Tag Archives: DEA

As the feds crack down on opioid prescriptions, patients are taking their own lives, doctors are losing their jobs and overdose rates continue unabated.

The Government’s Solution To The Opioid     Crisis Feels Like A War To Pain Patients

By Art Levine

Meredith Lawrence's late husband died by suicide after his opioid pain prescription was severely restricted.

Jay Lawrence, an energetic truck driver in his late 30s, was driving a semitrailer across a bridge when the brakes failed. To avoid plowing into the car in front of him, he swerved sideways and slammed the truck into a wall, fracturing his back. For more than 25 years, he struggled with the resulting pain. But for most of that time, he managed to avoid opioid painkillers.

In 2006, his legs suddenly collapsed beneath him, due to a complex web of neurological factors related to his spinal cord injury. He underwent multiple surgeries and tried many medications to alleviate his pain.

The next year, he began to experience some semblance of relief when his doctor prescribed morphine, one of a class of opioid drugs. By 2012, he was taking 120 milligrams per day.

But this isn’t a story about opioid addiction. Lawrence managed a relatively productive, happy life on the medication for the better part of 10 years.

“This isn’t the life I thought I’d have,” he told his wife, Meredith Lawrence, in December 2016. “But I’m all right.”

Living on disability payments, he could still walk around their two-bedroom trailer home using his cane, take a shower on his own and, on his good days, even help his wife make breakfast.

Then, in early 2017, the pain clinic where he was a patient adopted a strict new policy, part of a wide-ranging national effort to respond to the increase in opioid overdose deaths. 

Citing 2016 guidelines from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, her husband’s doctor abruptly cut his daily dose by roughly 25 percent to 90 mg, Meredith Lawrence said. That was the maximum dose the CDC recommends, though does not mandate, for first-time opioid patients. 

The doctor also told Jay Lawrence that the plan was to lower his dose to 45 mg over the next two months, a cutback of more than 60 percent from what he had been taking.

At the end of that traumatic visit, his wife said, Jay Lawrence’s doctor dismissed their concerns and shared his own fear about losing his license if he continued to prescribe high doses of opioids. (When HuffPost followed up, the doctor declined to comment on the case, citing patient privacy.)

For a month, Lawrence suffered on the 90 mg dose. At times, his pain was so bad that he needed help to get out of the recliner, and when his wife looked over, she sometimes saw tears streaming down his face.

He dreaded his next appointment when his dose would be slashed to 60 mg. In the weeks before that scheduled visit on March 2, 2017, Lawrence came up with a plan.

On the day of his appointment, on the same bench in the Hendersonville, Tennessee, park where the Lawrences had recently renewed their wedding vows, the 58-year-old man gripped his wife’s hand and killed himself with a gun.

Meredith Lawrence sits in the living room of the home in Gainesville, Georgia, that she bought after her husband's death

Dustin Chambers for HuffPost Meredith Lawrence sits in the living room of the home in Gainesville, Georgia, that she bought after her husband’s death.

There are at least nine million chronic pain patients in the United States who take opioid painkillers on a long-term basis. As law enforcement and medical regulatory bodies try to curb the explosion in opioid deaths and the rise in illegal opioid use, they have focused on reducing the overall opioid supply, whether or not the drugs are provided by prescription. 

There’s mounting evidence this won’t work ― that curbing patient access to legal prescription opioids does not stem the rate of overdoses caused primarily by illegal drugs ― and that patients are being denied desperately needed relief. There are also troubling indicators that cutting back on opioids increases the risk of suicide among those with chronic pain.

Some chronic pain patients and advocates have even begun compiling lists of individuals they know who have died by suicide after they were no longer able to treat their pain with opioid medication.

“There is no doubt in my mind that forcibly stopping opioids can destabilize some of the most vulnerable people in America,” said Dr. Stefan Kertesz, a professor of medicine and an addiction researcher at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. “And the outcomes for those folks include suicide, overdose and falling apart medically.”

I mean, people need to take some aspirin sometimes and tough it out a little. Attorney General Jeff Sessions

For a decade or so, government officials in the U.S. have sought to drive down the opioid supply through a range of tactics ― from increased seizures of diverted opioid medications to state crackdowns on “pill mills.” The Trump administration has embraced the hard-line approach.

In late January, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced a “surge” in Drug Enforcement Administration activity targeting pharmacies and physicians that, in the agency’s view, oversupply opioids. In February, the Justice Department doubled down with the announcement of a new task force that would focus on manufacturers and distributors of opioids. In March, President Donald Trump unveiled a plan to lower opioid prescriptions by a third within three years. And in late June, the federal government arrested 600 people, including 165 medical professionals, for allegedly participating in $2 billion worth of fraud schemes involving opioids.

The Trump administration’s efforts are dramatic even within the context of the CDC’s opioid dose guidelines. The guidelines were originally intended to advise primary care physicians treating chronic pain patients and other pain sufferers. They were urged to exercise caution in prescribing opioids, to use alternatives whenever possible and to prescribe daily doses of no more than 90 morphine milligram equivalents (MME) for new opioid users.

For pain patients like Jay Lawrence who had already been on opioids for years, however, the guidelines simply recommended regularly assessing the harms and benefits of the dosage. They didn’t advise either mandatory cutoffs or any set limits. (The Tennessee Department of Health’s guidelines would also have allowed Lawrence to stay at 120 mg of morphine when prescribed by a pain specialist.)

But “the CDC guidelines have been weaponized,” said Kertesz. The ramped-up enforcement by the DEA and state regulators has led some doctors to choose caution and to overcorrect in their prescribing, lest they lose their ability to practice medicine at all. Kertesz decried these policies as “simplistic” in a definitive new article published last week in the journal Addiction.

In February, Sessions struck a particularly harsh tone by suggesting that the fate of chronic pain patients was not high on his list of concerns. “I am operating on the assumption that this country prescribes too many opioids,” the attorney general said. “I mean, people need to take some aspirin sometimes and tough it out a little.”

Attitudes like that are based on a series of mistaken assumptions about pain, according to Dr. Thomas Kline, a North Carolina-based family practitioner and former Harvard Medical School program administrator. Kline regularly updates a list of pain patients, published on Medium, who’ve killed themselves in the wake of draconian restrictions on pain medication.

“I ask people to imagine the very worst pain they’ve ever experienced in their lives,” Kline said. “And then that they’re denied relief by a doctor with the one medicine proven effective for pain control for 50 centuries.” (Historical records show that people in ancient Mesopotamia cultivated the poppy plant for medical use.)

The CDC guidelines have been weaponized. Dr. Stefan Kertesz

The government’s aggressive focus on doctors and patients is unlikely to address the very real menace of opioid-use disorders and sharply escalating overdose deaths. Fraud ― driven by pharmaceutical company policies ― and diversion ― the phenomenon of prescription medications being sold as street drugs ― initially spurred a wave of opioid abuse in the late 1990s, as some doctors turned their practices into pill mills. But new reports by the CDC and a drug data firm, the IQVIA Institute for Human Data Science, suggest that prescription drugs play a much smaller role in today’s crisis.

The reports show that total opioid prescriptions dropped 10 percent in 2017 ― the sharpest annual decline in such prescribing in 25 years. While opioid prescriptions peaked back in 2010, the studies found that growth rates in opioid-linked deaths, overwhelmingly due to illegal fentanyl and heroin, have skyrocketed in the last seven years.

Indeed, although two-thirds of the 64,000 overall drug overdose fatalities were linked to opioids in 2016 ― the most recent year for which there is data ― more than 80 percent of those opioid drug deaths came from illegal street drugs such as heroin and fentanyl. Prescription opioid drug deaths alone ― excluding methadone ― amounted to less than 15 percent of all drug overdose deaths, or about 9,500 fatalities.

Still, the CDC’s guidelines have triggered restrictive laws in at least 23 states that mandate ceilings on opioid dosage. (Oregon, in fact, is moving to taper dosages down to zero for all Medicaid chronic patients over a year.) That makes relief less attainable for pain patients and threatens the practices of doctors who treat them. These laws have been augmented by the growth of state prescription monitoring programs that use the software NarxCare, which is designed to flag addiction but can also rope in pain patients based on their prescription history and use of multiple doctors.

