SB 129 Medical marijuana, Legislative Concerns

February 29, 2012

Now that Kentucky’s Senate has proposed a bill allowing for the medical use of marijuana, Senate Bill 129 The Gatewood Galbraith Memorial Medical Marijuana Act filed by State Senator Perry Clark, legislators will have to seriously consider the proposal. I’m pretty sure the majority of Kentucky’s legislators have not done this before. In truth, one can find out everything known about marijuana, good and bad, by going to two sources. The Marijuana Policy Project, MPP, has in it’s library an extensive list of studies, reports, state by state comparisons and general knowledge regarding marijuana and especially information on medical marijuana. MPP can be accessed at MPP.org, click on issues and a list of the various aspects of marijuana will come up. The other clearing house for all things marijuana is The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, NORML, which also has an extensive library which can be accessed at NORML.ORG. One can get a ton of government information from the Drug Enforcement Administration or the Office of National Drug Control Policy, the Drug Czar’s office but with the governments 40 year history of misinformation about marijuana and the current government pronouncement that there is no medical value to marijuana, anything they say on the subject is certainly suspect.
Currently 16 states and the District of Columbia have medical marijuana and all of Kentucky’s neighbors are currently working on their own medical marijuana laws. This means that medical marijuana has passed 16 senate and 16 house judicial, public safety and health and human services committees. In addition Congress, in voting to allow the District of Columbia to have medical marijuana, may have inadvertently allowed it for the whole country!
What might be the concerns of legislators considering medical marijuana? Certainly teen access to marijuana would be a concern. So far studies have shown a decrease in teen use in states with medical marijuana laws, regulation making it harder for teens to acquire. Another concern might be drugged driving. Laws are currently in place regarding DUI, however, on an anecdotal level, I read the paper every day and watch the local news. In the last 10 years I have only seen 1 story of a marijuana caused accident on the news and the story changed 2 days after it ran. On top of that, an estimated 22 million people in America smoke marijuana on a regular basis. If driving is a problem with marijuana, where are all the reports of marijuana related accidents? Some concerns were raised in California about increased crime in neighborhoods where marijuana pharmacies and facilities are located. Studies on the issue showed that because of the facilities’ security measures, cameras and such, crime in the vicinity of these facilities is lower because they are there. Kentucky has an extremely bad problem with prescription drugs and especially opioid pain killers like oxycontin. As a legislator my concern would be how medical marijuana laws impact this problem. So far studies show that medical marijuana users decrease their use and dependence on prescription drugs. Veterans in Medical marijuana states have reported stopping pain meds completely when using marijuana or only needing minimal amounts to cope with their conditions. Finally as a legislator considering medical marijuana for my state I would be concerned about Federal raids on state medical marijuana facilities. One can only rely on the Justice Department’s word that they only raid facilities that are not in compliance with state law. Given the challenges to prohibition policy with 6 states having full legalization on the ballot in November, the government might have to finally reconsider prohibition entirely.
On the pro side of the ledger medical marijuana has alleviated the pain and suffering of thousands of patients, and created thousands of jobs in states with controlled distribution like California, Colorado and Michigan to name a few. It creates large sums of revenue for the State, has decreased costs for police and courts, has spread a wave of economic activity thru the states that have it and decreased the use of prescription painkillers.
As a legislator, (if I were one), would I vote to allow medical marijuana in Kentucky?
Given all available information I would have to vote a resounding yes!

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major drug ring uncovered in Central Kentucky

 

medical-marijuana1

We’re learning new information about a major drug ring uncovered in Central Kentucky.

We first told you about it this past October when police seized nearly $2 million in cash and thousands of pounds of marijuana in Lexington and Georgetown.

This week the last of six men plead guilty in Lexington.

According to the U.S. District Attorney Kerry Harvey, a Mexican man admitted in federal court Tuesday that he and six others conspired to distribute thousands of pounds of marijuana in Fayette County worth
well over a million dollars.

“In terms of marijuana there’s no question this was an extraordinarily large find,” Harvey said.

Harvey also said during the course of his guilty plea, Narcisco Munguia Pineda, 41, acknowledged that law enforcement discovered 300 pounds of marijuana in the trunk of his car when he was stopped in the Hamburg area by law enforcement on October 4, 2011.

Authorities then executed a search warrant for his residence on Ice House Way and found more than 3,000 pounds of marijuana along with two firearms.

Previously, Ismael Rodriguez Garcia, 37, Julio Cesar Robles, 33, Gilberto Rodriguez Hernandez, 32, Raul Rodriguez Rojas, 31, Luis Osvaldo Rodriguez Rojas, 38, each of Mexico, and Joaquin Diaz Verdin,19, of Lexington, pleaded guilty to their roles in the conspiracy. They were indicted by a federal grand jury in late 2011.

