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Insurance Coverage For Medical Cannabis

Insurance Coverage For Medical CannabisI read an article in the National Memo describing how judges are beginning to issue orders regarding insurance coverage for prescription medical cannabis. It’s interesting that the rest of the world moves on while the Federal Government digs its head further into the sand on this issue. The rollout of cannabis legalization in states like Oregon has had mixed results. Colorado seems to have figured out the process even with the banking issues but I don’t live there so I don’t really know first hand what patients experience in their state. Washington State apparently has its own set of problems.

The Oregon legislature, on the other hand, decided to rewrite the law that we voted into place so that what we have now doesn’t exactly resemble that original measure. People invested in land to grow cannabis only to discover that the legislature voted to allow areas to ban such grows if they so desired instead of allowing the original law to stand as written. The original law allowed for that possibility but by a citizen vote every two years and not by city governments. It wasn’t the best situation to invest your money in given a potential ban written into the law as far as I was concerned, but at least cannabis growers would have some time to get started. But with the legislative changes how many growers were dead in the water after investing everything they had?

Retail outlets are only now opening with dispensaries fulfilling their role in the interim creating potential headaches for patients. A report was issued to the committee governing cannabis in our state regarding the black market aspect that still exists and of course, the blame was placed on medical growers going rogue. Never mind the position the Oregon Legislature has put everyone in, growers, patients, business owners alike, by changes we didn’t vote for and the over-regulation of everything. It’s the medical growers. Right.

Many cannabis users become excited at the thought of legalization without realizing the problems it creates. We’re essentially asking for a plant to be legalized that should have never been criminalized in the first place. By legalizing, we validate what the government did all those years ago instead of standing firm on the truth that cannabis is safe to use in whatever manner an individual chooses.

Hemp was made illegal at the same time as cannabis which was ridiculous at best but made the cotton and paper products industries happy. Paper should be made from trees and clothing should be made from cotton. Hemp could be processed into fuel or into manufacturing supplies of all kinds, but the federal government decided that it was better to protect some business owners over hemp farmers. Instead of using corn which strips the soil of its nutrients in the production of gasoline, hemp could be used, a better option given it actually nourishes the soil where it grows. But, no.

Although medical cannabis is expensive to buy in dispensaries, and insurance companies covering medicinal cannabis would go far to defray that cost, in truth, cannabis should be readily available in all forms in the produce department as well as the organic food and supplement section of your local grocery store. We shouldn’t need a prescription that needs to be reimbursed by an insurance company in the first place.

Cannabis should be freely grown, purchased or used by anyone who wants it with no restrictions whatsoever. Again, doing anything else validates and gives cover to the government’s initial decision to criminalize a plant that was safe and part of our country’s pharmacopeia. They lied. It’s as simple as that. And people have gone to prison for that lie and suffered from ill health when they could have used a herb that was safe.

The current Attorney General is as backward on the issue as he could possibly be and it’s difficult to believe any sane policies will emerge from his office. But as insurance companies may find, until a judge determines that the cannabis laws are unconstitutional, they along with the rest of us will have to put up with federal and state controls that get us nowhere.

 

References:

  1. Short, April M. Should Your Insurance Company Pay For Medical Marijuana? Judges Are Starting To Rule That Way. The National Memo. March 20, 2017.

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Witch Notes…7 November 2015

Witch's notebook

 

This witch did a double take when reading that the new DEA chief believes that cannabis has no medicinal value, calling it a joke, yet also believes that it’s not as bad as alcohol, which is legal throughout the country. For the love of Goddess, when will we appoint people who can actually think and/or reason effectively? Has he not watched ANY of Sanjay Gupta’s Weed specials? There are three to choose from. Pick any one of them and you can’t help but come away with a different view.

Cannabis treats all sorts of conditions. Conservatives in the government regularly abandon veterans in need of health care, and refuse to allow cannabis as a option, even when it’s shown to consistently relieve PTSD. They view the private sector as the best option for care, ignoring the fact that few doctors in private practice want to accept the fee schedule allowed. In other words, they won’t work for peanuts.

