Colorado: Cannabis Edible Carnage!


NOVEMBER 15, 2018 Bottom of Form

Three months after Colorado opened marijuana stores, Richard Kirk shot and killed his wife while she was on the phone with 911.  On November 12, Lori Gliha, an investigative journalist from the news magazine program Insight with John Ferruggia interviewed him on Rocky Mountain PBS. Most viewers who watched the jailhouse interview agree that he wouldn’t have killed his wife had he not eaten the marijuana edible.

The State of Colorado deserves a good portion of the blame for the death of Kristine Kirk.

The program revealed Richard Kirk’s chronic back pain and addiction to opiate pain pills.  One day, out of opioids, he stopped at the marijuana dispensary near his home.  When the edible containing 100 mg THC didn’t resolve the pain within an hour, he tried more.  Then Kristine Kirk called 911 to report his hallucinations and threat of violence in response to marijuana edibles.  It was only 3-1/2 months after dispensaries opened in Colorado, and regulations were inadequate at the time.

A few weeks earlier, Levy Thamba, an exchange student from the Democratic Republic of Congo, became psychotic from  a marijuana cookie, jumped off of a hotel balcony and died. After these two deaths, Colorado made the regulations tougher.  The following year, another young man, Luke Goodman, shot himself after eating marijuana edibles.

It’s shocking that Kirk wasn’t given an involuntary manslaughter sentence instead of a murder conviction. Kirk knows he was psychotic and never would have done it had he not used the marijuana.  There is a wealth of scientific data supporting what happened to him.  A jury convicted him and he was sentenced to 30 years in jail.

Insights from the Investigation on PBS

Watch the entire Rocky Mountain PBS interview here.

The two scientists interviewed made key statements towards the end of what they had to say: Dr. Kari Franson, the clinical pharmacologist, maintained that we might have to accept that THC and the gastrointestinal system just don’t belong together and that interaction is too variable to be able to predict what will happen.

Dr. Andrew Monte stated that edibles should not be on the recreational market.  He reported 2,600 ER visits connected to marijuana at UC Health University of Colorado Hospital over the past 5 years.  Most of these hospital visits involve edibles. However, marijuana proponents have a view of self-entitlement which allow them to rationalize that if they don’t have these bad reactions, then why should it matter if others do? For complete story Cannabis-Edibles-Carnage



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The tide is turning: Big Pharma billionaire arrested, charged with conspiracy and bribery of doctors

By  Dr. Cheryl Strayed October 28, 2018

I almost never thought I’d see the day when a Big Pharma founder and owner was finally arrested for running a criminal drug cartel, but that day has arrived.

“Federal authorities arrested the billionaire founder and owner of Insys Therapeutics Thursday on charges of bribing doctors and pain clinics into prescribing the company’s fentanyl product to their patients,” reports the Daily Caller News Foundation, one of the best sources of real journalism in America today.

Addictive drugs that include opioids, we now know, are claiming over 64,000 lives a year in the United States alone.

From the DCNF:

The Department of Justice (DOJ) charged John Kapoor, 74, and seven other current and former executives at the pharmaceutical company with racketeering for a leading a national conspiracy through bribery and fraud to coerce the illegal distribution of the company’s fentanyl spray, which is intended for use as a pain killer by cancer patients. The company’s stock prices fell more than 20 percent following the arrests, according to the New York Post.

Kapoor stepped down as the company’s CEO in January amid ongoing federal probes into their Subsys product, a pain-relieving spray that contains fentanyl, a highly-addictive synthetic opioid. Fentanyl is more than 50 times stronger than morphine, and ingesting just two milligrams is enough to cause an adult to fatally overdose.

The series of arrests came just hours after President Donald Trump officially declared the country’s opioid epidemic a national emergency. Drug overdoses led to 64,070 deaths in 2016, which is more than the amount of American lives lost in the entire Vietnam War.

As the opioid crisis has developed, more and more states have begun holding doctors and opioid manufacturers accountable for over-prescribing and over-producing the highly-addictive painkillers.

“We will be bringing some major lawsuits against people and companies that are hurting our people,” Trump said Thursday. He also spoke about a program similar to Nancy Reagan’s “Just Say No” initiative.

“More than 20,000 Americans died of synthetic opioid overdoses last year, and millions are addicted to opioids. And yet some medical professionals would rather take advantage of the addicts than try to help them,” Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in a statement. “This Justice Department will not tolerate this.  We will hold accountable anyone – from street dealers to corporate executives — who illegally contributes to this nationwide epidemic.  And under the leadership of President Trump, we are fully committed to defeating this threat to the American people.

For complete article


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USA: Legal Weed! Get ‘HIGHer’ on Car Insurance Rate Rises!



