Subcommittee on Cannabis Within the DOJ: Why so Mysterious?


Led by an outspoken legalization opponent, Jeff Sessions’ Justice Department is reviewing federal marijuana policy, with significant changes possible soon. Almost nothing about the review process is publicly known and key players in the policy debate have not been contacted.

The outcome of the review could devastate a multibillion-dollar industry and countermand the will of voters in eight states if the Obama administration’s permissive stance on non-medical sales is reversed.

What is known: The review is being conducted by a subcommittee of a larger crime-reduction task force that will issue recommendations by July 27. The subcommittee was announced in April alongside other subcommittees reviewing charging and sentencing.

The task force is co-chaired by Steve Cook, an assistant U.S. attorney in Tennessee who like Sessions advocates harsh criminal penalties and a traditional view of drug prohibition. The other co-chair is Robyn Thiemann, a longtime department official who… Continue reading

Cannabis Crackdown Could Backfire According to Officials

Changing perceptions of marijuana and possible job and tax money losses could thwart Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ plans to crack down on the drug, two former U.S. attorneys said Thursday at a pro-marijuana gathering in Aspen.

“Nothing gets you unelected quicker than people losing jobs,” said Bill Nettles, former U.S. attorney for South Carolina. “Putting people out of work is bad politics.”

Nettles, who left his post a year ago, and Barry Grissom, who left his job as U.S. attorney in Kansas in April 2016, spoke Thursday at a legal seminar put on by the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws at The Gant.

Republicans like to talk about job creation, but if a threatened crackdown on states that have legalized recreational marijuana starts to eliminate jobs, Sessions and President Donald Trump could have a problem, Nettles said. Same thing goes for a reduction in tax money for… Continue reading

As Opioid Epidemic Rages CDC Tells Doctors: Ignore Cannabis Usage

The CDC recently instructed doctors to stop routine testing of pain patients for marijuana use. The costly tests have dubious health benefits, high potential legal ramifications for the patient, and could actually increase overdose deaths.

Of major importance is that medical marijuana availability seems to cut painkiller overdose deaths by 25%, researchers have found, because cannabis allows pain patients to take less opioids or stop taking them altogether.

Cannabis — an alternative to pills for some patients — also has no lethal overdose level, while painkiller overdoses kill about 19 Americans — per day.

California NORML reported this week that new CDC guidelines tell pain doctors to stop testing their patients for THC, the main active ingredient in cannabis. Marijuana testing of pain patients is routine, and often used to force patients to either quit marijuana, or face the loss of opioid painkillers to… Continue reading

Three New Scientific Studies That Debunk Cannabis Myths 

Fear-mongering headlines claiming that Cannabis use causes birth defects, heart-attacks, and psychosis are common in the mainstream media. But newly published scientific evidence makes it clear that what is often portrayed as ‘conventional wisdom’ is really nothing more than ‘reefer madness.’

Pot Not Likely to Make You Psychotic There exists “minimal evidence” to support an association between cannabis use alone and the onset of psychotic symptoms in young people, according to data published online in March in the Journal of Adolescent Health. Investigators from the University of Pennsylvania, Department of Psychiatry assessed the relationship between drug use and the onset of psychotic symptoms in a cohort of 4,171 young people ages 14 to 21. Authors reported that “neither frequent nor early cannabis use predicted increased odds of psychosis spectrum classification” after researchers adjusted for potential confounders (e.g., concurrent use of other substances, comorbid psychopathology, and trauma exposure).… Continue reading

TN Congressman Fleischmann Says Cannabis is a Dangerous Narcotic, Doesn’t Want Legalization

Apparently Chuck thinks that he knows what we Tennesseans need more than we do. Isn’t his job to represent the will of the people over his own? Here’s a copy of his letter in answer to a Tennessee constituent who asked him to support the federal decriminalization of cannabis.

“Thank you for contacting me regarding H.R. 1227, the Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act of 2017. I appreciate you taking the time to reach out to me, and I am honored to represent you in Congress.

As you may know, H.R. 1227 was introduced by Representative Thomas Garrett and referred to the House Judiciary Committee as well as the House Committee on Energy and Commerce on February 17, 2017. This bill decriminalizes marijuana at the Federal level and allows states to regulate marijuana as they deem fit.

As a conservative and supporter of the Constitution, I understand the desire to reduce the… Continue reading

Cannabis Could Be A Wonder Drug For Treating MS

For the more than 400,000 Americans suffering from multiple sclerosis ― an autoimmune disease that affects the brain and spinal cord ― the currently available treatments often fall woefully short.

There’s no cure for MS, and frequently prescribed immunosuppressant drugs such as corticosteroids aren’t always effective in addressing common symptoms like weakness, tingling, numbness, blurred vision and cognitive difficulties. They can come with significant side effects such as increased risk of infection, weight gain, emotional changes and high blood pressure.

AdChoices

Increasingly, many people with MS are turning to medical marijuana to ease their symptoms. A growing number of anecdotal reports describe the drug’s benefits for treating common symptoms like fatigue, muscle weakness, anxiety and sleep deprivation, according to Dr. Thorsten Rudroff, a Colorado State University neurophysiologist who has conducted research on the effects of marijuana on multiple sclerosis symptoms. One patient even called cannabis a… Continue reading

Reefer Madness is Coming to Nashville!!!

While it could legitimately be argued that reefer madness has long been in Nashville (apparently firmly ensconced at Legislative Plaza) today our headline is referring to Tennessee’s theater rather than its politics.

This Reefer Madness is a theatrical musical comedy satire of the 1936 cult film classic of the same name. However, it is more than just a satirical musical theatre romp, it’s a mirror into the not so distant past, a past we seem to be reliving in our current fear-based political climate.

The production is a highly stylized and satirical political commentary. It contains adult humor, religious parody and drug use, as well as suggested violence and sexual explicitness. It may be inappropriate for younger audiences. The book and lyrics were written by Kevin Murphy and the music by Dan Studney. Directed by Andy Fickman, it was initially shown at the Hudson Theater on Santa Monica… Continue reading