Going to Child Support court? Read this

 

In the eyes of God, before anyone enters into a court-room, both father and mother are the full fledged guardians of a child. Before a couple enters into the family law system, there is no one regulating the terms and conditions of parenthood, household income, time spent with each parent, ect. However, as soon as you add a judge into the mix, lives can be forever altered by an ordinary human construct. The Family Law Courts!

Custody spats, Child support, alimony, these are all terms that send shivers down the spines of many. If you are a non-custodial parent or custodial parent, entering into the family law system, please consider these tips moving forward to ease the struggle of your unique family structure.

Non-Custodial Parent:

  1.  Get a DNA Test! : This sounds like a no-brainer, but you’d be amazed at how many men are paying child support for a kid that is not biologically their own.  Unless there is a prior adoption agreement, no one is legally obligated to pay for someone else’s child.
  2. Consider communication:  If the child is yours, make one last effort to communicate with the mother. What are your goals with the child? What are her goals? Does she want to keep the child? Do you want to be a part of the child’s life? Are you both financially sound? If you two can both find an agreement without involving the government, this will be your best bet. However, if any financial support is given to either party, keep receipts of everything. The custodial parent, (who is typically always going to be the mother in the eye’s of the family law system), can bring the case before a judge at any time and thus sue you for retroactive support. Without any evidence of prior support, you could be on the hook for thousands of dollars.
  3.  Consider your income:  When a child support case is brought to court for the first time, the court will ask for your previous year’s tax return and proof of income from the last two months.  If you know that you have a case coming up, it may be in your financial interest to research how your income levels will be considered. If you have been working three jobs for the last two months before your court date, the courts will consider that income for setting guidelines on how much you are to pay each month. While I do no advise anyone to do anything illegal, maneuvering within the rules (while still adhering to them), in order to survive the eventual 50% garnishment of your income that is soon to take place, is a worthy survival tactic.
  4.  Never let an administrator set the guidelines for support! The child support enforcement agency will often  sell the idea to you that a judge is not needed. They will first appoint an administrator to have a meeting with you and the “custodial” parent. During this meeting, they will calculate income and expenses and then come up with an arbitrary number. That number will always favor the custodial parent.  Never agree to their offers! Always demand that a judge make a ruling on the numbers. Remember, only the judge can make deviations from the  state guidelines. The Child support enforcement administrators cannot make deviations, in fact, they are encouraged to calculate high numbers so that they can collect bonuses from the Title IV section D grant money that is linked with child support collections. However, if you demand to speak with a Judge, he/she may or may not, consider the fact if you have medical expenses, outrageous rent, or other factors that impact your ability to earn income. If the judge is compassionate, you may get lucky with a ruling that is slightly lower than the recommended guidelines issued from the Child Support Enforcement Agency. However, the administrators will never tell you this because they know you are intimidated and do not wish to sit in a court room all day. While the administrators can quickly draw up an order and get you out of their offices, in the long-run, it may not benefit you.
  5. Be Careful with Modifications:  Just because you think your child support is too high doesn’t mean a judge will agree. If you seek to modify your child support order, you may end up paying more! Especially if you have earn more income than you did previously. In some states, CSE (child support enforcement) will automatically raise support amounts if the NCP (Non custodial parent) gets a higher paying job. It is a deadly cycle. Get a higher paying job to afford a child support order, only to have it raised again! Only seek modification if you experience a sharp decrease in earnings and/or you lose your job.  Major medical expenses coming from a surgery or foreclosure may warrant a temporary reduction but can be risky. Consult an attorney!
  6. Challenge Expenses: In child support cases, you will be made to pay for half of any day-care or medical costs. Be sure to challenge any receipts that appear home-made.  These extra expenses can inflate child support payments very quickly, especially if the other parent is embellishing the amount they are paying for child-care costs.
  7. Ask for mediation:  Many courts will offer a no-cost, one-time, mediation session between you and the mother. This is your last ditch effort to sit privately in a room with you and the other parent to negotiate a parenting plan and/or to make voluntary reductions in support. While mediation can be extremely helpful if both parties are logical, it is still up to the judge to agree with the terms.
  8. Consider settlements or Forgiveness:   If you get behind in child support, you may be able to offer settlements to avoid jail time. If you owe $10,000 for instance, you may be able to offer the judge a $6,000 settlement to avoid jail-time without having to pay the remaining three.  Some states even allow for forgiveness of child support debt if you have a good excuse such as medical problems and you are showing good faith to look for employment.
  9. Study Turner V Rogers-  This supreme court case outlined that non-custodial parents should only be jailed if they are willfully refusing to pay child-support payments. Being unable to pay does not warrant one’s life or liberties to be suspended. It must be proven before such aggressive tactics can be implemented against the non-custodial parent.
  10.  Study State of Minnesota V Nelson-  In this case, Mr. Nelson was behind over $80,000, on child support, however, he was still caring for and nurturing his children, i.e.- “Supporting”, therefore the supreme court reversed his felony conviction of failure to pay child support.
  11. Study  Coull vs. Rottman –  In this case, Mr.Coull was absolved of paying any child support due to Ms.Rottman alienating the child from Mr.Coull. The courts found that Ms.Rottman had no bases to ask to support if she was adamant on not allowing the father to partake in the child’s life despite him being fit to do so. This is a rare case decision, but very thought provoking.
  12. Consider International Law: 1976 Article 11 of the ICCPR – International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights – came into effect stating, “No one shall be imprisoned merely on the ground of inability to fulfill a contractual obligation.”  This international obligation contradict many countries’ domestic laws that allow for civil jailings. The United States being one of the chief offenders in not adhering to the provisions in this international agreement. Nevertheless, it is still noteworthy.