Now we can all agree that doctors charge too much, but it’s a system with a mind of its own and profits are revered over patient care. My husband is a disabled Vietnam veteran who has had the option for years to seek care in the private sector. No one will treat him because of the low payment involved. Fortunately we have a local veteran’s clinic near us now, so he receives his care there. But that’s meager at times when the government doesn’t pay its bills. Now if he needs an ex-ray, he must pay completely out of pocket or drive 150 miles to the VA Hospital. Apparently the local hospital hasn’t been paid in three months. And I’m sure sending an email to the Feds, suggesting that they witch up will fall on deaf ears.

So long story short, we’re all kept, in one manner or another, between a rock and a hard place. It begins with opinions, never facts, that end up controlling everthing. Mexico’s Supreme Court just ruled that access to and use of cannabis is a human right, preparing the way for lawmakers there to end prohibition. Israel has been researching cannabis for years, with recent government sponsored studies focusing on not only PTSD but also gerontological conditions with positive results. Yes, that’s right. The goverment of Israel funds cannabis research. The US could take a lesson. Or at least in this witch’s opinion, stop hiring people like the new DEA chief.

)Ο(

I have a hard time with the Law of Attraction because I’m a Libra, an Air Element sign. Librans over analyze everything in an effort to both understand and share what they’ve learned. We’re gabby that way. From A Course in Miracles, I know that I give everything I see the meaning it has. From Human Design, I know I’m a Generator type personality with an Emotional Authority. I need to initiate only after first waiting to respond. Nonresistance appears to be the key. My emotions move in waves, and I need to experience them with nonresistance, particularly in the peaks and valleys of the waves. I posted a graphic from Abraham-Hicks on my Facebook page that said the following:

it should only be talked about if the talking will make you feel better. It is of no value, ever, to activate and talk about something that doesn’t feel good, because it reactivates it in your vibration; it makes it another point of your point of attraction-so you’re less clear.

We’ve become so detached from our point of origin that we don’t understand the effect of thought on reality, when there is no reality without the initiative of thought. A witch understands this idea when viewing spellcraft as desire made manifest. What’s desire, if not thought? But in Law of Attraction, negative thought alone reactivates it in our vibration. Throw in a conversation, and we’re no longer moving in nonresistance. We’re focused now.

Focusing on the past, which the Course makes clear is a form of judgment, creates a moment in time where we’re apt to wobble, another wonderfully descriptive term from Abraham-Hicks that’s easy to identify with. The more we talk about something, even in an effort to understand it, it only creates the space for that “point of attraction” to enter in, and we become “less clear”.

I understand the notion of becoming “less clear” because I feel it. I was born aware, an empath, later identifying as witch. When unimpeded, energy flows freely. In resistance, however, vibration slows down, becoming more dense. What we view as time is merely a collection of these slower, more dense vibrations. The past is sustained in the present, slowing the vibration further, where we become stuck, taking everyone with us. A classic example is found with adult children who hold their parents in place of their own choosing, seeing the present through a more juvenile perspective. Regardless of the example, forgiveness is the release, allowing the individual to move past whatever hurt, real or perceived, that’s still felt.

Participating with others in this vibrational dance can be one of creativity or sorrow. I choose the full expression of creativity, having felt all the sorrow I intend to feel. A witch in her Crone years has her standards after all.

~Witchin’ up and sending blessings to all!

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A Woman’s Voice #NaBloPoMo Day 3

A Woman's Voice: NaBloPoMo November 2015
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I blog to save my sanity. I had given to everyone, putting my own needs on hold. The blog was a space where I could express myself, where any filter was my own. I wanted to tell the world how cannabis saved my life. I had rheumatoid arthritis, and after thirteen years on prescription medication, I was worse than ever. So, in 2010, I made the decision to beome a medical cannabis patient.

I tried it their way. Now it was my turn.

Cannabis patients are gabby, especially when it involves talking about how they’ve survived whatever condition led them to choose cannabis in the first place. I’m no different. Because within three months, I was in clinical remission, not that my doctor at the time shared that with me. I found out later, when it was time to get copies of my records for the doctor to review at the cannabis clinic.

Patients renew yearly in Oregon. It was when I read my records that I discovered what I already knew. I was in remission. My thirteen year nightmare was coming to an end, the result of a leap of faith, or maybe a body weary of endless pain and fatigue.

