Vermont Marijuana Dispensaries Almost Law, More States To Follow

5/9/2011 – Medical cannabis dispensaries are just a signature away from becoming a reality in Vermont. The House voted last week with a strong margin and Governor Peter Shumlin (D) has been a vocal supporter of the issue, so he will likely sign it into law.

Although some Republican opponents brought up the recent federal pressure on such facilities, it was not seen as paramount to the needs of local patients. Seriously ill or terminal residents in Vermont must grow their own cannabis under the current state law. This hard-fought effort to bring four dispensaries into operation is seen as filling a specific need that will directly benefit individuals who do not have the physical ability to cultivate medical-quality cannabis at home.

US Attorneys in Arizona, Washington, Rhode Island, Colorado and even Vermont have recently sent paper threats against state medical marijuana programs, especially store-front facilities.

The fed actions caused WA Gov. Chris Gregoire and RI Gov. Lincoln Chaffe to suspend their Legislatures’ plans for medical marijuana dispensaries. But not everyone is backing down in the most refined state vs federal conflict of the 21st century. Gregoire also leads the National Governors Association and she has called for the 15 medical cannabis governors to unite in asking Congress to remove marijuana from Schedule I in the Controlled Substances Act

Amidst the escaltion in national politics for the issue, Vermont is not alone in moving forward with plans to regulate dispensaries. A medical marijuana bill in Delaware has passed both houses and awaits a confirmation vote in the Senate. [UPDATE – Gov Jack Markell signed the bill into law 5/13]

New Jersey is set to finalize regulations later in May that would bring the six approved Alternative Treatment Centers into operation.

Maryland passed a law to offer a positive medical necessity defense in court if seriously ill residents are arrested.

Connecticut is also close to fully passing a bill to legalize marijuana for seriously ill adults. Gov Daniel Malloy’s staff are taking on a position fitting for the current climate:

“States have a right to decide this for themselves,” Michael P. Lawlor, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s senior criminal justice adviser told The Connecticut Mirror this week. read more
The first regulated medical cannabis dispensaries in Maine just opened last month. So far the US Attorney in that region has not threatened the ME program. The Pine Tree State is also looking beyond medical marijuana with hearings on full taxation and regulation for all uses by adults taking place on May 10th, 2011.
Here’s more on Vermont from StopTheDrugWar.org, we’ll have an update at freedomisgreen.com as the story develops.
The bill, Senate Bill 17, would expand Vermont’s medical marijuana law and improve patient access by allowing the sale of marijuana at dispensaries. The four dispensaries would be licensed and regulated by the state Department of Public Safety.

The vote to approve dispensaries came in spite of a letter from the state’s US attorney warning that marijuana remains illegal under federal law. That letter was part of a stepped-up campaign by US attorneys in various states to intimidate and rein-in large-scale medical marijuana cultivation and sales.

Supporters argued that the state’s existing medical marijuana law is lacking because it forces sick people to grow their own medicine. Requiring sick people to do so “is expensive and difficult and unlike anything else we require anybody else to go through to relieve their pain,” said Rep. Eldred French (D-Shrewsbury) in remarks reported by the Vermont Digger.

“We did not provide them with a way to obtain the marijuana that they need to ease their suffering,” French said. “And if we can’t provide them with a way to do that without insulting their dignity and them involve themselves in what is a criminal activity in the state of Vermont, by going out and trying to buy it elsewhere, if we can’t provide that, I think we’ve failed our duty.” READ FULL ARTICLE

Questions?  [email protected]

Chris Goldstein is a respected marijuana reform advocate. As a writer and radio broadcaster he has been covering cannabis news for over a decade. He volunteers with local groups to change prohibition laws including PhillyNORML and The Coalition for Medical Marijuana New Jersey.

Vermont Prepares For Medical Marijuana Dispensaries

Medical marijuana growing in a CA regulated facility – photo by C. Goldstein

6/6/2011 – Governor Pete Shumlin is keeping Vermont on a steady course to open medical cannabis dispensaries amidst a recent storm of federal activity. Seriously ill residents can already cultivate at home or through a caregiver, now Shumlin has signed a law that will attempt to implement a small medical cannabis system in 2012.

Sue Allen, Communications Director for Gov. Shumlin, spoke with Freedomisgreen about the careful approach right now in the Green Mountain State.

“We were keenly aware of the federal government’s position,” Allen said. “We received a letter from the US Attorney‘s office.”

