Celebrating the Stoner
A Bay area mother will start treating her cancer-ravaged daughter with whole plant medical marijuana even though we are two months away from the amendment two vote.(Photo: WTSP)
TAMPA, Fla. – A Bay area mother will start treating her cancer-ravaged daughter with whole plant medical marijuana even though we are two months away from the amendment two vote.
10 News told you earlier this year how Moriah Barnhart sought legal counsel to somehow get her daughter access to use medical cannabis under Florida’s medical necessity doctrine based on a 1991 ruling.
Barnhart said she had success while treating her daughter with cannabis in Colorado, but decided to move back to Florida to be closer to family and her support system.
In Jenks v. The State of Florida, the court ruled that patients suffering debilitating diseases have the right to consume, possess and cultivate marijuana, provided they can establish they have a legal medical necessity.
Recently, Barnhart and Christopher Ralph from Health Law Services in Jacksonville shows us the paperwork issued by a physician who evaluated Dahlia Barnhart and deemed medical marijuana a necessity.
“I’m not in any way shape or form uneasy about the law,” said Barnhart. “The process for me is easy with regards to the paperwork.”
According to Ralph, she will have to carry the paperwork with her at all times.
It includes information from the doctor, details on the Jenks v. State of Florida ruling and an identification number for law enforcement to verify its authenticity via a website.
“Our statutes allow for a physician to order the use of a schedule one controlled substance,” said Ralph.
Earlier this year, state lawmakers legalized a non-euphoric strain of marijuana called Charlotte’s Web.
Ralph says for that reason, he is not in full support of amendment two.
“Once amendment 2 passes, all we’re going to have is low-THC cannabis run by 5 organizations throughout the state,” he said. “Which was preempted by our current legislature… that’s what they did because they didn’t want amendment 2 to pass.”
By EDDIE PELLS, Associated Press
Marijuana is casting an ever-thickening haze across NFL locker rooms, and it’s not simply because more players are using it.
As attitudes toward the drug soften, and science slowly teases out marijuana’s possible benefits for concussions and other injuries, the NFL is reaching a critical point in navigating its tenuous relationship with what is recognized as the analgesic of choice for many of its players.
“It’s not, let’s go smoke a joint,” retired NFL defensive lineman Marvin Washington said. “It’s, what if you could take something that helps you heal faster from a concussion, that prevents your equilibrium from being off for two weeks and your eyesight for being off for four weeks?”
One challenge the NFL faces is how to bring marijuana into the game as a pain reliever without condoning its use as a recreational drug. And facing a lawsuit filed on behalf of hundreds of former players complaining about the effects of prescription painkillers they say were pushed on them by team trainers and doctors, the NFL is looking for other ways to help players deal with the pain from a violent game.
A Gallup poll last year found 58 percent of Americans believe marijuana should be legalized. That’s already happened in Colorado and Washington — the states that are home of last season’s Super Bowl teams.
The World Anti-Doping Agency has said it does not need to catch out-of-competition marijuana users. And at least one high-profile coach, Pete Carroll of the champion Seahawks, publicly said he’d like to see the NFL study whether marijuana can help players.
There are no hard numbers on how many NFL players are using marijuana, but anecdotal evidence, including the arrest or league discipline of no fewer than a dozen players for pot over the past 18 months, suggests use is becoming more common.
Redskins offensive lineman Ryan Clark didn’t want to pinpoint the number of current NFL players who smoke pot but said, “I know a lot of guys who don’t regularly smoke marijuana who would use it during the season.”
Washington wouldn’t put a specific number on it but said he, too, knew his share of players who weren’t shy about lighting up when he was in the league, including one guy “who just hated the pain pills they were giving out at the time.” Another longtime defensive lineman, Marcellus Wiley, estimates half the players in the average NFL locker room were using it by the time he shut down his career in 2006.
“They are leaning on it to cope with the pain,” said Wiley, who played defensive line in the league for 10 seasons. “They are leaning on it to cope with the anxiety of the game.”