I researched cannabis as my husband grew the garden. I was so ill at that time that I couldn’t help much. RA affects everything. I was never without severe inflammation and pain, retained fluid to the point of buoyancy, and walked with difficulty using a cane. I had fallen years earlier, tearing the inside meniscus on my left knee. The outer meniscus apparently had a small tear that probably happened in the dojo while training. Knee checks in Kenpo can be employed as a strike as well as a check, and that’s probably how that happened. Since walking was nearly impossible without extreme difficulty, crawling around on the floor under the plants to prune off the dead leaves was out of the question. So my husband assumed full responsibility for the garden while I researched how I would ultimately make the medicine I needed to heal.

Upon harvest, I infused cannabis bud into glycerin creating a tincture I would use in tea. I had read that glycerin had no real effect upon blood sugar, and while on prescribed medication, I became insulin resistant. I didn’t want to use alcohol as a menstruum because some people reported seeing their blood sugar spike, while glycerin didn’t seem to have that effect.

Along with smoking and vaporizing cannabis, I also infused cannabis bud into coconut oil for use in capsules. Additionally, I had read that including raw cannabis leaf and/or bud daily in juice or smoothies was a highly effective method of medicating with cannabis. It doesn’t taste all that great, so it helps to combine it with other better tasting food. Raw cannabis still contains the natural plant acids, both healthy and nonpsychoactive. In other words, healing without the high.

I began discontinuing my prescriptions one at a time in a gradual manner, still saying nothing to my doctor. And now it’s almost five years later and I’m walking eight miles a day, something I never thought I could do again. I have to be careful of the knee, and I have lots of joint damage, but I can do pretty much whatever I want now.

I thought my life was over, but cannabis changed all of that. This amazing plant has helped so many people, adults and children alike. I was thinking last night while shaping a couple of plants for the next line up how grateful I was just to be sitting on the floor, taking care of my girls. My husband still does the heavy work, but over the years I’ve assumed my share of the responsibilities. I create the shape I want, and care for them during their time in vegetative and flower stages. And now that Oregon has full legalization, the pressure that every patient felt until we legalized last year is gone. Now our focus is on healing and staying well.

Of course, one visit to my blog and you know there’s more there than posts about cannabis. I’m a witch in my Crone years, so you never know what I’m going to say. I’m an empath, Black Belt and a Reiki Master, so there’s some of that as well. I don’t like patriarchy and that tends to come through loud and clear. My boys homeschooled after a point and sometimes I talk about that because not all of us are religious fanatics. Their history text was Howard Zinn’s, A People’s History of the United States. and one of my proudest moments was when my boys stood their ground in a discussion about creationism with another homeschooler. They were respectful of the creationist viewpoint expressed by their friend, something he was unable to extend to them. We were heathens in his parents’ minds, their father ridiculing my youngest for having green hair, telling him that we were humiliated by his antics. Appalled by his verbal attack on my son, I had to remember I was a Black Belt and not just a mom at that point, otherwise no telling what I might have done. My son, far less reactive than his mother, thought it was hilarious.

So why do I blog? Because sometimes a woman’s voice is all she has. And that’s everything.

~Blessings to all!

Cannabis: Healing the Voice Within

 

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Our Vote Matters..Protect the OMMP

Bud

So the listening tour is over and now the real work begins. Except that Oregon is now beginning to look as confused as Washington State. Although measures were taken to protect the OMMP, legislators on the other side of the equation want to change the program, affecting potentially any patient who doesn’t grow for herself (or himself). I understand that medical cannabis went elsewhere. But they could have redefined that at any time over the last seventeen years the program has been in place, reining in growers who had a more creative interpretation of the law. Why now, now that cannabis is legal in this state? Why move forward on something Measure 91 prohibits, while leaving the recreational program somewhere in the ether? How about doing the work necessary to implement the recreational cannabis program? You know, since you’re prohibited by Measure 91, now law, from affecting the OMMP.

