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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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MMJ or Molon Labe: Medical Marijuana Users Losing Gun Rights in States

MMJ or Molon Labe: Medical Marijuana Users Losing Gun Rights in States

Author: Justin Mckibben

It seems politicians are telling people- take your pick; guns or marijuana… you can’t have both.

Back in 2016, you may recall that we did an article covering the story of S. Rowan Wilson, a Nevada resident who in 2011 was denied when attempting to purchase a handgun when the gun store owner recognized her as a medical marijuana cardholder. In court, Wilson maintained that she does not herself use marijuana, but in August of 2016, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decided in a 3-0 vote that if you have a medical marijuana card, you can’t buy a gun.

Recently the ideas behind this case have sparked renewed outrage and discussion over whether or not medical marijuana users should be permitted to own a firearm. The gun control debate is one that is already being consistently argued in the shadow of recent mass shootings and pushing from politicians to address the issue. But drug policy impacting gun policy adds a new perspective to the conversation.

Now there are several states cracking down on marijuana users, and it has some people up in arms about how even though states are legalizing medical marijuana use, federal law and many state governments are cutting them off from their right to gun ownership.

Under Federal Influence

According to federal law, gun purchases are already prohibited to people who are described as:

“-unlawful user and/or addict of any controlled substance.”

Back in 2011, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) insisted that the law applies to marijuana users-

“regardless of whether [their] State has passed legislation authorizing marijuana use for medicinal purposes.”

So it seems the ATF and the federal government are pulling out all the stops when it comes to making sure marijuana users aren’t allowed to own guns.

The decision in the care of Wilson and the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals includes the areas:

  • District of Alaska
  • District of Arizona
  • Central District of California
  • Eastern District of California
  • Northern District of California
  • Southern District of California
  • District of Hawaii

The Supreme Court ruled that it is NOT a violation of 2nd Amendment Rights to deny guns to marijuana patients. The impact of that ruling has now begun to spread. It would seem the federal government thus far is standing by this. Special Agent Joshua E. Jackson of the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives in Washington D.C. states:

“There are no exceptions in federal law for marijuana used for medicinal or recreational purposes.”

And as far as things look now, there will be no change anytime soon to the federal government’s stance on marijuana. Especially with the current administration emphasizing so heavily a law and order approach to drug policy.

More States Against Marijuana and Guns

Even though there are 29 states and Washington D.C. that have voted to allow patients to have access to medical marijuana, several of these states are choosing to trade that opportunity for a shot at gun ownership. In fact, just this week a few state officials announced their own stance against allowing gun owners to be medical marijuana patients.

Hawaii

In a move that spurred a backlash of viral videos and other reports, Hawaii took a bold step in this effort. Last week the Honolulu Police Department sent letters to medical marijuana users saying that they will need to turn in their weapons within 30 days of receipt. According to Leafly, a copy of one of these letters states:

“Your medical marijuana use disqualifies you from ownership of firearms and ammunition.”

However, the letter also apparently says that the medical marijuana patients can get their firearms back. The stipulation being they would need a doctor’s clearance to do so.

Pennsylvania

A similar situation happened in Pennsylvania. The state police director of the Bureau of Records and Identification, Major Scott C. Price, made an announcement on Tuesday stating:

“So, in fact, an individual who is issued a medical marijuana card in Pennsylvania who is a user of medical marijuana, that individual would be prohibited from purchasing or technically possession of a firearm under federal law.”

So Pennsylvania won’t allow people to even be in possession of a firearm at any time with a medical marijuana card.

Ohio

Ohio’s medical marijuana program becomes operation in September of 2018. Information from industry analysts estimate that 24% of the state’s population have qualifying conditions; that’s 2.8 million Ohioans. But just this week it was announced that people in the Buckeye State who register to legally use marijuana for medicinal purposes will also be prohibited from possessing firearms.

According to the ATF letter from back in 2011, marijuana users are also prohibited from:

  • Shipping
  • Transporting
  • Receiving
  • Possessing firearms or ammunition

So anyone in Ohio who is applying to purchase a gun from a licensed dealer must sign a form attesting her or she is not “an unlawful user of, or addicted to, marijuana or any depressant, stimulant, narcotic drug, or any other controlled substance.”

