CannaVest’s Boucher is stoked over the possibilities of U.S. hemp cultivation. In addition to sponsoring projects like the one at Murray State University, he described CannaVest’s longer-term plans to build mills in order to convert parts of the hemp plant into essential fatty acids and protein powder.

His vision wouldn’t be plausible had Congress not authorized hemp cultivation and research in the Farm Bill. Sen. Mitch McConnell, the Republican from Kentucky, introduced the measure in the Farm Bill conference report.

“We know this field is 100 percent legal," Boucher said, “and this field here is a historical field that … is going to kickstart the American hemp industry once and for all."

CONTINUE READING…

Meet us at the Capital Hill Annex building and show your support for SB 11

 

Kentuckians for Medicinal Marijuana

Kentuckians for Medicinal Marijuana

By Kentuckians for Medicinal Marijuana

Wednesday, February 6, 20131:00pm

The Capitol Annex Building 700 Capitol Ave Loop, Frankfort, KY, 40601

Support the cause, the senators need to feel and hear your voice. Meet us at the Capital Hill Annex building and show your support for SB 11 (Gatewood Galbraith Medical Marijuana Bill). Chronically ill Kentucky citizens that have been debilitated by disease need your support. Please help our cause by coming out to the rally. You can also further support our cause by making an appointment to see your senator the same day. We can’t do it without you.

UNITED WE STAND DIVIDED WE FALL!    

We can make this happen!  

 

Kentucky Veterans for Medical Marijuana  

www.kentuckyveteransformedicalmarijuana.net 

Kentucky’s 2013 Gatewood Galbraith Medical Marijuana Memorial Act

Jacob JonesPublished:October 15, 2012 6:52PM

 

ggmmma

Kentuckians!

The states of Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Maine, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, New Jersey, Oregon, Vermont, Rhode Island, and Washington, as well as the District of Columbia, have removed state-level criminal penalties from the medical use and cultivation of marijuana. Kentucky joins in this effort for the health and welfare of its citizens.

The above text is from the first section of the Gatewood Galbraith Medical Marijuana Memorial Act, this bills fate will be determined during our 2013 General Assembly. Also within the first section of the Act is the text below:

Marijuana’s recorded use as a medicine goes back nearly five thousand (5,000) years. Modern medical research has confirmed the beneficial uses for marijuana in treating or alleviating the pain, nausea, and other symptoms associated with a variety of debilitating medical conditions, including cancer, multiple sclerosis, and HIV/AIDS, as found by the National Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Medicine in March 1999;

Studies published since the 1999 Institute of Medicine report have continued to show the therapeutic value of marijuana in treating a wide array of debilitating medical conditions. These include relief of the neuropathic pain caused by multiple sclerosis, HIV/AIDS, other illnesses and injuries that often fail to respond to conventional treatments, and relief of nausea, vomiting, and other side effects of drugs used to treat HIV/AIDS and hepatitis C, increasing the chances of patients continuing on life-saving treatment regimens.

Marijuana has many currently accepted medical uses in the United States, having been recommended by thousands of licensed physicians to more than five hundred thousand (500,000) patients in states with medical marijuana laws. Marijuana’s medical utility has been recognized by a wide range of medical and public health organizations, including the American Academy of HIV Medicine, the American College of Physicians, the American Nurses Association, the American Public Health Association, the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, and many others.

Data from the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Uniform Crime Reports and the Compendium of Federal Justice Statistics show that approximately ninety-nine (99) out of every one hundred (100) marijuana arrests in the United States are made under state law, rather than under federal law. Consequently, changing state law will have the practical effect of protecting from arrest the vast majority of seriously ill patients who have a medical need to use marijuana

States are not required to enforce federal law or prosecute people for engaging in activities prohibited by federal law. Therefore, compliance with Sections 1 to 24 of this Act does not put the state of Kentucky in violation of federal law; and

State law should make a distinction between the medical and nonmedical uses of marijuana. Therefore, the purpose of Sections 1 to 24 of the Gatewood Galbraith Medical Marijuana Memorial Act is to protect patients with debilitating medical conditions, as well as their practitioners and providers, from arrest and prosecution, criminal and other penalties, and property forfeiture, if such patients engage in the medical use of marijuana.

You’ve just read most of section 1 from the Gatewood Galbraith Medical Marijuana Memorial Act. Thank you. The next sections of this Act define this crucial medical program and are followed by needed protections along with guiding restrictions. The enacting of this bill benefits our loved ones and people we all know, who need medical marijuana to improve the quality of their lives.

