SB 13, Kentucky Cannabis Freedom Act continues to sit in committee since January 7th




There has been no activity on the “Kentucky Cannabis Freedom Act” since January 7th when it was forwarded to “Licensing, Occupations and Administrative Regulations“…


Whose members include:


Please take time to click on the links and send them a message to work on this Bill!


IT IS a crucial time for Kentuckians to stay in close touch with their lawmakers and offer feedback on the issues of the day. Citizens can see which bills are under consideration and keep track of their progress by visiting the Kentucky Legislature Home Page at Kentuckians can also share their thoughts with lawmakers by calling the General Assembly’s toll-free message line at






We, the people of America, demand reform of ; Kentucky Cabinet for Families and Children

Among Bevin’s campaign pledges was that he would reform the cabinet’s social services agency.

By:  Robin Rider-Osborne·Sunday, January 31, 2016

KENTUCKY REPRESENTATIVE EMAIL ADDRESSES AND ANNOUNCEMENT LETTER / ALL STATE PARTICIPATION. Copy and paste letter to email addresses listed below; Bulk email dump at bottom of page for one letter bulk sending.

We, the people of America, demand reform of ; Kentucky Cabinet for Families and Children & Family Law courtrooms. I request of your office the following;

1. Implement removal of Abusers, not children from Family units.

2. Remove Immunity for Kentucky Cabinet for Families and Children workers.

3. Restructure Family Law court into budget cutting mediation forums of two party negotiations.

4. Redirect Family Law Criminal allegations into Criminal court.

5. Restrict Judges and various interpretations of Family Law codes to abuse either party.

6. End Kentucky Cabinet for Families and Children abuse and Family Law abuse against the people of Kentucky. We demand an end to wasteful spending on agencies devastating families financially.

7 Allow a Jury trial in Termination of Parental Rights Cases

8. Amend or repeal that law that allows for children being removed due to disability and termination of rights without working towards reunification.

9. Release records upon request without redaction and revamp the Ombudsman to process the complaints in a timely and proper manner.

10. Revamp Foster Care Review boards as originally spelled out in CAPTA.

I cite the cases of ;

Pike Co. Circuit Judge Steve Combs DUI,

Garrard Co. Judge Ronnie Lane Drug trafficking,

Russell Co. Judge R. Maricle illegally distributing prescription drugs,

Judge Charles Huffman Extortion,

Russell Co. Judge Executive Kent Clark, Alcohol related charges,

Judge Executive Joe Grieshop charged with third-degree burglary; theft of items valued at over $10,000; 10 counts of retaliating against participants in a legal process; and one count of official misconduct,

Knox Co. Judge executive Raymond Smith(deceased)Attempted murder of Robin Smith, Murder of Mychael Smith and Micheal Smith,

Warren Co. Judge Margaret Huddleston DUI,

Marshall Co. Judge Executive Mike Miller, False entry/unauthorized act, .

This partial list of neglect of office, unethical professional conduct and evidence of failure within the Judicial branch of Kentucky. We strongly oppose Judges overseeing Families in crisis in the Family law division.

I cite the case of the failure of Kentucky Cabinet of Families and Children in protecting a nine year old, Amy from her adoptive siblings, known to have history in sexual abuse and undisclosed by the KCFC prior to the adoption. Problems were reported to indicate the adoptive parent, Kimberly Dye desire to ‘return’ the adopted girl shortly before her death This was an enormous failure of several to ignore all the warning signs of this broken adoptive home. While we acknowledge review and actions were taken as the result of the death of this girl, we feel more can be done to insure the safety of children seized and accountability by this agency.

We know there is rampant corruption in the government offices of Child services and Family law. This is a national epidemic of criminal activity within the programs, courtrooms and agencies that are bankrupting the American Families. We demand reform and strict laws on government seats of power placed with the power of office to seize children, financially destroy individuals, and racketeering to conceal internal corruption within our state and federal offices.

End legal abuse by Judges and Lawyers by instituting forums for successful dissolution/custody between spouses with guidelines without ruling Judges or lawyers. Enforce penalty of perjury, redirect criminal actions in Family Law to the Criminal courts. Remove immunity for Judges operating outside the rule of law. Reform Child services to an efficient team of child crime investigators and not our out dated model of Child protective services.

We, the people, unite and demand reform of CPS agencies and Family Law practices. We, the people, take back our rights to protect our children and families.

Robin Rider-Osborne can be contacted at:

Citizens Investigating the “Runaway Cabinet of Kentucky” Task Force

and by email to:

Thank You for your attention in this matter!


BULK EMAIL DUMP / ONE SENDER; ONE EMAIL;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;

This issue was submitted by Robin Rider-Osborne, Lexington, KY.

Regarding kendra sams – "lodged" at laurel county corrections" in kentucky…


Ms. Kendra Sams,  29  years old, was being lodged at the Laurel County Corrections.

According to Facebook posts she suffered a seizure on July 12th which caused her to fall from the top bunk in her cell and land on the floor.  She was not given medical attention at that time.

At some point she was transferred to Casey County Corrections where her illness became acute.  Her Mother was apparently contacted and she was then transported to the Hospital.

Facebook Timeline Posts:

Roger Hoskins

August 18 at 12:18pm · Garrard, KY ·


I’m waking up to some heart breaking news out of the family and asking for all who can please pray

Roger Hoskins

August 18 at 3:10pm · Edited ·


Please be praying for Kendra Sams she’s going into surgery right now … This young lady didn’t deserve any of this and I’m confident that the story will be told soon…. Please now all the family ask is to be praying

Roger Hoskins added 2 new photos.

August 18 at 7:15pm · Garrard, KY ·


These picture are of Kendra Sams and this is not even the Justice this young lady has suffered .. She’s has much more going I inside her… And is in critical condition at UK hospital … She’s in bad shape according to family who is with her when I am updated on her condition I will pass it along .. The family ask for prayers and this should have never ever happen to anyone else

Roger Hoskins

August 18 at 7:49pm · Garrard, KY ·


Update on Kendra they have 3 drain tubes in her and not sure one will work right but already pulled 2 ounces of infection out of her back but keeping her sedated until tomorrow to do more test … No one is allowed to see her till tomorrow so please keep praying

Roger Hoskins

Yesterday at 3:36am · Garrard, KY ·


They have started a feeding tube on Kendra and a temp of 102 … Doctors said that the next 72 hour will be very critical… So keep prayers coming and I have had a lot ask what happened… Right now the families focus is on Kendra … All they need is prayers but I promise this story will be told .. Thank for all the praying that’s going on and as always it’s in Gods hands ..

