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Vancouver becomes first in Canada to regulate medical marijuana dispensarie thecanadianpress_story.jpg By Laura Kane, The Canadian Press



VANCOUVER - Vancouver has become the first city in Canada to regulate illegal marijuana dispensaries in what the mayor calls a common-sense approach after the federal government's failure to provide proper policies


"We're faced with a tough situation, a complicated situation," Gregor Robertson said Wednesday after councillors voted 8-3 to impose new regulations.


"We have this proliferation of dispensaries that must be dealt with," he said.


The city has blamed Ottawa's restrictive medical marijuana laws for the rise of pot dispensaries in Vancouver — to 94 from fewer than 20 just three years ago.


Health Minister Rona Ambrose had sent strongly-worded letters to the city and police warning against the plan. She said Wednesday she was "deeply disappointed" with the decision.


"Marijuana is neither an approved drug nor medicine in Canada and Health Canada does not endorse its use," she said in an emailed statement.


"Storefronts selling marijuana are illegal and under this Conservative government will remain illegal. We expect the police to enforce the law."


The new rules mean dispensaries must now pay a $30,000 licensing fee, be located at least 300 metres away from schools, community centres and each other, and some shops will be banned from certain areas.


But in an unexpected move, the city voted to create a two-tiered licensing system, allowing compassion clubs to pay a fee of just $1,000.


To qualify as a compassion club, one must be a registered non-profit, serve members and provide a minimum level of other health services such as massage therapy or acupuncture, as well as be a member of the Canadian Association of Medical Cannabis Dispensaries.


Coun. Kerry Jang said the clubs provide other services such as nutritional and psychological counselling and help people transition from marijuana to other medicine if possible.

He suggested the clubs could funnel the money saved from paying a lower fee towards the creation of addiction programs.


Jang said he was disappointed that some councillors opposed the regulations without putting forward amendments, saying they "stuck their heads in the sand."


Coun. Geoff Meggs told council that medical marijuana was not an issue that the city wanted to take up, but one they were forced to handle because of Ottawa's "backwards" policies.


The councillor had strong words for Ambrose.



"Wake up. You are completely out of touch with the realities on the ground," Meggs said.


Jamie Shaw of B.C. Compassion Club Society, Vancouver's oldest dispensary — which would be forced to move — called the new regulations a "historic move."


"It's actually great that they're encouraging some dispensaries to be a little bit more patient-focused and patient-centred while still not actually outlawing more recreational-minded ones," she said.


Shaw said she is hopeful that the chief licensing inspector will refer her dispensary to council so she can make a case to keep it in the same location, near an elementary school.


Council's decision comes after four days of public hearings where many of the speakers complained about a proposed ban on edible products such as brownies and cookies.


But the city held firm on a ban, arguing that the treats appeal to children, it is difficult to control their contents and patients can buy marijuana oil to make their own edibles.


Dispensaries now have 60 days to apply for a licence.


If several stores are located in a cluster, they must face a review that would tally demerit points based on factors including the number of complaints and police incidents. Stores that are not compassion clubs automatically receive 10 demerit points.


Where two nearby shops have the same points ranking, a lottery would decide which one gets to stay.


Many dispensaries will be forced to move, including those located in the Downtown Eastside, Granville Street entertainment district and on Pender Street.


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I was a regular user in the late 70's -85. When I joined the military I of coarse quite, but I had a few year break in my military career and smoke a joint I guess in 94 and it was the worst experience I ever had. I mean every bone I had broken and every joint and muscle I had torn or pulled just hurt like hell after I smoked it. Since then I have had no desire to try it again.

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Pot Pill May Bridge Gap Between Marijuana And Medicine

July 16, 2015 11:26 PM
Eliott Rodriguez is an Emmy Award winning journalist and respected...

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The push to legalize medical marijuana in Florida fell short last year, but the referendum is likely to be back on the ballot next year.


Meantime in Colorado, where medical and recreational marijuana is legal, a Boulder company says it has a new breakthrough for medical marijuana patients — a marijuana capsule that looks and acts more like traditional pharmaceuticals.


Wana Brands says it now has an alternative to smoking or edible marijuana called Wana Caps.


“We feel like we are making an important step in giving patients another alternative in consuming cannabis,” said Wana Brands owner John Whiteman.


The marijuana maker worked with Cannabics, a pharmaceutical company based in Israel, to develop the first extended release formula to make marijuana last up to 12 hours. The capsules are filled twice — first with a dose that kicks in almost immediately, and then with a dose that starts to work after about four hours.


Multiple sclerosis patient Hoot Gibson was one of the first to try Wana Caps and says it was one of the “most helpful things” he can take for his symptoms.


“This lets you get the relief you need without hitting such a high level,” said Gibson.


He also says the capsules are much more convenient and socially acceptable than smoking.


“You don’t have to worry being seen medicating in the ‘old fashioned’ ways,” he said.

But, Dr. Kennon Heard at University of Colorado Hospital urges caution about marijuana that claims to be medicine.


“The utility isn’t clear. We don’t have the medical knowledge to say that marijuana is useful to treat the vast majority of conditions that people are using it for,” Heard said.


Heard also shared a concern that the long-lasting effects of the Wana Caps could be harmful in the hands of a novice user or a child.


But the makers of Wana Caps think their product could offer a bridge to mainstream medicine.

Edited by lethe

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  August 20, 2014


Rob Schneider says Big Pharma killed Robin Williams


August 20, 2014. Napa Valley, CA. (ONN) The list of Hollywood celebrities that have accidentally died because of the side effects of their pharmaceutical medications is too long to include here. Names like Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, Heath Ledger and Brittany Murphy quickly come to mind. Two days ago, well known comedian Rob Schneider publicly blamed the prescribed drugs Robin Williams was taking for his sudden and tragic suicide last week.


Rob Schneider and Robin Williams were longtime, good friends. They met on the set of Saturday Night Live roughly 20 years ago when Schneider was a popular cast member and Williams was hosting the show. They’ve been good friends ever since.


Schneider lays blame on Big Pharma


For decades, Robin Williams has been battling a number of afflictions, including depression, drug addiction and alcoholism. Proving just how close the two comedians were, after Robin Williams’ suicide a little more than a week ago, Schneider was one of the first to confirm publicly that Williams was not only suffering from Parkinson’s Disease, but he had also started taking controversial medications with suicide warnings to treat it.


Schneider took to Twitter shortly after Williams’ death, pointing the finger for the fatal tragedy squarely at the country’s Big Pharma corporations. “Now that we can talk about it, #RobinWilliams was on a drug treating the symptoms of Parkinson’s,” he wrote, “One of the SIDE-EFFECTS IS SUICIDE!” A follow-up Tweet from Schneider continued, “The Evil pharmaceutical industry ADMITS TO OVER 100,000 people in the USA DIE A YEAR FROM ‘PRESCRIPTION’ DRUGS!! #RobinWilliams.”


Supporters of Big Pharma quickly tried to deflect the accusation, suggesting that Robin Williams may have died from mixing his doctor-prescribed drugs with illegal drugs or even alcohol. His wife Susan immediately jumped to her husband’s defense Tweeting, “Robin's sobriety was intact. And he was brave as he struggled with his own battles of depression, anxiety, as well as early stages of Parkinson's Disease, which he was not yet ready to share publicly.”



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Exactly one week after Robin Williams’ death by suicide on August 11, longtime friend Rob Schneider posted his final Tweet on the subject, and left any reference to Big Pharma out, “We are only allowed to mourn for 7 days so…Just thank and hug the ones you love and who have touched your lives! Thx4ever #RobinWilliams.”



Big Pharma goes on offensive


It didn’t take long for Wall Street’s pharmaceutical corporations to enlist their high priced advertising and PR agencies to go after Rob Schneider for his accusatory Tweets. The pharma giants also enlisted some of their highest paid news companies to inform the American people that prescription drugs had nothing to do with the suicide of Robin Williams.


ABC News came out swinging yesterday, nearly taking off Rob Schneider’s proverbial head in the process. The corporation’s derogatory headline sets the agenda right from the start announcing, ‘Experts blast Rob Schneider’s Parkinson’s Drug Twitter Rant.’ Apparently, that wasn’t damning enough. So ABC News quietly changed the headline to, ‘Doctors blast Rob Schneider’s Parkinson’s Drug Twitter Rant.’


Who should we believe?


Consider these facts when listening to people debate the safety and suicidal risks of so many Big Pharma drugs these days. Nobody paid comedian Rob Schneider a single cent to say what he did about the 100,000 preventable deaths caused by prescription drugs in America and their link to suicides. Like other celebrities such as Jenny McCarthy, Kristin Cavallari, Jim Carey and even Oprah before him, Rob Schneider simply said what he truly believes - pharmaceutical drugs are murdering more Americans every year on accident than any other cause, including car accidents and firearms.


Now look at who’s on the other side of the prescription drug debate. America’s broadcast media networks like ABC News that immediately jumped to Big Pharma’s defense were paid a combined $27 billion in 2012 by the very same pharmaceutical corporations. The allegedly impartial “doctors” the corporate news outlets like to hold up as unbiased experts were themselves showered with a combined $24 billion in ‘promotional’ spending by pharmaceutical corporations in 2012.