The following are debilitating medical conditions which may qualify one to become a Kentucky medical marijuana patient:

Cancer, glaucoma, positive status for human immunodeficiency virus, acquired immune deficiency syndrome, hepatitis C, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Crohn’s disease, agitation of Alzheimer’s disease, post-traumatic stress disorder, or the treatment of these conditions;

A chronic or debilitating disease or medical condition or its treatment that produces one (1) or more of the following: cachexia or wasting syndrome; severe, debilitating pain; severe nausea; seizures; or severe and persistent muscle spasms, including but not limited to those characteristic of multiple sclerosis.

Please inform your districts congressmen of your support for the Gatewood Galbraith Medical Marijuana Memorial Act and urge their co-sponsor for the 2013 General Assembly.

Official record of the bill can be found at http://www.lrc.ky.gov/record/13rs/SB11.htm

CONTINUE READING…

Landmark Prescription Drug Bill Takes Effect; Gov. Beshear Praises Full Throttle Attack on Prescription Abuse

Office of the Attorney General
Landmark Prescription Drug Bill Takes Effect; Gov. Beshear Praises Full Throttle Attack on Prescription Abuse

Press Release Date:
Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Contact Information:
Kerri Richardson
502.564.2611

Just days after a landmark prescription drug abuse law took effect, Governor Steve Beshear joined lawmakers and medical providers to report the law has already effected changes in the medical field and positioned Kentucky as a national leader in battling prescription abuse.

House Bill 1 (HB1), sponsored by House Speaker Greg Stumbo, passed in a special legislative session this spring. The bill included multiple elements to prevent the abuse and diversion of prescription drugs and to enhance law enforcement’s tools to investigate illegal prescribing practices.

“The enforcement of this bill began just a couple of days ago, and yet we already know that four ‘pain management clinics’ in Kentucky have waved the white flag and notified us they will shut their doors,” said Gov. Beshear. “We know that more than 9,000 medical providers have signed up for electronic prescription monitoring just since this law passed in April – more than doubling the number registered. The word is out. Kentucky is deadly serious about stopping this scourge of prescription drug abuse, and now we have some of the strongest tools in the country to make that happen.”

Gov. Beshear was joined by Attorney General Jack Conway as well as representatives from medical licensure boards, advocacy groups and law enforcement organizations, for today’s announcement.

HB1 expands the Kentucky All Schedule Prescription Electronic Reporting (KASPER) system, the state’s prescription monitoring system, by requiring all prescription providers of controlled substances to register. It requires pain management clinics to be owned by a licensed medical practitioner, and requires professional licensure boards to investigate prescribing complaints immediately. The legislation allows for better coordination between health regulators and law enforcement to address problems of abuse. Finally, elements of HB1 will help prevent Kentucky from becoming a source state for prescription pills.

According to Kentucky’s Drug Control Policy Office, nearly 1,000 Kentuckians die every year from drug overdoses – an annual fatality rate that exceeds deaths from car accidents. More than 5,000 overdose patients are admitted to hospitals annually.

“Let’s be very clear – if you need a prescription for a controlled substance for a legitimate medical condition, you have nothing to fear. You’ll get your medicine. For doctors who worry their ability to prescribe will be compromised, you have nothing to fear. The law is built to protect valid prescribing,” said Gov. Beshear. “But if you’re doctor-shopping, buying extra pills for recreational use, or prescribing pills for cash, you’d better change your vocation or change your location, because we’re coming after you.”

“Prescription drug abuse is killing Kentuckians. Three people will die today from prescription drug overdoses. I believe the provisions in House Bill 1 will save the lives of our friends, our neighbors and our family members,” said Attorney General Jack Conway. “The provisions in this law will help shut down rogue clinics and providers who are poisoning people. I appreciate those in the medical community who have joined with us as responsible providers to be a part of the solution instead of part of the problem.”

“House Bill 1 and the emergency regulations will help stop tragic loss of life to drug abuse. We are working closely with medical professionals to ensure that legitimate pain management cases are not adversely affected,” said Speaker Stumbo. “The joint Implementation and Oversight Committee will be alert to any needed corrections, and we will make sure that all concerns are addressed.”

Lawmakers praised the cooperation of the Cabinets, agencies, and boards who worked together to create new regulations, educate patients and medical providers, and build the necessary computer infrastructure to support the implementation of the law.

HB1 Impact – KASPER enhancements

Effective July 20, all medical practitioners who prescribe controlled substances must register to use KASPER and run a KASPER report before prescribing a patient a controlled substance such as Oxycontin or Xanax.

When the law passed in April, KASPER had 7,911 registered accounts. Since then, another 9,137 providers have signed up for the program, a 115 percent increase.

According to the Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS), which oversees KASPER, 90 percent of all KASPER reports are completed within 15 to 30 seconds. The reports show medical providers what other controlled substances have been prescribed to a patient and in what amount.

“Some providers worried that running a KASPER report would be cumbersome or time consuming, but 9 times out of 10, it will take as much time as measuring a patient’s blood pressure or recording their insurance information,” said Mary Begley, CHFS Inspector General. “It’s a very short investment of time that will become as routine as taking a patient’s temperature. A report can provide crucial information that not only may flag a problem user, but may also warn a provider of otherwise unforeseen complications from drug interactions.”

