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Should Marijuana Get Same State-to-State Treatment as Guns?

Should Marijuana Get Same State-to-State Treatment as Guns?

You may remember last week we talked about how some states are pushing to take gun rights away from people prescribed medical marijuana. Of course, this topic has sparked a lot of conversation on how medical marijuana should be addressed. But a lot of the discussion has been on how 2nd amendment rights should be protected. The debate ranges from push-back for individual states, to argue that federal law still considers marijuana a schedule 1 drug, meaning people who use the drug are not allowed to own or possess firearms.

Well, since we have already jumped into the discussion comparing gun rights and medical marijuana, we might as well talk about another interesting story brought about by a Democratic congressman from California.

Concealed Carry Reciprocity

The whole conversation starts with the introduction of the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act, which is currently being pushed by Republican lawmakers this week. This new piece of legislation would mandate that if someone is able to receive a concealed carry permit for a firearm in one state, that all other states would be required to honor that concealed carry permit. This means even if your state has much more strict requirements for concealing a gun, someone from a state with much more relaxed requirements is still allowed to travel into your state with a concealed weapon.

Now to be clear, there are many states that already honor concealed carry reciprocity. For example, if I were to get my concealed carry permit in my home state of Ohio, the vast majority of states would allow me to carry a concealed weapon.

Also, in the Buckeye State, they actually recognized the concealed carry permits of every other state already.

But Democratic Congressman Ro Khanna argues that it goes against the very idea of state’s rights and federalism. He argues that the Republican Party, which is often the champion for state’s rights, is forgetting that each state should be able to determine what laws are best for their own citizens and that this legislation will essentially federalize concealed carry permits.

The reason we wanted to talk about this is due to the argument used by Congressman Ro Khanna using marijuana to try and make his point.

Marijuana Reciprocity

Congressman Ro Khanna, who represents Silicon Valley area, made a video that argues that if the GOP wants to move forward with making concealed carry permits a national movement, then the same protections should be required by all states to honor marijuana laws.

In the clip posted to Twitter on Wednesday, Khanna states:

“If one state allows the legalization of marijuana, does that mean every state needs to allow the legalization of marijuana?”

Going off of Khanna’s comparison, applying the logic of the H.R. 38 Concealed Carry Reciprocity policy to marijuana would mean someone in California who received a doctor’s recommendation for medical marijuana for anxiety should be able to legally use marijuana in Pennsylvania.

Pennsylvania has more strict restrictions on their medical marijuana laws, with anxiety not being included as a qualifying medical condition.

While Khanna’s comparison is more tongue-in-cheek as part of his opposition to the H.R. 38 bill, it does present an interesting question; should medical marijuana be recognized with reciprocity? One should remember that gun ownership is an actual constitutional right, versus cannabis decriminalization being a recent movement.

Then again, does it make sense to argue “what’s good for the goose is good for the gander” in a context like this? This brings us back to the argument of whether or not the federal government should be putting more effort into federal law against marijuana, or if the states have more a right to decide if they will allow cannabis for medical or recreational purposes.

It is still an interesting argument to make. Should states compare these two concepts in the debate on policy?

Marijuana Abuse

Marijuana reform remains a controversial topic. However, the legal status of any medication does not take away from the dangers of substance abuse. Plenty of prescription medications have a high risk of abuse and addiction, and marijuana abuse can be harmful to an individual’s life.

People often mistake marijuana for having no addictive properties. This misconception is because most people consider cannabis a ‘soft drug’ when compared to other ‘hard drugs’ such as crack-cocaine or heroin. While the chemical hooks may not be as drastic or apparent, the truth is that habitual use of any chemical can result in developing tolerance, which can also lead to withdrawal. Symptoms most commonly associated with marijuana withdrawal include:

  • Insomnia, nightmares, vivid dreams, using dreams
  • Drug craving
  • Mood swings
  • Nervousness
  • Restlessness
  • Loss of concentration
  • Headaches
  • Weight loss and weight gain
  • Digestion problems
  • Nausea
  • Night sweats
  • Decreased sex drive
  • Shakiness and dizziness

If you are struggling with cannabis abuse, do not hesitate to get help today. Often time’s people who use one substance develop a habit of abuse with many others.

Be careful not to underestimate the substances you are using. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free now.

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California says NO to Pot Delivering Drones

California says NO to Pot Delivering Drones

Californians expecting to get their marijuana delivered via drone should not hold their breath. A new set of regulations will make it harder for California businesses who try to deliver pot in unique ways.

The legalization of marijuana has raised a host of controversy. For one, the question of who has the right to distribute pot is already a complex issue. However, now there is the question of how these products get delivered.

Pot Drones? Should they be allowed?

