Minnesota DHS discriminating against the disabled for YEARS ?

Minnesota DHS discriminating against the disabled for YEARS ?

July 30A federal judge ruled Friday that a class action lawsuit filed by people with disabilities can proceed against the Minnesota Department of Human Services.

The four named plaintiffs allege they represent some 5,000 disabled Minnesotans who have been deprived of over $1 billion in services from a Medicaid program managed by DHS. They claim the Home and Community Based Service Waiver program, which is meant to help disabled people live independently rather than in hospitals or nursing homes, was mismanaged to the point where plaintiffs languished on waiting lists for years or were incorrectly told they were not eligible for funds.

Medicare waivers allow states to spend money that would be used for institutionalization on other services that allow disabled people to live on their own, such as housing and caretaking.

“These are services that have been promised to people with disabilities,” said Shamus O’Meara of O’Meara Leer Wagner & Kohl, the Minneapolis-based law firm that represents the plaintiffs. “The state has the money it has been receiving it for two decades and it just isn’t spending it. It doesn’t spend it and it reverts back to the general fund. We’re not sure precisely sure where the money is going.”

O’Meara said some people have been on waiting lists for 15 years without receiving benefits.

DHS had argued the plaintiffs’ claims should be dismissed, or in the alternative that Minnesota counties should be named as parties as well. The judge rejected that argument, finding that DHS controlled the program in dispute.

The lawsuit was originally filed in August 2015.

Most Governors signed compact to legislate limits on opiate dosing

Bullock one of seven governors not signing NGA’s compact to fight opioid abuse

http://www.kbzk.com/story/32578537/bullock-one-of-seven-governors-not-signing-ngas-compact-to-fight-opioid-abuse

Apparently the vast majority of GOVERNORS believe that you can legislate morality, mental health issues and the treatment of chronic pain.  IMO… what a bunch of  ARROGANT ASS-HOLES !

HELENA –

Gov. Steve Bullock is one of only seven governors who wouldn’t sign a National Governors Association compact to fight a national epidemic of opioid drug addiction and abuse.

The compact, released two weeks ago, outlines steps that states should take to combat the abuse of opioids, such as prescription painkillers, heroin and other such drugs.

“Turning the tide on the epidemic requires a coordinated response across all levels of government and strong leadership from the private sector,” the NGA said when it unveiled the compact.

But the Bullock administration said it objects to two main elements of the compact: Requiring physicians and other health-care professionals to check a state prescription-drug database before prescribing such drugs to any patient, and considering laws to limit certain prescriptions.

Prescription limits are “adamantly opposed” by physicians and pain advocates, and using Montana’s prescription-drug database when prescribing drugs should be voluntary – as it is now, the governor’s office told MTN News.

Jean Branscum, CEO of the Montana Medical Association, which represents physicians, said it believes doctors should check Montana’s prescription-drug database when prescribing painkillers, to see if the patient might be “doctor-shopping” for certain drugs.

Yet the MMA does not believe state law should require physicians to do the checks.

“Leaping into making that a mandate takes us in a different direction, than what we feel is necessary for Montana physicians,” she said Friday.

Montana has had a prescription-drug registry since 2011. The bill creating it was one of Bullock’s top initiatives when he was the state’s attorney general.

Pharmacists are required to file information with the registry on almost every controlled-substance prescription they fill. The registry is meant to track the potential overuse or abuse of certain drugs.

Branscum said Montana’s prescription-drug registry is “still a product in development,” and that the MMA has been working with the state Board of Pharmacy, which runs the registry, to enable physicians’ staff to be able to check it.

That change will help the checks become more easily “built into the work flow” of a doctor’s office, she said.

The MMA also supports extending the registry beyond 2017, when it’s scheduled to expire, and will be seeking a bill in the 2017 Legislature to do that, she added.

As for limiting certain opioid prescriptions, Branscum said state law should not be used to dictate a “standard of practice” by physicians.

The best practices for treating chronic pain are evolving and the MMA is offering continuing education for physicians, she said.

“We want to have education on those best practices and (not) have physicians worry about what the law says is the best practice at the time the law is passed,” Branscum said.

