Medicinal Cannabis

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Idaho: New Medical Marijuana Petition Drive Aims For 2014 Ballot

Photo - Idaho: New Medical Marijuana Petition Drive Aims For 2014 BallotBy Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Compassionate Idaho on Friday, March 15 will release a new petition to put medical marijuana on the 2014 ballot for the voters to decide.

The petition will address the failed medical marijuana policy of Idaho that is currently putting seriously and terminally ill patients in the position of being "criminals," according to the group.

"This petition, once law, will protect our seriously and terminally ill patients and their caregivers from arrest, prosecution, and forfeiture for obtaining medical marijuana," Compassionate Idaho said in a prepared statement.

The petition is already available for reading at www.compassionateidaho.org, although it doesn't yet have its short and long ballot titles back from the Idaho Attorney General, according to the group.

Once Compassionate Idaho gets the petition back from the state Attorney General, they plan to post a downloadable PDF file of the petition for circulation around the state. Circulation instructions and downloadable voter registration cards will also be available.

Michigan: House Bill Would Allow Medical Marijuana Dispensaries

Photo - Michigan: House Bill Would Allow Medical Marijuana DispensariesBy Steve Elliott
Hemp News

The Michigan House of Representatives is considering a bill which would allow safe access for the state's medical marijuana patients through a system of dispensaries.

The Medical Marijuana Provisioning Center Regulation Act comes after a Michigan Supreme Court ruling that the transfer of medicinal cannabis between patients -- the kind that takes place in dispensaries -- is not covered or protected by the original Michigan Medical Marihuana Act approved by 63 percent of state voters in 2008.

Mike Callton (R-Nashville) said medical marijuana dispensaries are necessary for patients to have save access to the cannabis recommended by their doctors, reports Dan Lloyd of Heritage Media.

"Frankly, the recent Michigan Supreme Court ruling necessitated this legislation," Callton said. "Now there are only two limited ways someone can access medical marijuana: Grow their own, or contract with a caregiver.

"Therefore, we need to allow for provisioning centers or patients will continue to suffer," Rep. Callton said. "The more educated people become about this issue, the more they understand the pressing need before us."

Illinois: Medical Marijuana Moves Forward In Legislature

Photo - Illinois: Medical Marijuana Moves Forward In LegislatureBy Steve Elliott
Hemp News

A bill to allow Illinois residents to use medical marijuana in the treatment of their debilitating medical conditions moved one step closer to becoming law on Wednesday when it was approved 11-4 by the House Health and Human Services Committee. The bill now heads to the full 118-member House of Representatives.

House Bill 1, sponsored by Deputy Majority Leader Lou Lang (D-Skokie), a friend to medical marijuana patients for years, would allow people suffering from specific medical conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis, and HIV/AIDS to use medicinal cannabis if their doctors recommend it.

Qualified patients would be able to get marijuana from one of up to 60 dispensaries, which would acquire the cannabis from up to 22 cultivation centers. The Illinois Department of Agriculture, Department of Health, and Department of Financial & Professional Regulation would control the cultivation, acquisition, and distribution of marijuana.

Florida: Medical Marijuana Is 'About Compassion,' Says Author Of Bill

Florida state Senator Jeff Clemens [Photo: The Political Hurricane]By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Florida state Senator Jeff Clemens last week introduced a bill that would finally allow patients in the Sunshine State with serious qualifying medical conditions to legally possess and use marijuana for medicinal purposes.

S.B. 1250, the Cathy Jordan Medical Cannabis Act, named after Florida Cannabis Action Network president and ALS patient Cathy Jordan, would allow qualifying patients to have up to four ounces of marijuana and to grow up to eight marijuana plants, reports Chris Joseph at Broward Palm Beach New Times.

"When a patient comes into your office and tells you all the meds that they're taking don't work, don't relieve their suffering, but marijuana does, it's hard to look that person in the eye and not do something about it," Sen. Clemens said.

Clemens already made history three years ago when he introduced the first-ever medical marijuana bill in the Florida Legislature. It was quickly shot down, but the senator said he knew from the outset that this would be an uphill, four- to six-year battle.

