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Jamaica Dropped the Mic on 4/20 and Told the UN to Get Its Act Together On Weed

On 4/20, the unofficial holiday celebrated by marijuana enthusiasts around the world, Jamaica called for the UN to review the status of cannabis, questioning why the drug is still legally considered as dangerous as heroin under international law.

Speaking before the UN General Assembly, Jamaican Foreign Minister Kamina Johnson-Smith said that scheduling cannabis as a dangerous drug with no medical use — a status that dates back to the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs — is outdated and out of touch.

"We contend that the classification of cannabis under the Single Convention is an anomaly and that the medical value of a substance must be determined by science and evidence-based analysis, above other considerations," said Johnson-Smith.

In Jamaica, she told delegates, "cannabis has been traditionally used as a folk medicine, as well as a religious sacrament by adherences to our indigenous faith, Rastafari."

Related: Weed and the UN: Why International Drug Laws Won't Stop Legalization

A day earlier, Johnson-Smith made similar remarks following the passage of the outcome document of the UN's special session on drug policy, known as UNGASS. The text is meant to inform global drug policy in the coming years. However, the document was drafted at the UN's Commission on Narcotic Drugs in Vienna, where no Caribbean nation has a permanent mission. Jamaica had to fly in a delegate from Switzerland to attend the negotiations.

The government of Jamaica, Johnson-Smith said on Tuesday, was disappointed that "the document does not allow countries sufficient flexibility to design our domestic policies to fit national circumstances, including recognition of traditional uses of cannabis in our societies."

Last year, Jamaica revised its national drug law to decriminalize the possession of less than two ounces of cannabis, and created a legal regime to regulate its use by the Rastafari community for religious purposes. The government also created provisions for medical, scientific and therapeutic use, and an agency to oversee regulation of the plant.

'The current scheduling which is predicated on it having no useful medicinal purposes is obviously not tenable.'

Jamaica stopped short of created a fully legal market for cannabis, something Uruguay did in 2014, and Canada said this week it would undertake in 2017. Four US states and Washington, DC have done the same, and 24 currently allow some form of medical marijuana.

"I think the discussion on the Jamaican case will take some time and some thinking," said Werner Sipp, president of the International Narcotics Control Board, the quasi-judicial body that oversees the international drug conventions. While he said that the US and Uruguay are currently violating the conventions by allowing recreational marijuana use, he called Jamaica's case "not as clear."

Speaking on the sidelines of the General Assembly session, Senator Mark Golding, who was Jamaica's minister of justice when last year's reform was passed, said he felt the UNGASS outcome document "has some nice text in it, but is still anchored in compliance with the existing treaty system, and that treaty system essentially requires the criminalization of non-medical or non-scientific use" of cannabis.

"We feel that is not any longer a viable position," he said.

One of the starting points for rescheduling cannabis would be for the the World Health Organization (WHO) to undertake a formal review of cannabis' placement in the convention system. The WHO could then recommend to the Commission on Narcotic Drugs that cannabis be rescheduled. But such an official review has never happened, in large part due to continued political pressure by countries with hardline drug policies.

Related: How Russia Became the New Global Leader in the War on Drugs

Further complicating matters is the inclusion of Delta-9-THC — the primary psychoactive ingredient in marijuana — under a second 1971 convention. Rescheduling a substance on the 1961 convention requires a majority vote at the CND, and two-thirds of the body's members would have to approve any alterations to the 1971 treaty. Golding said those hurdles are so steep that rescheduling "ought to be possible."

"I think there is enough evidence of the medical usefulness of cannabis," he said. "The current scheduling which is predicated on it having no useful medicinal purposes is obviously not tenable."

At a side event on Wednesday, Jamaica's deputy solicitor general Kathy-Ann Brown said that Jamaicans had long known cannabis as a plant with medicinal properties, and that its traditional use should be recognized more explicitly under the UN system.

"In Europe, people frequently have a glass of wine with their lunch and that is seen as use of alcohol, not abuse," said Brown. "Where I come from if you're gonna feel like you have to have a bottle of alcohol every day with your lunch you're in need of an intervention. That's the cultural difference I'm talking about when I'm speaking about use versus traditional."

Follow Samuel Oakford on Twitter: @samueloakford

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GANJA TALK episode 3, April 11th

Whoopi Goldberg launches medical marijuana products for period pain

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The actress's new line includes bath soaks and balms for women who want the pain relief without getting high

Whoopi Goldberg has announced plans to launch her own line of medical marijuana products to treat period pains.

The actress has joined forces with Maya Elisabeth, who runs a medical marijuana company, to create a line of balms, bath soaks and cocoa infused with medical marijuana to soothe menstrual cramps.