The NFL is fighting lawsuits on two fronts — concussions and painkillers — both of which, some argue, could be positively influenced if marijuana were better tolerated by the league.
The science, however, is slow-moving and expensive and might not ever be conclusive, says behavioral psychologist Ryan Vandrey, who studies marijuana use at John Hopkins. Marijuana may work better for some people, while narcotics and other painkillers might be better for others.
“Different medicines work differently from person to person,” Vandrey said. “There’s pretty good science that shows marijuana does have pain relieving properties. Whether it’s a better pain reliever than the other things available has never been evaluated.”
Washington, who is part of the concussion lawsuit, is working with a bio-pharmaceutical and phyto-medical company called KannaLife Sciences that recently received licensing from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to develop a drug to treat concussions using derivatives from medical marijuana.
Co-founder Thoma Kikis, who has been working on cannibas-based solutions to concussions for a few years, said he approached the NFL about signing on to the research.
“They didn’t want to meet, didn’t want to take a position to create any kind of controversy,” Kikis said. “I understand that. But ultimately, they’re going to have to make a decision and look into different research.”
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has treaded gingerly around the subject. Before last season’s Super Bowl he said the league would “follow the medicine” and not rule out allowing players to use marijuana for medical purposes. An NFL spokesman reiterated that this month, saying if medical advisers inform the league it should consider modifying the policy, it would explore possible changes.
A spokesman for the players union declined comment on marijuana, beyond saying the union is always looking for ways to improve the drug-testing policy. But earlier this year, NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith said the marijuana policy is secondary when set against the failure to bring Human Growth Hormone testing into the game. Some believe relaxing the marijuana rules could be linked to a deal that would bring in HGH testing.
“I’ve heard that in conversations,” said Wiley, a plaintiff in the painkiller lawsuit. “And I think it’s despicable that you’d pit them against each other.”
The NFL drug policy has come under even more scrutiny this summer, after the NFL handed down a season-long suspension of Browns receiver Josh Gordon for multiple violations of the NFL substance-abuse policy. That suspension, especially when juxtaposed against the two-game ban Ray Rice received for domestic violence, has led some to say the league’s priorities are out of whack.
In June, Harvard Medical School professor emeritus Lester Grinspoon, one of the forefathers of marijuana research, published an open letter to Goodell, urging him to drop urine testing for weed altogether and, more importantly, fund a crash research project for a marijuana-based drug that can alleviate the consequences of concussions.
“As much as I love to watch professional football, I’m beginning to feel like a Roman in the days when they would send Christians to the lions,” Grinspoon said. “I don’t want to be part of an audience that sees kids ruin their future with this game, and then the league doesn’t give them any recourse to try to protect themselves.”
The league does, in fact, fund sports-health research at the NIH, to the tune of a $30 million donation it made in 2012. But the science moves slowly no matter where it’s conducted and, as Vandrey says, “the NFL is in business for playing football, not doing scientific research.”
Meanwhile, marijuana becomes more and more acceptable across America every day. But even with the Super Bowl being dubbed “The Stoner Bowl” and the issue hanging heavily over the NFL’s marquee event, the league has shown no signs of quick movement.
The league’s threshold for a positive test remains 10 times lower than that of WADA, which changed its limit last year in a nod to the reality that the drug is not a performance enhancer.
The NFL’s conundrum is figuring a graceful way to keep tabs on those who use marijuana recklessly — or recreationally — while giving others a legitimate form of pain relief.
“I’d like to see us advance the subject to where we’re all mature and we get it,” Wiley said, “and we let players make the decision for themselves.”
Cogan Schneier, USA TODAY
With farmers markets all the rage these days, especially in the summer, a new kind of farmers market is budding on the West Coast — medical marijuana farmers markets.
Marijuana use prescribed by a doctor is legal in 23 states, and farmers markets featuring locally grown cannabis and other marijuana products have begun to pop up in Washington, California, Oregon and Arizona.
