Reefer Madness Reboot – Jeff Sessions Wants to Go After Legal Medical Marijuana Businesses

In the eyes of the Attorney General I must be a bad person because I use marijuana.  It doesn’t matter that I am highly educated or that in every respect that matters I would be considered a good person.  To him it is simple that marijuana = bad, marijuana user= bad person, there’s nothing quite like having your actions judged but a man who gets his marijuana policy from the Reefer Madness era and his health insurance from the federal government.  He, I have little doubt, doesn’t have to worry about the rising cost of prescriptions or whether his insurance will cover them, but I do.

In the eyes of Jefferey Beauregard Sessions III the men and women who run state legal cannabis businesses are bad people.  I strongly disagree.  These men and women have risked the wrath of the Department of Justice to provide a product that patients like me can trust is free from pesticides, mold and fungus, heavy metals, and the risk of the unknown that comes with dealing within a black market.  States have realized the benefits a legal market for reducing crime and raising tax revenue for their budgets.  Apparently to Jeff Sessions they are bad people too.

As a medical marijuana user I have been able to relieve my migraines, my anxiety that grew in severity in graduate school, and the depression I have been battling for years.  One plant, in various strains has helped me do that.  It isn’t FDA approved and it loses BigPharma a whole lot of money but marijuana has been the the medication that has worked best for me with the least number of side effects. I work a full time job, I pay my taxes, and I vote.

This man who doesn’t know me, doesn’t know the people who work in the industry that makes the medication I use reliable and safe to purchase, and seems to know even less about the laws in the states that govern these medical marijuana programs sees fit to judge us all as criminals and wants our Congress to remove protections for an industry that does so much more good than harm. Who is this man to stand as judge, jury, and executioner over so many people he knows little to nothing about?  His letter to Congress quotes reports from NIDA, which still claims, in a roundabout way, that marijuana is a gateway drug.

My health, and that of so many others who benefit from medical marijuana, is not some political plaything to knock around.  My sincere hope is that there are enough elected officials who understand the dangers of painting so many people with such a broad brush and at least take the time to look beyond tired stoner stereotypes to understand the benefits this industry has had, including reducing opioid use in states where it is legal.

Fighting Misconceptions-Parenting Woes as a Cannabis Patient

Honesty is the best policy, unless you are a medical marijuana user. I have been a medical marijuana patient for less than a year.  Before becoming a patient myself, I may have had reservations about my teens being around someone who was a regular marijuana user, though I sincerely doubt it since I have known plenty of good people who have used cannabis both medically and recreationally and have had no reason to doubt the quality of their character.  What I did not expect, naively I admit, is how easily someone can be misjudged because they use marijuana.

When I chose to pursue medical marijuana as a treatment I had a discussion with my teens about it being a medication, and like any medication I may take I would expect that they did not try to use it.  I have made it a point to limit exposing my teens to my marijuana usage both because I prefer to keep our home from smelling like cannabis, and to prevent my teens from smelling like it.  They know it is a medication that has helped me immensely because they have seen how much it has helped me.  There is a clear understanding that when they are legally old enough, as with alcohol, I will not prevent them from making the decision of whether or not to try it on their own as long as it is legal for recreational consumption.  I am honest with my teens and with anyone who has spent significant time in our home.

My teenagers are now dating and when I have met the parents of their significant others I have felt it important to disclose my use of medical marijuana so that my children would not be falsely accused of using it if they mistakenly smelled of cannabis through interaction with me. This has not been a controversial issue.  Then I met the mother of a young woman my son was dating. This was at a birthday party for the mother’s friend’s two-year old child at a public park.  Within the course of our discussion about our children I disclosed my medical marijuana use which is limited.  I made it as clear as possible that I do not smoke in front of my teenagers and have never used marijuana when another person’s child was under my roof, that I would never compromise their safety.  I believed that I had made this point clear, apparently I was wrong.

When I came back to pick him up I was surprised to discover that in the ten minutes it took to get from my home to the park, his girlfriend’s mother had taken several shots of alcohol and was drunk by the time I arrived.  My son, who rarely rushes to leave, quickly made his way to my car.  The girlfriend’s mother giggled, disclosed that she had been drinking, stated she wouldn’t drive if she couldn’t walk a straight line (which she demonstrated she couldn’t), and thanked my son for coming to the party and that it had been nice to meet us both.  We said our goodbyes and left.

I was furious.  How could this mother see nothing wrong with getting drunk in public in front of my son the very first time she had met him.  I was shocked and reluctant to allow my son to ever visit her home if she could behave this way in public.  My son was unsure about continuing his relationship with his girlfriend for other reasons and this incident only added to his concerns.  What surprised us both was a text message from her older brother telling him to stay away from his sister or else because his mother had a problem with my usage of marijuana.

