veterans

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Canada: Corporate Medical Marijuana Battle Imperils Access For Veterans With PTSD

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Safe access to medicinal cannabis is being put in peril for hundreds of Canadian military veterans due to a battle between two companies, one comprised of veterans, in the Great White North.

Marijuana for Trauma Inc. and its principals/shareholders on Tuesday announced they have commenced a lawsuit against OrganiGram Holdings Inc., whose wholly-owned subsidiary, OrganiGram Inc. (OrganiGram) is a licensed producer of medical marijuana in Canada.

The lawsuit was filed with the Court of Queen's Bench of New Brunswick, Judicial District of Fredericton for breach of confidence, conversion, breach of contract, conspiracy and breach of trust, breach of fiduciary duty, and negligent misrepresentation, according to MFT.

The lawsuit alleges OrganiGram denied MFT its interest in Trauma Healing Centers Inc. (THC). THC, developed through a partnership between MFT, OrganiGram and Denis Arsenault, CEO of OrganiGram and also a Defendant in the lawsuit, opened centers in several cities in eastern Canada to provide services to those suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other chronic conditions caused by trauma.

MFT alleges that OrganiGram unlawfully terminated the relationship, unlawfully used MFT's proprietary information, business practices, and expansion plans for MFT. Following the termination of the relationship in February 2015, THC moved to restrict MFT from helping veterans and first responders outside of New Brunswick.

U.S.: House Narrowly Defeats Increasing Veterans' Access To Medical Marijuana

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The U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday voted 213-210 to defeat an amendment to increase military veterans' access to medical marijuana.

The appropriations amendment, offered by Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) and a bipartisan group of co-sponsors, would have prevented the Department of Veterans Affairs from spending money to enforce a prohibition on V.A. doctors filling out medical marijuana recommendation forms in states where the drug is legal.

"While there is no single approach to aiding our nation's veterans, medical marijuana is proven to help in treating post-traumatic stress and traumatic brain injuries frequently suffered by veterans," Blumenauer said. "States are listening to their residents on the benefits of medical marijuana, including veterans, and are changing their laws.

"It is unacceptable for our wounded warriors to be forced out of the VA system to simply seek a recommendation on whether or not medical marijuana is a good treatment option," Congressman Blumenauer said.

But weed-phobic throwbacks to the bad old days of the 20th Century stood in the way. "So, why in the world we we give a drug that is addictive, that is prohibited as a Schedule I, that is not accepted for any medical disease or disorder, and enhances psychosis and schizophrenia?" asked Rep. John Fleming (R-Louisiana), who, excuse my saying so, is clearly a moron.

Texas: Veterans To Gather At State Capitol To Support Medical Marijuana

Texas-RepDavidSimpsonQuotePeopleShouldMakeTheirOwnHealthDecisions[TexansForResponsibleMarijuanaPolicy]

Texas-based military veterans and their families will gather at the state capitol on Wednesday for a lobby day in support of legislation that would allow medical marijuana to be used in the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), severe pain, and other debilitating medical conditions.

The group will hold a news conference at 12 noon CT in Room 110 of the John H. Reagan State Office Building, at which it will urge House Public Health Committee Chair Myra Crownover (R-Denton) to hold a hearing on HB 3785, which would allow seriously ill Texas residents to access medical marijuana if their doctors recommend it.

Advocates will also highlight a survey conducted by Public Policy Polling at the end of March that found two out of three voters in Rep. Crownover’s district (67 percent) support such legislation.

“There are about 1.67 million veterans living in Texas, and hundreds of thousands of them are believed to be suffering from service-connected disabilities,” said Tristan Tucker, a Denton-based Navy veteran. “Medical marijuana is effective in mitigating the symptoms of PTSD and severe pain, two of the most prevalent conditions afflicting veterans.

"Veterans who use medical marijuana to treat their service-related injuries should be treated like patients, not criminals,” Tucker said.

Illinois Considers Expanding Disease List For Medical Marijuana Program

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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.

Texas: Lawmakers Introduce Comprehensive Medical Marijuana Bill

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Measures introduced in the House and Senate on Friday would allow patients with debilitating conditions — including veterans with PTSD — to access medical marijuana if their doctors recommend it

Texas state lawmakers on Friday introduced legislation that would allow patients with cancer, seizure disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder, and other debilitating conditions to access medical marijuana if their doctors recommend it.

HB 3785, introduced by Rep. Marisa Márquez (D-El Paso) in the House, and a companion bill that will be introduced later Friday by Sen. José Menéndez (D-San Antonio) in the Senate, would create a program through which individuals with qualifying medical conditions would receive licenses allowing them to possess limited amounts of medical marijuana if their doctors recommend it. It would also direct the Department of State Health Services to establish a tightly regulated system of licensed marijuana cultivators, processors, and dispensaries.

“The law currently does not reflect marijuana’s legitimate medical use and denies access to patients, such as veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder, citizens suffering with cancer, and severe aliments of the aging,” Rep. Márquez said. “By continuing to deny access to patients, we limit the rights of families to seek the best possible treatment for conditions that do not respond to other drugs or therapies.

U.S.: Rep. Blumenauer Reintroduces Bill To Expand Medical Marijuana Access For Veterans

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Congressman Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), along with eight bipartisan cosponsors, on Tuesday introduced the Veterans Equal Access Act to make it easier for qualified veterans to access medical marijuana in states where it is legal.

