Georgia: Governor Signs Medical Marijuana Expansion Bill


By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

Georgia's Governor Nathan Deal has signed legislation expanding the list of qualifying conditions for medical marijuana patients, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports. Patients suffering from AIDS, Alzheimer’s disease, autism, epidermolysis bullosa, peripheral neuropathy, Tourette’s syndrome, and those in hospice care are now able to possess low-THC cannabis oil. There is no legal way to obtain it in the state, however.

The bill would have initially dropped the allowable THC content from 5 percent to 3 percent, but the chamber agreed to keep the 5 percent threshold intact after law enforcement and public health officials reported that there were no issues with the THC content.

State Rep. Allen Peake said the expansion offers patients “a ray of hope for a better quality of life.”

“My hope is that in 2018 we can fill the gaping hole that still remains, and provide legal access to medical cannabis oil here in our state with a safe, lab tested product produced within our own borders,” Peake said in a statement. “The job will not be finished until we accomplish this task.”

Peake, a Republican, has been supplying cannabis oils to some of the state’s registered patients and is the author of the House version of the newly-signed bill.

Georgia has 1,738 patients and 354 physicians registered with the medical marijuana program.

South Carolina: Bills Introduced To Legalize Medical Marijuana


By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

Bills were recently introduced in South Carolina to legalize medical marijuana for certain qualifying conditions.

The South Carolina Compassionate Care Act would allow those with a physician's recommendation to use and possess marijuana and marijuana-related products if they have a qualifying condition.

Those conditions include glaucoma, cancer, hepatitis C, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Crohn’s disease, HIV/AIDs, ulcerative colitis, agitation of Alzheimer’s disease, PTSD, autism, idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, Parkinson’s disease and neural-tube defects.

The bills are being introduced, “to improve the quality of life for hundreds of thousands of South Carolina patients who can benefit from alternate courses of treatment instead of pharmaceutical,” says David Newsom, head of Government Affairs for SC Compassion, a nonprofit medical cannabis group that has been working with the lawmakers to help draft the bills.

Georgia: House Passes Medical Marijuana Expansion

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

The Georgia House on Wednesday backed a broad expansion of the state's medical marijuana law.

House Bill 65, sponsored by state Rep. Allen Peake, R-Macon, would double the list of illnesses and conditions eligible for treatment with medical marijuana in Georgia to include AIDS, Alzheimer’s disease, autism, autoimmune disease, epidermolysis bullosa, HIV, peripheral neuropathy and Tourette’s syndrome.

The bill will remove a one-year residency requirement.

It will also allow people with registration cards from other states with similar low-THC cannabis oil laws to also possess the oil in Georgia.

Under Georgia’s 2015 law, patients and, in the case of children, families who register with the state are allowed to possess up to 20 ounces of cannabis oil to treat severe forms of eight specific illnesses, including cancer, Parkinson’s disease and epilepsy.

The oil can have no more than 5 percent THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), the component of marijuana that causes a "high."

Federal officials still consider the oil an illegal drug.

Georgia: Medical Marijuana Expansion Moves Ahead In State House

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

A broad expansion to Georgia’s medical marijuana law passed a House panel Monday, coming closer to a floor vote before Friday's deadline for passage.

House Bill 65, sponsored by state Rep. Allen Peake, R-Macon, would double the list of illnesses and conditions eligible for treatment with medical marijuana in Georgia to include AIDS, Alzheimer’s disease, autism, autoimmune disease, epidermolysis bullosa, HIV, peripheral neuropathy and Tourette’s syndrome.

The bill would also allow people who have registration cards from other states that similarly allow possession of certain low-THC cannabis oil to also possess the oil in Georgia.

The bill passed on a 7-3 vote, and the House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee made changes that would require annual reporting by doctors who oversee medical marijuana patients. They also removed post-traumatic stress disorder from the proposed list of newly eligible diseases.

