Medical Marijuana

New Hampshire Judge Orders State to Issue ID Card to Cancer Patient

November 25th, 2015 No Comments Matt Simon

New Hampshire patients who have been desperately waiting for the state to begin issuing ID cards can finally breathe a sigh of relief. This afternoon, Merrimack County Superior Court Judge Robert McNamara ruled in favor of Linda Horan, a terminal lung cancer patient who wishes to obtain medical marijuana legally from a dispensary in Maine. The state will now have to issue Linda an ID card without delay (you can read the full court order here). The card will protect Linda from arrest in New Hampshire and allow her to comply with the terms of Maine’s law, which allows dispensaries to serve visiting patients if they possess ID cards from their home states.

Paul Twomey, Linda Horan, and Rep. Cushing (PHOTO: InDepthNH)

This lawsuit was needed because although New Hampshire passed its medical marijuana law in 2013, the attorney general’s office blocked the issuance of ID cards, advising that the state must wait until the first dispensary was ready to open (which is not expected until 2016). Congratulations and many thanks to Linda, her attorney, Paul Twomey, and state Rep. Renny Cushing for their courageous leadership!

Twomey summed the case up perfectly with the following quote: “Linda is a hero. Facing death, she has chosen to fight for the rights of all the critically ill patients in New Hampshire, who should not have to fear arrest because they are sick. She may be dying, but we all owe her our thanks for showing us how to live.”

If you are a patient, you can learn more about the registration process and download the relevant forms by visiting the program’s website here.

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Medical Marijuana, Video

Rep. Blumenauer Calls for Firing of DEA Director

November 18th, 2015 1 Comment Morgan Fox

Recently, we shared a story about interim DEA head Chuck Rosenberg referring to medical marijuana as a “joke.” Since then, a petition started by Marijuana Majority calling for Rosenberg to be fired for his lack of compassion for patients and poor understanding of marijuana has garnered almost 100,000 signatures!

Today, Rep. Earl Blumenaur (D-OR), who has been a champion of marijuana policy reform at the federal level, called on Congress to demand that Rosenberg be replaced!

You can watch the coverage from C-SPAN.

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Medical Marijuana

Colombia to Make Medical Marijuana Legal

November 13th, 2015 No Comments Morgan Fox

On Thursday, the Colombian government announced that it will make medical marijuana use, cultivation, and sale legal in the near future!

Washington Post reports:

Pres. Juan Manuel Santos

The change is coming in an executive decree that President Juan Manuel Santos will soon sign into law. It will regulate regulating everything from licensing for growers to the eventual export of products made from marijuana, Justice Minister Yesid Reyes said.

With the new policy, Colombia joins countries from Mexico to Chile that have experimented with legalization or decriminalization as part of a wave of changing attitudes toward drug use and policies to combat it in Latin America. But unlike many of its neighbors, Colombia has long been identified with U.S.-backed policies to eradicate drug production and a sharp decline in levels of violence over the past 15 years is largely attributed to the no-tolerance policing.

Sen. Juan Manuel Galan, who last year introduced legislation that tracks with the government’s decree, said that as many as 400,000 Colombians suffering from epilepsy and other ailments could benefit from the clearer regulatory framework to be provided by the decree.

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Medical Marijuana

Veterans One Step Closer to Getting Access to Medical Marijuana

November 11th, 2015 No Comments Marijuana Policy Project

On this Veterans Day, MPP would like to thank those who served for their sacrifice, and we are excited to note that a Senate vote yesterday brought them one step closer to being able to access medical marijuana.

U.S. News reports:

On the eve of Veterans Day, the Senate passed legislation Tuesday that would for the first time allow Veterans Health Administrationheader-logo doctors to authorize medical marijuana use for patients.

The Veterans Health Administration currently does not allow its physicians to discuss marijuana as a treatment option with patients in the nearly two dozen states with medical pot laws, forcing veterans to turn elsewhere for guidance and the paperwork necessary to acquire the drug.

The Senate legislation won’t change the federal illegality of using marijuana as medicine or open the door to greater legal research through changing its classification as a Schedule I drug under the Controlled Substances Act – which deems it without medical value – but it’s nonetheless a big win for reform advocates.

The Senate measure was adopted by the Senate Appropriations Committee in May by a vote of 18-12, with four Republicans joining Democrats in favor. The larger spending bill to which it was attached – funding veterans and military construction projects – passed the Senate without opposition Tuesday.

The medical marijuana language still must survive a negotiated spending deal between leaders of the Senate and the House of Representatives. The lower chamber narrowly rejected the proposal in April when it passed its own version of the bill.

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Medical Marijuana

Time Running out for PA House to Act on Medical Marijuana

November 10th, 2015 No Comments Becky Dansky
still waiting room 3
Patients at the Pennsylvania Statehouse in a symbolic doctor’s office, still waiting for the House to act.

With very few session days remaining this year, Republican leadership in Pennsylvania still has not introduced medical marijuana legislation in the House. Early reports about the contents of the draft still raise serious concerns — including a 10% THC cap, an explicit prohibition on dried flowers and plants, and no immediate legal protections for patients.

If you are a Pennsylvania resident, please call your representative today! Let him or her know it is critical that these problems are addressed and the bill is brought to the floor for a vote immediately. You can click here to find your representative’s contact information along with talking points to guide your call.

It has been almost six months since the Senate passed sensible medical cannabis legislation. Seriously ill patients have been suffering while waiting for the House to take action. They should not have to wait one more day. It is time for the House to vote on comprehensive and compassionate medical marijuana legislation. Let them know that Pennsylvanians are tired of waiting. They need to do it right! Do it now! Let them know that compassionate use legislation should be focused on the needs of patients and not politics as usual.

