Posts tagged ‘Colorado medical marijuana’

May 29, 2012

DUID and Cannabis…….Fox 31 News weighs in

When it comes to impaired driving a study conducted by Fox 31 News in Denver has blurred the lines when the topic is cannabis and blood ng levels.

The DUID Bill presented in Colorado’s legislative session was quite the roller coaster ride as it moved through the committees and houses. At some points it seemed legislation was competing with Elitch Gardens with all the ups and downs, twists and turns.

The bill was defeated during special session on a 17-17 tied vote, with one Senator not present. This Senator’s failure to return for special session is believed to be what killed the bill, as they would have been a deciding vote, and had voted in favor of the bill previously.

This report from Fox 31 News was released just a few days after the DUID bill was killed.

Part I KDVR http://kdvr.com/2012/05/16/your-questions-answered-driving-under-the-influence-of-marijuana/

I have pulled some screenshots from the news story to highlight a few points.

First – let’s look at the ng blood levels of the subjects in the study. The subjects were asked to not medicate at all previous to test the day of testing. Blood samples were drawn prior to any testing, and after medicating.

First up – meet “Max”

Now – Max is stated to be a daily user of cannabis for his Psychomotor agitation. As seen in the report from Fox 31 News, Max’s ng blood level for THC was at 6ng prior to any cannabis use for the day.

After medicating – Max’s blood levels for THC went up to 32ng, well over the 5ng level proposed by lawmakers.

Next up is Fran – a 63 year old Fibromyalgia sufferer.

Remarkably – Fran failed her driving test with absolutely no cannabis in her system. The fact that she claims to be a user of cannabis and arrived with product to use, it is quite apparent Fran suffered a placebo effect while driving, and she was actually failed for this test by Officer Ashby. More disturbing is the fact that the product she consumed left her with no cannabis in her system to treat her condition.

Please folks – test your products – and test them regularly. Make a habit of it. The hugest concern is for the patient. As they treat themselves, they need to know they are taking a reliable product that will help them. As more interest is shown to our industry -and trials are conducted – I suspect we will see much more of these type studies. PLEASE test your product.

Patients lives depend on it.

Next is Robert:

Robert – yet another medical cannabis user who passed the driving test. Robert passed his exam even after medicating with a 10ng blood level.

Fox 31 News did a pretty extensive study – and this was actually a two part series. This is the link to the second part – and we will break down the shocking results as we go.

Part II KDVR http://kdvr.com/2012/05/17/web-poll-driving-high-vs-driving-drunk/

Brian and Justin are the subjects in the next study – comparing driving under the influence of alcohol to marijuana.

Now – Brian clearly failed his exam – and pegged his Blood Alcohol Content at .08. Many studies have been conducted on alcohol and impaired driving. With how alcohol is metabolized in the body, it is much easier to study and have quantified answers.

Justin is the final subject – with the most shocking results.

No age was ever given for Justin – so please forgive that omission. It is not remarkable to myself to see the results of Justin’s first blood ng level. For any chronic pain patient out there  I would expect them to be very high. Cancer as well.

Justin started out at 21ng before medicating at all for the day -and went to 47ng post medication.

Yet – he was deemed a good driver – and passed his driving exam with flying colors.

Next – Fox 31 News decided to ensure the driving abilities of both, and as they put it “See if Justin is just a better driver than Brian”. So – Justin imbibed in alcohol and reported a BAC of .04.

This time – when Justin took the driving test – he failed miserably. Alcohol most certainly caused impairment – YET – under Colorado DUI law Justin was still under the .08 BAC limit and would have passed a breathalyzer test. If the 5ng limit were to have been imposed with a DUID law – he would have failed for THC levels, which when he was only under direct influence of cannabis – he passed the driving test with a 47ng blood level.

So – when you mix alcohol and cannabis – is it a fair judgement to state the person is impaired and “guilty” because of the cannabis in their system when even slight amounts of alcohol can completely skew results?

Please keep in mind, cannabis facilitates other drugs within our bodies. Folks who utilize cannabis AND pain medications find they can decrease their pain med intake as the cannabis facilitates the opioids and makes them work better – thus reducing consumption.

Also – did any of these subjects have ANY other medications in their systems? Opioids? Muscle relaxers?

Granted – the Fox 31 News story is not the greatest example of scientific, empirical evidence, but it does bring many issues to light, and exposes many issues in the thought processes of legislators when they try to impose a law with no science behind it.