Under federal law, lying on the form is a felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison. Even Joe Eaton, southwest spokesman for the Buckeye Firearms Association says they are confused at this point,

““There is definitely a conflict between the state laws and the federal laws,”

Some Ohio law enforcement officials are also unsure at this point how to enforce these situations as of the moment, and are depending on their prosecutors to provide more clarification through the conflict with state and federal law.

Will Marijuana Users Go Molon Labe?

For those unfamiliar with the term, molon labe is Greek for “come and take [them]”. This declaration has been repeated by many generals and politicians to express an army’s or nation’s determination not to surrender. The motto ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ is on the emblem of the I Army Corps of Greece and the Second Infantry Division of Cyprus, and is also the motto of United States Special Operations Command Central (SOCCENT). The expression “Come and take it” was a slogan in the Texas Revolution.

It is also a popular choice of words for many 2nd Amendment advocates.

The question becomes, how will the hardcore 2nd Amendment supporters react to this ruling against medical marijuana and guns? Some actually believe this may actually inspire the National Rifle Association (NRA) to become pro-medical marijuana at the federal level. Will this kind of shift in support turn the tide?

Will avid gun owners come out in strong opposition to taking away guns from medical marijuana patients, or will they agree that drug use should disqualify them from owning or possessing weapons and ammunition?

How should authorities proceed? Is this a safe political sit rep or another war of opinions waiting to happen?

Treating Marijuana Abuse

Whether or not you support gun ownership of medical marijuana patients, we should all be able to get behind having treatment resources for anyone who struggles with substance abuse.

Marijuana, much like any other substance, can be abused and have an adverse impact on the overall quality of life for many people. No matter what the legal status of any drug, it can still have a negative impact on people who grapple with substance use disorder. We know this all too well, as plenty of prescription medications helped create the opioid crisis in America.

There still needs to be resources available to help people who suffer from abuse. Supporting addiction recovery means breaking the stigma and offering holistic and effective solutions. Palm Healthcare Company is here to help. If you or someone you love is struggling, please call toll-free now.

CALL NOW 1-800-951-6135

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.

CALL NOW 1-800-951-6135

Florida Anti-Marijuana Crusaders: Valid Concerns or Just Fear Mongering?

Florida Anti-Marijuana Crusaders: Valid Concerns or Just Fear Mongering?

 

Author: Justin Mckibben

Just how far are the Florida anit-marijuana crusaders known as the ‘No On 2’ group willing to push the envelope as far as their campaign to undermine the legislation to legalize medicinal marijuana in the state of Florida? The Right to Medical Marijuana Initiative 2 is something that is being placed in the hands of the people very soon to either approve or deny, and this group of anti-marijuana advocates are pulling out all the stops in hopes that Florida will see that a ‘pot doc’ is a drug dealing boogie-man, and they are coming to corrupt your children, pillage and plunder!

Marijuana: The Date-Rape Drug?!

In ‘No On 2’s latest piece of anti-pot propaganda to prevent the legalization of medical marijuana the group has launched a new campaign that suggests marijuana, not alcohol or even specifically roofies, will be used as the new date rape drug?! How closely this reminds me of a certain black and white propaganda film from a long time ago.

Florida Anti-Marijuana Crusaders: Valid Concerns or Just Fear Mongering?

photo via: http://mic.com/articles/96400/this-may-be-the-worst-anti-marijuana-ad-of-all-time

What is a date rape drug? It typically is NOTHING close to marijuana. Generally predators slip drugs like ketamines (Special K) or rohypnol (roofies) into drinks or food when their target isn’t paying attention in order to intoxicate the victim, sometimes beyond consciousness. Most of these drugs typically have no color, smell or taste. The drugs not only make you physically weak but slow down your brain. When an actual date-rape drug has been used it is described that you feel confused and thereby unable to refuse sex.

So from the sounds of it marijuana is nowhere near the common definition of a ‘date-rape drug’.  A huge problem created with this kind of ad it that people then become distracted from the fact that alcohol is not only the most dangerous drug out there, but it is the single most commonly used substance ever credited to help commit all forms of sexual assault. Yet alcohol remains perfectly legal, and groups like ‘No One 2’ don’t seem too interested in bringing back prohibition.