The reason is, plainly, some lawmakers in Oregon do not believe that patients are truly patients. They must believe that we’re all a bunch of stoners who are only looking for a legal way to get high. They buy in to the lie that cannabis is a drug that we all need saving from. They don’t understand that they too have been lied to about this plant. Furthering on that lie only makes them look foolish, hurting patients in the process. Good Goddess, we finally get this amazing plant legal, and now they want to cause patients even more stress than we’ve been under all this time, worrying about getting arrested for only trying to get well. Some of us, like me, simply want to live. I can’t do that without cannabis.

Cannabis is safe. It never should have been prohibited. The listening tour should have been an educational tour, so that Oregonians who are still confused about the safety of cannabis could understand the truth about this plant. It may be a difficult conversation to have. That happens when laws are predicated upon lies. But we must have that conversation. We have no choice now. The truth is out now about cannabis. Even the Federal government is having a hard time ignoring the truth now. Parents in particular need to educate themselves about the efficacy of cannabis for treatment of ADHD, Autism, Epilepsy and other disorders that seem to respond well to cannabis medicine. Brave Mykayla is a child here in Oregon who successfully treated her cancer with cannabis oil. She’s doing remarkably well and has a promising future ahead of her that may not have happened without cannabis oil. Parents do NOT need to fear this plant, rather embrace it, grow it, if only to have on hand for medicinal reasons.

Researchers have found that we all have an endocannabinoid system in our bodies, helping to balance our immune systems and keeping us healthy. When the receptors associated with this system do not have any interaction, in other words, they’re not firing, our health apparently declines, giving rise to all the disorders and conditions we see today. Without the daily staple of dietary hemp, our health again suffers. At least we’re able to buy hemp hearts at the grocery stores now. But there’s no sane reason why industrial hemp was EVER made illegal. All kinds of things were made from hemp until some rich guy had a friend in DC who changed the course of history, ruining the lives of millions, all so his buddy could make a buck. Yes, it’s the same crap we’re facing now with Citizen’s United. When power goes to only a few, then we’re all screwed. Just ask someone in prison for cannabis.

People who use cannabis are not criminals, nor are they drug addicts. How can anyone be addicted to something that’s not addictive? Oh, you might convince yourself that you need it for one reason or another, and from the standpoint of your bored to death cannabinoid receptors, you certainly do need it, but not to feed an addiction. You need it to keep your body healthy. And you don’t have to get high to get the benefits from it. Use it raw in smoothies. Used raw, there’s no high with it, and you get the healing benefit of the plant acids as well. Those go away when the plant is dried. Then the THC comes into play, bringing in another aspect to the healing properties of the plant.

If we would just tell the truth about cannabis, then there wouldn’t be any need for listening tours, nonsensical committee meetings, or irritating legislative sessions, where no one knows where the conversation needs to begin. Begin in truth. Begin there. Begin with the fact that prohibition has been a scam on the American people. Begin there. Understand that we’ve been duped by people in power who made cannabis and industrial hemp illegal to stay in power, protecting only themselves.

Understand that..and maybe, just maybe, we might get somewhere. We voted last November to legalize cannabis for recreational use. Included in that were protections for the OMMP. A petition is circulating to recall some of the state legislators who are ignoring the will of the voters. They don’t deserve to represent us if they refuse to do so with integrity. None of them do.

Please stop all of this nonsense and do the job you were elected to do. Or you just might be looking for something else to screw up and ruin.

Oh and one last thing..cannabis oil is not hemp oil. Cannabis oil is sludgy, sticky and gooey. It’s made from the cannabis plant and takes about a pound of bud to make a quarter cup of oil. Hemp oil is made from industrial hemp (so only negligible THC content). It’s like any other oil you’d use for cooking, and it’s great to use as a carrier oil for infusing herbs. It’s legal everywhere. Cannabis oil is only legal in legal cannabis states. Be aware of the difference.

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Cannabis is Almost Legal Now in Oregon, Right?

Although we legalized cannabis here in Oregon last November, it seems like various locales are trying to circumvent, control, or otherwise find some way to continue viewing cannabis as illegal, even though it no longer is. Wilsonville just extended the ban on dispensaries past the May 1 moratorium end date, and Tigard banned cannabis outlets on Main Street. Apparently they want to keep a certain look about the area and evidently cannabis outlets clash or something. Along the Pacific Highway, they’re fine with them, but imposed a minimum distance of 2000 ft between each business instead of the original 1000 feet.