Roger Hoskins

Yesterday at 1:37pm · Garrard, KY ·


The story is coming out …. Please pray for Kendra the doctors are hoping she last throughout the day

Roger Hoskins added 4 new photos.

Yesterday at 3:19pm · Edited ·


This all started at Lcdc and she was sent to Casey county jail with the out come being her fighting for her life …. On July 12th she had a seizure a few weeks later she was sent to Casey county detention center will little or no medicinal help … Her mother was called to come get her and this is now her daughter returned home to her …. Don’t know if she will see tomorrow… Please pray….

Roger Hoskins

17 hrs · Edited ·


So thankful for Facebook this night as my post for Kendra has brought some light on all this but most of all I wanna thank the people who are brave and step up in behalf of Kendra … That is why Facebook is a valuable tool … As of 2 am there is no changes in her … I wanna thank each person who has shared this and by all means please continue to do so … This family deserves answers ! This could be your family member……………I will not disclose their name but here is a tid bit of information ……………..

My sister was in the cell with this girl in Casey co jail! She needed medical attention from day 1 this could be anyone’s family member please share this lets raise awareness

Michelle Jackson

11 hrs ·


Update on Kendra!!!!!!
She is still in critical condition they are having trouble keeping her BP up still and now they’re having to give her blood (1pint) so far… Please keep prayers coming.. TIA

— with Roger Hoskins and 8 others at UK ICU.

Michelle Jackson

3 hrs ·



— with Roger Hoskins and 9 others at UK ICU.

Michelle Jackson's photo.

Roger Hoskins

2 hrs ·


Please keep sharing my post maybe someone seen something and will step forward for Kendra Sams … This needs media attention to get to the bottom of this

Roger Hoskins

6 hrs · Edited ·


The family knows she is not perfect but to see this after being in 2 jails and her mother was called to come get her only to go into uk hospital is sad this is Kendra Sams if anyone was in her cell with her in laurel or Casey county please get ahold of this family … We are looking for answers to what happened .. This is truly sad … We have tried to contact all media but no help as yet so family has no choice but turn to social media .. Any information is appreciated …please share


It is currently 8/20/15 at 10:30pm and I am awaiting a call from Roger Hoskins who is willing to fill in the gaps in this atrocity which has happened under the watch of  “Kentucky Corrections “.

We can only hope and pray that Kendra Sams receives the justice that the State of Kentucky owes her because of this horrific ordeal.  She is not out of ICU yet.   She is currently still fighting for her life.

It never should have happened.

ANYONE who is incarcerated is entitled to receive healthcare under the Justice Department.

From the Mayo Clinic: Cannabis/Marijuana

Marijuana (Cannabis sativa)




These uses have been tested in humans or animals. Safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider.

Chronic pain

Cannabinoids have been reported to reduce chronic pain associated with a variety of conditions. Cannabinoids have also been used in patients for whom other pain relief medications are not working. The active components in cannabis exert their effects on the central nervous system and immune cells. Cannabis is approved in some European countries and Canada. In the United States, it is an investigational drug for pain relief in cancer patients.

Multiple sclerosis (symptoms)

Research suggests that cannabinoids may improve some symptoms associated with multiple sclerosis (MS), specifically neuropathic pain, muscle spasms, and urinary symptoms.


Early studies suggest that taking hemp seed oil by mouth may reduce symptoms of eczema, a skin rash also referred to as atopic dermatitis. Additional research is needed before a conclusion can be made.


Early research suggests that epileptic patients may experience fewer seizures when taking cannabidiol (CBD) together with antiseizure medication. Further studies are required before a conclusion can be made.

Glaucoma (high fluid pressure inside the eye)

Glaucoma can result in optic nerve damage and blindness. Limited evidence suggests that tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) taken under the tongue may reduce eye pressure. Additional research is needed before a conclusion can be made.

Huntington’s disease

Huntington’s disease is a degenerative nerve disorder associated with uncoordinated, jerky body movements and mental deterioration. Early studies suggest that cannabidiol (CBD) may not aid in reducing the severity of uncoordinated body movements associated with Huntington’s disease. Further studies are needed before a firm conclusion can be made.


Limited research suggests that cannabidiol may improve sleep quality in those with insomnia (difficulty getting to sleep or staying asleep). More research is needed before a conclusion can be made.

Appetite/weight loss in cancer patients

Clinical studies have shown no effect of cannabis-based therapies in the treatment of weight loss associated with cancer. Further studies are necessary before a conclusion can be made.


In limited research, no effect of cannabidiol (CBD) was seen on symptoms of schizophrenia in patients for whom other treatments were not working. Additional research is needed before a conclusion can be made.

Key to grades
A Strong scientific evidence for this use
B Good scientific evidence for this use
C Unclear scientific evidence for this use
D Fair scientific evidence against this use (it may not work)
F Strong scientific evidence against this use (it likely does not work)


Uses based on tradition or theory

The below uses are based on tradition or scientific theories. They often have not been thoroughly tested in humans, and safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider.

Acne, addiction, allergies, Alzheimer’s disease, angina (chest pain), angioedema (swelling under the skin), arthritis, antiaging, antidepressant, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anxiety prevention, appetite stimulant, asthma, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), autoimmune diseases, bipolar disorder (mental disorder), blood thinner, bronchodilation (widens airways and eases breathing), burns, cancer, candidiasis (yeast infection), circulation improvement, constipation, cough, detoxification (removal of toxins), diabetes, digestive aid, diuretic (improves urine flow), dystonia (muscle disorder), energy metabolism, fatigue, gastric acid secretion stimulation (increases stomach acid), general health maintenance, genitourinary tract disorders (disorders of the reproductive and urinary systems), hair growth promoter, heart disease, high blood pressure, hormone regulation, immune suppression, increased muscle mass, increasing breast milk, inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis), intermittent claudication (pain in arms or legs due to inadequate oxygen), interstitial cystitis (bladder disorder), irregular heartbeat, leukemia (cancer of blood cells), lipid lowering (cholesterol and triglycerides), liver protection, lymph flow enhancement, menopausal symptoms, migraine, muscle relaxation, nausea and vomiting, nerve disorders, neural tube defects (birth defects), osteoporosis (bone loss), painful menstruation, pregnancy and labor, psychosis, rheumatism (joint disease), sedative, sexual performance, skin conditions, spinal cord injury, stomach spasms, stroke, tendonitis, uterine stimulant, varicose veins, vitamin C deficiency, weight gain (patients with HIV or cancer), wound healing.



