Minorities Avoid Cannabis Industry as History of Arrests, Incarceration Drive Fears

http://mmjbusinessdaily.com/minorities-avoid-cannabis-industry-history-arrests-incarceration-drive-fears/

It’s not just young blacks who will likely be shy about making inroads to the industry – Latinos will likely have just as hard a time getting into the legal cannabis industry, Lynch said.

Latinos comprise the largest group of federally convicted drug defendants, according to the U.S. Sentencing Commission. From 1992-2012, 40% of federally sentenced drug trafficking defendants were Latino, 31% were African-American and about 26% were white. In 2013, 48% of federally sentenced drug trafficking defendants were Latino…

One example: the debate currently ongoing in Florida about who should qualify to win cultivation licenses for the state’s MMJ program. Not a single black farmer qualifies under the existing rules, in part due to discriminatory lending practices dating back decades…

In Police Chase Over Marijuana, Boy, 17, Falls From Bronx Roof

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/04/nyregion/teenager-falls-from-a-bronx-rooftop-after-police-are-called-about-marijuana.html

It began on Thursday night with a group of teenagers smoking marijuana in the lobby of a Bronx building. It ended three or four minutes later with one of them critically injured by a fall from the roof of the six-story building, lying in a dark alleyway with a police officer cradling his head. On Friday, the victim, Hakeem Kuta, 17, of the Bronx, was in critical condition at St. Barnabas Hospital…

If these teenagers had been smoking cigarettes, which are a lot worse for you than smoking bud, they wouldn’t have been afraid of being arrested.  They wouldn’t have run.

Never speak to the DEA without an attorney present

http://www.tokesignals.com/cannabis-pow-of-the-month-crystal-munoz-is-serving-19-years/

Cannabis POW of the Month: Crystal Munoz Is Serving 19 Years

Her nightmare began when DEA agents visited Munoz’s home. They assured the young mother of an infant daughter, who happened to be pregnant with her third child at the time, that she was not in any kind of trouble. The agents claimed they merely needed to speak with Crystal to get a few questions answered and details cleared up about an incident that had taken place 3 years earlier.

The activities in question involved a map that Crystal had drawn showing how to circumvent a drug checkpoint. She herself was never caught with any drugs. Her indictment and prosecution was based entirely on the testimony of the people who were actually caught trafficking the drugs 3 years earlier…

While the people who were actually doing the dealing received between 5 to 7 years each, Munoz, who only drew a map, received a sentence of 19 years and 10 months…

Is Legal Marijuana Safe In Washington State? Independent Study Says No

http://www.tokesignals.com/study-washington-states-legal-marijuana-not-properly-tested/

Mobley said that equally as disturbing is the fact of 248 pesticides are approved to use on cannabis plants in the state yet there is not one lab in Washington capable of testing for these poisons. He was astonished that this was “news” to the state’s marijuana examiner, Tim Gates, only two weeks ago. (The samples had to be transported illegally to a neighboring state for pesticide testing.) …

This Is What Desperation Looks Like

Yes, this is my wrist, scarred by pain and desperation.  These scars represent days when my pain was at a level 10, not attempts at suicide.  See, I’ve read that cutting releases endorphins, and those endorphins can decrease pain.  (I also saw it on an episode of House, one of my favorite TV shows.)  And as I’ve tried almost every other way to manage my pain, I thought it was a good idea to try this one.  I mean, if I’m willing to try treatments like hypnosis, why not something like this?

Of course it didn’t work.  The cutting just left scars, which I used to be embarrassed about, but now I rarely even notice.  These scars are like my stretch marks from pregnancy — they show what this old body has been through.  They are like… badges of courage.

Today is a bad pain day for me, and I confess that I’ve thought about trying to release some of that pain by causing myself more pain — attempt to distract myself from the pain in my head by causing pain in another part of my body.  In theory, it should work.  But in practice, it doesn’t help — nothing could distract me from this level of pain.  I know that, but sometimes, desperation doesn’t make any sense.

What would decrease my pain levels are things I don’t currently have access to, like hydrocodone and medical cannabis.  I’m telling you, the drug war (and Unum) is slowly killing me, just like my constant pain.

So, if you read these words, please support your state’s medical cannabis program, if one exists. And if not, please support the creation of this kind of program in your state or country.

Because desperation is never pretty.

National Pain Strategy – What Happens Now?

http://nationalpainreport.com/national-pain-strategy-what-happens-now-8825899.html

The National Pain Strategy was released by the National Institutes of Health. There are six key areas addressed:

-Determine just how big and how severe chronic pain is as public health issue.
-Better emphasis on prevention of acute and chronic pain.
-Improve the quality of pain care AND reduce barriers to underserved populations at risk for pain.
-How to make sure that access to optimal pain management is available to all.
-More education and training for the people who deliver care.
-Create a national pain awareness campaign and promote safe medication use by patients.

“The National Pain Strategy represents the United States first strategic plan for transforming and advancing pain care, education, research and prevention,” Dr. Sean Mackey, Chief of the Division of Pain Medicine at Stanford University’s School of Medicine told the National Pain Report.

Really, the very first?  Mumbo jumbo.  These six “key” areas tell me nothing, and it’s just an extension of what’s already been discussed and done.  And any national pain strategy that doesn’t include the terms “suicide” and “drug war” is just plain inadequate.

Under comments:

Doc Anonymous says:
April 3, 2015 at 11:24 am
I have read some of this lengthy report and my overall impression is one of same old BS. It does have some good comments about the extent of stigma suffered by pain patients and a plea to decrease the stigma.

However, it seems to totally miss the issues of how to get treatment when so many doctors view the patients as virtual vermine.

Perhaps worst of all it calls for more study of pain, but then recommends gathering data from agencies whose primary role is to treat addiction! There is no call for a concerted effort to gather data and study those who are already neglected: Namely those who suffer chronic pain. Perhaps if the medical profession treated pain patients as people, there would be more information and more “evidence” about what does and does not work for chronic pain. Instead the report seems to call for more datamining the addiction databases.

It is very discouraging to see this report in some important ways equating addiction and pain patients. They are not the same although there is some overlap. There are some addicts with chronic pain, but not most. There are some chronic pain patients who develop addiction, but not most. It is sad that the authors of this report seem to have limited awareness of this distinction!

paita says:
April 3, 2015 at 10:00 am
Curious,,when u look up the National Institute Of Health,,it states is a subsidiary of the National Institute of Drug Abuse,,why is that important,,,they are the ones who sided w/the D.E.A,,H.H.S,,an N.I.D.A. to restrict access to hydrocodone,make us come in 3 times a year,,pee test,,etc,,,soo again,,sorry,,,don’t trust em,,,they’ll lie,,they’ll twist are comments for MORE restrictions,,,and curious,,,why now,,why not 10 years go,5 years ago,,6 month ago,,,,why now?????

Really, dude, lighten up on the commas.