Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Audit The Fed heads to the House floor

From Campaign For Liberty:

Your signed petitions, emails, and phone calls are working!

Late yesterday, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee passed my Audit the Fed bill by a voice vote!

Just like I hoped, the massive tidal wave of support you helped generate just as Campaign for Liberty President Norm Singleton testified before the House Committee last week, showed the American people are rallying behind efforts to DRAIN THE SWAMP by auditing the Federal Reserve!

While this is surely good news, our battle isn't over.

Fed apologists are going to ramp up their pressure as this battle heads to the House floor.

The best way to overcome them is to continue to keep up the pressure and generate as many House cosponsors as we possibly can -- as quickly as we can!

So if you haven't already done so, please sign your petition urging your U.S. Representative to cosponsor Audit the Fed right away.

And please also consider contributing generously -- whether that's $250, $100, $50, $25 or even $10 -- to help Campaign for Liberty turn up the heat on the U.S. House.

The good news is, your action is proven to work!

So please -- by all means -- let's keep it up!

In liberty,

Ron Paul

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Make politicians keep their promises

From Campaign For Liberty:

Washington, D.C. is still reeling from the results of last Thursday and Friday when RyanCare -- AKA "ObamaCare-lite" -- was pulled from the House floor due to lack of support and grassroots anger.

Now, all the politicians we heard promise us they were going to repeal ObamaCare seem strangely happy that they didn't get the job done.

Instead of learning the lesson that they must listen to the grassroots patriots who elected them, House Speaker Paul Ryan states, "We're going to be living with ObamaCare for the foreseeable future."

And the White House is openly claiming they want to start wheeling and dealing with Big Government statists like Chuck Schumer (D-NY)! And Schumer has indicated he is eager to deal with the Republicans if that is what it takes to save ObamaCare.

I'm more worried than ever about what's coming next.

That's why I'm counting on you to sign your "NO MORE BETRAYALS" petition to your U.S. Representative and Senators today.

As you'll see, these petitions tell your elected officials in no uncertain terms that you expect them to DELIVER on the promises to repeal ObamaCare that so many made on the campaign trail in 2010, 2012, 2014, and 2016.

In December of 2015, congressional Republicans passed an ObamaCare repeal bill -- using the reconciliation process -- through both houses of Congress and placed it on President Obama's desk.

President Obama, of course, vetoed that bill.

But it was meant to show the American people how serious Congress was about ending ObamaCare.

At virtually any moment congressional leaders decide to, they can pass this same bill again -- and relegate ObamaCare to the trash-heap of history.

But they won't do it unless you and I force them to act and FAST.

You see, I'm afraid they're perfectly happy that ObamaCare remains on the books today. Too many senators and representatives seem willing to abandon the effort to repeal ObamaCare and replace it with healthcare freedom where you're in charge and the free market is restored.

And the more time that passes, the more likely it is the American people will simply "forget" they've broken their promises.

That's why your continued action is so critical.

First, please sign your "NO MORE BETRAYALS" petition to your U.S. Representative and Senators.

Second, if you possibly can, please agree to your most generous contribution of $250, $100 or $50.

Or, if that's too much, please agree to $25 or even $10.

With your help, Campaign for Liberty is going to keep the heat on Congress for the repeal of ObamaCare we were promised!

But we're counting on your continued support and action.

For liberty,

Ron Paul

P.S. Instead of learning the lesson that they must listen to the grassroots patriots who elected them, House Speaker Paul Ryan states, "We're going to be living with ObamaCare for the foreseeable future."

And the White House is openly claiming they want to start wheeling and dealing with Big Government statists like Chuck Schumer (D-NY)!

That's why I'm counting on you to sign your "NO MORE BETRAYALS" petition to your U.S. Representative and Senators today and agree to your most generous contribution of $250, $100, $50, $25 or even $10 right away!

Tell Congress to protect your internet privacy

From Fight For The Future:

Hi, this is our last chance.

The House of Representatives will vote in a matter of hours on a resolution to gut broadband privacy rules that prevent Internet Service Providers like Comcast, AT&T, and Verizon from selling your personal information -- like browsing history and real-time location -- to advertisers without your consent.

Telecom lobbyists have been using their influence to convince lawmakers that this is a partisan issue, but that’s just not true. People from across the political spectrum can agree we don’t want the government or giant corporations monitoring everything we do on the Internet.

Many members of the House Freedom Caucus have taken strong previous stands for American’s right to privacy. They are the most likely to break party ranks on this and help defeat the measure. We need to blast them with tweets and phone calls RIGHT NOW.

Can you help? Click here to retweet our tweet to @FreedomCaucus to tell them to defend our privacy!

Not on Twitter? You can still take action. I’m pasting below the names and phone numbers of each individual member of the caucus. Contact them now!

Here’s a sample script of what you can say if you call:

“Hi, I’m calling to ask REP NAME to protect my Internet privacy and vote against the Congressional Review Act bill coming before the House today to gut the FCC’s broadband privacy rules. Please pass my message along to the Representative. Thank you.”

The vote is coming up in a matter of hours. It’s now or never.

For the Internet,

-Evan at Fight for the Future

Monday, March 27, 2017

Don't let ISP's invade your privacy

From Fight For The Future:

BREAKING: Congress has scheduled a vote TOMORROW to eliminate Internet privacy rules and allow ISPs to sell your data to advertisers without your permission. It already passed the Senate. This is our last chance to stop it.

Just last week, the Senate voted to gut internet privacy rules that prevent Internet Service Providers (ISPs) from selling your sensitive personal information to advertisers without your consent. [1]

The measure passed the Senate by only two votes. It was close, and there was significant public outcry which means we still have a chance to stop it.

Now the bill moves to the House of Representatives, and we just got word that they scheduled a vote on it TOMORROW. [2] They’re trying to ram it through quickly without discussion or debate. We need to stop them.