The below doses are based on scientific research, publications, traditional use, or expert opinion. Many herbs and supplements have not been thoroughly tested, and safety and effectiveness may not be proven. Brands may be made differently, with variable ingredients, even within the same brand. The below doses may not apply to all products. You should read product labels, and discuss doses with a qualified healthcare provider before starting therapy.

Adults (18 years and older)

For nausea and vomiting, five milligrams/m 2 of body mass of dronabinol (Marinol®) has been taken by mouth before and after chemotherapy, for a total of 4-6 doses daily.

For weight loss and malnutrition associated with cancer, 2.5 milligrams of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) with or without one milligram of cannabidiol has been taken by mouth for six weeks.

For eczema, hemp seed oil has been taken by mouth for 20 weeks.

For chronic pain, 2.5-120 milligrams of cannabis has been taken by mouth in divided doses.

For epilepsy, 200-300 milligrams of cannabidiol (CBD) has been taken by mouth daily for up to 4.5 months.

For insomnia, 160 milligrams of cannabidiol (CBD) has been taken by mouth.

For symptoms of multiple sclerosis, 2.5-10 milligrams of dronabinol (Marinol®) has been taken by mouth daily for three weeks. Capsules containing 15-30 milligrams of cannabis extract has been taken by mouth for 14 days. Two and one-half milligrams of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), together with 0.9 milligrams of cannabidiol (CBD), has been taken by mouth. Cannabinoid-based Sativex® mouth spray has been used at a dose of 2.5-120 milligrams in divided doses. Eight sprays in three hours and up to 48 sprays in 24 hours have been used.

For schizophrenia, 40-1,280 milligrams of cannabidiol (CBD) has been taken by mouth daily for up to four weeks.

For glaucoma (high fluid pressure in the eye), single doses of five milligrams of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) or 40 milligrams of cannabidiol (CBD) placed under the tongue have been used.

Children (under 18 years old)

There is no proven safe or effective dose for cannabis or cannabis-containing products in children.


Marijuana Fights Cancer and Helps Manage Side Effects, Researchers Find

Sep 6, 2012 4:45 AM EDT

Mounting evidence shows ‘cannabinoids’ in marijuana slow cancer growth, inhibit formation of new blood cells that feed a tumor, and help manage pain, fatigue, nausea, and other side effects.

Cristina Sanchez, a young biologist at Complutense University in Madrid, was studying cell metabolism when she noticed something peculiar. She had been screening brain cancer cells because they grow faster than normal cell lines and thus are useful for research purposes. But the cancer cells died each time they were exposed to tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the principal psychoactive ingredient of marijuana.

Instead of gaining insight into how cells function, Sanchez had stumbled upon the anti-cancer properties of THC. In 1998, she reported in a European biochemistry journal that THC “induces apoptosis [cell death] in C6 glioma cells,” an aggressive form of brain cancer.

Subsequent peer-reviewed studies in several countries would show that THC and other marijuana-derived compounds, known as “cannabinoids,” are effective not only for cancer-symptom management (nausea, pain, loss of appetite, fatigue), they also confer a direct antitumoral effect.

A team of Spanish scientists led by Manuel Guzman conducted the first clinical trial assessing the antitumoral action of THC on human beings. Guzman administered pure THC via a catheter into the tumors of nine hospitalized patients with glioblastoma, who had failed to respond to standard brain-cancer therapies. The results were published in 2006 in the British Journal of Pharmacology: THC treatment was associated with significantly reduced tumor cell proliferation in every test subject.

Around the same time, Harvard University scientists ++reported++[] that THC slows tumor growth in common lung cancer and “significantly reduces the ability of the cancer to spread.” What’s more, like a heat-seeking missile, THC selectively targets and destroys tumor cells while leaving healthy cells unscathed. Conventional chemotherapy drugs, by contrast, are highly toxic; they indiscriminately damage the brain and body.

There is mounting evidence, according to a report in Mini-Reviews in Medicinal Chemistry, that cannabinoids “represent a new class of anticancer drugs that retard cancer growth, inhibit angiogenesis [the formation of new blood cells that feed a tumor] and the metastatic spreading of cancer cells.”

Dr. Sean McAllister, a scientist at the Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco, has been studying cannabinoid compounds for 10 years in a quest to develop new therapeutic interventions for various cancers. Backed by grants from the National Institute of Health (and with a license from the DEA), McAllisterdiscovered that cannabidiol (CBD), a nonpsychoactive component of the marijuana plant, is a potent inhibitor of breast cancer cell proliferation, metastasis, and tumor growth.

In 2007, McAllister published a detailed account of how cannabidiol kills breast cancer cells and destroys malignant tumors by switching off expression of the ID-1 gene, a protein that appears to play a major role as a cancer cell conductor.

The ID-1 gene is active during human embryonic development, after which it turns off and stays off. But in breast cancer and several other types of metastatic cancer, the ID-1 gene becomes active again, causing malignant cells to invade and metastasize. “Dozens of aggressive cancers express this gene,” explains McAllister. He postulates that CBD, by virtue of its ability to silence ID-1 expression, could be a breakthrough anti-cancer medication.

“Cannabidiol offers hope of a non-toxic therapy that could treat aggressive forms of cancer without any of the painful side effects of chemotherapy,” says McAllister, who is seeking support to conduct clinical trials with the marijuanacompound on breast cancer patients.

McAllister’s lab also is analyzing how CBD works in combination with first-line chemotherapy agents. His research shows that cannabidiol, a potent antitumoral compound in its own right, acts synergistically with various anti-cancer pharmaceuticals, enhancing their impact while cutting the toxic dosage necessary for maximum effect.

“Cannabidiol offers hope of a non-toxic therapy that could treat aggressive forms of cancer without any of the painful side effects of chemotherapy.

Investigators at St. George’s University in London observed a similar pattern with THC, which magnified the effectiveness of conventional antileukemia therapies in preclinical studies. THC and cannabidiol both induce apoptosis in leukemic cell lines.

At the annual summer conference of the International Cannabinoid Research Society, held this year in Freiburg, Germany, 300 scientists from around the world discussed their latest findings, which are pointing the way toward novel treatment strategies for cancer and other degenerative diseases. Italian investigators described CBD as “the most efficacious inducer of apoptosis” in prostate cancer. Ditto for cannabidiol and colon cancer, according to British researchers at Lancaster University.

Within the medical science community, the discovery that cannabinoids have anti-tumoral properties is increasingly recognized as a seminal advancement in cancer therapeutics.