Custodial Parents:

  1. Communicate:  Do you want this child? Does he?  Is abortion or adoption being considered? Can you sit down with him/her and have an open-dialogue about both of your futures?  If the child has already been born, still communicate! Do everything you can to handle the situation without court involvement.
  2. Welfare-  Many states will not issue welfare to struggling parents unless they name both parents and/or agree to put one of the parents on child support. A good remedy is to have the entire family apply together, however, this often times makes one ineligible because your income bracket may be too high.
  3. Do not alienate your children:  If you are receiving child support, you are NOT a single parent doing it alone, you are getting help.  Even if the other parent is not able to financially provide, if they are showing love to the child, you should not get in-between that bonding process, to do so can cause severe mental and emotional scars to the child that can make them more susceptible to  deviant behavior as an adult not to mention the emotional damage done to the parent who is being prevented from seeing the child. No body wins in alienation.  Children are not bargaining pieces..
  4.  Spend wisely:  If you receive a good amount of child support every month, use what money is left over and put it in a trust fund for the child’s future education. Many custodial parents like to use child support funds to spoil their children with toys or even themselves. In the long run, it does nothing for your children. It is called “child support”, not an entertainment fund.
  5. Reconsider enforcing penalties:  Asking a judge to suspend the other parent’s drivers license or to have him/her incarcerated only hurts you and the child.  Such penalties will make it harder for him to find and keep employment, thus reducing the chances that you will ever see a dime in child support.
  6. Rethink “Support”-  Many custodial parents are extremely protective of their children, since they usually spend the most time with the child while the other parent is usually busy trying to keep up with child support or alimony payments. If you truly need “support”, do not fight “joint custody”. This way you have one parent taking responsibility half the time, and the other parent doing half the work. In many cases, child support may not even be warranted, in this case, everyone can win. If it isn’t about the money, and you can check your emotions at the door, then joint custody shouldn’t be an issue.
  7.  Become an advocate- About 92% of the time, women end up becoming the custodial parent. As a custodial parent, you have a lot of power. Don’t abuse this power! Use it to advocate for equal parenting rights.  I am reminded of an old saying, “Those who desire to give away their power are the most powerful indeed.”  or as Confucius would say,  “Those who wish to secure others, has already secured himself.”

Both parties

Be mindful of eachother! Neither parent is in a particularly “easy” situation. While the non-custodial parent will become stressed out about meeting child-support criteria, the custodial parent will become stressed out with the rearing of the child, transporting the child ,ect. Try to put yourself in the other parent’s shoes and practice empathy. If both parents can do this, it will make it easier for each of them to work together for the sake of the child and potentially remove the disagreements that lead to one of the parents allowing the government to regulate their family affairs.