Urge them to tell leadership our concerns and to demand safe and affordable access for Pennsylvania’s most fragile citizens.

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Medical Marijuana

Illinois’ First Dispensaries Open

November 9th, 2015 9 Comments Chris Lindsey

Over half a dozen dispensaries have been authorized to open today, finally bringing relief to medical cannabis patients across Illinois. 2000px-Seal_of_Illinois.svgThe store openings mark the most significant milestone since the law was passed nearly two and half years ago.

So far, eight dispensaries are approved to begin operating. The Illinois Medical Cannabis Community reports that at least five are confirmed to open today, including Harbory (Marion), Herbal Remedies (Quincy), EarthMed (Addison), Salveo Health and Wellness (Canton), and the Clinic Mundelein (Mundelein). The complete list of approved dispensaries and their locations is available here.

The medical cannabis pilot program has faced challenges since the law went into effect in January 2014. The state missed its deadline for issuing business licenses, and fewer patients signed up for the state registry than many expected. Further, the state has so far refused to expand the program to include numerous additional medical conditions including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), despite support from medical experts on the health department’s Medical Cannabis Advisory Board.

State patients are entitled to some good news, and these store openings are a welcome relief. MPP wishes to congratulate those businesses that are opening, and we thank Rep. Lou Lang, patient advocates, and the Illinois agency staff who worked so hard to bring this program to reality. We hope the program can finally relieve suffering for Illinois’ most vulnerable citizens.

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Medical Marijuana

Kentucky Governor-Elect Supports Allowing Medical Marijuana

November 5th, 2015 No Comments Matt Simon
Matt Bevin

On Tuesday, Kentucky voters took to the polls and elected Matt Bevin governor. Bevin, a Republican and Tea Party favorite, has acknowledged what the vast majority of voters know: “There is unequivocal medical evidence” that medical marijuana is beneficial for certain conditions. He defeated prohibitionist Jack Conway (D) 52.5% to 43.8%.

With House Speaker Greg Stumbo (D) sponsoring medical marijuana legislation, next year holds great promise for the state taking a serious, bipartisan look at a more compassionate approach.

Americans living in 23 states and the nation’s capital can legally use and access medical cannabis, and upwards of 80% of Americans support allowing the seriously ill to use this beneficial medicine. Yet, some politicians — including defeated gubernatorial candidate Jack Conway — still haven’t gotten the message.

If you are a Kentucky resident, please make sure your lawmakers hear: Voters expect them to end the cruel status quo and to stop forcing patients to risk their freedom to improve their health.

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Medical Marijuana

South Dakota Medical Marijuana Campaign is Collecting Signatures for 2016 Ballot Initiative

November 2nd, 2015 No Comments Brendan Valentine

New Approach South Dakota (NASD) is collecting signatures for a proposal to make medical marijuana legal! This ballot initiative will appear on the 2016 ballot if supporters can collect enough signatures by November 9. That’s only a week away!SouthDakota-StateSeal.svg

To help get the measure past the finish line, contact NASD’s Melissa Mentele at [email protected].

If the proposal appears on the 2016 ballot and is approved by the voters, it would:

— Legalize the medical use of marijuana for patients with a medical practitioner’s certification and one of several listed conditions, including cancer, AIDS/HIV, seizure disorders, PTSD, and severe pain;
— Allow patients and their caregivers to possess up to three ounces of cannabis and grow six plants;
— Create a licensing system to provide patients with safe access to medical cannabis, allow businesses to process, dispense, and test medical cannabis products; and
— Prohibit public smoking and driving under the influence of marijuana.

The full measure can be viewed here. Support for compassionate medical marijuana policy is an urgent matter for some South Dakotans. We encourage residents to contact NASD to ask how you can help support the initiative.

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Medical Marijuana

New Hampshire Allowing Pre-Registration for Medical Marijuana Patients

November 2nd, 2015 No Comments Matt Simon

Today, the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services announced the opening of a pre-registration process for the therapeutic use of cannabis program.1000x100header06 The announcement, which appears on the department’s website, explains that patients and their designated caregivers may now submit their applications and that dispensaries are expected to open in the first quarter of 2016. The application forms are now available online.

Unfortunately, the department still says it will not begin issuing ID cards until the first dispensary is ready to open. This means patients could continue to be without legal protections for several more months. However, at least it is now possible for patients to submit applications rather than simply waiting for the program to become operational.

We encourage patients to pre-register, as this will reduce the chances the department will experience a backlog when it begins issuing ID cards.

Please share this news with your friends and family, and especially with any patients you know who have been waiting to benefit from this program.

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Medical Marijuana

Delaware Adds Autism to Medical Marijuana Qualifying Conditions

November 2nd, 2015 No Comments Robert Capecchi

Over the weekend, the November 2015 issue of the Delaware Register of Regulations was published, expanding the legal protections of the state’s medical marijuana act to reach more individuals. The published regulations officially added “autism with self-injurious or aggressive behavior” to the list of conditions, giving doctors one more treatment option should they think it would benefit their patients.

The condition was added after a petition to do so was submitted to the Department of Health and Social Services. The department took testimony and conducted its own research on the matter, and it ultimately concluded that the petition had merit and the condition should be added. This is the first condition to be added by the petition process in Delaware.

Thank you to everyone who spoke in support of the petition, as well as those who attended the Medical Marijuana Act Oversight Committee meeting last week to share your experience with the program to date.

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