Cost of Medical Marijuana can be Deducted from Income for Food Stamp Eligibility in Oregon
While some states want to test food stamp recipients for marijuana and kick them off the rolls if they test positive, the state of Oregon actually lets medical marijuana patients deduct their medicine from their income when determining eligibility for food stamps.
In Oregon, seniors and those who qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance to deduct medical costs such as prescription drugs when submitting income information to see if they are eligible for food stamps.
"Medical marijuana gets treated just like any other prescription drug," said Gene Evans, spokesman for the Oregon Department of Human Services.
Included in “medical marijuana costs” are the fees for obtaining a state-issued medical marijuana card, expenses incurred while growing marijuana and the costs of purchasing it from another grower.
But of course the federal government does not condone such practices.
"No state may deduct the cost of any substance considered illegal under federal law, including medical marijuana," the U.S. Department of Agriculture wrote in response to the Oregonian. "Although there may be state or local laws that permit the cultivation, prescription, and sale of marijuana for medicinal purposes, such activity is not permitted under federal law."
Medical marijuana growers in Oregon can also get reduced fees if they can prove they are on foodstamps.
It seems Maine and New Mexico both have similar language in their medical cannabis laws when it comes to the deduction of medical marijuana expenses.
This is still a very new concept of course, but someday marijuana will be treated like any other medication across the country. After all, why should you get to deduct Percocet or Valium expenses and not marijuana if you are a legal patient in your state?
It’s time to stop discrimination of medical marijuana patients.
Company in Israel Develops Cannabis Plant without the High
Tikun Olam, a company in Israel, has developed a marijuana plant that has no THC in it. For some medical marijuana patients, the “high” that comes from THC is not needed, or even wanted. It depends on their ailment(s).
While there are over 60 cannabinoids in the marijuana plant, one in particular has been shown to have multiple medical properties, including an anti-inflammatory effect. That chemical is Cannabidiol, or CBD.
"CBD plants are available in different forms all over the world," said Zack Klein, head of development at Tikun Olam, adding that the company's plant is free of THC and very high in CBD. He says they have developed Avidekel, a cannabis strain that contains 15.8 % CBD and only traces of THC, less than 1%.
According to Raphael Mechoulam, a professor of medicinal chemistry at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, this is the first non-THC strain developed in Israel. "It is possible that (Avidekel's) CBD to THC ratio is the highest among medical marijuana companies in the world, but the industry is not very organized, so one cannot keep exact track of what each company is doing," he said.
Ruth Gallily of the Hebrew University who works for the company and has been studying CBD for more than 12 years, says, "The cannabis plant, enriched with CBD, can be used for treating diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, colitis, liver inflammation, heart disease and diabetes."
Marijuana with no THC can be very helpful to people who have a lot of stuff to do during the day, but don’t want to be high or in pain.
Cannabis is an incredibly versatile plant, and we have only seen part of what it can do. If the government would just get out of the way, marijuana could be helping so many people.
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