Call Congress right now. Tell them to vote NO on repealing the FCC broadband privacy rules.

We’ll connect you with your lawmakers and give you a simple script of what you can say. Here’s the number: (415) 360-0555

Can’t call right now? Help us sound the alarm and get out the word about this urgent assault on all of our Internet privacy rights.

Even creepier, they’ll be able to install software on your phone to track you, and inject undetectable “cookies” into your Internet traffic to record everything you’re doing online. [3]

If this bill passes the House, companies like Comcast, Verizon, and AT&T will be able to constantly (and secretly) collect our online activity and sell our browsing history, financial information, and real-time location, and sell it to advertisers without our permission.

We have less than 24 hours to create enough outcry to delay the vote or stop this bill entirely. There’s so much at stake. Will you call right now?

Call this number and we’ll connect you directly to your representatives: (415) 360-0555

We’ll keep you posted. Thanks for all you do,

-Laila and Evan at Fight for the Future

P.S. We just announced we’re going to put up billboards with the names of every member of Congress who votes for this attack on our privacy. Help us put them up in more districts by chipping in!

Or you can email your representative by clicking here.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Vote TODAY: Senate rushing to escalate the drug war

From Drug Policy Alliance:

As soon as this afternoon, the U.S. Senate could vote on a bill that would escalate the drug war by expanding the ability of states to drug test people who file for unemployment insurance. If it passes, it will go to President Trump to be signed into law.

This is our last chance to block it before the vote. Urge your Senators to oppose this harmful legislation.

The vast majority of people who receive unemployment insurance and other public assistance do not use drugs. But more importantly, drug testing programs have been proven again and again to accomplish nothing. They often have faulty results and waste millions of tax dollars.

Instead of following the evidence, Congress is stigmatizing vulnerable people looking for jobs to ramp up the failed drug war.

This is shameful, especially considering that members of Congress rushing to pass this legislation have claimed it will help people who struggle with addiction to opioids and other substances.

Yet most states that have tried these kind of drug testing programs don’t even offer or fund treatment for people who struggle with substance use.

In addition to being ineffective, harmful, and a complete waste of money, mandatory drug testing by states has been deemed illegal and unconstitutional by the courts time and again.

Contact your Senators immediately and tell them to oppose this attempt to escalate the drug war.

And follow-up with a call to your Senators. Find their phone numbers here and you can say:

As a constituent, I am calling to urge my Senator to oppose H.J. Res. 42 which would expand state drug testing of people who file for unemployment insurance. The vast majority of people who receive unemployment insurance and other public assistance do not use drugs. But more importantly, drug testing programs have been proven again and again to accomplish nothing. They often have faulty results, and waste millions of tax dollars. Please oppose H.J. Res. 42. Thank you.

We are doing everything we can to stop this bill from becoming law. But we’re counting on you to help us.

Monday, March 13, 2017

On North Korea II

The annual Foal Eagle military drills between the US and South Korea will include some heavy hitters this year — the Navy SEAL team that took out Osama bin Laden, Army Special Forces, and F-35s — South Korea's Joon Gang Daily reports.

South Korean news outlets report that the SEALs, who will join the exercise for the first time, will simulate a "decapitation attack," or a strike to remove North Korea's leadership.

Pentagon spokesman Cmdr. Gary Ross later told Business Insider that the US military "does not train for decapitation missions" of any kind.

Yet a decapitation force would fit with a March 1 Wall Street Journal report that the White House is considering military action against the Kim regime.

The SEALs boarded the USS Carl Vinson aircraft carrier and should arrive in South Korea on Wednesday, Joon Gang Daily reports.

South Korea has also made efforts toward a decapitation force, and international calls for action have increased in intensity after North Korea's latest missile test, which simulated a saturation attack to defeat US and allied missile defenses.

“It will send a very strong message to North Korea, which is constantly carrying out military provocations,” a ministry official told Joon Gang Daily.

The Foal Eagle exercise includes 3,600 US troops, in addition to the 28,000 US troops permanently stationed in South Korea. The drills include air, land, and sea operations designed to prepare the joint forces in case of a conflict with North Korea.

This year's exercise also integrates preparation for the deployment of US missile defenses to South Korea.

Additionally, the US's newest combat aircraft, the F-35, will fly in to simulate attacks on North Korea's missile infrastructure, Joon Gang Daily reports. The F-35 will accompany many of the US's highest-end platforms, like F-22s and a nuclear-powered submarine.

"A bigger number of and more diverse US special operation forces will take part in this year's Foal Eagle and Key Resolve exercises to practice missions to infiltrate into the North, remove the North's war command and demolition of its key military facilities," the an unnamed military official told South Korea's Yonhap News Agency.


When I wrote On North Korea I had no idea whom Obama's successor would be. It appears that Trump is not fucking around. It the beginning of this article it stated that SEAL team 6 doesn't train during these exercises. This should be a wake up call to fatboy in North Korea. Trump is not fucking around with fatboy. Trump knows that fatboy is trying to perfect a missile that will reach the western United States. I'm sure fatboy is hoping it's a nuke. Trump is not going to wait until the west coast is destroyed nor does it appear he will tolerate American fatalities. It appears that fatboy and his generals are in bigger trouble than our citizenry is. It doesn't look like fatboy is going to see his 35th birthday.

Tell Congress to pass Audit The Fed

Note: Because of bad weather on the east coast especially Washington DC this meeting has been postponed. We will let you know when the meeting before Congress takes place.

From Campaign For Liberty:

Do you have 5 seconds today to help Audit the Fed?

On Wednesday, I’ll be testifying before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on the need to pass H.R. 24, the Federal Reserve Transparency Act.

This is the perfect time for us to flex our muscle and show Congress we mean business when it comes to Fed transparency.

I need your help today: Will you sign your DRAIN THE SWAMP petition urging your representative and senators to cosponsor and seek roll-call votes on Audit the Fed?

