Medical Marijuana

Florida Medical Marijuana Initiative Endorsed by National and State Epilepsy Foundations

October 18th, 2016 No Comments Marijuana Policy Project

United for Care, the Florida group campaigning to pass an effective medical marijuana ballot initiate on election day, recently announced endorsements from state and national epilepsy organizations.ef

Florida Politics reports:

The Florida Epilepsy Foundation has endorsed proposed Amendment 2, the medical marijuana initiative on Florida’s Nov. 8 ballot.

“Important medical decisions, such as treatments and medications, should be made by licensed physicians who know their patients best. That’s why the Epilepsy Foundation of Florida, along with the national Epilepsy Foundation, supports Amendment 2,” Karen Basha Egozi, chief executive officer of the organization, said Tuesday in a written statement.

“Florida’s epilepsy patients should have available whatever treatment options their doctors recommend, including medical marijuana,” she said.

The proposal would allow cannabis use by people “with debilitating medical conditions as determined by a licensed Florida physician.”

It provides legal protections for caregivers helping them administer the drug, subject to oversight by the state Department of Health.

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Medical Marijuana, Research

MPP’s South Carolina Voter Guide

October 18th, 2016 No Comments Marijuana Policy Project
Medical marijuana patients in South Carolina remain criminals if they use a treatment option that is safer many prescriptions. Bipartisan lawmakers have proposed bringing a compassionate law to the Palmetto State, but the proposal was defeated in committee this year.Seal_of_South_Carolina.svg

If patients are to get the protections they deserve, they’ll need legislators who stand up for them. You can help make that happen.

If you are a South Carolina resident, find out where candidates in your state House and state Senate districts stand before you cast your votes on Tuesday, November 8.

1. If you’re not sure of what state legislative districts you live in, click here.

2. Then, check out our voter guide to see where the candidates in your state House and state Senate district stand on medical marijuana policy.
If we have no information on candidates in your district, that means they didn’t respond to our questionnaire. You may want to reach out to them directly to ask where they stand. Please let us know if you get a response.

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Medical Marijuana, Prohibition

MPP’s Nebraska Medical Marijuana Voter Guide

October 18th, 2016 No Comments Marijuana Policy Project
In March, Nebraska Sen. Tommy Garrett’s compassionate medical marijuana bill came a few votes shy of the super-majority needed to stop a filibuster.2000px-nebraska-stateseal-svg If patients are to get the protections they deserve next year, they’ll need legislators who stand up for them.
On November 8, half of the Nebraska Legislature is up for re-election.

1. If you’re not sure what state Senate district you live in, click here to find out. If your Senate district is an odd number, it’s on the ballot this year.

2. If you live in an odd-numbered Senate district, check out our voter guide see where the candidates in your district stand on allowing medical marijuana.

To compile our Nebraska voter guide, we reviewed the medical marijuana voting record of all incumbent senators who are running for re-election, and sent a questionnaire to all candidates. Unfortunately, only one candidate responded to our questionnaire. While they’re trying to earn votes, please consider reaching out to candidates in your district to let them know you want them to stand up for patients. The voter guide includes all candidates’ contact information.

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Medical Marijuana

New Connecticut Medical Marijuana Provisions Take Effect

October 7th, 2016 No Comments Becky Dansky
This week, a new law that improves Connecticut’s medical marijuana program went into effect. Among other changes, for the first time, certain patients who are under 18 now qualify to use medical cannabis in the Constitution state. Previously, Connecticut had been the only medical marijuana state to completely exclude seriously ill minors from its program.Seal_of_Connecticut.svg
To participate in the Connecticut medical marijuana program, minors must have been diagnosed with terminal illness, an irreversible spinal cord injury, cerebral palsy, cystic fibrosis, or severe or intractable epilepsy. In addition, they must have a written certification from two doctors — a primary care provider and a specialist. Finally, a parent or guardian must submit a written statement consenting to the patient using medical cannabis and agreeing to serve as the minor’s primary caregiver.
The new law extends legal protections to nurses who administer medical marijuana to patients in hospitals, and it also creates a research program. The department is now accepting research applications from hospitals, universities, dispensaries, and growers. Research subjects and employees of approved applicants will also have to register with the department.

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Medical Marijuana

Florida Medical Marijuana Initiative Appears Likely to Pass

October 6th, 2016 3 Comments jlasala

A Saint Leo University poll released in late September indicated public support for an amendment that would legalize the use of medical marijuana in Florida. Amendment 2 will allow Florida doctors to legally recommend medical marijuana to their patients with debilitating illnesses.hb-yes_on_2

Passage of Amendment 2 also authorizes the Department of Health to issue identification cards to patients and caregivers who qualify, as well as register and regulate facilities to produce and distribute marijuana for medical purposes.

Although a Florida amendment to legalize the use of medical marijuana in 2014 was unsuccessful, advocates are confident that voter support is much stronger this year. The favorability of the amendment has increased from 65%  in June to 68% in September. The amendment is required to get 60%  of the vote for it to pass into law. In 2014, it received 58%.

“It appears as though medical marijuana supporters will get the victory they were denied by voters in 2014.” Frank Orlando, director of the Saint Leo University Polling Institute, said. “The higher the turnout among young voters, the better the chance that this amendment passes.”

Another poll released by the Florida Chamber of Commerce indicates that Amendment 2 is receiving 73% favorable support. The one take-away that voters supporting Amendment 2 have to consider is the importance of showing up to vote at the polls when it counts the most, on Election Day.