Vermont Voters Warned A Vote for Legal Pot is a Vote for Higher Insurance Rates

Reprinted with permission from Statehouse Headliners By Guy Page
October 25, 2018 – Car insurance rates are likely to increase 4-6% in states with legal marijuana, a leading insurance industry actuary says.

“You’re looking at an increase of around 4 to 6 percent in overall coverage,” James Lynch, chief actuary of the Insurance Information Institute told the Boston Herald October 24, 2018. Even if drivers don’t smoke pot themselves, their insurance rates will increase regardless, Lynch said.

A 6 percent increase in insurance premiums on all 615,950 registered vehicles in Vermont would cost about $28.3 million. The average Vermont car insurance premium is $764, according to A 6% increase would add $46 in annual premiums, for a total of $810.

The rate hike would result from the increase in car crashes in pot-legal states, Lynch said. In Colorado, Nevada, Oregon and Washington, crashes in pot-legal states are up about 6 percent compared to neighboring states.

“We want to make people aware that there is a social cost involved,” Lynch told the Herald. In Vermont, Vermont Democrat legislators and an increasing number of Republicans favor a “tax and regulate” form of commercial, legalized sale of marijuana. Gov. Phil Scott says he still opposes further legalization of marijuana and is waiting for the Vermont Marijuana Commission to issue its final report, which is due in December. A preliminary draft is scheduled to be ready in November.

But wait – couldn’t the Vermont Legislature just raise marijuana taxes and send out a rebate check for $46 per vehicle owner? It’s possible, but highly unlikely because state officials rightly fear that every tax hike will perpetuate the established black market. Drug dealers don’t pay taxes or fees. They already enjoy a significant competitive advantage over “taxed and regulated” marijuana sales. A “car insurance rebate tax” would just reduce legal sales revenue while rewarding the black market.

For complete article


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Global: Smart Asian Nations Warn on Weed!

3 Asian nations warn citizens not to use marijuana in Canada

Ken Moritsugu

BEIJING – Marijuana may be legal now in Canada but at least three Asian governments are warning their citizens to avoid it, including the spectre of possible arrest for Japanese and South Koreans.

China, the latest to weigh in, didn’t go that far. Its consulate in Toronto issued a statement dated Friday reminding Chinese in its jurisdiction — and students in particular — “to avoid contact with and use of marijuana for the sake of ensuring your own physical and mental health.”

Canada legalized the sale of recreational marijuana on Oct. 17.

The Chinese statement, posted on the consulate’s website, included a long explanation of the Canadian and provincial laws, advising them to read it carefully to avoid running afoul of the new regulations.

Both Japan and South Korea warned their citizens in Canada ahead of the legalization.

The Japanese consulate in Vancouver warned on its website that Japanese laws outlawing the possession and sale of marijuana may be applied to actions taken abroad.

“Japanese residents and travellers should take ample care to stay away from marijuana, including food and beverages that include marijuana,” the statement read in part.

South Korea held information sessions in Canada and used a government website and TV broadcasts to lay down the law for its citizens.

“Even in a place where marijuana is legalized, if our citizens smoke, purchase, possess or deliver marijuana, it’s a criminal act, so they will be punished,” the embassy in Canada tweeted. “Please be careful.”

Neither statement from Japan and South Korea explained how they might attempt to enforce their laws against smoking marijuana while abroad. Police and customs officials in South Korea did not answer calls seeking comment.

For complete article Smart Nations Hold Line on Weed!


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Dear friend,
Less than 7 days. That’s when polls will close in North Dakota and Michigan, and I couldn’t wait any longer to let you in on some great news. In the last few hours alone:
Our opponents in Big Tobacco and Big Marijuana are shaking in their boots. What recently seemed like assured victories for them are now totally up in the air. It is now anyone’s game. That is why the New Approaches PAC, a pro-pot industry “527 organization,” funded by Peter Lewis’ heirs,  New York fragrance company heir  Henry van Ameringen , family planning philanthropist  Phil Harvey and  Cari Tuna , the wife of one of Facebook’s co-founders, is starting to pour money into pro-legalization campaigns – they just gave a half million dollars to Michigan in the past few days.

We need your help. Can you chip in so we can buy more air time?
Every dollar you can give is a dollar that will go towards fighting more stoned drivers on our roads, more youth using marijuana, booming black markets, and increasing mental health issues.
We have 149 hours to go. Are you in? (Check out below for some of my favorite, hand-picked photos of the last 72 hours on the trail…)
Dr. Kevin Sabet
Founder and President
Smart Approaches to Marijuana Action

About SAM Action

SAM Action is a non-profit, 501(c)(4) social welfare organization dedicated to promoting healthy marijuana policies that do not involve legalizing drugs. SAM Action engages in high-impact political campaigns to oppose marijuana legalization and commercialization.