California legislators are hoping to get these questions answered before issuing dispensary licenses next year. They came together this month to lay down the rules. Ultimately, it was decided that marijuana could NOT be delivered by drones.

The decision was part of the Commercial Cannabis Business Licensing Program Regulations released by the state.

“Transportation may not be done by aircraft, watercraft, rail, drones, human-powered vehicles, or unmanned vehicles,” the regulations read, according to Ars Technica.

While deliveries will be allowed, they must adhere to the following guidelines:

Deliveries may be made only in person by enclosed motor vehicle. Cannabis goods may not be visible to the public during deliveries. Cannabis goods may not be left in an unattended motor vehicle unless the vehicle has an active alarm system. Vehicles used for delivery must have a dedicated, active GPS device that enables the dispensary to identify the geographic location of the vehicle during delivery.”

The news will be a major disappointment to the handful of businesses in California who already promised future pot deliveries by drone. One company, MDelivers, said the opportunity to deliver marijuana via drone was “unmistakable.”

Nevertheless, the company CEO did not count on lawmakers forbidding drone deliveries:

After navigating the complexities of medical marijuana permitting, the state and FAA licensing process was actually pretty simple. Nobody can jump in at the 11th hour and rewrite the laws of aerodynamics,” Chris Boudreau, CEO and founder of MDelivers said in a blog post before the regulations were announced.

With the new policies in place, there is no telling how entrepreneurs will get marijuana to their customers. Even if drones are off the table, there are a variety of other new, interesting methods being considered.

We may see a vending machine attached to a self-driving car before we see a drone,” Marshall Hayner, CEO of Trees Delivery, told Mashable.

As California prepares to expand its cannabis market, there continues to be challenges among those against marijuana legalization, especially when it comes to the products crossing state lines illegally. This has already been a major concern for states where port had been legal for recreational use such as Colorado and Oregon.

Surrounding states are trying to address the marijuana diversion issue by requiring pot businesses to track their product from “seed to store.” Time will tell how these sorts of issues will be regulated.

Furthermore, there remains to be conflicting ideologies on whether or not marijuana use is beneficials. While there has been proven benefits of marijuana use, there are also negative effects of marijuana use. Like any drug, marijuana has the potential to be abused.

As more and more states legalize marijuana, logistical challenges remain such as how the products can be delivered. Marijuana remains illegal under federal law, where it’s still classified as a controlled substance. This results in a variety of challenges in states like Colorado where recreational marijuana is legal.

The federal government requires that Colorado and any state that legalizes marijuana work together to prevent:

  • Distribution of marijuana to minors.
  • Transporting marijuana from states where it’s legal to other states.
  • Growing marijuana on public lands.
  • Marijuana possession or use on federal property.
  • Other criminal activity or violence associated with the sale of marijuana.

It is important to remember that like any drug, marijuana has the potential to be abused. Do not feel shame for feeling out of control of your marijuana use. Stigma should not prevent you from seeking treatment. If you or someone you know is struggling with substance abuse, please reach out today. Do not wait. Call toll-free now.

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California Joins States Considering Safe Injection Sites

California Joins States Considering Safe Injection Sites

Author: Justin Mckibben

Yes, I’m bringing this topic to the table once again because now the trend is starting to pick up the pace and it has me curious. The past two months I have written a few stories on how certain counties in New York and in Washington have law makers and law enforcement officials pushing for a some-what controversial tactic for attacking the heroin epidemic in their respective areas by creating safe injection sites for heroin users, or realistically anyone using an IV to ingest drugs, to safely use with medical staff on site and sterilized equipment.

Now California has joined the growing number of cities and states across the country that are actually considering the benefits of opening safe injection sites, so I find myself wondering if more and more people are changing their minds and opening up to the possibility of reducing the overdose death rates by instituting controlled and safe environments for addicts to use.

Around the world there are about 100 safe injection sites operating in various countries including:

  • Canada
  • Spain
  • Norway

Despite the seemingly growing popularity of the idea with some, there are currently no safe injection sites operating here in America. The whole goal of these safe injection sites is to provide a innocuous environment for injection drug users in order to keep them off the streets, while promoting safe injection practices and even providing addiction treatment resources.

Clinics in California

Just this past Tuesday Democratic Assemblywoman Susan Talamantes Eggman introduced a proposed legislation that rivals those of the other states pursuing safe injection sites. This new move would would make it legal for local and state health departments to allow the use of controlled substances in clinics. During a press conference Eggman stressed the severity of the situation with heroin and opiate abuse and how important it is that we as a nation start to fight addiction in a new way with a better understanding. She stated,

“Addiction is a health care issue, and I think it’s high time we started treating it as a public health issue, versus a criminal issue. This bill is one step to be able to address the heroin addiction and epidemic of overdoses that we’re having in our country.”

