medical marijuana

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New York: SNL Star Pete Davidson Says Medical Marijuana Helps Him Perform

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

Pete Davidson, star of "Saturday Night Live", told High Times magazine this week that he became a pothead at the age of 17 because of his Chron's disease.

"I found that the things the doctors were prescribing me, and seeing all these doctors and trying new things, weed was the only thing that would help me eat," he explained.

Chron's disease is a chronic bowel disease that can cause weight loss, diarrhea, abdominal pain, anemia, and fatigue. It can't be cured but various treatments can help relieve the symptoms.

"I wouldn't be able to do 'SNL' if I didn't smoke weed. I wouldn't be able to do anything," the 22-year-old said.

Davidson said smoking pot helps him perform and although he says he could take the stage without getting high, it wouldn't be that much fun for him because of the pain.

He said he gets offended by people who assume he's just a pothead who wants to sit around and watch cartoons.

"I work really f---ing hard and I take care of my s--t and I need weed in order to do that," he explained.

Davidson is an outspoken advocate for legalizing medical marijuana in all states and has stated that the New York State medical marijuana program is inadequate and difficult, according to High Times.

Washington, DC: Mayor To Propose Doubling Marijuana Possession Limit For Patients

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

The possession and use of medical marijuana is legal in Washington, D.C. for those who receive a recommendation from a physician. Patients can purchase their weed from a licensed dispensary, although they can only purchase and possess up to two ounces in a given month. However, that may soon change as the district’s mayor will soon introduce a proposal that would double this limit.

Mayor Muriel Bowser “will propose doubling to 4 ounces how much weed medical marijuana patients can buy a month,” according to Aaron C. Davis, a reporter for the Washington Post.

Medical marijuana legalization was approved by voters in 1998 in the District of Columbia, just two years after the first state (California) legalized the medicine. However, the law wasn’t implemented, and the first dispensary didn’t open, until 2013 due to Congress continually blocking it. Now the system is up and running smoothly, though many patients and patient advocates do consider many portions of the law to be too restrictive, including the two ounce limit.

The possession and personal cultivation of recreational cannabis is legal for everyone 21 and older in D.C., in addition to the medical marijuana being legal, thanks to an initiative approved by voters in 2014.

Idaho: Marijuana Activists Launch New Campaign For Medical Marijuana

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

The Idaho Secretary of State's Office has approved a petition that could create a medical marijuana program in the state.

Current marijuana laws in Idaho are harsh, especially when compared to neighboring states which allow some sort of medical use of the drug or have outright legalized it like Washington and Oregon. In Idaho, possession of marijuana is a misdemeanor offense and the state doesn’t approve the medical use of the drug.

If the initiative qualifies for the ballot and is passed, Idaho will join 25 other states that have a medical marijuana law. The initiative includes a long list of qualifying conditions that encompasses cancer, glaucoma, traumatic brain injury, post-traumatic stress disorder and others. Patients that qualify for the program would be allowed to legally possess 24 ounces of usable marijuana and 12 plants.

“We didn’t want to leave anything out,” says Angela Osborn, board secretary for the Idaho Medical Marijuana Association, or IMMA, the group sponsoring the petition. “We didn’t want to leave a patient out; we didn’t want to leave a disease out. We want it super simple and to help as many people as possible.”

Florida: New Ad Campaign Says Marijuana Isn't Medicine

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

The anti-marijuana group Drug Free Florida released a 30 second ad Thursday which opens with a prescription for Marinol, which the group says offers the same benefits as medical marijuana.

Marinol is a pharmaceutical tetrahydrocannabinol, a drug which contains the principal psychoactive component of cannabis. 

The ad then goes on to slam medical marijuana for not being regulated by the Food and Drug Administration and for not being prescribed by a doctor.

The group says amendment 2 is a “scam” which would make medical marijuana legal. “You don’t smoke medicine,” the ad says, while pictures of young people smoking marijuana flash on the screen. 

The ad is the latest in the fight against Amendment 2, which would legalize medical marijuana in Florida for patients with “debilitating conditions.”