Tristiam Coffin of Vermont joined US Attorneys in eight states in sending harsh letters to local officials about cannabis dispensaries.

But on June 2nd – the very same day that the bill was signed Vermont – US Attorney General Eric Holder made statements on a visit in Rhode Island hinting that the US Department of Justice would work with states to open heavily regulated medical cannabis facilities.

Allen said it was a coincidence, “We moved forward with the bill, signed it on schedule and as-planned.”

Still, Gov. Shumlin has been keeping a close eye on things from Montpelier.

“We have been in touch with other states that are going through this right now,” added Allen.

When asked which states they were looking to for insight she replied; “East Coast states; Rhode Island.”

Some final regulations still need to be crafted but Vermont’s four medical marijuana dispensaries could be open in about one year.

Allen pointed out an interesting innovation: the VT Department of Public Safety will be the oversight entity for the program. In other states the medical cannabis programs are under the Departments of Health.

“Public Safety recently took over the DUI testing program,” Allen noted. “They deal more with enforcement issues.”

Various state divisions, such as the Department Law and Public Safety in New Jersey, are key players in crafting regulations and implementing medical marijuana laws. But Vermont will be the first state with a medical marijuana program controlled by the same entity that directs the State Police.

Allen also said that Governor Shumlin understood the issue from many personal contacts.

“We’ve had medical marijuana for over a year and he knows that this law is important. I can’t tell you how many people came up to him on the campaign trail and asked about medical marijuana. These were older folks too, grandparents.”

Vermont joins Delaware, Maine, Rhode Island, New Jersey and the District of Columbia in actively regulating medical marijuana dispensaries on the East Coast.

Chris Goldstein is a respected marijuana reform advocate. As a writer and radio broadcaster he has been covering cannabis news for over a decade. Questions?  [email protected]


VIDEO: HIV Patient Calls Out NJ Gov Christie on Medical Marijuana

Jay Lassiter on Reporter's Roundtable, NJN-TV

Jay Lassiter is a news-maker, frequently appearing on local TV programs to discuss New Jersey politics. Thankfully he has also been on the front lines of the medical marijuana effort in Trenton.

Jay lives with HIV in NJ and he qualifies for the new medical cannabis program.  But Governor Chris Christie and his appointees at the Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) have offered a set of broken regulations. Among the problems with the draft rules: A 10% cap on THC, just two ounces per month as a maximum patient supply and draconian instructions for physicians.

NJ was the first state to pass a medical marijuana law without provisions for home cultivation.  Seriously ill residents must wait for Alternative Treatment Centers to be licensed by DHSS.  After a series of delays patients are still waiting for  administration to implement the compassionate use program in the No-Garden State. (Russ at NORML coined that one)

On March 7, 2011 a public hearing was held by DHSS to gather public comments. Here is Lassiter’s testimony:

Read Jay Lassiter’s blog: www.blujersey.com

VIDEO: Maine Legalization Bill Press Conference

State Representative Diane Russell of Maine held a press conference on 4/20/2011 to discuss her comprehensive marijuana legalization bill. LD 1453 would tax and regulate recreational marijuana, expand the state’s existing medical cannabis program and allow for the farming of industrial hemp. A public hearing on the bill is scheduled for May 10th.

The videos below showcase the event.

Supports can help by visiting  http://www.facebook.com/LegalizeMaineFirst and signing this online petition.

VIDEO: Marijuana Press Conference in NYC

Doug Greene and Chris Goldstein – photo by Jim Bissell

Douglas Greene at Empire State NORML organized the press conference and it was a privilege for me to speak alongside some powerhouses of reform. Our job was to take an important message to the streets: Smoking marijuana is much safer than drinking alcohol for St Patrick’s Day.

The public gave us us a tremendously positive response. Scores of passersby gathered on both sides of Broadway listening to the speeches.

Read more about the event: Big Apple Goes Green with Most Expensive Pot in America

We’ll post a higher definition version next week.

VIDEO: Scotts Miracle-Gro Looks for Marijuana Profits

This is one of the more astounding stories of a mainstream business looking to turn some profit on the marijuana cultivation communities. The CEO of Scotts/Miracle-Gro told the Wall Street Journal this week that America’s greenest business has their eye. Rather than creating new products within their existing retail line, the company may buy up small independents already catering to cannabis growers.

