Signed as Law: New Mexico Loosens State Marijuana Laws Despite Federal Prohibition

By Mike Maharrey

SANTA FE, N.M. (April 16, 2019) –  Earlier this month, New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham signed two bills into law that loosen state prohibitions on marijuana. These two laws will further nullify federal cannabis prohibition in effect within the borders of the Land of Enchantment. 

Sen. Joseph Cervantes (D-Las Cruces) sponsored Senate Bill 323 (SB323). The new law decriminalizes possession of small amounts of marijuana. Under the new statute, possession of up to a half-ounce of cannabis will no longer be a criminal offense. Instead, it will be a petty misdemeanor with a fine of $50 for the first offense. The new law also decriminalizes marijuana paraphernalia possession.

The Senate passed SB323 by a 30-8 vote. The House approved the measure 44-20.

Sen. Gerald Ortiz y Pino (D-Albuquerque) sponsored Senate Bill 406 (SB406). The new law expands New Mexico’s medical marijuana program in several ways. Under the new law, marijuana patients registered in other states will be able to participate in New Mexico’s program. It also allows medical cannabis use on school campuses under defined circumstances and extends the registration renewal period from one to three years. Finally, the new law will allow for licensed medical marijuana establishments to create “consumption areas,” subject to approval by the department of health.

Cannabis Now called the provision authorizing consumption areas a “most courageous move.” Similar provisions have been proposed in Colorado and California.

The Senate passed SB406 by a 33-2 vote. The House approved the measure 50-15.

Both new laws go into effect on July 1.

EFFECT ON FEDERAL PROHIBITION

Under the federal Controlled Substances Act (CSA) passed in 1970, the federal government maintains complete prohibition of marijuana. Of course, the federal government lacks any constitutional authority to ban or regulate cannabis within the borders of a state, despite the opinion of the politically connected lawyers on the Supreme Court. If you doubt this, ask yourself why it took a constitutional amendment to institute federal alcohol prohibition.

Decriminalization of marijuana possession and the expansion of New Mexico’s medical cannabis program removes another lawyer of laws prohibiting the possession and use of marijuana in the Land of Enchantment, but federal prohibition remains in effect.

FBI statistics show that law enforcement makes approximately 99 of 100 marijuana arrests under state, not federal law. When states stop enforcing marijuana laws, they sweep away most of the basis for 99 percent of marijuana arrests.

Furthermore, figures indicate it would take 40 percent of the DEA’s yearly-budget just to investigate and raid all of the dispensaries in Los Angeles – a single city in a single state. That doesn’t include the cost of prosecution. The lesson? The feds lack the resources to enforce marijuana prohibition without state assistance.

A GROWING MOVEMENT

New Mexico joins a growing number of states simply ignoring federal prohibition, and nullifying it in practice.

Colorado, Washington state, Oregon and Alaska were the first states to legalize recreational cannabis, and California, Nevada, Maine and Massachusetts joined them after ballot initiatives in favor of legalization passed in November 2016. In 2018, Vermont became the first state to legalize marijuana through a legislative act. and Michigan passed a ballot measure legalizing cannabis for general use.

With 33 states including New Mexico allowing cannabis for medical use, the feds find themselves in a position where they simply can’t enforce prohibition anymore.

“The lesson here is pretty straightforward. When enough people say, ‘No!’ to the federal government, and enough states pass laws backing those people up, there’s not much the feds can do to shove their so-called laws, regulations or mandates down our throats,” Tenth Amendment Center founder and executive director Michael Boldin said.

Passage of SB323 and SB406 demonstrates another important strategic reality. Once a state legalizes marijuana – even if only in a very limited way – it tends to eventually expand. As the state tears down some barriers, markets develop and demand expands. That creates pressure to further relax state law. These new laws represent a further erosion of unconstitutional federal marijuana prohibition.

Michael Maharrey [send him email] is the Communications Director for the Tenth Amendment Center, where this article first appeared. He proudly resides in the original home of the Principles of ’98 – Kentucky. See his blog archive here and his article archive here. He is the author of the book, Our Last Hope: Rediscovering the Lost Path to Liberty. You can visit his personal website at MichaelMaharrey.com and like him on Facebook HERE

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Texans Propose to “Give The Boot” To Vaccine Mandates

By Rosanne Lindsay, ND

Lately, you may have experienced the feeling that common sense has left the room. As of April 8th common sense has reentered the room wearing spurs.

