Medical Marijuana

Connecticut Considers Expanding Medical Marijuana Program to Include Pediatric Patients

April 25th, 2016 No Comments Becky Dansky

On June 1, 2012, Connecticut enacted a medical marijuana program that allows seriously ill patients access to medical marijuana. However, the law does not allow access for minor patients, many of whom would benefit greatly from access to this safe and effective treatment.Seal_of_Connecticut.svg Of the 24 states that have effective medical marijuana programs, Connecticut is the only state that does not allow access for younger patients.

A bill currently being considered, HB 5450, would allow minors to be qualifying patients. It would also allow dispensaries to distribute marijuana to hospices and other inpatient facilities and would allow nurses to administer marijuana in licensed health care facilities.

If you are a Connecticut resident, please urge the senate to swiftly pass legislation to help Connecticut’s seriously ill children.

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Medical Marijuana, Research

DEA Approves Study on Treating PTSD With Marijuana

April 22nd, 2016 1 Comment Morgan Fox

On Thursday, the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) announced in a press release that they had received approval to study the effects of marijuana on treating PTSD in veterans.q4g89gcyl385qpt0vmeo

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has formally approved the first-ever randomized controlled trial of whole plant medical marijuana (cannabis) as a treatment for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in U.S. veterans. The DEA’s approval marks the first time a clinical trial intended to develop smoked botanical marijuana into a legal prescription drug has received full approval from U.S. regulatory agencies, including the DEA and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

The randomized, blinded, placebo-controlled study will test the safety and efficacy of botanical marijuana in 76 U.S. military veterans with treatment-resistant PTSD. The study is funded by a $2.156 million grant from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) to the California-based non-profit Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS), which is sponsoring the research.

The trial will gather safety and efficacy data on four potencies of smoked marijuana with varying ratios of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). By exploring the effectiveness of a variety of marijuana strains, the study seeks to generate naturalistic data comparable to how many veterans in medical marijuana states currently use marijuana. Results will provide vital information on marijuana dosing, composition, side effects, and areas of benefit to clinicians and legislators considering marijuana as a treatment for PTSD.

Congratulations and thanks go to Dr. Sue Sisley, who has long been the foremost champion of studying the effects of marijuana on PTSD, and the rest of the staff at MAPS for working so diligently in this area.

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Medical Marijuana

Pennsylvania Becomes 24th Medical Marijuana State

April 17th, 2016 No Comments Becky Dansky

Today, Gov. Tom Wolf signed the Medical Marijuana Act (SB 3) into law, making Pennsylvania the 24th state to legalize medical marijuana. This tremendous victory was made possible through the hard work of families, advocates, and lawmakers.PA_24-2

SB 3 will allow patients with qualifying conditions to use and safely access medical marijuana. Once applications are available from the Department of Health, eligible patients whose doctors recommend cannabis will be able to obtain identification cards. The law allows for up to 150 dispensary locations across the state.

When dispensaries open, medical marijuana will be available as pills, oils, gels, creams, ointments, tinctures, and liquids. Vaporization is allowed but smoking is initially prohibited. Dispensaries cannot sell edibles, but medical cannabis products can be mixed into food or drinks. Dry leaf/flower is not allowed immediately but the Department of Health can change that following an advisory board report two years after enactment. For more details, visit MPP’s summary of the Medical Marijuana Act.

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Medical Marijuana

Senate Appropriations Committee Approves VA Physician Recommendation Amendment

April 14th, 2016 8 Comments Robert Capecchi

The U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee on Thursday approved an amendment to the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations bill that is intended to ease access to medical marijuana for veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, serious injuries, and other debilitating conditions.US-DeptOfVeteransAffairs-Seal-Large

The amendment, authored by Sens. Steve Daines (R-MT) and Jeff Merkley (D-OR), would prohibit the spending of funds on enforcement of a Veterans Health Administration directive that prohibits VA physicians from recommending medical marijuana to their patients, even in states that have made it legal.

If enacted, VA physicians would no longer face penalties for discussing medical marijuana with their patients or completing the paperwork patients must submit in order to participate in state medical marijuana programs. Currently, veterans in states with medical marijuana laws must find a doctor outside of the VA system to discuss medical marijuana as a treatment option and provide the requisite documentation.

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Medical Marijuana

Pennsylvania Poised to Become Next Medical Marijuana State

April 13th, 2016 1 Comment Becky Dansky

Almost a year after the Pennsylvania Senate first approved SB 3, the General Assembly is finally sending the medical marijuana legislation to Gov. Tom Wolf for his signature.13015406_10153387914096816_204741021068623634_n

SB 3 will create a comprehensive, compassionate medical marijuana program that allows patients with certain serious conditions access to medical marijuana with their doctors’ recommendation. Medical marijuana will be dispensed through a well-regulated system of state authorized grower/processors and up to 150 dispensary locations. While the bill still contains some flaws, it is one of the stronger bills to make it through a legislature, and is a particularly impressive bill in light of the strong opposition it faced from Speaker Mike Turzai and Health Committee Chair Matt Baker.

If you’d like to know more about SB 3, details are available here.

Congratulations to all of the remarkable advocates and compassionate lawmakers who fought tirelessly to make this program a reality.