While the media has given much coverage to the narrative of the “struggling single mom”, whereas “Men need to step up for face the consequences”, I believe that a new narrative needs to be introduced to the general public. One that considers the history of gender relations and how modern developments require us to look at the situation of family disputes through a modernized “looking glass”.

This publication includes the un-redacted portions from a report that was submitted the Human Rights Council in Geneva and to several other human rights organizations and/or governing bodies such as the United States Department of Justice. The original report was over 50 pages long, however, the sections shown in this publication exclude personal documents that are privileged to confidentiality. I pray that those who take the time to read this report will walk away with a better sense of how the modern family law system operates, who is being marginalized and what we can do to reduce its over-reach into our personal decisions. After all, true “freedom”, isn’t the just the ability to make a choice, but to also suffer the consequences of a choice.

“Freedom”, teaches us that consequences rarely need to be administered by government, but rather by the laws of nature of karmic retributions, principles that no man-made legislation can create a loop-hole for.

God-speed.

-Randell D. Stroud

 

How to settle Legal Matters- A basic guide for Newbies

 

“Money makes the world spin”.  It’s a phrase that we all know very well. Credit cards, alimony, child-support, mortgages, student loans, business loans, ….with a current 19 Trillion debt, the United States and its citizens are buried in financial problems.  But, there is one thing that most of these aforementioned debts have in common, they can usually be mitigated with “settlements” and/or negotiations. However, in this article I will focus on basic lawsuits and criminal cases.

When we hear the word, “Settlement”, images of money are immediately conjured into our minds.  Most of the settlements we hear about in the media are for large sums, anywhere from $50K to millions of dollars, often involving celebrities or powerful business moguls.  Many people might ask, “If a party knows they are innocent, then why would they agree to settle the case?”

People settle cases for all kinds of reasons.

  1. Save on lawyer expenses
  2.  Avoid public attention
  3.  Reduce stress/Time in court
  4.  Reduce risks of harsher sanctions from potentially losing in a trial.

Defendants often settle criminal cases for “plea” bargains. (An admittance of guilt in exchange for a lighter punishment) for similar reasons that defendants agree to settle in civil cases.

Nobody likes being in court! It is costly, time consuming, stressful and can be somewhat intimidating. Whether you are being sued for a credit card debt or facing criminal charges, the potential of being garnished, put in jail, missing time away from work and family, the presence of armed guards, black robed judges, ect…. the entire process can be a bit frightening, especially for those who do not spend much time in the courts. (Which is usually most people unless you are a legal professional, police officer, or a habitual criminal.)

When we decide to settle a case, we have to weigh our options. Defendants and Plaintiffs settle for the same reasons believe it or not. If a defendant believes he has a weak defense or is simply fed up with the court process, he is likely to settle, if a plaintiff believes he has a weak argument or he is fed up with the court process, he is likely to settle. Time is money, and people do not like to have their’s wasted!

In essence, settlements happen when people come to a conclusion after assessing in their minds a “cost-benefit-analysis”.  Let us take a look at the perspective from a defendant and plaintiff’s point of view in a hypothetical discrimination case.

John sues Corporation-Z for racial discrimination.  John has several witnesses who have agreed to testify. Corporation-Z learns that these witnesses with be participating. Corporation-Z believes that John has a good chance at defeating them in court. Corp-Z offers John $10,000 to settle the case out of court. If John were to win the case in court, he would probably sue for much more in damages, however, if John takes the offer, he can save himself attorney fees and months (possibly years) going to court cases.

Although Corp-Z is in a disadvantageous position, they are well-funded and will be able to drag the case on for a long time. John is a simple 9 to 5 employee with very little resources. However, John feels that he has strong evidence and is unwilling to settle for $10,000, he refuses the offer and decides to see it through to the end. Corp-Z offers another amount for $15,000, John still refuses.

Corp-Z files several continuances to drag out the case. John is getting tired.

John later finds out that several of his key witnesses have decided not to testify. John is now getting worried. Corp-Z has not yet learned that the witnesses have backed out. The next court date is in 6 weeks. John must act fast! Due to these new circumstances, his chances to win the case have gotten much lower.

At this point, John has several options:

  1. Contact the defendant and accept their $15,000 settlement offer
  2.  Send the defendant one last counter offer for a higher amount before agreeing to settle.
  3.  Rebuild his case, look for new evidence, take the case to trial and potentially win big or end up with nothing if he loses.