KASPER’s cache of prescription information will grow more robust as more users add records. Supporters say patient care will become more precise as medical providers review patient prescription history and know more about existing prescriptions.

A 2010 CHFS poll of KASPER users noted that 94 percent of medical providers said that the program is an effective tool in tracking an individual’s prescription history, and nearly 94 percent reported satisfaction with the tool. Nearly 9 in 10 KASPER users reported denying a prescription for a controlled substance to a patient based on information provided by a KASPER report.

To accommodate the steep increase in KASPER use, CHFS has hired additional staff, implemented system upgrades and expanded capacity.

Existing regulations provide that all dispensers (usually pharmacists) report to KASPER when any Schedule II through Schedule V controlled substances are dispensed. For the first time, new regulations provide that all prescribers must request a KASPER report before Schedule II, III and some IVs are prescribed. A list of certain Schedule IV controlled substances, which are known to be used or diverted, is attached.

HB1 Impact: Shared Investigative Information

HB1 requires that when a complaint about prescription abuse is lodged with any of several investigative agencies – the Attorney General, Kentucky State Police (KSP), CHFS, or any of the professional licensure boards – that complaint must be shared with the remaining agencies.

Previously, if KSP was investigating a possible pill mill, the agencies that licensed that clinic were not required to be notified, nor would they be compelled to contribute information to the case.

The Attorney General, KSP, CHFS and the six professional licensure boards have signed a memorandum of understanding to notify the other agencies of prescription complaints within three days of receipt. This will allow the investigators to share information quickly.

The six professional boards – Medical Licensure, Nursing, Dentistry, Pharmacy, Podiatry and Optometry – are required to share reports with the Attorney General, KSP and CHFS but not required to share among each other. This alleviates concerns that the professional organizations would be forced to report information to other boards that have no jurisdiction over the complaint.

HB1 Impact: Regulations Squeeze Offenders, Offer Grace Period for Providers

Regulations for the implementation of HB1 were filed on July 20, the effective date of HB1. These regulations, which interpret how the law is carried out by each agency, board, or office, uphold the intent of HB1 – to reduce the abuse and diversion of prescription drugs.

New regulations mandate that all pain management clinics must be owned by a licensed medical provider or employ a medical director in good standing with one of the professional licensure boards. Clinics will have some time to meet those requirements, but CHFS administrators say that already, four of the state’s pain clinics not owned by physicians have reported that they will close their doors. Another 9 have not yet contacted CHFS regarding licensing, and will be investigated to determine if they are operating illegally.

“Not all pain management clinics are abusing their prescribing authority – many of them are meeting legitimate patient needs,” said CHFS Secretary Audrey Tayse Haynes. “However, these regulations are designed to make it very, very difficult to stay in business if your clinic is a pill mill, prescribing high volumes of powerful drugs to people who are addicted.”

Each of the professional license boards has also created an educational period for practitioners through October 1st. Much like other laws such as the seat belt law, providers will have a few months to get accustomed to the new practices before any disciplinary action will take place.

“We don’t want the medical community to be afraid of immediate repercussions if they make an error this early in the process,” said Preston Nunnelley, chair of the Board of Medical Licensure. “We’ll have a few months to learn how the new policies will work, and we’ll be able to correct and guide providers along the way, instead of punishing people for unintentional errors.”

Why Do Clinics Deny Painkillers To Medical Marijuana Patients?

By Steve Elliott ~alapoet~

pills0409_image.jpeg

Should health care facilities have the power to make lifestyle decisions for you — and punish you when your choices don’t measure up to their ideals? More and more hospitals are making exactly those kinds of decisions when it comes to people who choose to use marijuana — even legal patients in medical marijuana states. Apparently, these places don’t mind looking exactly as if they have more loyalty to their Big Pharma benefactors than they do to their own patients.

A new policy at one Alaska clinic — requiring patients taking painkilling medications to be marijuana free — serves to highlight the hypocrisy and cruelty of such rules, which are used at more and more health care facilities, particularly the big corporate chains (the clinic in question is a member of the Banner Health chain).

Tanana Valley Clinic, in Fairbanks, started handing out prepared statements to all chronic pain patients on Monday, said Corinne Leistikow, assistant medical director for family practice at TVC, reports Dorothy Chomicz at the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner.


“We will no longer prescribe controlled substances, such as opiates and benzodiazepines, to patients who are using marijuana (THC),” the statement reads in part. “These drugs are psychoactive substances and it is not safe for you to take them together.” (This statement is patently false; marijuana has no known dangerous reactions with any other drugs, and in fact, since marijuana relieves chronic pain, it often makes it possible for pain patients to take smaller, safer doses of opiates and other drugs.)

