intractable pain

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.

Ohio: Patients Would Face New Hurdles Under Senate Medical Marijuana Bill

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The Ohio Senate’s State and Local Government Committee on Wednesday accepted a substitute version of House Bill 523, the narrow and restrictive medical marijuana legislation passed last week out of the Ohio House of Representatives.

“This latest version includes a series of high-cost requirements that will effectively keep many patients from being able to access medical marijuana,” said Aaron Marshall, spokesman for Ohioans for Medical Marijuana. “These mandates coupled with the legislature’s insistence that home grow be prohibited -- and the Senate’s elimination of a medical marijuana discount program for veterans and low-income Ohioans -- cements this bill as a deeply-flawed measure helping very few patients.”

Also changed on Wednesday in the Senate’s new version was language specifying that a patient’s pain must be “chronic, severe AND intractable” to qualify under a general pain provision. Intractable is often defined in medical dictionaries as “having no relief” or “resistant to cure, relief or control.”

“In essentially making the pain threshold intractable, lawmakers are cutting off access to thousands of Ohioans who have severe, debilitating, but not intractable, pain,” Marshall said.

Georgia: Medical Marijuana Won't Be Grown Anytime Soon

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Medical marijuana won't be grown in Georgia anytime soon, according to sources close to the situation.

Macon lawmaker Rep. Allen Peake, who has pushed medicinal cannabis legislation, stripped in-state cultivation out of House Bill 722 on Monday, reports Christopher S. Hopper at 11Alive News.

Other lawmakers, law enforcement officials, religious groups, and even Governor Nathan Deal had joined in an increasingly shrill chorus of voices warning against growing medical marijuana in Georgia. These excitable folks apparently believe that -- uniquely among all medical marijuana states, which are now about half the Union -- Georgia would somehow be selected for persecution and prosecution by the federal government if it dares do something really crazy like protecting sick folks.

HB 722 was widely viewed as the next step after House Bill 1 passed last year, allowing patients to lawfully use and possess non-psychoactive cannabidiol (CBD) cannabis oil. Patients were counting on HB 722 to make it easier for them to obtain their medicine.

A gutted version of HB 722, with in-state cultivation language stripped away, was written up. The gutted version also takes away original language which would have given a greater number of patients access by expanding the allowed list of illnesses from eight 1o 17. PTSD and intractable pain were both removed from the list.

Minnesota: Medical Marijuana Panel Recommends Against Adding Intractable Pain As Qualifying Condition

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Majority of panel opposes adding intractable pain; recommendations include a variety of additional criteria be met in order for intractable pain patients to have access to medical marijuana, if commissioner decides to add

The Minnesota Office of Medical Cannabis Intractable Pain Advisory Committee late on Wednesday posted its recommendations on the question of whether intractable pain should be a medical cannabis qualifying condition. A majority of the panel opposed adding intractable pain, despite marijuana’s relative safety when compared to commonly prescribed pain medications.

The panel also listed a variety of conditions that it suggests be met if the Commissioner of Health were to ultimately decide to add intractable pain to the program.

The recommendations — which include a 21 and older age restriction and a requirement that “traditional” methods of treatment be exhausted — will now be considered by Minnesota Commissioner of Health Ed Ehlinger. If he decides to add intractable pain, with or without added criteria, he must notify the chairs and ranking minority members of the legislative health and public safety policy committees.

Intractable pain would become a qualifying condition for medical marijuana, effective August 1, 2016, unless the legislature passes a law stating otherwise.

Minnesota: Medical Marijuana Battle Turns To Patients In Chronic Pain

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

When Minnesota lawmakers passed a medical marijuana law last month, they left out the largest potential group of patients in the state: those with chronic pain. They did so on purpose.

But the debate isn't over, reports John Welsh at MinnPost, and the outcome could determine whether Minnesota's medical marijuana program helps a few thousand people -- or a few hundred thousand.

Medical marijuana advocates got their first victory in the state last month after more than a decade of effort at the Capitol. The new law covers nine conditions, including cancer and epilepsy, with each category expected to generate from 100 to 1,000 patients.

In all, Minnesota estimates there will be 5,000 patients in the program, which is scheduled to begin providing marijuana on July 1, 2015.

In states like Colorado and Oregon, at least 94 percent of medical marijuana patient participants list chronic pain as their qualifying diagnosis. Minnesota officials estimated that adding "intractable pain" to the list of qualifying diagnoses would add about 33,000 patients to the program, but there is some evidence that estimate might be low.

State officials based their estimates on patient participation in Arizona's medical marijuana program, but Arizona has a low participation rate of just 0.7 percent of state residents. In Oregon, the rate is 1.5 percent; in Colorado, the rate is 2.2 percent.

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