A Tenth Amendment Center blog by Davis Taylor reported that on March 8, 2019, Texas Sen. Bob Hall (R) introduced a bill SB 2350 that would prohibit vaccines from being administered until certain safety criteria have been met. Those criteria are:

  • Any study approved by the USFDA must evaluate any vaccine against a placebo control group or against another vaccine or substance approved by the FDA.
  • An FDA-approved study must evaluate the safety of a vaccine for a sufficient time to identify potential autoimmune, neurological, or chronic health conditions that may arise on or after a year from the vaccine being administered.
  • The vaccine must be evaluated for a potential to cause cancer, mutate genes, affect fertility, cause infertility, and cause autism spectrum disorder.
  • The Texas Department of State Health must post a disclosure statement of any known injuries or diseases caused by the vaccine and the rate at which the injuries occurred, and
  • The chemical, pharmacological, therapeutic, and adverse effects of the vaccine and the rate of injury of the vaccine when administered with other vaccines, have been studied and verified.

This bill does at least five positive things at once:

  • It brings back the Precautionary Principle that requires proof of any potential to harm and harmful effects prior to the introducing of any product or process,
  • It would require vaccine makers to treat their products as “drugs” vs “biologics” and undergo the same rigorous drug testing requirements.
  • It holds pharmaceutical companies to the Gold Standard of medical science, requiring 4-phase clinical trials to test any product for harmful effects.
  • It protects individuals’ freedom from mandates now being tested in several states in advance of the cradle-to-grave federal mandate Healthy People 2020 Act.
  • The burden of proof would fall on vaccine makers to prove that their vaccine products do not cause harm.

Based on the 1986 National Vaccine Injury Act, pharmaceutical companies are shielded from liability for harm caused by their products, so there is no incentive to test vaccines for harm. For the same reason, companies have also been increasing the number of vaccines added to the vaccine schedule recommended by the Centers for Disease Control.

Freedom Protected

New vaccine mandates are based on the CDC vaccine schedule, so if SB2350 became law, it would protect Texans from fascist dictates that force vaccines and violates informed consent. Most importantly, this law would bring back state sovereignty by canceling the effect of any federal mandate that usurps an individual’s freedom to choose.

If this Texas bill becomes law, the number of vaccines added to the schedule would slow or cease because each new vaccine coming down the pipeline would be required to undergo extensive testing, as well as testing of the combined effects of bundled vaccines. Under current FDA-approved drug testing requirements, companies spend millions of dollars to complete several phases of drug testing. Currently, vaccines are exempt from these requirements since they are labelled as “biologics.”

If SB 2350 is passed in Texas, it will offer a roadmap for other states to emulate to protect freedom and “give the boot” to mandatory vaccine laws and federal mandates. But the next steps are equally important and those are preventing any mandate from being wielded by government in the future.

The next steps must renew true informed consent for any and all drugs. Further, sanctions that physicians face from undue influence and coercion of their industry trade groups including the insurance industry, medical societies, the American Medical Association, and pubic health departments must be lifted. Until due process clears the way for freedom for all individuals to choose for themselves, laws like these only begin the process.

Welcome back common sense!

Rosanne Lindsay is a Naturopathic doctor, writer, Earth keeper, Health Freedom advocate, and author of the books The Nature of Healing, Heal the Body, Heal the Planet and  Free Your Voice, Heal Your Thyroid, Reverse Thyroid Disease Naturally. Find her on Facebook at Rosanne Lindsay and at her website at Natureofhealing. Consult with her (Skype or Zoom consults available) at natureofhealing.org. Subscribe to her blog at http://www.natureofhealing.org/blog/ and at her podcast Thursdays at 5 pm on Blogtalkradio.

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Model Vaccine Safety Legislation Introduced In Texas; Run With It

By Catherine J. Frompovich

Consider this a “call to action,” plus an alert for the entire United States, if not the global community.

It’s a call to assert the moral, religious and legal rights of healthcare consumers globally to know about; have access to data, prior to vaccination; and to exercise their unalienable right to the choice of care for their health, body, mind and spirit, including that of their children.

Consider this a long-missing – but definitely long-needed – call for legal relief from Big Pharma’s and the CDC/FDA’s deceptive propaganda campaigns regarding vaccines and vaccinations since the passage of the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986 (42 U.S.C. §§ 300aa-1 to 300aa-34), which has seen mandatory vaccines skyrocket to the current 69 doses of 16 vaccines a child receives starting with the very first day of life!