Aaron Houston, the executive director of Students for Sensible Drug Policy (SSDP) is featured in this CNBC program today. Prepare for a whole lot of pot puns.

Chris Goldstein is a respected marijuana reform advocate. As a writer and radio broadcaster he has been covering cannabis news for over a decade. Questions?  [email protected]


Weed Makes You Crazy…Again

The reefer madness saga continues as one man blames two pot cookies for his recent meltdown.

Thirty-two-year-old artist Kinman Chan apologized during his guilty plea last Tuesday to interfering with the flight crew on board a US Airways flight from Philadelphia to San Francisco in January 2010. He was fined and sentenced to probation.

Apparently, the cookies he ingested before boarding made him pull his pants down and flip out on a flight. (I must confess, pot cookies may have caused me to pull my pants down in the past, but not on a flight luckily. A flight of fancy perhaps.)

How many more people will pull down their pants and blame it on a pot cookie? I just might…today.

PITTSBURGH – A San Francisco man claims he was high on a double dose of medical marijuana cookies when he screamed, dropped his pants and attacked crew members on a cross-country flight, forcing its diversion to Pittsburgh, the FBI said Wednesday.

Kinman Chan, 30, was charged in a criminal complaint with interfering with the duties of a flight attendant on allegations that he fought with crew members of US Airways Flight 1447 from Philadelphia to Los Angeles on Sunday. His federal public defender, Jay Finkelstein, declined to comment.

Crew members said Chan made odd gestures before he entered the plane’s rear restroom shortly after takeoff and began to scream, according to the complaint.

Chan told the FBI that he “came back to reality” and exited the restroom, at which point the crew noticed his “pants were down, his shirt was untucked and all the compartments in the restroom were opened.”

When crew members tried to get Chan to sit, he fought them and had to be subdued in a choke hold, the complaint said.

Chan told agents who interviewed him in Pittsburgh that he ate marijuana cookies while waiting for his flight to depart in Philadelphia.

“Chan advised he has a medical marijuana card and he took double his normal dose,” the complaint said.

Margaret Philbin, a spokeswoman for the U.S. attorney’s office in Pittsburgh, said Chan has a legally issued medical marijuana card for a “legitimate” health issue, which she declined to identify.

The flight was diverted to Pittsburgh International Airport, where Chan was arrested, then jailed until a federal magistrate granted him bond Tuesday, Philbin said.

Source: Huffington Post

Beth Mann is a popular blogger and writer for Open Salon and Salon. She is also an accomplished actor and director with over 15 years of experience, as well as the president of Hot Buttered Media. She currently resides at the Jersey shore where she can often be seen surfing or singing karaoke at a local dive bar.


Contact: maryjane {at } freedomisgreen.com

What I Learned at the 2011 National NORML Conference

“Miss, either take off your sweatshirt or that woman right there will pat you down.”

“I’d prefer the patdown please.” Heck, someone wants to lay their pretty little hands on me, even at airport security, who am I to stop them? Pat away, baby.

I walk through the scanners and this attractive woman slowly begins frisking me in what I deem a sensual manner. I found myself slightly hypnotized by her firm but yielding touch. Reflections of the The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) conference I just attended begin floating through my mind.

Let’s get something straight: I’m not a huge medical marijuana activist (though I believe it should be legal). I’m more of a jaded bon vivant who observes life in her own special way. So when I was invited to this conference, I wondered what I could contribute, if anything. So instead of telling you about medical marijuana or the laws and science surrounding it and the pioneers behind it, I figured I’d just share my peripheral views, on the event and Denver itself.

So with no further ado:

1. Denver is brighter than other places:


I guess because it’s closer to the sun, but the place is bathed in this crystalline white light. People seemed friendlier here as well, though this may be the weed.

2. The Grand Hyatt is very hip.


The staff dedicated a whole floor to medical pot smokers, with these sweet letters left on our doors encouraging us to smoke as we see fit. Well, hello progressiveness. Stop by New Jersey when you get a chance.

3. People know far too much about weed. Crazy words were being bandied about: cannabinoids, phytocannabinoids, tetrahydrocannabivarin, etc. I can’t even roll a joint let alone dissect the damn thing.

(Don’t look at this chart below. Your eyes may bleed.)

4. Montel Williams is one slick cat. He served as the moderator for the mayoral debate held during the conference. Man, this guy is poised. He probably smells really good too.

