Medical Marijuana

Michigan Official Rejects Autism as Qualifying Condition for Medical Marijuana Program

August 28th, 2015 No Comments Morgan Fox

On Thursday, a Michigan official denied an application to add autism to the list of qualifying conditions for medical marijuana in the state.

Detroit Free Press reports:

The decision followed three years of efforts by parents of autistic children, their lawyers and supporters to have Michigan become the first state to specify that marijuana could be used to treat autism.

Mike Zimmer, appointed in December as director of the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs — LARAlara — said he was concerned that an approval would apply not just to serious cases of autism but to all cases. And he said that parents applying to use medical pot would need the approval of two medical doctors, yet there was no requirement that either doctor be experienced in treating autism.

No state specifically allows medical cannabis for autism, although California and Washington, D.C., allow using the drug for any condition that a medical doctor believes it may help, said Karen O’Keefe, director of state policies for the Marijuana Policy Project, a nonprofit group that favors legalizing marijuana.

A bill that would broaden Michigan’s medical marijuana act to allow other forms of medical pot — House Bill 4210, sponsored by state Rep. Lisa Posthumus Lyons, R-Alto — has been in the House Judiciary Committee since February, after a similar bill failed to pass last year.

While this is disappointing, it does provide a road map of sorts for a successful application next time. Hopefully, autism sufferers will soon be able to access medical marijuana in Michigan.

Read more



Prohibition

New Hope for Casualties of Georgia’s Failed Prohibition Policies

August 28th, 2015 No Comments Chris Lindsey

Georgia has begun releasing marijuana and other drug offenders who were sentenced under the state’s harsh sentencing laws. The new law allows those facing life sentences for illicit sales to be considered for parole. Unfortunately, it doesn’t apply to those facing sentences just for possession.

Following adoption of a misguided “get tough on crime” campaign in the 90’s, many Georgians found themselves in horrifically long prison terms for nonviolent offenses, including the sale of marijuana. Journalists with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution found that black people were an astonishing 26 times more likely to receive life sentences than were whites under these laws.

For many, the war on marijuana seems to be winding down. But for those who languish in prison under long sentences, the war could mean a life sentence.

082315_parole_ba01
Darion Barker (Photo: Bob Andres)

The first person to benefit from the new law was Darion Barker, sentenced to life in prison without possibility of parole for sale of marijuana and other drugs. Officials released him in July after serving 20 years.

But while the new law is a major step forward, there is more to do. Others just like Darion remain behind bars, many for lesser charges, including marijuana possession. If you are a Georgia resident, please ask your representative and senator to include those subject to long prison sentences for possession to be eligible for parole like Darion.

Read more



Prohibition

MPP’s Top 50 Most Influential Marijuana Consumers for 2015

August 26th, 2015 2 Comments Marijuana Policy Project

FB link preview.Top 50 MPP 2015-01

MPP is pleased to announce the release of our annual list of the “Top 50 Most Influential Marijuana Consumers” in the United States!

President Barack Obama is at the top of the list, followed by several 2016 presidential candidates. At least eight (and as many as 17) of the 23 major-party presidential hopefuls have said or strongly indicated that they have consumed marijuana: Jeb Bush, Lincoln Chafee, Ted Cruz, George Pataki, Rand Paul, Marco Rubio, Bernie Sanders, and Rick Santorum.

Nine others do not appear to have said whether they have consumed marijuana, and they did not respond to inquiries from MPP: Joe Biden, Ben Carson, Carly Fiorina, Jim Gilmore, Lindsey Graham, John Kasich, Bobby Jindal, Martin O’Malley, and Jim Webb. Only six candidates have said they never used marijuana: Hillary Clinton, Chris Christie, Mike Huckabee, Rick Perry, Donald Trump, and Scott Walker. Read the rest of this entry »

Read more



Uncategorized

Iowa and New Hampshire Polls Reveal Bipartisan Support for Respecting State Marijuana Laws

August 25th, 2015 No Comments Morgan Fox

Recent polls conducted in Iowa and New Hampshire in preparation for the presidential primary elections there show that a majority of voters in both parties think states should be able to carry out their own marijuana laws without federal interference. Public Policy PollingPublic_Policy_Polling_logo reports that 71% of Iowa respondents and 73% of New Hampshire respondents want the federal government to stay out of marijuana policy.

This poll also shows that support for state freedom in determining marijuana policy is non-partisan and has taken hold among Republicans as well as Democrats and Independents. 64% of Iowa Republicans and 67% of New Hampshire Republicans are in favor of the next president respecting state marijuana laws.

For more information, please visit Marijuana Majority. Read the rest of this entry »

Read more



Medical Marijuana

First Las Vegas Dispensary Open

August 25th, 2015 No Comments Morgan Fox

Nevada patients who have been waiting for years for a licensed dispensary to open in the Las Vegas area finally have some good news. On Monday, doors opened to the Las Vegas area’s first dispensary — Euphoria Wellness. Over 70% of Nevada’s medical marijuana patients are located in Clark County and,Nevada-StateSeal.svg until now, they had nowhere to purchase their medicine.

In 2000, voters overwhelmingly supported an initiative that made Nevada one of the earliest states to adopt a medical marijuana law. It took the Nevada Legislature another 12 years to pass a law permitting regulated businesses to provide Nevadans with safe access to cannabis. The first store opened a few weeks ago in Sparks — a little over two years after the bill allowing dispensaries was passed.