And in June, the House of Representatives passed over 50 bills that would establish dramatic new restrictions on opioid prescribing, eliciting alarm among patients and some disability rights groups.

The side effects of the current enforcement efforts are disturbing enough, from patients denied relief to drug shortages to suicides.

No health agency has kept track of all pain-related suicides that may be linked to doctors cutting back on prescriptions. But some preliminary findings from Department of Veterans Affairs researchers indicate that VA pain patients deprived of opioids were two to four times more likely to die by suicide in the first three months after they were cut off, compared to those who remained on their pain medications.

“To protect people, you have to take care of the patient, not the pill count,” said Kertesz, who worked on the VA’s April 2017 study but spoke to HuffPost only as an independent researcher. “The findings suggest that the discontinuation of opioids doesn’t necessarily assure a safer patient.”

Even terminally ill cancer patients are increasingly getting less relief, and there are growing shortages of injectable opioids at local hospitals and hospices, spurred in part by DEA-ordered reductions in opioid manufacturing quotas.

Leah Ilten, a 53-year-old physical therapist who lives in Kennewick, Washington, told HuffPost that as her 86-year-old father lay dying of pancreatic cancer in a hospice, the medical staff ignored her pleas to provide appropriate opioid pain relief, even cutting his dosage in half on the last day of his life. A few days earlier, when he was in the hospital, one nurse explained to her that opioids could lead to an overdose or could potentially cause the man, who lay moaning in pain, to “get addicted.”

“I was horrified,” Ilten said.

In mid-April, the DEA responded to the injectable opioid shortage by lifting production quotas. An agency spokesman told HuffPost that it was “a manufacturers’ problem, not the quotas,” while asserting that progress is being made.

There have been production issues, including Pfizer’s foul-ups with a plant in Kansas. But the DEA’s delay in taking action ― shortfalls were flagged in February in a letter from the American Society of Anesthesiologists and other health groups ― definitely contributed to the shortage, according to Dr. James Grant, president of the ASA. He told HuffPost that quotas were among the factors creating the crisis.

I’m not willing to go back to the state I was in before I started treatment. Anne Fuqua

Faced with the hardline national crackdown on opioid prescriptions, people with chronic pain are trying to raise awareness of the suffering caused by the loss of medications. Some are gathering the names of those patients who ended up taking their own lives, both as a memorial to those who died and as a protest against the health establishment that has seemingly abandoned them. Others are seeking comfort from each other on social media.

Lelena Peacock, who declined to name her southeastern city of residence for fear of retaliation from doctors, is struggling with how to treat the pain associated with fibromyalgia. The 45-year-old found that her social media posts drew other pain patients who turned to her for help.

By her own count, Peacock has thus far convinced more than 70 chronic pain patients to call 911 or suicide prevention hotlines instead of killing themselves.

For Anne Fuqua, a 37-year-old former nurse from Birmingham, Alabama, the motivation for compiling a list of chronic pain-related suicides is to track the damage done by what she sees as policies that have left people like her behind. 

“There’s so many people who have died,” she said. “We have to remember them.”

Fuqua has an incurable neurological illness known as primary generalized dystonia that causes Parkinson’s-like involuntary movements and painful muscle spasms. She started taking about 60 mg of Oxycontin a day in 2000. Her doctor began to limit her access to high doses of opioids in 2014, the same year she started chronicling those friends who had killed themselves or otherwise died after being denied pain medications. Her informal list is now up to roughly 150 people, augmented by lists that other pain patient advocates have compiled.

On July 9, Fuqua joined other chronic pain patients at a meeting at the Food and Drug Administration campus in Maryland to express their fears and outrage at the cutbacks. Sitting in the front row in her wheelchair, she told FDA officials about that list and declared, “I’m not willing to go back to the state I was in before I started treatment.”

Anne Fuqua needs exceptionally high doses to manage her pain because of opioid malabsorption.

Courtesy of Anne Fuqua Anne Fuqua needs exceptionally high doses to manage her pain because of opioid malabsorption.

Fuqua’s own difficulties are compounded by the fact that her body does not respond to even large doses of opioids the way others do ― she suffers from severe malabsorption that hampers her ability to benefit from everything from opioids to vitamin D. Since 2012, she has relied on a strikingly high daily regimen of 1,000 MME of opioids, including fentanyl patches, to manage her pain.

But her physician, Dr. Forrest Tennant, was driven to retire this year after a DEA raid and investigation. The Los Angeles-area physician mailed her a final series of prescriptions, which will run out at the end of July.

“It’s terrifying,” she said looking at her future. “If these were people who had asthma or diabetes and weren’t stigmatized because of opioids, this wouldn’t be allowed to happen.”

Another doctor has quietly stepped forward to continue treatment for Tennant’s remaining patients, Fuqua said, although there’s no assurance that this physician won’t also be investigated in the future.

If these were people who had asthma or diabetes and weren’t stigmatized because of opioids, this wouldn’t be allowed to happen. Anne Fuqua

The raid on Tennant’s home and office last November illustrates the hard-line regulatory and enforcement approach that critics say doesn’t distinguish between pill-mill doctors who deserve to be shut down and legitimate pain doctors who use high-dosage opioids. The wide-ranging search warrant served to Tennant essentially accused him of drug trafficking even though he’d earned a national reputation for deft treatment of ― and research about ― pain patients.

“He’s highly respected and prominent in pain management,” said Jeffrey Fudin, a clinical pharmacy specialist who heads the pain pharmacy program at the Albany Stratton VA Medical Center in Albany, New York, and serves as an associate professor at the Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences. “Most of his patients had no other options, and they came from around the country to see him.”

Tennant was known for taking on difficult-to-treat patients, including those suffering from pain as a result of botched surgeries and other forms of malpractice. His research included innovations in the use of hormones to alleviate pain and lower opioid use up to 40 percent, as well as work on genetic testing for enzyme system defects that lead to opioid malabsorption.

“The DEA can trigger an investigation every time they misapply the CDC guidelines without paying attention to the population the physician treats or issues of medical necessity,” said Terri Lewis, a patient advocate and a Ph.D. clinical rehabilitation specialist with Southern Illinois University who trains clinicians on how to manage seriously ill patients with incurable pain.

Special Agent Timothy Massino, a spokesperson for the DEA’s Los Angeles division, declined to comment on the agency’s approach to Tennant. “It’s an ongoing investigation,” he noted.

Tennant’s isn’t alone. Physicians must now balance their prescribing obligations to their patients with legitimate fear for their livelihoods.

DEA enforcement actions against doctors have risen some 500 percent in recent years ― from 88 in 2011 to 449 last year, according to an analysis of the comprehensive National Practitioners Data Bank by Tony Yang, a professor of health policy at George Washington University. Even though that’s a relatively small number of arrests compared to the roughly one million physicians in the country, such arrests can have an outsized impact.

“They make big news, and they serve as a deterrent for physicians whose specialties require them to use a lot of pain medications,” Yang said. “It makes them think twice before prescribing opioids.”

Meredith Lawrence shows the tattoo she got after her husband'€™s death. The bluejay represents her husband, Jay; a cup of cof

Dustin Chambers for HuffPost Meredith Lawrence shows the tattoo she got after her husband’€™s death. The bluejay represents her husband, Jay; a cup of coffee is the way she loves to start her day; and the quote is “Sail away with me, what will be will be.”

Dr. Mark Ibsen of Helena, Montana, found himself in a five-year battle against the state licensing board that’s still not over ― even though a judge last month reversed the board’s decision to suspend his license because of due process violations. The court has remanded the case back to the licensing board for potential further investigation of his opioid prescriptions, but Ibsen has decided he won’t resume his medical practice.

That’s bad news for Montana, which has the highest rate of suicide in the country, according to the CDC. What’s more, chronic pain-related illnesses account for 35 percent of all the state’s suicides, as a recent state health department study found.