These markets are strictly medicinal; patrons need to show a doctor’s recommendation or medical marijuana identification card to get in, depending on the state. Market vendors set up booths to advertise and sell their cannabis, pot-infused edible products, topical creams and all sorts of ganja goodies.
Michael Keysor founded the Northwest Cannabis Market in Seattle in 2011. Keysor, the market’s CEO, started with a smaller market and eventually expanded to two locations. Now he oversees 26 market employees and nearly 400 vendors. His markets are open seven days a week.
Keysor says his market strictly follows city and state regulations, assuring the community that his market is only for medicinal purposes and offers quality products.
In other states, marijuana farmers markets have seen a different fate. The California Heritage Market in Los Angeles was shut down after city attorney Mike Feuer filed a complaint after the market opened on July 4.
Feuer argued that the farmers market violated city pot dispensary laws, because city law prohibits multiple marijuana vendors to sell on one site. He also said the market was a public nuisance. A judge halted the market’s operation until a hearing Aug. 6.
In Colorado, marijuana activist Justin Hartfield tried a different approach. Hartfield petitioned city regulators last year to allow the sale of marijuana at the city’s Sunday farmers market. Hartfield says he thought the market could be an alternative to pot dispensaries, which were not yet allowed in Boulder.
Though Hartfield had a few conversations with public officials, he says in the end, the city simply wasn’t ready yet in terms of regulation.
Patrick von Keyserling, communications director for the city of Boulder, says city law requires marijuana be sold indoors. It also cannot be brought within 1000 feet from a school, and the farmers market in Boulder is across the street from high school athletic fields. He says currently, the Boulder city council has no plans to change these regulations.
Still, Hartfield remains hopeful.
“I think places like Colorado, we’re gonna get it right,” Hartfield says. “Clearly there’s a huge need for medical patients to connect with growers.”
Keysor says, “It’s just like your local pharmacy. You like to have that person behind the counter you can trust, who knows about your history.”
Patients who use medicinal marijuana have varied and specific needs, Keysor says. Some people prefer edibles but need gluten-free products, while some would like an herbal tea but don’t want caffeine. Keysor, who has arthritis, treats the pain with marijuana.
The details can be crucial for patients, says Alex Cooley, co-founder and vice president at Solstice Grown, a marijuana production center that does some business with farmers markets. Different strains of cannabis can have different effects. Cooley says even the way marijuana is administered -whether it is eaten, smoked or applied as a cream – can affect how a patient reacts.
Keysor says perhaps the best product of the market is the sense of community.
“It brings competition together, it brings together people of like minds,” Keysor says. “And it brings ideas so the product can grow, change and help our patients more.”
The New York Times unveiled in the Sunday Review today the first editorial in a series emphatically encouraging the legalization of marijuana in America.
After Times columnist Maureen Dowd briefly dabbled (but not dabbed) with newly legal weed in Denver, the storied institution seems to have gotten a whiff of that sweet green, coming out fiercely in defense of legalizing the drug.
New York Times Columnist Maureen Dowd Is Very Bad at Getting High
The New York Times' Maureen Dowd journaled through a THC-infused hallucination this week and…
The headline is simple enough:
Repeal Prohibition, Again
We are right with you. The editorial board's opening article, the first in what is being called an "Editorial Series on Marijuana Legalization," begins with its apt comparison to prohibition and goes on from there:
It took 13 years for the United States to come to its senses and end Prohibition, 13 years in which people kept drinking, otherwise law-abiding citizens became criminals and crime syndicates arose and flourished. It has been more than 40 years since Congress passed the current ban on marijuana, inflicting great harm on society just to prohibit a substance far less dangerous than alcohol.
The federal government should repeal the ban on marijuana.