Lies and propaganda, but not from Rob Schneider


Showing how determined Big Pharma is to distance themselves from Robin Williams’ violent suicide, they enlisted no less than Good Morning America to defend the world’s pharmaceutical corporations. GMA is a property of ABC News, which is a property of ABC, which is owned by The Walt Disney Company - one of the largest recipients of Big Pharma money each year.


GMA quickly blasted comedian Rob Schneider yesterday writing, ‘Parkinson's disease experts say Schneider is out of line.’ The corporation’s hand-picked expert was Dr. Irene Richard, a professor of neurology and psychiatry at the University of Rochester and an adviser to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research. She told Good Morning America, “Suicide is of no more concern in patients with Parkinson’s versus those who don’t have Parkinson’s.” Notice Rob Schneider never said Robin Williams’ suicide was caused by his Parkinson’s Disease, like the doctor attempted to refute. Instead, Schneider blamed Williams’ suicide on the prescription drugs he was taking.


ABC News followed that by referencing an outdated 2001 study and reporting, ‘In fact, a 2001 Howard University study found that people with Parkinson’s are ten times less likely to commit suicide than the average person.’ Flash forward eight years to a 2009 study publicized by The Parkinson Hub, a support group made up of Parkinson’s victims, their families and their doctors. The report concluded, ‘Suicide is Five Times More Likely in Parkinson’s Disease.’


Further down in the very same ABC News/Good Morning America report, the network contradicts its own hand-picked expert writing, ‘However, some Parkinson’s drugs do list an increased risk of suicide as a possible side effect. The US Food and Drug Administration warns that patients taking either levodopa or SINEMET, two drugs commonly used to treat Parkinson's, “should be observed carefully for the development of depression with concomitant suicidal tendencies.”’



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Studies Show States with Medical Marijuana See Dramatic Decline in Opioid Related Deaths
By Monterey Bud on July 17, 2015

Health & Medicine


As America’s problem with prescription pain medication (read: OxyContin and Vicodin) kills approximately 46 people every day from overdose across the US, two recent studies have shown that states with legalized medical marijuana dispensaries have witnessed a dramatic reduction in their opiate related death rates.


For the most recent study conducted by the RAND Corporation, researchers at UC Irvine evaluated the effect of states with medical marijuana laws and their overall influence on opioid related issues – addiction and death. The study was conducted by calculating the states treatment admissions for opioid-based addiction, then assessing their overall opioid related deaths on a statewide basis.


The study’s author concluded,


Our findings suggest that providing broader access to medical marijuana may have the potential benefit of reducing abuse of highly addictive painkillers




States with medical cannabis laws had a 24.8% lower mean annual opioid overdose


The promising UC Irvine study mirrored a report published in October of 2014 in JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association Internal Medicine). The JAMA findings noted that between 1999 and 2010, states with medical marijuana laws enjoyed a dramatic decline in their overall opioid related death rate; reducing it by a “lower mean” average of 24.8%.


According to data provided by the CDC in 2010, approximately 22,134 drug overdoses involved prescription pills; of which, opioid analgesics, like methadone, hydrocodone and oxycodone were linked to over 16,650 overdoses. Leaving little doubt to the principal role opioids play in America’s REAL drug problem … prescription pills.

About Author


Born in Long Beach, raised on the central coast: I surf, dab, burn, and blog – though not necessarily in that order. I'm a husband, a father and a lifelong consumer of connoisseur grade weed. I don't drink alcohol or consume any other "drugs." I consider myself to be living proof that weed is not a gateway drug. If it were, I'd be in some serious trouble. Instead, as a 50-year-old ex-realtor that has been smoking weed for nearly 80% of my life (just did the math) ... I can only say, marijuana is safer than prescription pills or alcohol could ever hope to be for calming what stirs the sava






I too, am living proof that marijuana does not lead to harder drug use. I am close to 70 and have been smoking weed since the age of 19 and have held high responsibility jobs in the aerospace, defense, nuclear and educational industries. I even got my Bachelor of Arts degree (with honors!) at the age of 64! I have been against hard-line prescription drugs as doctors are so eager to prescribe, and have taken them only when absolutely required for surgeries, etc..


Marijuana does not lead to harder drugs - (irresponsible) people do!! IMHO, I believe marijuana has many beneficial uses and should be legalized in all 50 states. Stop feeding the big pharmaceutical companies!

Edited by lethe

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New Research Discovers CBD May Prevent Broken Bones
By Monterey Bud on July 22, 2015

Health & Medicine


Another day, another study proving that marijuana’s CBD cannabinoid is one of nature’s miracles. This newest research comes to us compliments of the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research, which recently demonstrated the potential clinical applications of CBD for mitigating bone-related disorders.


Hoping to discover which cannabinoid provided the most relief, two sets of rats were injected with different blends of active cannabinoids; one with just cannabidiol (CBD), the other with a combination of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and CBD.


During the study it was discovered that test rats with cracked femurs healed significantly faster when dosed with the CBD cannabinoid. Conversely, the rats given a blend of THC and CBD were found to be significantly less effective in the bone healing process.


According to Dr. Yankel Gabet of Tel Aviv University:

“CBD alone makes bones stronger during healing, enhancing the maturation of the collagenous matrix, which provides the basis for new mineralization of bone tissue.”


In addition to speeding up the healing process, Dr. Gabet claims that:

“After being treated with CBD, the healed bone will be harder to break in the future.”


The study concludes; “Taken together, this data shows that CBD leads to improvement in fracture healing and demonstrates the critical mechanical role of collagen crosslinking enzymes.”


No doubt, as this type of groundbreaking research continues the positive association between the human skeletal system and cannabinoids will continue to arise. Hopefully forcing today’s physicians to recognize CBD’s immunosuppressant and anti-inflammatory effects.


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  Insurance coverage for medical marijuana on the horizon, industry experts say
  • by Alexandra Posadzki, The Canadian Press

TORONTO - Canadians who have been prescribed medical marijuana could one day see their insurance company footing the bill, experts predict, following the introduction of new Health Canada rules that allow for the sale of cannabis oils.


Health Canada announced revamped medical marijuana regulations earlier this month after the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that users of the drug should be permitted to consume it in other forms, such as oils and edibles, rather than having to smoke dried buds.


"You're going to see insurance companies slowly start to creep into the sector," says Khurram Malik, an analyst at Jacob Securities Inc., noting that the new regulations will allow medical marijuana producers to sell gel caps similar to those made from cod liver oil.


That will allow for more precise dosing, Malik says.


"When you're trying to smoke a plant you have no idea how much you're consuming, so that makes doctors a little nervous," he said.


Experts say the changes are a major step towards legitimizing the drug in the eyes of doctors and insurers.


"When something doesn't look different than other medicines, it becomes much easier for people to get comfortable with the idea that this is, in fact, a possible treatment option for patients," says Bruce Linton, the chief executive of Smiths Falls, Ont.-based Tweed Marijuana Inc. (CVE:TWD.V - News).


However, medical marijuana producers still have one major hurdle to overcome before insurers begin routinely funding the drug — cannabis currently doesn't have a drug identification number, known as a DIN.


"If it was issued a DIN by Health Canada, it's quite likely that the insurance companies would cover it," says Wendy Hope, a spokeswoman for the Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association Inc.


"To obtain a DIN, the new form of medical marijuana would need to go through the full Health Canada approval process like any new drug."


As it stands, most insurance companies don't routinely cover medical marijuana. But some insurers, including Manulife, say they will consider making an exception if the employer has specifically requested it for one of its employees.


"It's up to the employer to ask if they want to have it covered," says Hope.


Earlier this year, Sun Life agreed to pay for a University of Waterloo's medical marijuana prescription through his student health plan after the student union went to bat for him. Jonathan Zaid, 22, uses the drug to combat a syndrome called new daily persistent headache.


Some health insurance companies may pay for medical marijuana through a health spending account, says Hope. But, she adds, "my understanding is it doesn't happen often."


Malik says the primary reason why medical marijuana doesn't have a DIN is a lack of rigorous, clinical research on its efficacy.


"The evidence is very circumstantial — not your typical 10-year, double-blind study that doctors and big pharmaceutical companies like to see," Malik said.


He suspects that's about to change.


"You're going to see a lot of Canadian companies partnering up with universities overseas that are a little more progressive than the ones we have here, at least in this space, to drive this research forward and legitimize it in the eyes of doctors and get DIN numbers on these things," Malik said.


Malik says there is a financial incentive for insurers to pay for medical marijuana, rather than shelling out for pricier chronic pain drugs such as opiates.


"From a dollars and cents standpoint, if marijuana is the same thing as a narcotic opiate, they would much rather cover marijuana because they're in the business to make money," Malik said.


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  Medical marijuana class-action lawsuit against Health Canada certified by Federal Court


The Federal Court of Canada has certified a class-action lawsuit involving 40,000 people in the medical marijuana access program.


The case was launched in 2013 after Health Canada sent letters to people with the program's name on the envelope. Before that, mail sent to people in the program didn't mention marijuana.


Recipients were upset, saying their privacy had been violated. Some said they worried they'd lose their jobs or be victims of a home invasion.


In March of this year, the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada ruled that Health Canada had violated federal privacy laws. That ruling didn't allow for any compensation.


In a press release, the Halifax law firm that launched the case says the certification shows the Federal Court has decided the class action lawsuit is necessary to allow people access to justice.


The plaintiffs are seeking damages for breach of contract, breach of confidence, invasion of privacy and Charter violations.  