Under Georgia’s 2015 law, patients who register with the state are allowed to possess up to 20 ounces of cannabis oil to treat severe forms of eight specific illnesses, including cancer, Parkinson’s disease and epilepsy.

The oil can have no more than 5 percent THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), the component of marijuana that causes a "high".

The bill must win passage from the House by Friday to have a clear path to becoming law.

New Jersey: Migraine, Chronic Pain Patients Seek Approval To Use Medical Marijuana

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by Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

A health department panel in New Jersey will consider adding chronic pain and other ailments to the state's list of conditions that can be treated with medical marijuana.

The public is invited to attend and make comments at the hearing scheduled for February 22. The panel will consist of eight doctors, pharmacists, and nurses who were appointed by Health Commissioner Cathleen Bennett nearly one year ago.

“I think cannabis can replace all three of the medications I take for anxiety, migraines, and chronic pain,” said Bob Kane, 56, a retired landscaper from Ocean View who had his family doctor write letters to the department supporting his request in three petitions he submitted.

68 people sent petitions to the panel. Migraines, autism, lupus, and opiate-addiction disorder were some of the 20 or so ailments mentioned in the petitions.

The medical marijuana program currently allows patients who have terminal cancer, multiple sclerosis, seizure disorders, glaucoma, and several other conditions to obtain cannabis if recommended by their doctor.

Texas: Bill Filed To Legalize Medical Marijuana

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

Texas state Senator Jose Menendez filed a bill today that would allow people with chronic and debilitating conditions to use medical marijuana to treat those conditions through a prescription from a doctor.

Senator Menendez says if traditionally conservative states like Montana, North Dakota and Arkansas can pass such a measure, Texas should follow suit.

Illnesses like cancer, PTSD, nausea, Parkinson’s, autism, HIV and severe pain are a few of the ailments that would qualify.

Political science professor Doctor Paul Fabrizio told KIDY the road to approval for this bill is a difficult one. If passed in both the House and the Senate, there’s still one huge obstacle.

“If they were to get it passed, they’re gonna have to convince the governor. The governor has been very outspoken in saying he does not support legalization of medical or recreational marijuana. Therefore, he’s not going to sign a bill,” Fabrizio said.

Illinois: Judge Orders Officials To Reconsider Medical Marijuana For Migraines

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

A judge has ordered health officials in Illinois to rethink their decision to leave migraine headaches off the list of qualifying conditions for medical marijuana use in the state.

A Cook County judge ordered Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr. Nirav Shah to reconsider evidence presented to members of the Medical Cannabis Advisory Board before they voted to recommend approving marijuana to treat migraines.

Shah had previously denied a petition to add migraines to the list.

A suit filed by an unidentified man currently using marijuana to treat migraines prompted the court response. Attorney Robert Bauerschmidt said the middle-aged man has suffered from migraine headaches since adolescence , and has found narcotic painkillers and triptans, the most common treatment for migraines, to be ineffective.

"He's been through everything," Bauerschmidt said. "Marijuana doesn't cure it, but he finds the pain less severe and believes the headaches are less frequent when he's using it."

Illinois law allows medical marijuana for patients who have any of about 40 specific medical conditions, including cancer, AIDS or multiple sclerosis.

A different judge just last month ordered Illinois to add PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) to the list of qualifying conditions.

Georgia: Battle Over 'No Buzz' Medical Marijuana Law Turns To Civil Disobedience


By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

A civil disobedience campaign is now underway in Georgia to try to force legislators to expand the state's weak CBD only medical marijuana law, which left a lot of suffering children without legal access to the medicine they need.

A Georgia mpom is helping lead that fight to expand the state's extremely limited medical marijuana law, which she said unfairly excludes many patients with severe medical conditions, including her five-year-old autistic daughter, who could benefit from the medicinal properties of cannabis.

"There are some pretty tenacious parents who are fighting," said Jennifer Conforti, whose daughter, Abby, isn't covered by the current "CBD-only" law, written by lawmakers who understand neither the medicinal properties of cannabinoids, nor, according to Sue Rusche, president and CEO of the Atlanta-based drug prevention organization National Families in Action,m the process of drug approval.