In the course of his fight with the medical board, the 63-year-old doctor said three of his former chronic pain patients have killed themselves after he and other doctors stopped prescribing opioids. The first of those patients died shortly after attending a hearing to show his support for Ibsen.

The deaths of pain patients haunt those who treated them and loved them. Meredith Lawrence, who sat with her husband to the very end, said, “It was as horrifying as anything you can imagine.”

“But I had the choice to help him or find him dead someday when I came home,” she added.

Lawrence was arrested and sentenced to a year’s probation for assisting a suicide. Now her goal is to fight restrictions on opioid prescriptions.

“If we don’t stand up, more people will die like my husband.”

If you or someone you know needs help, call 1-800-273-8255 for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. You can also text HOME to 741-741 for free, 24-hour support from the Crisis Text Line. Outside of the U.S., please visit the International Association for Suicide Prevention for a database of resources.

Art Levine is the author of Mental Health, Inc: How Corruption, Lax Oversight, and Failed Reforms Endanger Our Most Vulnerable Citizens.

CONTINUE READING…

That study isn’t without flaws. Veterans die by suicide at higher rates than average ― currently accounting for 20 suicide deaths a day ― so they are not a nationally representative sample. And the VA study, which was released at a national opioid summit in early April, has not yet been submitted for peer review.

But another study, published last year in the peer-reviewed journal General Hospital Psychiatry, looked at nearly 600 veterans who in 2012 were cut off from dosages after long-term opioid use and found similar results. Twelve percent of the vets showed suicidal ideation or took violent action to harm themselves ― a rate nearly 300 percent higher than the overall veterans community.

From Organizing America to Operation Chronic Problem, How Cannabis Prohibition Ruins Lives

 

 

My Bust

 

Katree Darriel Saunders is a 30 year old mother, cannabis activist, and an active member of her community. Katree was living in Las Vegas, NV when she was arrested during a DEA sting called Operation Chronic Problem on the charges of: Conspiracy to distribute marijuana and hashish. For 10 grams of hashish and 3.5 grams of marijuana Katree has had her life as she knew it ended. This dedicated mother lost her family and job for trying to help. Trying to help what turned out to be a lying, conniving, scheming, weasel of a DEA Agent posing as a medical cannabis patient desperate for relief. This is Katree Darriel Saunders story. Her loss, her pain, and what many consider a major injustice as well as a violation of her constitutional rights.

Katree has been addicted off and on to prescription pain pills since the age of 15. In 2007, seeking pain relief from multiple car accidents, Katree Saunders became a medical cannabis patient. Knowing the harmful side effects of pharmaceuticals, plus their lack of effectiveness, Saunders chose medical cannabis. Not only did cannabis end Saunders pain, she was able to stop using prescription drugs all together. As a hardworking mother, Saunders put herself through college and became a positive and active member of her community.

Nevada’s laws prohibited the sale of cannabis in 2007, which forced Saunders to seek it through the black market, known for unsavory individuals who traffic anything from people to weapons to stolen merchandise. Once when Saunders sought cannabis from the black market she was sexually assaulted. This devastating incident convinced Saunders she had to do something. There had to be a way for her to legally and safely obtain her medication.

She contacted the state of Nevada and spoke with Jennifer Barlett, who referred her to Michael McAuliffe of Nevada’s Compassionate Care (NCC). It was there Saunders found her place. She began working with NCC and was helping others away from the black market.

Things were going well for Saunders in February of 2010. She volunteered for a political event called Organizing America where President Barack Obama spoke about healthcare reform. Saunders was chosen to be on stage. She sat in the front row behind the president as he gave his speech. Upon the close, Katree was able to shake hands with the President. While doing so, Saunders said ‘We needed to talk about medical patient’s rights.’ Then, according to Saunders, Obama looked at her and said ‘I’m not prosecuting.’

image (4)

 

Feeling confident and empowered after this Saunders then became active in helping patients obtain their medical cannabis cards from the Nevada state program. Unfortunately, while Saunders was working for NCC, she was set up by undercover DEA agents. They were conducting what was known as Operation Chronic Problem. A federal DEA agent posed as a sick patient asking for help obtaining medical cannabis.

Saunders, being a compassionate person, facilitated this lying individual’s request. Later she was indicted on distribution of a controlled substance. Saunders served four months in prison as well as a lengthy probation since she did not offer up the names of her medical patients.

While on pretrial Saunders was in another motor vehicle accident. This accident totaled her husband’s vehicle and left Saunders with a fractured foot as well as a back injury. She was placed on morphine, Xanax, and MARINOL®. The morphine began to make her heart hurt, so she opted to stop taking it in exchange for MARINOL®. MARINOL® is a synthetic version of a naturally occurring compound known as delta-9-THC. However, since Saunders was on probation, the state of Nevada told her that she could not take MARINOL® since they would not be able to determine if she was consuming cannabis or simply taking the medication.

The State of Nevada Probation Department obtained a court order preventing Saunder’s doctor from prescribing MARINOL® to her. Now, not only was Saunders in trouble for selling 3.5 grams of cannabis and 10 grams of hash, she also lost her job, family and right to medicate.

During her incarceration, her husband divorced her, took the kids and moved away. While in custody at the prison, Saunders says she was ‘sexually assaulted and harassed by US Marshals’.

During Saunders’ trial, her attorneys advised her not to mention anything about her encounter with President Obama. For the 4 months Katree Saunders was incarcerated, the state split her time between a private prison corporation (Corrections Corporation of America – CCA) and a state prison, and earned a minimum of $5,000 for hosting her. The state of Nevada spent an estimated $20,656 per inmate in 2012, and reported 267.9 million in costs. They also claimed to have 15 million dollars in prison related costs outside of the state budget. This is where states and private prison corporations make big dollars housing criminals. In the case of cannabis consumers, these corporations make out like bandits.

 

Imagine charging $21,000 a year to house someone who was busted selling or possessing cannabis. In Saunders case, that 13.5 grams of cannabis, with a street value of $150, cost taxpayers over $20,000 to put her through the system. That doesn’t include the cost of the actual arrest, which stands at $1,500 to $3,500 with booking, paperwork, police officers fees, donuts, etc.

Saunders fought hard to break away from prescription drugs, but in the end they were her only option. Purdue Pharma, the makers of OxyContin, has been making billions off victims. Purdue Pharma is involved in countless lawsuits and their officials have admitted to deceitful and immoral medical practices, yet they are still making money. These are the ones that presidential candidate Bernie Sanders speaks out about when he refers to the top one-tenth of 1%.

In 1993 the DEA allowed pharmaceutical companies to produce 3520 kilos of a drug known as oxycodone. Twenty-two years later they are manufacturing 137.5 thousand kilos of the same drug. That is an increase of 39 times in the manufacturing of this controlled substance. Since President Nixon founded the DEA in 1973, they have done nothing but prosecute those who attempt to possess, grow, or in any way affiliate themselves with cannabis.

Medical cannabis helps millions of people across the United States and world to find relief from pain and suffering. Cannabis helped Saunders break her addiction and take back control of her life. Cannabis is a safe treatment alternative for many illnesses, as well as the management of symptoms associated with a broad array of medical complications. Prescription drug addiction, of course, is a problem that is not only plaguing the United States, but the whole world.

Saunders’ battle with a prescription drug addiction from a young age illustrates the carelessness of the medical industry in allowing doctors to over-prescribe dangerous medications. It has also enabled them to receive substantial kickbacks from pharmaceutical companies in the process.

According to ABC News, America consumes over 90% of the world’s hydrocodone and 80 percent of the planet’s opioids. The United States of America makes up only 4.6 percent of the planet’s population. This opioid problem has destroyed mothers, fathers, brothers, and sisters. Children and soldiers suffer horrendously because of our country’s support for the pharmaceutical industry. Children suffer by being denied medication that could in fact actually help them, and at times even cure them. Children also suffer by losing parents who are consumed by prescription drug addiction. Soldiers who protect our freedom, often with their own lives, suffer from illnesses such as PTSD. They are sometimes denied a natural treatment, such as cannabis, to help with their symptoms.