Bars, liquor stores, restaurants or grocery stores that sell alcohol are everywhere. No restrictions on how close to schools a neighborhood store can be that sells alcohol. Alcohol is legal, right? Children are allowed in grocery stores that sell wine and beer..cigarettes as well. Alcohol and cigarettes are more dangerous than cannabis, are just as legal as cannabis, but cannabis has to be regulated to the point that no one can run a business, take the same business deductions that any other business enjoys, let alone have somewhere to stash the scads of money they’ll be making. Except, it’s legal now, right?

Now, if we had simply said, cannabis is no longer illegal..no restrictions on it unless you decide to open a business with it, like with any other thing you might want to sell in a business you own, would we be having these problems? Maybe, maybe not. Legalization evidently creates a separate bureaucracy just for cannabis that seems set up to impede dispensaries and recreational outlets from functioning in the same manner as any other legal businesses do. I agree there should be standards for pesticides, etc. and accurate product labeling, but distance restrictions? That’s just silly.

And if it’s legal, why again are there limits on home grows or possession amounts? We shouldn’t even need a medical program at this point. We should be free to use cannabis any way we choose. We shouldn’t have to pay money to the state in order that we can grow enough to make whatever type of medicine that helps us survive. What difference does it make how much you grow in your own home if you’re not selling it? There’s no restrictions on vegetables you grow in your garden, so why should there be any restrictions on a legal plant growing at your home? And why do folks have to wait until July 1, when we voted last November? Why July and not January? Outside grows in some areas won’t have enough time to finish properly. And since the recreational outlets aren’t going to be operational for an estimated year after that, unless you’re a medical cannabis patient, all anyone else basically has is the ability to grow and possess cannabis without normal access to seeds or clones to do so. Cannabis users are resourceful, however, and gardens will be growing in spite of this weirdness.

I hate lies. The government never should have lied about the safety of cannabis. That lie has cost so many people their freedom through endless incarceration, as well as our health. Industrial hemp could have been grown throughout the country, contributing to the health of both people and the economy. Instead, now we have to convince people that the propaganda was never true. Considering all the fear-based propaganda we’ve been inundated with over the last 80 years or so, that conversation begins at a disadvantage.

The resignation of Michele Leonhart could initiate a long overdue discussion with the nation about cannabis. We could begin with her targeting of legal cannabis patients after being told not to do so. Sanjay Gupta’s three documentaries on cannabis provide a jumping off point for the discussion as well. Legislation currently before Congress allowing states to decide their own cannabis laws without federal interference, if approved, would eliminate one avenue localities use as an excuse to prevent legal cannabis businesses from operating in the same manner as any other business. The Respect State Marijuana Laws Act of 2015 would protect anyone following legal cannabis laws from federal prosecution, offering a welcome relief to patients in particular. It’s hard to heal when you’re worried you’re going to be arrested for doing something legal. Sometimes these are life and death situations and it’s shameful that the federal government would ever interfere with someone trying to survive. So I hope it passes this time.

The reason both the medical and recreational use of cannabis is becoming legal is because people understand that it’s safe. The lies now fall on deaf ears. No one is listening anymore. And not because they want to sit around and get high all day, but because they’re simply tired of being lied to. Because when the government lies to the people, the assumption is that the people are too stupid to comprehend that it’s even happening. Except the joke’s on them.

The tide has turned and legalization momentum is increasing. Cannabis will be legal everywhere sooner than later. I grew up thinking cannabis was a drug that I couldn’t wait to try. People seemed so happy after smoking and bongs looked awesome, and who wouldn’t want to go to Morocco and smoke out of a hookah?. It was forbidden, so naturally, I was convinced that there was nothing wrong with it. But although I knew it was medicinal, I had no idea what it could really do to help people until I became a patient five years ago to treat my out of control rheumatoid arthritis. Even after I went into clinical remission, something all the drugs I was prescribed never achieved, it was still difficult to believe that I would stay that way. But I have, and over the last five years I’ve watched others who have regained their health using cannabis oil when they’ve been given only weeks to live, and listened to countless stories from others who, after suffering with chronic health conditions for most, if not all of their lives, suddenly achieve a level of health they’ve never experienced in their lives using conventional treatments. These stories may be anecdotal, but there’s too many to be discounted, particularly when x-rays and medical reports are offered as evidence.