Washington: Judge Orders Cops To Return Tacoma Man's Marijuana

There is a truth that must be heard!By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

In what could be a precedent-setting case in Pierce County, Washington, a judge on Thursday ordered police to return marijuana that was seized from a Tacoma man during a traffic stop last year.

Municipal Court Judge Jack Emery agreed with Joseph L. Robertson's that the cops had no right to seize the cannabis -- less than 40 grams -- because he is a designated provider of medical marijuana, reports Adam Lynn at The News Tribune.

This might be the first such ruling in Pierce County history, according to Robertson's lawyer, Jay Berneberg. Two owners of a medical marijuana dispensary in the county lost a Superior Court bid to get back the cannabis seized from them during a case which was later thrown out of court.

"As far as that goes, it's a big deal," said Berneberg, who specializes in medical marijuana cases.

Robertson hoped to get his marijuana back from the police property room within a week.

"I feel great," he said outside court. "You've got to stand up for people's rights sometimes."

Police had confiscated the marijuana in May 2012 after stopping Robertson for speeding. The officer who made the traffic stop claimed he smelled cannabis inside Robertson's car and later found a small amount, according to court records.

U.S.: Veteran Faces Jail For Using Marijuana To Treat PTSD

Service dog Rodney's got Jeremy Usher's back as Jeremy looks at the names on Weld County Veterans Memorial. Photo by Joshua Polson, The Greeley TribuneBy Steve Elliott
Hemp News

One Colorado veteran is facing jail time for using cannabis medicinally while on probation, to manage his post traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury. Former U.S. Navy Corpsman Jeremy Usher returned home in 2003 after serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the sleepless nights, panic attacks, combat flashbacks, and nightmares. Additionally, a traumatic brain injury resulted in memory loss and severe stutter.

At first, Usher, 31, turned to alcohol to quell the symptoms of PTSD; that's how he ended up on probation in Weld and Larimer counties for his second and third DUI charges, reports Whitney Phillips at The Greeley Tribune. But he says he's now doing well in counseling and school -- at least, until his current predicament of facing jail for using medical marijuana while on probation.

Medical marijuana is the one treatment that's helped Usher with his PTSD, but it violates the terms of his probation to use it - which puts him at risk of going back to jail.

"The court systems are very black and white, and PTSD is the definition of gray area," Usher said. "They are not acknowledging the gray area."

United States: Charlotte lawmaker to introduce medical marijuana bill

By RICHARD DEVAYNE, NBC Charlotte

There is a truth that must be heard! CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- A recent poll says the majority of North Carolina residents support the legalization of medical marijuana. The study by Public Policy Polling reports that 58 percent of people in the Tarheel state agree that using marijuana for medical reasons should be legal.

One such person is Perry Parks, who is a 29-year veteran of the United States Army. Parks said he suffered a back injury more than a decade ago, which left him in constant and severe pain.

Now he said that he breaks the law everyday because after years of taking other medications, the only relief he gets is from cannabis.

Parks said he supports a bill that state Representative Kelly Alexander, Jr. (D-Meck) will introduce Wednesday in the house to legalize marijuana.

Iowa: Senate Democrats back medical marijuana bill

By AP Staff

There is a truth that must be heard! DES MOINES, Iowa — Some Democrats in the state Senate want to make marijuana available to critically ill Iowans.

Legislators on Wednesday introduced a bill that allows some use of medical marijuana in the state. Under the bill, a patient with a qualifying condition, such as cancer, could get a prescription for medical marijuana. The law also allows for the creation of nonprofit dispensaries to provide marijuana to eligible patients.

Sen. Jack Hatch, one of the bill's sponsors, says the proposal would help those with chronic pain. He acknowledged the legislation has little chance of becoming law because of opposition by Republican lawmakers, but he says the bill increases public awareness of the potential benefits of medical marijuana.

Marijuana is legal for medical use in 18 states and Washington, D.C.

Source: http://www.sfgate.com/news/article/Iowa-Senate-Democrats-back-medical-ma...

Alabama: House to consider bill to legalize marijuana

By AP Staff

Alabama:  House to consider bill to legalize marijuana MONTGOMERY, Ala. — A bill has been pre-filed in the Alabama House that would legalize the use of marijuana for medical purposes.