The Doctors Enforcement Agency

The DEA licenses more than 600,000 surgeons, doctors, and podiatrists to administer prescriptions for narcotic pain relievers. According to NORML (National Reform of Marijuana Laws), in 2011 there were an estimated 1.5 million registered medical cannabis patients living in the United States of America. The sad side of this is that the laws pertaining to medical cannabis forced so many to seek their medication on the black market.

The public seems to believe that we think cannabis is the new cure-all, and other medications should be eliminated. This is not true. Common sense will tell you that there are many medical advancements today which have led us to the most sophisticated and advanced techniques and cures. During this evolution we have managed to de-evolve at the same time, through the abuse of prescription drugs, as much the fault of patients as it is the doctors doing the prescribing. Some individuals get prescription pain pills in large quantities because the doctors will prescribe them. Some individuals do not even take their medication. Instead they sell them on the street. When doctors prescribe as much as 100 to 300 pills at a time, with an average price of $10 a pill, some people can make an extra $3,000 a month.

Prohibition Has Failed and it’s Hurting America

The prohibition of cannabis that began in the late 1930s has devastated countless numbers of American lives and destroyed families across the country. The FDA will approve OxyContin for 6-year-olds but will not support cannabis oil. This is an absurd violation of human rights. The United States of America has held the patent for medical cannabis since 2003. This means that they knowingly have information that solidifies and validates medical cannabis as an effective treatment. This also means that the DEA and FDA know, and have evidence, that cannabis is medicine.

For the past 12 years the DEA has left cannabis as a schedule 1 narcotic. This puts it in the same class as heroin and cocaine, that it has no medicinal value. They have lied to the American people kept the public sick, and now some laugh at us while the cannabis community is trying to change laws to better the world around us.

The Dogs of the Feds

The DEA regularly raids medicinal cannabis facilities and Indian tribal lands. They arrest, abuse, neglect and destroy the lives of countless cannabis consumers. Medical patients and recreational consumers alike suffer the wrath of the DEA everyday. There are no public benefits from cannabis prohibition! The medicinal aspects combined with potential taxes are unquestionably positive. The simple implementation of taxation on cannabis will help to eliminate the black market. This puts a lot of politicians, local sheriffs, and other individuals out of extra income they have enjoyed for years.

Katree Saunders felt the wrath of the DEA during Operation Chronic Pain and now you know her story. From being hooked on prescription drugs at 15, to meeting the President of the United States, to prison, to an avid cannabis activist, Saunders’ struggle is all too familiar to many Americans, except for meeting Mr. Barack Obama.

Help support America by being a seed. One seed can tip the scales of injustice. Are you that seed?

“Rights and freedoms may in no case be exercised contrary to purposes and principles of the United Nations.” HOW THE UNITED NATIONS IS STEALING OUR “UNALIENABLE RIGHTS” TO GROW FOOD AND MEDICINE THROUGH THE U.N. CONVENTION ON NARCOTIC DRUGS AND AGENDA 21.

clip_image002

10/25/2015

Sheree Krider

Because of the nature of the Beasts which we are dealing with in regards to the “War on Drugs” in general, but additionally because the Beasts are taking control of plants, food, medications and plant medicines worldwide at will, I feel it is imperative that we confront this issue now.

WHILE READING THIS KEEP IN MIND THAT THE U.S. HAS HAD A PATENT ON MARIJUANA SINCE 2003: #6,630,507 October 7, 2003 Cannabinoids as antioxidants and neuroprotectants.

This control is being achieved thru the United Nations which officially began on October 24, 1945, with the victors of World War II — China, the U.S.S.R., France, United Kingdom, and the United States — ratified the U.N. charter, creating the U.N. Security Council and establishing themselves as its five permanent members with the unique ability to veto resolutions. This ability keeps them in control of the U.N.

To date More than six in ten Americans have a favorable opinion of the U.N. as reported on the “Better World Campaign” website which is the funding source for the U.N.

The U.N. 1961 convention on narcotic drugs essentially set into motion the drug war as we know it today.

The United Nations Conference to consider amendments to the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, 1961, met at the United Nations Office at Geneva Switzerland from 6 to 24 March 1972. 97 States were represented.

On November 7, 1972 President Richard Nixon was re-elected to office. It was on his watch that the amendments to the U.N. were enacted with an establishment of a “United Nations Fund for Drug Abuse Control.”

They readily admit that many of the drugs included have a useful and legitimate medical purpose and are necessary to maintain the health and general welfare of the American people.

The term ”addict” means any individual who habitually uses any narcotic drug. Who will determine when a narcotic has become habitual? The “Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act of 1970 .

The Parties, recognizing the competence of the United Nations with respect to the international control of drugs, agree to entrust to the Commission on Narcotic Drugs of the Economic and Social Council, and to the International Narcotics Control Board, the functions respectively assigned to them under this Convention.”

The “Parties shall maintain a Special administration for the purpose of applying the Provisions of this Convention.” in the U.S. this was the Drug Enforcement Administration or DEA.

Article 28 control of cannabis states that if a party permits cultivation that the system of control is the same as for opium poppy in article 23 which requires licensing by the “agency” which in the case of the U.S. would be the DEA. The number of acres planted and harvested must be recorded and “the agency must purchase and take physical possession of” it. The agency has exclusive rights to importing, exporting, and wholesale trading. It is also subject to limitations on production.

This is total control of the plant by the U.N. and effectively eliminates any chance of personal growing.

Natural growing plants which are included in Schedule 1 are marijuana, mescaline (peyote), psilocybin, and Khat. Other drugs are also included in this list.

More common opiates such as hydrocodone are included in Schedule II. These are regulated and handed out at the will of the government thru the medical industrial complex. How many people have been refused a prescription for Valium or Xanax in the past year because of a positive drug screening for Marijuana? How many people who do not consume Marijuana have been cut off as well because the DEA has, for all practical purposes, threatened the physician’s livelihood thru Statutes and “Bills” which have cut people off from their medications with no warning in the past year or two?

Title 21 states that the rules shall not apply to the cultivation of cannabis/hemp plant for industrial purposes only – however, it also does not say that hemp may be used for medicine without restriction.

Article 33 states that the parties shall not permit the possession of drugs without legal authority.

In the 1972 Protocol Amending The Single Convention On Narcotic Drugs 1961 Article 49 states that:

f) The use of Cannabis for other than medical and scientific purposes must be discontinued as soon as possible but in any case within twenty-five years from the coming into force of this Convention as provided in paragraph 1 of article 41.

1972 + 25 = 1997

Ironically enough the first medical cannabis law was enacted by California in 1996 – just in time to meet the 25 year deadline for ending all use of cannabis except for medical and scientific purposes…

Proposition 215, or the Compassionate Use Act of 1996, is a California law allowing the use of medical cannabis despite marijuana’s lack of the normal Food and Drug Administration testing for safety and efficacy. It was enacted, on November 5, 1996, by means of the initiative process, and passed with 5,382,915 (55.6%) votes in favor and 4,301,960 (44.4%) against.

As I stated previously, in the U.S. the governing agency would be the DEA and on July 1, 1973 this agency officially came into existence in accordance with the U.N. Treaties which the U.S. government created and implemented. THE DEA HAS AN Annual Budget of $2.4 billion.

THE DEA Controlled Substances Act, TITLE 21 – FOOD AND DRUGS, CHAPTER 13 – DRUG ABUSE PREVENTION AND CONTROL EFFECTIVE Oct. 27, 1970, SUBCHAPTER I – CONTROL AND ENFORCEMENT,

States that:

“(1) If control is required by United States obligations under international treaties, conventions, or protocols in effect on October 27, 1970, the Attorney General shall issue an order controlling such drug under the schedule he deems most appropriate to carry out such obligations, without regard to the findings required by subsection (a) of this section or section 812(b) of this title and without regard to the procedures prescribed by subsections (a) and (b) of this section.”

Meaning, it does not matter what the U.S. Citizens (or any other country for that matter) has to say about Cannabis or any other drug or plant on the list of U.N. control we are bound by the U.N. Treaty first and foremost, which was set into place by our own government.