I was stunned.  I had been honest and my son had been a gentleman, nothing in our actions should have suggested that her daughter would be negatively influenced and yet my son was being threatened because of my honesty.  I am disgusted because a woman who thought nothing of public intoxication in front of a teenager she just met in a park felt morally superior enough to judge me as a bad influence because of the medication I take.  My husband has told me not to disclose this to others, that it isn’t any of their business.  I didn’t always agree with that but now I’m not so sure.  As long as so many still see marijuana use as deviant behavior that can corrupt perhaps I should follow my husband’s advice and not disclose that marijuana is used as a medication in my home.  I hate feeling like choosing a medication that helps me gives people the wrong impression.  I have been seen as a selfish mother because I chose to go to college while raising my kids, and I have had people doubt my parenting because my every waking moment wasn’t devoted solely to my husband and children, but I have never had anyone accuse me of being a bad influence because of a healthcare decision before.  Our culture needs to evolve past viewing marijuana use through old stereotypes because it is pretty telling of where we are as a society when a woman who gets sloppy drunk in a public park feels like the sober medical marijuana user is the bad influence.

Is Legal Marijuana in Danger Because of Sessions?

Should legal marijuana advocates fear the DOJ under the helm of Jeff Sessions?  I am certainly not the first person to ask this question and from what I can gather in the way of answers, it’s complicated.  The industry is looking at possibilities that range from at best the DOJ doing as it did under Obama’s administration or at worst a full crackdown regardless of state’s rights.

Today marks yet another defeat for rational people against government overreach and ineptitude with the confirmation of Jeff Sessions for Attorney General.  Betsy DeVos is frighteningly ill equipped to be in charge of the Department of education, her hearings showed that, and yet she was still confirmed.  Her confirmation and that of many of the administration’s cabinet picks who are similarly ill prepared show us who our representatives are really representing and here’s a clue: it isn’t us.  However, one confirmation shows us exactly what is valued in this new and uncertain administration, loyalty, and that is Jeff Sessions.

Jeff Sessions was among the first to come out in support of the face of what is now the most turbulent administration in my lifetime.  His confirmation along with the others reveals just how divided our lawmakers are and that is reflective of the country as a whole.  It also shows us how badly damaged our democracy is and here is why marijuana advocates should care.  When senators, regardless of party, come out in favor of policies and cabinet appointments that voters they are supposed to represent are opposed to we have a crisis of representation.  Congressional phone lines have continuously been jammed for weeks from voters desperately trying to get their elected representatives to vote against confirming unqualified people.  In the case of Jeff Sessions that meant trying desperately to avoid confirming someone who is outspokenly against marijuana and has at the very least a shaky past with Civil Rights.

So what does the confirmation of Sessions mean for legal marijuana?  It means the best we can hope for is that no one in the Executive Branch of government decides to go after the states that have legalized it.  I would not count on that.  The President has said he is for medical marijuana but not recreational and the fact is many of the states that have legalized it for both medical and recreational use voted for his opponent in the election.  With any other election and any other sane politician, I would have said that doesn’t matter but in this case I can’t say for sure.  What I can say is this Jeff Sessions does pose a very real threat to the marijuana industry and should be taken seriously.  He believes that only bad people use marijuana, even though that has never been proven.

So what can we do? For starters if your state has medical marijuana remind your elected officials of the number of jobs created, the revenue brought into the state, and the right of states to determine their own policies.  Be willing to take the time to write to your representatives and/or call them.  If you live in Nevada and want to make a big change that will help our state, then there is a big thing you can do.  Senator Dean Heller is running to keep his senate seat in 2018.  He voted to approve Jeff Sessions against the wishes of Nevadans and against his own state’s interests.  We need to support anyone who runs against him that will represent the interests of the state and its people before party allegiance.  Fight for your right to keep a reliable and effective treatment.

If 2016 Could Just Take A Break From Being Awful That Would Be Great

From losing David Bowie and Prince to Brexit and the 2016 election with its fallout, not to mention personal turmoil, that has made this a leading contender for worst year of the 2010s, if anyone can find the jerk who keeps saying “how can it get any worse” I’ll give you a cookie before we kick the crap out of this guy.  Now we have lost George Michael and Carrie Fisher is in the hospital following a heart attack.  I desperately hope she recovers because she is a total badass.  I also can’t wait for this shit storm of a year to be over.

But then again I can because each day we get closer to the coronation, I mean Inauguration of Donald Trump and that means too many bad things for too many good people.

So here is my hope: I hope that Carrie Fisher fully recovers, that those who fight for equality can protect their gains and prevent losses, and that we can find some way to learn from the divisions in our country and the world to find a way to really hear each other and work toward solutions that benefit the many, not just the few.  Finally I hope that having Jeff Sessions as Attorney General does not turn back the clock on the wave of decriminalization of marijuana use that is sweeping through the states, it would be a shame to have ignorance overrule the will of the people.

So Much To Do So Little Time – or Why December Has Been a Slow Month On My Blog.

I have been feeling a bit guilty about not writing.  So much has been going on and deadlines have had me at my wits end and yet through it all I have wanted to share my experiences but haven’t had the time for myself to write. Perhaps in the new year that will change but I make no promises because resolutions are always made to be broken and this isn’t about making promises to myself I can’t keep.  What I can tell you is that very soon there will be more content, maybe even a flood of it because I have the time write now to not be stretched so thin.  I didn’t disappear and I won’t.