Now I would be lying to say there isn’t some legitimate evidence to suggest that people experience impaired judgment while high on marijuana, the type of effect on reasoning and reaction time that is caused by actual date-rape drugs or alcohol is beyond any extent marijuana could effect on a person. Never mind the women survivors who have actually experienced sexual assault after being drugged with real date rape substances.

The Devil is in the Details?!

The ‘No On 2’ group previously posted a video called The Devil is in the Details which featured police officials and other so-called ‘experts’ on the subject who all claimed that Amendment 2 would grant easy access to pot for anyone, regardless of their medical state. In an attempt to prove this point

Yet the amendment specifically states that it “does not authorize ‘the use of medical marijuana by anyone other than a qualifying patient.'”

Sheriff Grady Judd, the president of Florida’s Sheriff Association made the claim that any vote to approve Right to Medical Marijuana Initiative 2 , is “a vote for legalizing marijuana forever in the state of Florida” and continued to imply that if approved, this initiative would not regulate the medical aspect.

Susan Kelsey, a constitutional law attorney was recording during the documentary that the amendment would be one of the most lenient medical marijuana laws in the country, and the video goes on to paint a picture of the initiative as being riddled with loop-holes, and designed to easily manipulate by pointing out the words ‘other conditions’ in the list of disease that would qualify patients to receive medical marijuana.

In this video the narrator even emphasizes that 90% of medical marijuana in other states is prescribed for “pain” in a sarcastic tone, which sounds like ‘No On 2’ means to state that all those cancer patients and other seriously ill individuals are probably faking it, along with people who have trouble sleeping right?

The Pill Mill Comparison?!

In this video, ‘No On 2’ goes even further with an attempt at what I personally see as a scare tactic. They try to compare Florida’s potential future medicinal marijuana industry to the recent ‘pill mill epidemic’ that swept through claiming lives of hundreds of residents. Thankfully

So they aim to show that pot is anything like Oxycodone? The organization pushing against medical marijuana is saying now that ‘pill mills’ will now be replaced with ‘pot docs’. ‘No On 2’ claims that ‘pot docs’ are going to be plaguing our neighborhoods, established next to every school and on every corner. They play very scary music, and use edgy camera angles to drive home how terrifying it will be when marijuana invades your home! But is it really that serious?

Teens and Care-givers?!

Now this part is just ridiculous. The Devil is in the Details claims that there is no age requirement in the legislation, which means kids will be able to obtain medical marijuana off of any drug dealer off the street, without the consent of a parent or guardian.

Also, the video states that ‘care-givers’ will be distributing medical marijuana and not liscened doctors. So they tell the viewer that the amendment basically legalizes anymore to be a drug-dealer, and to sell to all ages.

Worst of all, the video continues to threaten the viewer with the idea that this is an inescapable infestation of ‘pot docs’ and drug dealers that are being unleashed on their neighborhoods. The interviews in the short film consistently make claims that this new amendment is not about medication for the sick, it is about making money and protecting the drug-dealers and crooks while they destroy Florida with their dirty dope!

The Fact VS The Fiction

CLAIM In reference to the availability of medical marijuana, the website asserts “anyone who wants pot will get it.”

FACT In their decision placing Amendment 2 on the November ballot, the Florida Supreme Court affirmed that only patients with “debilitating” diseases and medical conditions would qualify for medical marijuana.

CLAIM “Teens will be able to legally purchase pot without their parents’ consent.”

FACT- In order to purchase medical marijuana, you would need a doctor’s recommendation. Under Florida law, barring a few extenuating circumstances, physicians are not allowed to provide medical treatment to minors without parental or guardian consent.

CLAIM Amendment 2 will lead to a “pill mill”-like scenario in Florida. “Pot docs” will “spring up next to restaurants, schools, churches and supermarkets.”

