Medical Marijuana

Medical Marijuana Emerges as Top Issue in Kentucky Governor’s Race

October 29th, 2015 No Comments Matt Simon

Medical marijuana unexpectedly dominated much of the news coverage following a recent debate between the major party candidates for Kentucky governor, Republican Matt Bevin and Democrat Jack Conway.

Conway, Kentucky’s former Attorney General, tried to dismiss the issue from serious consideration. “I don’t want to hear from some hipsters out in Hawaii saying Kentucky needs medical marijuana,” he reportedly said. Bevin, on the other hand, acknowledged “there is unequivocal medical evidence” that medical marijuana is beneficial for certain conditions.

Businessman_and_political_candidate_Matt_Bevin
Matt Bevin

Bevin made it clear that he does not support legalization for adult use, but he also acknowledged that prohibition has been unsuccessful:

“We’re on the campus of a university,” the Republican said. Addressing the students in the audience of one thousand, he asked: “Is it not already easy for you to find this on the streets? Come on! Who are we kidding? The only people who can’t get it are the people who abide by the law!”

For information on how and where to vote in the election on November 3, visit the Kentucky State Board of Elections’ Voter Information Center.

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Prohibition

Huckabee, Clinton, Sanders Improving Positions on Marijuana

October 27th, 2015 1 Comment Morgan Fox

MPP has upgraded Mike Huckabee, Hillary Clinton, and Bernie Sanders in its report card-style voter guide to the 2016 major party presidential candidates. The voter guide can be viewed online at http:// mpp.org/president.

More changes could follow the Republican candidate debate scheduled to take place Wednesday in Boulder, Colorado, where the candidates are likely to discuss the state’s laws that regulate marijuana for adult and medical use.

From The Hill:

huckabee
Mike Huckabee (Photo: Gage Skidmore)

“This idea of recreational marijuana, let’s let Colorado have at it for a few years and let’s see how that works out for them,” Huckabee told a local Iowa television station earlier this month. “I’ve been to Amsterdam a few times; I don’t want us to look like Amsterdam. And a lot of people in Colorado aren’t liking the way that’s headed either.

“I’m willing to let states operate under the 10th Amendment,” the former Arkansas governor added. “I’m willing for the states — if they think that marijuana and the legalization of it is a great thing — I’m willing for them to experiment and find out. And if it works and it turns out that the presence of recreational marijuana makes them a more prosperous state … well heck, we may just all want to reach out there and grab that.”

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Medical Marijuana

Minnesota Intractable Pain Advisory Committee Meeting Thursday

October 27th, 2015 No Comments Robert Capecchi

The Minnesota Office of Medical Cannabis Advisory Panel on Intractable Pain will meet on Thursday to decide if intractable pain should be added to the list of qualifying medical conditions under the state’s medical marijuana law. While the public is welcome to attend the meeting, please note that public comment will not be taken on Thursday.

WHAT: Advisory Panel on Intractable Pain meeting
WHEN: Thursday, October 29, 1:00 – 3:00 p.m. CT
WHERE: Amherst H. Wilder Center — Auditorium A, St. Paul

For the past two months, the Minnesota Department of Health has been hosting meetings across the state to solicit public feedback on whether intractable pain should be added. Reports indicate an overwhelming majority of attendees supported adding pain. They also accepted written comments from potential and certified medical cannabis patients, their caregivers and loved ones, health care practitioners, and other interested parties. Just this past weekend, the Star Tribune published an editorial urging the Department of Health to add intractable pain to the state’s medical marijuana law.

Thank you so much to everyone who attended the community hearings, submitted comments, and urged your friends and family to do so, too. These simple acts may soon mean a world of difference for some suffering neighbors.

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Tax and Regulate

Maine Marijuana Initiative Campaigns Join Forces for 2016

October 26th, 2015 1 Comment Morgan Fox

Two competing marijuana initiative campaigns in Maine announced they will unite behind one state ballot measure to end marijuana prohibition in 2016.

The Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, backed by MPP,ME Release Header - NEW will stop collecting signatures in support of the initiative it filed in March and spearhead the campaign in support of a similar initiative filed in February by Legalize Maine. Each of the campaigns has collected approximately 40,000 signatures, and they will work together to collect the remaining signatures needed to qualify for the November 2016 ballot. They have until January to collect a total of approximately 61,000 valid signatures of registered Maine voters. Read the rest of this entry »

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Uncategorized

Brookings Institution Report Calls For Broad Reforms in Marijuana Research Policy

October 23rd, 2015 2 Comments Morgan Fox

Early this week, the Brookings Institution released a report titled ‘Ending the U.S. government’s war on medical marijuana research’, which analyzes the ways in which the federal government hinders effective research, and how these policies could be changed.logo_brookings_-axd_

The federal government is stifling medical research in a rapidly transforming area of public policy that has consequences for public health and public safety. As medical marijuana becomes increasingly accessible in state-regulated, legal markets, and as others self-medicate in jurisdictions that do not allow the medical use of cannabis, it is increasingly important that the scientific community conduct research on this substance. However, statutory, regulatory, bureaucratic, and cultural barriers have paralyzed science and threatened the integrity of research freedom in this area. It is time for the federal government to recognize the serious public policy risks born from limited medical, public health, and pharmaceutical research into cannabis and its use.
The report specifically argues that simply rescheduling marijuana will not be sufficient to remove barriers to scientific study, and that broader reforms are needed. Currently, marijuana is considered a Schedule I drug under federal law, and all research must be approved by the Drug Enforcement Administration.

You can read the full report here.

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Research

New Gallup Poll Shows 58% of Americans Support Making Marijuana Legal

October 21st, 2015 4 Comments Morgan Fox

A Gallup poll released Wednesday shows 58% of adults in the United States think marijuana should be made legal, up from 51% in October 2014. Just 40% think it should remain illegal.

The national poll of 1,015 adults was conducted October 7-11 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 4%. The full results are available at here.

Gallup 2015

 

Americans’ support for legalizing marijuana is the highest Gallup has measured to date, at 58%. Given the patterns of support by age, that percentage should continue to grow in the future. Younger generations of Americans have been increasingly likely to favor legal use of marijuana as they entered adulthood compared with older generations of Americans when they were the same age decades ago. Now, more than seven in 10 of today’s young adults support legalization.

But Americans today — particularly those between 35 and 64 — are more supportive of legal marijuana than members of their same birth cohort were in the past. Now senior citizens are alone among age groups in opposing pot legalization.

These trends suggest that state and local governments may come under increasing pressure to ease restrictions on marijuana use, if not go even further like the states of Colorado, Oregon, Washington and Alaska in making recreational marijuana use completely legal.

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Prohibition

Canada, Mexico to Consider Making Marijuana Legal

October 20th, 2015 3 Comments Morgan Fox
Justin_Trudeau_2014-1
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau

On Monday, the Liberal Party in Canada won the national elections by wide margins, promising an impending shift in a number of policy areas, including marijuana. Newly elected Prime Minister Justin Trudeau promised that the Canadian government would quickly begin the process of making marijuana legal for adults.

USA Today reports:

Trudeau promised that under his leadership Canada would create a system to tax, regulate and sell marijuana, along with stiff penalties for anyone giving pot to children or caught driving while stoned. The Liberal Party’s cannabis legalization statement echoes the language used by many U.S. legalization advocates.

“Canada’s current system of marijuana prohibition does not work. It does not prevent young people from using marijuana and too many Canadians end up with criminal records for possessing small amounts of the drug,” the party’s position statement says. “To ensure that we keep marijuana out of the hands of children, and the profits out of the hands of criminals, we will legalize, regulate, and restrict access to marijuana.”

This development could have a serious impact on marijuana policy in the United States.

On top of that, Mexico’s Supreme Court will hold a hearing on October 28 to determine whether federal policies banning the possession and cultivation of marijuana are unconstitutional. Soon, the United States may be the only large nation on the North American continent to carry on the failed policies of marijuana prohibition.