"This is not over yet, but the thousands of affected program members should take some comfort that every legal claim we advanced on their behalf has been approved to go forward," said David Fraser of McInnes Cooper.


McInnes Cooper is jointly representing users from across Canada with Branch MacMaster LLP of Vancouver, Charney Lawyers of Toronto and Sutts, Strosberg LLP or Toronto and Windsor.


David Robins of Sutts, Strosberg LLP says more than 1,000 people have registered on an online site for the lawsuit to explain how the breach affected them.


The federal government now has 30 days to appeal the Federal Court's certification.



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Where Do Presidential Candidates Stand on Marijuana?
By Tom Angell on April 13, 2015

Law & Politics, People


The 2016 presidential field is taking shape, and many of the candidates are weighing in on the debate about marijuana.


Here’s a roundup of what the declared candidates have said about cannabis policy, as well as what they’ve admitted about their own marijuana consumption.


This post will be updated as new candidates officially enter the race. All candidates are listed in alphabetical order.


Jeb Bush – Republican


The former Florida governor does not favor legalization, or even medical cannabis, but he does support letting states set their own marijuana laws without much federal interference.


Speaking at the 2015 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), Bush said legalizing marijuana is “a bad idea but states ought to have that right to do it.”


Previously, he told the Miami Herald that, “I think that states ought to have a right to decide these things. I think the federal government’s role in our lives is way too-overreaching. But having said that, if you’re in Colorado and you can purchase marijuana openly, should people in Wyoming not be concerned about that? And I think there, maybe, the federal law needs to be looked at — interstate commerce.”


Bush also spoke out against a medical marijuana amendment that was on his state’s ballot. “Florida leaders and citizens have worked for years to make the Sunshine State a world-class location to start or run a business, a family-friendly destination for tourism and a desirable place to raise a family or retire,” he said. “Allowing large-scale, marijuana operations to take root across Florida, under the guise of using it for medicinal purposes, runs counter to all of these efforts. I believe it is the right of states to decide this issue, and I strongly urge Floridians to vote against Amendment 2 this November.”


As governor, Bush opposed a proposed ballot initiative that would have given first- and second-time drug offenders access to treatment instead of incarceration, even as his daughter Noelle underwent highly-publicized legal consequences stemming from a series of drug possession arrests. Calling the measure “misleading,” he said it would “destroy” Florida’s drug court program. “To suggest there should be no penalties for continued drug use is to stick our heads in the sand,” he said.


Bush himself has admitted to frequent marijuana use during his younger days, and is reported to even have sold hash on occasion. “I drank alcohol and I smoked marijuana” in high school, he said.


“It was pretty common.”


Ben Carson – Republican


The retired neurosurgeon, who has never held elected office, says that marijuana has some medical value but opposes full legalization and would continue to enforce federal law even in states that have ended prohibition.


Carson told ABC News that legalization “should be completely off the table.” However, he added, “I have no problem with medical marijuana usage, and there are ways that it can be done that are very appropriate.”


Similarly, he told Fox News that, “I think medical use of marijuana in compassionate cases certainly has been proven to be useful.” But he went on to say that “marijuana is what’s known as a gateway drug. It tends to be a starter drug for people who move onto heavier duty drugs -– sometimes legal, sometimes illegal –- and I don’t think this is something that we really want for our society. You know, we’re gradually just removing all the barriers to hedonistic activity.”


Carson has also argued that marijuana use has long-term consequences. “We have known for a long time that people who engage in such activities can have flashbacks months and years after usage, that a lot of their abilities can be impaired at the time of use,” he told NewsMax TV. “So why would we throw into the mix something else that can impair people? We have enough impaired people already.”



When asked about the growing public support for legalization, Carson said it indicates that Americans are “much more interested in pleasure than we are in taking care of the severe business that faces us, and let’s look for ways to escape those things rather than actually face them… We’ve reached a point where, if it feels good, do it.”


Carson doesn’t think the federal government should let states implement legalization without interference. “Regular exposure to marijuana in the developing brain has been demonstrated definitively to result in decreased IQ. And the last thing we need is a bunch of people running around with decreased IQ,” he said at a press conference in Denver. “There are ways that you can create pills and ointments and things like that that are used for medicinal purposes while still enforcing federal law… [Yes I would enforce the federal drug laws in states such as Colorado] providing the use, the appropriate use of medical marijuana.”


On a personal note, Carson wrote in his book that, “Because of my love of God and my religious upbringing, I didn’t become involved in sex or drugs.”


Lincoln Chafee – Democrat


The former governor of Rhode Island, U.S. senator and mayor and city councilor of Warwick has signed marijuana reforms into law and pushed for changes to federal policy. Previously a Republican and then an independent, he’s now running for the Democratic presidential nomination.


As governor, he signed legislation decriminalizing possession of small amounts of marijuana.


He also joined with then-Washington Governor Christine Gregoire to petition the federal government to reclassify marijuana from Schedule I to Schedule II. “Americans’ attitudes toward medically prescribed marijuana are changing, and medical organizations throughout the country — including the Rhode Island Medical Society and the American Medical Association — have come to recognize the potential benefits of marijuana for medical use,” he said in a press release. “Patients across Rhode Island and across the United States, many of whom are in tremendous pain, stand to experience some relief. Governor Gregoire and I are taking this step to urge the Federal.


Government to consider allowing the safe, reliable, regulated use of marijuana for patients who are suffering.”


In the face of threats from a federal prosecutor, he initially put Rhode Island’s medical marijuana dispensary licensing program on hold, but then allowed it to go forward after the General Assembly passed legislation further regulating the providers.


On the question of full legalization of marijuana, Chafee is keeping an open mind.


Colorado’s ending prohibition “opened a lot of eyes,” he told Bloomberg.



“The ability to tax and to put that revenue to beneficial means, whatever it might be — infrastructure, education — is tempting for governors,” he said.


Chafee’s position on marijuana “will evolve during the [presidential]campaign,” he told U.S. News & World Report.


He has also raised concerns about the broader war on drugs. “I think we should be having an international discussion over our drug policy, whether it’s winning or losing the war on drugs, and the destabilizing effect that the illicit drug trade has…across the Western Hemisphere, and in Asia, and in Afghanistan,” Chafee told an activist with Students for Sensible Drug Policy. “The courts, the banking system, everything just gets corrupt as a result. And we’ve been on this for too long: Interdiction, intervention, substitution. We’ve been doing it and doing it and doing it. It just doesn’t seem to work.”


In his book “Against the Tide,” Chafee recounts meeting with the then-president of Uruguay, who said the U.S. should legalize drugs. “We will probably have this debate in the US, but not because Latin America is having it,” Chafee wrote. “The debate will come when we can no longer avoid confronting the destabilizing heroin trade in Afghanistan.”


On a personal level, Chafee admitted to using marijuana and cocaine while attending Brown University in the 1970s. “I had three choices: Lie, which was not an option, or evade it and receive the consequences of that, or be honest. And I chose to be honest,” he said.


Chris Christie – Republican


While the New Jersey governor and former U.S. attorney did allow his state’s medical marijuana program to move forward in the face of federal threats, he has been widely criticized for slow-walking its implementation. And though Christie often calls the war on drugs a failure, he staunchly opposes legalization and says he would enforce federal laws in states that have ended prohibition.


He even went so far as to specifically criticize voters in Colorado — a key presidential swing state — for opting to enact legalization. “For the people who are enamored with the idea of the income, the tax revenue from this, go to Colorado and see if you want to live there,” he said on New Jersey 101.5’s “Ask the Governor” program. “See if you want to live in a major city in Colorado where there’s head shops popping up on every corner and people flying into your airport just to come and get high. To me, it’s just not the quality of life we want to have here in the state of New Jersey and there’s no tax revenue that’s worth that.”


When asked how he would treat states that legalize marijuana if elected president, he responded, “Probably not well.”


Christie said he will “crack down and not permit” state legalization in an appearance on Hugh Hewitt’s radio show. “Marijuana is a gateway drug. We have an enormous addiction problem in this country. And we need to send very clear leadership from the White House on down through the federal law enforcement. Marijuana is an illegal drug under federal law. And the states should not be permitted to sell it and profit from it.”


Christie is not impressed by the tax revenues that legalization can generate. “To me, that’s blood money,” he said at a ribbon-cutting ceremony for a drug treatment center. “I’m not going to put the lives of children and citizens at risk to put a little more money into the state coffers, at least not on my watch.”


He also isn’t moved by the fact that marijuana reform is politically popular. “I don’t care quite frankly that people think it’s inevitable,” Christie said on the “Ask the Governor” program. “It’s not inevitable here. I’m not going to permit it. Never, as long as I’m governor. You want to elect somebody else who’s willing to legalize marijuana and expose our children to that gateway drug and the effects it has on their brain? You’ll have to live with yourself if you do that. But it’s not going to be this governor who does it.”


In another appearance on “Ask the Governor,” Christie claimed there is very little real demand for medical marijuana and that New Jersey’s program, which was signed into law by the previous governor, is “a front for legalization.”


Even though Christie isn’t a fan of marijuana reform, he has criticized the failure of the overall drug war on a number of occasions. “We will end the failed war on drugs that believes that incarceration is the cure of every ill caused by drug abuse,” he said during his second inaugural address as governor. “We will make drug treatment available to as many of our non-violent offenders as we can and we will partner with our citizens to create a society that understands that every life has value and no life is disposable.”