I stated in an e-mail to Colorado politicians this past session that they should kill the DUID bill and apply to NIDA for funding monies to conduct a truly scientific study funded by NIDA to prove the harm of driving with cannabis in your system. We have to prove harm to get the monies – but it is possible. In Irvin Rosenfeld’s Federal protocol – it is stated he can drive and operate heavy equipment as long as he is not impaired. After years of driving and a few stops as officers smelled cannabis coming from his car – Irvin has never been deemed to be impaired – or been cited with impairment.

Irvin has been smoking cannabis over 40 years. The man should bleed green.

In addition – shouldn’t the Federal government hold some responsibility for helping to determine impairment? A NIDA study could do just that – and the Federal government has the subjects to study as well – if they ever choose to.

There have been Federal medical marijuana patients for 35 years – and the Federal Government has YET to study their own patients.

Please see the poll from Fox 31 News here – and be sure to go vote in the poll. It is located at the bottom of the second story link comparing alcohol and cannabis.

Poll screenshot pulled on 6/2/12 – stats will change over time with additional votes.

The TV Show “The Dr’s” also did an impaired driving study

http://www.everydayhealth.com/addiction/0518/is-pot-safer-than-alcohol.aspx

I have left this link for people to go look at – but please note – I do not condone utilization of this study for anything other than showing the differences of the studies. In this study by The Dr’s no blood ng levels were drawn – and personally – I take issue with any driving exam that affects a drivers peripheral vision. It’s great to be sitting in a real car – but take out peripheral vision or impair vision in any way – and the test is just not very effective or representative in my mind. I was also very disappointed in The Dr’s for not having a more empirical study. One would figure a show named “The Dr’s” they would want to know what the blood levels are.

Well….that’s my breakdown folks. Please be sure to share this information, write your politicians and encourage them to pursue NIDA monies for a study, and BE SAFE out there! Please do NOT mix alcohol with cannabis – and if you are too impaired to drive – DON’T!

Please feel free to share this post and my e-mail – and save this little kernel for the next time DUID and cannabis comes up. With how Senator King pursued it this session – I can pretty much guarantee this issue will not be going away.

May 23, 2012

Patients Out of Time Clinical Cannabis Conference

I am excited to return to Colorado from Arizona, and the Patients Out of Time 7th National Clinical Cannabis Conference in Tucson, Arizona  April 26-28, 2012.

WHAT AN EVENT!

I had waited in anticipation so anxiously for over 18 months. The weeks before the conference were maddening. I felt like a child the eve before Christmas morning.

I was not disappointed either. Almost everybody a person could hope to meet on the medical cannabis side of things was there. Dr Russo and his daughter Sarah, Dr Weil, Mary Lynn and Al, Elvy, Dr Courtney, Melanie Drehrer, the list goes on and on…..please be sure to visit http://www.medicalcannabis.com for followup. The entire conference was filmed – and is available online. The CE portions will be available for a fee in the near future. Here is a video of Dr. Andrew Weil from the conference. (Click link silly – it’s active). Also – please be sure to find Patients Out of Time on Facebook.

Please be sure to add Patients Out of Time to your groups to support. This incredible conference was their 7th national clinical conference in 14 years. They hold them every 2 years. We will be rolling out a pledge program for the group – stay tuned – and please – support the science and research.

Every bit of our efforts rely on credible science and knowledge.  It is imperative we have a strong voice, and solid support for Patients Out of Time.

I had the honor of helping Jacki Rickert prepare for her day and assisting her throughout the day on the day she spoke. Jacki is an amazing woman, I was quite stunned to learn her story. Jacki was one of the 28 patients who was completely approved for the Federal IND Program, before it was shut down. She has been waiting 22 years for the Fedral Government to send her any cannabis.

For years, Jacki Rickert has been asking, “Is My Medicine Legal Yet?”

Jacki suffers from two painful and debilitating conditions, Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome and Advanced Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy, and was fully approved for participation in the U.S. Government‘s Compassionate Use Investigative New Drug (I.N.D.) Program at the Federal level in May of 1990, and by the state of Wisconsin in December of 1990.

I think she will be waiting until she dies…..unfortunately. When ol George W Sr. shut down the program, Jacki and 27 other folks were completely approved, and awaiting their first shipments. Not one of these folks ever received cannabis – as only the original 13 Federal patients were grandfathered into the program.

It is only through a series of Angels and Miracles Jacki is with us today.

22 years later – Jacki is STILL asking “Is My Medicine Legal Yet?” and is lucky to be alive. What a wonderful heart and spirit Jacki has – and i hope each and every one of you out there follow up on her story – reach out – support her and her group.