Option 1 is the safest–  Defendants and Plaintiffs have the option to offer and/or withdraw settlement offers at ANY TIME. In this scenario, the defendant, Corp-Z is likely to accept to settle unless new evidence has been obtained.

Option 2 is a little risky–  In this situation, John has learned that his witnesses are refusing to testify. Corp-Z has not yet found out, however, if they do find out, they are very likely to withdraw any offers to settle, as they will be likely to defeat the suit. John can attempt to negotiate one last time to get a higher amount from the defendant, but it will take some time to sort out the particulars, and time is something John doesn’t have with a looming court date. The closer the trial date gets, the more likely the defendant is to find out about the witnesses backing out.

Option 3 is highly risky– If the case goes to a trial by jury and John has other evidence besides witness testimony, the jury could still see it his way. If his witnesses are his key pieces of evidence, then he is at high risk for losing. This option would require very careful consideration. If John wins the case through jury, he will likely receive a huge pay-out, if he loses the case, he could end up losing everything or even end up being counter-sued by Corporation-Z.

Factors to consider:

Is John poor? How bad does he need money? If he loses the case, will he still be financially sound? Is he looking for justice or a pay-out? What are his goals in this lawsuit? Is he mentally and emotionally prepared to stay in court for several more months?  These are questions John has to ask himself before making a decision on how to proceed.

 

From the Defendant’s perspective:

Corporation-Z is a business and they have a business to run. Handling these legal matters are a huge cost and burden on the operation. Negative publicity can also hurt the business extensively.  Even if Corporation-Z discovers that the plaintiff, John, has lost his key witnesses, it still may be beneficial for Corporation-Z to settle. Typically, when settlements occur, non-disclosure agreements must be signed stating that the allegations against the company cannot be publicly discussed.  If Corp-Z refuses to settle and defeats John, John may still end up retaining his right to discuss the trial and his allegations to public organizations causing bad press not to mention the extra legal fees it may take to try and sue John later for defamation.

In this situation, if Corp-Z discovers that John has lost his witnesses, Corp-Z can agree to settle, for the same amount previously offered or for a lower amount, (since Z now has bargaining power!) or Corp-Z can withdraw all offers and attempt to win in trial.

Corporate attorneys are famous for their slogan to , “Always settle, settle, settle”.

While Corporation-Z has a good chance at defeating John, they may end up spending triple the amount of their settlement offer attempting to defeat the suit, also, Corporation-Z isn’t fully aware if John has any other additional evidence that is not yet known.  Victory is not always guaranteed. In court, just as in a boxing match, the ability to appear weak when one is strong, and the ability to appear strong when one is weak, is very crucial in the negotiation process of settling a case.

Timing:

Losing a lawsuit that goes to trial can result in dire consequences.

  1. Income garnishments
  2.  Loss of employment as a result of being garnished by multiple entities
  3. Loss of public reputation
  4. property being seized
  5. injunctions being placed against yourself or your business
  6. liens being places on your assets
  7. Tax refunds being withheld
  8.  Negative credit score

(These are just a few examples)

Some may be tempted to file for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy in light of being sued for a debt, however, I wouldn’t recommend doing so unless your debts exceed $10,000. I’ll save that discussion for another article.

Timing is very critical when it comes to successfully mitigating a civil or criminal case. Let’s say you owe a credit card company $10,000.  Typically, after you default on your loan for more than 90 days, the credit card company will likely sell your debt to a third party collector. A few months to a year later, you are likely to be served with a warrant stating that you are being sued for the amount by the third party debt collector who purchased the debt for pennies on the dollar.

Once the lawsuit is filed, the creditor now has the upper-hand. Since you have essentially ignored all attempts to collect, it is assumed that you are avoiding the debt and do not have the means to pay it back. A smarter decision would have been to inquire about hardship programs or attempt to settle the debt with a partial amount before you were sued. (Always get everything in writing).  However, since things have escalated to a court hearing, the creditor now probably believes that they have a great chance to win the case.

When most people owe a debt, they stick their heads in the sand and do nothing. If you are sued for a credit card debt, your goal now is to re-establish your bargaining power! Even if you owe the debt, make them prove it! File an answer to the lawsuit, file a discovery request, ask for continuances! ( I can help you do these things by offering a template to follow.) Once the creditor sees that you aren’t going to be like the other 99% of people who don’t show up to court and allow for a default judgement, the creditor will be likely willing to settle the debt for a fraction of what they are suing you for.