When asked if he’s ever tried marijuana himself, he tweeted, “The answer is no.”


Hillary Clinton – Democrat


The former secretary of state, U.S. senator and first lady has said marijuana has medical value and that she wants to see states move forward with their own laws. “I think we need to be very clear about the benefits of marijuana use for medicinal purposes,” she told CNN. “I don’t think we’ve done enough research yet, although I think for people who are in extreme medical conditions and who have anecdotal evidence that it works, there should be availability under appropriate circumstances.”


“On recreational, you know, states are the laboratories of democracy. We have at least two states that are experimenting with that right now,” she said. “I want to wait and see what the evidence is.”


Those comments indicate an openness to letting states enact their own marijuana laws without federal interference but, on the other hand, Clinton also told KPCC radio that, “I think the feds should be attuned to the way marijuana is still used as a gateway drug and how the drug cartels from Latin America use marijuana to get footholds in states, so there can’t be a total absence of law enforcement, but what I want to see, and I think we should be much more focused on this, is really doing good research so we know what it is we’re approving.”


During her last presidential campaign, in 2007, she said, “I don’t think we should decriminalize it.”

In 2011, as secretary of state, Clinton responded to a question about whether legalization would reduce drug cartel violence by saying, “It is not likely to work. There is just too much money in it, and I don’t think that you can legalize small amounts for possession, but those who are making so much money selling, they have to be stopped. They can’t be given an even easier road to take, because they will then find it in their interest to addict even more young people. Mexico didn’t have much of a drug problem before the last 10 years, and you want to keep it that way. So you don’t want to give any excuse to the drug traffickers to be able legally to addict young people.”


On a personal level, she said she’s “absolutely not” tried marijuana. “I didn’t do it when I was young. I’m not going to start now.”


Ted Cruz – Republican


The U.S. senator from Texas isn’t a fan of legalization but has said that when it comes to states that want to end prohibition, “that’s their right.”


However, he has also slammed President Obama for allowing states to pursue legalization with little federal interference. “The Obama administration’s approach to drug policy is to simply announce that across the country, it is gonna stop enforcing certain drug laws,” Cruz told Reason. “I think most disturbingly, watching President Obama’s approach to drug laws is that he hasn’t tried to start a discussion, a dialogue about changing the laws. He simply decreed he’s not gonna enforce laws he doesn’t agree with.”


Earlier this year, Cruz pressed attorney general nominee Loretta Lynch with no fewer than 17 written questions about marijuana policy, including, “What steps will you take to require these states to cease and desist their support of the cultivation, distribution, and sale of marijuana, or to otherwise bring these states into compliance with existing federal controlled substance law?”


Cruz’s overall position seems to be that states should be allowed to legalize marijuana but, given current federal law, the presidential administration should continue to stand in the way of states that move forward. However, he hasn’t yet introduced any legislation to bring federal law into line with his apparent view that the national ban on marijuana possession, cultivation and sales should be removed so states can set their own policies without interference. He hasn’t even co-sponsored a bipartisan bill that fellow presidential contender Rand Paul and others have introduced to stop federal raids on state-legal medical marijuana patients and providers.


As for Cruz’s own relationship with the drug, a spokesman said, “When he was a teenager, he foolishly experimented with marijuana. It was a mistake, and he’s never tried it since.”


Carly Fiorina – Republican


The former CEO of Hewlett-Packard, who has never held elected office, personally opposes ending prohibition but supports the right of states to legalize marijuana without federal interference.


“I respect Colorado’s right to do what they did. They are within their rights to legalize marijuana and they are conducting an experiment that I hope the rest of the nation is looking closely at,” she told the Des Moines Register. “I believe in states’ rights. I would not, as president of the United States, enforce federal law in Colorado where Colorado voters have said they want to legalize marijuana.”


Even though Fiorina opposes legalization, she admits that it would generate billions of dollars in new taxes. But for her, marijuana’s revenue generating potential is actually a reason to continue prohibition. “Sending billions of dollars in new tax revenues to Sacramento is exactly the problem,” she said in response to a question about Proposition 19, the California legalization initiative that narrowly failed in 2010. “We’ve seen over and over again that Sacramento as well as Washington, D.C. have a spending problem.”


She told Yahoo News’s Katie Couric that she’s comfortable with the idea of marijuana having medicinal benefits but that it’s not “properly regulated” right now. “If we want to treat marijuana as a medicine, fine. Then regulate it as a medicine,” she said. “All you have to do is walk down Venice Beach. Anybody can get medicinal marijuana. It’s not a medicine. It’s a recreational drug right now.”


Fiorina seems to believe that using marijuana is more harmful than drinking alcohol. “I think what we’re doing, when we legalize marijuana we’re sending a signal to young people that marijuana’s just like a beer,” she said. “It’s not.”


She has indicated that she does support decriminalization, though, and not just for marijuana.


Speaking on a conference call with reporters, Fiorina included “decriminalizing drug addiction and drug use” in a list of reforms at the state level she supports. “We need to treat it appropriately, and when you look at the stats, it’s clear that a lot of what goes on in an inner city like Baltimore is sort of like an industry: you have a lot of young people who are getting access to drugs and then they’re getting arrested frequently,” she said. “It’s just a bad, bad cycle.”


At a personal level, Fiorina refused to even consider using medical cannabis when she was diagnosed with cancer. “I remember when I had cancer and my doctor said, ‘Do you have any interest in medicinal marijuana?'” she recalled. “I did not.”


Lindsey Graham – Republican


The U.S. senator from South Carolina, who formerly severed in the U.S. House and as a state legislator, opposes legalization of marijuana.


“In general I do not support decriminalizing illegal drugs. I support enforcing our current laws relating to the purchase, distribution and consumption of illegal substances,” Graham wrote in a letter to a constituent. “Marijuana is a dangerous substance that can have a detrimental effect on the health of anyone who uses it.”


But Graham does support some forms of medical marijuana, at least when limited to CBD-rich preparations that can help children suffering from severe seizure disorders. “I’m putting myself in the shoes of a parent,” Graham told WBTV in Charlotte. “If this treatment helps their child with epileptic seizures, why stand in the way?”


The senator doesn’t seem to fully embrace medical cannabis, though: He voted against an Appropriations Committee amendment to allow Department of Veterans Affairs doctors to recommend medical marijuana to military veterans.


While serving in the House, Graham voted for a 1998 resolution “expressing the sense of Congress that marijuana is a dangerous and addictive drug and should not be legalized for medicinal use.”


Graham’s position on whether the federal government should interfere with state marijuana laws is somewhat unclear.


“Attorney General Eric Holder has announced that the Justice Department will not prosecute purveyors of medical marijuana provided they are in compliance with state and local laws,” he wrote in the constituent letter mentioned above. “I do not support this policy, as I feel it is tantamount to federal legalization of medical marijuana and creates an inconsistent federal enforcement policy between states.”


When asked by the reform group Just Say Now whether he favors continuing federal prohibition or states’ rights, Graham said, “I don’t see a real need for me to change the law up here. Marijuana’s half as bad as alcohol. That’s probably enough reason to keep it more regulated.”


But when the Washington Post asked Graham if he would work to overturn the District of Columbia’s voter-approved marijuana legalization law, he said, “To be honest, that’s pretty far down my list of priorities.”


It is unclear whether Graham has ever used marijuana.


Mike Huckabee – Republican


The former Arkansas governor and Baptist pastor opposes legalization and, while unsuccessfully running for the 2008 Republican presidential nomination, said he would not stop the DEA from raiding and arresting patients and providers in states where medical marijuana is legal.


“I’m going to leave it up to the DEA whether they feel like there is a person who is being arrested because they are suffering from AIDS or because they really are doing something to significantly violate drug laws,” he said, according to the Marijuana Policy Project. “I think there are better ways to treat medical illnesses than the use of a drug that has really caused so many more people to have their lives injured than it has to necessarily have their lives helped.”


When confronted on the campaign trail by a New Hampshire medical marijuana patient, Huckabee said, “I’m not going to put you in jail, Linda. That’s not the point we would do. But I think the question is would I favor the legalization at a federal lev


Much more recently, Huckabee pointed to the tax revenue Colorado has generated with legal marijuana sales and asked “at what cost” the funds come. “The money is earmarked for youth prevention services, substance abuse treatment and public health,” he wrote in a Facebook post. “But what is a young person supposed to think when the state says, ‘Don’t do drugs…even though everyone around you is…and the same authority figures who tell you it’s bad not only condone it, but are also making a big profit off it’?”


Huckabee says he’s never used marijuana. “While other candidates are being outed for their teenage drug use, their teenage alcohol use, their teenage partying hard, doing all sorts of destructive things like painting graffiti on bridges, the scandal with me is that I wrote a column at age 17 telling Christian young people to live a godly life,” he said on Washington Watch with Tony Perkins.


Bobby Jindal – Republican


The governor of Louisiana and former member of the U.S. House of Representatives opposes legalization and favors enforcing federal laws even in states that have ended prohibition, but signed into law a limited medical marijuana bill that his own state legislature passed.


“I’m not for legalization of marijuana. I think that would be a mistake,” Jindal said on Hugh Hewitt’s radio show.