Ask the question – every day – “Is My Medicine Legal Yet?” and then fight like the devil to make it legal.

If Jacki can do it all these years from Wisconsin in a wheel chair…….we should ALL be able to fight just as hard.

Blessings to each and all out there in the world. Please – stay in touch – and be brave in your fight!

Hiedi

SO pleased to attend!

I was SO PROUD to be mentioned I coulda busted. Instead – I cried. This was a highlight of my career – and I hope to see many more!

March 26, 2012

Cherish what you’ve got

Because when it’s gone, it’s very painful.

How do I know?

Here’s one example:

Warrior fighting for his life 

Even LANDLORDS are affected in Montana!

So……you may be sitting there thinking “What has Montana got to do with Colorado?”

Well folks, it has everything to do with Colorado. Politically, legislatively, AND in the medical cannabis movement.

If you have followed politics in both of these states for any period of time, you will find that CO and MT are very close in many areas. Of closest interest is the whole Agricultural realm, and many state and government practices and lawmaking.

In the midwest, these two states really have the most in common, from terrain, to weather, to agriculture, livestock, water policy. I could go on and on.

Our politicians and state governments interact – and look to each other for solutions, and feedback. In many political realms, you will see them parallel, and in many instances, MT follows CO legislation within a 5 year window.

Right now – what I wouldn’t personally give to have the problems Colorado has in Montana. From the Beinor case, to the Walsh letters, to the banking issues.

I WISH we had your problems in Montana.

You may think I’m crazy for saying that, but try losing access sometime. Walk a mile in the shoes of a Montana providor or patient….it brings it all into perspective.

Do you have any idea how many folks are affected in Montana?

We had 24 raids in ONE DAY (March 14, 2011 to be exact) in a political move to push repeal through our statehouse.

Those folks are all facing their charges now, and families are being devastated.

Our lawsuit is underway, and we go to court April 30, 2012 to see if we get damaged further. or maybe some relief.

In my opinion, with how Montana’s new law is written, no matter how one interprets it – there is NO WAY to operate and function legally. There is a loophole in there one way or another to screw Montanans, and increase crime rates.

Please see new law detailed out here: See how Montana got screwed

SO – folks

CHERISH WHAT YOU’VE GOT!

I hope this will help some of you understand my views in Colorado, and why I have taken the path I have with Colorado and Montana Connect Magazines.

What happened in Montana REALLY opened my eyes, and shaped my view on how I operate and handle things. I am  “conservative with a liberal flair” and I have been all of  my adult life.

There are quite a few of us out here – and more and more are coming into the fold every day.

That’s why I have the approach to marketing I have. The attention to public view, from an objective perspective.

The world is watching Colorado – what you folks DO matters!

And folks across the nation watch……some are literally dying to get into Colorado.

I know – we just “imported” our first patient last week, from Florida. A seriously ill Crohn’s patient.

That story will be shared soon……

I meant what I said about increasing registry numbers. We have a HUGE base to draw from in Colorado – and even more from out of state who see Colorado as THE place to be.

After my experience in Montana and Colorado – that’s what I tell folks too. At least until we get Montana straightened out.

I share my experience there. The beauty of the industry – the safety of the patients.

What we have going on in Colorado is not only beautiful, it is history.

Please folks….cherish it. Exemplify the spirit of the Pioneer……lead.

You have the lead – please – act local – think GLOBAL.

So many people around the world are watching.

WIN that Beinor case – and fight for Boulder.

Please stay tuned for a story from Boulder too – there are HUGE problems in the city – and we must rally.

CHERISH what you’ve got – for it is ever so painful to lose…….

March 26, 2012

One Love – One Fight – Affecting ALL rights

When Colorado Attorney General John Suthers􀁠 cross petitioned on behalf of Beinor v. Industrial Claims Appeals Office,
2011 WL 3612226 (Colo. App. 2011) he challenged the fundamental principles upon which Colorado medical marijuana exists.

The industry has come together in defense of the case and Amendment 20, voted in by Coloradans to allow patient access
to medical marijuana.

The kickoff fundraising party, One Love at Hayters, will take place on Thursday, March 29, and is being hosted by industry business associations ACT4 Colorado (ACT4CO) and Cannabis Business Alliance (CBA).

About the Case

Jason Beinor, the plaintiff and petitioner, is a medical marijuana patient and was a Denver municipal employee until he lost his job for testing positive for medical marijuana.

Beinor is now represented by Andrew Reid, of Springer & Steiner, P.C., a professor at University of Denver􀁠s Sturm College of Law, and one of the state’s pre-eminent attorneys for constitutional law.