Conditions covered under the amendment would include cancer, epilepsy, glaucoma, HIV/AIDS, and for other conditions which a physician feels using medical marijuana would outweigh the potential health risks for a patient. 

There are differences between Marinol and marijuana. Marinol contains only THC, and can take about an hour to take effect, while smoked or vaporized THC takes effect in a matter of seconds or minutes. Marinol is often used to treat cancer patients, HIV/AIDS patients, and people undergoing chemotherapy.

Montana: Initiative On Ballot To Improve Medical Marijuana Laws

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

Most states have relaxed restrictions on marijuana in recent years. Some have legalized it for recreational use; half the states have legalized some form of medical marijuana. But Montana has gone backward.

Although Montana adopted medical marijuana in 2004, a law was passed in 2011 that severely limited the reach of marijuana providers. The Supreme Court affirmed the law in February.

Today, marijuana advertising is banned, marijuana dispensaries cannot have more than three registered users and doctors who prescribe marijuana to more than 25 patients annually will be reviewed by the state. Hundreds of medical marijuana dispensaries closed when the restrictions took effect the end of August.

But supporters of medical marijuana are hoping to be back in business come November with Montana I-182, a ballot initiative that would repeal the law that effectively killed the medical marijuana industry. A "yes" vote would repeal the limit of three patients per dispensary, which estimates say cut off at least 12,000 medical marijuana users when it was put into effect — the vast majority of those were using marijuana as medication.

Ohio: Board's Timeline Concerns Medical Marijuana Advocates

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

Advocates are concerned over the length of time it will take Ohio's medical board to draft rules governing how doctors can recommend to patients they use medical marijuana.

The medical board met Wednesday for the first time since the medical marijuana law went into effect and says it plans to study laws and practices in other states before drafting Ohio's regulations.

The medical board has a September 2017 deadline for establishing rules for medical doctors. Ohioans for Medical Marijuana spokesman Aaron Marshall says advocates want the board to act sooner.

Marshall says those who need the drug therapeutically are "seriously ill people" who should know how to defend themselves in court if caught with marijuana before the state's physician rules are established.

New Jersey: Gov. Chris Christie Signs Bill Approving Marijuana For PTSD Treatment

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

People in New Jersey can now legally treat their post-traumatic stress disorder with marijuana.

Republican Gov. Chris Christie signed a measure Wednesday allowing people to use marijuana if their PTSD is not treatable conventionally, a move actively sought by combat veterans.

Christie noted in a statement sent with the announcement that federal officials estimate up to 20 percent of veterans returning from combat in Iraq and Afghanistan have been diagnosed with PTSD.

"The mere potential of abuse by some should not deter the state from taking action that may ease the daily struggles of veterans and others who legitimately suffer from PTSD," Christie wrote.

New Jersey is the 18th state to allow PTSD to be treated with medical marijuana.

Medical marijuana in New Jersey is also approved to treat multiple sclerosis, terminal cancer, and muscular dystrophy, Lou Gehrig's disease, inflammatory bowel disease, and any terminal disease with a prognosis of less than one year. It's approved for seizures and glaucoma also if those conditions resist conventional treatment.

Lawmakers praised his decision.

U.S.: NFLPA Will Research Marijuana For Pain Management

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

Derrick Morgan, outside linebacker for the Tennessee Titans, announced Friday that the NFL Players Association (NFLPA) will begin researching alternative pain methods like cannabis for pain treatment.

During a radio interview with Nashville’s The Midday 180, Morgan said, “We have some things in the works with the NFLPA, getting some research going for players.” Morgan explained that it wasn’t anything “too clinical,” however players were going to develop a committee to look at alternative treatments for managing pain.

Morgan has been vocal for some time about the need for more research into how cannabis can benefit NFL players. He and Eugene Monroe both urged the NFL to study medicinal cannabis to help players in the league over the summer.

Morgan did an interview with ESPN in July, where he called out the NFL. “I just take the NFL for their word: If they say that long-term health and player safety are top priorities of the league, then why aren’t you looking into all the options for health care that are out there?” Morgan said, “It’s definitely incumbent upon them to really delegate some time and some resources to look into it.”