Martin A. Lee is the author of Smoke Signals: A Social History of Marijuana – Medical, Recreational and Scientific (Scribner, August 2012). He is the cofounder of the media watch group FAIR, director of Project CBD, and the author of Acid Dreams and The Beast Reawakens. For more information and regular updates, follow Smoke Signals—the book on Facebook.

Like The Daily Beast on Facebook and follow us on Twitter for updates all day long.

For inquiries, please contact The Daily Beast

Advice from a patient!




Ed Bland

ALL NEED 2 KNOW THIS ! —————–>: ♥ ~My name is Ed Bland & live in Somers on Flathead lake. I use 2 have George’s marine service ( father ). I wrecked my motorcycle with no helmet on. Montana told me it was worst wreck 2 live through with no helmet on in Montana. I am not telling you this 4 sympathy, but 2 let you know the severity of it. I broke all ribs on right ( 6 in 3 places each), 7 ribs on left ( 4 in 2 places each). Split brisket, broke right caller bone, broke pelvic bone in 7 places having to be taken to Idaho specialist 2 bolt a brace on pelvic bone. Missoula life flight picked me up at wreck site at Sealy Lake. I died 3 times in that flight, was in a coma for 87 days & if memory serves me right was diagnosed as a 5.5 brain injury. When I woke I had 2 relearn everything. I could not speak but they told me 2 blind 2 for yes & 3 for no. I had 2 go through all 3 rehabs, then got 2 return home. I had next 2 no memory. I didn’t even know what house looked like, or what I had done 4 a living but could tell you how 2 use all tools & equipment in shop. I had a friend come visit me & asked me 2 get a medical card & try cannabis & did. I WAS AMAZED ! My memory not only started returning but stayed ! I have muscle paralisis on right of my body & it is so obvious of my muscles relaxing that all can see it in my walking & hear in my speech. Is hard 2 move tongue 2 speak. But 4 me the big part is how it slows my thought process down enough so can communicate !
I have been doing much research as 2 why it is helping me. I learned early in life that if you want 2 fix something then first you must understand the working of it. I only graduated high school & no more but did best could. The brain has a connection that converts info & passes it on. There lets say is like taking morris code & converting it into words. At that connection there is a goo that covers it. That is what I believe the THC helps make this in the brain. ~ ♥

Nearly 11,500 Kentuckians with Alzheimer’s live Alone

KENTUCKY (3/8/12) – Advance planning for future legal, financial and long-term care needs is critical for the estimated one in seven Americans − or 11,430 Kentuckians − diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease and who still live alone, up to half of them without an identifiable caregiver, according to the Alzheimer’s Association® 2012 Facts and Figures Report, released today.
“Alzheimer’s and other dementias take our loved ones through unfamiliar territory, and advance planning in the early stages of the disease allow them to build a care team, make financial plans and prepare for future safety concerns, while they are still cognitively able to do so,” said Teri Shirk, president and CEO of the Greater Kentucky and Southern Indiana Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association, which offers a variety of resources for individuals with Alzheimer’s as well as their family members and other caregivers.
States need to plan ahead as well: Today’s report projects a 500 percent increase in combined state Medicare and Medicaid spending by 2050 due to the expanding population of Alzheimer’s patients. According to the report, which found that someone in America develops Alzheimer’s every 68 seconds, as many as 6.7 million Americans will be living with the disease by 2025, including 97,000 Kentucky residents (a 31 percent increase over 2000, when 74,000 Kentuckians had Alzheimer’s). Nearly 30 percent of those with Alzheimer’s are on Medicare and Medicaid, compared to just 11 percent of those without dementia.
“Caring for people with Alzheimer’s will cost the United States an estimated $200 billion in 2012, an amount that already threatens to overwhelm federal and state budgets,” Shirk said. “Absent intervention, those costs will grow to $1.1 trillion by mid-century. Then there are the out-of-pocket costs to family caregivers, which are projected to balloon 400 percent by 2050. We simply must have a National Alzheimer’s Plan in place that establishes the resources we need to prevent and effectively treat Alzheimer’s, and to ensure much-needed support for those with Alzheimer’s and their families.” A draft National Alzheimer’s Plan was announced February 22, and comments currently are being sought.
Other Kentucky-related statistics included in today’s report:
• The new report reveals there are 15.2 million friends and family members providing care for individuals with Alzheimer’s and other dementias, including 264,658 caregivers in Kentucky. In 2011, these caregivers provided $210 billion worth of unpaid care nationally; and $3.65 billion in Kentucky (in fact, Kentucky was one of 39 states in which unpaid caregivers provided care valued at more than $1 billion).
• The physical and emotional impact on Alzheimer’s and dementia caregivers is estimated to result in nearly $9 billion in increased health care costs in the United States, including $144.6 million for caregivers in Kentucky.
• About 51,000 residents of Kentucky nursing homes in 2009 had cognitive impairments.
Other national statistics in the Alzheimer’s Association® 2012 Facts and Figures report:
• According to the Alzheimer’s Association report, there are 5.4 million Americans living with Alzheimer’s disease, including 5.2 million people age 65 or older and 200,000 people under the age of 65. And 45 percent of adults 85 and older have Alzheimer’s.
• Medicare payments for an older person with Alzheimer’s or other dementias are nearly three times higher, while Medicaid payments are 19 times higher than for seniors without Alzheimer’s and other dementias.
• While only 4 percent of the general population will be admitted to a nursing home by age 80, for people with Alzheimer’s, 75 percent will be admitted to a nursing home by age 80, posing significant economic challenges to state Medicaid budgets.
• Most people survive an average of four to eight years after an Alzheimer’s or dementia diagnosis, but some can live as long as 20 years with the disease.
• Of family caregivers of people with Alzheimer’s and other dementias, 61 percent rated their emotional stress of caregiving as high or very high.
Alzheimer’s Association’s Facts and Figures
The Alzheimer’s Association’s Facts and Figures report is a comprehensive compilation of national statistics and information on Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias. The report conveys the impact of Alzheimer’s on individuals, families, government, and the nation’s healthcare system. Since its 2007 inaugural release, the report has become the most cited source covering the broad spectrum of Alzheimer’s issues. The Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures report is an official publication of the Alzheimer’s Association®.
SurfKY News
Information provided by Danielle Waller


Colorado Patient Chris Bartkowicz Denied Medical Defense by Feds




This was sent to us from our friends in Denver. This is the same person who was busted basically as a result of an interview he did back in February for a local television station. Half of the “plants” he was caught with were not mature but the Feds still counted them to bloat the total and make him look like a big time drug kingpin. I was going to write an article about this today but CTI covered all the bases, including links for contacting politicians in Colorado.