At the same time as the discovery of the marijuana in Lexington, law enforcement was performing surveillance at a residence at Starting Gate Point in Georgetown, Ky. The surveillance culminated in a series of traffic stops of vehicles that left the Starting Gate Point residence.

Police there, seized 300 pounds of marijuana they found in a trunk of a car at the residence on Starting Gate Point and $1,800,000 in cash.

The investigation was spearheaded by the U.S. DEA with assistance from the Lexington Metro Police Department, Georgetown Police Department, Versailles Police Department, Richmond Police Department, Kentucky State Police, Frankfort Police Department, Nicholasville Police Department, Winchester Police Department, Garrard County Sheriff’s Office, Kentucky Office of Attorney General, and Scott County Sheriff’s Office. The United States was represented in the case by Assistant United States Attorney Robert M. Duncan, Jr.

All six men are scheduled to be sentenced in May.

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Introduction to Kentucky Marijuana Party

ShereeKrider w/Gatewood Galbraith
ShereeKrider w/Gatewood Galbraith in 2010

Why I Do What I Do…

I can never remember the details. The “detail” section of my brain just does not work very well. I’ve had Major Depression, and Chronic Anxiety as well.  I also, among other things, have had a “Cerebellar Vascular Accident (CVA) which is about the same as a ruptured aneurysm/stroke in 1998.

It does not matter though, because I can remember where to find the information that I need, when I need it!

At the same time, the philosophical portion of my brain tends to work overtime. I spend most of my waking day on the internet, scanning for more and more information for which I know I may not remember the details of…

…but I will always know where to go to find that information when I need it!

I do this by scanning the internet for anything and everything from Cannabis issues, political, social, economics, healthcare and the conspiracies thereof,  and then back to the daily news and beyond.

I never had the opportunity to go to college, and I received my education in “Little’s” such as our former President Abraham Lincoln, who, incidentally, was also from Kentucky.

I read, and read and read some more and then ask “why?” or “why not?”, and then I search for more.

I believe as George Carlin did when he said that “children should be taught to question”. Question everything. Nothing should be taken for granted nor at face value.

In the 1990’s my Father and I were discussing Hemp one day and he advised me that I should seek out Gatewood Galbraith and go see him.  That, “He knew all about it”.  At that time I was busy raising kids and working and taking care of Mom and Dad on the weekends.  I did not even have a computer!

I began about 2003 searching out marijuana information on the internet.

My Dad had died in 2001 and three months prior to that had called me one day and asked me if I could find him “a little pot”. As I was then ignorant of any kind of medicinal use of Marijuana, and he had COPD and Heart Disease. My only answer to him would be, “I’d love to Dad, but I’m afraid if you tried to smoke it at this point it could kill you.” His lung capacity was near zero.

At that time we knew nothing of the “healing oil”.  So in 2003 I was browsing one day and it came to my mind to search for “medical marijuana”.

The rest is history. Once I found how to access the information nothing was gonna stop me from trying to spread the message – through as many sites as I could possibly access. It suffices to say that in the last seven years or more I have learned a lot. The whole world has learned a lot.

I have been through many changes in my life and am thankful for most of them.

My only hope is that the Earth has a chance to recover itself before it is too late.

Much of that depends upon how we choose to “FREE” this God given gift of Cannabis, and what is done with it once it is.

I have seen so many abuses against humanity in general that I cannot ignore it.  So therefore, I not only am an activist for anti-prohibition, but I have very strong feelings concerning other issues as well.

Mountain Top removal, strip mining, coal ash and the illness and death as a result of it.  Human trafficking and the death penalty issue, prisoners rights and issues, including the “DRUG WAR” Prisoners as well.  Then there are Civil Rights, Human Rights, the Bill of Rights, Constitutional Rights, Religious Rights and the list could go on forever.

I never thought that I would be qualified to be a politician, nor a lawyer,  nor did  I ever think that I would want to be, mainly because I do not want to be put into a position where I can no longer say what I feel is right, but must succumb to the “for the greater good of the people” clause which they use in order to be able to lie to us with a straight face.

And since there are so many differing opinions within any given movement of Activists, I feel it is necessary to have citizen reporters and/or journalists.  That is where I felt that I would fit in, as I could bring the news of all of the important issues which affect our lives straight to the web.  I have an occasional opinions on a given subject, but basically I want to give you the information that you need in order to make up your own minds about what you think is right.

After all, It’s not about what I as a single being wish to have happen.  It is about a Democracy which believes in the right of the people to decide for themselves who they want in office and how these laws are carried out.  In the end, it is only YOU that can help save our Earth and bring it to peace by petition, voting rights, etc.,  After all, as Gatewood once said:  There are only two ways to win a war.  One is politically and the other to take it to the streets.  I damn sure hope the streets isn’t where we end up.

Peace and Prayer to You All!
Sheree Krider