Last year, MPP helped local advocates at Sensible Minnesota with their successful petition to add post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) to the state’s medical cannabis program. Patients suffering from this condition were able to enroll in the program last month, and starting August 1 they will be allowed to access medical cannabis.
Every year, the Minnesota Office of Medical Cannabis accepts petitions to add new conditions, and this year was no exception. This year’s petitions were due this week, and MPP and Sensible Minnesota again submitted paperwork — including for nausea, Alzheimer’s, and autism. Thanks to everyone who shared their story with us to help build the case. Before deciding whether to add the condition, a review panel will hold a public hearing.
While Minnesota has a comprehensive medical marijuana program, it remains one of the most limited — and costly — in the country. One of the most significant remaining flaws is that patients are not permitted to consume whole plant (flower) cannabis.
Today, Texas State Rep. Marisa Márquez (D-El Paso filed HB 3785 — the comprehensive, whole-plant medical marijuana bill that patients and advocates have been campaigning for. This marks a historical moment in Texas, as it is the first bill of its kind to be considered by the Texas Legislature.
HB 3785 proposes a far more comprehensive approach to protecting patients than the two other medical marijuana-related bills introduced in the Texas House this session. The bill establishes a framework for dispensaries, growers, and manufacturers to provide seriously ill patients with the medicine they need.
The qualifying conditions are far broader than other bills, and would include: cancer, glaucoma, HIV/AIDS, Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis, Alzheimer's, PTSD, and conditions causing wasting, severe pain, severe nausea, seizures, or severe muscle spasms.
Registered patients (and their caregivers) would be free from fear of arrest and could legally possess up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana. They’d also be permitted to grow up to six plants in their home, three of which could be mature plants estimated to yield four ounces each per year.
If you are a Texas resident, please take a moment to contact your Texas legislators about this important bill. We’ve set up a webpage that allows you to email them both in one shot. Supporters are encouraged to personalize the form letter provided if you or a loved one could benefit from legal access to medical marijuana.
[caption id="attachment_7627" align="alignright" width="300"] Alzheimer's Disease includes reduced brain activity and function (red areas above), the result of years of accumulated damage. THC and CBD in marijuana seem to prevent this damage.[/caption]
A paper published by the British Journal of Pharmacology suggests that the chemical compounds in marijuana likely prevent the onset of Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, Huntington's disease, and age-related dementia.
Chronic brain inflammation, oxidative stress, and intra-cellular dysfunction are the primary reasons why people develop these debilitating neurological diseases. The study found that both THC and CBD (the primary chemical compounds found in marijuana) positively affect nerve cell function in consumers, significantly reducing these harmful neurological conditions.
THC and CBD (called cannabinoids) tap into a primal, chemical signaling system in cells called "the endocannabinoid system." The paper shows cannabinoids dampen inflammation, protect cells from oxidative damage, and promote cell health on a number of levels.
This paper echoes claims made in January by Gary Wenk, professor of neuroscience, immunology, and medical genetics at Ohio State University, that “if you do anything, such as smoke a bunch of marijuana in your 20s and 30s, you may wipe out all of the inflammation in your brain and then things start over again. And you simply die of old age before inflammation becomes an issue for you,”
The implications of marijuana’s medicinal effects on our brains are monumental, from not just a health perspective, but a financial one as well, for more than five million Americans with Alzheimer’s. One in three seniors will die with Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia, and Alzheimer’s is the sixth leading cause of death in the nation, costing the country about $203 billion in 2013.
On Wednesday, the Delaware Senate passed the final version of SB 17, which would allow people with certain medical conditions to use marijuana without fear of arrest. Medical marijuana patients are now waiting for Gov. Markell to sign the bill into law. The governor has stated that he supports the bill and is expected to approve it very soon.
Under the new law, patients 18 and over with cancer, HIV/AIDS, Alzheimer’s, PTSD, multiple sclerosis, or ALS would be permitted to use marijuana to treat their conditions with a recommendation from their doctor. While the law would not allow home cultivation, it does establish a regulated non-profit dispensary system to provide safe access for patients. There would initially be one dispensary in each of Delaware’s three counties.
If the bill becomes law, Delaware will become the 16th state, in addition to the District of Columbia, to allow seriously ill patients to use marijuana.