“Physicians agree that there is an opioid epidemic across the nation and that Montana has not been left untouched,” she said. “So physicians are stepping up for the best patient care, without having mandates surrounding that, to take care of the issue.”

She said the MMA also will be supporting efforts to make naloxone more available – a drug used to treat opioid overdoses.

Philippines President: kill the addicts/junkies and drug sellers

Philippines President Makes Good on Pledge to Mass Murder People Who Use or Sell Drugs, Calls for “No Mercy” in State of the Nation Address

http://www.drugpolicy.org/news/2016/07/philippines-president-makes-good-pledge-mass-murder-people-who-use-or-sell-drugs-calls-

Apparently the President of the Philippines is putting together a full blown GENOCIDE.. unlike the USA that is just taking away the pain management of millions of people .. who end up going to the street and dying from using Heroin/Fentanyl street drugs or just commits suicide… which in this process is just more like a “passive genocide ” ?

President Estimates 100,000 People Will Be Killed; Several Hundred Already Executed Extra-Judicially

Drug Policy Alliance: Stop the Philippines Drug War Killings Now

Today, the President of the Philippines delivered his “State of the Nation Address.”  He vowed to show “no mercy” in his bloody war on drugs and crime, warning criminals that priests and human rights advocates cannot protect them from being killed.

Rodrigo Duterte was elected last month after promising to wipe out crime and corruption throughout the country, relying heavily on an anti-drug campaign centered around murdering people who use or sell drugs. Duterte has encouraged law enforcement, and even civilians, to kill people suspected of selling drugs and people who struggle with addiction. He said, “If you know of any addicts, go ahead and kill them yourself as getting their parents to do it would be too painful.”

“I strongly suspect that Filipinos will come to regret their election of a president who expresses such contempt for basic principles of due process and human rights,’ said Ethan Nadelmann, Executive Director of the Drug Policy Alliance. “A government that condones extra-judicial killings of people who use or sell drugs will eventually turn its terror on others – it’s just a matter of time.”

During his campaign, Duterte estimated that 100,000 people would die as a result of this crackdown. According to AFP, Duterte has not been deterred by the human rights concerns opponents have raised about lack of due process. Additionally, as part of his initiative, Duterte promises to fully pardon anyone involved with the killing of people who use or sell drugs. Last week, police announced a plan to erect a large electronic billboard outside their headquarters in Manila that will keep track of all these drug-related killings.

There has been a notable silence from the international community. So far, the only country to weigh in has been China – and they have been supportive of Duterte’s drug policies.

Historically, the Philippines has had a conservative approach to drug policy and maintained harsh drug laws, such as 20 years of imprisonment for possession of 5 grams or more of any type of drug. But Duterte’s approach is unprecedented; he has escalated an already-tough drug policy to the extreme, eliciting terror and violence throughout the country.

“In 1985 I was sentenced to 15 years-to-life for a first time, nonviolent drug offense, and it blows me away to hear about the draconian drug policy that the President of the Philippines is championing,” said Anthony Papa, author of This Side of Freedom and manager of media relations at the Drug Policy Alliance. “We have some terrible drug policies in the U.S., like mandatory minimum sentences, but I have never seen anything like the killings that are happening in the Philippines right now.”

DEA: Pot Growers ‘The New Meth Labs’

liarliarDEA Flakes on Promise to Reschule Cannabis, Instead Calls Pot Growers ‘The New Meth Labs’

Last December, we began hearing rumors that the DEA might change its absurd stance on cannabis and remove it from the list of Schedule 1 drugs with “no medicinal value.” The agency sent a letter to lawmakers in April saying it will release a decision on rescheduling “in the first half of 2016.”

Freedom advocates and medical cannabis patients eagerly anticipated this rare bit of rationality from federal government. Lawmakers who value modern knowledge urged the DEA to fulfill their promise, as the Schedule 1 status makes scientific inquiry near impossible. Study after study is showing the amazingly diverse ways that cannabis can heal human ailments through stimulation of the endocannabinoid system.

Alas, the first half of the year ended on June 30 and the DEA failed to uphold its promise. A spokesman said in early July, “We aren’t holding ourselves to any artificial time frame,” and there is no update on the possibility of rescheduling cannabis.