Nothing attests to the fallacies of vaccine ‘science safety’ than the contradictory data HHS and HRSA (Health Resources & Services Administration) produce documenting expenditures for vaccine adverse reactions, injuries and claims, including legal fees, here, Page 9.

US $4,119,686,42.89 [billion] is not exactly ‘chicken feed’!

If nothing more, that amount proves something is wrong; needs to be reviewed; and definitely corrected, specifically the inaccurate “lie now become a truth” vaccines are safe!

After several decades of being lulled into an almost hypnotic-stupor-religious-like belief about vaccines, millions of healthcare consumers globally are awakening to the fact they have been hoodwinked—led down a garden path of make-believe science that apparently intended to rearrange and reprogram the human immune system, probably following the Rockefeller “business plan” for the pharmaceutical industry’s overarching successes. As a result, informed healthcare consumers now are flexing their collective-healthcare-rights muscles regarding various levels of abuse, e.g., Rx prescription gouging, plus demanding knowing what’s causing the Autism Spectrum Disorder, now one in 59 U.S. children in 2018.

No one has put forth a more intelligent plan, in my opinion, than Texas State Senator Bob Hall, who introduced SB2350 (March 8, 2019) Relating to the prohibited administration of certain vaccinations, which can be read at this LegiScan link: https://legiscan.com/TX/bill/SB2350/2019.

However, I’d like to highlight some of the more important provisions of SB2350, which are:

Personally, I think the above bill is so appropriate and obligatory for agency bureaucrats regarding their fiduciary duties that everyone everywhere ought to use it as the quintessential prototype legislation to ask your local legislators anywhere in the world to introduce to bring about vaccine science reforms.

Catherine J Frompovich (website) is a retired natural nutritionist who earned advanced degrees in Nutrition and Holistic Health Sciences, Certification in Orthomolecular Theory and Practice plus Paralegal Studies. Her work has been published in national and airline magazines since the early 1980s. Catherine authored numerous books on health issues along with co-authoring papers and monographs with physicians, nurses, and holistic healthcare professionals. She has been a consumer healthcare researcher 35 years and counting.

Catherine’s latest book, published October 4, 2013, is Vaccination Voodoo, What YOU Don’t Know About Vaccines, available on Amazon.com.

Her 2012 book A Cancer Answer, Holistic BREAST Cancer Management, A Guide to Effective & Non-Toxic Treatments, is available on Amazon.com and as a Kindle eBook.

Two of Catherine’s more recent books on Amazon.com are Our Chemical Lives And The Hijacking Of Our DNA, A Probe Into What’s Probably Making Us Sick (2009) and Lord, How Can I Make It Through Grieving My Loss, An Inspirational Guide Through the Grieving Process (2008)

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MSM Finally Admits Legal Hemp is the Answer to Dependency on Big Oil

By Matt Agorist

Because government is the antithesis to freedom, industrial hemp has been banned nationwide since 1937 ostensibly due to the plant’s similarities to marijuana. Many have speculated that this move was also due to the fact that cannabis is in direct competition with the pharmaceutical industry by providing far safer alternative treatments as well as directly competing with the petrochemical industry. However, all this changed in December after President Donald Trump signed the Agriculture Improvement act of 2018, legalizing industrial hemp on a national scale.

Despite this move, law enforcement across the country continue to go after entirely legal businesses for selling this THC-free version of the cannabis plant. However, they are quickly being exposed for the tyrants that they are. Even the mainstream media—who have long suppressed and ignored the benefits of the hemp plant—are now forced to cover its benefits.

In an article out of Forbes this week, titled, “Industrial Hemp Is The Answer To Petrochemical Dependency,” the case is made for an environmentally friendly solution to the monopoly the petrochemical industry has had over fuel and plastics.

As Forbes reports, “our dependency on petrochemicals has proven hard to overcome, largely because these materials are as versatile as they are volatile. From fuel to plastics to textiles to paper to packaging to construction materials to cleaning supplies, petroleum-based products are critical to our industrial infrastructure and way of life.”

But all this is now changing. Thanks to the many states who chose to disobey hemp prohibition, the federal government was forced to legalize it nationally.

