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Lawsuit in Kentucky aims to overturn medical marijuana ban


PUBLISHED: JUN 15, 2017, 3:00 PM • UPDATED: ABOUT 6 HOURS AGO

By Bruce Schreiner, The Associated Press

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Kentucky’s criminal ban against medical marijuana was challenged Wednesday in a lawsuit touting cannabis as a viable alternative to ease addiction woes from opioid painkillers.

The plaintiffs have used medical marijuana to ease health problems, the suit said. The three plaintiffs include Dan Seum Jr., the son of a longtime Republican state senator.

Another plaintiff, Amy Stalker, was prescribed medical marijuana while living in Colorado and Washington state to help treat symptoms from irritable bowel syndrome and bipolar disorder. She has struggled to maintain her health since moving back to Kentucky to be with her ailing mother.

“She comes back to her home state and she’s treated as a criminal for this same conduct,” said plaintiffs’ attorney Daniel Canon. “That’s absurd, it’s irrational and it’s unconstitutional.”

Stalker, meeting with reporters, said: “I just want to be able to talk to my doctors the same way I’m able to talk to doctors in other states, and have my medical needs heard.”

The suit, filed in Franklin County Circuit Court in Frankfort, claims the medical marijuana ban violates state constitutional privacy protections. The government also cannot arbitrarily restrict the liberty of patients to use medicines that work, said another plaintiffs’ attorney, Candace Curtis.

“Cannabis helps sick people,” Curtis said. “It is safe, it is not addictive and it works.”

More than half the country allows patients suffering from chronic pain and other ailments to use medical marijuana as an alternative to “often dangerous and addictive” prescription drugs, the suit said. The suit also delved into Kentucky’s struggles with opioid addiction.

Kentucky had the nation’s third-highest death rate from opioid overdoses in 2015, it said. Hospital admissions from opioid abuse have dropped in states allowing medicinal cannabis, it said.

“Medical cannabis keeps people off of opioids,” Canon said.

Defendants are Republican Gov. Matt Bevin and Democratic Attorney General Andy Beshear. Their offices didn’t offer immediate comments other than to say they would review the suit.

Medical marijuana advocates have pushed for Kentucky to lift the ban, but those bills have been rejected by state lawmakers. The General Assembly did enact a measure in 2014 allowing limited prescription of cannabidiol — which can come from marijuana plants — to treat patients.

In a radio program earlier this year, Bevin acknowledged the “value” of medical marijuana. He said any push for its legalization would have to go through the legislature, and cautioned he would have to see the details of such a plan before passing judgment.

“I am not opposed to the idea of medical marijuana,” the governor said then. “If prescribed like other drugs, if administered in the same way that we would other pharmaceutical drugs, I think it would be appropriate in many respects.”

Seum became addicted to narcotics after taking OxyContin for chronic back pain, the suit said. He began using medical marijuana to deal with OxyContin withdrawal and to manage pain.

“I live in pain daily,” Seum, the son of state Sen. Dan Seum, told reporters. “Cannabis helps me deal with it.”

Once he started using cannabis, no pain management doctors would treat him, the suit said.

“Mr. Seum is left with an impossible choice: Should he stop using cannabis and experience excruciating pain in order to explore the chance that another pain management option might be more effective?” the suit said. “Or should he continue using cannabis, preventing him from receiving medical care from Kentucky doctors for the rest of his life?”

The other plaintiff is Danny Belcher. The Bath County man and Vietnam veteran has used medical marijuana to manage symptoms from post-traumatic stress disorder and spinal problems.

Under Kentucky law, the cultivation or possession of marijuana can result in jail time. Punishments are greater when caught with more than eight ounces.

http://www.thecannabist.co/2017/06/15/lawsuit-kentucky-medical-marijuana-opioids/81595/

#article #cannabis #medical #legislation

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During the 1930's the word marijuana was forced into our lexicon by anti-cannabis advocates within the government. This word was used for it's anti-immigration connotations of the time to frighten the general public with fear and mis-information. Yet today we have incorporated it into our culture without many knowing it's true evil origin. We must work to enlighten others to never use the word marijuana when refering to cannabis and it's by-products. We should also work to get lawmakers to ammend the word out of current legislation and replace it for what it is...CANNABIS. Join us in a campaign to persuade others of our goal.
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TANSTAAFL Solutions Mission:Welcome, to TANSTAAFL Solutions. It is our mission to stand against the celebrity corporate cultured mentality and bring back thee virtues of Responsibility, Hard Work and Understanding. T.A.N.S.T.A.A.F.L (There Ain’t No Such Thing As A Free Lunch) means we get what we pay for. Robert A. Heinlein, in his novel The Moon is a Harsh Mistress wrote,“That anything free costs twice as much in the long run or turns out worthless.” How many worthless things are around today? Ignorance, unjust laws, racism, the GOP. All these things work to degrade a Human soul. Many Earthlings have no clue but because of their numbers, they decide how we should live. TANSTAAFL Solutions will work to voice opposition to what is wrong today. It is time to take responsibility and work for direct action to change. We hope to encourage, entertain and inspire others to join us and amputate the rancid 20th century mentality which has corrupted our time. We believe in a global world culture of Planet Terra and everyone has the right to freedom, equality and to live responsibly in peace. We also understand that any of these goals cannot be achieved without dedication, an effective strategy and the will to work and stand for what is right.

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