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Medical Marijuana

South Carolina Senate Committee Kills Med. Marijuana Bill, Hope Remains in House

April 13th, 2016 No Comments Becky Dansky

On Thursday, the South Carolina Senate Medical Affairs Committee voted 9-2 against the South Carolina Medical Marijuana Program Act (S. 672), effectively killing the legislation for the year.Seal_of_South_Carolina.svg Fortunately, there is still hope the House will take action on its version of the bill — H. 4037 — which was approved by a House subcommittee by a vote of 3-1 last year.

If you are a South Carolina resident, please contact your lawmakers and tell them South Carolina patients deserve access to safe and effective treatment.

S. 672/H. 4037 would allow patients with certain serious medical conditions to use and safely access medical marijuana. The legislation also would create a reasonable, well-regulated system of access through growers, processors, dispensers, and certified labs.

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Medical Marijuana

Ohio Medical Marijuana Campaign Begins Signature Gathering

April 6th, 2016 2 Comments Marijuana Policy Project

Late last week, the Ohio Ballot Board certified an initiative that would establish a comprehensive medical marijuana program in Ohio. The five-member board reviews proposed ballot measures to ensure they represent only one issue.OMM_horizontal-green_logo

Ohioans for Medical Marijuana must now collect 305,591 valid signatures of Ohio voters by early July to qualify for the November 2016 ballot. Last week, Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine confirmed the group submitted at least 1,000 valid signatures of Ohio voters and determined their initiative summary “is a fair and truthful statement of the proposed law.”

The summary and full text of the initiative are available online at https://www.ohioansformmj.org/initiative.

 

Signature gathering for the initiative has already begun. Please contact Ohioans for Medical Marijuana if you would like to get involved.

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Medical Marijuana

Missouri Advocates Trying to Put Medical Marijuana on State Ballot

April 4th, 2016 No Comments Maggie Ellinger-Locke

MPP is excited that New Approach Missourinamlogoblue is spearheading an effort to give voters a chance to enact a comprehensive medical marijuana program this November. The ballot initiative would allow seriously ill patients who have a certification from their doctor to obtain medical cannabis from dispensaries regulated by the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services. For our complete summary of the initiative, please click here.

Should voters amend Missouri’s constitution to establish this program, medical cannabis would be subject to a 4% retail sales tax. Revenue from this tax would go to establishing the Missouri Veterans Health Care Fund benefiting veterans with health care assistance, drug rehabilitation services, housing assistance, job training, and tuition assistance.

But voters will not have the opportunity to cast a ballot for this compassionate program unless New Approach is able to collect enough signatures. They need to collect 256,000 signatures by May 8, 2016. Currently they are about 40% of the way to their goal. If you are a Missouri resident and want to get involved, please make sure you have signed the petition, and then review this training video and contact your respective volunteer coordinator to help out.

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Medical Marijuana

Ohio Attorney General Certifies Medical Marijuana Initiative

March 25th, 2016 No Comments Morgan Fox

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine notified Ohioans for Medical Marijuana on Friday that he has certified the summary of the group’s proposed ballot initiative to establish a comprehensive medical marijuana program and submitted it to the Ohio Secretary of State.OMM_horizontal-green_logo

The attorney general confirmed the group submitted at least 1,000 valid signatures of Ohio voters and determined their initiative summary “is a fair and truthful statement of the proposed law.” The summary and full text of the initiative are available online at https://www.ohioansformmj.org/initiative.

The Ohio Ballot Board will now have 10 days to review the measure and confirm it complies with Ohio initiative laws. Initiative backers will then need to collect an additional 305,591 valid signatures of Ohio voters by early July in order to qualify for the November 2016 ballot.

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Medical Marijuana

Pennsylvania Poised to Become 24th Medical Marijuana State

March 17th, 2016 5 Comments Becky Dansky

After years of advocacy from patients and their loved ones, the Pennsylvania House of Representatives approved compassionate, comprehensive medical cannabis legislation this evening!

SB 3 will now return to the Senate, which approved the bill last May, to consider the House’s amendments. Gov. Tom Wolf has been a strong champion of the issue and will sign the legislation when it arrives at his desk.1914591_10153313240631816_4731955737775675460_n

SB 3 allows patients with qualifying conditions to use and safely access medical cannabis with their physicians’ recommendations. As amended by the House, it allows up to 25 growers and processors to produce medical cannabis, which would be dispensed by up to 50 dispensaries with up to three locations each.

Qualifying conditions include cancer, HIV/AIDS, multiple sclerosis, seizures, autism, sickle cell anemia, and intractable pain if conventional therapies or opiates don’t work or are contraindicated. More details are available here.

Thank you to everyone who has worked so hard for so long to make this compassionate bill a reality, including the amazing team at Campaign4Compassion, the American Trade Association for Cannabis and Hemp, Gov. Tom Wolf, Sens. Mike Folmer and Daylin Leach and their staff, especially MP Tomei, Reps. Mike Regan, Nick Miccarelli, Russ Diamond, and Joe Petrarca and staffer Sarah Speed, Majority Leader Dave Reed, and MPP’s lobbyist Jim Davis!

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