Beinor, a reluctant spokesperson, has kept a low profile and declined interviews and offers to speak
in public. Yet it is Beinor whose name has become synonymous with Amendment 20 patient rights. The marijuana had been ingested several days prior, he was not impaired on the job, and his employment record was clean. Beinor sought but
was denied unemployment benefits.

In a 2-1 vote, the Colorado Court of Appeals ruled that the Medical Marijuana (MMJ) provisions of the Colorado
Constitution only 􀁬decriminalized􀁺 marijuana used for medicinal purposes under the Constitution, but did not secure a 􀁬right􀁺 in qualifying patients and their caregivers to use the medication. A qualifying MMJ user or care-giver couldn’t be
criminally prosecuted under state law, but because marijuana remains listed as a 􀁬controlled substance􀁺, the user would remain subject to all other non-criminal restrictions and prohibitions under Colorado law pertaining to the use of
controlled substances.
􀁬

It is crucial that we as an industry come together in support of Beinor. There is no more important case affecting medical marijuana today. It brings to bearing the key issues 􀁲 from what a latent presence of THC does, or does not do to impact impairment, to the classification of marijuana as a Schedule 1 substance with no medical value, to the tension between state and federal authority,􀁺 said Robert Hoban, CBA chair and partner at Hoban & Feola.

The Imminent Threat to Patients, Caregivers & the Cannabis Industry is not only may unemployment benefits be denied as in the Beinor case, but other benefits and rights are impacted, from licensed occupations to rights to qualification for student loans, eligibility for welfare and employment assistance as well as parole and probation. 􀁬

As long as the Colorado courts fail to recognize the Constitutional right to use medical marijuana, each of the 80,000+
qualifying MMJ patients are placed in the position of having to choose between control over their health, or employment, occupation, education, rights and benefits. We cannot let the decision stand,􀁺 says Rico Colibri, president of
CARE, a medical marijuana patient advocacy group that has provided Beinor’s legal defense resources to date.

Currently the patient, the industry and the attorney general await notice on whether the case will be heard by the Colorado Supreme Court. 􀁬We are already seeing this case cited from the Court of Appeals ruling. Our priority is to secure
the Constitutional right to medication, which is the purpose of the current petition to the Colorado Supreme Court in the Beinor Case, and virtually all of these other restrictions should fall as well since they would infringe upon a Constitutional
right,􀁺 according to ACT4CO President Nicholas King.

The kickoff event, One Love at Hayters, 1920 Blake Street, Denver, is the beginning of grassroots mobilization on the part of patients and businesses alike.

Musical performances by Whiskey Tango, Buggsy Mogues and Selecta Nikka T will be performing. Doors open at 6PM and a suggested minimum donation of $10 dollars is requested.

All are welcome to attend.

About One Love

One Love is an inclusive, non-partisan, unaffiliated group of medical marijuana industry and patient stakeholders that exists to unify resources in support of common legal outcomes. Current fundraising activity is being used to support the legal defense of landmark medical marijuana patient Jason Beinor.

http://facebook.com/oneloveforbeinor

About ACT 4 Colorado

ACT for Colorado is a member driven organization of independent cannabis professionals organized and dedicated to ensuring patient access to quality medicine from diverse local sources through advocacy and education. ACT represents over 100 small and mid-sized businesses across Colorado. To learn more, please visit act4co.org.

About Cannabis Business Alliance

The Cannabis Business Alliance is organized and operated primarily for the purposes of promoting the common business interests of its members by encouraging policies which stimulate economic development for the medical marijuana industry as well as as business in general for Colorado; advising and communicating with members concerning industry best practices; serving as the voice of its members to relevant local, state and national governing bodies; and creating and implementing business events and social activities to promote and enhance the members􀁠 business success.

Learn more at cannabisalliance.org or follow on twitter @Cannabizalliance

Please print, distribute, and attend!

Please print and distribute and encourage ALL to attend!

Both of the above images have been saved in a format for full page printing.

March 18, 2012

Behind the Latest Bust at High Times Magazine – The Daily Beast

Behind the Latest Bust at High Times Magazine – The Daily Beast.

I must say – I find it disturbing that the DEA would look at a publication and it’s Freedom of Speech – and consider them to be “drug paraphernalia

Although, if they were running drugs in the 70’s and 80’s I guess that would make sense.

If the folks there are running drugs now…….

I leave the rest to your though processes.

POINT:

How do YOU want to be viewed in a regulated industry in Colorado?

The outside world is watching…….

Are you a drug dealer?