I think when something is based on a lie, then you go back to the place before the lie happened, and start from there. Nothing that grew out of the lie can be part of the conversation, because it has nothing to do with the truth. One look at what children with Dravet Syndrome go through should tell us that it’s time to cut the crap and live in truth. Those precious children don’t have time for us to do anything less.

So how about we proceed from the place before the lie. Let go of the nonsense that cannabis is dangerous. We never believed it was before some idiot decided that profit was more important than integrity and then scared the crap out of everyone. For many, the damage done can never be repaired. So, it would be nice if we could simply let the law go into effect as it’s written, without trying to change it along the way into something we didn’t vote for.

It’s bad enough that legal doesn’t really mean legal.

 

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Understanding Immediacy, aka Free the Plant

 

2015-04-11 14.54.30

Sanjay Gupta’s third program in a series on cannabis aired tonight. Watching the previous two Weed episodes again right before it provided some continuity, along with tears and a little yelling at the TV. All three illustrated both how far we’ve come, and how far we’ve yet to go in bringing the truth about cannabis to light.

It strikes me as odd that the immediacy we as patients all feel for a treatment option gets pushed aside as the government tries to figure out which specific strain treats this ailment or that condition. For the love of all that is holy, Just Grow Some Plants. Then do your over complicated research. And why on earth do they need to restrict the cannabis available to researchers to the crappy looking weed I saw on the special? Why wouldn’t they show their best plants? And why on earth would they grow it outside? If they’re really concerned about controlling conditions, they should be growing inside in clean rooms, where everything can be closely controlled. I grow better looking cannabis in my house than they appear to grow at a research facility. Even my worst plants look better than those did. Let the medical growers and patients supply the researchers. We grow the best stuff anyway, particularly here in Oregon ♥. Never mind that patients have been doing the research all this time. Never mind that we are a wealth of information on the plant and how it works. Never mind us. We’re just the ones who took the risk to heal ourselves when nothing else worked. We’re just the ones who saved our own lives, thank you very much.

If the government needs research to understand what patients already know, and they don’t want to take our word for it, look at what Israel is doing. They’ve been doing it for years and even allow patients to medicate in the hospital as part of their treatment. The segment on the nursing home residents was heartwarming. Imagine that. Compassion from one’s government.

I’m grateful for the current legislation in Congress, though, because it looks really promising. The lawmakers supporting our movement into sanity provide such a necessary voice, and patients everywhere appreciate their efforts more than we can ever adequately convey. But if I had my way, all that’s needed is for the government to let go of this ridiculous belief that there’s something wrong with this plant. Don’t reschedule it to 2, take it out completely. Let research happen unrestricted. Cannabis should have never been illegal in the first place. We need immediacy. We need action now. We need legalization now.

Patients don’t understand why no one is listening to the truth. Why, after being instructed to leave medical patients alone, are patients still being prosecuted in legal medical cannabis states? I read recently some irritated folks in Congress are asking that same question. What do families with children who can benefit from cannabis do when they live in states like New Jersey who have a medical cannabis program but doesn’t provide help, or live in states where there isn’t a program to begin with? They understand the immediacy and risk everything moving to states where it’s legal..medical marijuana refugees they’re called. All to save their children. All because no one listens; no one understands the immediacy. To see the answer right there, just beyond your reach, you’ll uproot your life to save your child..or yourself.

How can anyone turn their backs on these children? How can anyone turn their backs on the soldiers with PTSD who risked everything defending our country in war? It takes time to change laws, they always say. We’re out of time, we say. They’re preventing our ability to heal..to live..to survive..and that’s beyond the pale. Just ask the parents of all the kids with Dravet syndrome who watch helplessly as their children are in an endless cycle of managing one side effect, then another. But when oxygen has to be part of the process, can’t we agree that this nightmare must end?