Morgan will continue to fight for professional athletes everywhere who are banned from using cannabis to treat their ailments.

Florida: New Polling Shows Medical Marijuana Initiative At 70 Percent Support

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

New polling released by Public Policy Polling shows that 70 percent of voters in Florida support Amendment 2 to legalize medical marijuana with just 23 percent opposed. Seven percent remain undecided.

“Poll after poll has us winning this race in November and finally allowing Florida’s doctors to make the recommendations they feel are best for thousands and thousands of suffering patients in Florida”, says Ben Pollara, Campaign Manager for United for Care, the group behind Amendment 2. “Still, the No On 2 Campaign is doing everything it can to provoke fear and obstruct this important access. And they have a lot of money to do it.”

According to Pollara, they know from their 2014 campaign that “things can change very quickly when you’re out spent”. Knowin that, the group is continuing to build their advertising fund to “make sure we have enough to adequately communicate the truth to undecided (or easily swayed) voters.”

“We have 60 days. Mail ballots drop in roughly 30. Please urgently contribute here.”, says Pollara. "It doesn’t have to be a big donation.”

U.S.: Why Medical Marijuana Patients Can't Buy Guns

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

Last week, an appeals court ruled that a federal law prohibiting medical marijuana cardholders from purchasing guns does not violate the Second Amendment, because marijuana has been linked to "irrational or unpredictable behavior."

The case of a Nevada woman who attempted to purchase a handgun in 2011, but was denied when the gun store owner recognized her as a medical marijuana cardholder, is what led to the ruling, according to court documents. S. Rowan Wilson insisted that she didn't actually use marijuana, but obtained a card to make a political statement in support of liberalizing marijuana law.

Federal law prohibits gun purchases by an "unlawful user and/or an addict of any controlled substance." In 2011, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms clarified in a letter that the law applies to marijuana users "regardless of whether [their] State has passed legislation authorizing marijuana use for medicinal purposes."

The U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit ruled that the federal law agrees with the Constitution, as "it is beyond dispute that illegal drug users, including marijuana users, are likely as a consequence of that use to experience altered or impaired mental states that affect their judgment and that can lead to irrational or unpredictable behavior."

Ohio: Medical Marijuana Becomes Legal Thursday

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

It was 90 days ago Thursday that Ohio Governor John Kasich signed a bill into law that legalizes medical marijuana. Medical marijuana finally becomes legal in the state tomorrow, making it the 25th state to legalize medical marijuana in some form.

The law allows patients to use marijuana in vapor form for certain chronic health conditions, but bars them from smoking it or growing it at home.

The Ohio Department of Commerce, State Medical Board and Board of Pharmacy will supervise the use of medical marijuana in the state.

ResponsibleOhio put a proposed constitutional amendment on the statewide ballot last year that would have legalized marijuana for both medical and recreational use and granted exclusive growing rights to 10 investor groups bankrolling the campaign. Voters rejected the proposal. But polls showed that 80 to 90 percent of Ohioans favor legalizing medical marijuana.

The list of conditions that qualify for medical marijuana in Ohio includes AIDS, ALS, Alzheimer’s, cancer, chronic pain, chronic traumatic encephalopathy, Crohn’s disease, epilepsy or other seizure disorder, fibromyalgia, glaucoma, hepatitis C, inflammatory bowel disease, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, PTSD, spinal cord conditions, Tourette’s syndrome, traumatic brain injury and sickle cell anemia.

U.S.: The American Legion Wants Marijuana Reclassified To Help Treat PTSD

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

The American Legion is asking the federal government to reclassify marijuana to acknowledge its potential benefits as a medical treatment.

Recently, the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) again refused to reclassify marijuana, continuing to insist the plant has no medicinal value.

Many physicians and scientists believe that one of the potential medical values of medical marijuana is as a treatment for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). The American Legion just voted at its national convention to support a resolution calling on Congress to legislatively reclassify cannabis and place it in a category that recognizes its potential value.

The resolution highlights a number of important statistics that have helped push the Legion to support it. Across two years, the Department of Veterans Affairs have diagnosed thousands of Afghanistan and Iraq War veterans as having PTSD or Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI). More than 1,300 veterans in fiscal year 2009 were hospitalized for brain injuries. And the resolution notes that systems in the brain can respond to 60 different chemicals found in cannabis.