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CANADA: Black Market Thriving Defiantly??

NO! that won’t happen, not like in every other jurisdiction where pot has been permitted???? Again, now we have 2 to 3 markets, not just one!

Vancouver, Canada’s Marijuana Capital, Struggles to Tame the Black Market

People smoking pot at a store in Vancouver.CreditCreditAlana Paterson for The New York Times

By Dan Bilefsky Oct. 29, 2018

VANCOUVER — In the pot-friendly city of Vancouver, illegal marijuana dispensaries outnumber Starbucks outlets, and among the most popular is Weeds, Glass and Gifts. There, in a relaxed space reminiscent of the coffee chain, jovial “budtenders” sell coconut chocolate bars infused with marijuana and customers smoke powerful pot concentrates at a sleek dab bar.

When Canada legalized recreational marijuana, on Oct. 17, one of the central aims was to shut down the thousands of illegal dispensaries and black market growers dotting the country. But taming an illegal trade estimated at 5.3 billion Canadian dollars is proving to be daunting.

“We’ll keep selling what we are selling,” said Mr. Briere, who in 2001 was sentenced to four years in prison for being one of British Columbia’s most prolific pot producers.

The Canadian government faces many challenges in stamping out the illegal marijuana industry. For one, there are too many black market shops like Mr. Briere’s for the government to keep track of.

And as sluggish provincial bureaucracies struggle to manage a new regulatory system, licenses to operate legally are hard to come by, giving illegal sellers added impetus to defy the law.

At the same time, the police and the public have little appetite for a national crackdown.

“The government taking over the cannabis trade is like asking a farmer to build airplanes,” Mr. Briere added.

Canadian policymakers say legalization is a giant national undertaking that will take years to be enforced. Mike Farnworth, British Columbia’s minister of public safety, argued that civic pressure and market forces would help gradually diminish the illegal trade.

“It’s a very Canadian way of doing things,” he said. “It won’t happen overnight.” There will, he added, be no mass raids, “guns and head-bashing.”

Nevertheless, he noted, newly created “community safety units” in British Columbia, staffed by 44 unarmed inspectors, have been given the power to raid dispensaries without a search warrant, seize illegal products and shut them down.

In Toronto, police raided five illegal pot retailers, two days after the law went into effect. Dozens of others in Toronto, Vancouver and Ottawa have voluntarily closed their doors to avoid being shut out of the legal market.

Yet hundreds of black market pot outlets remain defiantly open, abetted by provincial governments slow to implement the new law.

On Oct. 17, only one legal government pot retailer opened in British Columbia, in the city of Kamloops, nearly a four-hour drive from Vancouver. That assured that Vancouver’s illicit trade would continue to thrive.

And that day, none of the roughly 100 illegal pot dispensaries in the city had the provincial licenses they needed to operate legally, even those that had applied for one.

Investigating whether British Columbia residents are violating the law by growing more than four pot plants per household is not a priority, he said.

The legalization of recreational marijuana in Colorado, Washington State and Uruguay, he added, has shown that “it is naïve to think that just because cannabis is legalized, the criminal will walk away from a highly lucrative industry.”

Follow Dan Bilefsky on Twitter: @DanBilefsky.

For complete article


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DFAF: Marijuana Updates


Research and Media articles

Outside the US


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CANADA: Organized Crime in Licensed Arena!!! Who Knew Right????

Licensed cannabis growers have ties to organized crime, Enquête investigation finds

Despite security checks by Health Canada, investors with Mafia connections involved in legal production

Marie-Maude Denis · CBC News · Posted: Nov 01, 2018

An investigation by Radio-Canada’s Enquête shows Health Canada has granted production licences to companies with individuals with links to the criminal underworld. (Tijana Martin/Canadian Press)

An investor in a major Canadian cannabis company has had longstanding ties, including business dealings, with influential Mafia members and drug traffickers, Radio-Canada has learned.

Another investor in the same company has links with a prominent member of the Rizzutos, the powerful Montreal crime family.

In still another case, an individual managed to sell his cannabis business to one of the big players in the industry, despite his connections to drug traffickers. In return, he received shares in the company and rented out space for a cannabis grow-op.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s legalization plan was supposed to cut out organized crime, but an investigation by Radio-Canada’s Enquête shows Health Canada has granted production licences to companies with individuals with links to the criminal underworld.

Enquête examined hundreds of documents as part of its investigation, including reviews conducted by Canadian securities oversight bodies. Enquête is not naming the companies or individuals involved.

For its part, Health Canada says it has not seen any cases of organized crime infiltration of more than 130 licensed cannabis producers since 2013.

To produce cannabis, those who hold certain positions in companies must first obtain a permit from Health Canada by taking a security screening.