Activists Pressure Congress to Clarify Policy

For more information, contact the: Cannabis Therapy Institute

Denver – In a ruling on Wednesday (9/22) that is sending chills through
every medical marijuana provider in Colorado and nationwide, patient Chris
Bartkowicz has been denied the use of a medical marijuana defense in
federal court. Chris is facing federal charges of marijuana cultivation
after he was interviewed for a KUSA 9 News story about medical marijuana
cultivation. Chris is facing a mandatory minimum sentence of 60 years in


At a motion’s hearing on Wednesday in federal court, it was clear that the
feds have stacked the deck effectively against state rights to regulate
medical marijuana. The Honorable Federal District Judge Philip Brimmer
ruled against Chris’ court-appointed attorney, Joseph Saint-Veltri, on
almost every point. Chris’s prosecutor, Assistant U.S. Attorney M.J.
Menendez, said that marijuana had been on the controlled substances list
“since the beginning of time” and that the feds recognize no exemption for
medical marijuana, even if cultivated in compliance with state law.

Saint-Veltri argued that Chris’ case was selective prosecution, given that
there are hundreds of people in Colorado currently cultivating medical
marijuana who have not yet been raided by the feds. Saint-Veltri pointed
out that Budding Health dispensary owner Josh Stanley was also featured in
the KUSA segment as a marijuana grower, but was never raided or

Saint-Veltri argued that Chris was acting in good faith and sincerely
believed that he was in violation of neither state nor federal law. Chris
testified that he felt the federal climate had changed with regard to
federal prosecution of medical marijuana patients after Obama’s election.
Chris testified that he had relied on US Attorney General Eric Holder’s
statements on March 19, 2009 that he would not prosecute dispensaries.
These statements made world-wide news, with the LA Times calling it “a
landmark turnaround from the Bush administration’s policy of zero tolerance
for cannabis use by patients.”

In addition, Chris relied on a memo of Oct. 19, 2009 from David W. Ogden,
U.S. Deputy Attorney General to selected US Attorneys. The Ogden memo,
which was also widely publicized by the Department of Justice, gave
guidance to federal prosecutors about allocation of resources to prosecute
medical marijuana cases. The Ogden memo said that medical marijuana cases
were “unlikely to be an efficient use of limited federal resources.”

Saint-Veltri also stated that Chris had been relying on signals from the
state that they had worked out some sort of “accord” with the DEA about not
prosecuting Colorado dispensary owners. Specifically, Saint-Veltri wanted
to question Matt Cook, head of the Department of Revenue’s Medical
Marijuana Enforcement Division, who had stated in a recent Kush magazine
article that “medical marijuana centers or infused products manufacturers
should not be targeted by the DEA.”

Saint-Veltri wanted to question Cook about his meetings and conversations
with the DEA regarding enforcement of federal law. Cook fought his subpoena
to testify. Cook’s attorney Pam Rosenberg admitted that Cook had had
conversations with the DEA, but said that his testimony would be
“irrelevant.” Judge Brimmer ruled that Cook did not have to testify based
on a technicality of improper service of the subpoena.

Assistant U.S. Attorney M.J. Menendez said that the feds have every
intention of continuing to prosecute medical marijuana patients and
providers, regardless of state laws. She stated that the DEA has reached
“no accord” with Matt Cook regarding federal prosecutions of medical
marijuana patients or providers.

Menendez stated that Holder statement in March 2009 was just a “loose
remark” and that the Ogden memo states clearly that “this guidance
regarding resource allocation does not . . . provide a legal defense to a
violation of federal law.”

Menendez argued that “a reasonable person would not rely on statements made
by Holder or Obama.”

Menendez concluded that “every statement in the record by the federal
government says the government will continue to prosecute” medical
marijuana patients and providers.

In the end, Judge Brimmer ruled that Chris cannot present a medical
marijuana defense at his trial. “Anyone reading (the memos) would quite
clearly understand that cultivating marijuana is a violation of federal
law,” Brimmer said.

Judge Brimmer says Chris Bartkowicz is one of two medical marijuana
patients currently being prosecuted in his court. It is unknown how many
other patients are currently being prosecuted by the feds.

Chris’ trial is scheduled for Nov. 1. He faces a mandatory minimum of 60
years in prison. He rejected an earlier plea bargain offer because it would
have required him to turn someone else over to the feds. Chris refuses to
become a snitch and will stand up for his rights, and the rights of all
other Colorado patients and providers, at his jury trial.


Call and write your Federal Senators and Representatives:

1) Request that they send a “clarification of policy” letter to the
Department of Justice requesting clarification of their official policy of
prosecuting medical marijuana cases. Tell them Colorado patients need to
know they are safe from federal prosecution.

2) Ask that House Members co-sponsor HR3939, the Truth in Trials Act, which
would provide an affirmative defense for the medical use of marijuana in
federal court. Rep. Jared Polis is currently the only Colorado co-sponsor
of this Bill.

Please send copies of any correspondence to:



(Represent entire state.)

Senator Mark Udall (D-CO)

Senator Michael Bennet (D-CO)

(Represent people by district.)

Find your district:

Rep. Diana DeGette (D-01)

Rep. Jared Polis (D – 02)

Rep. John Salazar (D – 03)

Rep. Betsy Markey (D – 04)

Rep. Doug Lamborn (R – 05)

Rep. Mike Coffman (R – 06)

Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D – 07)

Please copy and re-distribute this announcement.
Help us continue to advocate on behalf of patient rights:

Provided as a Public Service by the:
Cannabis Therapy Institute
P.O. Box 19084
Boulder, CO 80308
Phone: 877-420-4205

Are hospitals deadlier in July?

By Sabriya Rice, CNN  July 8, 2010 — Updated 1538 GMT (2338 HKT)


(CNN) — More than 16,000 U.S. medical school graduates are awarded M.D. degrees each year, and many enter their residency programs at teaching hospitals in July. Now, a growing body of research suggests that month might be a more deadly time in U.S. hospitals.

According to a recent study from the University of California, San Diego, deaths from medication errors increase by 10 percent during July, a so-called July effect as students graduate from medical school and enter residency programs.

Researchers examined more than 240,000 death certificates of people who died of complications from medication errors between 1979 and 2006, and found mortality rates consistently spiked in July, especially in counties with teaching hospitals.