The Yes on 2 campaign working hard to maintain support and is currently working to raise money to counter an expansive campaign of misinformation by the much more well-funded opposition.

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Medical Marijuana

Michigan Lawmakers Adopt Regulatory System for Medical Marijuana, Allow Extracts

September 27th, 2016 1 Comment Chris Lindsey
The Michigan Legislature passed a series of bills this month that overhaul the state’s medical marijuana program. This is the culmination of a multi-year debate on how, and whether, the state should allow and regulate medical marijuana businesses. It is a major — and controversial — milestone for patients and those who serve them. The bills now head to the governor, who is expected to sign them.
For many years, federal and state law enforcement authorities obtained warrants, raided locations, arrested compassionate business owners, took property, and jailed individuals they said violated state law. It has been clear that Michigan’s patchwork system, in which some local communities embrace businesses that state law considers illegal, needed revision. News stories involving aggressive law enforcement tactics, particularly in rural communities in Michigan, have been far too common.
Based on similar laws in other medical marijuana states, the bills passed today represent an opportunity for businesses to get much-needed legal protections. While few business owners like the idea of being subject to more regulation and greater costs, the updates to Michigan’s program were important and to some extent inevitable.


In addition to providing for state-legal dispensaries, the bills will finally allow Michigan patients to use extracts and products like oils and edibles that are made from them.

MPP thanks the National Patients Rights Association and those who support it for working so hard to help guide these changes in the best direction possible

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Medical Marijuana

Chris Christie Approves PTSD As Qualifying Condition for Medical Marijuana

September 16th, 2016 1 Comment Kate Bell
On September 14, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie signed A 457, which adds post-traumatic stress disorder to the list of qualifying conditions for the state’s medical marijuana program. Christie, who has frequently said he opposes medical marijuana, cited the large number of PTSD sufferers among military veterans as his reason for supporting the
Thank you to all of you who contacted your legislators and Gov. Christie — and to DPA’s Compassionate Use Campaign — for making this victory possible. We at MPP are thrilled that patients with PTSD, a devastating mental health condition, will be able to seek relief from medical marijuana where conventional treatments have failed. In addition, the New Jersey Department of Health is currently considering petitions to add additional qualifying conditions to the state’s program.

This law takes effect immediately, and you can find instructions on how to register as a patient here.

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Medical Marijuana

Ohio Medical Marijuana Law Takes Effect

September 9th, 2016 1 Comment Chris Lindsey
September 8 marks the first day Ohio’s medical marijuana law will be in effect, bringing new protections for qualified medical marijuana patients. Under the law’s “affirmative defense,” patients will no longer be subject to criminal conviction for possessing marijuana if they meet certain requirements. However, protections are limited, and they fall short of providing access to medical cannabis in Ohio, not expected for at least a year.MPP_OMM_horizontal green
The affirmative defense provides limited, temporary protections for patients while the formal program rolls out. Among other things, it requires a signed letter from a licensed physician, including information about the patient and the medical condition treated. Importantly, the protections do not apply to cultivation or sale of marijuana. It also does not prevent patients from being cited, it only prevents a conviction. For a closer look at what an affirmative defense is and how patients can get the protections it offers, click here.
September 8 also marks the official start date for agencies to begin writing and adopting rules for medical cannabis businesses. We are watching the process carefully to ensure the system is as workable as possible for patients.

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Medical Marijuana

Majority of Montana Medical Marijuana Patients to Lose Access

August 31st, 2016 1 Comment Chris Lindsey
The state of Montana’s nearly 12-year history with medical marijuana takes a turn for the worse on September 1, when most medical marijuana patients are expected lose legal access. After years of court challenges which delayed implementation, most of the state’s 2011 law will be in effect, severely limiting the number of people available to provide medical marijuana to patients.2000px-Montana-StateSeal.svg
Under the newly-enforced law, providers may only serve three patients — a change that state agency officials estimate could leave as many as 10,000 seriously ill patients without access. The only alternative is for patients to grow at home, which most are too ill or unable to do. It is not yet clear how many patients will be able to make the switch.
But hope is on the horizon. Voters on November 8 will have a chance to support I-182, a voter initiative that would restore access for patients and even improve the law in big ways. Among other improvements, businesses would receive state licenses to operate and critical legal protections, and medical marijuana could be tested for safety and potency. Polls indicate voters support these types of changes.
This measure comes at a critical time for patients across the state, and we applaud everyone at Montana Citizens for I-182 and those who support them for giving thousands of patients a chance.

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Medical Marijuana

Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana Draft Business Rules Released

August 31st, 2016 No Comments Becky Dansky
Since Pennsylvania’s Medical Marijuana Act (Act 16) went into effect on May 17, 2016, the Department of Health has been working to implement the new law. Thus far, it has created regulations regarding — and accepted applications for — the safe harbor letter program, which provides legal protections for those caring for minor patients when they administer medical marijuana. The department recently announced that 53 caregivers have received a letter.PA Seal
On August 18, the department released draft temporary regulations regarding growers and processors and asked for comments. The draft created a strong foundation for the final version of the rules, though it is unclear when the department will publicize the final version. MPP submitted our recommendations for strengthening the draft on August 23. It is expected that they will soon release the draft temporary regulations for dispensaries as well.
The department also announced a public survey for patients and caregivers, which allows individuals to provide input on the application process and the financial hardship program.

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