“In 1986, the Reagan Administration began recommending a drug testing program for employers as part of the War on Drugs program. In 1988, Drug Free Workplace regulations required that any company with a contract over $25,000 with the Federal government provide a Drug-Free Workplace. This program must include drug testing.”

Manfred Donike, in 1966, the German biochemist demonstrated that an Agilent (then Hewlett-Packard) gas chromatograph could be used to detect anabolic steroids and other prohibited substances in athletes’ urine samples. Donike began the first full-scale testing of athletes at the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich, using eight HP gas chromatographs linked to an HP computer.

YEP, HP IS HEWLETT PACKARD…His method reduced the screening process from 15 steps to three, and was considered so scientifically accurate that no outside challenges to his findings were allowed.

HP has laboratories around the globe in three major locations, one of which happens to be in Israel. Late Republican Senator Jesse Helms used to call Israel “America’s aircraft carrier in the Middle East”, when explaining why the United States viewed Israel as such a strategic ally, saying that the military foothold in the region offered by the Jewish State alone justified the military aid that the United States grants Israel every year.

Most everybody thinks that the Cannabis issue is a U.S. issue and an issue unto itself, not encompassed within the issue of control of the masses, and at least as far as our own laws/statutes are concerned. “ALL WE NEED TO DO IS GET OUR STATE TO LEGALIZE IT”. This couldn’t be farther from the truth.

We are all rolled up into the UN by virtue of our own Country which used this as a means to control worldwide, the people, without ever having to answer for or take responsibility for it again. Why? Because it is now a UN issue. And WE ARE BOUND by the UN treaties, as one of 5 founding members, who now rule the world.

Welcome to “THE NEW WORLD ORDER”. Yep, it’s been around a long time, we just didn’t notice it in time. Our men had just gone through a horrific war (WWII) and were too beat down and TOO sick to fight again and most likely didn’t even notice or worse yet thought the U.N. was a good thing that would prevent another WWII….. WELL, WELCOME TO WWIII AKA THE “DRUG WAR”.

I don’t care which State you reside in it is NOT legal to possess or use Marijuana in any form or fashion. You are living in an “Illusion.

As long as the U.N. has control over all narcotics in any form, we as a people will not legally be able to grow cannabis or any other plant that they categorize as narcotic.

What they will do for us is to use us like Guinea pigs in a testing environment to accumulate enough information whereby cannabis can be deemed a potentially useful drug from a pharmacological standpoint and then they can turn it over to the pharmaceutical companies to sell to us through commerce as a prescription. This is happening as we speak.

The drug war was created for us, and the prison industrial complex which they set up for control of us is the holding center for the Guinea pigs which are “us”.

They make sure enough of it gets out there that we can continue to use it illegally and they can study it at the same time they are locking us up for doing just that — using and studying marijuana. This in effect creates a double paycheck for them as they are keeping the prisons full and instituting private prisons for commerce and at the same time they are collecting information about the beneficial uses of cannabis thru drug testing patients. As well, those who seek employment or who are already employed with are targeted by random testing, and they collect our medical records for research at the same time the physicians are tagging us as cannabis abusers for reference via the ICD-10 codes used on medical claim forms submitted to the Insurance companies by our doctors’ offices. Essentially anyone who is a marijuana user is rounded up by the legal and medical system. If you use marijuana you cannot hide the fact unless you are part of the drug cartel itself and do not seek employment or medical care anywhere in the U.S. The marijuana cartel remains intact because they are “self-employed”.

Additionally, HIPPA states that In the course of conducting research, researchers may obtain, create, use, and/or disclose individually identifiable health information. Under the (HIPPA) Privacy Rule, covered entities are permitted to use and disclose protected health information for research with individual authorization, or without individual authorization under limited circumstances set forth in the Privacy Rule.

As far as Pharma Drugs are concerned, I must quote from Ms. Cris Ericson of the Vermont Marijuana Party, who stated, “People can no longer afford the pharmaceutical industry. The U.S. Congress votes to give research money to the pharmaceutical companies who invent new prescription drugs by synthesizing natural herbs, and then the pharmaceutical companies claim ownership of the new Rx patent, but it was the taxpayers who paid for the research. The taxpayers, under the patent law which states that “work made for hire, should own 50% of the patent” should rightfully be paid. The pharmaceutical companies not only profit wrongfully, by taking ownership of the patent that the taxpayers paid the research for, but then they take their huge profits and donate millions of dollars to PAC’s political action committees and Super PAC’s and then the PAC’s donate money to the U.S. Congress, so your taxpayer dollars have come full circle, and that looks just like money laundering, because millions of your taxpayer dollars end up in the campaign war chests of the elected officials.”

To that I must add that even if you obtain your medications for a $0 copay, you have paid for them already via taxation of the general public. Even those persons on disability or other government subsidy pay tax every time they make a purchase.

The U.N. Convention and the CSA both state that, “No prescriptions may be written for Schedule I substances, and they are not readily available for clinical use. NOTE: Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC, marijuana) is still considered a Schedule 1 drug by the DEA, even though some U.S. states have legalized marijuana for personal, recreational use or for medical use. May 4, 2014”

This issue gains even more momentum when you understand that it is not just about cannabis/hemp/marijuana. It also involves all food and plants which are coming under their jurisdiction.

It is entirely possible that just as they can use drug testing to determine what drugs you put into your body they could develop testing to determine what foods you are eating. Imagine being “food tested” to see if you ingested beef or broccoli that was illegal to be in possession of! It seems an exaggeration but entirely within the realm of possibility.

HENCEFORTH, AGENDA 21…

The national focal point in the United States is the Division Chief for Sustainable Development and Multilateral Affairs, Office of Environmental Policy, Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs, U.S. Department of State.

A June 2012 poll of 1,300 United States voters by the American Planning Association found that 9% supported Agenda 21, 6% opposed it, and 85% thought they didn’t have enough information to form an opinion.

The United States is a signatory country to Agenda 21, but because Agenda 21 is a legally non-binding statement of intent and not a treaty, the United States Senate was not required to hold a formal debate or vote on it. It is therefore not considered to be law under Article Six of the United States Constitution. President George H. W. Bush was one of the 178 heads of government who signed the final text of the agreement at the Earth Summit in 1992, and in the same year Representatives Nancy Pelosi, Eliot Engel and William Broomfield spoke in support of United States House of Representatives Concurrent Resolution 353, supporting implementation of Agenda 21 in the United States. In the United States, over 528 cities are members of ICLEI, an international sustainability organization that helps to implement the Agenda 21 and Local Agenda 21 concepts across the world.

During the last decade, opposition to Agenda 21 has increased within the United States at the local, state, and federal levels. The Republican National Committee has adopted a resolution opposing Agenda 21, and the Republican Party platform stated that “We strongly reject the U.N. Agenda 21 as erosive of American sovereignty.” Several state and local governments have considered or passed motions and legislation opposing Agenda 21. Alabama became the first state to prohibit government participation in Agenda 21. Many other states, including Arizona, are drafting, and close to passing legislation to ban Agenda 21.

The Committee on World Food Security (CFS) was established in 1974 as an intergovernmental body to serve as a forum in the United Nations System for review and follow-up of policies concerning world food security including production and physical and economic access to food. The CFS Bureau and Advisory Group-The Bureau is the executive arm of the CFS . It is made up of a Chairperson and twelve member countries. The Advisory group is made up of representatives from the 5 different categories of CFS Participants. These are: 1 UN agencies and other UN bodies; 2 Civil society and non-governmental organizations particularly organizations representing smallholder family farmers, fisherfolks, herders, landless, urban poor, agricultural and food workers, women, youth, consumers and indigenous people; 3 International agricultural research institutions; 4 International and regional financial institutions such as the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, regional development banks and the World Trade Organization; 5 Private sector associations and philanthropic foundations.

FREEDOM ADVOCATES OPPOSITION TO AGENDA 21:

“Even the term “sustainable” must be defined, since on the surface it appears to be inherently positive. In reality, Sustainable Development has become a “buzz” term that refers to a political agenda, rather than an objectively sustainable form of development. Specifically, it refers to an initiative of the United Nations (U.N.) called Sustainable Development Agenda 21. Sustainable Development Agenda 21 is a comprehensive statement of a political ideology that is being progressively infused into every level of government in America.”