"No one has been able to suggest anything else besides the appearance of new medical residents. That’s the first month they start their new jobs and have expanded autonomy," says David Phillips, a professor of sociology and lead author of the study. He says although it’s possible that the increase can be linked to administrative or other events specific to July, the most notable link is the start of new medical residents.

"Like with any new person in any new job, it’s the first time you’re having to deploy everything you learned," says Diane Pinakiewicz, president of the National Patient Safety Foundation. She says there is a lot of pressure on medical students to be perfect, and because of that, they may be more afraid to admit what they do not know.

In a report released earlier this year, the foundation issued recommendations for reforming medical school education in ways that reduce the "shame and blame environment" that ultimately affects the care a patient receives.

"There’s a culture of medical school education that doesn’t allow people to speak up, so you come in as a new resident and you’re afraid to make a mistake," Pinakiewicz says.

Others say the problem is exaggerated.

"I don’t want people to be unnecessarily alarmed about going to the hospital in July," says Dr. Thomas Nasca, chief executive officer for the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education. According to Nasca, more than one physician decides what medication a patient receives, and such checks and balances help protect the patient from error.

"I think it is probably true there is a slight increase in July, but it doesn’t mean our patients are less safe," says Michael Cohen, a pharmacist and president of the Institute for Safe Medication Practices.

He says hospitals become more transparent in reporting medication errors, and the study might reflect the increased reports. He also says that besides medical residents, nurses, respiratory therapists and pharmacists all begin around the same time, and it’s unfair to point the finger at new residents.

Even with the staffing changes, he says the new study on the July effect looked at data before electronic prescriptions and reduced hours for medical residents helped to reduce the risk to patients.

Other studies find that there is no increased risk of error and that the reported July effect may reflect the quality of care at certain locations.

For example, researchers at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center looked into a potential July effect on their level I trauma center and found there was no increased risk.

"Anyone on a new job anywhere is going to have increased errors or risk when they make an important decision," says Dr. Thomas Schroeppel, a surgeon and lead author of the University of Tennessee study. "However, I think it all depends on the supervision. With good supervision, errors are reduced."

Bottom line: You can’t necessarily predict when you’ll need to visit a hospital, but experts say there are things you can do any time to reduce your risk of dying from a medical error, whether you visit a hospital in July or January, and whether or not your physician is a resident. They offer these tips:

1. Go straight to the top with your concerns

In every teaching setting, there must be a fully licensed attending physician on staff, Nasca says. He encourages patients who feel uncomfortable or unclear about any aspect of their health care to first ask to speak to the head nurse, who should be able to contact every attending physician caring for patients in the unit. If there are still concerns, he says to ask for the on-call hospital administrator. Their job is to help ensure the hospital is providing adequate medical care to all of its patients.

2. Chose your hospital wisely

Experts say you should research your local hospital just as thoroughly as you would research a school for your child or any other service. They say that before an emergency, it’s a good idea to know whether or not your hospital is accredited and for what procedures, as well as how it ranks in patient safety.

Click here to find out if your hospital is accredited through the Joint Commission, a national organization that evaluates medical facilities based on specific quality, safety and performance standards. Also, both the Leapfrog Group and Healthgrades allow you to compare hospitals based on patient safety ratings, and see which procedures are ranked the safest at a given institution.

Also, teaching hospitals remain an excellent option despite any potential July effect. "Much of the research that develops new treatments or new medications occurs in teaching hospitals," Nasca says. "Generally, the quality of care is considered to be much higher."

You can find a list of the teaching hospitals in your state on the Association of American Medical Colleges website, and you can search the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education’s state-by-state list of all teaching hospitals, medical schools and health systems that run residency programs.

3. Don’t assume the medication you receive is correct

According to Nasca, anytime a physician changes your medication or dosage, take note of it. "With every change, there is an increased risk for error," he warns. Nasca says to ask directly "Are you sure this is my medicine, and why did the doctor change it?" — and don’t take anything until you are clear about the answer.

"Patients should worry about the possibility of medication error and should not assume it’s getting calculated correctly," Phillips says.

The Institute of Medicine estimates medication errors harm at least 1.5 million people annually.

Phillips says he’s OK with being a worry wart, and kindly admits this to his physician when he receives any medication. "I simply say, ‘Do me a favor and check the dosage and make sure this is the right medication because I know sometimes people make mistakes.’ "

Here are five additional ways to avoid medication mistakes

4. Ask Questions

"The best thing for patients to do is be educated, and the internet is a powerful tool," says Schroeppel. He says patients who do their research online beforehand tend to ask more informed questions and obtain better outcomes.

The National Patient Safety Foundation has three questions you should ask whenever you visit your doctor, nurse or pharmacist in order to make sure you understand your diagnosis.

As health systems work to make the transition for new doctors as smooth as possible by increasing supervision and reducing the learning curve that could negatively affect patients, Nasca says, it is important to keep in mind that these future doctors are critical to the future of health care in the U.S.




"We wouldn’t be able to deliver care especially to the underserved without residents," he says. "They want to do the right thing for their patients, something they’re trying to do under very difficult circumstances."

CNN’s Jennifer Bixler and Carrie Gann contributed to this report.

Why I was “fired” from my physician in Louisville, Kentucky.


Here I am in the “great Commonwealth of Kentucky”, on January 2, 2009, without a physician to attend to my health needs, after fifteen long years of struggle.  Why?  Because I smoke Cannabis for pain and anxiety among other conditions.

Since 1998 I have been through at least eight “pain clinics” and ONE M.D., that had stood beside me since 1995.  But as of today I have been “fired” as a patient for having a positive drug screen which only showed positive for Marijuana when he referred me to the last pain clinic.

Cut off, after fifteen years, for having used Cannabis for my own health.

My medical history is complicated to say the least.  I have been diagnosed with many things, and to this day I am not really sure what is wrong with me.  In my experience, the doctors in Louisville like to “cut and release”, and if you ask questions you will get the generalized answers that you already knew to begin with.  In short, if your heart is still beating when you walk in the office, you must be o.k.

The following is a short synopsis of my medical history, (though not all conclusive):

1960-1978 Tonsillectomy and Adenoidectomy due to chronic sickness up to 1970.  

1978 – Diagnosed with chronic depression

1983 – Diagnosed with chronic depression/anxiety

1985 – Tubal Ligation

1990- Along with the “depression/anxiety” I began having chronic abdominal pain and bladder pain.  I was (and had been all of my life) treated for chronic bladder infections.

I was having so much illness that it prompted me to leave my job of five years with a predominant insurance company because I just could not cope with the pain and sickness anymore. 