It’s another example of how putting faith in government is not a good idea. No one is really waiting on the DEA to come to its senses anyway, as half the states in the nation have legalized medical cannabis and hardly anyone still believes the plant should remain illegal.

We should expect nothing less from the tyrannical Drug Enforcement Agency, anyway, as its corruption, its subservience to Big Pharma and its predatory behavior on innocent citizens is well documented. The agency has too much revenue and power to lose if people gain the freedom to use the cannabis plant.

Perhaps this is why, in contradiction of the current scientific body of knowledge, DEA chief Chuck Rosenberg said of cannabis, “don’t call it medicine — that is a joke.”

To further demonstrate the authoritarian vileness of this agency that feeds on the immoral War on Drugs, the same “chardonnay-sipping” DEA lawyer who anonymously told the Santa Monica Observer the rescheduling cannabis will happen in August, had this to say more recently:

“I will remind everyone that Congress vested the DEA with authority to enforce the nation’s drug laws. Don’t even think of challenging our authority. Because ultimately, what you will get to use is only what we will allow.”

It gets worse.

As Colorado has legalized recreational, as well as medicinal, cannabis and is now proving the astounding benefits this brings—and disproving the fear-mongering propaganda of prohibitionists—the DEA appears to be in quite the tizzy.

Like a pouting child, it digs in its heels and ups the deception tactics. In June the DEA put out a so-called intelligence report, totaling three pages, titled Residential Marijuana Grows in Colorado: The New Meth Houses?

Yes, they are actually trying to draw a parallel with a highly addictive synthetic chemical drug that actually kills people and has no medicinal value. Because, you know, extremely flammable, extremely toxic ingredients used in meth production are just like potting soil and fertilizer.

After lamenting the fact that Colorado is not limiting or regulating home grown cannabis, they suggest that there is “a proliferation of large-scale marijuana grow operations in hundreds of homes throughout the state.”

Without citing any actual figures, the report states:

“Local police departments often receive numerous calls from neighbors about marijuana grow houses. Common complaints include strong odors, excessive noise from industrial air-conditioning units, blown electrical transformers, and heavy vehicle traffic.”

It goes on to list how various problems “often” occur at grow houses (“often” is used in every sentence), such as mold, or residents drilling holes in walls or tampering with electrical systems. They paint the scenario of loose wires touching propane, with no actual examples of this happening.

This fictitious scenario must be the basis for their completely unfounded repot title. The “intelligence report” turns out to be just a half-baked piece of propaganda which runs counter to reality.

Mason Tvert of the Marijuana Policy Project told Marijuana.com in an email, “Colorado’s laws have shifted the vast majority of marijuana growing out of homes and into tightly controlled facilities,” Mason Tvert of the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP) told Marijuana.com in an email. “If an adult is doing it privately and in accordance with state laws, it is no more dangerous than an adult brewing his or her own beer.”

The DEA report suggests that the purported danger is driven by “drug traffickers and criminal organizations” setting up large-scale grow houses to ship product out of state. Even if this is posing some degree of a problem to the electrical grid or what not, there is one cause—prohibition.

Dangers associated with drugs—such as health risks and violence—are created by a black market which exists only because of government prohibition.

When a substance is decriminalized, the black market shrinks to insignificance and people can purchase products from known, reputable vendors committed to quality and safety.

So, by applying logic, if cannabis is legalized throughout the country, then cannabis will be grown in all states—thus eliminating the demand for Colorado to supply other parts of the country.

The “drug traffickers and criminal organization” would wither away and the purported dangers they bring to home grows in Colorado would be a non-issue.

It’s really simple, DEA. We just need you to go away, and everything will be fine.
Read more at http://thefreethoughtproject.com/dea-reclassify-cannabis-drug-war/#LFKmSUgCLooAMYrd.99

Krispy Kreme doughnut glaze contains METHAMPHETAMINE ?

Florida man arrested after officer mistakes Krispy Kreme doughnut glaze for meth

http://www.foxnews.com/leisure/2016/07/29/florida-man-arrested-after-officer-mistakes-krispy-kreme-donut-glaze-for-meth/

A 64-year-old Orlando, Fla., man is seeking damages from the city after he was handcuffed, arrested, jailed and strip-searched for possession of a highly addictive substance known to cause temporary euphoria.