While you are fighting the lawsuit, whether your intention is to get it dismissed through lack of evidence,lack of itemization or your goal is to settle the debt for a lesser amount, you must act swiftly! If you do intend to settle the debt, be sure to make the number attractive but not too high. If you owe $10,000, offer them 30%, because they are likely to counter back asking for 50%.

If the creditor is not willing to settle and/or you lose the case, enroll in a “slow-pay” program. That’s right! If you lose a lawsuit, you can enroll in a “slow-pay” program whereas you may only be paying $20 a month or so to the creditor. (Albeit for a very long time!).  Through the slow-pay process, you can pay with a check or money order. In order for the plaintiff (or creditor) to garnish your wages, they have to get an approved garnishment order from a court. If you miss a single-payment through the slow-pay program, some jurisdictions automatically issue a garnishment order because of your lack of ability to keep your promise to pay.

Federal law protects workers from being fired if they are being garnished by a single entity. However, if two or more entities are garnishing you, federal law allows employers to fire you because of the administrative burden your garnishment orders are costing to the company you work for.

Any legal case must be taken seriously whether it be criminal or civil. Even traffic court can cost us! If you ignore a traffic ticket, don’t be surprised if you later find out that your drivers license has been revoked! Reinstating a revoked license is time consuming and can cost hundreds, even thousands, depending on the liens placed upon the license.

In many criminal cases, district attorneys will offer “plea deals”. This “deal” is basically where you agree to admit guilt in exchange for a lighter punishment. Plea deals can benefit both parties. The district attorney meets his conviction quota, you receive a lighter sentence than you would if you lost your trial, and the process of court is sped up.

Going back to the lessons we learned earlier about, “Appearing strong when you are weak, and to be weak when you are strong”, accepting plea deals is an art within itself just as accepting settlements are.

Example:

John is accused of stealing a car. John maintains that he is innocent.

John’s witnesses didn’t show up to court.

The state offers him a plea deal.  Admit guilt and you will only face 6 months in jail.

John refuses! The trial continues

The state is having a hard time presenting evidence against John.

The state offers a new plea deal.

“1 month in jail with 6 months probation.”

John again refuses and demands a jury.

The jury hears John’s defense and the state’s allegations against him.

The jury decides that John is guilty! John will be sentenced to 3 years in prison.

John should have taken the plea deal!

Now, this is a worse case scenario! Just as in our lawsuit example earlier with, “Corporation-Z”, many factors come into play.

Let us replay the scenario. This time, John has several alibis and video surveillance of the vehicle being stolen that he managed to find on the internet. The video is low-quality but the suspect appears to have red-hair, John has brown hair!

John challenges the state’s claim. The state claims that John merely dyed his hair brown and his alibis are lying about where he was during the alleged carjacking!

John is confident in his defense and refuses all plea deals.

The jury finds John innocent!

Had John taken a plea deal, he would have ruined his record and served time for a crime he never committed! However, the jury could have still convicted him. No matter how confident you feel in your case, always prepare for the unexpected and don’t be afraid to appeal if necessary to buy yourself more time.

When to refuse a plea deal or when to take one, is no different than debating on whether or not to take a settlement. Many innocent men and women have taken plea deals for crimes they didn’t commit on the advice of their attorney who advised their client that the evidence is just too strong against them; even though they maintain their innocence.

Some defendants value their honor so much, that they resolve to never take a plea deal regardless of the consequences, whereas others make informed decisions in an effort to preserve themselves. In law, there is no “black or white”, “right or wrong” choice. Everything is about weighing risks vs rewards.  Every situation is completely different.

Who is the judge presiding over this case? Who are the jurors? What state is this case being held in? What do the state laws say? Are you in a liberal state or a conservative state? Does your lawyer have a good reputation or a bad reputation? Are you handling this case pro-se? Do you have any experience with legal matters?

These are all questions that can drastically effect the outcome of a case, or as I call them , “The intangible factors”.  In your heart, you may know that you are innocent, or feel that your case is valid, however, it isn’t always about what you “feel”, it’s about what you can convincingly present to the courts in conjunction with applicability of the law.