“I’m certainly not for the president of the United States being able to pick and choose which laws he wants to follow. And I think this is a very dangerous precedent this president has started,” he continued, referring to the Obama administration’s mostly hand-off approach to state marijuana laws. “I don’t think you can ignore federal law. Federal law is still the law of the land. It still needs to be enforced… I don’t think the president gets to pick and choose. And if people don’t like the law, they should try to change the law. They shouldn’t just say we’re going to stop, start ignoring these laws.”


While serving in Congress, Jindal voted against amendments to prevent the Justice Department from interfering with state medical marijuana laws in 2005, 2006 and 2007, though he has left the door open to reexamining federal laws. “If it makes sense, if there are federal laws that need to be re-examined, I’d be willing to look at those,” he told the Des Moines Register.


The governor has given his support to a restrictive medical marijuana program passed by Louisiana state lawmakers. “Our view on medical marijuana was, it had to be supervised and had to be a legitimate medical purpose and his bill meets that criteria,” Jindal said during a press conference.”


He also discussed his views on medical marijuana during a visit to Iowa. “As long as it’s tightly controlled and truly genuine medical purposes, not just simply an excuse for legalizing marijuana… If it truly is tightly controlled, supervised by physicians, I’m OK with that,” he said.


Jindal also signed a separate bill to lower Louisiana’s marijuana penalties, although, even under the reforms, the state’s laws would still remain among the toughest in the nation. “We are fine with the idea of providing rehabilitation and treatment for non-violent drug offenders, and I think this bill does that,” he said. “I think that’s good for those offenders and it’s good for taxpayers.”


He criticized America’s overincarceration problem during an interview on CNN’s State of the Union. “We lock up too many people for casual drug use,” he said. “What I mean by that is that, certainly, non-violent, non-repeat offenders, those that aren’t committing other crimes, we should look at treatment and rehabilitation.”


In his book “Leadership and Crisis,” Jindal wrote that he never tried drugs as a young man. “I generally avoided trouble as a kid… I never got arrested, never experimented with drugs, and generally lived a life that was like Leave It to Beaver with a Louisiana twist.”


John Kasich – Republican


The governor of Ohio and former member of the U.S. House of Representatives and Fox News Channel host opposes legalization and medical cannabis, but has expressed openness to letting states set their own marijuana laws without federal interference.


“I’m totally opposed to [legalization], because it is a scourge in this country,” Kasich said on Hugh Hewitt’s radio show. “In my state and across this country, if I happened to be president, I would lead a significant campaign down at the grassroots level to stomp these drugs out of our country. We’re doing it in Ohio in a variety of ways through education, prosecution, and it’s an unbelievably serious problem.”


In an appearance on WHIO-TV, Kasich said that Ohio would not legalize marijuana if it were up to him. “We’re not gonna do that if I have any say about it,” he said.


When asked by the Ohio Capital Blog whether he could imagine a scenario where he would support medical marijuana, Kasich said, “No… I’m not for it… There’s better ways to help people who are in pain.”


While serving in the House, Kasich voted for a 1998 resolution “expressing the sense of Congress that marijuana is a dangerous and addictive drug and should not be legalized for medicinal use.”


Unlike several other Republican governors, Kasich even opposes limited laws aimed at providing CBD-rich cannabis preparations to children suffering from severe seizure disorders. “I’d do anything for kids,” he told the Cincinnati Enquirer editorial board. “But we’ve got to do what’s medically recommended by people who have gone to medical school and have a license.”


Despite his personal opposition to marijuana reform, Kasich does seem open to letting states legalize without federal harassment. “I mean, the state has voted for it, you know what I mean? On what grounds would you shut them down?” he said on Hugh Hewitt’s show. “First of all, you have a states’ rights issue. The people in those states have voted that way… I probably would not [enforce federal law in stated that have legalized marijuana]from the standpoint that the states have gone forward to prove that.”


It is unclear whether Kasich has ever tried marijuana himself.


Martin O’Malley – Democrat


The former Maryland governor and Baltimore mayor and city councilor signed laws decriminalizing marijuana possession and legalizing medical cannabis into law, but not before he spent years vocally opposing such reforms.


“As a young prosecutor, I once thought that decriminalizing the possession of marijuana might undermine the Public Will necessary to combat drug violence and improve public safety,” O’Malley said in a statement announcing the he would sign the bill. “I now think that decriminalizing possession of marijuana is an acknowledgement of the low priority that our courts, our prosecutors, our police, and the vast majority of citizens already attach to this transgression of public order and public health. Such an acknowledgment in law might even lead to a greater focus on far more serious threats to public safety and the lives of our citizens.”


O’Malley also shifted his position on medical cannabis. In 2012, he threatened to veto a medical marijuana proposal that the Maryland state legislature was considering. The following year, his administration endorsed a scaled-back proposal to distribute marijuana through academic hospitals.


His backing gave the bill a boost, and the legislature passed it. When that law, upon further scrutiny by policymakers, appeared that it wouldn’t actually help very many patients, the legislature moved ahead with enacting a more comprehensive medical cannabis program. O’Malley remained largely silent as the legislature considered and passed the bill, and then surprised many advocates by signing it and the decriminalization bill into law on the same day.


Despite coming around on those reforms, O’Malley hasn’t endorsed full legalization. “I’m not much in favor of it,” he said on Marc Steiner’s radio show. “I’ve seen what drug addiction has done to the people of our state, the people of our city. And I also know that this drug and its use and its abuse can be a gateway to even more harmful behavior.”


On CNN, he said, “In our state, a lot of the new opportunities that are opening up for our kids in security and cyber security and other things, they require a background check and they require that kids have clean records.” When host Candy Crowley pointed out that legalization would result in fewer people getting criminal records, he said, “Yes, but we can’t do that as a state. That would be something only the nation could do.” Crowley then reminded him that some states are already legalizing marijuana. “And for Colorado perhaps that’s a good choice and perhaps there’s things we can learn from their experiment as a laboratory in democracy,” O’Malley said.


Similarly, in a Reddit “Ask Me Anything” session, he said, “I believe it’s best for Maryland to learn from experiments underway in Colorado and Washington and to be guided according to whether more good than harm is done.”


O’Malley says he’s never used marijuana, according to a report from the Baltimore Chronicle.


George Pataki – Republican


The former New York governor, state legislator and mayor of Peekskill opposes legalization but is a supporter of states’ rights to enact their own marijuana laws. However, he believes that federal law needs to be changed first.


“I’m a great believer in the 10th Amendment,” Pataki told Hugh Hewitt. “So I would be very strongly inclined to change the federal law to give states, when they’ve had a referenda, the opportunity with respect to marijuana to decriminalize it,” but with a few caveats.


“I would not be adverse to changing the law if we could guarantee…no spillover to adjacent states, protection for minorities that are ironclad, and the third is there’s no increase in dependency as a result of that,” he said. “You know, if all of a sudden we see states like whatever the state that legalizes it is resulting in much higher dependency costs that the federal government has to pay for, then I think the federal government has the right to say you can’t do that.”


As governor, Pataki opposed efforts to legalize medical cannabis in New York, saying his medical advisers urged against it. “They have concluded that it is not justified at this time, that there are alternatives, and I support that conclusion,”  he said, according to the New York Times.


More recently, when asked by Bloomberg News about the limited medical marijuana bill signed into law by current New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, Pataki said, “I don’t think it’s a step in the right direction. I am not in favor of legalized marijuana.”


Pataki has admitted using marijuana while a law student at Columbia University, and in a fairly unorthodox way: He put it into baked beans. “I didn’t think it would work in soup, so we tried baked beans,” he said on Howard Stern’s radio show. But he said that method of ingestion “had zero impact, which is probably why it never caught on.”


He also tried consuming cannabis by the more traditional route of smoking. “And, yes, I did inhale,”


Pataki wrote in his 1998 autobiography. But he found that it had “no real appeal,” because friends who used it “tended to go off in their own heads somewhere” and that it was “too anti-social for me.”


Rand Paul – Republican


The U.S. senator from Kentucky is one of the only candidates who has actively worked to reform marijuana laws. For example, he is an original sponsor of a bill that would effectively end the federal war on medical marijuana. The Compassionate Access, Research Expansion, and Respect States (CARERS) Act of 2015, which Paul introduced with a biapartisan coalition of other senators, would reschedule marijuana, allow banks to provide financial services to state-legal cannabis businesses, lift restrictions on marijuana research, allow for the interstate importation of CBD-rich strains and allow V.A. doctors to recommend medical cannabis to military veterans, among other changes.


Paul is also working on other legislation to roll back various aspects of the war on drugs, including proposals to restore voting rights to convicted felons, reform mandatory minimum sentencing and scale back civil asset forfeiture.



When asked about Congressional efforts to block Washington, D.C. from implementing its voter-approved marijuana legalization measure, Paul said, “I’m against the federal government telling them they can’t.”


But Paul hasn’t championed the cause of full legalization of marijuana. “I’m not really promoting legalization, but I am promoting making the penalties much less severe and not putting people in jail for 10, 20, 30 years,” he told Fox News’s Sean Hannity. When Hannity followed up with, “You’re saying you’re not promoting marijuana legalization. Do you support marijuana legalization?” Paul responded by saying, “I would let states choose. And I don’t know what’ll happen, whether it’s going to end up being good or bad. But I would let the states choose because I believe in federalism and states’ rights.”