Once you've signed, or if you already have, please dig deep with a contribution of $500, $250 or $100 to help Campaign for Liberty ensure we seize the momentum during Wednesday’s hearing.

If that’s simply too much, please consider contributing $50, $25, or even $10.

Time is running out for us to take advantage of this opportunity. The more you can give, the more action we can generate this week.

Dr. Paul and I both truly appreciate whatever you’re able to give.

In Liberty,

Norm Singleton

Sign the petition

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Trump sends mixed message on marijuana, but pot industry pushes ahead

DENVER – America’s marijuana industry isn't sure where President Trump and his attorney general stand on marijuana, but it is forging ahead with expansion plans anyway.

Cannabis businesses are hiring new workers, leasing new space and pushing across state borders. And regulators are drafting rules that will give access to legal recreational pot to tens of millions of adults.

The stakes are high: This is a job-generating industry that cannabis data firm New Frontier Data estimates may be worth $2.3 billion in taxes within three years.

“Far from the punchline of a joke, these are real people and real lives,” said Colorado Rep. Jared Polis, a Boulder Democrat who recently co-founded the pro-legalization Congressional Cannabis Caucus.

The nation’s marijuana industry expanded rapidly under President Obama, whose administration laid out Justice Department priorities for targeting drug dealers. In short, the Obama administration said, it would leave companies alone in states where voters approved recreational pot if the states took solid steps to keep marijuana away from kids and profits away from drug cartels.

Medical marijuana is reserved for people who’ve gotten a doctor’s recommendation to use it to alleviate specific symptoms, while states with that permit recreational use allow any adult to buy marijuana.

In states with licensed cannabis stores, it’s easy to forget those businesses sell a plant that remains an illegal Schedule 1 controlled substance under federal law. Federal prosecutors, if they chose, could easily arrest tens of thousands of people who have state licenses to grow and sell the drug, or even anyone walking out of a pot shop with a purchase. But they haven’t.

Trump’s administration may take a different tack, but so far, it has delivered conflicting messages.

Last month, White House spokesman Sean Spicer said the Justice Department would not use federal laws to prosecute medical marijuana users, in part because Congress has already banned it from doing so. But he drew a distinction between medical and recreational use.

“I do believe you'll see greater enforcement” of federal laws against recreational marijuana use, he said. Then, in the same press conference, he suggested the matter wasn’t settled and referred reporters to the Justice Department for comment.

Shortly after, Attorney General Jeff Sessions in a speech seemed to suggest there’d be stricter enforcement in states with recreational marijuana. Members of Congress, including Sens. Rand Paul, R-Ky., and Cory Gardner, R-Colo., say Sessions has reassured them privately that is not the case.

Cannabis industry roiled by White House comments on enforcement
The whiplash from the shifting positions jostled the market. Marijuana stocks tracked by Viridian Capital Advisors had generally risen steadily all year – up about 25% – until the day Spicer spoke. Then, in the hours after his press conferences, 80% of those marijuana-related stocks dropped. The next day, the first full day of trading following the comments, it got worse: 92% of the stocks dropped, said Viridian, which provides financial and data-analysis to the cannabis industry.

Those stocks are now recovering, said Viridian’s president, Scott Greiper: “I think the industry is very comfortable operating in a harsh, uncertain environment. It’s just what we’re used to.” Viridian tracks the movement of 50 publicly traded cannabis companies that are either worth more than $10,000 each or see trading volume of $20,000 daily.

Decriminalizing marijuana has widespread support.

Alaska, Colorado, Oregon, Washington, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, the District of Columbia and California voters have all approved laws allowing adults to grow and possess small amounts of recreational pot, though not every state has a functioning marketplace. And a Quinnipiac University poll released last month found 71% of Americans would oppose efforts to enforce federal marijuana laws in those eight states. The poll also found that 93% of voters support allowing the use of marijuana for medical purposes and 59% support making it legal for all purposes.

Congress has prohibited the Justice Department from interfering with states’ medical marijuana programs, but has remained silent about recreational marijuana.

Many marijuana businesses had hoped Trump would at least maintain the Obama-era attitude, if not relax restrictions even further in a nod to states’ rights, job creation, personal liberty. Trump on the campaign trail said he’d respect state laws that permit recreational pot.

Smoke, because you can: Inside a legal marijuana dinner
Troy Dayton, CEO of the ArcView Group, which offers cannabis industry investment services and research, says the pot business also plays into Trump's "America First" policy.

“This would be a really huge missed opportunity if we let other countries get ahead of us in something that is really our ours to lose," Dayton said. "The question is whether we want these to be American jobs, do we want these to be American companies, or do we want Canada and Germany and Columbia take that market share."

Dayton said it's hard to imagine the Trump administration would shut down a widely popular industry: “I have a feeling they get to see the same polls we do.”

Still the broad uncertainty is enough to keep some cannabis businesses cautious. In California, marijuana grower CANNDESCENT has given its products soothing names like "Calm" and "Connect," instead of relying of more typical names like AK-47 or Durban Poison or Day Wrecker.

“We literally changed our product names in order to better educate the public and seem less ominous to government officials,” said CANNDESCENT CEO Adrian Sedlin.

In states with recreational marijuana marketplaces, many front-line marijuana business say they think the country has come too far to ever roll back recreational pot, and regulators in California and Nevada continue drafting the rules necessary to implement their voter-approved cannabis marketplaces. Polis, the congressman from Boulder, said he plans to re-introduce federal legislation to regulate marijuana like alcohol, which would give states the power to create legal marijuana marketplaces if they choose. Previous measures haven't received enough support to pass.

Marijuana business owners say they'll stand tall despite the potential threat to their livelihoods.

“We employ 24 full-time people. It gives us a tremendous sense of pride,” said Amy Andrle of L’Eagle Services, a Denver-based marijuana store specializing in pesticide-free cannabis. “I’m very proud of the work we are doing. This is our small business we are running in this great country.”