Webster’s 1828 dictionary defines unalienable as “not alienable; that cannot be alienated; that may not be transferred; as in unalienable rights” and inalienable as “cannot be legally or justly alienated or transferred to another.”

The Declaration of Independence reads:

“That all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights…”

This means that human beings are imbued with unalienable rights which cannot be altered by law whereas inalienable rights are subject to remaking or revocation in accordance with man-made law. Inalienable rights are subject to changes in the law such as when property rights are given a back seat to emerging environmental law or free speech rights give way to political correctness. In these situations no violation has occurred by way of the application of inalienable rights – a mere change in the law changes the nature of the right. Whereas under the original doctrine of unalienable rights the right to the use and enjoyment of private property cannot be abridged (other than under the doctrine of “nuisance” including pollution of the public water or air or property of another). The policies behind Sustainable Development work to obliterate the recognition of unalienable rights. For instance, Article 29 subsection 3 of the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights applies the “inalienable rights” concept of human rights:

“Rights and freedoms may in no case be exercised contrary to purposes and principles of the United Nations.”

Read that phrase again, carefully! “Rights and freedoms may in no case be exercised contrary to purposes and principles of the United Nations.”

It suffices to say that the “war on drugs” is a war on us as a people. It is entwined with the United Nations and agenda 21. It is control of the masses through the illusion of a better world and offers peace and harmony to all people. It sounds really good on the surface until you start analyzing the issues at hand. The problem is that its intent is ultimately to control everything and everybody.

“Rights and freedoms may in no case be exercised contrary to purposes and principles of the united nation”…there you have it in one sentence, straight out of the horse’s mouth. The new world order is now. If we continue down this path, sooner rather than later we will be told that we can no longer grow our own food, or meat, eggs, cheese, etc. It must be purchased through a reputable source – the grocery stores and the pharmacy so it can be “regulated”.

Our rights to the cannabis/marijuana plant has all but been lost at this point and if we do not do something immediately to regain it and continue passing illegal statutes (by virtue of the U.N.) state to state is not going to hold up in the long run because, first of all, federally it remains illegal and they can squash those legalization antics at any time, and most of all the U.N. owns it. And who owns the U.N.? The United States and five other countries which are china, Russia, France and the U.K.

It seems to me that the placing of these plants (including marijuana, and peyote) into a “U.N. Convention of Narcotic Drugs” was just the first step in their taking total control of all people throughout the world through their access to food and medication, and was and still is a test case to see if it would work in their favor. So far it seems it is working in their favor because we are losing the ability to fight back on a political basis and their guns are bigger than ours.

The fact that for years we have blamed the eradication of marijuana on Harry Anslinger even though the LaGuardia commission refuted his findings and Harry Anslinger himself later admitted his testimony wasn’t true and in fact marijuana was relatively harmless, only proves that the rhetoric remained in place for ulterior motives.

When the 1937 tax act was repealed in 1969 in Timothy Leary v. United States, the Controlled Substance Act of 1970 picked up and took over keeping the plant from us yet again. To this day it remains illegal although individual states within the U.S. are attempting to change that, the fact still remains that legally it is still a schedule 1 at the federal level and since federal law trumps state law we are getting next to nowhere.

The only thing that state legalization does do, is keep the state authorities from prosecuting except within the realm of the individual state statutes. At least we are fighting back and gaining momentum in that we are letting them know how we feel about it! Other than that at any time everything gained could be lost at the whim of the federal government.

If we do not focus on regaining the freedom of cannabis from the U.N. now, not only will it be forever lost to pharma, all of our food, medicines and plants are going right along with it and we will not ever be able to get them back. And if you think the prison industrial complex is a monstrosity now just wait till we are being locked up for growing a tomato or hiding a laying hen in our closet just to have access to an egg. Yes, I believe that it will get that bad in the not so far future.

So if you are not worried about it because you do not smoke marijuana, you might ought to worry about it because your grandkids will still need to eat whether or not they have cannabis as a medication through the pharmaceutical industrial complex. And to top it all off, what happens when you “break the law” by planting food and they find out and take away your right to obtain food much the same way they have taken away our rights to obtain scheduled medications because you tested positive for marijuana? (Don’t worry too much I am sure they will let you “something” to eat!)

We must have access to our own gardens and herbal plants because virtually every “drug” made comes from a plant and both prescription drugs and over the counter medications are at risk and could disappear rapidly. Remember over-the-counter pseudoephedrine? Every time they want to take something out of our hands they make it illegal and claim it is for the greater good. You may very well need to grow your own medicine too because if you do not meet their requirements they won’t let you have any of theirs.

It is a fact that cannabis/hemp is a food and a medicine. By withholding it from us they have effectively made many of us weaker through endocanabinoid deficiency and people are becoming sicker in general from the foods that we ingest as well as the ones that we do not have access to. Our ability to stand up to an enemy of any kind on a physical scale has been dramatically affected by both nutrition and the chemicals we are exposed to in our food and in our air and water as well as required inoculations against various diseases. Our children are having the worse reactions to all this which can be seen by the rise in not only autism but other birth defects as well.

The most important thing to note is that cannabis, food and medicine is something that everyone needs to have access to in various forms for various reasons. If it is only available thru a controlled environment then we will be subjected to probable malnutrition and genocide. Our health has become bad enough already due to corporate food and medicine. We certainly do not need it to get any worse. Is this going to be total population control via food and medicine? I am afraid so.

“People who don’t get enough food often experience and over the long term this can lead to malnutrition. But someone can become malnourished for reasons that have nothing to do with hunger. Even people who have plenty to eat may be malnourished if they don’t eat foods that provide the right nutrients, vitamins, and minerals.”

NOW THAT THE BEAST HAS BEEN IDENTIFIED, WHAT WOULD BE THE BEST COURSE OF ACTION TO TAKE?

Probably the best thing we can do right is to demand cannabis sativa and any naturally growing plant removed from United Nations control and the Controlled Substance Act in the U.S.

Additionally, Agenda 21 needs to be eliminated as it stands now. No entity should be allowed total control over plants and food, especially those grown in our own garden.

However, it is a fact that any type of food or medicine created and/or sold by a corporate entity has to be governed. Their entire purpose is to make money and they will do anything to accomplish that including selling us pink slime for meat. That is what should be governed.

It seems to me that the FDA is not doing its job correctly. Protect the people, not the corporations. The fact that a corporation has its own “personhood” is just totally ridiculous and must end.

The United Nations itself could be modified into an agency that protects the unalienable rights of the people throughout the world. It cannot police the world however. And it cannot rule the people as a government does. For this reason any policing agencies that are international such as Interpol must be eliminated. This would throw the policing back to the people’s own respective countries and the people of those countries will have to police their own governments to ensure that they keep the will of their people as top priority while governing.

Will this mean that war will continue to be a fixture in our world? Yes, of course it does. War always has been and always will be. It is the next closest thing to “God” that exists in that aspect. But if each country’s government has jurisdiction over its own people then the citizens can decide who will be ‘in charge’. If they need help during a crisis then other countries can step in to help where needed at the time and as they choose to do so. If the whole world comes under the rule of one governing body then we would have no control anymore at all. And this is what it seems to be leading up to – one governing body ruling virtually the entire planet with the ‘head’ of that governing body being the five original victors of WWII: the United States, Russia (U.S.S.R), France, China and the U.K.

World War II never really ended, it just changed it course. We have to put an end to this global war against all God’s people and the time is now! If you do not believe in god then you can say we have to put an end to the war against world humanity. It means basically the same thing – at least to me.

Just say no!

clip_image003

NOTES & REFERENCE LINKS:

Leary v. United States, 395 U.S. 6 (1969), is a U.S. Supreme Court case dealing with the constitutionality of the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937. Timothy Leary, a professor and activist, was arrested for the possession of marijuana in violation of the Marihuana Tax Act. Leary challenged the act on the ground that the act required self-incrimination, which violated the Fifth Amendment. The unanimous opinion of the court was penned by Justice John Marshall Harlan II and declared the Marihuana Tax Act unconstitutional. Thus, Leary’s conviction was overturned. Congress responded shortly thereafter by repealing the Marihuana Tax Act and passing the Controlled Substances Act to continue the prohibition of certain drugs in the United States.