I took some time to be with my family where everyone else had to play the role of outsider looking into the tiny window I offered because my family needed a vacation where I could be fully there.  Medical Marijuana has been a tremendous help in this because whenever I have felt overwhelmed or worn thin I could take a step away from it and focus on what really matters to me instead of the stress and fears that obscure the path.  If this doesn’t make much sense I apologize for that but this is how it feels.

I have finished what seemed like a longer than usual semester, it certainly took a lot more out of me than I am used to.  I finally got to take time away from the hustle and bustle to be with my family who have had to be more patient than usual this year.  Nothing brings me more peace than time away in the mountains with the family, especially when there is snow involved.  I have had the chance to spend the holidays with family and friends who remind me to be thankful for the blessings I have and the time we have together.

I have some stories to share soon which include another dispensary review (these guys are great), a cautionary tale, and some strain reviews.  I hope that they will be worth the wait to those who read them.  Happy Holidays!

Green Friday at Black Jack Collective

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While everyone else was dashing to the mall for Black Friday I chose to participate in my first Green Friday.  On Black Friday I chose to check out Black Jack Collective, a Las Vegas dispensary, after seeing a flyer for their sale on Facebook.

The exterior of this dispensary is beautifully painted and inviting.  As a new patient at this dispensary I was required to fill out paperwork just like anywhere else.  Once that was done I was brought into the area where I could choose the products I wanted.

This dispensary does a lot with their smaller space.  The bud tenders are knowledgable and patient with each patient who comes in.  Because they were having a sale, and I was a new patient, I was able to get more medical marijuana for my money and let’s face it who couldn’t stand to save a little money this time of year.  I was able to get quick knowledgable service because I had checked out their website before going in and shopping.  I recommend doing this before you go to a dispensary to save yourself time but also to budget ahead since dispensaries can only take cash.

Pictured above is not only what I purchased, but also extra items that were part of the Green Friday promotion.  I purchased an 1/8th of Thin Mint Cookies at regular price and received 1/8th of Super Jack for $5.  One preroll pictured above was a $3 add on and the other was a penny because I was a new patient.  The total for my haul was less than $70 for enough medical marijuana to last me for a while.  Honestly I have enough to be concerned about how to keep it fresh for as long as I will have it.

So I am impressed with Black Jack Collective.  I would have to try a few different strains they offer to find out what works best for me because there is not much overlap between the dispensaries I have been to, which means that I could find a strain that works for me at one dispensary and not be able to find it at another.  The experience was good but the drive there is a bit long so I am only likely to go whenever there is a sale.  I would have liked more testing data on the labels or included with the products, I didn’t think I needed to ask for it because I haven’t had to before.  I have learned never to take anything for granted, if you want the testing data ask for it, I know it isn’t important for all medical marijuana patients to make their decisions about strains but I prefer to have it to understand what works best for me to relieve my symptoms.

Overall, I had a good experience, it isn’t my absolute favorite dispensary but I will definitely go back.

The Results Are In

2016 has been a horrible year for me.  My first attempt at taking the exams I need to finish my graduate degree ended in failure.  The pressure to take and pass these exams the second time was magnified by the fact that a second failure would mean that the degree I seek would be out of my grasp at the institution where I am attending.  I am happy to say that I found out yesterday that I passed.  What I haven’t told most of my friends and family members is that apparently my department has known that I passed and failed to let me know.  I don’t know how long they knew but it doesn’t matter because I am closer to reaching my goal today than I was two weeks ago when I took the exams and that is something to be thankful for.

Daily Prompt: Aromatic

via Daily Prompt: Aromatic

I figured I would give this a try so here goes.

One aspect of medical marijuana that I rarely see covered, though I am sure I am not the first to note, is how the aromatic fragrance of different strains can be calming even before they are smoked.  My favorite strain so far, in terms of smell, is a toss up between Lavender and Fortune Cookies.  Lavender has a piney aroma, thanks to some of its terpenes, that I find very relaxing.  I suppose I have come to enjoy the process of smelling each strain before making a decision to buy.  The aromatic properties of each strain can sometimes clue a patient into the strength of a strain or simply give them an idea of how it will taste.  When a strain is particularly pungent it is referred to as being “loud”, I found this out when I wanted to find a strain that was effective but not overwhelmingly pungent.  I mentioned Fortune Cookies but honestly I could not tell you without grabbing some what it smells like to me, all I can tell you is that the smell is sweeter, probably closer to piney, and absolutely not skunky.  That’s my little blurb about the aromatic properties I have noticed about cannabis.  If you also use cannabis I would love to hear what you think as well as what strains you think have the best smell and taste.  The two I have mentioned I would definitely consider a joy to smoke.

Have You Seen My Motivation Anywhere?

This isn’t a real post just an update.  I still have not heard anything about the results of the exams and just like the first time it is really hurting my drive to do work for my classes.  I am literally motivated to do anything else.  I think I will step away from Facebook again and just try to find my motivation, wherever it is hiding.

Wish me luck!