5. Maximize your hotel room. I for one love the freedom of a hotel room. You can take scandalous photos of yourself. Then take a nap. Or no….go to the hot tub on the roof, then nap. Then take a bath. Then drink wine. Then take more scandalous photos of yourself. I call it vacation.

6. It’s hard to get a photo of Chris Goldstein standing still. Chris is one of key organizers of the event and a good friend of mine. This man is on the go. It’s a good thing he doesn’t have a cocaine addiction or he’d blow us all up.

7. Denver has good beer and coffee. Damn good. It must be the mountain water. Below, my friend Diane devilishly imbibes.

8. 4:20 on 4/20 is a mixed bag. Thousands of people gather in front of the city’s town hall and smoke out during this special time frame. I expected it to be an inspiring event but instead it seemed seedy and depressing. Pot is a tricky drug – it has the ability to really help people on so many levels, but it can still be abused.

9. Hippies can be bad asses too. A group of conference attendees went out to dinner one evening and these rude guys sat next to us and began playing their iPod at the table. (Really? Do we not know that’s rude?) Worse, they were playing some generic brand dance music from the 90′s or something equally ear-raking. I asked them (very politely, with teeth clenched) to turn it off.

Well, they didn’t appreciate my request. An argument ensued. I was ready to throw down (I’m from Jersey. It’s what I do!) Nobody at our table really saw how heated this was getting except for this guy, Brian Wallace of MAPS, who finally diffused the whole thing in a friendly but slightly fierce manner.

10. Science nerds can be turned into models. Cannabinoid researcher Jahan Marcu is a brilliant guy. Almost a little too brilliant. I decided to dumb him down a bit by having him pose for a few GQ style shots. As a media gal, I realize the importance of people like Jahan – they add a young, fresh face to the movement, which is always a good thing.

Before:


After:

11. The piano player at the Grand Hyatt in Denver is amazing! His name is Mark Pressey. He even let me sing “Someone to Watch over Me” with him my last night there. I love you, Mark!

12. Being in the presence of Ziggy Marley is just plain special.

I didn’t really think I’d be as moved as I was by hearing him perform. There’s this energy the Marleys possess; warm and inviting, like sunshine. I guess that’s no surprise.

13. Many people secretly like John Denver. “Rocky Mountain High” played through my mind the second we touched ground in Denver. The more I talked about him with others, the more I realized that many people are closet fans. Shh…

“Miss, you’re good to go” whispers the pretty security lady after our special encounter together. I tried to light a cigarette but it was forbidden. (But so is our love, isn’t it?)

“Are you sure you’re done? Wanna check again? There are….other places,” I ask. Wink, wink.

She smiled demurely and I boarded my plane back to Philadelphia.

Beth Mann is a popular blogger and writer for Open Salon and Salon. She is also an accomplished actor and director with over 15 years of experience, as well as the president of Hot Buttered Media. She currently resides at the Jersey shore where she can often be seen surfing or singing karaoke at a local dive bar.

Contact: maryjane {at } freedomisgreen.com

What to do During a Police “Knock and Talk”

Esteemed criminal defense and civil rights lawyer Bill Buckman offers up another reasons to be wary of speaking to the police, particularly if suspected of growing marijuana:

Here in NJ, police euphemistically call one of their marijuana related operations a “knock and talk”, though it can often be anything but. When police suspect that marijuana may be grown in a household, they organize multiple agencies to “respond” on a predetermined date and time to the location – a show of force. (Indeed during cross examination police have conceded that a “ knock and talk” is organized just as a forcible search warrant raid would be.)

It usually goes down like this: Police have only a mere suspicion that folks are growing marijuana in their homes. Maybe they have been tipped off by informants at a growing supply store (which, of course, sell an entire range of legal articles) or maybe the police have done an illegal drive-by thermal imaging of a house to see if heat from some kind of grow situation exists.

(As an aside, its illegal for police to do a thermal imaging scan of a home without a warrant. But if they do perform one and then intimidate the owners to “consent to a search,” the illegality often goes by the wayside, as the law will see the consent as “ curing” the illegality.)

In any event, for the “ knock and talk,” police show up in force. Some go to each entry or exit of the residence. (Query if its just a knock and talk, by virtue of what right would cops have to stop anyone from leaving the house and refusing to talk. None, really). Yet too often faced with intentional, intimidating show of force, people often “consent” to let police in their homes. At that point, cops usually talk the occupants into signing a “consent to search form” by misleading them. Once signed, the form will allow police to search all areas of the residence and every nook and cranny, totally tossing the contents about if the police wish.