If you are involved in a lawsuit or criminal case as either a plaintiff or defendant, be sure to check out our “Legal Services” page.  Our programs there offer legal defense funds for people starting as low as $20 per month with unlimited consultations with licensed attorneys.  If you want to consult with me personally, follow instructions on my Consulting Page .  I can offer you one-time friendly advice, educational lessons, templates, and other resources to you, however I cannot offer you legal advice as I am not a licensed attorney, thus, anything I advise you on will have to be taken as “friendly” advice, not legal advice.  I have been working in the legal-field as paralegal/researcher for about 7 years and have experience in various jurisdictions and areas of law.

feel free to contact me Naliniglobal@yahoo.com 

 

Copywrite 2017- NaliniGlobal

Randell Stroud

 

Cannabidiol Discussed in International Drug Scheduling Convention on Psychotropic Substances

To:  ecddsecretariat@who.int

The Secretariat of the World Health Organization

From: Naliniglobal@yahoo.com

Nalini-Global, Founder, Randell Stroud- International Human Rights Organization

RE: International Drug Scheduling Convention on Psychotropic Substances

The United States , as well as the international community, will be participating in a global study to potentially reschedule a host of illegal and/or regulated substances including Ketamine, Carfentanil. CBD (cannabidiol) and various other narcotics. Nalini-Global has submitted an official comment to the convention and  will also be submitting this article to the secretariat of the World Health Organization as secondary material to be referenced at the later stages of the study.

The study is known as the “International Drug Scheduling Convention on Psychotropic Substances”  and is being overseen by the World Health Organization.

An official notice by the FDA was released regarding the convention and its procedures: (Read as follows)

“The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is requesting interested persons to submit comments concerning abuse potential, actual abuse, medical usefulness, trafficking, and impact of scheduling changes on availability for medical use of 17 drug substances. These comments will be considered in preparing a response from the United States to the World Health Organization (WHO) regarding the abuse liability and diversion of these drugs. WHO will use this information to consider whether to recommend that certain international restrictions be placed on these drugs. This notice requesting comments is required by the Controlled Substances Act (the CSA).”

As you can tell from the notice, the FDA as well as the World Health Organization, are inviting persons of interests as well as international organizations, to be involved in the discussion of rescheduling certain “drugs” or having certain ones completely removed from scheduling.  We here at Nalini-Global have decided to throw our hats into the discussion and submit an official comment to be reviewed during the convention which is set to be discussed after the deadline for submitting comments has passed. (September 13th, 2017)  Each member state must provide an official response to the secretariat of the World Health Organization by September 30th,2017.

Upon first glance, many readers might say, “Drugs are bad! There is no discussion to be had!”.  However, many countries have decriminalized all drugs or have put more focus into “harm reduction strategies”. Countries like Portugal and Switzerland, treat drug addiction as a medical problem, not as a criminal one. ( Mind you, “decriminalization”  and “legalization” are not the same thing.  )

In the scope of this convention,  various substances are being looked at to see whether or not they have any medical value and/or whether or not these substances should be reclassified or possibly completely removed from the drug “schedules”.  What are “schedules”? Drug schedules are essentially a chart that labels certain substances in levels of potential danger from use.  There are Five Schedules. Schedule I drugs include, cocaine, heroine, LSD, Marijuana(including CBD products), Peyote, Ecstasy, and a few others. According to the Schedule I guidelines created by the FDA, Schedule I drugs are considered “highly addictive” and pose a potential for abuse.

Schedule V drugs are known as “controlled substances”, usually over the counter drugs such as codeine or Robitussin.   (Read more about Drug Schedules here)

Currently, the United States of America has the largest prison population in the world, more than Russia or China combined. Over 70% of American inmates are incarcerated on drug related charges. This prison industrial complex creates economic barriers and deep scars on those effected. While it is Nalini-Global’s position that all drugs should be decriminalized in a way that is similar to what Portugal and Switzerland have implemented, we have decided to focus on “Cannabis”, specifically “Cannabidiol”  also known as “CBD”.

While some argue the benefits of psychedelics such as Peyote, LSD, and other substances, pushing for decriminalization in the United States appears to be a far-cry in the midst of America’s 30 year long, “War on Drugs”.  Alas, pushing for the legalization and/or decriminalization of Cannabis, specifically CBD, makes alot more sense.  Hence, why so many comments submitted towards this convention have specifically requested that CBD be removed from the schedules completely.