1991 – I was referred to a “women’s clinic” where I was continually seen for chronic cervical infections and bladder infections. Between 1991-1993 I had many trips to the ER because of those infections.  Of note, they always attributed my pain to the depression and anxiety and never gave me any pain medication until a month before surgery in 1993.

1993 – The Gynecologist decided that I had several cysts on my ovaries after a ultrasound, and said that he would do a partial hysterectomy and a bladder tie and that that should take care of the situation.  During the surgery, a needle was broken off in my pelvic bone, which they managed to extract after several additional hours in surgery.  After the surgery, I continued to have pelvic pain, and bladder infections.

1994 – The Gynecologist decided it was probably adhesions, and that they would do an outpatient surgery to try to resolve the problem.  That did not work either.

1995 – I was finally put on Medicare after having been given Disability in 2003 for depression.  After living through hell the previous ten years, I decided to go to a internist which was down the street from where I lived.  At that point I was put on pain medication.  However, there had been no real diagnosis of the pain I was having.

1995 – A friend encouraged me to see her “surgeon”, at which time I received emergency surgery for Gallbladder Disease.  The Surgeons stopped counting after 60 large stones and informed my family that my “insides looked like someone took a hot glue gun to them”.  The scar tissue had been so bad that they could not find my appendix or “I would have taken that out too”, he had said.  Unfortunately for me, shortly after my surgery he left the country to go back to his home country.

1996 – Continuing on pain medication from my internist, and still having many bladder problems and pelvic problems I went to another Gynecologist who offered to do a “total hysterectomy and adhesion removal”.  I was sent to outpatient surgery, but ended up in the hospital for a number of days because the surgery was intense.

I continued on through 1997 still having abdominal pain, and still on pain medication.  In 1998 he referred me to a “pain clinic”.

1998 – After coming down with an unknown illness with a high fever, my Internist admitted me to the hospital where the next day I had a CVA/Stroke.  The pain clinic I had been seeing had me on oxycontin and hydrocodone, along with Neurontin and was located in the same hospital where I was admitted.  However, somehow, when I was released 10 days later and received my medication to go home on which included pain medication, there was a mix up in the doctor’s names on the prescriptions and I was investigated for “doctor shopping” and released from their pain clinic.  I was cleared of any wrongdoing but the damage had already been done.  My internist continued to prescribe my pain medication until 2003.  Of note, I had stopped the oxycontin and Neurontin as they where really hard on my depression.  The Neurologist that had taken my case in the hospital “fired” me for being “too ill for him to treat”.

2003 – I am forced into a pain clinic again.  Incidentally, this clinic turned out to be the largest legal narcotic writer in Kentucky.  I was given oxycontin, morphine, large amounts of hydrocodone or oxycodone.  The doctor attempted a “plexis block” of my abdomen at which time one or both of my Kidneys were punctured.  I bleed for 12 hours, but “I was o.k., and it was nothing to worry about” per the doctor.  Then came the methadone.  I was frazzled all the time.  I was a “legal” drug addict that almost burned down the house more than once.  I tried to continue on and eventually quit taking everything except hydrocodone and an occasional soma.  But in 2006, I was given a “drug test” which showed that I was smoking Marijuana and guess what…They refused to fill any more narcotics EXCEPT the methadone.  At that point I gave it back to them and told them they could keep it.  I “fired” them.

I then went back to my internist which agreed to prescribe my hydrocodone.  But between 2003 and 2008 I was turned down by many other pain clinics. 

Then in December of 2008 the decision was made that my internist could no longer fill my medication’s because of a PDS at the last pain clinic.  He then “fired” me.

Of note, during the period of 2001 – 2008 I had lost my first Grandchild to a stillbirth, cared for and lost my father in 2001 and continued to live with my Mother and care for her until she was so ill that I was forced to put her in a Nursing Home in 2007.  My Mother died on November 24, 2008.  Previous to that I had lost my best friend “Sally” who was my dog that had always been beside me through it all since 1993.  My Heart has been irreversibly broken.  So with all of this loss on my mind, and then losing my only doctor of fifteen years, I have really been tested.  I credit prayer and family and my “Cannabis” for my survival.  There were so many times I just wanted to call it quits.  But there was always some “need” for me to be here.

Back in 2003 I had started researching online “Medical Marijuana”.  I knew I used it, and I knew I needed it, but I had just thought I was a “pot smoker”.  I had never credited it with saving my life until after my Dad died in 2001.  You see, he had called me about three months prior to his death and asked me if I could get him some.  Because of my ignorance of the medical benefit of Marijuana, my Father died without the medication that could have reduced his misery.  My Mother was diagnosed with HBP and Alzheimer’s which possibly could have been helped with Marijuana although I was too afraid of the “elder abuse” laws to try it.  I feel guilty about that too.  I might have had a healthier Mother for a few more years.

I have never had a police record.  I only have a glass of wine a couple of times a year.  I have even managed to stay out of the Psychiatric Hospital, although there were a few times I would have probably benefited from it.

And now, the doctor that I thought would always be there for me has left me in the cold, without even a personal phone call from him.  The letter was signed by office staff.

I do not hold any grudges against this doctor.  He did what he had to do to save his livelihood.  Although I do not know what the “pertinent details” of the situation where, I am assuming the DEA of KY was somehow involved.

In Kentucky it is called KASPER.  “KASPER” in and of itself has become a syndrome in Kentucky.  What I cannot understand is why, when KY is so known for it’s oxycontin abuse and death’s, should it be illegal for me to smoke Cannabis, in my own home, especially since I do have such a medical record.  (I have never passed a drug screening test due only to Marijuana).

It reminds me of a “genocidal drama”… Give out all the Narcotics that you can, which will downsize the population, and at the same time they can punish the people who are Marijuana users and “force” them into forfeiting their Marijuana, and using the “Pharmaceutical death drugs”.

There is no such thing as a Marijuana friendly doctor in Kentucky.  They are all scared to death.

I must say that if I had not been using Marijuana for the last fifteen years or more, I sincerely believe that I would have died by now. 

I was told by one doctor that I was “living on borrowed time”.

What kind of Government conspiracy would do such a thing as to make a “plant” illegal?


The state of Kentucky is for all practical purposes bankrupt.  Violence and homelessness are continually on the rise.  It is NOT Marijuana that has caused this.  Statistically, Kentucky, especially certain counties, are not a healthy place to live.  And the members of my family who do not use Marijuana have had greater health problems than me in a number of cases.

Our Mayor call’s it “possibly city”.

