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Nashville, TN - A Rutherford County judge has ordered 23 stores (mostly smoke shops) to be padlocked and shut down following a police investigation which discovered the shops were selling CBD (cannabidiol). So proud of their work were the police, the Sheriff and the District Attorney, that they held a press conference outside one of the shuttered stores. But what started out as a proclamation of good policing quickly turned into a mockery of the justice system.

According to WBIR News 10:

Officers from the Rutherford County Sheriff’s Office, Murfreesboro, Smyrna and La Vergne police departments, Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency and the Federal Bureau of Investigation closed the stores on Monday after receiving a court order from Circuit Court Judge Royce Taylor.

It turns out the stores were selling CBD gummy bears the police said were obviously being marketed to kids. Rutherford County Sheriff Mike Fitzhugh said 21 individuals had been given indictments by a Rutherford County Grand Jury for individuals selling the products containing CBD which the Sheriff claimed was a marijuana derivative.

We’d like to inform the parents to be aware of what your children are bringing home with them.

Fitzhugh claimed his department received a tip from parents and were forced to investigate. Smyrna Police Chief Kevin Arnold said he sent undercover officers into the stores to purchase the CBD-laced products.

This is not an obscure object sitting on their shelf. They know what it is.

The press conference seemed so impromptu the official representatives were apparently taken aback when members of the press pushed back with facts about CBD. It’s not a “marijuana derivative” as Fitzhugh claimed. In fact, there’s no marijuana in them at all, if the products are the typical ones found in smoke shops all across the country.

It’s hemp oil, cannot get a user high, and would likely be beneficial for everyone, even babies and toddlers, should they get their hands on the tasty treats. But that fact seemed to escape the presumably intelligent law enforcement officers.

The press conference was held outside the Vapesboro smoke shop. We investigated the store’s Facebook page and did, indeed, find CBD products being advertised for sale at the store. One product, in particular, was manufactured by Cannabinoid Creations. Visiting their website, we discovered some interesting facts about the products being advertised by Vapesboro.

Cannabinoid Creations claims they are manufactured, voila, with hemp oil, something the owner claims is “legal in all 50 states”. The unknown author testified of his own struggles to heal his/her pain using prescription opiates with little success so Cannabinoid Creations was birthed using hemp-derived, not marijuana-derived CBD. The founder claimed he/she found relief from chronic pain and wanted to help others do the same with safe, natural, renewable, CBD, not prescription pills.

I didn’t want anything psychoactive or addictive like the prescription medications I had already tried unsuccessfully. After a lot of trial and error, I was able to find a simple, legal solution to my own problems using natural CBD hemp oil as the active ingredient, and that became my ‘secret weapon’ for combatting recurring pain. I have been fortunate enough to direct my own path and career in this industry. I am passing along my knowledge to help others in similar or worse situations.

Indeed, the sheriff's own photos of the alleged contraband show the packaging clearly labeled as "hemp."

Even though the sheriffs represented at the press conference continued to claim the products were “Schedule 6” on the DEA’s infamous list of prohibited substances, Cannabinoid Creations maintains their products are 100 percent legal in all 50 states. The website states:

Our CBD products are produced from the highest quality industrial hemp, sustainably grown and harvested to yield potent, natural CBD oils for our treats. Cannabinoid Creations are crafted to be safe and consistent. They do not require a prescription, and they are legal in all 50 US states.

The reporters openly questioned the judgment of the government representatives. One reporter asked, “What’s so dangerous about these products for kids?” Fitzhugh declared, “It’s an illegal drug, a synthetic’s a derivative of marijuana. And it is an illegal drug except in medical situations.”

All of those statements are inaccurate as it pertains to CBD derived from Hemp as Cannabinoid Creations claims on their site. It’s especially inaccurate in light of the fact that TN passed a law allowing for CBD to be used. And there’s where the proverbial rubber meets the road.

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According to SafeAccessNow.Org, TN passed legislation allowing for CBD to be available to its residents:

In 2014, Tennessee legislators passed SB 2531, which changes the definition of marijuana to create a legal exception for the possession and use of low-THC, CBD-rich cannabis oil solely by patients with intractable seizures.