“By 2020, 30 billion connected devices will generate unprecedented amounts of data. The infrastructure required to collect, process, store, and analyze this data requires transformational changes in the foundations of computing. Bottom line: current systems can’t handle where we are headed and we need a new solution. HP has that solution in The Machine. ”

Ban Ki-moon (Hangul: ???; hanja: ???; born 13 June 1944) is a South Korean statesman and politician who is the eighth and current Secretary-General of the United Nations. Before becoming Secretary-General, Ban was a career diplomat in South Korea’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and in the United Nations.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interpol

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corporate_personhood

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pink_slime

http://kidshealth.org/parent/growth/feeding/hunger.html

http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/birthdefects/types.html

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2014/03/27/autism-rates-rise/6957815/

http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/schedules/

http://www.nel.edu/pdf_/25_12/NEL251204R02_Russo_.pdf

http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO1&Sect2=HITOFF&d=PALL&p=1&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsrchnum.htm&r=1&f=G&l=50&s1=6630507.PN.&OS=PN/6630507&RS=PN/6630507

http://hemp.org/news/book/export/html/626

http://www.druglibrary.org/schaffer/hemp/taxact/anslng1.htm

http://www.freedomadvocates.org/understanding-unalienable-rights-2/

http://www.freedomadvocates.org/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Committee_on_World_Food_Security

https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/post2015/transformingourworld

https://www.worldwewant2015.org/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agenda_21

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Israel%E2%80%93United_States_relations

http://www.hpl.hp.com/research/systems-research/themachine/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HP_Labs#Labs

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manfred_Donike

http://www.globalsources.com/manufacturers/Drug-Test-Kit.html?keywords=_inurl%3A%2Fmanufacturers%2F&matchtype=b&device=c&WT.mc_id=1001007&WT.srch=1&gclid=Cj0KEQjw2KyxBRCi2rK11NCDw6UBEiQAO-tljUJHHVLsYxnVYIjclmlCiwuLEH2akAa-iTolJ2zN6-8aAjtm8P8HAQ

http://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/21cfr/cfr/2108cfrt.htm

http://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/21cfr/cfr/1308/1308_11.htm

http://uscode.house.gov/view.xhtml?path=/prelim@title21/chapter13&edition=prelim

http://uscode.house.gov/view.xhtml?path=/prelim@title21/chapter13&edition=prelim

http://www.fda.gov/regulatoryinformation/legislation/ucm148726.htm#cntlsbc

http://www.medicinehunter.com/plant-medicines

http://www.unfoundation.org/what-we-do/issues/united-nations/advocating-us-funding-un.html

http://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/21cfr/21usc/index.html

http://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/treatment/cam/hp/cannabis-pdq

http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/?pid=2767

Titles II and III Of The Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act Of 1970 (Pub-Lic Law 91–513) https://legcounsel.house.gov/Comps/91-513.pdf

The DEA Once Turned A 14-Year-Old Into A Drug Kingpin. Welcome To The War On Drugs

Posted: 10/24/2014 10:47 am EDT

Nick Wing Become a fan nickw@huffingtonpost.com

 

This is the second part of a two-part series. Read part one here.

Americans spent approximately $100 billion a year on illegal drugs between 2000 and 2010, according to a 2012 report published by the RAND corporation. Part of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s job, alongside several other law enforcement agencies, is to make that process more difficult at home, where harsh federal drug laws have ensured that such transactions are conducted — until recently, in some states — entirely on the black market. The DEA also works to cut off imported illicit drugs at the source, which means mounting operations around the world to tackle a global drug trade that generates $322 billion annually, according to UN estimates.

It’s a gargantuan task. Critics of the war on drugs say it’s an impossible one. Over 40 years, the U.S. has spent more than $1 trillion in the fight. Thousands of people on both sides of the battle have lost their lives. In the end, it’s led only to cheaper, higher quality drugs at home and abroad, and by most accounts, little change in the number of people using them. While the momentum may finally be shifting away from an enforcement-first national drug policy and toward prevention and treatment, aggressive enforcement of the nation’s drug laws doesn’t appear to be going anywhere just yet.

Until the nation drastically rethinks its approach on drugs, the DEA will continue to play an integral part in the war against them, and that sometimes means resorting to controversial tactics. Below, find out how domestic spying, broken promises and a 14-year-old from Detroit have all played a part in that seemingly endless struggle.

The DEA has been spying on U.S. citizens with a surveillance program more expansive than the NSA’s.

Just months after Edward Snowden unmasked the National Security Agency’s massive domestic spying program, The New York Times broke news of the Hemisphere Project, which pairs experts from telecommunications giant AT&T with federal and local anti-drug officials, including DEA agents. It gives law enforcement officials access to “every call that passes through an AT&T switch — not just those made by AT&T customers — and includes calls dating back 26 years,” according to the Times report. That’s around 4 billion call records every day, each logged with information on the location of callers. The official government slideshow describing the program suggested it had been helpful in tracking drug dealers who frequently change phones, or use disposable “burner” phones.

burner phone

The White House attempted to allay privacy concerns about the Hemisphere Project last year, noting that AT&T stores the collected data, unlike in the NSA’s program, in which data is turned over to the government. Federal officials can quickly access the records, however, often within an hour of a subpoena.

The ACLU criticized the apparent secrecy of the program, which had been in existence for six years before being revealed by the Times in 2013. The organization suggested that blanket surveillance and close federal involvement could represent a violation of the Fourth Amendment protections against unreasonable search and seizure.

“Hemisphere is deeply troubling, not only because the government is amassing detailed, comprehensive information about people who’ve done nothing wrong, but also because the government has deliberately kept Hemisphere secret, even from criminal defendants who’ve been subjected to the program,” wrote ACLU attorney Linda Lye.

And the DEA instructs agents not to tell the truth about sources of key intelligence.

A Reuters report, also from 2013, detailed how the DEA’s Special Operations Division, or SOD, teaches agents to cover up vital tips that come from the department. A DEA document obtained by Reuters shows that federal agents are trained in “parallel construction,” in which essential intelligence obtained SOD wiretaps, informants or other surveillance methods can be concealed by crediting it to another source.

An unnamed former federal agent who received tips from the SOD gave an example of how the process worked: “You’d be told only, ‘Be at a certain truck stop at a certain time and look for a certain vehicle.’ And so we’d alert the state police to find an excuse to stop that vehicle, and then have a drug dog search it,” the agent said.

If an arrest was made, agents were instructed to hide the fact that the initial tip had come from SOD, and instead use “normal investigative techniques to recreate the information.” This process is sometimes used to hide case details from prosecutors and judges, as well as defense attorneys. Several lawyers told Reuters that the practice could jeopardize a defendant’s constitutional right to fair trial and cover up evidence that might otherwise be inadmissible.

DEA officials defended the technique, however, calling it a common law enforcement tool that allows the SOD to crack high-profile cases.

The DEA has confidential informants who have made it a lifetime career.

Confidential informants — sometimes referred to as “snitches” — are crucial assets in the DEA’s war on drugs. In 2005, the agency told the Justice Department it has around 4,000 of these sources actively working for it at any given time. Many of these informants are recruited after being caught for drug crimes themselves, and are offered a chance to work for the DEA as a way to earn a reduced sentence. Others have made a full-time profession out of informing, a controversial practice in itself, as some critics suggest it encourages longtime informants to go after and potentially entrap low-level dealers rather than higher profile targets.

Informants can make tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars helping the government prosecute and convict drug dealers, with payment often contingent on how much money is seized in an eventual bust. That’s how Andrew Chambers Jr. once made a name for himself as “the highest-paid snitch in DEA history,” with a 16-year career as a federal informant between 1984 and 2000, during which time he reportedly netted as much as $4 million in government money, nearly half of it from the DEA. A report earlier this year in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette found that Chambers was only one of the agency’s million-dollar informants.

andrew chambers jr

Chambers, seen in a YouTube video from the Speakers Agency.