Eggman is now focusing on the success of North America’s only supervised injection facility in Vancouver, British Columbia, which has operated since 2003, much like the other times we have discussed this idea Eggman has pointed to the Insite facility as an inspiration for what some believe is possible for states in America to implement in order to save lives.

Canadian Sen. Larry Campbell joined Eggman at the press conference in Sacramento to support her proposal, being an experienced authority on the subject as the mayor of Vancouver during the time the Insite safe injection site was created. In his comments advocating the use of safe injection sites Campbell claimed,

“The drug is illegal, but the person who’s using the drug is suffering from a recognized medical disease. What this does is simply treat the addiction, keep somebody alive and keep them off the streets.”

This is a pretty strong statement from a former law enforcement officer who ran for mayor on the platform that he intended to open a safe injection site in Vancouver, explaining to the press that in his work in the community he saw firsthand the horrors of heroin addiction and overdose death, and that he was tired of watching the body count climb higher and higher and knew something had to be done. Since opening over 13 years ago Insite has seen not a single overdose fatality, and in its first year alone the safe injection site is estimated to have saved the state $1.5 million in health care costs.

Yet the new legislation for safe injection sites in California is nowhere near set in stone, much like any other similar proposal, and still faces stout opposition from local law enforcement. According to a spokesperson for the California State Sheriff’s Association, the safe injection sites bill “sends entirely the wrong message regarding drug use.” So far the voting by the committee has been postponed, which many would call a clear cut indication that lawmakers in California are hesitant to support the institution of safe injection sites.

Every time I bring up this topic we get a decent amount of feedback from people both supporting and opposing safe injection sites, so I guess I’m just wondering if we are set to see any drastic shift anytime soon.

As the death rate escalates in relation to heroin addiction and the infections caused by intravenous drug use, the nation may have to at least consider options that some may find controversial. Safe injection sites might not be the best answer, but it seems some are at least considering it as an option. Beyond the needle for a maintenance program, there is real lasting recovery in holistic healing. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-561-951-6135

Marijuana Legalization Could Help California’s Water Crisis

Marijuana Legalization Could Help California's Water Crisis

Author: Shernide Delva

California is in the middle of their worst drought in 1200 years. Recently, I wrote an article about how marijuana farms are draining the state of its water supply. The growing season for marijuana plants comes during California typically dry summer months. An article in The Rolling Stone pushed for regulating the drug stating their needs to be a crackdown on water usage.

As a side effect, Marijuana Reform is now being viewed as a possible solution for California water drought problem. The legalization of marijuana is now heavily promoted as a way to save California’s water crisis.

Marijuana plants require six gallons of water a day per plant to grow. Often, this large water supply is diverted from rivers, lakes, and streams or even stolen from farmers whose water use is already strictly regulated. The majority of marijuana is produced in an area known as the Emerald Triangle consisting of Humbold, Mendocino, and Trinity counties.

Unfortunately, much of the Emerald Triangle is currently classified as ecologically vulnerable. Writer S.E Smith argues in one article that the solution is to legalize pot so that large marijuana growers would go away from ecologically vulnerable areas.

The legalization of marijuana would result in environmental benefits, the article mentions.  Marijuana growers would be required to grow their crops next to other farms and thereby have to follow the same water regulations. It would allow regulators to monitor the growth of the plants and offer guidelines for reducing water usage such as establishing a rainwater collection for the summer months.

The full legalization of marijuana in California is seen as inevitable for many corporations. In efforts to prepare, The North Coast Regional Water Control Board is in the process of setting up permits associated with marijuana cultivation. Other pilots programs across the states have implemented new guidelines to cultivate marijuana in an environmentally conscious manner.

What this means for Marijuana Reform:

So what does this all mean? Essentially the drought in California is making the fight for legalization easier. In addition to all the health benefits and revenue that marijuana has the potential to bring; the environment is another reason for reform.

California has one of the largest running medical marijuana programs, but in the past, recreational marijuana has been voted down.  Since the drought has gotten to be so horrible, most people will lean towards supporting any legislation that will improve the water shortage. California’s significant loss in agricultural yield, income and employment will likely influence the decision to legalize recreational marijuana.

Furthermore, the higher tax revenues generated from marijuana will result in other states to want to cash in on marijuana as well.  Legalization in California is predicted to generate a rippling effect influencing legislation in states nationwide. As more states legalize marijuana, there will be less of a need to grow only in one area and farms will spread in other areas of the country.

Until recently, farmers sought out hidden nooks and crannies of the state to cultivate their crops. They were not conscientious about water usage or environmental regulations. Marijuana still remains largely in the shadows because its illegality makes it impossible to regulate. How do you regulate a crop that people can’t legally produce?

