Medical Marijuana

Tell Sen. Durbin: Medical marijuana is no “laughing matter”

During a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing this week on combating the opioid epidemic, Illinois Senator Dick Durbin made a comment that is a perfect example of the kind of entrenched ignorance that MPP has been battling for nearly 25 years. Referring to his home state of Illinois, which only days ago passed a landmark, MPP-backed bill to legalize cannabis for adult use, Sen. Durbin remarked that:

"We've had medical marijuana. I've been to one of those clinics. It was almost a laughing matter."

Really, Senator? Ready access to life-changing medical treatments is basically a joke to you?

  • It's not a joke for parents who have to drive across state lines, risking their livelihood and their freedom, in order to procure the only medicine available that can successfully treat their child's multiple sclerosis symptoms — just because their state is run by people who share your outdated perspective on medical marijuana.

  • It's not a joke to the veterans suffering from severe PTSD who can't get a prescription at their local VA hospital because the federal government inserts its prohibitionist restrictions between them and their physicians.

  • And it's certainly no joke to the greater than 10 million people located in prohibition states who are suffering from cancer, HIV/AIDS, debilitating arthritis, anorexia, cerebral palsy, chronic pain, or the numerous other afflictions for which medical marijuana is an effective treatment.

To them, and to us, medical marijuana is no laughing matter at all. With your contribution today, we can continue to fight for life-saving access for medical cannabis patients.

Please help us send Senator Durbin a clear message that it's past time for attitudes like his to evolve, that the harm caused by failed prohibitionist policies is both ongoing and urgent, and that he should use his national profile to shine a light on the problem — not to belittle the issue.

Thank you for standing up for medical cannabis patients. Together we can overcome the ignorance and misinformation — and ensure a brighter future for those who are still being denied safe access to the medicine they need.

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Tax and Regulate

Colorado: House passes bill to allow cannabis delivery!

If you live in Colorado, let your state senator know it’s time to legalize and regulate cannabis delivery.

Unlike alcohol and other legal products, Colorado prohibits patients and adult consumers from having cannabis delivered. Sure, delivery exists, but it’s unregulated and unsafe for everyone involved.

But a bill to fix that is on the move. HB 1234 — which would allow safe, regulated delivery — has passed out of the House and is starting to make its way through the state Senate.

Let your state senator know you want them to support this sensible bill.

Many medical cannabis patients have significant mobility limitations. Driving to the store is impossible for some due to their medical condition. Far more dangerous prescriptions can be delivered in the mail, but cannabis delivery remains illicit and in the shadows. Starting next year, medical cannabis deliveries would be allowed.

Beginning in 2021, HB 1234 would allow all adults 21 and older the benefits of cannabis delivery. This can provide safe, regulated access to adults and bring cannabis consumers closer to equal footing with alcohol consumers.

HB 1234 can pass this year, but it’s crucial that senators hear from supportive constituents. Take a few moments to send your senator a note using our free online tool, then share this message with friends and family in Colorado. 

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Medical Marijuana

Two Vermont Dispensaries Begin Serving Patients

[caption id="attachment_6634" align="alignright" width="240"]CVD VT Champlain Valley Dispensary[/caption]

Vermont’s medical marijuana patients have finally been afforded a safe, legal option that doesn’t require the hassle of cultivating marijuana plants! As reported by The Burlington Free Press, two dispensaries have now opened their doors to patients: Vermont Patients Alliance held a “soft opening” late last week in Montpelier and Champlain Valley Dispensary opened Monday in Burlington.

The Free Press reported that both dispensaries are now open three days a week. A third dispensary has been approved and plans to locate in Brandon. A total of four dispensaries are allowed under the law MPP and our allies worked hard to pass in 2011.

These dispensaries will expand access and make life much easier for many patients. However, there is still room for improvement in Vermont’s medical marijuana law. For example, it only allows a maximum of 1,000 patients to be served by dispensaries. Additionally, patients who designate a dispensary are no longer permitted to cultivate their own plants.

State-regulated dispensaries are now open in the following seven states: NM, ME, CO, AZ, NJ, RI, and VT. State-regulated dispensaries are allowed, but have not yet been selected, in four additional states: MA, CT, NV, and DE. In the District of Columbia, dispensaries should be serving patients soon.

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Medical Marijuana

Hawaii Looks to Expand Medical Marijuana Program

Medical marijuana patients in the Aloha State could be looking at major improvements to their ability to access their medicine. Last week, two proposals were introduced in the state legislature to augment the 10-year-old law.

Sen. Will Espero proposed a bill that would increase the number of plants a patient can personally grow from four to 10. Patients would also be able to designate a caregiver to grow the same amount of plants instead, and each caregiver would be able to take on up to four patients. This bill would also keep patients' names and grow site locations private, and would allow a person with a qualifying condition to get a medical marijuana recommendation from a doctor other than his or her primary care physician.

A bill that would set up state-licenced compassion centers was also introduced by Sen. J. Kalani English. While the licensing fees and taxes for these businesses would be large, this proposal would be the first of its kind to allow dispensaries to provide marijuana to non-Hawaii residents who are legal medical marijuana patients in their home states.

Of course, the police are fighting this tooth and nail, and are trotting out the same old predictable arguments. According to Sen. Espero, Hawaii lawmakers aren't buying it anymore. And neither is the new governor.

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