You know what to do. Contact the usual suspects in the House,Senate
Yes,even President Trump himself. The more of us they hear from the better.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Trump’s proposed pot crackdown is out of step with voters

Recent comments from the Trump administration indicating a potential federal crackdown in states that regulate the adult us of cannabis is out of step with most voters, including those among the President’s base.

Outside of the Beltway, Americans’ support for enacting regulatory alternatives to cannabis prohibition is uniquely bipartisan. According to the latest national polling by Gallup, six out of 10 Americans believe that the adult use of marijuana “should be made legal.” By party, Gallup pollsters found that legalization was most likely to be favored by Independents and Democrats, but also that support among Republicans had more than doubled over the past decade.

Support among Republicans for legalizing medical marijuana is even higher, with 85 percent of GOP voters endorsing its therapeutic use, according to recent nationwide survey data by Quinnipiac University. But perhaps most strikingly, Quinnipiac pollsters also reported that nearly three-quarters of voters – including majorities of Democrats, Republicans, and Independents – “oppose the government enforcing federal laws against marijuana in states that have already legalized medical or recreational marijuana.”

Nonetheless, the Trump administration appears to be planning on doing just that. In fact, on the same day that Quinnipiac released its latest survey data, White House press secretary Sean Spicer indicated that the Justice Department was intending to pursue the “greater enforcement” of federal anti-marijuana laws states like Californian that permit its adult use.

Such a move by the federal government would be a stark departure from the position of the prior administration, which largely let these voter-initiated laws move forward unfettered. It also represents an about-face in Trump’s own position, as he previously said that he would not use federal authority to target adult use laws. For instance, while campaigning in Colorado in August, Trump responded to the question “[Do] you think Colorado should be able to do what it’s doing?” by stating, “I think it’s up to the states, yeah. I’m a states person. I think it should be up to the states, absolutely.”

And so it should be. According to a 2016 report by the CATO think tank, these adult use regulatory schemes are working largely as voters intended. They are not associated with increased marijuana use among young people, or rising rates of crime or accidents in the workplace. “The absence of significant adverse consequences is especially striking given the sometimes dire predictions made by legalization opponents,” the report’s authors concluded. Further, tax revenue derived from the regulated markets now exceeds initial expectations.

Rather than picking an unnecessary fight with the majority of American voters, the administration should consider embracing common-sense marijuana law reforms. Endorsing bipartisan legislation, HR 975: The Respect State Marijuana Laws Act” or HR 1227: The Ending Marijuana Prohibition Act of 2017,” would be a good place to start. In accordance with the electorate’s wishes, passage of these acts would prevent the federal government from criminally prosecuting individuals or businesses that are engaging in state-sanctioned activities specific to the possession, use, production, and distribution of marijuana.

Despite more than 70 years of federal marijuana prohibition, Americans’ consumption of and demand for cannabis is here to stay. It is time for politicians to acknowledge this reality and amend federal marijuana laws in a manner that comports with majority public opinion and the plant’s rapidly changing legal and cultural status. The Trump administration has the opportunity to take the lead on this issue. It would be an enormous political misstep for them to do otherwise.


Let's tell President Trump about this and ask him to sign the aforementioned bills when they come before him. The more of us he hears from the better.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Scientists say the government’s only pot farm has moldy samples — and no federal testing standards

Sue Sisley, a primary care physician in Scottsdale, Arizona, recalls the moment she picked up the carefully wrapped package fresh from the delivery truck. Nearly two years after Sisley and her colleagues were awarded a grant to study marijuana as a treatment for 76 military veterans suffering from chronic post-traumatic stress disorder, her shipment of the drug was finally in hand.

But minutes later, as she opened the packets to weigh the drug – as required by the federal Drug Enforcement Administration – her enthusiasm turned to dismay. It didn’t look like marijuana. Most of it looked like green talcum powder.

“It didn’t resemble cannabis. It didn’t smell like cannabis,” Sisley says. What’s more, laboratory testing found that some of the samples were contaminated with mold, while others didn’t match the chemical potency Sisley had requested for the study.

There’s only one source of marijuana for clinical research in the United States. And “they weren’t able to produce what we were asking for,” Sisley says.

It’s unclear whether mold, lead or discrepancies in potency has been a problem in prior cannabis studies, because until now, it appears that no one looked.

In January — four months and three rounds of testing after that first delivery — Sisley and researchers working with the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) were finally able to enroll their first subjects. But the delay and the reasons behind it have raised questions about the reliability of the facility responsible for supplying marijuana to every clinical study in the country.

The marijuana came from a 12-acre farm at the University of Mississippi, run by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). Since 1968, it has been the only facility licensed by the DEA to produce the plant for clinical research. While eight states and the District of Columbia have legalized marijuana — and all but a handful allow at least some medical cannabis — growing the plant in large quantities remains forbidden under federal law. For all practical purposes, that means that any medical study that wants to use marijuana on human subjects must go through the University of Mississippi.

Rick Doblin, MAPS’ director, says this recent episode “shows that NIDA is completely inadequate as a source of marijuana for drug development and research.”

“They’re in no way capable of assuming the rights and responsibilities for handling a drug that we’re hoping to be approved by the FDA as prescription medicine,” he says.

The demand for the facility’s product has surged in the past year, mirroring interest from medical researchers. Through mid-October 2016, the agency says it had fulfilled 39 requests for marijuana, from 10 different researchers. That’s a jump from the 23 requests it filled in 2015, the most recent numbers available, according to an April letter from the DEA to Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass).

It’s unclear whether mold, lead or discrepancies in potency has been a problem in prior cannabis studies, because until now, it appears that no one looked.

NIDA says this is the first time researchers have expressed concern about mold or potency testing. Neither the agency nor the University of Mississippi tests samples for mold before they’re shipped.