Those of us who can medicate the way we need to are lucky. I’m one of those lucky patients. My RA has been in clinical remission for around four years now. I’ve never had to worry about having enough to process into tincture, capsules, salve, or oil, because our limits here in Oregon are adequate for my needs. I can’t imagine going through what the people in Sanjay’s documentaries have experienced. When you’re out of options, as I was, you’ll try anything. Even if it means simply easing your transition when things have progressed too far. In my case, cannabis saved my life, just as it has for countless others.

Ending cannabis prohibition in all ways on the federal level would solve everything. No more passing the buck, letting the states decide. That’s just NIMBY code. No one would be having this issue if the laws had never been enacted in the first place and we all know why they were.

Integrity has to begin somewhere. How about it begins with freeing a plant?

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Making Glycerin-based Cannabis Tincture

 

tincture

 

I like tinctures. They’re fun to make and they are great to add to teas or anything else really. Sometimes they’re made with alcohol, but I prefer glycerin for my cannabis tincture. I’ve made it the other way, but I don’t typically consume alcohol, and the glycerin tastes better, so there you have it. For this tincture, I used Cuvee, Galactic Jack, Orange Vision, Pennywise, and The Flav, with Indica dominant over Sativa in the blend. And thanks to MzJill and SubCool at TGA Genetics SubCool Seeds for their endless commitment to patients. Their strains are awesome!

Apologies in advance for no pictures of the decarboxylation process, but I got involved and forgot to take them. But the process is simple. I don’t grind the cannabis, but instead gently break up the dried buds to take out as much stem as I can and then put them in a turkey sized oven bag. The reason I don’t pre-grind the bud is that doing so disturbs the trichomes too much in my opinion, so whatever I do with the bud while handling it, I do it carefully. I put that on a cookie sheet in the oven at 240 degrees for about 45 minutes. An hour is also fine because the bag protects it from burning. Several times I took the bag out and redistributed the cannabis for even heating. When it was done, I took it out of the oven, letting it cool a little bit so that the terpenes didn’t escape. It did get a little moist in there while that happened, but it only took around 5 minutes or so to become cool. It’s great to use one of these bags to decarboxylate with because otherwise the house reeks from the smell. Unless of course, you happen to like that smell.

After the decarb process, I broke up the cannabis bud further and put it into the crockpot on the Keep Warm setting. Some folks have said that the Warm setting is too warm, but I haven’t been able to verify it. I just made myself insane trying to find one that actually said “Keep Warm” on it. Which I did. And then I measured the temperature anyway. The idea is not to cook the compounds out of it, but to instead, infuse them into the glycerin. After breaking up the bud, I then poured food grade glycerin over it, covering the cannabis. I stirred it around to blend it all together and then let it simmer for a little over twenty four hours. You can also make this without using a crockpot, using a jar and a cupboard, but it takes longer. And you have to shake the jar daily, which I can never remember to do. All I end up with is a glob. So I prefer the crockpot method.

After the cannabis/glycerin cools a bit, with my husband’s assistance, we transferred the mixture to the press. I purchased this press through Rich Gulch Products. It’s the best press I’ve ever used. I don’t know if they’re in business anymore, but I’ve included a picture in case anyone wants to have something to refer to. Eventually you end up with a disc shaped piece of plant material after all the liquid is pressed out. The remaining plant material is fed to the worms in my worm farm. The cleanup process is easy peasy and if you’ve ever strained stuff through cheesecloth, you know exactly what I’m talking about.

And then, voila! You have cannabis tincture! It’s great for pain, controlling inflammation, really anything that I need it for. Even used as a daily tonic, cannabis helps keep my immune system balanced so that it doesn’t run amok again. And now for some pictures! And that’s the finished product at the top of the page!

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cannabis bud and glycerin in the crockpot
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adding the mixture to the press
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pressing the liquid out
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tincture draining into the pan

 

 

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continuing pressing the liquid through
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the remaining dry plant material

 

 

 

 

 

 

the most awesome press ever
the most awesome press ever
the pressed plant material for the worms
the pressed plant material for the worms

 

 

 

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Get Over It

Oregon legalized cannabis last November. Prior to that momentous event, dispensaries were finally legalized, giving businesses already operating the ability to do so legally. It’s interesting when states legalize in some fashion. Cities think it means that they can still do as they please, preventing laws passed from the normal implementation that any other laws enjoy. Those who voted for these laws or worked to get them passed feel duped and ripped off as they see all their efforts stymied by attitudes that have no basis in fact.