While some may argue that marijuana is dangerous because of its intoxicating effects and should remain illegal (except for under the supervision of a doctor for medical purposes), such arguments cannot logically be made towards CBD.  CBD is one of the cannabanoids found in Cannabis and its related plant, “Hemp”. CBD is non-intoxicating and acts on “CB2” receptors in the body, while THC (the intoxicating compound found in marijuana) , mainly acts on “CB1” receptors in the body.  These receptors influence pain, inflammation responses, mood, sleep patterns, and other functions in the body.

That’s right! The human body is actually built with cannabanoid receptors, as if nature intended for this plant to be consumed.  Most Marijuana strains are bred and sold with very high THC content. THC is the chemical that gives the user a sense of euphoria, pleasure, and does have pain relief and anti-tumor fighting properties, however, it can cause paranoia and impairment.  CBD is one of the compounds found in marijuana and hemp that contains no intoxicating effects yet retains most of the medical benefits that THC has to offer and then some! Calming anxiety, reducing inflammation and pain, inducing relaxation, stopping seizures, the list goes on!

When we hear the word, “Drug”, we immediately think of intoxication and danger. However, CBD poses no danger. Even in very high dosages, the only reported side-effect was lowered-blood pressure which returned to normal when use was discontinued.

Celebrities such as Michael J Fox, Montel Williams, and Whoopi Goldberg have also publicly endorsed  the use of CBD’s for their own health issues.  Michael J Fox, actor and comedian, stated that CBD was the only thing that reduced his tremors caused by Parkinson’s disease. Montell Williams stated, quote, “Snowboarding and Cannabis saved my life and have helped me combat my disease of Muscular Sclerosis.”

When THC and CBD are ingested in balanced amounts as such found in cannabis strains like, “Harlequin”, the medicinal effects of cannabis are fully realized. However, the Hemp plant, which contains almost no THC, does have a high amount of CBD. CBD by itself is not quite as powerful alone without the other dozen cannabanoids supporting it, which are naturally found in Cannabis, yet it remains extremely beneficially and extremely safe. In my opinion, CBD should be regulated as if it were a vitamin C tablet, to be sold in stores everywhere. Due to it not have any major adverse effects from use or found to be intoxicating in any shape or form, it makes no sense for it to be included in the FDA’s drug schedules.

To read Nalini-Global’s official comment submitted to the Convention on Narcotics, please refer to the information below.

ID: FDA-2017-N-4515-0291 (Docket #)

Tracking Number: 1k1-8y3x-1rgt

Nalini-Global- Official Comment (Click here)  

note: Comment can also be downloaded on our Human Rights Reporting Page

 

If I can be of any additional assistance towards the process or development of this convention, please reply to this correspondence with additional instructions.

Sincerely,

Randell D Stroud

Owner,

Nalini-Global

Kentucky Police Department tests the 4th Amendment

To: Paducah Police Chief, Brandon Barnhill-  bbarnhill@paducahky.gov

From: Nalini-Global- Naliniglobal@yahoo.com 

The Paducah Police Department of Kentucky has recently launched a new initiative known as the, “Lock it or Lose it” campaign. Officers will now be encouraged to conduct sweeps around the city to check vehicles parked on public property, to see if they are properly locked and/or if valuables are in plain-view. If the vehicle is found to be unlocked and unattended by the owner, the officer will run the license plate and make attempts to reach the owner of the vehicle by telephone. If the officer cannot make contact, the officer will place a door hanger on the owner’s registered home address linked to the license plate. The informational door hanger will contain a warning to keep their vehicle properly locked up.

Officers who come across vehicles that are properly locked, will leave a “Thank you” card on the windshield of the vehicle. On the back of the card, a survey can be completed and mailed to the Paducah Police Department. Those who fill out the survey are automatically entered into a drawing contest to win prizes.  Officer Christopher Fearon recently spoke on a local Television program called “The Paducah View“, promoting the initiative stating that , “….Paducah is a safe town to live in, and sometimes people gain a false sense of security because of that.”   The initiative is not a nation-wide federal mandate, however, other cities and states have launched similar programs such as the “Lock it or Lose it” program launched in Lakeland,Florida last year. The Lakeland Police Department uses even more invasive tactics such as placing a bright orange cone on the top of an unlocked vehicle and leaving “lock it or leave it” brochures inside of the vehicle in order to send a “wake up” message to the car owner to lock up his/her valuables.