Sisley says researchers have taken too much for granted. “There’s no telling how many subjects in past studies were exposed,” she says.

The uncertainty highlights a broader challenge in the growing field of cannabis research: there’s little consensus on what testing is appropriate or on what findings constitute a hazard.
The uncertainty highlights a broader challenge in the growing field of cannabis research: there’s little consensus on what testing is appropriate or on what findings constitute a hazard. Scientists and officials say they would love to have more guidance.

“Our biggest concern is patient safety,” says Mike Van Dyke, chief of toxicology with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, which is funding the MAPS-sponsored study on PTSD. “The lack of a federal regulatory structure makes it a huge challenge. We don’t have all the information we’d like to have.”

Mixed signals on standards

A researcher in Dr. Sue Sisley’s lab prepares to weigh a sample of marijuana received from the federal facility responsible for growing marijuana for clinical research. Photo courtesy of MAPS.
A researcher in Dr. Sue Sisley’s lab prepares to weigh a sample of marijuana received from the federal facility responsible for growing marijuana for clinical research. Photo courtesy of MAPS.

As part of the original study protocol, the marijuana that Sisley received was tested at an independent laboratory in Colorado, which found a high level of total yeast and mold (TYM) in several samples. The tests also found that the potency of some samples didn’t match what study organizers had ordered, or what it says on the certificate of analysis from the federal supplier.

One sample, billed as having a 13 percent level of THC — the main psychoactive compound in marijuana — had just 8 percent when tested at the independent facility in Colorado. Other samples were off by lesser amounts. Subsequent testing at the University of Illinois-Chicago confirmed the presence of total yeast and mold.

The Chicago tests also found all four samples contained trace amounts of lead, though well below the levels generally considered to be hazardous, at least for adults.

On the state level, testing requirements for recreational and medical marijuana vary widely. Most states require some testing for heavy metals such as lead, but not for pesticide residue. Yeast and mold testing is required in most states where cannabis is sold legally. The failure rate – frequently defined as a total mold and yeast count higher than 10,000 “colony-forming units” per gram (CFU/g) — is not officially tracked in Colorado. But state records show that approximately 7 percent of samples tested last year did not pass “microbial” standards, a category that includes bacterial contamination as well as TYM. Colorado only requires microbial testing for marijuana sold on the recreational market, not for medicinal use.

The Chicago tests found total yeast and mold (TYM) counts in Sisley and team’s samples ranging from 23,000 to 64,000 CFU/g.

NIDA says it suspects the mold problem was introduced on the receiving end, when the Colorado lab accidentally left samples in a refrigerator for two days, instead of keeping them frozen at -10 to -25 degrees Celsius, as called for by handling instructions.

But Rebecca Matthews, who oversees clinical trials for MAPS, says the elevated TYM counts were found in samples that never left the freezer before testing. In the samples that were inadvertently defrosted, TYM counts were even higher, as much as 110,000 CFU/g.

Nevertheless, Sisley and the team ultimately concluded after months of research that it was safe to proceed with the study. They began in January. In an internal memo that outlines their reasons for moving forward, they wrote that there’s no agreement on whether tests for TYM should be required, and no guidance from NIDA or the FDA.

One reason for that is a high TYM count does not always constitute a health risk, says Kevin McKernan, an entrepreneur and geneticist who is looking to improve the quality of testing in the realm of cannabis research. Certain types of fungus, notably a group of species known as aspergillus, can cause a variety of health problems when smoked, especially in people with compromised immune systems. But, many other mold varieties are considered harmless, McKernan says.

Immunocompromised patients were already excluded from Sisley’s MAPS-sponsored study.

NIDA says its own tests show THC levels closer to what was expected – in the 10 to 12 percent range, instead of the 8 percent that MAPS found. It says it’s reviewing MAPS’ results and protocols to try to understand the discrepancy. NIDA also says it tested for heavy metals before shipping the material, and found nothing above acceptable levels.

Tighter control, broader playing field

NIDA is also taking some steps to tighten oversight. In January, it announced a grant to McKernan’s two Massachusetts-based companies, Medicinal Genomics and Courtagen, to develop a DNA-based test that would identify specific types of harmful mold and bacteria in marijuana.

Beyond quality control issues, some critics say the Mississippi farm doesn’t provide researchers with enough options. For example, the potency of marijuana in NIDA’s collection tops out at 13 percent THC. That’s less than half the level in the most potent strains sold in states where the drug is legal and regularly tested.

That means “if you’re trying to do a study where you imitate what patients do in the real world, you can’t,” Sisley says.

“If you’re trying to do a study where you imitate what patients do in the real world, you can’t.” – Dr. Sue Sisley

Van Dyke echoes her concern. “It’s an important issue. The products in Colorado are different from the products produced by NIDA, and there’s untapped demand to study those products that people are really using.”

In an email to NewsHour, the agency says it’s growing new material that will likely contain higher THC levels. NIDA officials insist they’re keeping up with demand, and in 2014, increased its production and diversified the strains of marijuana it grows.

Another criticism stems from NIDA’s practice of achieving higher THC concentrations by mixing different strains together, rather than growing new plants.

In its April 2016 letter, the agency told Warren the Mississippi facility has “approximately 185” batches of cannabis, at varying concentrations of THC and CBD. Different varieties, the letter says, “may be blended to achieve specific cannabinoid concentrations of interest to researchers.”

Critics, including Sisley, say that mixing strains is a lost opportunity. Every cannabis plant contains several hundred unique compounds, which some believe may significantly alter the drug’s effects. If different plants are mixed together, scientists have a harder time tracking those effects.

Many scientists were heartened this summer when the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) announced that it would license additional bulk growers, ending NIDA’s monopoly.

According to the DEA, 16 organizations have submitted the paperwork to launch the application process, which comes with a $3,047 fee. None of those applications have been approved, however, and the agency says there is no set timeline to take action.