For now, as long as farmers offer documentation that they are growing plants on behalf of those with medical marijuana prescriptions, they can continue to grow. Unless marijuana legalization occurs, this will be an uncertain situation with minimal solutions.

Marijuana is an easily abused drug, and legalization poses other consequences. However,  medical marijuana regulations are not beneficial to the environment. The next step for California may be to protect the environment by legalizing the drug and enforcing proper regulations.

Marijuana is a mind-altering substance that can be abused just like any other drug. Research is suggesting there could be health implications from heavy use. Although marijuana reform is getting significant amounts of attention, it is important to recognize if your drug use is becoming an addiction.

Remember, legal or not, drugs can be abused and drug addiction can occur. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135.

Suing Big Pharma for Campaign of Deception

Suing Big Pharma for Campaign of Deception

Author: Justin Mckibben

Big Pharma is getting a progressively sketchier and more unsavory reputation as the world opens its eyes to the desperation and deterioration created by the abuse of several powerful medications marketed to the masses in exponential amounts. The heaving heroin epidemic and its relationship with the over prescription of opiate painkillers and anti-depressants has caused a great deal of enormity and outrage, and more and more people are looking to politicians and lawmakers to hold the flame to the feet of Big Pharma for any and all misconduct.

Now according to a recent report, 2 California counties have filed suit against 5 of the biggest pharmaceutical companies in the business of pushing pills, and officials are referring to the misconduct as a “campaign of deception,” alleging the makers of various opiate based painkillers purposely lied about the effects and risks related to their drugs in order to increase profits, at great expense to human life and quality of their communities.

Orange County Attacks Opiate Makers

Tony Rackauckus is the Orange County District Attorney (DA), and he recently described his intention in pursuing legal action against this handful of pharmaceutical pushers as “a matter of public protection” and explained his efforts in following through with the suit is to act as an attempt “to stop the lies about what these drugs do.” In a recent story Rackauckus did not hold back his opinions of how these giants of the medication industry has been manipulating the population for profit, and told the Times,

“In order to put money in their pockets, they’ve done serious harm to many thousands of people,”

Orange County, along with Santa Clara County in California, has been battered and bewildered by sincreased overdose death and drastically increased medical costs credited to the escalation of abuse of prescription narcotics in the past few years, and Rackauckus is not the first to think the big names in Big Pharma should start being held accountable. Rackauckus stated:

“California is suffering disproportionately from this problem, so it is appropriate for this state to take up this hammer,”

That hammer is being swiftly taken up and swung at a number of drug companies, including those behind the production and marketing of OxyContin, which was recently approved by the FDA for children as young as 11 years old.

So while Big Pharma adjusts its strategies, states are gearing up to take the fight to their front door.

Landmark Marketing Suit

This entire mission to stand up for these counties and sue these companies could be a landmark marketing case, perhaps one only paralleled by the tobacco industry settlement back in the 1990’s. The lawsuit contends that five well-known drug companies knowingly violated California laws in numerous ways, including:

  • Falsely advertising their products
  • Engaging in unfair business practices
  • Creating a public nuisance

In labors to make a sweeping statement and target the big name offenders, which are:

  1. Actavis
  2. Endo Health Solutions
  3. Janssen Pharmaceuticals
  4. Purdue Pharma
  5. Cephalon Inc

The case being put together by the DA also claims these drug companies manipulated doctors into thinking that the benefits of an assortment of prescription drugs outweighed the risks, such as abuse leading to physical addiction. Those fighting for the county suggest these tactics lead many physicians across Southern California to prescribe drugs that led to fatal overdoses, which goes without even mentioning the contribution these drugs made to more serious illicit drug habits, as statistics have shown most heroin users today started with opiate painkillers at one point.

The case presented by Rackauckus stated:

“marketing – and not any medical breakthrough – that rationalized prescribing opioids for chronic pain and opened the floodgates of opioid use and abuse,” the suit said, they “deprived California patients and their doctors of the ability to make informed medical decisions and, instead, caused important, sometimes life-or-death decisions to be made based not on science, but on hype.”

Purdue Pharma has already been held up to scrutiny in the past few years by other states including Kentucky and Chicago in civil lawsuits aimed at the drug maker for the devastation caused by OxyContin and their questionable marketing strategies, and with cases like this coming up, one has to wonder if these pharmaceutical companies will ever truly have to face the music.

Sure they give up millions of dollars when they lose in court, but you can’t begin to put a price on the millions of lives lost over the years. They will just keep making money, maybe they should be dealt a different kind of justice for the damage they have created.

Soon we will see how this whole deal plays out, and if these 5 companies end up having to make some kind of retribution for medication marketing that have hurt a lot of people in the long run. Meanwhile people all over the country recover from addiction to opiates and other drugs with the help of strong support, and a great place to get the kind of support to take this kind of journey is Palm Partners. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135

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