Those products, which are entirely different from the ones Vapesboro was presumably selling, are cannabis products whose CBD content far outweigh the levels of the psychoactive ingredient normally found in cannabis. SafeAccessNow goes on to explain:

The law authorizes a state university to grow and manufacture the oil, which can have no more than 0.9% THC.

Again, those products can only be grown in the university’s clinical setting—which is precisely why the show of force outside Vapesboro is so perplexing. The products are not the same. The ones which the TN legislation approved require a physician’s approval and the patient must have been diagnosed with epilepsy. SafeAccessNow explains:

In 2016, the Tennessee legislature passed HB 2144 that clarified that patients may possess CBD oils with no more than 0.9% THC if they have “a legal order or recommendation” and they or an immediate family member have been diagnosed with epilepsy by a Tennessee doctor.

Each one of the 23 smoke shops in question could have been presented with a “cease and desist” order by the judge, the DA, and the sheriffs but the decision was made to arrest those involved and create a show of force, showing everyone in TN where the federal government (DEA, FBI) stands with respect to a harmless substance - CBD derived from hemp.

As US Attorney General Jeff Sessions has promised to go after marijuana (even in states where it’s legal) the actions taking place in Rutherford County may signal the first shots fired in the renewed war on drugs have been fired at CBD.

The actions which took place Monday seem to be overshadowed by the real war on drugs, the one in which the pharma-cartel is winning, leaving a trail of dead opiate-addicted citizens in its path. No one has ever died of CBD or cannabis, yet the citizens are made to believe these products are dangerous and marketed to children. The fear tactics used in the press conference did not escape the reporters’ questioning.

One reporter asked, “What does this do to the user of these products?” District Attorney Jennings Jones answered, “You’d have to ask TBI (Tennesee Bureau of Investigations) for the specifics. I can tell you that it’s illegal.” In other words, he likely has no idea.

Jones repeatedly referred to CBD as “the oil.” Jones equated possession of CBD without a prescription with possessing OxyContin without a prescription. The sheriffs present at the news conference could not even pronounce “Cannabidiol” properly, let alone explain how and why the substance for which they had just closed down 23 businesses was considered illegal. But we, at TFTP will tell you why.

CBD is considered an illegal substance only by the federal government’s Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) a wing which is openly lobbied by the pharmaceutical companies to keep it illegal. The reason being, CBD sales cuts into their profits. CBD not only is reportedly better at controlling seizures than antileptics but works as a natural painkiller. Painkiller abuse with opiates, opioids, and heroin are the reasons why 65,000 Americans died in 2017, more than all the Americans killed during the entire Vietnam War.

What the law enforcement lapdogs did was show their allegiance in upholding the corrupted proclamations of the DEA and its bedfellows in Big Pharma. The arrests will likely bankrupt businesses who attempted to offer another natural alternative to opiates, opioids, and heroin. It goes without saying that the only people CBD products hurt are pharmaceutical companies’ bottom lines.

The questioning by reporters continued. Chief Kevin Arnold admitted he was not prepared to speak, yet speak he did, showing his ignorance of CBD one could say. “This isn’t healthy at all,” he proclaimed, although the scientific research on CBD proves him ignorant on the subject.

Arnold was asked, “Could you tell us what it’s (CBD) used for?” “It’s used to get high,” Arnold stated matter of factory. “No, it’s not. It doesn’t have THC in it,” the reporter stated correctly before she was interrupted by Arnold who asked, “Then why are they buying it?”

The reporter answered his question correctly, “CBD can be used for a multitude of medical problems like inflammation,” again she was interrupted. “So, right now in the State of TN is that legal?” Arnold asked. “It is...but you can get it at Walmart, so are you guys going to go now to Walmart?” she asked incredulously. “If they can get it at Walmart that’s where we’ll go,” the dimwitted Sheriff replied.

Then the sheriffs were exposed by Arnold’s comments. He may not have realized he let it slip out but he said, “I hope they (kids) wouldn’t be going to vape shops to get it (CBD).” Oh wait! We the general public thought this was what the sheriffs were concerned about. After all, admittedly, they had gotten a complaint (yeah, right) from a parent that their kids were coming home with the dangerous narcotic (which it isn’t).

And there you have it, folks. It’s not about kids, it’s about you learning the truth about CBD, that it’s harmless, it treats a myriad of illnesses, and is available in your neighborhood smoke shop—and in Walmart. The sooner the cops learn this fact, the better.