The delays in Sisley’s study are energizing those who say the federal government needs to speed things up.

Frustrated by her experience, Sisley is hoping to take a more hands-on approach. One of the DEA applicants is the Scottsdale Research Institute (SRI), where she is the principal investigator. SRI has submitted a proposal to grow cannabis from tissue culture rather than seedlings, a more sterile method of producing the plant.

She doesn’t mince words about the setback.

“We waited 20 months to get going, and then we got this sub-optimal study drug,” she says. “The longer we allow this monopoly to continue, the more efficacy [of the] research will continue to be thwarted.”


Don't our elected officials: those in the House and the Senate and President Trump tell us that more research needs to be done. Let's tell them that the samples they have are subpar and because of the contaminants the past studies that showed negative results could be false. The more of us they hear from the better.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

5 lies about marijuana debunked

Marijuana legalization is no longer just a pipe dream; in several states, it’s become a reality. With several states all having passed voter-backed legalization initiatives, residents in three of those states are now free to engage in the purchase and consumption of marijuana and related products from licensed stores and retail locations. It’s a situation that would have been unimaginable just a decade or so ago.

But those political battles weren’t easy to win. There was plenty of pushback from those wishing to keep marijuana illegal, with concerted efforts coming from groups of all kinds. There were strategic messages put into play, warning voters of the potential harm legal pot could do to their communities.

Little, if any of what the doomsayers had to say, however, has come to fruition.

Marijuana legalization: So far, so good If we take a look at what’s happened in Washington and Colorado, and to a lesser extent Oregon (where legalization is a couple of years younger), we see that not much has really changed. These states have not sunken into the sea, or become festering centers of crime and corruption. In fact, they’re doing just fine — and rolling in dough. As it turns out, many of the warnings and concerns pushed by the anti-legalization crowd turned out to be completely wrong.

With many other states looking at ending marijuana prohibition in the near future, it’s important to take a look at which predictions were off the mark. Here are five that, so far, haven’t proven to be true.

1. Crime will increase

Worries that marijuana legalization would lead to higher crime rates have proven to be fruitless. Of course, when you take a crime and suddenly make it a legal action, you’re naturally going to see lower crime rates. But so far, in areas that have legalized marijuana, crime rates have softened up; and we don’t mean those connected to cannabis. The research is still ongoing, but preliminary reports indicate that legalization has freed up law enforcement to focus on more serious crimes. In Colorado, scientists are looking at the correlation (which doesn’t mean causation, remember) between legalization and lower rates of homicide and assault.

2. Teen use rates will skyrocket

There were some serious fears that legalization would more or less give teenagers the green light to engage in marijuana use. Interestingly enough, there has been an opposite trend — teens in legal states have actually been using pot at lower rates. This could always change, however. It’s likely the case that teens who wanted to use marijuana already were, and that legalization did little to change their behaviors. But we’ll have to keep an eye out for changes.

3. Public health will suffer

Another concern among the pro-prohibition crowd was that widespread legalization would lead to significant public health problems. That’s not been the case, at least not that anyone can measure. If anything, more marijuana has led to better outcomes, as cannabis tends to be a much safer alternative to alcohol, tobacco, and hard drugs. Again, this is another area that will require some additional monitoring and research. But at this point, there hasn’t been much evidence to back up public health concerns.

4. The roads will be more dangerous

People driving under the influence was, and still is, a major concern for those opposing legalization. While there likely are plenty of people who drive high (both in legal states, and those where pot is still illegal), no one should get behind the wheel if they’re under the influence. Police are still trying to develop next-level technology to deal with the problem, but if we look at the numbers, it doesn’t appear that the roads are any more dangerous than they were before prohibition was lifted in legal states.

5. Enforcement costs will spike

There were worries that regulating and keeping tabs on budding marijuana industries would actually end up costing taxpayers more than it did to keep the drug illegal. New systems and rules would need to be devised and implemented, and police would need to be retrained for dealing with the new rules. All of that takes money.
But not more than prohibition cost — which has been estimated at up to $20 billion annually. There was even a case that reached the Supreme Court (and was promptly thrown out) that involved two states suing Colorado for increased enforcement costs along the border. But the truth is, law enforcement costs fall when a black market is no longer around to enforce, and this ends up saving the public gobs of money.


This is very telling. Let's not keep this to ourselves let's share this with our elected officials (House and Senate along with President Trump. The more of us they hear from the better.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Why are they so secretive about the health care bill?

From Campaign For Liberty:

I could hardly believe my eyes as I read through news headlines like the ones below coming out of Washington, D.C. just last week. . .

“New ObamaCare Bill Hidden in Basement”

“House Republicans Hiding Their ObamaCare Bill”

“‘Secret’ Obamacare Plan Leads Lawmakers on Hunt Across Capitol”

“Sen. Rand Paul physically denied House GOP Obamacare bill”

So when is the last time you saw a smoky backroom deal in Washington, D.C. turn out well for the American people?

I’m afraid you and I both know exactly where this scheme being pushed by House Speaker Paul Ryan is headed . . . and it’s not going to be pretty.

So unless you and I want ObamaCare in the form of “ObamaCare-lite” or even ObamaCare 2.0 to become a PERMANENT fixture in American society, I’m counting on your IMMEDIATE action.

First, please sign your REPEAL OBAMACARE! petition to your U.S. Representative.

And then – if all possible – please agree to your most generous contribution right away!

As a physician, I can’t tell you how I’m saddened that I even have to write you this email. . .

I can only imagine how the voters who gave Republicans control of the House and Senate must feel after they went to the polls to vote for candidates who promised to finally repeal ObamaCare. . . they must feel betrayed.

And make no mistake, ObamaCare must be repealed!

Since it’s passage in late 2009, ObamaCare has been a disaster in every sense of the word as. . .