For most of us it is nearly impossible to live here.  Lack of education and health care are abominable.  If you are one of the lucky ones who make more money than you need and/or have the benefits of a major manufacturing company or other entity, then you may survive a little longer and a little better.

But most true Kentuckians have been laborers and farmers all of their lives.  Their needs are never fully met, and the laws that prohibit Marijuana is just another way to “keep us in our place”.

It is a shame that we cannot grow Marijuana and/or Hemp on our own property, legally.

So in all reality, we never truly own anything, including our own bodies and minds.

Marijuana and Hemp prohibition is just one of many dire problems which our country is facing today.  But if we could “free these plants”, that were put on Earth by God, to be used accordingly, then maybe, just maybe, it would be a sign of us being able to take back our country’s freedoms for all people.

Sheree Krider

SMKrider:  In My Opinion

I can be reached by email at










Medical marijuana laws benefit big business

 Greg Pivarnik – 3/4/08
Marijuana has medicinal uses. Despite numerous scientific studies and the development of synthetic medicines derived from cannabis, the United States government appears to disagree with
this statement. Marijuana remains a Schedule I drug according to the DEA,
which only benefits the pharmaceutical companies who now have a monopoly on
the therapeutic effects of a plant that can be grown with little effort.

Under the Controlled Substances Act, the DEA lists and categorizes drugs, illegal and pharmaceutical, into five categories or schedules.
According to the DEA Web site, the drugs are placed in a schedule based upon “the substance’s medical use, potential for abuse, and safety or dependence liability.” Schedule I drugs are considered the
most addictive and have no medical use and are considered the most dangerous. Schedule II
drugs have some medical benefits but are highly addictive and so on until Schedule V. Marijuana is considered a Schedule I drug, along with heroin and LSD, because it has a “high potential for abuse” and “has no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States.” Apparently though,
PCP and cocaine have more of a medical basis considering they are Schedule II drugs.

Unfortunately, the rescheduling of marijuana is something that may be far off in the future, despite research pointing to the possible benefits of medicinal use. Scientists studying its medicinal
properties have already found a number of possible medical uses. Most notably, marijuana can be used to treat pain and nausea associated with a number of diseases. It is mostly prescribed, in states that
allow for its medicinal use, for pain and nausea associated with terminal illnesses. Many times
marijuana has been found to be one of the more effective drugs to treat these symptoms. Extreme pain is
often associated with severe illnesses such as cancers, AIDS and multiple sclerosis (MS). Marijuana also reduces nausea associated with chemotherapy and AIDS patients. It stimulates appetite and
allows patients to eat so they do not lose an excessive amount of weight. Marijuana has been proven to be an effective treatment for neuropathic pain and can control muscle spasms in diseases like MS.

However, MS is not the only disease associated with neuropathic pain. There are many other diseases and disorders that can benefit from possible treatments of marijuana. Marijuana has also been found to
treat patients with glaucoma by relieving pressure in the eyeball and therefore possibly preventing the blindness associated with the disease. Lastly, there are also the well known calming affects of
marijuana that could be used to treat severe anxieties and obsessive compulsive disorder.

The main reason that marijuana remains illegal, or at least not used as medication, is money. Too many companies in the pharmaceutical industry stand to lose too much money from competing with medicinal marijuana. The Pharmaceutical companies do research, create a synthetically made chemical for a treatment of a certain disease and then patent. U.S. patents last around 20 years and
effectively give the company a monopoly on that drug. This in turn drives the price up
for many years after FDA approval, until the patent runs out and generic forms of the drug are made available. The reason that drug companies would not want marijuana manufactured is that it can been
grown cheaply and easily. It could effectively be a less costly alternative to the drug therapies that patients can access now and may treat myriad of disease that could infringe on the consumer
market of other medications.

The amount of money derived from the pharmaceutical industry, and hence the lobbyists that work for them, has led to an inherent hypocrisy in U.S. policy towards marijuana. While listing marijuana
as a Schedule I drug, which supposedly has no medical benefits, the U.S. still allows pharmaceutical companies to conduct research and make products that harness the medicinal powers of THC, the main
psychoactive chemical in marijuana. This already implies that marijuana has medicinal benefit and
therefore should not be listed as a Schedule I drug. One such drug, Marinol, is already available for
prescription use in the U.S. to treat the side effects associated with chemotherapy and AIDS patients. Another marijuana based drug, Sativex, which is used to treat MS, has already been approved in
Canada and has begun trials in the U.S.

It is unfair for the government to conduct a smear campaign against medicinal marijuana, while at
the same time allowing drug companies to purify it and market products for staggering amounts of profit.
For instance, the base cost per year of  Sativex in Canada $4,475. This price is only an estimate before pharmacy costs. On top of that, this estimate only takes into account a minimal amount of doses.
Sativex is a spray administered via the mouth. The average dosage is five sprays a day. However, the dosage is variable up to 14 sprays, which would also increase the costs.

There are those that would say it is beneficial for the drug companies to purify the drugs
because smoking marijuana is itself a health risk. A risk it may be, but taking any medicine is a risk. In
fact, an article in Scientific America esposed a study that concluded that there is no scientific link between lung cancer and smoking marijuana. It was thought that THC “prompts aging
cells to die before coming cancerous.” A more recent study has seemed to confirm this conclusion. In a lab study, mice with tumors were injected with THC and showed a 50 percent decrease in tumor size
after three weeks as compared with untreated mice. Though the studies are preliminary, they still
nonetheless cast doubt on long held myths in marijuana.

In the end the only beneficiaries of the current medicinal marijuana policy in the United States are the drug companies. Patients are forced to dole out money for a synthetic form of a medicine that
could be grown and obtained naturally and possibly far more cheaply.  Of course a side effect of smoking
marijuana is that one would get high. However, these side effects no different from warning labels on
other medications that indicate drowsiness and warn people against driving and operating heavy machinery. In turn, the question can be asked – What makes a synthetically made chemical safer and
more effective than a naturally growing plant?

There is a risk when taking any medication. There have been well-known cases in which people have
died taking prescription drugs. However, it is nearly impossible to overdose on marijuana.

In the end, the only difference between pharmaceutical marijuana and smoking marijuana is that pharmaceutical products create enormous amounts of revenue for big business, while
medicinal marijuana would only benefit the citizens of this country that are in dire need of
cheap and effective medication. And as always, the government sides with big business.

Weekly columnist Greg Pivarnik
is an 8th-semester molecular and cell
biology major. His columns appear on
Tuesdays. He can be contacted at

Hello world!

Sheree 2009