Goldberg, 60, said the products are ideal for women who don’t want to smoke or get high to relieve pain.

She follows a number of high-profile figures who have launched business ventures related to marijuana after the drug was decriminalised in a number of states. The rapper Snoop Dogg launched Leafs by Snoop, his own brand of marijuana, in November.

"For me, I feel like if you don’t want to get high high, this is a product specifically just to get rid of discomfort,” she told Vanity Fair. “Smoking a joint is fine, but most people can’t smoke a joint and go to work.”

“This, you can put it in your purse.

“You can put the rub on your lower stomach and lower back at work, and then when you get home you can get in the tub for a soak or make tea, and it allows you to continue to work throughout the day.”

Goldberg has spoken previously about using a vape pen to relieve the headaches she suffers due to glaucoma.

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First Cannabis Job Fair EVER Highlights Marijuana Industry's Rapid Growth

The organizers of CannaSearch, what is thought to be the nation's first-ever marijuana industry job fair, could be forgiven for expecting a relatively modest turnout at their event in Denver on Thursday.

Instead, the number of job-seekers waiting to meet with representatives from 15 private cannabis companies was soon estimated at around 1,200. And that line, which snaked around a city block, included people from all over the U.S.

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Bryon Headley, a resident of Queens, New York, said he saw a news report on CannaSearch the day before, and literally booked a ticket on the next plane to Denver. “In this industry, a job fair? Finally!” he told Benzinga.

Others came to CannaSearch simply looking for employment in a weak job market. “I'm not having luck anywhere else,” said Vicki, a Denver resident and former bar manager who asked her last name not be used. “I'd like to get into management as well. I know weights and measurements and I'm a people person, so I think customer service is everything.”

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Inside the event, the cannabis industry reps appeared delighted at the flood of job candidates. “It's an amazing turnout,” Jennifer DeFalco, co-founder and creative director of Cannabrand, said loudly above the scores of conversations going on around her booth.

Cannabrand is a full-service marijuana marketing agency, that works with dispensaries, grow operations, tech companies and others involved in the cannabis industry. And, DeFalco says her company is gaining traction.

 “Since the industry is in its infancy right now, and it's just about to explode...there's all these new businesses that need this branding help,” she said. “We're really passionate about re-branding marijuana as a whole; taking...all these negative stigmas and stereotypes away from cannabis, to appeal to a broader demographic and also to educate the public.”
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DeFalco and her colleagues are looking to branch outside of Colorado, as the nation's laws and culture shift towards more marijuana legalization. 20 states and the District of Columibia have so far legalized the medicinal use of cannabis – and, as of January 1, Colorado and Washington state also legalized sales of marijuana to adults for recreational use.

Like others in the fledgling marijuana industry, Cannabrand hopes to go public in a few years' time. But some analysts have their doubts.

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The number of people flooding the CannaSearch event “is a sign of how inefficient the industry is right now,” Alan Brochstein, a leading authority on cannabis-related investments and founder of internet-based 420 Investor, told Benzinga.

Brochstein also sees such events as another indication of “how early we are in the process of transforming an industry” into a stable market. And he notes that O-pen Vape, a company that produces vaporizer pens for use with cannabis oils – and that also hosted the CannaSearch event – “has more revenue than the entire publicly traded MJ stocks.”

But nonetheless these are very heady times for the cannabis industry.

“It's definitely booming and it's a movement,” Pete Vasquez, general manager of the Medicine Man dispensary in Denver, said at his booth inside the CannaSearch event. “I'm getting people from all over the world. We have people from all over the place, wanting to apply for these positions.”

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The FDA just outlawed CBDs and hemp oil extracts

By Mike Adams

Hemp oil extracts containing CBDs (cannibidiols) are such a threat to the pharmaceutical industry that the FDA is now invoking totally insane justifications for outlawing them.

CBDs are non-psychoactive compounds found naturally in hemp plants. They work so well as powerful natural medicine that people everywhere are realizing CBDs work better than pharmaceuticals for treating epilepsy, seizures, neurological disorders and other serious health conditions (including HIV infections).

So the FDA has just launched a massive regulatory assault against CBDs by invoking the most insane logic you’ve ever heard. Here’s how it goes:

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1) CBDs work so well that drug companies are now investigating them to be approved by the FDA as medicines.

2) Because CBDs are being investigated by drug companies, the FDA has granted CBDs status as being “investigated as a new drug.” In the FDA’s own language from their website, “FDA considers a substance to be ‘authorized for investigation as a new drug’ if it is the subject of an Investigational New Drug application (IND) that has gone into effect.”