According to an article written by the West Kentucky Star, Officer Fearon states that, “……the Paducah Police Department will not leave warning hangers on the car itself nor will they open the car doors.” However, there is a million dollar question that comes with such a statement.

How can you know if a car is unlocked unless you try to open it?

On the surface, such a program may seem innocent or even well-intended. To be honest, it probably is well intended. Some may jump to conspiracy theories about, “Big Brother is Watching”, or claim that there is some secret agenda, yet, I believe it is simply a plan that is not well-thought out albeit well intended.

I have two problems with this initiative.

  1. A potential breach of the 4th Amendment
  2.  An abuse of power 

For an officer to make contact with a person or his property, there generally has to be “probable cause” or “Reasonable Suspicion”. “Probable cause” is a principle that is highly debated, especially with practices such as the “Terry Stop” being the norm these days.  A “Terry Stop”, is more a less an officer’s legal right to stop someone for questioning if the subject is doing something “suspicious” but is not engaging in a blatant activity that warrants probable cause for arrest or seizure of property.

Looking at the “Lock it or Lose It” program, I can see many pitfalls with this well-intended program.

Under the 4th Amendment of the United States Constitution, a private individual has the right to be secure in his possessions and maintain his privacy. This includes his home, his personal belongings, his e-mails, text messages, and yes……his vehicle! If an officer wants to enter the home of a citizen, search a vehicle, or seize property, he must obtain a warrant signed from a judge or the subject must voluntarily consent.

If an officer routinely approached your house, unwarranted, and began to “jiggle” the locks on your door to make sure they are “secured”, would you feel safer or violated? If your answer is “violated”, then you are probably not a supporter of this initiative. Or at least you shouldn’t be.   In order for an officer to determine whether or not a vehicle is locked, unless the door is left wide-open, the officer will have to physically attempt to open the door of the vehicle. The Paducah Police Department claims that they will not open doors, but how else could they test whether or not a car door is locked?

If this program becomes the norm around the nation, citizens will begin to develop a false-sense of trust for law enforcement officers who “check” their locks. While I believe most officers have good hearts and truly want to protect their communities, who is to say that this program wouldn’t be alluring to an officer who may be inclined to use this program to conduct full on searches or to plant evidence illegally? This type of program could create a curtain for abuse of power and make it easier for law enforcement to target citizens or to obtain an arrest and/or conviction.

If my car is stolen, or my valuables are taken because of my own negligence, I have no one to blame but myself and the person who lacks the moral aptitude to refrain from stealing.  Our local police are already burdened with investigators looking to track down murderers, pedophiles, rapists, and other violent criminals.  We cannot expect law enforcement to protect us 24/7 unless we all agreed to live in a militarized police-state where our every action, thought, and movement were all being recorded or monitored.

With the rise of the TSA, Terrorist threats and the controversy surrounding the “NSA Spy Program” leaked by former intelligence officer Edward Snowden, many Americans look at this program with the same question that has plagued us all since September 11th, 2001.

“How do we balance security while respecting our individual liberty and privacy?”

The police and military have a job to do. Their #1 duty is to protect the life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness of their fellow residents and citizens. Their job is not to make sure we button up our shirts correctly, brush our teeth every morning, or lock our cars when we run inside the grocery store to purchase a loaf of bread.

Not only is this program disrespecting the 4th amendment of the Constitution, but it is also creating unnecessary, “Busy Work” for police officers who could be applying their time and resources towards tackling and solving crimes that are actually taking place or have already taken place.  From a tax burden issue, who will pay for these informational cards to be printed up? What will be the administrative cost of this program a year from now?  How many man hours will be dedicated to this program? These, among other issues, certainly need to be addressed before further implementation of this program continues.

What are your thoughts? Should the program be discontinued, altered, or do you see it as perfectly innocent?

Let me know at, NaliniGlobal@yahoo.com

Thank you,

With love and honor

Randell D Stroud,

Founder of Nalini-Global

2017

(To be Submitted)