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Thursday, April 18, 2013

Washington’s Legal Pot Industry: Medical Marijuana Delivery Services

The recent passing of Initiative 502 legalizing the recreational use of marijuana in Washington State, will soon interject the issue of marijuana into every Washington State citizens lives regardless of whether they use the drug or not. There is a separate and independent law that is set apart from 502 in medical marijuana provisions. The medical marijuana delivery business is one of those industries that follow a very different set of rules than Washington’s new recreational drug use law.
Kevin Phillips has been in the medical marijuana delivery business since late 2011. Phillips started the delivery service after seeing the benefits of medical marijuana first hand when his mother started using the drug to relieve her symptoms from a debilitating affliction with Multiple Sclerosis.
Phillips stated that the improvement he saw in his mother’s quality of life when she started using medical marijuana inspired him to start the Therapeutic Health Center - Medical Marijuana Delivery Service.
Therapeutic Health Center gradually grew from one to ten calls a day, within six months their call rate increased to 15 to 25 calls per day.
Patient’s illnesses ranged from chronic pain, fiber myalgia, and stomach problems to life threatening illnesses such as cancer, multiple sclerosis, and Parkinson’s  disease.
Phillips first consulted a lawyer before opening his business - in order to become aware of any legal challenges he might have to face to achieve his goal of starting a medical marijuana delivery service. He was surprised to find that there were very few if any obstacles in his way to legally distribute medical marijuana to authorized patients in Washington State.
All that was required legally to start his business was a standard retail pharmacy license for a nominal fee. Phillips also informed local law enforcement of his intentions, and also the local Chamber of Commerce as well.
Therapeutic Health Center pays city, state, and federal taxes on all medicinal marijuana sales to patients. Prior to the changing of the medical marijuana laws in July of 2011, medical marijuana businesses were allowed to operate as Non- profit agencies, and were not required to pay taxes on marijuana sales. Sales were called donations rather than purchases to legally distribute medical marijuana and avoid tax issues.
Philips stated that he is not worried about the recent legalization of small amounts of recreational marijuana infringing on his profit margins. The legal amount someone can carry on their person is 1 oz. recreationally, compared to being able to possess one and a half pounds of marijuana medically in a 60 day period.
Authorized medical marijuana users are allowed to grow up to 15 marijuana plants, while growing marijuana for the general public is still illegal.
Anthony Pieper has been a medical marijuana delivery driver for Therapeutic Health Center for over a year now. Pieper used to be a member with Therapeutic Health Center as a patient and asked the owner of the company for work one time while purchasing marijuana from T.H.C. Delivery Service; six months later he was surprised by a phone call from Phillips asking him to come to work for them as a driver.
Pieper is a Gulf War veteran who left the military in 2008, according to Pieper; he had been traveling around trying to find his new niche in civilian society after serving his country. Pieper stated that he found that niche in helping people with debilitating medical conditions get medicine they truly need to relieve their suffering when he took the driving job with Therapeutic Health Center. “Helping people who need it is what it is all about, “said Pieper.
When asked what kind of security precautions the drivers use, and what the protocol for being robbed is, Pieper stated that drivers carry licensed concealed fire arms to protect themselves, and that new patients first deliveries through the service are not allowed after 8 PM.
 Pieper also reiterated that as far as he has encountered, patients are honest, friendly, and have actually called the driver in most cases when something is left behind by accident – including money and product left behind by mistake.
 Pieper also pointed out that they have the entire patient’s information already processed in their computers, so it would be very foolish for a patient to be involved in robbing them. The police are immediately notified in cases such as robbery or theft of medical marijuana.

Saturday, April 6, 2013


DOMA: Why was it Enacted?

Some people might not know that much about the Defense of Marriage Act if it does not directly impact their lives. The issue of gay marriage has recently come back into the limelight with the Supreme Court holding hearings on two major LGBT issues. These rulings will have the potential to drastically change both straight and gay American citizen’s lives after the Judges decisions have been given out.

What is the Defense of Marriage Act? DOMA is a federal law that was enacted on Sept. 21, 1996, that does not recognize the legal union of gay marriage federally, even though the union is legal in their home state.

Why was it enacted? The Defense of Marriage Act was a direct response from a U.S. Congress in 1996 that was uneasy about the concept of gay marriages spreading across the entire United States and having to give same sex couples the same rights nationwide as traditional married couples. This fear was at its climax when a Hawaiian lawsuit in 1993, (Baehr v. Lewin) where three same sex couples filed a lawsuit after being denied marriage licenses.

What was being heard at the Supreme Court hearings? The Supreme Court will consider on whether the federal governments ban on same sex marriages is even legally constitutional. The high court will also hold hearings on California’s Proposition 8 which changed the California States Constitution in 2008, to only legally recognize a marriage as being defined as – solely between a man and a woman.

How does this ruling affect me? Well, whether you are gay, involved socially with gay people, or have one as a family member, how the American Government modernly, progressively, and fairly, redefines the basic unalienable rights that are to be accorded its citizens, truly effects us all.



GMO s: What Are They?

The 411 on GMO s

Genetically modified organisms sound like something out of a science-fiction novel, but they are sold on virtually every grocery-store-shelf in America.

Corn is the most prevalent GMO crop in the United States. 25 percent of the corn grown in this country has been genetically altered with a bacterial gene that produces an insecticide, making the plants poisonous to caterpillars, and 85 percent of all corn grown in this nation as of 2012, is genetically altered somehow.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture assures Americans that genetically modified crops pose no more - nor less - health risks than NON – GMO food sources; whether America truly believes that genetically altered crops and fish are safe to eat is another story.

Organizations such as the NON - GMO Project adamantly believe that genetically altered food of any type is UN-healthy, risky, is a potential ecological disaster, and that GMO agriculture should be avoided like the plague at all costs.

These types of Anti - GMO organizations were recently in the news and social media, promoting mandatory warning labels on all genetically altered food sources. The daunting task of such an endeavor to track down and label every can, box, and piece of produce, fish, meat and poultry, alienates them politically with lawmakers in Washington DC. 

With all the dangerous things that are going on in the world today, whether or not eating is going to one of them still remains to be seen.