The American Legion wants the DEA to license privately-funded medical marijuana and research facilities and to reclassify marijuana away from being lumped in with drugs like heroin and LSD..

California: Court Rules Feds Can't Prosecute Medical Marijuana Users Who Follow State Law

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

Marijuana is still strictly banned under federal law, despite medical marijuana being legal in 25 states and the District of Columbia. But a federal court in San Francisco ruled this week that the Department of Justice cannot spend money to prosecute people who use medical marijuana and obey their state's laws.

The decision was handed down on Tuesday by the Ninth Circuit of Appeals. Federal authorities are now expressly forbidden to spend taxpayer money on prosecuting medical marijuana cases against individuals who have complied with state laws.

"If DOJ [the Department of Justice] wishes to continue these prosecutions, the appellants are entitled to evidentiary hearings to determine whether their conduct was completely authorized by state law," Judge Diarmuid O'Scannlain wrote, sending the cases back to lower federal courts for further review.

Charles Sanford Smith, a New York attorney who specializes in medical marijuana cases, said the ruling could bring federal prosecutions to a halt while the DOJ figures out whether it's even allowed to spend money trying to prove that pot defendants have run afoul of state laws.

Canada: Growing Medical Marijuana At Home Now Legal

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Effective on August 24, Canadians will be allowed to grow their own medical marijuana at home with a prescription from a doctor.

Canada's CTV reported "The federal government has announced new rules that will allow medical marijuana users to grow their own at home. The new regulations, which will replace the Marihuana Medical Access Regulations, also include other changes, such as labelling requirements for dried pot and cannabis oils."

Meanwhile southward in the States, marijuana consumption or possession remains federally illegal, with an American being arrested for marijuana possession every 42 seconds to one minute. In states where marijuana has not been legalized, an arrest for possession can lead to job loss, thousands of dollars in court costs, and five years or more in a private prison.

President Obama is supposedly working on a plan to help marijuana users that have been busted. Just last week his daughter was seen smoking pot on a widely circulated Web video.

Ohio: Lakewood, Other Cities Block Medical Marijuana Business Licenses Before Any Will Be Awarded

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

Laws for legal medical marijuana take effect in Ohio in one month, but Lakewood and other cities across the state are making moves to block cannabis businesses from opening in their communities.

Several Ohio cities have put a six-month moratorium on licensing marijuana cultivators, processors and retailers. Several others are considering temporary bans in advance of the new law, which takes effect September 8.

But it's likely to be six months before any marijuana businesses are licensed in Ohio. Three government agencies will be setting up the regulations and licensing processes, and the first deadline is in May 2017.

Ohio's medical marijuana law will people with about 20 qualifying medical conditions to use marijuana with the recommendation and approval by a physician. Stores will be able to sell cannabis plant material, patches, tinctures and oils.

Lakewood, Beavercreek, Troy and Piqua recently passed six-month moratoriums on licensing businesses and Rocky River, Lancaster, Lima and Liberty Township in Southwest Ohio are working on similar temporary bans.

One city has gone so far as to ban all legal marijuana operations. Hamilton, in Butler County, passed its ban in February 2015, months in advance of that year's recreational marijuana measure qualifying for the ballot.

U.S. Recreational Marijuana On The Ballot In 5 States Election Day 2016

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

Nine ballot measures for marijuana legalization on election day 2016 will amount to the largest number of voters in history casting a vote to determine marijuana laws.

Alaska, Colorado, Oregon, and Washington were the first four states to legalize recreational marijuana, and now they have the chance to be joined by five more states. Arizona, California, Maine, Massachusetts, and Nevada will vote on legalizing recreational pot on ballot measures this year on election day in November.

Four other states -- Arkansas, Florida, Montana and Missouri -- will be voting on laws to make medical marijuana legal.

"This is really a watershed year for marijuana legalization, so I'm hoping that we'll see some big changes in November," F. Aaron Smith, co-founder and executive director of the National Cannabis Industry Association, told CNN.