The delays have been very frustrating for patients, but hopefully this is a sign that Nevada is finally getting its act together and implementing the medical marijuana law in an appropriate manner.

For more information on the medical marijuana program, visit the Department of Health and Human Services’ website.

Read more



Medical Marijuana

MN Dept. of Health to Hear Public Input on Adding Intractable Pain as Qualifying Condition

August 24th, 2015 No Comments Robert Capecchi

Earlier this year, the Minnesota Legislatureminnesota-department-of-health-logo approved a bill requiring the state’s Department of Health to recommend by January 1, 2016, whether intractable pain should be added as a condition that qualifies for medical cannabis. The department is currently seeking public input on this question and has created two opportunities to share your thoughts.

First, the department is accepting written comment on including intractable pain. There is currently no deadline for submitting comments. However, potential patients, their caregivers, and supportive health care practitioners should submit their comments soon so they can be taken into consideration early in the process.

Second, the department will be hosting listening sessions around the state to take public testimony on including intractable pain. The first two will be held this week:

Wednesday, August 26 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Rochester Public Library

Thursday, August 27 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Kandiyohi Health and Human Services building in Willmar, Minnesota

Additional events will be held across the state in September and October. We will let you know when and where they will be closer to the date.

More than 15,000 Americans die each year from prescription opiate overdoses. Patients deserve a safer — and often more effective — alternative. Please check out our talking points and let the department know it’s time to stop leaving intractable pain patients behind.

Read more



Tax and Regulate, Video

Arizona Campaign Could Earn More Than $40 Million for Schools

August 20th, 2015 1 Comment Morgan Fox

The Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol in Arizona held a press conference at the State Capitol Wednesday to highlight the fact that the initiative would generate more than $40 million in annual funding for public education in Arizona.

The initiative includes a 15% tax on retail marijuana sales, and 80% of that funding would be allocated to public schools and full-day kindergarten programs.

The campaign conservatively estimates that this tax would generate more than $40 million each year, and it could be an even higher amount than that.

KTVK reports:

azfamily.com 3TV | Phoenix Breaking News, Weather, Sport

Read more



Prohibition, Tax and Regulate

Colorado Court Overturns Marijuana Conviction

August 20th, 2015 No Comments Morgan Fox

In what hopefully becomes a trend in other states, a Colorado court has overturned a marijuana conviction275px-Colorado_Court_of_Appeals that occurred just after the passage of Amendment 64.

Huffington Post reports:

A state appeals court has overturned the marijuana conviction of a Colorado woman who was sentenced and convicted for marijuana possession just days after voters approved a measure legalizing recreational marijuana in the state almost three years ago — retroactively applying the law to her case. 

Citing a decision in a previous case, the appeals court ruled that convicted criminal defendants should receive “benefit of amendatory legislation which became effective at any time before the conviction became final on appeal,” the opinion, issued last week, reads.

Read the rest of this entry »

Read more



Medical Marijuana

Medical Marijuana Board of Physicians Meeting on Wednesday

August 17th, 2015 No Comments Becky Dansky

On Wednesday, August 19, the Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection’s Medical Marijuana Program Board of Physicians will meet to discuss adding complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) to the list of conditions covered under the state’s medical marijuana law.

Complex regional painCT DCP Logo syndrome is a chronic pain condition that usually arises following a brain injury or a trauma. The symptoms of CRPS are prolonged or excessive pain and changes in skin color, temperature, and swelling of the affected area. It typically affects arms, legs, hands, and feet and is thought to be caused by damage to, or malfunction of, the peripheral and central nervous systems. Medical marijuana could provide much needed relief to Connecticut patients suffering with CRPS.

Earlier this year, the Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection added four new conditions to the list of qualifying medical conditions. It agreed with the Board of Physicians to include sickle cell disease, post laminectomy syndrome (“failed back syndrome”), severe psoriasis, and psoriatic arthritis. If the board recommends including CRPS, it is likely the Department will follow that recommendation. Please join advocates on Wednesday to show your support for CRPS patients.

The meeting is open to the public and will take place at 8:00 a.m. at 165 Capitol Avenue, Hartford, in Room 126.

Read more



Medical Marijuana

New Hampshire Towns to Hold Medical Marijuana Forums

August 17th, 2015 No Comments Matt Simon

It appears that New Hampshire is finally ready to move forward with its process of approving medical marijuana dispensary locations. The good news is that a DHHS spokesman has said “we do have several sites that are fairly well finalized.” However, the law requires that a public hearing be held in each town where dispensaries or cultivation facilities are being planned.

As part of this process, the Department of Health and Human Services is holding public meetings to consider local input. If you live in or near one of these towns, please attend and speak up in favor of allowing the proposed dispensary or cultivation facility to move forward!

Here are the details for each public hearing:

Peterborough: Tuesday, August 18 — 5:00 p.m. at Peterborough Town House, 1 Grove Street

(NOTE: This location has been proposed for a cultivation facility only, not a dispensary. It’s worth pointing out that patients and caregivers who live in or near Peterborough will have to drive all the way to Merrimack or Lebanon to obtain cannabis.)

Lebanon: Wednesday, August 19 — 7:00 p.m. at Lebanon City Hall, 51 North Park Street

Merrimack: Tuesday, August 25 — 7:00 p.m. at Merrimack Town Hall, Matthew Thornton Room, 8 Baboosic Lake Road

Read more