As Forbes points out:

The crop can be used to make everything from biodegradable plastic to construction materials like flooring, siding, drywall and insulation to paper to clothing to soap to biofuels made from hemp seeds and stalks. Porsche is even using hemp-based material in the body of its 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport track car to reduce the weight while maintaining rigidity and safety.

The shift from petrochemical dependency to a sustainable model of hemp production is not only going to help remove the world’s dependency on big oil, but it is an necessity if we are going to maintain a healthy planet.

Right now, one garbage truck of plastic is being dumped into the ocean every minute.

This disturbing reality is underscored by the recent discovery of another giant patch of plasticbigger than Mexico—floating in the South Pacific Sea. It was discovered by Captain Charles Moore, who found the North Pacific Garbage Patch in 1997.

One million seabirds die each year from ingesting plastic, and up to 90 percent have plastic in their guts. Microplastic (resulting from the breakdown of larger pieces by sunlight and waves) and microbeads (used in body washes and facial cleansers) are the ocean’s smog. They absorb toxins in the water and enter the food chain, from the smallest plankton to the largest whales, as well as humans.

Lawmakers unable to see past the act of scribbling on legal paper to solve problems have been suppressing the ability of humankind to free themselves from this problem with free market solutions like hemp. Instead of pushing to legalize hemp and help to cultivate infrastructure that would boost its production, states like California moved to make straws illegal. Nice work Cali.

Plastic in the ocean is a very real danger to the environment and all life on the planet. But, are waiters and straws responsible? Should they be thrown in jail for offering a customer a straw with their iced tea?

No, and anyone who supports such tyranny does more to hinder the progress of humanity than any waiter giving a customer a straw ever would. In fact, government created the plastics problem in the first place by banning hemp.

There are solutions—outside of the police state.

Hemp, one of the most useful plants on the planet, has thousands of applications, including making plastic that is biodegradable and non-toxic.

Fuel is an option as well. In fact, the first cars were initially built to run on ethanol, or alcohol, which could also be derived from hemp. Henry Ford even famously designed a car model that ran on hemp fuel and was partially built with hemp as well.

Because of government, however, alcohol and cannabis prohibition made it impossible for these types of engines to be on the market, so the industry turned to gas and oil, which has had devastating consequences for the environment in just the last century.

Now, it appears that this paradigm is shifting. It will, however, take some time.

As Forbes notes, because prohibition has been in place for so long, the infrastructure needed to make a revolutionary change to the market is simply not there yet.

This infrastructural vacuum has created challenges around everything from seed genetics to planting to irrigation to harvesting to processing to pricing to distribution.

***

While the trends favor hemp, they are unlikely to allow industrial hemp to outproduce or outcompete petrochemical products any time soon. Nevertheless, the growing understanding of, interest in and infrastructure for hemp will certainly allow it to have a permanent place in our economy, one that will contribute to a greener, healthier world.

And just like that, we see how less laws—not more—pave the way for sustainable innovation and environmental efficiency.

Matt Agorist is an honorably discharged veteran of the USMC and former intelligence operator directly tasked by the NSA. This prior experience gives him unique insight into the world of government corruption and the American police state. Agorist has been an independent journalist for over a decade and has been featured on mainstream networks around the world. Agorist is also the Editor at Large at the Free Thought Project, where this article first appeared. Follow @MattAgorist on Twitter, Steemit, and now on Minds.

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Signed as Law: West Virginia Bill to Facilitate Banking for Medical Marijuana Program

By Mike Maharrey

CHARLESTON, W. Va. (April 1, 2019) – Last Tuesday, West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice signed a bill into law that creates a mechanism to handle banking services for the state’s medical marijuana program. The new law removes one roadblock in front of the developing medicinal cannabis industry in the state and will further nullify federal prohibition in practice.

Del. Eric Nelson (R-Kanawha) sponsored House Bill 2538 (HB2538). The legislation empowers the West Virginia Treasurer to authorize financial institutions to provide banking services for the state fees, penalties, and taxes collected under the West Virginia medical marijuana program. The legislative findings describe the intent of the bill.

The Legislature finds and declares that the inability to provide banking services needed to collect and remit the fees, penalties, and taxes authorized under the West Virginia Medical Cannabis Act has delayed the implementation and is precluding access by the patients potentially eligible to be prescribed medical cannabis and investment by the persons and entities interested in providing services under the Act. The purpose of this section is to provide a solution to the banking problems encountered by the state in connection with the Act.