Or are you a professional, medical facility?

Think about it………the outside world wants to know!

March 12, 2012

Frustrating Friday

I’m actually writing this post on a Sunday night, as I really wanted to chew on things in my mind after my phone conversations I had on Friday.

Last week – I dealt mainly with supportive services to our industry. Folks who are not directly involved, but rather offer services you need to perform your business every day. Executives and business people who care very deeply to see Colorado succeed.

Well……let me tell you folks, I have thought long and hard about this all weekend.

 

.

See those images above? That was what I experienced when speaking with supportive services last week. Friday was of particular interest, as folks really laid out their frustrations.

And it wasn’t about me….it was about the Colorado Medical Cannabis Industry.

More directly – YOU – the business owners in Colorado. MMC, MIP, and staff.

Now….I’m not going to lay down this “you know who you are” crap. I hope all of you will look at this as constructive criticism, and work to fix the issues within your business, and interactions with the public and supportive services.

Don’t shoot the messenger either. I promised at LEAST five executives who deal with supportive services to our industry I was going to write this.

Here goes, starting with the biggest complaints first:

  • Pay your bills – from the smallest to the largest – get it done. These folks committed their services to you, and have mouths to feed and bills to pay.
  • BUDGET – figure your monthly budget and stick to it. Look at it honestly, project for your future, and trim the fat.
  • Live within your means.
  • When you make an appointment with somebody, keep it, and be on time. If you are going to be late, be courteous and call. Many people schedule appointments throughout the day, and simply cannot wait for you.
  • Work on COLORADO. So many folks around the nation are looking TO Colorado, and many folks in Colorado are looking outside the borders. Perfect THIS regulated industry and make it shine before you look to reach outside. It is imperative Colorado succeed, and lead the nation.
  • Get serious about your business, and treat it as one. If you are not involved with a trade group – GET INVOLVED.
  • If you have a personal beef with another business owner, deal with it or WALK AWAY. Infighting and back-stabbing helps no one, and harms patients in the long run.
  • Get your patients more involved. Session is in gear – have them all Facebooked and Tweeted up – and ask for action on the hill. Educate them about the current events and bills. Ask them to be involved, write letters, testify, and advocate for their medicine in any way they can.
  • YOU TOO! Get Facebooked and linked and tweeted to all the groups you need to be associated with to share the news. Then – SHARE THE NEWS. If you don’t have time, delegate the responsibility to staff, and ensure they do it.
  • DELEGATE – Delegate duties folks! Organize! Don’t try to own every little faction. The stress from not delegating duties to staff and trying to do it all yourself will not only make you batshit crazy, but will eventually erode your business.
  • How about not be so impaired, or have impaired folks working in your business. It is against regulation to medicate on site. While not a frequent issue in many businesses, in a select few it is a daily problem.
  • Act responsibly. Please
  • Encourage your clients to act responsibly.
  • What’s up with the waste? The recent stories in the news left many supportive services folks very frustrated. Bad press like that is completely un-necessary.
  • Support each other! We all have different views, and one method may work, another may not. If you cannot agree with a person – DO NOT tear them up publicly in any way. Keep it to yourself and your close group – and walk away. Practice professional courtesy. Agree to disagree.
  • PUBLIC FORUMS – Whoo boy. I was told about it – and sent examples of public forum comments – and even witnessed some myself. Holy cats people – WE are not the only ones who read those! When commenting online – be respectful, and responsible. If you have folks who are “trolls” or keep a fight going – DO NOT COMMENT. You feed them – and it goes on and on and on……comment respectfully, and responsibly. People are watching ALL the time. Don’t embarrass yourself or us, please.

I spent a majority of Monday morning reviewing this with the same folks I spoke with last week, and they are very happy to have me voice these opinions.

I may have some to add – as I did not get to my full list, as folks were so frustrated last week many needed to vent too. Stay tuned.

I hope to see comments – and feedback. One of the common statement from support service folks was “Why don’t they ever call us back? We’re here to HELP them? Why are we reciting regulation to them? It should be the other way around?”

Answer them folks – here’s your opportunity.

Please understand – in NO WAY is this intended to start a war or feud. It is CONSTRUCTIVE CRITICISM from professionals who care about YOU.

If you find yourself offended by anything in this post, my question would be “What are YOU doing on the list that offends you so much to take it so personal?”

Honestly?

Folks – you have a job people across our nation would LOVE to have. Please PROTECT IT AT ALL COSTS! What happens in Colorado is paramount to the rest of the Nation.

The Nation is watching.

Let us help you…….