fibromyalgia

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Oklahoma: State May Legalize Medical Marijuana Soon

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

Oklahoma could legalize medical marijuana a year before voters get a chance to decide on State Question 788 if Representative Eric Proctor (D-Tulsa) gets his bill passed.

Critics of the new bill complain that it only covers a few ailments and is too narrow.

House Bill 1877 would allow medical marijuana for the following list of conditions: Glaucoma, hepatitis C, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Tourette’s syndrome, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, post-traumatic stress disorder, severe arthritis, fibromyalgia and Alzheimer’s disease.

Proctor's bill is modeled on the medical marijuana measure passed in Arkansas in 2016.

“Arkansas is a state that is very similar to Oklahoma, and this will give us the opportunity to see what works there and also see what doesn’t work,” Rep. Proctor told NewsOK in an interview.

State Question 788 is pending, but House Bill 1877 would speed up access to medical marijuana by a year or more.

William Jones, a leader of Oklahomans for Health, does not support Proctor's bill, complaining that it limits medical marijuana use to patients with a handful of ailments.

Arkansas: Medical Marijuana Legal In First Bible Belt State

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

Arkansas officially legalized marijuana for qualifying medical patients on Tuesday in a vote of 53.2% to 46.8%, according to the New York Times, making it the first Bible Belt state to legalize the plant.

The Arkansas Medical Marijuana Amendment, or Issue 6, is an amendment to Arkansas' state constitution that officially legalizes the distribution and possession of medical marijuana. The new amendment is specifically meant for patients who have any of 17 qualifying conditions, which include cancer, Tourette's syndrome, Chrohn's disease, fibromyalgia, post-traumatic stress disorder and HIV/AIDS. Patients with a written statement from a doctor certifying they have a qualifying condition will be able to purchase medical marijuana from dispensaries, and will not be permitted to grow their own marijuana plants.

Arkansas voted on the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Question in 2012, but it was struck down in a vote of 51.4% to 48.5%. A separate medical marijuana proposal, the Arkansas Medical Cannabis Act, or Issue 7, was also initially slated to be on the ballot in 2016, but was later disqualified due to invalid signatures.

U.S.: Former GW Pharmaceuticals Advisor Discusses Future of Medical Cannabis

DrEthanRusso[Ganjapreneur]

Cannabis business website Ganjapreneur has announced its latest podcast episode, which features prominent medical marijuana researcher Dr. Ethan Russo in a conversation about his research regarding the Endocannabinoid System — a unique system found in all vertebrates, including humans, which promotes homeostasis and a biological balance across bodily functions.

In the interview, Ganjapreneur podcast host Shango Los asks Dr. Russo about Endocannabinoid Deficiency (ECD) and the potential for it to be treated with cannabis. As Russo explains, ECD is just coming into general awareness now as a cause behind several conditions including Migraines, Fibromyalgia, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Phantom Limb Pain, Infantile colic, Glaucoma, PTSD, Bipolar disease and others.

When used as a form of treatment, "A lot of what THC does is paralleled by the effects of... natural chemicals in the body that everyone has," Dr. Russo explained.

Before going public with his research, Dr. Russo worked for years as senior medical advisor for GW Pharmaceuticals; there, he oversaw three separate clinical trials for Sativex, one of the world's first cannabinoid-based medicines to be approved for public use.

Today, he is medical director at Phytecs, a company specializing in the production of cannabis-based treatments related to the endocannabinoid system. Due to legal complications and concerns over the federal legality of his work, Dr. Russo only began to speak publicly about his research earlier this year.

Illinois: Widow Who Pushed For Medical Marijuana Not Allowed To Use It Under New Law

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Michelle DiGiacomo of Chicago won't be allowed to use medical marijuana under the new law in Illinois -- because she used medical marijuana before the law passed.

When police stormed DiGiacomo's North Side Chicago apartment last year, she had known the day could come, since marijuana was still illegal in Illinois even for medical reasons. But she was still unprepared.

"I was about to experience the worst 28 hours of my life," said DiGiacomo, 53, who runs Direct Effect Charities, which serves needy Chicago Public Schools kids, reports Maudlyne Ihejirika at the Chicago Sun-Times. "We had discussed this possibility in the past; one I had hoped would never come to be."

The widowed mother had used marijuana for the past five years to control the pain of fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, spinal stenosis and rotator cuff disease. Pharmaceuticals had resulted in adverse reactions, or had failed to provide relief.

After he September 13, 2012 arrest, she pleaded guilty on March 5 to Class 4 felony possession of marijuana, just five months before Gov. Pat Quinn signed the state's medical marijuana bill into law.

Now she's not allowed to take part in the program, because under the Illinois Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Program Act, a felony conviction disqualifies her from accessing medical marijuana. Advocates say the story highlights the new law's shortcomings.

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