3) Because CBDs work so well and have been authorized for drug investigations, the FDA now OUTLAWS them being sold as dietary supplements. Per the FDA’s own website: “FDA has concluded that cannabidiol products are excluded from the dietary supplement definition under section 201(ff)(3)(B)(ii) of the FD&C Act. Under that provision, if a substance (such as cannabidiol) has been authorized for investigation as a new drug for which substantial clinical investigations have been instituted and for which the existence of such investigations has been made public, then products containing that substance are outside the definition of a dietary supplement.”

4) Now the FDA has begun sending warning letters to CBD makers, claiming they are in violation of FDA regulations because they are selling “adulterated products.” Adulterated with what, exactly? CBDs, of course! “The debate over hemp CBD’s legal status continues after FDA sent eight warning letters to manufacturers of CBD dietary supplement and food products earlier this month,” reports Nutritional Outlook. “The warning letters cite impermissible health claims used to market the products, as well as CBD’s invalid status as a dietary ingredient due to its presence in two drug applications currently under consideration.”

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The FDA just criminalized one of the most miraculous healing medicines in the world by handing it over to Big Pharma

In other words, the FDA just handed Big Pharma an absolute monopoly over CBDs (hemp oil extract) by ridiculously claiming such natural products are “adulterated” with molecules (CBDs) that the FDA says might one day become a drug.

“Drugs,” according to the FDA, are substances that are proven to treat, prevent or cure a disease, and thus the FDA’s own logic admits that CBDs must be able to treat, prevent or cure diseases, otherwise they would be useless as “drugs”.

But when a dietary supplement company makes the same claim, they are hit with aggressive warning letters from the FDA, threatening to shut them down, confiscate their products and seek criminal prosecution of the company executives.

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This is how the FDA can instantly criminalize any vitamin or plant extract

Do you see how this twisted, corrupt regulatory tactic can allow the FDA to instantly criminalize any dietary supplement, vitamin, herb or plant extract?

Vitamin D, for example, could be outlawed by the FDA announcing that it has granted “Investigational New Drug application (IND)” status to any drug company studying vitamin D.

Using this same corrupt, mafia-style tactic, the FDA could outlaw resveratrol or even vitamin C, denying Americans the right to access safe, affordable, natural substances that are routinely found in nature.

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It’s time to end the FDA’s monopolization over natural plant molecules

If humanity is ever to achieve medical freedom, we must end the FDA’s outrageous medical monopolization of plant molecules such as CBDs. By allowing this corrupt, criminally-run regulatory agency to criminalize every molecule found in nature, our nation’s lawmakers condemn us all to life in what can only be called medical totalitarianism under FDA tyranny.

Any time a healing substances is found in nature, the FDA can simply assert that such molecules are now in the process of being studied as drugs and are therefore illegal to sell as dietary supplements even though they were developed by Mother Nature, not drug companies.

This FDA tactic is nothing more than the FDA proclaiming intellectual monopolies over all molecules of interest found in nature. It is Monsanto-like in its arrogance and wickedness, and it deprives the People of their right to access medicinal plants and healing substances that have existed in nature for countless thousands of years long before the FDA ever came into existence (1906).

If we do not stop this FDA, we are all doomed to living under a totalitarian regulatory regime that will systematically criminalize every healing molecule found in nature, from the curcuminoids in turmeric root to green tea catechins and even phycocyanins found in spirulina.

That this federal agency has now resorted to such tactics of medical totalitarianism and outright tyranny is proof that we need to strip the FDA of regulatory powers over natural dietary supplements and limit its domain to pharmaceutical drugs only.

Coincidentally, a Presidential election is upon us that threatens to shake up the entire establishment if the right person wins. “Establishment” candidates on both sides of the aisle would simply continue the FDA war on natural molecules that’s now under way, but there is one candidate who has openly threatened to challenge the authority of federal regulators like the EPA and FDA.

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 FDA begins crackdown by targeting inaccurate label claims… but it won’t end there

The FDA has now declared war on CBDs and hemp oil extracts. Its first targets are those companies who have inaccurate label claims or are committing outright fraud in claiming CBD concentrations that don’t even exist in their products.

On this point, I must agree that inaccurate label claims deserve regulatory enforcement. The CBD industry is heavily populated with fraudulent sellers whose products often contain no CBDs at all.

“The FDA has turned its back on the cannabis industry, claiming that CBD products cannot be sold as dietary supplements,” reports Canna Business. “Companies affected by the latest crackdown include Cali Stores, Dose of Nature, Green Garden Gold, Healthy Hemp Oil, Michigan Herbal Remedies, Morgue Juice, Pain Bomb and Sana Te Premium Oils. According to the FDA’s analysis, all products contained different amounts of 9-THC, THCa, CBDa, CBN and CBD than they had claimed.”