He has also made it clear that while he supports reforming marijuana laws, he doesn’t think using the drug is a good idea. “Even though it may not kill you I don’t think it’s good for you,” he told WHAS-TV. “It’s not good for studies, it’s not good for showing up for work.” He told the Hoover Institution he thinks “people who use marijuana all the time lose IQ points.”


Without directly confirming reports that he used marijuana in his younger days, Paul hasn’t exactly denied it either. “Let’s just say I wasn’t a choir boy when I was in college,” Paul told WHAS-TV, “and that I can recognize that kids make mistakes, and I can say that I made mistakes when I was a kid.”


He has openly criticized other politicians who have admitted to using marijuana but oppose reforming marijuana laws. For example, speaking of former Florida governor Jeb Bush, Paul said,

“This is a guy who now admits he smoked marijuana but he wants to put people in jail who do.” He also said, “I think it is hypocritical for very wealthy white people who have all the resources to evade the drug laws” to oppose reform. “Particularly in Jeb Bush’s case, he’s against even allowing medical marijuana for people that are confined to wheelchairs from multiple sclerosis.”


Rick Perry – Republican


The former Texas governor, lieutenant governor, commissioner of agriculture and state legislator personally opposes legalization but takes a strong stance in favor of states’ rights to enact their own marijuana policies without federal interference.


“I’m a big believer in the 10th Amendment,” he said on Hugh Hewitt’s radio show. “I don’t agree with those decisions that were made by…the state of Colorado or Washington, but I will defend it to my death, if you will, to allow them to make those decisions… I think they will look back and they will find that it was a huge error that they made. But I’m going to stick with the founding fathers rather than picking and choosing which [state laws] I want to defend and which ones I don’t.”


He told the Daily Show’s Jon Stewart that, “[if] you want to go somewhere where you can smoke medicinal weed, then you ought to be able to do that.”


Perry has raised concerns about the failure of the overall war on drugs and suggested he supports alternatives to incarceration for drug offenders.


“The point is that after 40 years of the war on drugs, I can’t change what happened in the past. What I can do as the governor of the second largest state in the nation is to implement policies that start us toward a decriminalization and keeps people from going to prison and destroying their lives, and that’s what we’ve done over the last decade,” he said at the World Economic Forum.


Perry says he’s never used marijuana. “No, thank God,” he told Jimmy Kimmel. “But does second-hand count? Because I think there’s still some left in there where Snoop [Dogg] was,” referring to Kimmel’s backstage area, where the rapper hung out on the previous day.


Marco Rubio – Republican


The U.S. senator and former speaker of the Florida House of Representatives opposes legalization and decriminalization.


“We live in a country that already has problems with substance abuse,” he told ABC and Yahoo News. “We already see the impact that alcoholism is having on families, on drunk driving, on all sorts of things. And now we’re gonna add one more substance that people can use?”


He added, “When something is legal, implicitly what you’re saying, ‘it can’t be all that bad. Cuz if it’s legal it can’t be bad for you.’ The bottom line is I believe that adding yet another mind-altering substance to something that’s legal is not good for the country.”


While Rubio opposed the specific medical marijuana initiative that appeared on Florida’s 2014 ballot, he has left the door open to supporting medical cannabis in the future. “You hear compelling stories of people who say the use of medicinal marijuana  provides relief for the thing they are suffering,” he told the Tampa Bay Times. “So I’d like to learn more about that aspect of it, the science of it.”


Rubio appears to be the only declared candidate who thinks the federal government should interfere with state marijuana laws. “Marijuana is illegal under federal law. That should be enforced,” he said. “I understand that states have decided to legalize possession under state law, and the trafficking, the sale of these products. I mean, that’s a federal crime.”


Rubio has refused to answer questions about whether he has ever tried marijuana. “I’ll tell you why I never answer that question,” he said in an interview with Fusion. “If I tell you that I haven’t, you won’t believe me. And if I tell you that I did, then kids will look up to me and say, ‘Well, I can smoke marijuana, because look how he made it. He did all right, so I guess I can do it, too.'”


Bernie Sanders – Democrat/Independent


The U.S. senator and former House member from Vermont, who also served as mayor of Burlington, is an independent who caucuses with the Democrats, and is running for the Democratic presidential nomination. Sanders supports decriminalization and has co-sponsored and voted in favor of incremental marijuana reforms on a number of occasions, but appears to have taken varying positions on full legalization over the years.


As a House member, Sanders repeatedly voted in favor of amendments to prevent the Department of Justice from spending money to interfere with state medical marijuana laws, and he co-sponsored the States’ Rights to Medical Marijuana Act, a bill to reschedule cannabis and provide greater protections for medical patients. He also voted against a 1998 resolution “expressing the sense of Congress that marijuana is a dangerous and addictive drug and should not be legalized for medicinal use.”


During the last Congressional session, Sanders co-sponsored Senate legislation to legalize industrial hemp, but he has not yet signed on to this year’s version of the bill.


In a 1972 letter, Sanders appeared to endorse legalizing all drugs. He wrote that “there are entirely too many laws that regulate human behavior. Let us abolish all laws which attempt to impose a particular brand of morality or ‘right’ on people. Let’s abolish all laws dealing with…drugs…”


Much more recently, Sanders told TIME, that marijuana legalization “is a trend, but I think it has a lot of political support from young people especially. It probably will continue to move forward.”


He added, “I’m going to look at the issue. It’s not that I support it or don’t support it. To me it is not one of the major issues facing this country. I’ll look at it.”


Sanders supports his home state’s marijuana decriminalization law. “The state of Vermont voted to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana and I support that. I have supported the use of medical marijuana,” he said during a Reddit Ask Me Anything session. “And when I was mayor of Burlington, in a city with a large population, I can tell you very few people were arrested for smoking marijuana. Our police had more important things to do.”


He added that he’ll be keeping an eye on how legalization develops in states that are implementing it. “Colorado has led the effort toward legalizing marijuana and I’m going to watch very closely to see the pluses and minuses of what they have done. I will have more to say about this issue within the coming months.”


Sanders has also raised concern about the broader drug war. “We have been engaged in [the war on drugs]for decades now with a huge cost and the destruction of a whole lot of lives of people who were never involved in any violent activities,” he said.


On a personal note, Sanders says that “I’m not a pot smoker. I have, admittedly, some 30 or 40 years ago.”


Rick Santorum – Republican


The former U.S. senator and congressman from Pennsylvania opposes legalization and, during his last campaign for president, in 2012, told a voter at a forum that he believes marijuana is “a hazardous thing for society.”


He has offered somewhat conflicting statements on whether he thinks states should be able to set their own marijuana laws without federal interference. He told the same previously mentioned voter that “states, under the Constitution, probably have the right to do it, just like they have the right to do medical marijuana laws, legally. But I don’t think they morally have the right to do things that are harmful to the people in their community. And therefore, I think the federal government should step in.”


During the same campaign, though, he told a Students for Sensible Drug Policy activist who asked whether she should be arrested for her marijuana use that it “depends what the laws in your states are.”


When the same activist followed up at another forum, Santorum said, “State drug laws are the principal drug laws” but that “the federal government does have a role in making sure that states don’t go out and legalize drugs.”


More recently, Santorum said on Hugh Hewitt’s radio show that he thinks “federal laws should be enforced, and I think Colorado is violating the federal law. And if we have controlled substances, they’re controlled substances for a reason. The federal law is there for a reason, and the states shouldn’t have the option to violate federal law.”


He added, “as Abraham Lincoln said, you know, states don’t have the right to wrong. If there’s a federal law in place, then we need to either change the federal law to provide waivers to the states to be able to do that. But the president shouldn’t, as he has on numerous occasions, decide what laws he’s going to enforce unilaterally, and what laws he’s not going to enforce. The laws are in place. If anybody, I think, running for the Republican nomination wants to say a state option, that means that they should actually put forth legislation as president that gives them that option, because the current law doesn’t do that.”


Though Santorum’s position on marijuana federalism is unclear and complicated, he’s not at all hazy about his own past use of the drug. “I smoked pot when I was in college,” he told National Review. “Even during that time, I knew that what I was doing was wrong.” He told CNN’s Piers Morgan that his marijuana use “was something that I’m not proud of, but I did. And said it was something that I wish I hadn’t done. But I did and I admitted it, and I would encourage people not to do so. It was not all it’s made up to be.”


Donald Trump – Republican


The businessman and former reality television host supports medical marijuana but has taken conflicting positions on full legalization over the years. He appears to support the right of states to enact their own marijuana laws without federal interference.


In 1990, Trump called for legalizing all drugs. “We’re losing badly the war on drugs. You have to legalize drugs to win that war,” he said. “You have to take the profit away from these drug czars… What I’d like to do maybe by bringing it up is causethat enough controversy that you get into a dialogue on the issue of drugs so people will start to realize this is the only answer; there is no other answer.”


But at the 2015 Conservative Political Action Conference, Trump stated that he’s against the legalization of marijuana. “I think it’s bad, and I feel strongly about that,” he said. “They’ve got a lot of problems going on right now in Colorado, some big problems.” However, when asked about the states’ rights aspect to marijuana laws, Trump said, “If they vote for it, they vote for it.


“Medical marijuana is another thing,” he added. “I think medical marijuana, 100 percent.”