As a treat for lovers of behind-the-scenes content, editorial board member Andrew Rosenthal explained in a blog post titled "Some Background on Our 'High Time' Series" what influenced the decision to focus so much attention on weed legalization:
But we believe that this is a big issue for the country — not because we think everyone should be smoking pot, but because while you were reading this blog post, there's a good chance that, somewhere in the country, a young man — probably an African-American man — was arrested on a marijuana violation. Even if he is spared a prison term, that arrest is likely to severely harm, if not ruin, his life.
The Times editorial notes that they are advocating legalization of weed for anyone above the age of 21, due to potential damage to adolescent brains, but notes that "moderate use of marijuana does not appear to pose a risk for otherwise healthy adults." The editorial explains the potential social rewards of legalization:
The social costs of the marijuana laws are vast. There were 658,000 arrests for marijuana possession in 2012, according to F.B.I. figures, compared with 256,000 for cocaine, heroin and their derivatives. Even worse, the result is racist, falling disproportionately on young black men, ruining their lives and creating new generations of career criminals.
This series will continue in the Times in the coming weeks, the board says, and questions, comments, and ideas are currently being accepted for your imagination of America's Weed Future.
Published July 16, 2014
The 236-186 vote rejected a move by Rep. John Fleming, R-La., to block the Treasury Department from implementing guidance it issued in February telling banks how to report on their dealings with marijuana-related businesses without running afoul of federal money-laundering laws.
Marijuana dealing is still against federal law, so banks who do business with marijuana dispensaries could be accused of helping them launder their money. Federal money laundering convictions can mean decades in prison.
The Treasury guidance was intended to give banks confidence that they can deal with marijuana businesses in states where they’re legal. Many banks are still reluctant to do so.
That has forced many marijuana operations to stockpile cash, a situation that shop owners say is dangerous.
“They are operating just in cash, which creates its own potential for crime, robbery, assault and battery,” said Rep. Earl Perlmutter, D-Colo., whose state has legalized recreational pot use. “You cannot track the money. There is skimming and tax evasion. So the guidance by the Justice Department and the guidance by the Treasury Department is to bring this out into the open.”
The vote is largely symbolic since Treasury already had gone ahead with the guidance, but it demonstrates a loosening of anti-marijuana sentiment on Capitol Hill.
“Whereas the federal government once stood in the way of marijuana reform at every opportunity, the changing politics of this issue are such that more politicians are now working to accommodate popular state laws so that they can be implemented effectively,” said marijuana advocate Tom Angell.
A coalition of 46 mostly GOP moderates and libertarian-tilting Republicans joined with all but seven Democrats to beat back Fleming’s attempt to block the Treasury guidance.
The underlying measure, however, would block the District of Columbia from implementing a local law decriminalizing pot possession. The D.C. City Council approved a measure reducing the penalty for possession of up to an ounce of marijuana to a $25 fine.
That provision, by Rep. Andy Harris, R-Md., also would block the city from legalizing pot as Colorado and Washington state have done.
Cannabis Business University attended the first Jamaica Cannabis Conference May 22nd to May 24th 2014 ‘Wake Up Jamaica… Our Opportunities are slipping away” Sponsored by the Cannabis Commercial and Medicinal Task Force and the University of the West Indies Mona campus, Kingston, Jamaica.
Cannabis conference wants quick action on ganja decriminalisation
BY BALFORD HENRY Senior staff reporter
While there is a campaign to persuade cigarette smokers to quit, Government is planning to introduce an even more harmful and addictive smoked substance in the form of decriminalised recreational ganja.
THE first Jamaica Cannabis Conference ended at the University of the West Indies, Mona on Saturday, with a declaration from participants that the Government immediately put in place a road map, of no more than 120 days, to deal with the decriminalisation issues.
The conference, boasting a high-level list of international speakers concerned with medical cannabis and other related issues, from Jamaica, Israel, Canada, China and the United States, declared that no “meaningful results”, in terms of legislative reforms, had emerged from various parliamentary committees and consultations which have been pursued.