 

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Uncategorized

Federal Court Ruling Is Big Win for Medical Marijuana Patients, Businesses

October 20th, 2015 1 Comment Morgan Fox

A federal judge ruled Monday that a budget amendment approved by Congress prevents the Department of Justice from taking action against medical marijuana patients and providers who are operating in compliance with state laws.

Northern District of California Judge Charles Breyer

Judge Charles Breyer, U.S. District Court. 01/02/2013 060-2013
Judge Charles Breyer (Photo: Hillary Jones-Mixon / The Recorder)

said that by enacting the so-called Rohrabacher-Farr amendment, “Congress dictated…that it intended to prohibit the Department of Justice from expending any funds in connection with the enforcement of any law that interfered with California’s ability” to implement its own state medical marijuana laws. The decision was prompted by U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag’s efforts to shut down the Marin Alliance for Medical Marijuana, a prominent San Francisco-area medical marijuana dispensary. Judge Breyer’s ruling is available here.

The Washington Post reports:

When the legislation was passed, advocates and lawmakers on both sides of the issue agreed that the bill basically prevented the DEA from going after medical marijuana dispensaries, provided that such dispensaries were acting in compliance with state law. The DEA, however, didn’t see it that way. In a leaked memo, the Justice Department contended that the amendment only prevents actions against actual states — not against the individuals or businesses or business that actually carry out marijuana laws. In their interpretation, the bill still allowed them to pursue criminal and civil actions against medical marijuana businesses and the patients who patronized them.

The DoJ’s reading of the amendment infuriated its sponsors. They called for an investigation into the Department of Justice’s “tortuous twisting of the text” of the bill, saying it violated common sense. Yesterday, judge Charles Breyer of the U.S. district court in northern California agreed.

Dan Riffle of the Marijuana Policy Project agreed. “This is a big win for medical marijuana patients and their providers,” he wrote in a statement, “and a significant victory in our efforts to end the federal government’s war on marijuana. Federal raids of legitimate medical marijuana businesses aren’t just stupid and wasteful, but also illegal.”

The ruling could discourage the DoJ from creative interpretations of the Rohrabacher-Farr amendment going forward, which should let medical marijuana businesses and their patients in 23 states breathe a sigh of relief.

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Medical Marijuana, Research

Maryland Medical Marijuana Seminars This Week – Free for Physicians

October 20th, 2015 No Comments Robert Capecchi

Our allies at Patients Out of Time, in partnership with the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission and the Maryland Cannabis Industry Association, pot-2015-logoare hosting two half-day seminars about medical marijuana and the endocannabinoid system this week — one in Columbia and one in La Plata. Registration is required and the events are free for physicians.

Medical Cannabis 101: The Physician’s Primer

Maryland Pharmacists Association
9115 Guilford Rd., Suite 200
Columbia, MD 21046
Thursday, October 22, 9:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Click here to register

University of Maryland Charles Regional Medical Center
5 Garrett Rd.
La Plata, MD 20646
Friday, October 23, 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Click here to register

Both of these events will feature Dustin Sulak, D.O., who will touch on the literature on endocannabinoid physiology, clinical applications of cannabinoids, and share his experience overseeing 18,000 medical marijuana patients in New England. Mary Lynn Mathre, RN, MSN, CARN, President of Patients Out of Time, will also speak on the history of medical cannabis and the discovery of the endocannabinoid system. Eric Sterling, a member of the Maryland medical marijuana commission, will speak at the Columbia event about the programs details. These events will be particularly beneficial for Maryland physicians, so please send this along to any doctors you know in the state.

You can visit Patients Out of Time for more information on the events. For more details on Maryland’s medical marijuana program, please visit the Medical Cannabis Commission’s website.

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Prohibition, Video

MPP’s Dan Riffle Discusses Impact of Marijuana Initiatives on Presidential Election

October 16th, 2015 No Comments Morgan Fox

MPP has been paying close attention to the slate of candidates running for president next year. Marijuana policy reform has been coming up more and more as the hopefuls try to adjust to increasing public support for ending prohibition, but could the issue have an impact on who is the next leader of the United States?

Last night, MPP’s Dan Riffle spoke with Fox News about how marijuana initiatives could affect the 2016 presidential election.

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