In his book “The America We Deserve,” Trump claims that he’s never tried marijuana. “I’ve never taken drugs of any kind, never had a glass of alcohol. Never had a cigarette, never had a cup of coffee,” he wrote.


Scott Walker – Republican


The governor of Wisconsin and former state legislator and county executive opposes full legalization but signed into law a limited policy aimed at allowing use of high-CBD cannabis extracts by children suffering from epilepsy. His position on whether the federal government should enforce prohibition in states that opt to legalize is unclear.


“I oppose legalizing marijuana use… It’s a gateway drug,” Walker said during a Q & A with radio host Huge Hewitt at an event for the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry. “I get people want freedom and liberty. And normally I’m libertarian across the board. If you don’t violate the public health and public safety of your neighbor, knock yourself out… But I think that this one is a pretty convincing case that you are ultimately gonna lead to violating the public health of someone around you if you go down this path.”


Walker disagrees with people who compare recreational marijuana use to drinking alcohol. “If I’m at a wedding reception here and somebody has a drink or two, most people wouldn’t say they’re wasted. Most folks with marijuana wouldn’t be sitting around a wedding reception smoking marijuana,” he told reporters outside a meeting of the Badger State Sheriffs Association. “Now there are people who abuse [alcohol], no doubt about it, but I think it’s a big jump between someone having a beer and smoking marijuana.”


Similarly, Walker told CNN, “From my standpoint, I still have concerns about making it legal… I still have difficulty visualizing marijuana and alcohol in the same vein… There’s a huge difference out there.”


Walker isn’t swayed by the argument that legalization can generate new monies for state coffers.


“As much as [Colorado has] brought revenues in, they’ve also increased costs related to social services and law enforcement,” he told WKOW-TV. “So I think it’s a long ways out before it’s clear as to what if anything would happen.”


The governor did sign off on a limited program allowing the use of CBD-rich cannabis extracts to treat severe seizure disorders. “It’s very controlled, from the examining board and oversight by pharmacists and physicians and I think that’s important moving forward,” he told WISC-TV. “This is not in any way what we see with other laws across the country.”


Walker opposes broader medical marijuana policies. “Federal law still classifies marijuana as a Schedule 1 narcotic and I believe state law should reflect this as well,” he told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.


But he has left the door open to considering broader reforms in the future. “I don’t think you’re going to see anything serious anytime soon [in Wisconsin], but if other states did, maybe in the next Legislative session there’d be more talk about it,” Walker told KITI-TV. “It may be something that resonates in the future, but I just don’t see any movement for it right now.”


If legalization does move forward in Wisconsin, Walker told the Associated Press he thinks it would be by a voter referendum on the ballot.


Walker’s position on federalism in marijuana policy remains murky. When asked whether marijuana laws should be left to the states or the federal government, Walker told the Orange County Register that it’s a “difficult” question.


The press secretary for Walker’s political action committee told the Washington Times that “there are currently federal laws on the books that must be enforced, but ultimately he believes the best place to handle this issue is in the states.”


Walker says he’s never tried marijuana himself. “No,” he said in response to a question at a press conference. “The wildest thing I did in college was have a beer.”


Jim Webb – Democrat


The former U.S. senator from Virginia and secretary of the U.S. Navy has repeatedly spoken out about America’s overincarceration problem and pushed for a broad overhaul of the entire criminal justice system. He hasn’t directly endorsed legalizing marijuana, but has hinted he might favor ending the prohibition approach to drugs.


“One of the most fascinating changes in our society in my adult lifetime has been the approach towards cigarette smoking. If you think about this, we didn’t make cigarettes illegal. We just got the information out there and educated people about the potential harm,” Webb said in an appearance before the National Sheriffs Association. “There have to be similar approaches when it comes to drug use.”


In his book “A Time to Fight,” Webb wrote, “The time has come to stop locking up people for mere possession and use of marijuana.” He also wrote that “the hugely expensive antidrug campaigns we are waging around the world are basically futile when it comes to actually preventing drug use in the United States.”

While serving in the Senate, Webb sponsored legislation to create a blue ribbon commission charged with conducting a top-to-bottom review of the criminal justice system and making recommendations for reforms. The legislation, which ultimately couldn’t secure enough voters to overcome a filibuster, called in its initial version for the commission to “make recommendations for changes in policies and laws designed to…restructure the approach to criminalization of, and incarceration as a result of the possession or use of illegal drugs.”


When asked by Huffington Post whether the commission should look specifically at legalizing marijuana, Webb said, “I think everything should be on the table, and we specifically say that we want recommendations on how to deal with drug policy in our country… I think they should do a very careful examination of all aspects of drug policy.”


Webb appears to favor letting states implement their own marijuana laws without federal interference. State-by-state legalization is an “interesting national experiment,” he said, according to the Wall Street Journal. “We’ll see how it plays out.”


Beyond drug policy, Webb is concerned with America’s approach to crime as a whole. “We have 5 percent of the world’s population. We have 25 percent of the world’s known prison population. We have an incarceration rate in the United States, the world’s greatest democracy, that is five times as high as the incarceration rate in the rest of the world,” he said on the Senate floor when introducing the commission bill. “There are only two possibilities. Either we have the most evil people on Earth living in the United States or we are doing something dramatically wrong in terms of how we approach the issue of criminal justice.”


It is unclear if Webb has ever used marijuana himself.


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Cops claim privacy violation, sue over video showing them eating marijuana during raid
Published time: 5 Aug, 2015 04:26


This is a continuation of a story about the santa ana pot raid previously posted here.






Three Santa Ana, California police officers are suing their own department after video footage that allegedly shows them eating marijuana edibles during a raid emerged. The officers, who were suspended, argue that the video violated their privacy.


The officers were part of a team that raided an illegal marijuana dispensary, the Sky High Collective, on May 26 in Orange County, California.


Filed in Orange County Superior Court by the three unidentified police officers and their union, the lawsuit seeks to prevent the department’s internal affairs investigators from using the video as they sort out what happened during the May raid.


The lawyer for the dispensary, Matthew Pappas, provided the Orange County Register and Santa Ana police with two versions of the raid footage: a highlight reel with subtitles and what he said are unedited video clips.


Pappas said the lawsuit was ironic as police routinely use surveillance camera video against suspects.


“It’s pretty pathetic for police to say if we don’t like something that it can’t be used as evidence,” Pappas told the Orange County Register. "They knew they were on video....Just because they missed one camera doesn’t make it illegal."


The lawsuit argues that the video doesn’t paint a fair version of events and claims the footage shouldn’t be used as evidence because, among other things, the police didn’t know they were on camera.


In one of the shortened video clips, armed Santa Ana police officers, some wearing masks, are seen breaking through the front door of the 17th Street dispensary and ordering at least half a dozen customers to the floor.


After entering the building, police are seen dismantling video cameras inside the store. What they didn’t know was that several cameras continued to film during the raid.


“All police personnel present had a reasonable expectation that their conversations were no longer being recorded and the undercover officers, feeling that they were safe to do so, removed their masks,” says the suit.


The cops complained that the dispensary never got their permission to record them as they searched the premises.


Under California law, "all parties to a confidential communication" must consent to being recorded. However, that rule does not apply when "the parties to the communication may reasonably expect that the communication may be overheard or recorded.” Since the officers argue in their complaint that they believed they had taken down all the cameras, they did not “reasonably expect” their communication to be recorded. That means recording them would have required their consent, the complaint argues.


READ MORE: 24 Veterans Affairs police officers sue management over covert surveillance


In a later clip in the video, which Pappas has titled, “Officers eating edibles and playing darts,” a voice can be heard asking, “What flavor?” before an officer is seen unwrapping a small package and putting something in his mouth.


At the time of the raid, Santa Ana city law did not allow for the operation of marijuana dispensaries, the Orange County Register stated.

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New Research Absolves Teen Marijuana Use in Long-Term Health Issues


By Monterey Bud on August 5, 2015


Chronic marijuana use by teens found innocent of causing mental and physical health issues later in life. . . 

An August 3, 2015 report conducted by the American Psychological Association, which closely monitored nearly 400 long-term male adolescent pot smokers nearly 20 years ago, has discovered that prolonged marijuana use in no way is connected with problematic health issues discovered later in life.


According to Jordan Bechtold, PhDWhat we found was a little surprising.”


The postdoctoral fellow at Pittsburgh University’s Medical Center noted, “There were no differences in any of the mental or physical health outcomes that we measured regardless of the amount of frequency of marijuana used during adolescence.”


For their myth defying research, scientists scrutinized data taken from the Pittsburgh Youth Study, drilling down on the long-term research project that looked for any potential relationship between anti-social and criminal behavior among male adolescence in Pittsburgh’s public schools during the late 80s.


Within the Pittsburgh study, researchers conducted follow-up interviews with many of these young men, at first biannually, then on a yearly basis. Once hitting the ripe old age of 35, researchers then gave the participants an exit questionnaire.


With the study over and the final interviews completed, scientists isolated the study’s participants into four distinct subgroups; those young men who rarely or never smoke marijuana – 46%; those who generally only used pot as an adolescent – 11%; those who began smoking cannabis after becoming an adult – 21%; and the chronic smokers, individuals who began early and became consistent consumers well into adulthood – 22%. Scientists then compared the overall health status of these groups to each other, adjusting for variables like tobacco use.