The best advice to deal with a “knock and talk” is to simply not open the door and certainly not to allow police the consent to search the home. When speaking with police, one should be extremely hesitant to sign anything, like a consent from, without a lawyer present. Since police have no search warrant when conducting a knock and talk, it is not necessary to open the door. One could speak through the door if he or she wishes. Stories are legion about how, once inside the house, police allege that they smell marijuana and can then get an actual warrant.

The “knock and talk” is a bit of NJ legal schizophrenia. Because of proven abuses with racial profiling, police need a reasonable basis to even ask to search a car. But, our Supreme Court has reasoned, the home was not the site of such abuses – despite the inherently intimidating and abusive nature of the “knock and talk.”

Lastly, it bears repeating that purchasers of growing equipment, even online, have been regularly subjected to “knock and talks.” In fact, to help shed light on the issue, it would be helpful to start gathering details of “knock and talks” that netted nothing other than legal indoor growing materials.

Bill Buckman is hailed as one of the most skillful, tenacious and dedicated criminal-defense attorneys in New Jersey. He is also a seasoned civil rights lawyer with a comprehensive list of successful cases that have received nationwide attention. Mr. Buckman has kept a constant focus on the relationship between the individual and large organizations, particularly government. To find out more about Mr. Buckman or his services in and around Moorestown, New Jersey, please visit his website.

When your Baby Tests Positive for Marijuana

Mommy, I want a Bob Marley poster!

What do you do? Your baby has just tested positive for marijuana. First you have to deal with the social embarrassment of it all. What will the neighbors say? But more importantly, your baby is now unemployable. That extra income your family so desperately need is tossed away like used Pampers.

But seriously folks, babies are testing positive for marijuana. And not because they found your stash and rolled a fatty. Apparently some of the compounds found in baby soap have a structure partly similar to THC or the chemicals in the soap change the way the test works.

Here’s a look at the brands they say produced a positive marijuana test:

  • Johnson & Johnson’s Head-to-Toe Baby Wash
  • J&J Bedtime Bath
  • CVS Night-Time Baby Bath
  • Aveeno Soothing Relief Creamy Wash
  • Aveeno Wash Shampoo

Unfortunately this information could be used as a way for social services to become very involved in your life, though this article claims otherwise. (Figure it this way: in this day and age, if the “authorities” need an invitation into your life, they’ll find it.)

Another aspect you won’t see addressed in this article? The chemicals that are found in baby soap could practically degrease your car engine. Sodium laureth sulfate and sodium lauryl sulfate are cheap chemicals commonly found in about 90% of your toiletries that can cause a host of health problems. You won’t read as many articles about this because big companies hardly want to replace this cheap detergent with something less harmful. You don’t need suds to feel clean, whether its in your toothpaste, shampoo or soap.

Remember: If it bubbles, it’s trouble.


Strange Reason for Newborns’ Positive Pot Test Found by Rachael Rettner

Certain soaps used to wash babies shortly after birth may cause the baby to test positive for marijuana on some newborn screening tests, a new study suggests.

In the study, urine samples that contained minute amounts of any of five baby soaps — Johnson & Johnson’s Head-to-Toe Baby Wash, J&J Bedtime Bath, CVS Night-Time Baby Bath, Aveeno Soothing Relief Creamy Wash and Aveeno Wash Shampoo — gave a positive result on a drug screening test for tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the active ingredient in marijuana.The researchers began their investigation after nurses at a North Carolina hospital reported an increase in the number of newborns testing positive for marijuana.

The amount of soap in the urine needed to produce a positive test result was tiny, less than 0.1 milliliters, the researchers said.

It’s important to note the soaps do not produce a “high,” or any other effects of marijuana, in infants. “It’s not marijuana a in any way, shape or form,”  said study researcher Catherine Hammett-Stabler, a professor of pathology and laboratory medicine at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

A screening test that indicates a baby has been exposed to marijuana can lead to the involvement of social services, and accusations of child abuse, the researchers said.

Given these consequences, it’s important for health-care providers and laboratory staffs to be aware that these soaps may lead to a positive test for marijuana, and to consider confirming positive tests with a more sensitive method, the researchers said.