LIAR, LIAR: Corinne Leistikow, M.D. says “patients who use opiates and marijuana together are at much higher risk of death.” We’d love to see the study you’re talking about, Corinne.

“Your urine will be tested for marijuana,” patients are sternly warned. “If you test positive you will have two months to get it out of your system. You will be retested in two months. If you still have THC in your urine, we will no longer prescribe controlled substances for you.”

TVC patient Scott Ide, who takes methadone to control chronic back pain, also uses medical marijuana to ease the nausea and vomiting caused by gastroparesis. He believes TVC decided to change its policy after an Anchorage-based medical marijuana authorization clinic spend three days in Fairbanks in June, helping patients get the necessary documentation to get a state medical marijuana card.

“I’m a victim of circumstance because of what occurred,” Ide said. “I was already a patient with her — I was already on this regimen. We already knew what we were doing to get me better and work things out for me. I think it’s wrong.”

Ide, a former Alaska State Trooper, said he was addicted to painkillers, but medical marijuana helped him wean himself off all medications except methadone.

Leistikow admitted that the new policy may force some patients to drive all the way to Anchorage, because there are only a few chronic pain specialists in Fairbanks. Still, she claimed the strict new policy was “necessary.”

The assistant medical director is so eager to defend the clinic’s new policy that she took a significant departure from the facts in so doing.

“What we have decided as a clinic — we’re setting policy for which patients we can take care of and which ones we can’t — patients who use opiates and marijuana together are at much higher risk of death, abuse and misuse of medications, of having side effects from their medications, and recommendations are generally that patients on those should be followed by a pain specialist,” Leistikow lied.

Patients who use opiates and marijuana together are NOT in fact at higher risk of death, abuse, misuse and side effects; I invite Ms. Leistikow to produce any studies which indicate they are. As mentioned earlier, pain patients who also use marijuana are usually able to use smaller, safer doses of painkillers than would be the case without cannabis supplementation.

CONTINUE READING HERE…

Sen. Clark moves to legalize medical marijuana

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — A Louisville lawmaker unveiled long-shot legislation Thursday to legalize marijuana for medical purposes in Kentucky, a state where police mount huge campaigns each year to cut and burn clandestine pot crops.

Sen. Perry Clark, D-Louisville, said he wanted to get an early start promoting the legislation to make marijuana available by prescription to cancer patients and others who would benefit from the "miracle plant."

The legislature isn’t scheduled to reconvene until January.

Clark called for other Kentucky lawmakers to help him "end this folly" of barring people who are suffering from being able to use a drug that could help them.

"The concept of prohibition of a medicine that you grow with a seed that you put in a garden is an anathema to freedom," he told supporters who gathered Thursday afternoon in the Capitol Annex. "I say it’s time we get brave. We educate. This is a liberty issue to me."

Clark will dub the bill the "Gatewood Galbraith Medical Marijuana Memorial Act" in honor of the late Lexington attorney who was the state’s leading proponent of marijuana legalization.

A similar measure by the same name failed in a legislative session earlier this year in Kentucky, one of the nation’s top marijuana-producing states. Kentucky has a near-perfect climate for growing marijuana, and was once a major producer of industrial hemp before the federal government banned it. Even so, the idea of legalizing marijuana for medical use, which has already been done in 17 other states, is frowned on by most Kentucky lawmakers and has little chance of passing.

Galbraith, a perennial candidate for governor who was known for his fiery stump speeches, also was an advocate of lifting federal restrictions to allow Kentucky farmers to grow industrial hemp. That idea has gained momentum among Kentucky political leaders in recent years, with most of the state’s candidates for agriculture commissioner last year favoring it.

Galbraith’s daughter, Molly Galbraith, said passing the medical marijuana bill would be a fitting tribute to her father, who died in January.

"For the better part of 40 years, he has been talking about the benefits of medical marijuana," she said. "And right now there are hundreds of thousands of Kentuckians who are suffering and they need and deserve access to this plant that our grandfathers and our great grandfathers grew by the thousands of acres. In our opinion, there’s no better way to honor our father’s work and his legacy than to see this bill passed."

Kentucky State Police are among the leading opponents.

"The legalization of marijuana, whether for medicinal use or hemp growth, presents serious challenges to Kentucky’s law enforcement," said Capt. David Jude. "To distinguish what would be grown and or possessed for ‘legal use’ versus ‘illegal use’ would prove to be difficult, making our enforcement efforts less efficient and possibly less effective. I feel confident that our legislators will consider the impact that legalizing a drug like marijuana will have on all of our communities as well as law enforcement.

Jude said state police troopers will continue to "aggressively enforce" current marijuana laws, "and if those laws are changed, our enforcement efforts will adapt accordingly."

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