The study’s conclusion: “Findings from this sample indicated that chronic marijuana users were not more likely than late increasing users, adolescence-limited users, or low/nonusers to experience several physical or mental health problems in their mid-30s. Dr. Bechtold continued, “In fact, there were no significant differences between the marijuana trajectory groups in terms of adult health outcomes.”



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  Men more likely to die from high-dose opioid use for chronic pain, study finds


thecanadianpress_story.jpgBy Sheryl Ubelacker, The Canadian Press



TORONTO - Men prescribed opioids like oxycodone for chronic non-cancer pain are twice as likely as women to escalate to a high dose and die as a result of taking the powerful drugs, a study suggests.


The research by the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences (ICES) found that one in 45 men amplified their dosage over time to more than 200 milligrams of morphine or its equivalent, compared with one in 70 women taking the drugs.


Patients whose opioid use had snowballed were almost 24 times as likely to die as those who did not ramp up the amount of their daily medication, concluded the study, published Thursday in the journal PLOS ONE.


"The absolute risks here are just staggering," said senior author Dr. David Juurlink, head of clinical pharmacology and toxicology at the University of Toronto.


"This is really the first large-scale study to give us an idea of how likely it is that patients who are receiving chronic opioid therapy will die from their treatment," said Juurlink. "And as somebody who has been quite critical of these drugs over the years, the findings surprise even me."


The 1997-2010 study, which examined health records for more than 285,500 Ontarians aged 15 to 64, found that more than one in every 10 patients prescribed the drugs for the first time became chronic users.


As well, one in every 350 men and one in every 850 women died as a result of taking an opioid long-term.


"One in 350 doesn't sound especially high, but remember there are tens of millions of patients on these drugs, and we're talking about death," said Juurlink. "So from a public health perspective, that's a very big deal."


Opioids like oxycodone, morphine and hydromorphone are prescribed short-term to patients with acute pain from injury, for instance, and have been a significant boon to those suffering from severe pain due to cancer.


Doctors also often prescribe them for chronic conditions such as low back pain, osteoarthritis, pelvic pain and fibromyalgia.


"These are all conditions where there isn't good evidence for the use of opioids long-term," said Juurlink. "And, in fact, in some of those conditions it's actively discouraged.


"And yet it happens, and it happens in part because doctors are desperate to help patients and patients with pain are desperate themselves, and we don't have a lot of drugs at our disposal."


While women are more likely to be prescribed opioids, men are more likely to be given a more potent agent, research has shown.

"I think doctors are probably more comfortable giving stronger drugs to men ... So when you are on stronger opioids, you hit that threshold more readily," Juurlink said of a high-dose regimen.


"And it may even be the case that men are more likely to take additional doses now and then without their doctor's permission," e speculated.


"Those are all factors which in theory could increase the risk of death."


Dr. Andrea Furlan, a physician at the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute who co-wrote the Canadian Opioid Guideline, said the ICES study provides useful information for prescribers about the risks for men compared to women.


At the same time, the "message of the guideline is to be careful with everyone, not just men," said Furlan, who was not involved in the study.


However, she questioned whether the study's findings reflect the situation in 2015, since the data show only what was happening up to 2010 — before the prescribing guideline was released.


"So we don't know what is the impact of having the guideline" on dose escalation and related deaths, she said. "So we need to see what's going on now."


Still, Furlan agrees that too many patients are continuing to be prescribed opioids and often at excessive doses.


Juurlink said patients need to understand that while opioids can help some people when used judiciously and at a low dose, they are still dangerous drugs.


"And I'd say the message for doctors is fairly unambiguous: think long and hard before you start a patient on long-term opioid therapy and try if at all possible to avoid escalating to high-dose therapy.


"There's no data to suggest that that's in a patient's best interest and you're very clearly exposing your patients to risk if you do that."



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lethe, I'm planning a trip across state lines where M is legal.  I try to lay in a supply until I can make another trip.  I have tried different varieties but distance makes experimentation difficult.  To date I have a preference for "cannatonic" but I'm sure there are others that as just as effective.  I wonder if you have something you like and would recommend.  I don't know anyone who has PD and uses M for relief (or at least no one who will admit to it) so I have no one to hash (pun intended) it over with.  By the way, I use it primarily for pain relief and for sleep.  Thanks! 

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lethe, I'm planning a trip across state lines where M is legal.  I try to lay in a supply until I can make another trip.  I have tried different varieties but distance makes experimentation difficult.  To date I have a preference for "cannatonic" but I'm sure there are others that as just as effective.  I wonder if you have something you like and would recommend.  I don't know anyone who has PD and uses M for relief (or at least no one who will admit to it) so I have no one to hash (pun intended) it over with.  By the way, I use it primarily for pain relief and for sleep.  Thanks! 


  Unfortunately the availability of most strains is inconsistent, most likely due to the desire for growers to experiment. But that may change with legality. 


I've tried cannatonic quite a few times but it hasn't be available here in at least a year.  It 's popular because of it's high cannabidiol content as well as it's 1:1 ration with THC.   I like the effect it has on mood.


I need a variety of both sativa and indicas. For sleeping and pain relief  the indicas are good. I like purple kush, as it makes me quietly introverted. It doesn't knock you out so it's good for puttering around, but it's also good if you wish to sleep..


If you come across 000 (triple o) it really knocked me out, I was unable to stay awake  within 15 minutes of taking it. Chemo can be heavy for sleep.  Some  others I like:


Buddha, Sage, all the kushes!  seeing as you are interested I'll start posting some of my monthly reviews. You can also google strains to find out more about them, such as their  genetics.

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lethe, Thanks for the quick response.  I'm so disappointed to learn about the availability of cannatonic.  Some strains are just too much for me.  Guess I'm what one might call a cheap date as it doesn't take much to get me too high and unfocused.    Cannatonic controls the pain, leaves me pretty grounded and able to perform tasks.  Hope it's still available.


Much has been made of Charlotte's Web.  Have you tried it?  Any good for PD?  Hype or the real deal?


So far I've tried to stay with the indicas.  Not sure if I've found that much difference between the indica and sativa.  Then again I've mostly used the indicas so don't have much to compare it with.  I seem to find the higher CBD level more of a factor.  Hence my interest in Charlotte's Web.  Everyone's PD is different so perhaps our response to the strains is different as well.


Purple kush sounds like it might work for me.  Will look into the other strains you mention. 


Yes, I would appreciate it if you would post your monthly reviews.







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Some strains are just too much for me.  Guess I'm what one might call a cheap date as it doesn't take much to get me too high and unfocused


 So...uhhh... whatca doing this Friday?   : :mrgreen:  


If you find some strains too strong I suggest M-39.  This very mild and subtle strain is surprisingly one of the mosty effective for pain relief, and it is not very exciting (like a sativa) so you feel like going to sleep rather than stayingup and enjoying it. :)  


The kushes are strong. I recommend Buddha, sage, northern lights, as just a few milder ones. You should tell your MMJ server to recommend milder strains.  They will be happy to help you.


Much has been made of Charlotte's Web.  Have you tried it?  Any good for PD?  Hype or the real deal?


It’s excellent for epilepsy, especially Dravets syndrome. It’s made into an oil. I’ve never used it  but it would certainly help....



So far I've tried to stay with the indicas.  Not sure if I've found that much difference between the indica and sativa.  Then again I've mostly used the indicas so don't have much to compare it with.  I seem to find the higher CBD level more of a factor.  Hence my interest in Charlotte's Web.  Everyone's PD is different so perhaps our response to the strains is different as well.


  I’d branch out (no pun intended) because most strains contain both Sativa and Indica, the amount varies. Indicas are generally stronger - harder hitting, so you could find sativas milder - in general.  When you go to the dispensary explain to you server - that will help focus on the most appropriate strain.


Let me know what you pick up......

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I just came back from Colorado where I used a combination of 1:1 thc-cbd transdermal patch along with indica based lozenges. This combination worked wonderfully for both tremor reduction and pain relief. It also helped with sleep as I also have REM sleep disorder. It took a few days to get the dosing right though. I can't emphasize enough the amount of relief I got! 

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I just came back from Colorado where I used a combination of 1:1 thc-cbd transdermal patch along with indica based lozenges. This combination worked wonderfully for both tremor reduction and pain relief. It also helped with sleep as I also have REM sleep disorder. It took a few days to get the dosing right though. I can't emphasize enough the amount of relief I got! 


 Welcome to the forum, Shaker Dave.


I`m glad it works for you.....   :-P


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Unfortunately I'm from a Midwestern state. Our CBD only "law" is a joke, and after 2+ years patients still don't have access. Thanks for the welcome, I've been following this forum for months since being diagnosed, and finally decided to take the leap.

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Unfortunately I'm from a Midwestern state. Our CBD only "law" is a joke, and after 2+ years patients still don't have access. Thanks for the welcome, I've been following this forum for months since being diagnosed, and finally decided to take the leap.


   All too common.... it took 15 years in Nevada! Democracy is just a word when the people in power blatantly thwart the majority will.

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Shaker Dave,  welcome to the group although I wish all of us were cured and had no need for this forum.  I have tried some of the edibles but never the patch.  I tend to prefer inhaling as the effects are almost instantaneous whereas the edibles tend to take longer.  Still, they are certainly helpful when smoking is impossible.


lethe,  Thanks for the laugh!  Also thanks for the recommendations. 

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