On Feb. 15, the House passed HB2538 by an 89-7 vote. The Senate approved the measure 29-4 earlier this month. With Justice’s signature, the new law went into effect as of the date of final passage — March 5.

Under the law, the state government cannot “prohibit, penalize, incentivize, or otherwise impair” financial institutions that accept accounts for medical cannabis businesses operating in compliance with state law. The bill also commits the state to do everything “permitted by law” to defend these financial institutions and cover “payment of the amount of any judgment obtained, damages, legal fees and expenses, and any other expenses incurred.”

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The law is intended to allay fears that banks will be prosecuted or penalized for taking in marijuana-related accounts. The Federal government has used banking laws as a weapon in its unconstitutional war on cannabis by making it impossible for marijuana businesses to access the banking system – even in states where marijuana has been legalized. The feds can prosecute bankers for knowingly engaging with cannabis businesses under the Bank Secrecy Act, the USA Patriot Act, and the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act.

According to Marijuana Moment,

Concerns about prosecution and asset forfeiture have long haunted financial institutions operating in legal states, but so far those that have taken the risk have operated unencumbered. That could explain why a growing number of banks have begun opening cannabis accounts, according to federal data.

While passage of HB2538 cannot stop federal prosecution of a West Virginia financial institution engaging in the medical marijuana business, it does provide some assurance that the state will shield it from financial loss and could create an environment where banks in the state are willing to handle medical marijuana funds.

As a first step, passage of HB2538 could also set the stage for creating a fully independent state banking system for marijuana businesses in West Virginia. Bills filed in the Oregon House and the California Senate would do just that by establishing limited state-chartered banks to serve the cannabis industry. These banks would operate completely outside of the federal system and could not be undermined by federal rules and regulations.

A GROWING MOVEMENT

West Virginia joins a growing number of states simply ignoring federal prohibition, and nullifying it in practice.

Colorado, Washington state, Oregon and Alaska were the first states to legalize recreational cannabis, and California, Nevada, Maine and Massachusetts joined them after ballot initiatives in favor of legalization passed in November 2016. In 2018, Vermont became the first state to legalize marijuana through a legislative act. and Michigan passed a ballot measure legalizing cannabis for general use.

With 33 states including West Virginia allowing cannabis for medical use, the feds find themselves in a position where they simply can’t enforce prohibition anymore.

“The lesson here is pretty straightforward. When enough people say, ‘No!’ to the federal government, and enough states pass laws backing those people up, there’s not much the feds can do to shove their so-called laws, regulations or mandates down our throats,” Tenth Amendment Center founder and executive director Michael Boldin said.

Expansion of medical marijuana laws in West Virginia demonstrates another important reality. Once a state puts laws in place legalizing marijuana, it tends to eventually expand. HB2538  is a perfect example of this tendency. As the state tears down some barriers, markets develop and demand expands. That creates pressure to further relax state law.

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Signed as Law: Maine Legalizes Sale of CBD Despite Ongoing Federal Prohibition

By Mike Maharrey

Yesterday, Maine Gov. Janet Mills signed a bill into law allowing the sale of food and food additives containing CBD within the state, This will not only open up markets in Arkansas, but it is also a crucial step given the FDA’s continued regulation of CBD.

Rep Craig Hickman (D-Winthrop), along with a bipartisan coalition of three cosponsors, introduced House Bill 630 (LD630) on Feb. 5. The new law clarifies that food, food additives and food products containing hemp-derived cannabidiol produced and sold within the state are not adulterated. In effect, this legalizes the sale of CBD in Maine. Under the law, sellers cannot claim that food, food additives or food products that contain hemp can diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease, condition or injury without approval pursuant to federal law.

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LD630 passed both the House and Senate by greater than 2/3 majority. With Gov. Mills’ signature, the new law went into immediate effect.

Passage of LD630 ensures the state will not continue to ban the sale CBD and CBD products. This is crucial because despite removing the plant from the list of controlled substances late last year, the federal government still prohibits the sale of CBD products under FDA rules.

As the legislative findings in LD630 explain, up until the passage of this bill, the health inspection program run by the Maine Department of Health and Human Services was sending letters to retail food establishments in the state and regulators from the Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry were contacting pet stores explaining that any food or food products containing hemp-derived cannabidiol must be removed from shelves, even if those food or food products were not introduced into interstate commerce.