Medical cannabis laws were the first to come into existence, but mostly providing only personal access. So patients had to either grow their own, or have someone else grow it for them. Legal dispensaries never seemed to be allowed for. Oregon passed our law in 1998, with various revisions and updates over the years, but only recently did dispensaries become approved. I always thought dispensaries were legal in California, but now I’m not so sure. It’s like the proverbial carrot on a string. It’s legal, but you can still be arrested. It’s like they gave patients enough rope to screw themselves over.

Oregon’s Legislature allowed cities to impose a year’s moratorium on dispensaries from opening and now that legalization has taken place, they’re still trying to figure out a way to do an end run around the law. I read today that Hillsboro, a city near Portland which already has a moratorium banning dispensaries in place, is trying to continue its circumvention by narrowing further the areas in which these businesses can open. At this point, it appears that little if no space will be available to them. There is only one city in Central Oregon that allows dispensaries and it will be interesting to see if any of the surrounding towns will continue their idiotic attitudes or finally look at the facts and stop all this nonsense. Time will tell if their machinations will succeed, but honestly, all of these histrionics are so unnecessary.

Washington State is trying to sort out recreational outlets versus medical outlets. Patients are at risk of losing their dispensaries in that state as some loud voices are trying to eliminate dispensaries entirely, folding them into the recreational market. At one point last summer it was also rumored that federally supplied water was to be cut off from cannabis farms.

You know, this all comes down to one thing. A long time ago, some idiot with a profit motive decided that hemp and cannabis wouldn’t increase his income as much as other things would, so deals were struck and hemp and cannabis were suddenly illegal. Just like that. Then the propaganda machine went into overtime and suddenly smoking cannabis became synonymous with jazz music and women having sex with black men. Trust me, the only time I’ve ever experienced any reefer madness was when the dog got into my stash and spread it all over the carpet. I don’t even get the munchies. Never have. Then, as people continued to ignore the propaganda and use cannabis anyway, the medical community was used to come up with things like growing man boobs and sterility to further control the masses. Notice how it all centers around men?

And then they went after parents and children. Oh my goodness. Parents watch as their children suffer endlessly with no cure in sight. They’re threatened with incarceration and removal of parental rights just for trying something, anything, to heal their precious child. Never mind that cannabis saves the lives of children with cancer. Never mind that cannabis stops seizures and controls rage in autistic kids. Never mind that anyone suffering (and suffering doesn’t even BEGIN to describe it) from PTSD finds peace and balance using cannabis. Never mind that it helps alleviate inflammation and pain. Never mind that it eases glaucoma. Never mind the truth of it all.

So here’s some truth.

Cannabis is safe to use, whether as medicine or to relax with. It’s cousin, hemp, should be a daily dietary staple. It contains more Omegas than just about anything and hemp hearts are bland enough to be added to smoothies, soups, stews, or toasted on salads..really it can fortify anything. The milk made from it is amazing and is so much better for people than cow’s milk.

Medical laws didn’t spring up all over the country to give hippies the ability to smoke pot. They were enacted to give people an alternative to regular medicine. Cannabis users have known forever about the medicinal efficacy of this plant. Why wouldn’t we want the truth to come out? It’s not about using it to get high. It’s about using it in some fashion to survive whatever illness we have. Can you just imagine the number of people with cancer who might have lived normal, healthy lives, instead of the alternative had they had cannabis as a treatment option?

Big Pharma is salivating at all the money to be made from cannabis; however, it still appears that we do a better job in our kitchens making our own medicine than anything synthetic can achieve. Which is how it should be anyway. It’s rather sickening to think that after all of the lies told, and all the lives ruined in the process, that some corporation can make a killing while we all suffered for so long.

Cities need to relax and enjoy the tax revenue cannabis businesses will generate. Opponents will eventually understand that their beliefs were based upon lies. If they don’t want to use cannabis, then don’t use it. No one says they have to. They just can’t lie anymore. And I don’t know about the rest of you, but I think we all deserve the truth for a change.