The participants, therefore, called on the Government to create the road map to immediately expunge the criminal record of all Jamaicans who have been convicted for the smoking and for the possession of small amounts non-compressed ganja.
It also wants to see amendments to the relevant laws so that ganja is decriminalised for the private, personal use of small quantities by adults and for it to be fully recognised as a sacramental rights of the Rastafari community to use ganja in their homes and places of worship. It further called for the establishment of a sustained all-media, all-schools education programme, aimed at demand reduction and that its target should be, in the main, young people.
The declaration called for the establishment of a properly regulated medical cannabis industry that incorporates cultivation, agro processing and other relevant ingredients critical for its success as well as to significantly increase the penalties for all illegal exportation, and persons found with compressed ganja, so as not to allow this illegality to contaminate the tremendous potential of a regulated medical cannabis industry.
The participants also agreed, in principle, and endorsed the Submission on the Rights of Ganja Usage (Updated document, Thursday 22nd May, 2014) by the Rastafarian Millennium Council, and generally supported by representatives of the Rastafarian Community present.
“We fully support the Conference Theme, ‘Wake up Jamaica, Our Opportunities are Slipping Away’, and strongly urge our legislators to act expeditiously, and not fall prey to undue caution, legalism and conservatism, or trying to get a ‘picture- perfect’ solution, leading to inaction,” the declaration from the conference said.
The author talks on legal weed, Bill O’Reilly, states’ rights, Ayn Rand, Denver’s 420 Rally, Tim Russert and her first pot shop
PUBLISHED: MAY 16, 2014, 4:56 PM
By Ricardo Baca, The Cannabist Staff
Malkin-penned books followed in 2002, 2004, 2005 and 2009 — including her most recent tome “Culture of
Corruption: Obama and His Team of Tax Cheats, Crooks and Cronies.” She would guest host for Fox headliners Bill O’Reilly and Sean Hannity regularly, building her brand, spreading her opinion and making her name by raising her voice and using her striking vocabulary as a weapon.
But after a very public falling out with O’Reilly and a life realization that she and her family needed to move away from the east coast, Malkin embraced her blogger community, pushed forward with her syndicated columns and moved to Colorado Springs five years ago. “We wanted to focus on the family, as it were,” she said, smiling an acknowledgement to the Springs-based religious right group Focus on the Family.
“I didn’t want to raise my kids in DC or New York, and yet we still wanted to be connected to the world. Colorado has been the perfect home for us. It’s funny, because in the cable TV news cartoon version of Colorado we’re all potheads, we’re all licentious, we’re all losers, all this kind of stuff. You hear it from O’Reilly all the time.
“This has been the most wonderful place for us to be connected with people who share our same values. People work hard here and play hard here. We want our kids to be able to enjoy life and have a greater perspective outside of that DC/New York corridor about what the pursuit of happiness is really about.”
There’s a philosophical and literary hook in Colorado’s mountainous landscape for Malkin, too.
“For Libertarians, of course, Colorado is a special place because it’s Galt’s Gulch, in the Ayn Rand novels,” said
Malkin. “The appeal is it’s the last, best sanctuary of the bulwark against the meddling state. And it’s real — it’s not just a fictional sanctuary. It’s real for many people, and those stories of those families moving here from New Jersey underscores that, and it resonates with me because that’s how we feel about Colorado.”
The move west also brought the Malkins closer to Jesse’s parents, the Jesse Jackson-voting Berkeley liberals who were now Michelle’s in-laws. By this point, Michelle was part of the family. The in-laws had moved from Berkeley to Colorado Springs to be closer to their grandchildren, and sometimes Michelle would woo friends over the dinner table with the trivia that she and her mother-in-law were both published writers.
Sure enough Carole Malkin’s lone novel, “The Journeys of David Toback,” had received a glowing review in The New York Times upon its release in August 1981. In a Ted Solotoroff-penned book review, The Times wrote: “What eventually touched me most was a certain rightness about this collaboration between an Orthodox Jew from Shumsk who was writing about a vanished world and his presumably assimilated American granddaughter revising it in Berkeley.”