Florida: Campaign To Stop Medical Marijuana Raises More Money With 7,056 Less Donations

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

The campaign fighting for medical marijuana in Florida, Yes on 2, has received 7,067 donations since January of this year. The No on 2 campaign has only collected 11 in the same time period.

The No on 2 campaign has received more money, however, despite the huge differencein the number of people donating.The 11 donors that have contributed to stop the passing of medical marijuana law have included $800 thousand from Publix heiress Carol Jenkins Barnett and $500 thousand from Mel Sembler, a Republican fundraiser.

The sudden increase in donations to the No on 2 campaign came soon after its release of a 30-second ad comparing budtenders to “drug dealers with store fronts.”

Polls say 69% of Floridians support passing laws to make medical marijuana legal, but the No on 2 campaign definitely has the bigger budget, despite the thousands of people who have donated to Yes on 2

Illinois: Medical Marijuana Sales Reach New High At $2.9 Million

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

Illinois officials announced Wednesday that July retail medical marijuana sales reached a new high at $2.9 million.

Medical marijuana sales have steadily climbed since November 9, when it first became available. June was the previous highest month at $2.57 million.

There are nearly 8,891 medical marijuana patients in Illinois and 40 registered dispensaries. Total retail sales since the program launched came to $16.3 million at the end of July.

Gov. Bruce Rauner signed new legislation last month adding post-traumatic stress disorder and terminal illnesses to the list of qualifying conditions and extending the pilot program until July 2020.

Patients who are terminally ill can apply for a medical marijuana card without a fee. But new patient identification cards for other patients will cost $300 and be valid for three years. Annual fees had been $100. Veterans and those who receive disability benefits can get a three-year card for $150.

Chicago patient advocate and industry analyst Joel Erickson says the price is too high.

"Patients are seeing these numbers and are scared about how they're going to pay for access," Erickson said. "That's a car or rent payment without any help from insurance. There needs to be alternatives for low or fixed-income patients to be able to afford access."

Colorado: Newly Available Cannabis Tampons

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

Women have a new alternative to treating painful menstrual cramps with Midol, Advil, and the like. There's a new remedy for cramps and it's cannabis tampons.

Designed by the company Foria, the "relief suppositories" made of cannabis "maximize the muscle relaxing and pain relieving properties of cannabis without inducing a psychotropic ‘high.'”

The tampons are made with only three ingredients: cocoa butter, distilled THC Oil and CBD Isolate (99.99%) from organically-grown hemp. Foria explains on its website that CBD Isolate is one of “two key active cannabinoid compounds found in cannabis,” the other being THC.

Foria says their primary focus is on relieving pain, with an intention to “share the powerful medicinal properties of this plant while utilizing modern extraction techniques to standardize purity and potency.” Creating a tampon, they say, instead of a pill, helps “deliver the medicine directly to where it is needed most.”

Unfortunately, the tampons are only available for residents of Colorado with a medical marijuana card. Fiora's site site says that it is working hard “to make Foria available wherever cannabis infused products are available by state law.”

Japan: Medical Marijuana Advocate Dies Of Cancer While On Trial

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

Masamitsu Yamamoto, a former chef from Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan with advanced liver cancer, died last Monday at the age of 58. He fought and was still fighting for legalization of medical marijuana while on trial for drug possession at the time of his death.

He had crusaded for years for the government to permit the medical use of marijuana, currently banned by the Cannabis Control Law. He was standing trial at the Tokyo District Court after being arrested in December for suspicion of marijuana possession.

He appeared in a wheelchair on July 12 at a court hearing, in which he claimed he used marijuana as a last resort after determining all other medical approaches had been to no avail,
and that he had been unable to get approval to use medical marijuana legally.

The case will be dropped now that the defendant is deceased. The trial would have concluded tomorrow, August 2, at which time prosecutors would have demanded a prison term and set a sentencing date.

Hideo Nagayoshi of the nonprofit organization Iryo Taima wo Kangaerukai (Japan Medical Marijuana Association), which supported Yamamoto during the trial said that the case’s dismissal means the many questions about the ban raised by the defendant will remain unanswered.

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