Kratom is Once Again Legal

The DEA folded under pressure and has withdrawn the placement of Kratom as a schedule one drug.

Kratom (Mitragyna speciosa) is tree growing up to 80 feet tall that is native to large areas of south-east-Asia. The leaves are used for everything from a natural sedative to a way of increasing energy, appetite, and sexual desire.
kratom leaves

They announced it in a post in the federal registerwithdrawal-of-notice-of-intent-to-temporarily-place-mitragynine-and-7-hydroxymitragynine into Schedule I.

The reversal from the DEA comes amid massive pressure to stop the ban, including a petition which received over 140,000 signatures in a 30-day period (over 100,000 of which came in the first few days).

CBD Sales Banned in the UK

In the UK, in spite of contradicting the Misuse of Drugs Regulations 2001 scheduling of cannabis as having no medicinal value, the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency has decided that CBDs are in fact medicinal.

This is from Volteface magazine:

On Monday cannabidiol (CBD) producers and distributors in the UK started to receive letters from the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) demanding that they cease to sell, supply, promote, advertise or process orders for CBD products within 28 days. The letters stated that CBD now satisfies the definition of a medicinal product. The revised definition will leave UK patients with no legal access to CBD.

Officials with the MHRA released the following statement today, Oct. 7:

“We have come to the opinion that products containing cannabidiol (CBD) are a medicine. Products for therapeutic use must have a medicines’ license before they can be legally sold or supplied in the UK. Products will have to meet safety, quality and effectiveness standards to protect public health.

“If you use CBD and if you have any questions, speak to your GP or other healthcare professional.

“We have written to UK CBD stockists and manufacturers to inform them of our view. These products will require a marketing authorization to be granted before they can be legally sold, supplied or anywhere advertised in the UK.

“We can provide regulatory guidance to any company who may wish to apply for a license.”

Well the advocates want to treat MMJ as medicine, so there ya go… It’s medicine.

Synthetic Cannabis aka K2/Spice Causes Mass ODs

Synthetic cannabis — which is not actually a cannabis product was responsible for hospitalizing 33 people in Brooklyn. –A witness who watched three people collapse on his way to work described what he saw as “like a scene out of a zombie movie, a horrible scene.”

Synthetic cannabis, which goes by the names K2 and Spice, among others, is generally labeled “Not for human consumption.” Yet people still continue to smoke the substance, in large part because it’s widely available and generally legal. As authorities work to outlaw one version, chemical architects introduce other varieties that can be sold legally.

While these compounds [in synthetic cannabis] may bind to the same receptor sites in the brain as THC, we often see starkly different effects because they can: (a) bind far more strongly than the phytocannabinoids in cannabis, and (b) contain other residual ingredients and chemicals that are definitely not safe to smoke. This chemistry may explain why use and cessation of synthetic cannabinoids is also linked to severe addictive and psychotic symptoms that are not seen with natural cannabis.

Mutual of Omaha Refuses Man Life Insurance Because of Marijuana Job

Mutual of Omaha informed Derek Peterson, CEO of Terra Tech Corp., in a letter dated June 13 that “we cannot accept premiums from individuals or entities who are associated with the marijuana industry.”

Julie Hill, a financial industry expert at the University of Alabama School of Law, says she believes the company may have concern about violating laws against money laundering.

“These and other laws make it very risky to accept any money that you know comes from a marijuana business, regardless of whether you are a bank,” she says. Among the prohibitions are “knowingly engag[ing] in a monetary transaction in criminally derived property of value greater than $10,000.”

“This is one account that probably won’t make them much money, yet it could potentially be a really large headache,” she says. “It’s easier to say ‘No, thank you’ than to try to figure out if it would actually cause negative repercussions.”

The phrase “knowingly engaging in a monetary transaction in criminally derived property of value greater than $10,000.” is why banks won’t touch the marijuana industry regardless of it’s legal status in any given state.

It seems like everybody’s running scared from a bunch of delusional losers who think prohibition was a success. –Well, change is coming; it’s just moving at the speed of glaciers.

Prescription Heroin May Soon be Available in Canada

Health Canada announced Friday that it is proposing new regulations to allow access to prescription heroin under its Special Access Program (SAP). That program allows for emergency access to health drugs for serious or life-threatening conditions when conventional treatments have failed or are unsuitable.

“A significant body of scientific evidence supports the medical use of diacetylmorphine, also known as pharmaceutical-grade heroin, for the treatment of chronic, relapsing opioid dependence. Diacetylmorphine is permitted in a number of other jurisdictions, such as Germany, the Netherlands, Denmark, and Switzerland, to support a small percentage of patients who have not responded to other treatment options, such as methadone and buprenorphine,” the statement said.

While the proposed amendment would enable the careful consideration by the SAP of applications for diacetylmorphine in exceptional cases, all the other stringent controls in the Narcotics Control Regulations will continue to apply.

Denver 420 Event Rescheduled for Saturday —No Refunds!!

