D.C. Council members introduced legislation Tuesday that would greatly expand the availability of medical marijuana to D.C. patients by doing away with the list of qualifying conditions that currently restrict access to the program.
A bill introduced by Council member Yvette M. Alexander, Ward 7 Democrat and chairman of the Committee on Health, would eliminate a list of four conditions that currently allow a patient to seek a doctor’s referral to use medical marijuana. Instead the bill would amend the definition of “qualifying medical condition” to mean any condition that would benefit from medical marijuana treatment as determined by the patient’s physician.
The council’s 13 members unanimously sponsored the bill, virtually assuring its eventual passage.
Currently, the District’s tightly regulated program identifies only four illnesses as eligible for medical marijuana treatment — HIV/AIDS, cancer, glaucoma, and conditions characterized by severe and persistent muscle spasms, such as multiple sclerosis. While officials believe as many as 40,000 of the Dis. . . . . READ MORE
On Friday morning, the judge granted an injunction allowing those who have a personal production licence to grow medical marijuana to continue for now, pending the outcome of a trial to be held at a later date.
Those with an authorization to possess medical marijuana will also be allowed to continue to do so under the injunction, though they will only be permitted to hold up to 150 grams.
Without the injunction, Health Canada’s new laws, which go into effect April 1, would end the home production of medical marijuana.
Instead, all those using medical marijuana would have to purchase it from large-scale commercial facilities that are being set up around the country.
Patients have voiced concern about the cost and the quality of the product they will be able to obtain under the new system.
Abbotsford, B.C., lawyer John Conroy was in court this week seeking the interim injunction for growers.
Conroy alleges that Health Canada’s pronouncements are . . . . . READ MORE
He rocked the medical-marijuana world last year and drew attention from Congress when he apologized for giving short shrift to medical marijuana. At 10 p.m. Tuesday, CNN medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta will be at it again, airing “Weed 2,” his second, hour-long special on the health benefits of cannabis.
Michigan’s medical-pot advocates say it could be a second bombshell in the national debate on pot. “We think it’ll be another big deal across our country, and hopefully even in other parts of the world where they are thinking about changing their laws,” said Heidi Parikh of Romulus, founder of the Michigan Compassion education groups that meet in Royal Oak and Southgate.
Gupta, who grew up in Novi and graduated from the University of Michigan School of Medicine, will narrate the show, which will include sick youngsters and their parents struggling to obtain cannabis against legal barriers placed by state and federal authorities.
“If you want to understand the science, this is something you’ll want to watch,” Gupta told the Free Press on Monday. “The drug continues to be unfairly rejected by most of the Amer. . . . . READ MORE
Doctors at Massachusetts community health centers have been advised not to authorize any of their more than 638,000 patients to obtain marijuana for medical purposes because the centers fear they would lose their federal funding.
The Massachusetts League of Community Health Centers has advised its 36 federally funded facilities to hold off on issuing patient marijuana certifications under the state’s new medical marijuana law, because use remains illegal under federal law.
Health center physicians who believe marijuana might be beneficial for certain patients and authorize its use could be committing a “potential violation of federal law and could result in legal and financial exposure for community health centers,” according to a statement from the League.
This disconnect between state and federal marijuana law is cropping up in other areas as well; some rules restrict tenants who use medical marijuana from living in federally subsidized housing, or prevent Veterans Administration hospitals and clinics from authorizing medical marijuana.
Voters approved a ballot initiative in No. . . . . READ MORE
Marijuana was Canada’s newest mail-order product Tuesday, the inaugural day of a controlled medical marijuana industry that is expected to grow to more than $1 billion dollars within 10 years. But even as the new system privatizes distribution, critics fear regulation under the conservative-led government will make it harder for patients to get access to the drug.
In Canada, medical marijuana has been legal but highly regulated for more than a decade. Patients with doctor approval could grow or have someone else grow small quantities or request limited amounts from Health Canada, the national healthcare department.
But the conservative-led government voted earlier this year to effectively scrap that system in favor of a private—but also strictly regulated—system, targeting the flow of legal marijuana into the black market and shedding Health Canada’s role in marijuana production. Health Canada will phase out the current system, under which it sells registered users marijuana grown by Prairie Plant Systems, by the end of March.