The second target of the FDA is companies that made disease treatment claims that their CBD products might treat epilepsy, cancer or other conditions. The FDA, of course, routinely attacks any dietary supplement maker that tells the truth about the medicinal benefits of their products. According to the FDA, there is no such thing as any food, nutrient, herb or natural molecule that has any ability whatsoever to treat, prevent or cure any disease. This position is, of course, patently absurd and stands in total violation of nutritional science, but it is the “big lie” the FDA must maintain in order to keep putting dietary supplement companies out of business.

Once the FDA finishes destroying all the companies with inaccurate labels and disease marketing claims, it will target all the honest suppliers of CBDs who are selling genuine, honest products that contain accurate CBD labels. This is the real goal of the FDA: to threaten, intimidate and destroy the entire CBD industry and thereby protect the medical monopolies of drug companies that can’t wait to cash in on these amazing molecules that really do treat disease (otherwise, Big Pharma would have no interest in them).

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This is how the FDA keeps the medical racket marching along

And so the great medical monopoly racket marches on, with the FDA giving a big “F-YOU” to the American people while handing lucrative medical monopolies to its greed-driven friends in the pharmaceutical industry. Meanwhile, the American people are denied healing medicine that works at a fraction of the cost of overpriced pharmaceuticals.

Entrepreneurial companies that offer such hemp oil extracts containing CBDs — natural medicines that could help reduce human suffering while lowering health care costs nationwide — are threatened by the FDA with devastating enforcement actions that could land their executives in prison.

This is all part of the FDA’s war on natural medicine that systematically criminalizes molecules found in nature and the people who seek to make those molecules available to patients in need. While disease suffering skyrockets across America and medical expenses push more and more families over the threshold of bankruptcy and destitution, isn’t it comforting to know that your federal government is doing everything in its power to deny you access to safe, affordable natural medicine while protecting the profits of the drug giants?

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What can you do to oppose this medical tyranny by the FDA?

None of this is ever going to change, by the way, if we keep electing establishment politicians to the White House. If you want to see real change in the legalization of hemp extract components such as CBDs, you’d better vote for someone who terrifies the establishment and threatens to tear it down.

At the same time, you need to support health freedom organizations like the Alliance for Natural Health, which is fighting to keep dietary supplements legal in America.

You should also watch this video animation that exposes the anti-dietary supplement bias of PBS Frontline, which recently ran a totally dishonest hit piece documentary attacking supplements.

There is a nationwide effort under way right now to criminalize ALL dietary supplements and force every plant extract, vitamin or food concentrate to be regulated by the FDA as if they were prescription drugs. This would utterly wipe out the entire dietary supplements industry and plunge America into an era of runaway disease, suffering and death as people are denying access to the healing nutrients that are presently preventing disease (and even reversing serious disease in some cases).

Finally, share this story and join the Natural News email list (below) to stay informed on all this. As the editor of Natural News, I am fighting for your right to access CBDs and hemp oil extracts, as they are amazing natural medicines that can treat, prevent and in some cases even help cure serious health conditions.

The FDA is anti science and anti human rights

We have a fundamental human right to access healing plants found in nature, and the FDA has systematically sought to destroy that right and criminalize those who seek to express it. Access to Mother Nature’s healing molecules is a fundamental human right that exists above and beyond the Bill of Rights. It is a DIVINE right.

To reestablish our access to these rights, we need a political revolution in Washington that puts people in power who are ready and willing to dismantle the FDA and end its devastating monopolies over dietary supplements, medicinal herbs and natural molecules found in nature.

We need to legalize health freedom in America and set this nation on a new path of disease prevention and drastically reduced health care costs through access to affordable, natural medicines. The only way to accomplish this is to end the FDA’s reign of tyranny over the dietary supplements industry.

We need a new health freedom revolution in America, and it starts at the ballot box. It’s time to start electing outsiders, not insiders… people who the terrify the Washington establishment because they know their insidious grip on regulatory power will be challenged. If you want medical marijuana legalized, or if you want access to CBD oil as an affordable dietary supplement, it’s time to start voting for people the establishment is desperately trying to destroy. Because it is only those people who have any real hope of achieving the kind of political and legislative goals that will end the FDA’s stranglehold on natural medicine in America.

Ganja Talk Live Recording - Episode 1 Sunday March 20, 2016

Ganja Talk Live Recording - Episode 2 April 4, 2016

Ganja Talk Live Recording - Episode 3 April 11, 2016

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