The sponsor, Democratic Rep. Patricia Todd of Birmingham, says legalizing the drug for medical purposes would help cancer patients receiving chemotherapy and others suffering from severe pain. The bill has failed several times, but Todd says her spirits are buoyed because similar bills have recently passed In other states.

A total of 18 states currently have legalized medical marijuana and two states, Washington and Colorado, have legalized the general use of marijuana. But the use of marijuana remains a violation of federal law.

The 2013 session of the Alabama Legislature begins Tuesday and Todd's bill is the first issue scheduled to be considered Wednesday by the House Health Committee.

Source: http://www.cbs42.com/content/localnews/story/Ala-House-to-consider-bill-...

United States: Advocates renew call for Medical Marijuana in New York

By Bill Lambdin , WNYT

There is a truth that must be heard! ALBANY - As Burton Aldrich sat in his wheelchair, describing the serious conditions that have caused him to appeal for the legal right to use marijuana he is already taking outside the law, his body stiffened.

"It's a (pain) spasm," Aldrich told us.

Burt, as well as HIV and Hepatitis C sufferer Richard Williams, hope this is the year elected representatives in Albany heed their call.

"Let me not be fear every time I have to go out and try to get some marijuana somewhere," Aldrich said. "(Fear) about who I'm getting it from, whether they're going to kill me or steal from me or whether I've going to get put in jail because of it."

Although medical marijuana proposals have easily passed the Assembly, they have not been permitted to go to a vote in the Republican controlled State Senate.

Tough for Burt to take. He says he is a Republican.

"And I look at my forefathers who came over on the Mayflower," Aldrich said. "It was to find some place where they could be free and this is what America stood for and so as a Republican, I ask my Republican senators to please back me on this."

This year Republicans are sharing control of the State Senate.

Illinois: House to again debate medical marijuana

By L.E. Hlavach

There is a truth that must be heard! SPRINGFIELD — The Illinois House sponsor of prior efforts to legalize medicinal use of marijuana has already renewed efforts in the new General Assembly.

A medical marijuana bill was the first House legislation introduced Wednesday in the new legislative session. It is sponsored by state Rep. Louis Lang, D-Skokie.

“We have a new General Assembly, new people, new thoughts, new views of these issues,” Lang said Thursday. “We have national polls showing that the vast majority of Americans think people ought to have a product that their doctor thinks they ought to have.”

Lang said medical marijuana “is less controversial now that 19 other states have approved it and two other states have said that marijuana is legal for all purposes.”

“The idea that we would approve marijuana to help very sick people feel better should not be as controversial as it is,” he said.

Under the proposed law, certain patients could obtain medical-grade marijuana from state-regulated dealers for use in their homes.

Lang has been trying for four years to get approval for a medical marijuana law in Illinois.

In the past, Republicans led the charge to kill the legislation.

Lang said the House nearly approved the proposal last session, and he seemed optimistic about the chance of passage this time.

United States: Petition to Pardon Medical Marijuana Provider Chris Williams

As a young man enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps, Chris Williams swore an oath to "support and defend the Constitution of the United States." Now is the time to show him your support!

By Michael Bachara, Hemp News Correspondent

There is a truth that must be heard! Montana – Medical cannabis provider Chris Williams has been fighting federal prosecution since March 14, 2011, when federal agents served him a search warrant for his business, Montana Cannabis, along with 25 other medical marijuana businesses across Montana. Caregivers operating in compliance with Montana state medical cannabis law were shut down and arrested.

This raid (and others before and since) was in direct contradiction with the 2009 memo from the justice department, when the Obama administration stated that they “should not focus federal resources on individuals whose actions are in clear and unambiguous compliance with existing state laws,” and clearly shows how out of sync our Federal marijuana policy is with not only state law, but also the opinion of the America voter.

Global: Czech-born professor's contribution to medical use of cannabis praised

By Czech News Agency

There is a truth that must be heard!Prague - Czech-born chemistry professor Lumir Ondrej Hanus was Thursday presented with the Czech Addiction Science Award for his discovery of cannabinoids proper to the human body with which he has opened the door to further research into and use of hemp for treatment.

Hanus, who left for Jerusalem after 1989 and is active at the Hebrew University, "is a world-recognised capacity and a pioneer of the use of a substance that was primarily considered a substance abused as a drug," Jindrich Voboril, Czech national anti-drug coordinator, told CTK.