Illinois: Petition Lauched To Add Conditions To Medical Marijuana Law


The medical marijuana program in Illinois just officially came online in November. Now a push to get the state to allow people with a growing number of medical conditions to legally qualify is picking up steam.

Late last year, the state Medical Cannabis Advisory Board recommended letting people suffering from PTSD, chronic pain and autism, among other conditions, legally use medical cannabis. The state Department of Public Health is expected to make a decision by the end of this month.

A petition calling on state officials to approve the added conditions is gaining momentum, with nearly 10,000 signatures right now:

"As the nation's fifth most populous state, Illinois could see its medical marijuana program grow significantly by adding the new conditions (especially chronic pain), representing one of the most important developments for the cannabis industry this year so far," Tom Angell of the Marijuana Majority told Hemp News on Thursday.

Patients in Illinois who stand to benefit from the new conditions being added have added their voices to the debate on the petition page.

"I have osteoarthritis and suffer from the pain daily," said Debra R. of Round Lake. "I find it hard to even walk through a grocery store to pick up a few items for dinner and have to have help putting things away. Please approve the condition as I am only 55 and would like to have some pain free life of what I have left."

Maine: School Board Allows Students Medical Marijuana On School Property


By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

The school board in Auburn, Maine, this week voted to allow students to be administered medical marijuana while on school property.

Maine voters legalized medicinal cannabis back in 1999, reports Crystal Haynes at Fox 25.

Effective immediately, students in Pre-K through high school who are authorized to use medical marijuana can be administered cannabis on school property by a parent or caregiver. The policy prohibits smoking, most most children who are authorized to use cannabis use edible extracts or tinctures.

Auoburn Superintendent Katy Grondin said school districts must make sure medical marijuana doesn't interfere with education. "It's what the doctor and the family decides is in the best interest of the child," she said. "We're not getting involved in it medically."

Morgan Fox of the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP) said laws that allow access to medical marijuana while in school are about providing kids with the medicine they need to be able to attend at all. "These kids, just because they're sick, shouldn't have their education interrupted," he said.

Michigan: Top State Regulator Rejects Medical Marijuana For Autism


By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Michigan Governor Rick Snyder's top state regulator on Thursday rejected the advice of a state panel and refused to allow the use of medical marijuana to treat autism.

The decision followed a three-year struggle by parents of autistic children, their lawyers and patient advocates to have Michigan become the first state to specify marijuana as a treatment for autism, reports Bill Laitner at the Detroit Free Press.

Mike Zimmer, director of the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA), claimed he was concerned that an approval wouldn't apply just to serious cases of autism, but to all cases. Zimmer said that parents applying to use medicinal cannabis would need the approval of two doctors, yet there was no requirement that either doctor be experienced in treating autism.

Zimmer said, in a four-page "Final Determination," that allowing medical marijuana for autism might do more harm than good to mildly affeted autistic children. That view followed uninformed, but damaging, testimony in Lansing by Dr. Harry Chugani, chief of pediatric neurology at Children's Hospital of Michigan, considered a national authority on autism but obviously who doesn't know much about cannabis.

"The vast majority of kids with autism do not need pot, and I won't sign for it," Chugani huffed last month. He said cannabis should be reserved for those with "very bad behaviors, aggression, meltdowns."

Michigan: Medical Marijuana Panel Votes To Add Autism To State Law


By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

The Michigan Medical Marijuana Law Review Panel on Friday voted to recommend adding autism as a qualifying condition for treatment under the state's medicinal cannabis law.

That recommendation is now headed to the desk of Mike Zimmer, director of the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs, who will have the final say on adding autism to the law, reports Jonathan Oosting at

The review panel voted 4-2 in favor of a peitition submitted by Michigan mother Lisa Smith, who said cannabis oil helped improve her severely autistic six-year-old son's behavior, sleeping patterns and eating schedule.