“We really did this to help protect families from being falsely accused” of drug use, and to help ensure that intervention efforts are directed to babies who are truly at risk of drug exposure, said study researcher Dr. Carl Seashore, a pediatrician in the newborn nursery at UNC Chapel Hill.

Drug screening tests in hospitals that come back positive are not usually sent out to laboratories for additional conformation, because of the time and cost involved, said study researcher Catherine Hammett-Stabler, also of UNC Chapel Hill.

Newborn screening for exposure to marijuana is common, and is especially recommended for babies born to women considered to be “high risk” for drug use, such as those who do not come in for prenatal care visits, Hammett-Stabler said. At UNC Chapel Hill, 10 to 40 percent of babies born in the hospital receive the test each month, Seashore said.

Read more at MSNBC.

Ready to read the REAL Ingredients in Johnson’s Head-to-Toe Baby Wash which is “as gentle to the eyes as pure water”? (Better put your Hazmat suit on first.)

(Thanks to the SmartMama.com for this analysis.)

Ingredients of Johnson’s Head-to-Toe Baby Wash include:

Water, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, PEG-80 Sorbitan Laurate, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, PEG-150 Distearate, Tetrasodium EDTA, Sodium Chloride, Polyquaternium-10, Fragrance, Quaternium-15, Citric Acid.PEG-80 Sorbitan Laurate, Sodium Laureth Sulfate and PEG-150 Distearate are all ethoxylated compounds.

Ethoxylated compounds, unless vacuum stripped, are contaminated with 1,4-dioxane. 1,4-dioxane has been identified as a probable human carcinogen by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). 1,4-dioxane is not listed on the ingredient list because it is a contaminant from the manufacturing process, not an ingredient.  The FDA encourages manufacturers to remove 1,4-dioxane from products, but there is no requirement that it be done.

And, testing reported by the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics did find 1,4-dioxane in Johnson’s Head-to-Toe baby wash at 5.3 to 6.1 parts per million (ppm). In fact, in its FAQ section of its website, Johnson & Johnson admits that “[s]ome of the ingredients in our products may contain 1,4-dioxane as an incidental ingredient at extremely low levels.”

Further, sodium laureth sulfate can cause eye and skin irritation. Do you think that is consistent with the claim that the product is “hypoallergenic”? Wouldn’t you expect it to be free of any ingredient known to cause irritant responses? As a note, sodium laureth sulfate was widely reported on the web as being a carcinogen, but at least to date, research by the EPA, OSHA, NTP and IARC has not suggested that sodium laureth sulfate is a carcinogen.

Cocamidopropyl betaine, PEG-80 sorbitan laurate and PEG-150 disterate can all cause allergic reactions.  Again, these ingredients aren’t what you would expect in a product advertising itself as hypoallergenic.  Cocamidopropyl betaine may also be contaminated with nitrosamines.

Quaternium-15 may release formaldehyde. Formaldehyde is a known carcinogen. But, I actually think that Quat-15, as it is called, is more of a problem because it is the number one cause of contact dermatitis from preservatives, according to the American Acadmey of Dermatology’s Testing Tray results. Also, it is identified by the cosmetic industry’s Cosmetic Ingredient Review (CIR) Expert Panel as a sensitizer, but is still considered safe by the CIR as a cosmetic ingredient. (If you want to learn about the function of the CIR, I encourage you to read Stacy Malkan’s Not Just A Pretty Face). It has also been linked to birth defects in laboratory animals when administered orally.

Finally, the product contains “fragrance” – which means synthetic fragrance and, of course, phthalates. Phthalates are used in fragrance to sustain the fragrance and make it adsorb better to the skin.  Johnson & Johnson admits that it uses diethyl phthalate (DEP) in its baby products.  And, as reported in a recent study, exposure to DEP in baby care products results in the presence of a DEP metabolite in baby urine.  Phthalates are endocrine disruptors, which means that they can mimic hormones and disrupt’s the body’s normal function. Phthalates have been linked to premature breast development in girls, deteriorated sperm quality, low sperm counts and poor sperm morphology in men, and a host of other adverse health effects.

Beth Mann is a popular blogger and writer for Open Salon and Salon. She is also an accomplished artist with over 15 years of experience, as well as the president of Hot Buttered Media. She currently resides at the Jersey shore where she can be found surfing or singing karaoke at a local dive bar.

Contact: maryjane {at } freedomisgreen.com