“For the years I’d been highly visible on Fox News, it gets kind of boring when everybody assumes that everything is black and white,” she said. “And these alliances are the most interesting. It’s what I treasured most about my days in newspapers, at the LA Daily News and in Seattle. There’s no room for these kinds of nuances when you’re in a shout-fest for three minutes when everything is a cartoon, but here the alliances in Colorado that lead to the passage of Amendment 64 are the same way — Tom Tancredo is all for it, right, and you had many law enforcement people who are, too.”
It’s an expansive story, one that is far from over — even with the U.S.’s most prominent doctors changing their minds about marijuana and the American population pulling for cannabis legalization for the first time in decades. Malkin had much to share over our breakfast, so let’s throw in a Q&A lightening round:
On her falling out with Bill O’Reilly and Fox News: “In 2007 a series of things happened, including a public falling out with O’Reilly. I told Fox that I was going to quit doing the show. They had wanted me to do more and more of it, so there was an implicit expectation that we’d be moving up to New York City so I wouldn’t have to do all of the commuting. That was a real fork in the road, and I decided I did not want to do that with my life … If they were going to fire me for quitting the show, I could do well without it. That was very radical thing to do. I wasn’t sure if I’d be blacklisted or what the hell.”
On the Republicans who talk about appealing Amendment 64: “This is the stupidest thing I could think of. It seems to me that the gubernatorial election is the Republican party’s to lose. There are so many factors that are working against (Colorado Governor John) Hickenlooper right now. His poll numbers are tanking. And so what’s the last thing you want to do? Alienate Independents who might think about voting for a Republican gubernatorial candidate who supports marijuana legalization. I support Tom Tancredo for precisely that reason. He was a huge factor in persuading a lot of people who might have been on the fence. (Legalization is) here to stay.”
On her feelings about Colorado’s pro-marijuana movement: “There are some missteps on the pro-legalization side where they go overboard, and it doesn’t help optics and PR when you have those things in Denver like the 420 Rally. That’s not good. They should just stay home. I’m not a strategist, but there still needs to be cultural stations and guardrails in place that prevent us from turning into Amsterdam or whatever other heathen place out there. The more you can tell the stories like ours and make the focus a tight focus on the ability of adults to determine how to live their lives, particular to live the end of their lives, the better.”
On protecting the Second Amendment and decriminalizing drugs: “There has been such an infantilization of citizens by the nanny state that it becomes easier and easier to swallow rationalizing increasing the power of government as a way to protect people from both social harm and self harm. And for people who think about liberty and how the power of the state should be limited, it bothers me greatly that we’ve redefined what social harm is and that there’s been this encroachment on people’s ability to do whatever they want and in their own homes as long as it doesn’t impose social harm outside of your home. As long as I’ve been thinking about these issues, dating back to my days in Seattle, it’s always seemed to me that there are similar arguments for fiercely protecting Second Amendment rights as there are for decriminalizing drugs, not just for medical marijuana but for recreational as well. And I have to say that my reservations are greater with regard to recreational marijuana, but the very simple point of my column was how grateful we were that the people of Colorado passed Amendment 64 because it provided an opportunity for us to circumvent the bureaucracy because we could just drop by and walk in. I’m absolutely against repealing it.”
On finding capitalism alive and well in the legal pot industry: “We were so sheepish at the pot shop. I’m sure we looked so goofy saying, ‘Are there brownies?’ And she whipped out the cheddar crackers. And for me, as someone who believes in capitalism, I was just amazed at how many different companies are involved in producing these different products. From the bakery to those (vape) pen things, some of it was a bit cliché — they had the Tommy Chongbanner up top, the big ’70s heavy metal pounding when you went into the recreational side, but it also struck me how we felt safe. There were multiple ID checks and serious guards at the door — and contrast that with god knows what we would have had to do if we tried obtaining it on the streets.”