Hanus considers hemp one of the safest medicines. He is against its legalisation for recreational purposes and he disagrees with that hemp can be used for prevention of diseases.

During his recent stay in the Czech Republic Hanus explained his discovery saying there are bonding points in the brain to which cannabinoids produced by the body are bound. If the system is disrupted, the person concerned falls ill. The balance of the system is restored if hemp-based substances are administered and the health condition improves.

On this principle hemp alleviates strong pains and improves the condition of cancer and multiple sclerosis patients.

Thanks to Hanus' discoveries, Israel has changed the relevant law allowing hemp to be used as a medicine and it is covered by health insurance.

United States: Legalizing medical marijuana in Alabama

By Al Ratcliffe, WIAT

There is a truth that must be heard! BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) - There are currently 16 states allowing the use of medical marijuana. And since the Tuesday elections, there's even one allowing recreational use of the drug. The question is, "could Alabama be next?"

Currently, there is a bill circulating through the state house that would legalize the drug for it's medicinal properties. Ben Crumpton, executive director of the Alabama Medical Marijuana Coalition, says there are at least 24 illnesses that marijuana can be used to treat. Glaucoma, cancer and HIV/AIDS are just a few.

Coming up November 14th, there will be a public hearing in the Alabama State House on the medical use of marijuana. Rep. Jim McClendon of Springville chairs the House's Health Committee. He says the hearing isn't on the HB 2. But it is a chance for the proponents of medical marijuana to tell legislators it's good points.

Source: http://www.cbs42.com/content/localnews/story/Legalizing-medical-marijuan...

Elvy Musikka Says Vote Yes on Measure 80, Amendment 64 and Initiative 502

By Bonnie King, Salem-News

There is a truth that must be heard! (PORTLAND, Ore.) - Elvy Musikka is one of four patients to receive medical marijuana from the U.S. federal government.

Elvy is blind. She has endured many challenges and the uphill climb against intolerance and a lack of information program that ran rampant until the late 1990's, when medical marijuana began to be voted into law across the country.

Elvy receives 300 pre-rolled marijuana cigarettes each month, amounting to six pounds of marijuana each year.

The Federal government grows this marijuana at its Oxford, Mississippi farm and processes into cigarettes at the Research Triangle in North Carolina.

This is not an urban legend. The Federal Government absolutely does maintain marijuana plants and distributes smokable marijuana to patients.

Watch the video above, after you get to know Elvy Musikka a little better.

Elvy Musikka's Story, In Her Own Words:

In late February 1975 I went to see Dr. Rosenfeld, a general practitioner in the Ft. Lauderdale area. He concluded a very thorough examination and said my eyes had been stricken with glaucoma. My [intraocular fluid] pressures were in the high 40s [pressure in the low teens is normal], and Dr. Rosenfeld insisted I see an ophthalmologist immediately. His suspicions were confirmed and I was started on pilocarpine eyedrops.

United States: Pot compound seen as tool against cancer

By Victoria Colliver, SF Gate

There is a truth that must be heard! Marijuana, already shown to reduce pain and nausea in cancer patients, may be promising as a cancer-fighting agent against some of the most aggressive forms of the disease.

A growing body of early research shows a compound found in marijuana - one that does not produce the plant's psychotropic high - seems to have the ability to "turn off" the activity of a gene responsible for metastasis in breast and other types of cancers.

Two scientists at San Francisco's California Pacific Medical Center Research Institute first released data five years ago that showed how this compound - called cannabidiol - reduced the aggressiveness of human breast cancer cells in the lab.

Last year, they published a small study that showed it had a similar effect on mice. Now, the researchers are on the cusp of releasing data, also on animals, that expands upon these results, and hope to move forward as soon as possible with human clinical trials.

"The preclinical trial data is very strong, and there's no toxicity. There's really a lot of research to move ahead with and to get people excited," said Sean McAllister, who along with scientist Pierre Desprez, has been studying the active molecules in marijuana - called cannabinoids - as potent inhibitors of metastatic disease for the past decade.