"The parents I've talked to are passionate and adamant that this represents a dramatic improvement in the quality of life for them and their affected children," said David Crocker, a medicinal cannabis doctor and panel member.

"It was really a historic day in Michigan," attorney Michael Komorn said. "I can't say I remember the last time I cried over a ruling. Personally I learned on everyone within our cannabis community and they came through like superstars.

"Procedurally the next step provides that the new condition panels vote will be sent to the director of LARA for a final yes or no vote," Komorn said. "Our job is not quite finished and we will continue in this endeavor until official approval is made."

Illinois Considers Expanding Disease List For Medical Marijuana Program


By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Illinois residents have petitioned the state to add more than 20 medical conditions to the list of qualifying conditions for the state's medical marijuana program. Among the conditions requested to be added are anxiety, migraines, insomnia and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Petitioners identifying themselves as combat veterans of Vietnam and Iraq asked that PTSD be included, according to 269 pages of petitions obtained by Carla K. Johnson at The Associated Press through the Freedom of Information Act. The state redacted the names of petitioners before releasing the documents, to protect patients' privacy.

“I am a Vietnam Vet and can only imagine how things would have been,” wrote one PTSD petitioner. “While visiting in Colorado I had the benefit of trying cannabis in candy form…. and I felt wonderful. No thoughts of violence, self-deprecation, or hopelessness. My life would be different today.”

Illinois law lists cancer, multiple sclerosis and AIDS as qualifying conditions for cannabis, but is more restrictive than most other medical marijuana states. The Illinois Department of Health must approve any additions to the list.

An advisory board of doctors, patients, nurses and a pharmacist is looking over the petitions, and will make a recommendation after a public hearing on May 4. People can submit petitions twice each year, in January and July.

California: Autistic Teen Who Was Entrapped By Cops To Graduate


Family’s Lawsuit Against School District Highlights Cruelty and Ineffectiveness of Undercover Narcotics Operations in Schools

Jesse Snodgrass, the teenage special needs student arrested in an undercover police operation, will receive his high school diploma at the Chaparral High School graduation ceremony on Thursday, June 5, at 6:30 p.m.

The February 2014 Rolling Stone article, “The Entrapment of Jesse Snodgrass” details how Jesse, who suffers from a range of disabilities, was falsely befriended by a police officer who repeatedly asked the boy to provide him drugs. After more than three weeks, 60 text messages and repeated hounding by the officer, Jesse was able to buy half a joint from a homeless man he then gave to his new -– and only –- “friend,” who had given him 20 dollars weeks before.

Jesse did it once again before finally refusing to accommodate the officer, at which point the officer broke off all ties with the child. Shortly thereafter, Jesse was arrested at Chaparral High School in front of his classmates as part of a sting that nabbed 22 students in all, many of them children with special needs.

Michigan: Medical Marijuana Panel Approves PTSD; Rejects Asthma, Autism, Insomnia


By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

The nine members of Michigan's Medical Marijuana Review Panel convened on Tuesday to consider adding asthma, autism, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) to the list of qualifying conditions for medicinal cannabis. After some lively discussion, the panel rejected autism, asthma, and insomnia, but PTSD advanced beyond the first round with the panel voting 7-2 in favor.

LARA, the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs, is now required to post the conditions online, hold a public hearing within 60 days and forward public comment back to the panel for further consideration, according to attorney Michael Komorn of Komorn Law. After that, the department director must make a final determination within six months of the date that the petition is filed.

"The head of LARA, the state agency responsible for appointing the panel and administering the medical marijuana program, will have final say on whether to add PTSD to the list of debilitating conditions," Komorn said. Steve Arwood is LARA's director.

Only two members of the panel voted against having any of the conditions added to the medical marijuana list, reports Joe Khalil at WLNS. The panel voted 5-4 against treating insomnia with marijuana.