Currently, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) specifically prohibits its medical providers from completing forms brought by their patients seeking recommendations or opinions regarding participation in a state medical marijuana program. The Act would authorize VA physicians and other health care providers to provide recommendations and opinions regarding the use of medical marijuana to veterans who live in medical marijuana states.

“Post traumatic stress and traumatic brain injury can be more damaging and harmful than injuries that are visible from the outside,” Rep. Blumenauer said. “And they can have a devastating effect on a veteran’s family.

"We should be allowing these wounded veterans access to the medicine that will help them survive and thrive, including medical marijuana -- not treating them like criminals and forcing them into the shadows. It’s shameful,” he said.

Approximately 20 percent of the 2.8 million American veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan suffer from PTS and Depression. In addition, a recent study found that of the nearly one million veterans who receive opioids to treat painful conditions, more than half continue to consume chronically or beyond 90 days.

Colorado: Group Giving Free Marijuana To Colorado Veterans

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Military veterans who use marijuana are invited to Denver on Saturday, September 20, where a pro-cannabis organization plans to host a weed giveaway for vets who want it.

The group Operation Grow4Vets will hand out marijuana and cannabis products from 11 a.m until 3 p.m. at the Quality Inn in Central Denver, reports Denver Nicks at Time. Total value of the products given away to each veteran who RSVPs for the event by noon on Friday will be worth more than $200, according to the group.

Non-veterans will be asked for a $20 donation at the door and will get more than $100 in marijuana products in exchange, organizers told ABC7 News Denver.

Grow4Vets' mission is to "reduce the staggering number of Veterans who die each day from suicide and prescription drug overdose," by providing them "with the knowledge and resources necessary to obtain or grow their own marijuana for treatment of their medical conditions," according to the group's website.

The event is open to the public and restricted to adults 21 and older. "Our events are open to the public to help grow visibility for our cause," Operation Grow4Vets founder and executive director Roger Martin explained.

A repeat of the event will be held in Colorado Springs next Saturday, September 27.

Arizona: Judge Orders State To Add PTSD To Medical Marijuana Qualifying Conditions

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Arizona On the Road to Becoming 12th State to Provide PTSD Patients Access to Medical Marijuana

Veterans, Medical Professionals and Advocates Winning in Three Year Quest To Change Arizona Law and Acknowledge Medical Marijuana’s Benefit for PTSD

After years of hard-fought efforts a coalition of patients, medical professionals, and advocates succeeded in demonstrating the medical safety and efficacy of marijuana for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), according to the Administrative Law Judge who heard the case. The Arizona Dept. of Health has denied all petitions submitted previously.

On Wednesday, June 4, Judge Thomas Shedden issued his ruling saying that “a preponderance of evidence shows medical marijuana provides palliative benefit to those suffering from PTSD.” The decision is now in the hands of Will Humble, director of Arizona Dept. of Health Services; Humble has until July 9 to accept or appeal Judge Shedden’s decision.

The Drug Policy Alliance’s Freedom to Choose campaign, which advocates for veterans’ access to medical marijuana contributed a compilation of published studies and personal testimony from psychiatrists in New Mexico and veterans who use medical marijuana to alleviate symptoms of PTSD.

New Mexico: Largest County Defies Law, Says County Employees Cannot Use Medical Marijuana

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New Policy Follows Firing of Iraq Veteran

Veterans, Patients, Physicians and Advocates Fighting Back

When a state legalizes medical marijuana -- as New Mexico did years ago -- that means you can't get in trouble for being a medicinal cannabis patient, right? Wrong.

New Mexico’s largest county is bucking the state’s medical marijuana law by prohibiting any use of marijuana by county employees, following a new policy issued on November 12 by Bernalillo County Manager Tom Zdunek. The county memorandum cites federal prohibition and county policy as the reason for prohibiting the use of marijuana.

More than 10,000 New Mexican residents are actively enrolled in our state’s Medical Cannabis Program and nearly 4,000 of them live in Bernalillo County. Many are military veterans, patients living with disabilities, and victims of serious trauma and violent crime.

New Mexico’s medical marijuana program is considered a nationwide model. In 2007 New Mexico became the first state to develop and implement a state-licensed medical marijuana production and distribution system.

New Mexico: Campaign Launched To Improve Veterans' Access to Medical Marijuana for PTSD

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New Mexico Patients and Veterans Fighting Employment Discrimination and Stigma from Medical Professionals that Create Barriers to Medical Marijuana

July 9: US Rep. Lujan Grisham, New Mexico State Rep. Antonio Maestas, Veterans, Patients and the Drug Policy Alliance to Speak at Press Teleconference

The Drug Policy Alliance, veterans’ groups, elected officials and others are introducing a campaign to protect New Mexico’s military veterans’ legal access to medical marijuana. The Campaign is asking New Mexico to stand with veterans and their families to ask our state lawmakers, employers, and medical professionals to support efforts to ensure that when veterans come home they will have access to the medicine that works for them.

New Mexico’s medical marijuana program is considered a nationwide model. In 2007 New Mexico became the first state to develop and implement a state-licensed medical marijuana production and distribution system, and in 2009 it became the first medical marijuana state to specifically include post-traumatic stress disorder as a qualifying condition.

“This campaign has national implications, as hundreds of thousands of veterans return home from Iraq and Afghanistan with PTSD,” said Jessica Gelay of the Drug Policy Alliance (DPA). “We hope that this campaign will encourage other states to ensure that their veterans receive the best care possible.”

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."

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