Simply put, the state of Maine was following the DEA’s lead and enforcing a complete ban on CBD. That has now ended.

2018 Farm Bill and CBD

With the passage of the farm bill, the federal government now treats industrial hemp as an agricultural commodity instead of a controlled substance. While the DEA will no longer have the authority to regulate hemp, the provisions of the farm bill have no bearing on FDA rules and regulations regarding CBD. In fact, a section in the farm bill makes this explicit.

Section 297D, paragraph (c)(1) “Regulations and Guidelines; Effect on Other Law” states “nothing in this subtitle shall affect or modify the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act.”

Practically speaking, the passage of the farm bill does not mean CBD will now be federally-legal in all 50 states, as some hemp supporters claim. In fact, the FDA still maintains a strict prohibition on the sale of CBD in the U.S.

To date, the FDA has only approved one medication with cannabidiol as an active ingredient – Epidiolex for the treatment of seizures. But the FDA classifies CBD as “a drug for which substantial clinical investigations have been instituted.” Under federal law, that designation means the FDA maintains full control over the substance and it cannot be marketed as a “dietary supplement.” The agency maintains that the sale of CBD or any food products containing the substance is illegal.

To date, the agency hasn’t changed its position on CBD. In a recent congressional hearing, FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said he understands that Congress wants a pathway to CBD availability, but said “it is not a straightforward issue” due to the fact that the agency has approved CBD for treatment of epilepsy and it is ““subject of substantial clinical investigation.” Both of these factors prohibit CBD from being sold as a “health supplement” and from being added to food.

Gottlieb said, “the law does allow us to go through a regulatory process and go through a notice and comment rule-making to establish a framework to allow it to be put into the food supply.” He said the first step would be a public meeting “sometime in April”

In effect, the agency can continue to enforce these same rules even with the passage of the 2018 farm bill. While farmers can now legally grow hemp for commercial purposes, including the production of fiber, biofuel, building products, paper, clothes and even food products that don’t contain CBD, the sale of cannabinol or food products containing CBD remain federally-illegal, as it has been all along, unless the FDA changes its policy or Congress passes legislation specifically legalizing CBD.

IN EFFECT

With the passage of LD630, Maine will not interfere with the sale of CBD products produced in the state regardless of continued federal prohibition. The legislative findings assert:

“Any compliance with the letters or statements from the Department of Health and Human Services or the Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry, which expand the federal Food and Drug Administration’s authority to regulate only food that enters into interstate commerce, will undermine state sovereignty, diminish the livelihoods of Maine hemp farmers, food producers and retailers and deprive the people of Maine of the food that they consider necessary for their own or their animals’ health and well-being.”

Without state cooperation, the FDA will likely have trouble regulating it in Maine.

Despite past and ongoing federal prohibition, CBD is everywhere. A New York Times article asserted that “with CBD popping up in nearly everything — bath bombs, ice cream, dog treats — it is hard to overstate the speed at which CBD has moved from the Burning Man margins to the cultural center.”

This was happening when both the DEA and FDA prohibited CBD. It will undoubtedly continue as long as market demand remains and states don’t interfere. The FDA can’t effectively enforce prohibition without the assistance of state and local officials.

According to the FDA, the agency prioritizes enforcement based on a number of factors, including “agency resources and the threat to public health. FDA also may consult with its federal and state partners in making decisions about whether to initiate a federal enforcement action.”

Even with both the FDA and DEA theoretically enforcing federal laws and regulations banning CBD, state and local action have already nullified federal prohibition in practice and effect. There’s no reason to think that won’t continue as long as states maintain the same stance on CBD as they did under the 2014 farm bill. Simply put, the federal government lacks the personnel and resources to crack down on CBD – even if the FDA wants to.

Michael Maharrey [send him email] is the Communications Director for the Tenth Amendment Center, where this article first appeared. He proudly resides in the original home of the Principles of ’98 – Kentucky. See his blog archive here and his article archive here. He is the author of the book, Our Last Hope: Rediscovering the Lost Path to Liberty. You can visit his personal website at MichaelMaharrey.com and like him on Facebook HERE

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Signed by the Governor: Arkansas Decriminalizes CBD Despite Ongoing Federal Prohibition

By Mike Maharrey

Last week, Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson signed a bill into law that decriminalizes hemp-derived cannabidiol. This will not only open up markets in Arkansas, but it is also a crucial step given the FDA’s continued regulation of CBD.