Any past connections with individuals related to organized crime are part of the analyzed information.

Red flags raised

To secure a licence, Health Canada first checks if the individual has a criminal record.

Second, the RCMP consults police databases to review information that may indicate an applicant’s links to criminals.

Health Canada makes its final decision with the information provided by the RCMP.

The RCMP says it raised red flags on about 10 per cent of the applicants it was asked to check out in 2016 and 2017.

“It’s really criminal associations,” says Supt. Yves Goupil, who gives the example of a person “associated with individuals who have criminal records.”

In a statement, Health Canada said it can “categorically confirm” that it didn’t issue “security clearance to an individual when the RCMP provided evidence to the department that it was associated with organized crime.”

“Health Canada has found no evidence that organized crime has infiltrated one of more than 130 federally registered producers,” spokesperson Eric Morrissette said in an email.

Security checks only scratch the surface

Throughout the period in which Canada’s cannabis industry was developing, primarily for medical purposes, only individuals who directly ran the companies were required to obtain a security clearance.

This approach, says Conservative Senator Claude Carignan, demonstrates a naiveté about the workings of high-level organized crime.

“If there is someone who has a criminal record, it is not that person they will put to apply for the licence,” Carignan said. “It would be completely naive to think that.”

Last spring, Carignan and his Senate colleagues tried, unsuccessfully, to amend Bill C-45 on the legalization of cannabis in order to demand more transparency from companies entering the industry.

Several companies have opaque and complex structures.

“You never see who the real licence holders are,” said lawyer and tax expert Marwah Rizqy, who raised the issue before a Senate committee last spring and has since been elected Liberal MNA for the Quebec riding of Saint-Laurent.

The black hole of trusts

It’s not uncommon for cannabis companies to be funded through family trusts.

Originally designed for estate and tax planning, trusts are an ideal way to hide individuals with interests in a business, said Marie-Pierre Allard, who studies tax policy at the Université de Sherbrooke.

“The beneficiaries of the trust are not disclosed publicly. It’s anonymous,” she said, adding that it is “one of the great vulnerabilities of the Canadian legal system.”

“If we want to eliminate the Mafia cannabis market, we cannot allow them to use tax havens or trusts to enter indirectly through the back door,” Carignan said.

A report by the federal Department of Finance and several international organizations identifies trusts as one of the vehicles most at risk for money-laundering in Canada.

In a Senate appearance last April, Rizqy suggested refusing to grant production licences to companies financed through trusts.

“Maybe it would be wise to deny the licence outright because you are not able to unequivocally establish that the security clearance is really valid,” said Rizqy.

The recommendation was not accepted. The federal cannabis legislation adopted this summer, however, did include more extensive background checks into individuals who back cannabis companies.

For complete article


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UK: Doctors Warn Against New Reefer Madness!

Medical cannabis products ‘will drive patients to addiction and crime’ and turn doctors into drug dealers, warn experts in scathing letter

  • Cannabis oil will become available on the NHS next Thursday, November 1
  • A group of 166 pain consultants has written a letter slating the plans
  • They say it is being done for political reasons, not based on medical advice
  • And patients are already demanding cannabis, losing interest in other treatment

The legalisation of medical cannabis next month will lead to a crisis of addiction and crime, leading experts have warned.

Doctors will be able to dish out cannabis oils and other products as of November 1 in England, Scotland and Wales.

However, in a scathing letter, 166 pain consultants from across the UK claim they risk ‘becoming drug dealers inadvertently’.

They warned people are already asking for cannabis from their doctors, and worry they will be exploited by drug dealing gangs if they’re turned down by the NHS.

In the letter, they said they support the law change – but wrote: ‘We have suffered an opioid crisis and foresee history about to repeat itself.

Medical cannabis will be available on prescription from the NHS from November 1, but experts say there is not enough evidence to support using it to treat pain conditions (stock image – CBD oil, pictured, is already legal)

‘We are concerned that in the interests of political expediency, this mandate to allow routine prescribing of cannabis for pain relief is premature.

‘That cannabis is an effective treatment for chronic pain is not supported by the evidence and may be associated with significant harm.’

The letter, signed by Dr Rajesh Munglani, a consultant in pain medicine who has a private practice in Cambridge and London, was sent to The Times.

It warned there is not enough evidence cannabis is effective at treating pain and it could put patients at risk of mental health problems.

For complete article



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USA: Marijuana Motorists Madness Growing

Weed behind the wheel: stoned drivers more common in US than drunk ones!

After  legalization of cannabis in some states, americans are getting higher than ever before, with an estimated 15 billion hours under the influence of cannabis each year.

Driving While Stoned: Issues and Policy Options by New York University’s Marron Institute reports that the number of people driving while high will increase further.


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