Michigan: Panel Considers Adding PTSD, Autism, Asthma, Insomnia To Medical Marijuana Law


By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

The Michigan Medical Marihuana Act Review Panel on Tuesday is expected to consider petitions to add autism, asthma, insomnia and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) to the list of conditions suitable for treatment by medicinal cannabis.

Chronic delays and mismanagement by the state have prevented earlier updates to the 2008 law, according to critics, stymying changes that could have helped more patients treat symptoms and ease pain, reports Jonathan Oosting at

The panel, established under administrative rules in 2009, didn't meet until 2012. Earlier this year, panel members voted to recommend adding Parkinson's disease and PTSD to a list of conditions which would qualify patients for a medical marijuana card.

But the panel was disbanded in late April, and their recommendations denied, because the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs decided it had not appointed members in accordance with the administrative rules.

Study: Marijuana Has Possible Therapeutic Applications For Autistic Children


By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

A new study from Stanford University suggests that marijuana can be helpful and therapeutic not only to older people with conditions like cancer, glaucoma, and AIDS, but also to younger people with autism.

The study shows that mutations associated with autism block the action of endocannabinoids, naturally occurring brain molecules that act on the same receptors that marijuana's active chemical, THC, acts on, reports Autism Daily Newscast (ADN).

According to the findings, cannabis could be used as a treatment to autism, since the phytocannabinoids found in it can unblock that disruption in the body's cannabinoid receptors.

That cannabis affects autism in a possibly therapeutic way adds to the chorus of parents with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) who have suggested that the mild sedative properties of marijuana can supplement or even negate the need for stimulant, speed-like drugs such as Ritalin and Adderall currently used to treat the condition, reports The Inquisitr.

California: ABC News Lauds Marijuana for Autism

To the mothers of autistic children this must be a blessing in the greatest sense of the word.

By Dr. Phillip Leveque Salem-News,com

California: ABC News Lauds Marijuana for Autism (MOLALLA, Ore.) - As a physician/pharmacologist taking care of Medical Marijuana patients, I get totally surprised almost every day. The latest blockbuster was ABC News on Monday, Nov. 21, 2009 with a mother of a terrorizing autistic child whom ABC featured on their morning program.

This was about the first big-time TV report of successful treatment of Autism. It was very compelling information and should be a mind clearing event for thousands of parents of autistic, ADD/ADHD children.

I have posted several stories about this on (SEARCH AUTISM AND MARIJUANA THERAPY) which has attracted many emails both supportive and condemning about how dare I support “devil weed” as a useful, effective medicine.

The outstanding email comments were very positive and supportive of Medical Marijuana for Autism, ADD/ADHD and Aspergers. I AM NOT MAKING THIS UP. I was only reporting it and trying to give an explanation.

I am reminded that when Ritalin, a brain stimulant, was reported GOOD for the excitable form of Autism several doctors and Autism parents fainted in shock. Ritalin and amphetamines are still used for these conditions but together they have caused about 300 deaths. “Devil Weed” marijuana has never killed anybody and it DOESN’T cause cancer.

California: Mother Gives Son Marijuana to Treat His Autism

More Research Is Needed, But Difficult to Fund Due to Stigma, Experts Say

By Joseph Brownstein, GMA

California: Mother Gives Son Marijuana to Treat His Autism Given the many challenges involved in raising an autistic child, parents are willing to try a variety of potential remedies, many of which are controversial and unproven.

But one potential treatment that has gained attention recently is one that was controversial well before its first mention in connection with autism.

"At first I did some research, and I found a doctor who actually had a protocol for medical marijuana in children diagnosed with autism," Mieko Hester-Perez of Fountain Valley, Calif., told "Good Morning America."

Hester-Perez made her decision to try giving her 10-year-old son, Joey Perez, medical marijuana after his weight had become dangerously low due to his unwillingness to eat. She said that at the time she began the approach, he weighed only 46 pounds.

"You could see the bones in his chest. He was going to die," she said.

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