No, not crystal meth. But it was something that many consider to be just as addictive: the sugary glaze from a Krispy Kreme doughnut.

Daniel Rushing had taken a neighbor to the hospital for a chemotherapy session and was driving an elderly friend home from her job at a 7-Eleven last December when he was pulled over for speeding, according to a report in the Orlando Sentinel.

When Rushing, a retiree who worked in the Orlando parks department for 25 years, opened his wallet to take out his driver’s license, Cpl. Shelby Riggs-Hopkins saw that he had a concealed-weapons permit.

Rushing disclosed to the officer that he was carrying a weapon, and she then asked him to step out of his car. And that’s when she spotted “a rock like substance on the floor board where his feet were.”

“I recognized through my eleven years of training and experience as a law enforcement officer the substance to be some sort of narcotic,” the eight-year veteran of the force wrote in Rushing’s arrest report.

Riggs-Hopkins field-tested the substance twice, and both times it came up positive for amphetamines. After she read Rushing his Miranda rights, he “stated that he has never done any drugs in his life and he has no idea now the substance got in his vehicle. Rushing stated that the substance is sugar from a Krispie Kreme Donut that he ate.”

Rushing told the Orlando Sentinel that he had to wait anxiously for six weeks until a report from Florida’s state crime lab confirmed that he’d been telling the truth all along. But he’s already spent about 10 hours in jail – he was released on $2,500 bond – for possessing the remains of a doughnut.

“It was incredible,” Rushing told the Sentinel. “It feels scary when you haven’t done anything wrong and get arrested … It’s just a terrible feeling.”

He said he agreed to let Riggs-Hopkins search his car because “I didn’t have anything to hide.

“I’ll never let anyone search my car again.”

The police department did not explain why the doughnut glaze tested positive for amphetamine in both field tests. In a statement, the department said the arrest was a lawful one.

Earlier this month, a New York Times investigation on roadside drug tests found that the testing kits used by Florida officers are far from reliable:

There are no established error rates for the field tests, in part because their accuracy varies so widely depending on who is using them and how. Data from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement lab system show that 21 percent of evidence that the police listed as methamphetamine after identifying it was not methamphetamine, and half of those false positives were not any kind of illegal drug at all.

Rushing has not said how much money he is seeking from the city. His attorney, William Ruffier, told the Sentinel he expects to file a suit against the city in August. 

 
 
 
 

Montana: Is this what you get when attorneys are in charge of medical care ?

Cancer-stricken former state rep. appeals to AG on medical-marijuana enforcement

http://www.kxlh.com/story/32542317/cancer-stricken-former-state-rep-appeals-to-ag-on-medical-marijuana-enforcement

HELENA – A former chair of the Montana Democratic Party, stricken with pancreatic cancer, has made a personal appeal to state Attorney General Tim Fox to support delaying enforcement of new restrictions on medical marijuana in the state.

Fox, however, said through a spokeswoman that his office can’t “nullify state law” or choose to go against a state Supreme Court order.

Bob Ream, a retired wildlife-biology professor and former state representative from Missoula, wrote a letter last week to Fox, a Republican, describing his recent diagnosis of pancreatic cancer and his difficulty sleeping.

Ream wrote that he’s “never been a pot-smoker,” but that medical marijuana is the only thing that has helped him get some sleep – and that “it is not possible to fight cancer and endure chemotherapy without sleep.”

New restrictions on the drug, including limiting medical-marijuana providers to only three patients, are scheduled to take effect Aug. 31.

The 2011 Legislature passed the restrictions, but they’d been tied up in court until the Montana Supreme Court upheld them in February.

However, medical-marijuana supporters in Montana have qualified a ballot measure to remove the restrictions. Montana voters will decide the issue in the Nov. 8 election.

Medical-marijuana supporters asked the state Supreme Court earlier this year to delay the effect of its ruling, until the election or until the 2017 Legislature could reconsider the issue. The court rejected that request, but did set the Aug. 31st effective date.

The marijuana industry has since asked a state District Court to intervene. Fox’s office has filed arguments saying the Supreme Court order should be carried out.