Rep. Justin Boyd (R-Fort Smith) introduced House Bill 1518 (HB1518) on Feb. 19. The new law removes hemp-derived cannabidiol that is not approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration for marketing as medication from the state’s list of controlled substances. This effectively removes all criminal and civil penalties for possessing hemp-derived CBD products in Arkansas.

HB1518 passed the House by a 91-1 vote and was approved by the Senate 32-2. With Gov. Hutchinson’s signature, the law goes into effect 90 days after the legislature adjourns.

Passage of HB1518 ensures the state will not regulate CBD and CBD products. This is crucial because despite removing the plant from the list of controlled substances late last year, the federal government still bans the sale of CBD products under FDA rules.

Organically Grown CBD Oil and Products Available (Ad)

2018 Farm Bill and CBD

With the passage of the farm bill, the federal government now treats industrial hemp as an agricultural commodity instead of a controlled substance. While the DEA will no longer have the authority to regulate hemp, the provisions of the farm bill have no bearing on FDA rules and regulations regarding CBD. In fact, a section in the farm bill makes this explicit.

Section 297D, paragraph (c)(1) “Regulations and Guidelines; Effect on Other Law” states “nothing in this subtitle shall affect or modify the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act.”

Practically speaking, the passage of the farm bill does not mean CBD will now be federally-legal in all 50 states, as some hemp supporters claim. In fact, the FDA still maintains a strict prohibition on the sale of CBD in the U.S.

To date, the FDA has only approved one medication with cannabidiol as an active ingredient – Epidiolex for the treatment of seizures. But the FDA classifies CBD as “a drug for which substantial clinical investigations have been instituted.” Under federal law, that designation means the FDA maintains full control over the substance and it cannot be marketed as a “dietary supplement.” The agency maintains that the sale of CBD or any food products containing the substance is illegal.

To date, the agency hasn’t changed its position on CBD. In a recent congressional hearing, FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said he understands that Congress wants a pathway to CBD availability, but said “it is not a straightforward issue” due to the fact that the agency has approved CBD for treatment of epilepsy and it is ““subject of substantial clinical investigation.” Both of these factors prohibit CBD from being sold as a “health supplement” and from being added to food.

Gottlieb said, “the law does allow us to go through a regulatory process and go through a notice and comment rule-making to establish a framework to allow it to be put into the food supply.” He said the first step would be a public meeting “sometime in April”

In effect, the agency can continue to enforce these same rules even with the passage of the 2018 farm bill. While farmers can now legally grow hemp for commercial purposes, including the production of fiber, biofuel, building products, paper, clothes and even food products that don’t contain CBD, the sale of cannabinol or food products containing CBD remain federally-illegal, as it has been all along, unless the FDA changes its policy or Congress passes legislation specifically legalizing CBD.

IN EFFECT

With the passage of HB1518, Arkansas will not interfere with the sale of CBD products regardless of continued federal prohibition. And without state cooperation, the FDA will likely have trouble regulating it in Arkansas.

Despite past and ongoing federal prohibition, CBD is everywhere. A New York Times article asserted that “with CBD popping up in nearly everything — bath bombs, ice cream, dog treats — it is hard to overstate the speed at which CBD has moved from the Burning Man margins to the cultural center.”

This was happening when both the DEA and FDA prohibited CBD. It will undoubtedly continue as long as market demand remains and states don’t interfere. The FDA can’t effectively enforce prohibition without the assistance of state and local officials.

According to the FDA, the agency prioritizes enforcement based on a number of factors, including “agency resources and the threat to public health. FDA also may consult with its federal and state partners in making decisions about whether to initiate a federal enforcement action.”

Even with both the FDA and DEA theoretically enforcing federal laws and regulations banning CBD, state and local action have already nullified federal prohibition in practice and effect. There’s no reason to think that won’t continue as long as states maintain the same stance on CBD as they did under the 2014 farm bill. Simply put, the federal government lacks the personnel and resources to crack down on CBD – even if the FDA wants to.

Michael Maharrey [send him email] is the Communications Director for the Tenth Amendment Center, where this article first appeared. He proudly resides in the original home of the Principles of ’98 – Kentucky. See his blog archive here and his article archive here. He is the author of the book, Our Last Hope: Rediscovering the Lost Path to Liberty. You can visit his personal website at MichaelMaharrey.com and like him on Facebook HERE

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