United States: Medical marijuana helps treat veterans with PTSD

By Michael Krawitz

There is a truth that must be heard!Regarding the editorial "Rx for Oregon pot laws" (Aug. 29): I am glad that The Oregonian editorial board thinks enough of this subject matter to dedicate an entire editorial just to respond to the excellent article by The Oregonian's Noelle Crombie ("Medical marijuana for PTSD?" Aug. 27). However, some of the claims are misleading, and the tone is offensive to the men and women who I serve as a veterans advocate.

First, many or most of the veterans who are seen at VA hospitals for treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder are given a host of medications, including strong painkillers. So yes, many of those veterans are currently served by the provision in Oregon law that allows for chronic pain. But the inflated numbers of chronic pain patients on the Oregon Medical Marijuana Program have become a red flag to law enforcement officials who are actively seeking to dismantle the program and strip Oregonians of their protection to use cannabis under a doctor's supervision.

Arkansas: Medical marijuana group submits signatures

KAIT-Jonesboro, AR-News, weather, sports, classifieds

CHUCK BARTELS, Associated Press

There is a truth that must be heard! LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Backers of an initiative that would legalize the use of medical marijuana in Arkansas submitted more than 74,000 additional signatures Monday to the secretary of state's office, though only about a quarter of them need to be valid to get the issue on the November ballot.

The group Arkansans for Compassionate Care was given time to gather more signatures after it submitted 65,413 names on July 5. Only 36,495 names from that batch were certified as being from registered voters, leaving organizers shy of the required 62,507 verified names.

The group's treasurer, Melissa Fults, said organizers learned more about the process after submitting its first batch of signatures. This time, she said, they made sure that volunteers and paid canvassers asked people when and where they last voted before asking them to sign the petition to help ensure the signees were registered voters.

United States: Reefer tokin' seniors in South Florida see pain go up in smoke

By Robert Nolin, Sun Sentinel

There is a truth that must be heard! That kindly gent with the rose garden, the cute little old lady in the deli line, the mahjong master at the community center — any one could be among a growing portion of our aging population: the senior stoner.

In retiree-rich South Florida, some golden-agers are — gasp! — sporting illegal smiles as they discreetly puff on joints to ease the aches and pains of advancing years.

"It's like taking a magic pill," said a 70-year-old Boca Raton woman who smokes pot almost daily to counteract cancer chemotherapy pain. "I can have a crappy, crappy day and I take one toke and in less than three minutes I'm leveled out and feel wonderful."

Such scofflaws opt to flout convention rather than suffer. And their numbers are hardly insubstantial: 30 percent of Americans 50 and older have tried pot, according to a 2009 survey by the government's Substance Abuse and Mental Health Data Archive.

Last year, the National Survey on Drug Use and Health estimated that drug use among seniors has increased more than 3 percent over the past eight years. The number is expected to triple by 2020.

One recent convert was a 70-year-old Delray Beach woman who calls herself Mary. "I'm a good, Catholic churchgoing person," she said. "I've never taken a drug in my life."

But when a friend with an out-of-state prescription for medical marijuana offered a joint to alleviate the "excruciating" pain of a shoulder injury, Mary took a chance.

United States: Medical cannabis researcher explains recent scientific review

By Sunil Aggarwal, M.D., Ph.D., PGY-3, NYU Medical Center

There is a truth that must be heard! The article "Medical Marijuana: Clearing Away the Smoke" by Grant, Atkinson, Gouaux, and Wilsey published this month in Bentham Science’s 5-year-old, peer-reviewed, National Library of Medicine-indexed and internationally edited Open Neurology Journal represents a major milestone in the consolidation of knowledge and regularizing of clinical practice with regards to the medicinal use of cannabis.

The authors, well-established faculty members or associates at leading American academic medical centers, have yet again reviewed the gold-standard clinical trials-based evidence for medical uses of cannabis and related cannabinoids and have found:

1. that it is inaccurate to say that cannabis lacks medical utility or that information on its safety is lacking

2. that judgments on relative benefits and risks of cannabis and cannabinoids as medicines need to be viewed within the broader context of risk-benefit of other standard agents as well, many of which are associated with more serious adverse events, and

3. that enough information and clinical experience exists that an algorithm can be constructed to guide decision-making for physicians who may be considering recommending medicinal cannabis to patients with neuropathic pain, which the authors offer.

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