***At least 300,000 small business jobs have been lost due to the law’s high costs and regulations -- and at least 10,000 businesses have been forced to shut their doors;

***ObamaCare’s employer-sponsored premiums have soared by 32% since 2010 while individual market premiums have skyrocketed by 140%;

***4.7 million people had their health insurance plans cancelled by ObamaCare’s implementation and were forced to enroll in more expensive plans;

***Competition has been thrown out the window as 70% of the counties across the country now have only one or two insurance providers;

***Medicaid is being stretched to the breaking point -- with projections that new enrollees will send Medicaid costs soaring to $3.8 TRILLION over the next decade.

Yet, politicians in Washington, D.C. are handing us nothing but their usual games -– insisting on delays and now even secrecy to work on a “replacement plan.” 

When my son, Senator Rand Paul, went to get a copy of the proposed bill, he was turned away, and his request was flat-out denied!

Replacing ObamaCare with a free market, limited government solution like my son has introduced ought to be Congress' goal.

But if that was what Congressional leadership was planning, would they really be drafting their bill behind closed doors?  How much faith do you have they are going to really do what they promised us?

Remember the Patriot Act and ObamaCare itself were drafted in secret in order to make sure most members of Congress and the public didn't learn what was in the bills until after they were passed.

The truth is, using the budget reconciliation process -- which requires only 51 votes instead of the usual 60 needed to overcome a filibuster -- Congress has the votes right now to repeal ObamaCare.

With House Speaker Ryan and others likely to continue their behind-the-scenes funny business, you and I must demand ObamaCare is repealed NOW.

Not next year. 

Not when Speaker Ryan, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) sing "kumbaya" together over some bipartisan scheme they all love.


That’s why it’s vital you act today.

With your help, Campaign for Liberty is prepared to pull out all the stops to make Congress listen by:

>>>Using mail and email to mobilize up to ten million Americans insisting that Congress use reconciliation to repeal ObamaCare;

>>>A non-stop PR blitz to explain, from a physician’s perspective, why ObamaCare must be repealed NOW!

>>>Social Media and Internet ads to explain to younger Americans how ObamaCare is a raw deal and urge them to insist that reconciliation be used for nothing less than full ObamaCare repeal.

I’m counting on you to make all of this happen.  It won’t be cheap, of course.

But if you and I don’t run this program, I’m afraid ObamaCare could end up being cemented on the federal books for good.

So please agree to your most generous contribution of $15 TODAY.

I know that’s a lot. 

But you and I must spring into action.

Of course, if $15 is just too much, please agree to $10 or at least $5 right away.

The ONLY way to finally repeal ObamaCare is for Congress to stop running scared and stand and FIGHT. 

I’m counting on you to make that happen.

Please sign this petition and agree to your most generous contribution of $15, $10 or at least $5 IMMEDIATELY.

For liberty,

Dr. Ron Paul

P.S.  House Republicans won’t even allow the American people to see the supposed ObamaCare replacement scheme they’re working on.

You and I both know this is bad, bad news.

That’s why I’m counting on you to please sign the petition to your U.S. Representative insisting they vote to REPEAL ObamaCare IMMEDIATELY.

And if at all possible, please agree to your most generous contribution of $15, $10 or at least $5 TODAY!

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Sessions reassures senators: No pot crackdown imminent

The Trump administration is causing serious paranoia among marijuana advocates with its hints of a federal crackdown on recreational use. But Attorney General Jeff Sessions has privately reassured some Republican senators that he won't deviate from an Obama-era policy of allowing states to implement their own marijuana laws.

Sessions has rattled both libertarians and liberals in ordering a review of the hands-off pot policy under President Barack Obama. But Sessions provided some private assurances to senators before he was confirmed that he was not considering a major shift in enforcement, despite his opposition to the use of marijuana.

“He told me he would have some respect for states' right on these things. And so I’ll be very unhappy if the federal government decides to go into Colorado and Washington and all of these places. And that’s not the [what] my interpretation of my conversation with him was. That this wasn’t his intention," said Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.). in an interview.

And since he was confirmed, Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) said administration officials have left him with the impression there is no big policy change coming.

"Nothing at this point has changed," Gardner said.

But a large group of bipartisan senators aren't taking any chances. They sent a letter on on Thursday urging Sessions to uphold the Obama-era policy of allowing states to implement their recreational marijuana laws, after the Trump administration has indicated it could crack down on marijuana.

The effort is led by Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), who hail from states that have legalized marijuana. Press secretary Sean Spicer has hinted at "greater enforcement" of federal laws treating marijuana as an illegal drug. Sessions said this week that he is "dubious about marijuana" and is reviewing current policy.

But senators are beginning to push back.

"We respectfully request that you uphold DOJ's existing policy regarding states that have implemented strong and effective regulations for recreational use," the senators wrote to Sessions. "It is critical that states continue to implement these laws."

Eight states and the District of Columbia have legalized marijuana for recreational use. Most of the senators who signed on to the letter hail from those states; Murkowski is the only Republican. The senators who signed the letter in addition to Warren and Murkowski are Democratic Sens. Patty Murray of Washington, Ron Wyden of Oregon, Jeff Merkley of Oregon, Maria Cantwell of Washington, Ed Markey of Massachusetts, Brian Schatz of Hawaii, Catherine Cortez Masto of Nevada, Cory Booker of New Jersey and Michael Bennet of Colorado.

"Do they really respect states' rights? Then you should respect all of them, not just pick and choose the ones that you want to support or not. Many states have gone not only the path of Nevada of recreational marijuana but medical marijuana. How can you pick or choose one or another?" Cortez Masto said in an interview.

Cortez Masto's GOP colleage, Sen. Dean Heller, separately disclosed that he discussed his state's marijuana policy with Sessions during the nomination process in a letter to Sessions. Heller also urged Sessions to keep current policy.

