Minorities Avoid Cannabis Industry as History of 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


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


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


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?


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.

Opioid Misuse Study Questioned


Statistically speaking, meta-analysis studies are most valuable when the studies included have consistent methodologies, definitions and results. “Simply put, averaging bad data does not create valid data,” he said.”In this case, methodologies were not consistent, and, most glaringly, the data from previous studies had wildly varying results–going from less than 1% in one study of misuse to about 80% in another…

There is little doubt that both chronic pain and prescription medication abuse are problems for society. Part of the overall challenge is our lack of understanding of the depth of the problem,” he said. “Invalid over-estimates of misuse do nothing to help understand true addiction or the recreational misuse of opioids. It only serves to further stigmatize the chronic pain patient…

The doubt arises when prescription medication abuse is heralded as an epidemic, covered by every media outlet, while chronic pain is not.

Under comments:

John S says:

April 3, 2015 at 1:37 pm
Wow- 1 in 3 people in the US suffer from chronic pain. That’s got to be wrong – I think it’s much less and more like 1 in 15 that truly suffer from a Chronic Pain problem. Maybe Dr.’s are being told by drug seekers they have chronic pain but I feel the actual number that suffer the problem is a lot lower. I know of 1 other person out if 50 that has it. Back to the drawing board guys.

Dear Mr. S:  If you had read the report, or kept up on news for pain patients, you would know that they’ve lowered that estimate of 100 million.  And if you understood all the different types of medical conditions that produce chronic pain, you wouldn’t sound so uninformed.  Using your own anecdotal information is evidence of absolutely nothing.

Jay Fleming says:
April 4, 2015 at 8:55 am
Why is it when 16,000 people die in hospitals from NSAID’s it’s a note in a medical journal, when 16,000 people die from opioids it’s a crisis.

Truth is, people with chronic pain will do anything to make the pain stop. How many people commit suicide each year from under treated pain?

I’m sorry some people abuse these drugs, but that’s no reason to not prescribe them.

If a patient abuses their medications and dies, thats sad. If a patient commits suicide because of under treated pain, that’s a tragedy.

Sometimes, patients abuse their medications because their pain is misdiagnosed, mistreated, or under-treated. This also counts as a sad tragedy.

Perhaps the problem lies in including both chronic pain patients and those who suffer from addiction in the same research.

This Is What Sugar Does To Your Brain


When a person consumes sugar, just like any food, it activates the tongue’s taste receptors. Then, signals are sent to the brain, lighting up reward pathways and causing a surge of feel-good hormones, like dopamine, to be released. Sugar “hijacks the brain’s reward pathway,” neuroscientist Jordan Gaines Lewis explained. And while stimulating the brain’s reward system with a piece of chocolate now and then is pleasurable and probably harmless, when the reward system is activated too much and too frequently, we start to run into problems…

Consuming sugar stimulates the release of the mood-boosting neurotransmitter serotonin. Constantly over-activating these serotonin pathways can deplete our limited supplies of the neurotransmitter, which can contribute to symptoms of depression, according to Dr. Datis Kharrazian, functional medicine expert and author of Why Isn’t My Brain Working?…

Chronically high blood sugar levels have also been linked to inflammation in the brain. And as some research has suggested, neuroinflammation may be one possible cause of depression. Teenagers may be particularly vulnerable to the effects of sugar on mood…


However, if you’re a pain patient with a deficit of dopamine and serotonin, then the surge of sugar-laden, feel-good hormones is more than welcome.  Plus, sugar is legal, and the DEA hasn’t tried to add sugar or chocolate to the drug scheduling list (yet).

The kind of advocacy that pain patients need…


Everytown’s calculation is this: More than statistics, more than glossy reports, its power comes from the heartbreaking, personal stories of gun violence, told by the people who are living it.

“I’ve seen it when a legislator realizes they are talking to a survivor of gun violence,” said Colin Goddard, a senior policy advocate at Everytown who was shot four times during the 2007 Virginia Tech massacre. “It changes the dynamic entirely.”

“It can be very isolating, to be a gun violence survivor,” said Kate Ranta, an Everytown fellow who was shot twice by her ex-husband in 2012 and is now an advocate for stronger gun laws for domestic abusers. “Having each other and not feeling alone is amazing.”

“Your story is your most powerful tool, but we want them to do more than just feel bad,” said Simon, who was a teacher for more than 20 years before joining Giffords’ staff. “More than empathy and sympathy, we want action.”

“I have found that people who have experienced great loss and speak from the heart, they are formidable,” Martinez said. “I think collectively we can make a difference.”



Zach Braff and Donald Faison, who are perhaps best known for starring together in the beloved sitcom “Scrubs,” are apparently willing to toss some dough for same-sex Indiana couples…

If you really and truly want pizza for your gay wedding in Indiana… We will make it for you. @donald_faison

Braff and Faison join other individuals and groups who are showing solidarity with the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. The Equality House, which sits directly across from the Westboro Baptist Church compound in Topeka, Kansas, and regularly champions causes related to the queer community, created a “virtual pizza party” to raise funds for LGBT homeless youth. Cyndi Lauper also offered her support with a similar fundraiser, titled #PizzaForEquality, that has already generated roughly $40,000.

Which City Is the Worst for Spring Allergies?


One in five people has the “allergic gene,” which means that even if you move away from a pollen-heavy area, you’ll develop new allergies in your new hometown after a couple of years, he added…

Rising allergy misery is a trend that’s set to continue, thanks to climate change, Dr. Bassett said. First of the all, the season lasts longer; fall allergy season extends as much as four weeks past the pattern of a few decades ago, he said. “The pollen is also directly affected by greenhouse gases,” Dr. Bassett said, noting that studies have shown that rising CO2 levels cause plants to produce more pollen, and pollen that’s more potent than ever before.

“It’s a double whammy — longer pollen season, as well as the fact that the pollen itself may be more super-charged,” Dr. Bassett said…

49. Houston, Texas, scored 66.62/100, according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America’s ranking of the worst cities for spring allergies.

44. Albuquerque, New Mexico, scored 67.71/100, according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America’s ranking of the worst cities for spring allergies.


New Mexico outlaws ‘revenge porn’


Supporters of the legislation argued at the Roundhouse that some victims of “revenge porn” elsewhere in the country even took their own lives.  The bill was introduced by Brian Egolf, a Democratic member of the House of Representatives from Santa Fe…

After being found guilty once, “revenge porn” is a misdemeanor in New Mexico. After a second conviction, it becomes a fourth-degree felony. At least 16 other states have enacted similar laws. The law goes into effect in New Mexico July 1.