The “highest-paid snitch in DEA history” was also found to have lied repeatedly in testimony. Despite his reputation, he recently resumed work with the DEA.

Chambers’ work with the DEA halted in 2000, after a review of testimony revealed he’d committed perjury in at least 16 cases, when he lied on the witness stand about his credentials. Agents who’d worked closely with Chambers during the time, however — including Michele Leonhart, who became DEA administrator in 2010 — spoke highly of him despite the criticism that made him a national story. Around the time of Leonhart’s confirmation, the DEA reactivated Chambers as an informant.

While his current role with the DEA is unclear, legal professionals have expressed concerns beyond Chambers’ record of perjury. Defense attorneys told the Arizona Republic that he regularly failed to record introductory meetings, which left open the possibility that he was entrapping suspects and compromising cases.

Shortly after news broke that Chambers had resumed working with the DEA, a case in which he served as the primary informant fell apart and federal prosecutors asked for the charges to be dismissed.

Confidential informants are given so much free rein that one top DEA source actually had his own sub-network of informants.

While the DEA has released information about the general size of the program and the basic guidelines under which it operates, less is known about exactly how — and to what extent — the agency controls its informants.

The perils of this ambiguity were exposed in 2004, when it was revealed that a star DEA informant was actually paying his own sub-informants to help him set up drug deals. In one case, in which this arrangement wasn’t initially revealed to defense attorneys, a sub-informant made a number of calls to a defendant who would later be facing charges for trafficking methamphetamines. The calls weren’t recorded, however, which opened up the possibility that the alleged meth trafficker had actually been pressured to go through with the deal that led to his arrest. A judge determined that this raised the possibility of entrapment and ordered federal prosecutors to release a full list of the cases in which the informant and sub-informant had collaborated. When the government refused, the judge threw out the indictment and freed the defendant, writing that the DEA had tried to “shield itself from accountability by hiring someone outside of law enforcement who is free to violate citizens’ rights.”

In a ruling explaining her decision, the judge also blasted the DEA, suggesting it was “highly unlikely” that it was unaware of the informant’s sub-contractors. In an earlier case, the informant had testified that he’d never told his DEA handlers about his network, and that they’d never asked.

The DEA allows informants to break the law, but have no records as to how often it happens.

Federal agencies came under fire in 2012 in the wake of the Fast and Furious gun-walking scandal for not adequately tracking instances in which they authorize informants to commit crimes in the line of government duty. In the case of Fast and Furious, gun dealers working with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives sold 2,000 weapons to Mexican cartels, but failed to have them traced. In response to a USA Today report, both the ATF and DEA claimed they were “in compliance” with rules determining when they could advise their informants to break the law.

Both agencies also acknowledged that they didn’t track how frequently they granted such permission.

Some congressional representatives have called for more accountability among federal agencies with regard to informants. Rep. Stephen Lynch (D-Mass.) sponsored an unsuccessful bill in 2013 that would have required federal agencies to report to lawmakers whenever an informant commits a serious crime, with or without authorization.

One of America’s most notorious terrorists once served as a DEA informant.

In 2013, David Coleman Headley, an American of Pakistani descent, was sentenced to 35 years in prison for plotting the 2008 Mumbai terrorist attacks, which killed at least 164 people and wounded hundreds more. Government officials with knowledge of Headley’s past spoke of a man who had grown increasingly radicalized in the years leading up to the attack, but subsequent reporting also followed up on his work as a confidential informant for the DEA between 1997 and 2005, according to sources.

The DEA, which sent Headley on a number of trips to gather intelligence on heroin traffickers in Pakistan, has denied that he was working officially with the agency as late as 2005, or at any time when he was receiving training at militant camps in the region.

mumbai terror attacks

An Indian soldier takes cover as the Taj Mahal hotel burns during gun battle between Indian military and militants in Mumbai, India. (AP Photo/David Guttenfelder, File)

Another informant allegedly shot and killed a man who confronted him for molesting his child.

Sometimes informants get caught doing unauthorized dirty deeds while on the agency’s payroll. In Albuquerque, the DEA is facing a lawsuit claiming it was negligent in supervising an informant who allegedly shot and killed another man earlier this year. The informant has been charged in the man’s death, as well as with criminal sexual penetration of a child under 13 and a host of other charges. The victim had allegedly confronted the informant over the sexual assault of his son when he was shot. The suit is seeking $50 million in damages, alleging that the informant had prior felony convictions and a history of violence and should not have been recruited by the DEA.

The DEA strung one informant along for 20 years with the promise of citizenship. She still hasn’t received it.

When Norma was just 19 years old, she became a confidential informant for the DEA. She told her story to Yolanda Gonzalez Gomez as part of a partnership between New America Media and HuffPost Voces. Norma explained how desperation and the promise of citizenship led her to sign up for a commitment she knew little about. Over the course of 20 years, Norma says she repeatedly put her life on the line for the DEA, and in return, she got paid, although she said agents sometimes refused to give her the money she was owed. Citizenship, however, never came, and now Norma fears she’ll be deported and sent back to Mexico, where she hasn’t lived since she was 5 years old. She also said she believes her life would be in danger there as a result of her work for the DEA.

Norma is an alias — she asked that her real name be withheld — but immigration attorney Jodi Goodwin knows stories like hers are not uncommon. “Federal government agencies use and abuse undocumented confidential informants for years, trample their rights with impunity, promise them permanent residency and never deliver on it,” she told Gomez. “And they know they don’t have to deliver on it. But they keep pressuring them with that promise so they will keep cooperating.”

The DEA has also been accused of using other exploitative means to recruit assets.

In a lawsuit filed earlier this year, a New Mexico man and former DEA informant alleged that the agency had recruited him by targeting his history of substance abuse. An attorney representing 38-year-old Aaron Romero claimed that her client had recently beaten a crack cocaine addiction in 2011, when a DEA-sponsored informant offered him the opportunity to sell drugs — provided to him by the U.S. government — and to feed the agency information on other drug dealers. His payment, Romero’s attorney alleged, came in the form of crack for personal use. Romero relapsed, his attorney said, and was eventually arrested on federal counts of distributing crack cocaine near a school, charges that were ultimately dropped after he spent a number of months in jail.

crack cocaine pipe

The DEA once turned a teenager into a drug kingpin so he could act as an informant.

In the 1980s, federal agents with the DEA and FBI plucked 14-year-old Richard Wershe from his Detroit high school and began crafting a new identity for him as a drug kingpin. Over the next few years, the teenage Wershe would live a double life, one as the legend who’d later be known as White Boy Rick, one of the most notorious drug lords in city, and the other as a valuable informant for the DEA and other law enforcement agencies.

“I was just a kid when the agents pulled me out of high school in the ninth grade and had me out to 3 in the morning every night,” Wershe told The Fix in 2013. “They gave me a fake ID when I was 15 that said I was 21 so I could travel to Vegas and to Miami to do drug deals.”

With intelligence provided by Wershe, authorities were able to make a series of high-profile arrests, disrupting Detroit’s rampant drug trade and the police corruption that had grown alongside it.

But in 1988, then 17 and no longer an informant, Wershe was pulled over and busted for work in the same drug business as the one to which the DEA had introduced him. The 17 pounds of cocaine found in his car resulted in a life sentence. He’s the only convict still behind bars in Michigan to receive a life sentence as a minor under the state’s now-repealed “650-lifer” law. Many of the targets whom Wershe helped put in jail have long since been released.

richard wershe

The DEA did treat one informant very nicely, giving him nearly $900,000 for information it could have gotten for free.

The Associated Press reported in August that the DEA had paid an Amtrak secretary $854,460 over nearly 20 years as an informant to pass confidential information about passenger reservations. But as the AP reported, Amtrak police are already part of an anti-drug task force that includes the DEA, and would have given the agency that information free of charge.

For more on the sketchiest things the DEA has done, read part one of this series.

CONTINUE READING…