"While I maintain that, unlike medical marijuana, I have serious concerns on whether or not the benefits of recreational marijuana outweigh the drawbacks, I recognize and respect the will of Nevadans," Heller wrote on Wednesday.

But a Justice Department spokesman said senators should mellow out. "The department’s current policy is reflected in the 2013 Cole Memo," the DOJ spokesman said, referring to the Obama policy.

The concern, however, isn't just among senators from states that have legalized the drug. It's also an issue for conservatives who are worried about the GOP selectively allowing states' rights to supercede federal law.

"We’re concerned about some of the language that we’re hearing. And I think that conservatives who are for states' rights ought to believe in states' rights. I'm going to continue to advocate that the states should be left alone," Paul said.

Gardner, whose home state was a pioneer in legalizing the drug, was less alarmed by the statements coming from Sessions and Spicer.

“He was talking about if there’s cartels involved in illegal operations, they’re going to crack down on that. That’s what everybody’s saying. I still haven’t heard Jeff Sessions say that" there's a big policy change coming, Gardner said. "We obviously want to make sure we're clear on what they’ve said."

However, Sessions came awfully close earlier this week to suggest sweeping changes are coming, saying that the Obama-era policy is under review.

"I'm definitely not a fan of expanded use of marijuana," Sessions told reporters. "States they can pass the laws they choose. I would just say it does remain a violation of federal law to distribute marijuana throughout any place in the United States, whether a state legalizes it or not."

In an interview, Murkowski said she was not yet alarmed, but was monitoring the Justice Department closely.

"It's probably a little premature to try to predict what may or may not be coming out of the administration on this, so I think we just need to sit back and see," she said.


Not from what I've read. Sessions is making it sound like he is starting up the assault vehicles and ready to put them to use. In fact it sounds like he can't wait to bust down the doors of dispensaries with his DEA goon squad. That SOB is saying one thing to the Senators and another to us. Which is true? Are they going to crackdown or not. I hoping for not. We contact our elected leaders and we sign petitions. Making us nervous is not the way to do things because if we do get nervous we get activist and our activism got a lot of Senators to question Sessions. Now we are all questioning him. Who is the real Jeff Sessions? Is he going to raid the dispensaries? Time will tell. Stay tuned.

Senators urge Sessions not to crack down on marijuana

With the Trump administration suddenly sending what appear to be mixed signals on marijuana, a group of senators — mostly Democrats — are urging the new White House not to crack down on legal weed.

In a letter delivered to Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Thursday, Sens. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., and Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, asked the Department of Justice to uphold the Obama administration’s policy allowing individual states to determine their own pot laws.

“We respectfully request that you uphold DOJ’s existing policy regarding states that have implemented strong and effective regulations for recreational marijuana use,” the senators wrote in the letter. “It is critical that states continue to implement these laws.”

The letter was cosigned by Sens. Cory Booker, D-N.J.; Patty Murray, D-Wash.; Maria Cantwell, D-Wash.; Ron Wyden, D-Ore.; Jeff Merkley, D-Ore.; Ed Markey, D-Mass.; Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii; Catherine Cortez Masto, D-Nev.; and Michael Bennet, D-Colo. — all Democrats and most from states where marijuana is legal.

It comes less than a week after White House press secretary Sean Spicer suggested that the administration may press for “greater enforcement” of federal pot laws.

“There’s a big difference between [medical marijuana] and recreational marijuana, and I think when you see something like the opioid addiction crisis blossoming in so many states around this country, the last thing we should be doing is encouraging people,” Spicer said Thursday. “There is still a federal law that we need to abide by in terms of recreational marijuana and other drugs of that nature.”

Spicer referred a reporter who asked about increased enforcement around recreational marijuana to the Department of Justice. But he added, “I do believe that you’ll see greater enforcement of it.”

The statement sent a shock wave through the United States’ budding marijuana industry, which some analysts estimate could grow into a $24.5 billion business by 2025.

Under President Barack Obama, the Department of Justice left the enforcement of federal marijuana laws up to the states, allowing places like Colorado, Washington and Oregon to experiment with cannabis regulation. In an interview with the New Yorker published in early 2014, Obama famously said that he viewed marijuana as “a bad habit and a vice” but no more dangerous than alcohol.

“As has been well documented, I smoked pot as a kid, and I view it as a bad habit and a vice, not very different from the cigarettes that I smoked as a young person up through a big chunk of my adult life,” Obama said. “I don’t think it is more dangerous than alcohol.”

According to a recent Quinnipiac poll, 71 percent of Americans said they would oppose a federal crackdown on legal marijuana.

Before he was confirmed as attorney general, Sessions had told some members of the Senate that he would respect state laws and not change federal policy.

But earlier this week, Sessions told reporters that the Obama-era pot policy is under review.

“I’m definitely not a fan of expanded use of marijuana,” Sessions said, according to Politico. “States, they can pass the laws they choose. I would just say it does remain a violation of federal law to distribute marijuana throughout any place in the United States, whether a state legalizes it or not.”

Some lawmakers aren’t waiting around to find out whether a cannabis crackdown is coming.

Last week, a bipartisan bill was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives (“Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act of 2017”) that would take marijuana off the federal controlled substances list — putting pot on par with alcohol and tobacco.

And in California, a bill introduced in the state Assembly would prevent state and local law enforcement agencies from using their resources to help federal authorities crack down on marijuana.


Letter to Jeff Sessions requesting he back off raiding dispensaries

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Sign the petition to legalize and regulate marijuana

From Drug Policy Alliance:

The prohibition of marijuana is an utter failure. The United States wastes billions of dollars arresting hundreds of thousands of people for marijuana each year, while denying beneficial treatments to seriously ill patients.

Marijuana is a relatively safe drug that has been used by more than 100 million Americans, and its prohibition has led to disastrous levels of violence and corruption.
It’s time to end the failed war on marijuana. Join us and help legalize marijuana nationwide.

To sign petition