On the virtues of the written word: “People who are only familiar with me as a TV persona and don’t have the longview of how I have made my bread and butter don’t fully appreciate that. In the 24/7 cable age, how do you become known? It’s not for 20 years of slogging in newspaper opinion writing; It’s for whatever three minutes you were on the TV for some inflammatory issue. I’ve never knocked that, because the leverage that the TV exposure has provided to me has been invaluable because I could steer people to my writing, which has — and this gets around to why we’re here — not always been what people expect. The column I did on pot would only be a surprise to someone who hasn’t known for the last 15 years that I’ve supported medical marijuana and have written extensively about it.”
On Ralph Seeley’s trial in Washington state: “(Seeley’s) appeal to liberty was really what won me over. It was consistent with my own set of values about individual and economic liberty. The seedy injustice, even in the jurisprudence, of Seeley’s legal court case — how they could argue that there are no compelling privacy interests for a terminally ill man to be able to obtain a medical prescription for marijuana? There’s no privacy interest in that, and yet they define state constitutional privacy interest so broadly that it covers a woman’s right to birth control, a woman’s right to abortion and at the time the (Washington) state supreme court was considering a euthanasia case. So they were in favor of a privacy right to kill yourself but not to ease your pain? This makes no sense to me.”
On being pro-marijuana, cautiously: “While some people on the pro side who don’t ever want you to acknowledge that there are costs and consequences and abuses, I don’t have any problem with saying, ‘Of course we should be worried about what else can happen here.’ Of course I tell my kids, ‘Don’t you mess with this,’ as I would with any illicit, addictive substance. It’s not a weakness that there are always those concerns, and that’s why I stress the need for the cultural guardrails. It bothers me to see Snoop Doggy Dogg and this big haze around all these kids — just how irresponsible that is. And to the extent that the movement has grown up, it’s a tribute to people like Ralph Seeley, for whom it was a matter of individual liberty and principal all along. There will always be people on either side who exploit the extremes.
Malkin didn’t vote on Amendment 64, she said, but she does prefer some aspects of it to Washington state’s Initiative 502, which says “local jurisdictions may not ban pot shops outright.”
“I’m a believer of federalism at a national level and local control,” Malkin said, “and there will be some communities for whom this is the right thing to do and feel equipped to handle it like Pueblo, and there will be cities like ours that don’t want it. Amendment 64 was the will of the people, and how it’s implemented and handled locally is the next step of that. I can accept that. It only took 40 minutes to drive down to Pueblo. And of course Manitou Springs has approved (recreational marijuana), limiting it to two shops, and they don’t want them to be downtown on the strip, so one of them will be up here,” she said, motioning to Uncle Sam’s parking lot with her hand.
“But that’s politics, working it out and balancing interests. And I hope that the pro side wont gripe about the choices that some of these communities will make, because being able to have that kind of diversity within the state is part of having a democracy.”
Marijuana is becoming one of the ultimate experiments in this laboratory of democracy, and it’s a conversation that is playing out on a smaller, familial level as well throughout Colorado, Washington and nearly 20 other states that have legalized medical marijuana.
“For my family now, especially since the kids are a little bit older, more information is better,” Malkin said about telling her children about the legal marijuana around them. “This seems paradoxical, but I think with our personal experience it’s helped demystify and destigmatize and demagnetize (marijuana). There’s no allure to the illicit objects out there they might be tempted to try because mom and dad say, ‘Stay away.’
“It’s just a fact of life in the family, and it’s occasionally an object of mirth. Our kids’ friends will say, ‘Look, your right-wing nut-job parents went to the pot shop.’ This is probably true of a lot of families in our situations. Life is so precious, and this goes back to that ethos of why we chose to live in Colorado. There are so many factors that have come into play that to me are providential. We’ve learned to never waste a second in our lives, and when something like what happened to my mother in law comes along the way it’s just a reminder.”