FACT The State of Florida’s office of Economic and Demographic Research has already addressed this issue. Required physician examination, the application process with the Department of Health, the regulatory structure that would be implemented by that same body and subsequent protective laws that may be passed by the legislature would make this scenario extremely unlikely. (See pages 10-11 of OEDR Financial Information Statement)

CLAIM felons-even drug dealers would be able to qualify as caregivers in order to administer medical cannabis to severely ill patients.

FACT If the amendment is passed, the Florida Department of Health will be tasked with issuing detailed regulations regarding qualification requirements for caregivers. During that process United for Care will fight alongside any organization that is concerned about making sure nobody with a record of dealing drugs can become a qualified caregiver.

The thousands of men and women who use medical marijuana to treat severe problems, from anxiety and depression to chronic pain and inflammation are not helpless victims who are void of a comprehension of the effects of marijuana. They are people who battle REAL diseases and suffer REAL pain, despite what the people in ‘No On 2’ may assume with their vast experience.

Perhaps it is true that more effort should be taken to ensure the medical marijuana is legalized in a safer and more constructive environment. Perhaps the general public should make sure they are aware of the current amendment being put forth and the effect it will have on the community. However, scare-tactics and false information is probably not the best way to motivate positive improvement in a changing policy. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135

In the News: Congress Passes Historic Legislation Regarding Medical Marijuana

In the News: Congress Passes Historic Legislation Regarding Medical Marijuana

It is honestly refreshing to see so many changes being made recently to the countries policies on tougher issues; history truly is made every day. And a historic legislation was passed by U.S. Congress late this past Thursday that prevents the Drug Enforcement Administration from carrying out any raids, arrest, or prosecutions of patients using medical marijuana, this takes affect by no longer allowing the law enforcement agencies under the Justice Department to consume federal dollars in efforts to enforce federal marijuana laws in states that have legalized the use of medicinal marijuana.

Advocates for Innovation

The amendment which was originally introduced by Representative Dana Rohrabacher was pushed through with a resounding 219-189 vote. The bipartisan-backed amendment was openly sponsored by Representatives from several states including Texas, Michigan, Tennessee and Nevada along with members such as Earl Blumenauer, Barbara Lee, and Tom McClintock of California. Paul Broun Democratic Rep of Georgia and Jared Polis of Colorado also stood in support of the bill, which altogether established support from a record-high 49 Republicans as well as 170 Democrats.

In a press release Representative Farr said “This vote showed that Congress is ready to rethink how we treat medical marijuana patients in this country,”

The New Amendment

Representative Sam Farr pointed out during the same press release that states with medical marijuana laws are now the majority, and no longer outnumbered in the debate for creating a new system recognizing the drug in medical terms. It was explained that the new amendment gives states the right to determine their own laws for medical marijuana use; free of the fear that federal government would step in and enforce law against it. The hope is that is this will provide patients with the comfort knowing they will have safe access to the medical care legal in their state without the fear of federal prosecution.

Advocates for medicinal marijuana said it appears Congress is finally ready to end the war on drugs that is burning through money on something that is a complete waste to the average American. Another great change is that federal tax dollars will no longer be wasted arresting patients who are seriously ill and who use medical marijuana. It will also avoid the cost of investigating and prosecuting those who provide to them with medicinal marijuana. It is believed to be a huge victory for patients nation-wide struggling with serious health issues.

The Senate and DEA

At this time the Senate has yet to pass its account of the legislation, but there is little doubt that the Senate, currently controlled by the Democratic Party, would put down the bill. However the law is still clear that until the Senate passes its version the federal government can continue to prosecute medical marijuana patients. Are the days of pot prohibition coming to a complete end?

One concern held by some advocates is that on the same day the House voted to restrict DEA spending in states that have legalized medical marijuana or the production of hemp, the House also approved a budget of $35 million more than what the agency itself has requested in its initial spending plan. While the budget increase for the DEA should not have any effect on the new protections granted to patients and hemp production in a handful of states that have legislation protecting medical marijuana patients, there is still a hint of concern that by accounting for additional funds to the DEA is Congress is not entirely ready to end the war on drugs? Many still hold out hope that this new piece of legislation will only be a catalyst for a wave of reforms to create a better system of law built around the medicinal marijuana industry.

If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse and addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135

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