According to the Cannabist:

Organizers of Denver’s annual 420 Rally said they will not be refunding tickets for the event, which was postponed Saturday morning because of wet, snowy weather.

More information about rescheduling the rally, slotted to start at 10 a.m., will be coming later, said Miguel Lopez, the rally’s organizer who insisted on Friday that the show would go on rain or shine.

“We’re rescheduling due to bad weather and issues beyond our control,” he said Saturday, unwilling to provide specific details that factored into the postponement.

On a personal note:
When I want to celebrate 420 I do not want to do it on 423. And what about those people who took time off from work? I guess they don’t matter, at least not to the people making a buck off this rally. 🙁

General Mills Uses Marijuana to Advertise Junk Food

From the Marijuana Business Daily:

In Denver Colorado, General Mills is grabbing up billboards to advertise junk food in preparation for Wednesday’s 4/20 pot holiday, with slogans like “420 is better on pizza rolls” and “Stock Up B4/20.”

But at the same time, marijuana businesses in Colorado are prohibited from advertising their product. The reasoning seems to be that one product can be purchased at any grocery store while the other is restricted.

Policy analyst Andrew Livingston says that under Colorado law “The only big public billboard or sign that you can have under state law is the one on your zoned lot.”

He also said that for plant-touching companies such as retailers or edibles makers that want to advertise in print or online, he said, the bar is that the company must be ready to present “reliable evidence” that no more than 30% of that outlet’s audience is under 21 years old.

Well, nobody has ever used the word sensible in reference to marijuana regs.

Lawsuit Filed by Nebraska and Oklahoma Refused

The US Supreme Court refused to hear the lawsuit filed by Nebraska and Oklahoma against the legalization of marijuana in Colorado.
The plaintiffs claimed the law in Colorado placed an unfair burden on their law enforcement resources.

From Common Dreams:
WASHINGTON – Today, the United States Supreme Court declined to hear the case brought by Nebraska and Oklahoma against Colorado over its marijuana legalization law. Oklahoma and Nebraska had claimed the Colorado law had created an increased law enforcement burden in neighboring states. The suit, filed by Nebraska Attorney General John Bruning and Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, claimed that federal marijuana prohibition preempts the law that Colorado voters decisively adopted in 2012. The Federal Government filed a brief urging the high court to reject the case.

While people I know are celebrating I’m wondering how long it will take to go through the lower courts, and will the justices be willing to make a decision that could well affect federal law, in addition to all state laws.

Why Marijuana is Prohibited

I found this explanation for why marijuana is prohibited on The Influence dot org.

In 1929, a man called Harry Anslinger was put in charge of the Department of Prohibition in Washington DC. But alcohol prohibition had been a disaster. Gangsters had taken over whole neighborhoods. Alcohol—controlled by criminals—had become even more poisonous.

So alcohol prohibition finally ended–and Harry Anslinger was afraid. He found himself in charge of a huge government department, with nothing for it to do. Up until then, he had said that cannabis was not a problem. It doesn’t harm people, he explained, and “there is no more absurd fallacy” than the idea it makes people violent.

But then—suddenly, when his department needed a new purpose—he announced he had changed his mind.

He explained to the public what would happen if you smoked cannabis.

First, you will fall into “a delirious rage.” Then you will be gripped by “dreams… of an erotic character.” Then you will “lose the power of connected thought.” Finally, you will reach the inevitable end-point: “Insanity.”

Makes perfect sense to me.

OSHA is Watching

If you are in the medical marijuana business you have your hands full dealing with local regulations, state regulations and the occasional overzealous law enforcement personnel, especially the DEA.

Now the whole bloody mess got even more complicated, because OSHA has been lurking in the shadows.

Many mmj businesses think they are safe from OSHA inspections, because according to the feds marijuana is still illegal. Unfortunately for those people, the problem is not a matter of product legality, it’s a matter of workplace safety.

OSHA doesn’t give a rats ass whether the product is legal or not, much less what the DOJ and company say. Their job is to try and prevent workplace injuries.
From the Marijuana Business Daily:

Although OSHA violations and fines aren’t exactly commonplace throughout the cannabis space, many observers expect the agency to start ramping up inspections – especially in places like Colorado, where issues such as pesticides in cultivation operations have become a hot-button topic. That’s something OSHA could eventually investigate if pesticide use winds up leading to, say, cancer in workers who apply the chemicals in cannabis grows

Aside from the up and coming concerns about hazards like pesticides, the biggest problems are more mundane, with things like temporary electrical wiring (extension cords) or non-compliant respirators being the biggest concerns.

While this may not sound as impressive as the feds kicking down the door, but it’s damned expensive with per inspection fines running between $3k and $11k for the electrical violations alone. Not to mention the fact that OSHA can shut you down if the violations are bad enough.

As you can see in addition to industry specific problems, a marijuana grower or retailer is bound by the same federal regs as any other production/farm/retail business. So at the end of the day agencies like OSHA may be more of a threat to the business than all the federal badges in the world.