Instead, starting Tuesday, medical marijuana users, or aspiring users, can send in an app. . . . . READ MORE
Groups that fight substance abuse want to snuff out ads on Portland area buses and bus shelters that promote a ballot question seeking to legalize recreational marijuana use. The Marijuana Policy Project unveiled ads Wednesday that appear on four public transit buses and in two bus shelters.
The campaign features six ads, each with a photo of an adult explaining why he or she prefers marijuana over alcohol and asking why they should be punished for making the choice. Portland residents will vote in November on whether to make it legal for adults 21 and older to possess up to 2 1/2 ounces of pot. The law would prohibit using marijuana in public, and would not legalize its sale.
A community group called 21 Reasons said it has asked the Greater Portland Transit District to pull the ads, said Kate Perkins, a co-founder of the group, which is committed to keeping youth alcohol- and drug-free.She said the ads endorse marijuana and are a bad idea because a large proportion of bus riders are children.
“There are plenty of places where th. . . . . READ MORE
Claiming that medical marijuana would be a safer, non-addictive and more-effective alternative to OxyContin, Orlando attorney John Morgan condemned the prescription pain killer in a speech Friday to argue that many of its users would be far better off smoking pot.
Speaking to the Tiger Bay Club of Central Florida, Morgan said that OxyContin, a commonly prescribed – and abused – pain medication, kills 16,000 people a year and addicts many more. He claimed marijuana – which is illegal in Florida and most states – is comparatively harmless and more effective.
“It is truly a disgrace what goes on,” said Morgan, best known for his Morgan & Morgan personal injury law firm, who chairs a statewide campaign to get a constitutional amendment legalizing medical marijuana on the 2014 Florida ballot. “OxyContin is a poison that is put into our system by pharmaceutical companies that make billions and billions of dollars.”
OxyContin is a brand-name drug whose active ingredient is oxycodone, an opioid analgesic. The Centers for Disease Control r. . . . . READ MORE
Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq rolled out the regulations today for formal publication in the Canada Gazette on Wednesday.
Under the new regime, the government will no longer produce or distribute medical pot and medical marijuana users will no longer be allowed to grow the product at home.
Health Canada said since the medical marijuana program was introduced in 2001, it has expanded to 30,000 people from the original 500 authorized to use the product.
“This rapid increase has had unintended consequences for public health, safety and security as a result of allowing individuals to produce marijuana in their homes,” the department said in a news release.
“Under the new regulations, production will no longer take place in homes and municipal zoning laws will need to be respected, which will further enhance public safety.”
Under the new regulations, the government will allow pati. . . . . READ MORE
CNN’s chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta says he regrets his past stance on weed. Gupta, who previously opposed legalizing marijuana, says he’s woken up and smelled the proverbial plant life.
“I apologize because I didn’t look hard enough, until now. I didn’t look far enough,” he wrote in a CNN article. “I didn’t review papers from smaller labs in other countries doing some remarkable research, and I was too dismissive of the loud chorus of legitimate patients whose symptoms improved on cannabis.”
Marijuana was made illegal after assistant Health Secretary Roger Egeberg wrote a letter in 1970, pointing to a “considerable void in our knowledge” about marijuana and that the U.S. should wait to legalize it until there was enough research to “resolve the issue.”
So marijuana was made illegal because of the lack of sound science — but, as Gupta points out, it’s hard to do research in the United States on cannabis when it’s already illegal. And though a fair amount of work is done — more than 20,000 papers just recently, Gupta noted — just 6% of the studies Gupta counted up look at the potential benefits. The re. . . . . READ MORE
Kaitlyn Pogson has lived through more seizures than calendar months.
The 9-month-old’s epilepsy sends her tiny body into convulsions that last up to an hour. Right now they happen every three days, but as she grows the seizures will become more frequent – potentially topping 300 per week.
That’s one every 34 minutes.
Every time she has a seizure, Kaitlyn’s parents, Barry and Shannon, call 911 and take her to the emergency room, where doctors give her antiseizure drugs that don’t work. It’s a frighteningly repetitive routine.
Kaitlyn’s condition is so severe they have a special name for it: Dravet syndrome. Not only does it grow worse over time, it’s notoriously resistant to traditional medication.
But a growing number of doctors and families with Dravet say they’ve stumbled upon a miracle drug: marijuana.
“Kate is on morphine and three other drugs not normally given to children,” and they’re not working, Barry said. “Rules are already bein. . . . . READ MORE