Again, Malkin felt the emotional weight of the subject and took a deep breath.
“It’s not a cliché for us to cherish life and to cherish the freedoms we have,” Malkin said, “and thank god this is one of them.”
As for mother in law Carole Malkin, she’s out of the hospital and back with her family.
“She’s reading again,” Michelle said. “She’s writing again. We don’t know how long she has. It could be months, it could be a couple years. But like I said, the ability to choose how to live each and every one of those last days for us is priceless, and we don’t know when she’ll need to be more aggressive about using the other forms of marijuana we bought for her in her stash, but it’s there – ‘grandma’s stash,’ we call it – and we’re happy to have the choices.”
The Huffington Post | by Matt Ferner
05/14/2014 1:56 pm EDT
Medical marijuana just got another celebrity doctor’s public support.
During an interview Monday with Dr. Mehmet Oz on “Larry King Live”, King asked Oz if he’d changed his views on marijuana.
“I have,” Oz responded, and went on to explain just how far he’s come from his early beliefs about the plant. “I grew up like most of my generation believing that marijuana was something Satan was throwing at Americans, a communist plot. But I think most of us have come around to the believe that marijuana is hugely beneficial when used correctly for medicinal purposes,” Oz said.
Oz joins the ranks of other TV medical experts who have come out in support of medical marijuana in recent years, including CNN’s chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta, who recently “doubled down” on his support, and ABC News’ chief health and medical editor Dr. Richard Besser.
A vast majority of Americans now believe that marijuana should be legalized for medical purposes. According to a recent CBS News poll, 86 percent of Americans think that doctors should be able to legally prescribe medical cannabis to patients suffering from serious illnesses.
Oz — who in addition to hosting his own show is a cardiothoracic surgeon, author, and teaching professor at Columbia University — stopped short of supporting recreational marijuana, citing use by children as a main concern.
“We pervert its use at times,” Oz added. “I don’t think it should be widely used, certainly by kids, because that creates a dependence that is unhealthy in any setting. But it absolutely should be widely available in America [for medical use].”
Currently, 21 states and the District of Columbia have legalized medical marijuana, but the drug remains illegal under federal law, classified as a Schedule I substance, which the federal government considers to be of “the most dangerous” variety “with no currently accepted medical use.”
DENVER — A divisive plan to create the world’s first financial system for marijuana came back to life in the Colorado Legislature Friday, when lawmakers revived a bill sponsors called the state’s best hope for moving the marijuana industry away from its all-cash basis.
The proposal would allow marijuana dispensaries to form financial cooperatives, sort of uninsured credit unions. The co-ops would take effect only if the U.S. Federal Reserve agrees to allow them to access payment systems.
“This is an important bill to move our state forward,” said House Speaker Mark Ferrandino, arguing that pot shops’ inability to access financial services like basic checking accounts makes the new industry hard to regulate.
The pot industry’s dilemma accessing banking services as basic as checking accounts is a widely acknowledged problem. But guidance issued by the U.S. Treasury Department in February to help the problem appears to have only made the situation worse, with banks calling the guidelines onerous.
Republicans in the House argued vigorously against the banking bill, calling it a long-shot pipe dream. Others groused that the proposal is being rushed. It was introduced on Wednesday, a week before the Legislature concludes for the year.
“This is a three-ring circus,” said Rep. Lori Saine, R-Firestone. “This is clowns coming out of the circus car.”
Sponsors acknowledged the plan was a long-shot attempt to again try to move the marijuana away from its cash-only roots without running afoul of federal law. Colorado has struggled for years to find ways to help its pot industry access banks, and Democratic backers fought back GOP attempts to turn the proposal into a study. A similar plan was abandoned as unworkable two years ago.
“We have studied this thing to death,” Ferrandino said.
This year’s bill awaits a final House vote next week. After that, the bill must clear the Senate before hitting the governor’s desk. Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper supports the bill.