Acquaintances of Ream said he’s worried he could be among the thousands of medical-marijuana patients who would lose their provider, once the three-patient-per-provider limit becomes law.

About 13,000 people have been approved to receive medical marijuana, but only about 430 providers exist in the state – so only 1,300 patients could continue to obtain the drug from providers.

According to the DEA: the reclassification was aimed at “curbing this [opioid] misuse and abuse”

noopiatesforyouHydrocodone reclassification harms millions suffering from chronic pain

http://thehill.com/blogs/congress-blog/judicial/289741-hydrocodone-reclassification-harms-millions-suffering-from#disqus_thread

Nearly two years ago, the DEA made the lives of millions of Americans more difficult. On August 22, 2014, the agency moved hydrocodone combination drugs such as Vicodin from Schedule III to Schedule II. This reclassification created tougher rules, greater bureaucracy, stricter penalties, and a corrosive doctor-patient atmosphere for millions of Americans who suffer from chronic pain — many of whom are elderly, financially disadvantaged, or permanently disabled.

Chronic pain afflicts more than 25 million Americans according to the National Institutes of Health. Many of those people take narcotic analgesics, such as hydrocodone, to treat their pain and improve their daily lives. These prescription drugs bring relief to millions of people by reducing the burden of their pain. For many, the medicine means enjoying activities that would otherwise be excruciating. For others, it means being able to work a full-time job or being able to take care of loved ones. For all, it makes an otherwise painful existence a bit more bearable.

According to the DEA, the reclassification was aimed at “curbing this [opioid] misuse and abuse.” The Agency cited CDC reports indicating that in 2010 “seventy-five percent of the prescription drug overdose deaths (16,651 people) were due to opioid drugs primarily containing oxycodone, hydrocodone, or methadone.” However, these numbers do not distinguish between medical and recreational users. Many of those who died due to prescription drug overdose were not medically prescribed these drugs, but rather obtained them through theft or illegal purchase.

The DEA believes that they are only targeting pill mills and drug abusers, but these strict rules create artificial barriers for chronic pain patients and distort incentives for doctors and pharmacies. Under the new rules, prescriptions cannot be refilled, meaning that chronic pain patients must continuously return to the doctor for new prescriptions. The rules also place greater restrictions on distributors, which in turn reduces the total supply that pharmacies have available. This reduction in supply, coupled with the fact that pharmacies are often not allowed to tell patients over the phone if drugs are available, forces patients to drive to numerous locations before finding a facility that has their medicine in stock.

The new rules also generated a lot of alarm among pharmacists and doctors who fear investigation from the DEA. This can push doctors away from prescribing medication in favor of more expensive and risky physical procedures. Additionally, other guidelines foster medical environments to treat patients with suspicion. It is now routine for doctors to have patients with a recorded history of chronic pain urinate in a cup to prove that they are taking the medication and not selling it.

When the drug rescheduling was originally proposed, the American Medical Association came out strongly against it arguing that “the change may limit legitimate patient access to this medication.” They were right. Bureaucratic and administrative rules have serious costs. Every time a federal agency implements a new rule, it should ask itself if it’s doing more harm than good. Is the DEA protecting drug addicts or does it mainly serve as an impediment to those who are trying to find relief? In the case of the hydrocone regulation, the answer is clearly the latter.

Pain cannot be externally measured, but the number of deaths prevented can. It is much easier for the government to point to the statistical drop in the number of deaths caused by overdoses than it is to point to the amount of physical pain that has been relieved. There will always be a tendency to favor what can be externally measured over what is internally experienced, since the former can be seen by all and the latter cannot. Pain, however, is only directly observed by those it afflicts and is difficult to transport its gravity through language. In simple terms, it is easy to count bodies, and it is almost impossible to measure pain. However, that fact does not make the pain any less real.

The DEA does a great disservice to the millions of Americans who suffer from chronic pain when it ignores the barriers to pain relief that drug rescheduling creates. Regardless of the agency’s commitment to waging a War on Drugs, people who suffer from chronic pain should not have to suffer even more because of the combined actions of addicts and bureaucrats. Due to the negative effects that this policy has on millions of Americans, the DEA ought to reverse its scheduling decision on hydrocodone combination drugs.