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Medical Marijuana

Florida's medical marijuana proposal: Five things to know about Amendment 2

Category: Medical Marijuana | Posted on Fri, July, 25th 2014 by THCFinder
fl-mmj-proposal1) Nobody will be buying or selling pot until late 2015 or early 2016
 
Amendment 2 gives the Florida Department of Health until early July to establish regulations to make the system work. The department then has until early October to license the first Medical Treatment Centers. Until then, no one can start growing, much less selling. The first harvest might not come in until late 2015 or beyond. Regulations may forbid Treatment Centers from importing pot from other states or countries for resale. And even if Florida does allow that, postal regulations. airline rules and state laws probably would make importation impractical. Imagine a truck full of pot driving from Colorado to Florida. If it gets stopped in Arkansas, authorities will not care that the pot is legal in both Colorado and Florida. Buyers probably will have to await the first harvest.
 
2) The regulations will fill in many missing details
 
The amendment does not address the sale of medical marijuana to minors. The regulations will probably mimic other states and require parental consent, but those regulations remain to be drafted. Regulators will also decide whether caregivers can have criminal records, how much pot a patient could possess, whether Florida will honor a medical marijuana card from another state and dozens of other details. The amendment foresees that regulators will establish Treatment Center licensing fees and procedures, as well as rules about security, inventory control, testing and inspections. Local zoning laws could also come into play.
 
3) Some issues are spelled out in the amendment
 
The amendment specifically states that driving a car or boat under the influence of marijuana would remain illegal. Marijuana could still be banned from workplaces, schools and public spaces. No insurance company or government agency can be forced to cover the cost of medical marijuana.
 
4) Regulations must be "reasonable" and ensure the "availability and safe use"
 
These two phrases in the amendment could determine the outcome of any court fights over regulations or any new laws passed by the Legislature. If the Department of Health issues regulations that are too strict — say limiting counties to only one dispensary — then any citizen could sue, arguing that the regulation is unreasonable and does not ensure availability. The same would apply to new legislation that tried to restrict the system unreasonably. The amendment puts medical marijuana into the Florida Constitution, which would take precedence in any court fight over laws or regulations.
 
5) The amendment establishes new immunities
 
Doctors and Treatment Centers and their employees could not be sanctioned criminally or civilly for acting in accordance with the amendment and the regulations. Patients could not be sanctioned civilly or criminally for using medical marijuana. Opponents worry that this immunity would protect a medical marijuana user who drove under the influence and caused an accident. Proponents say the civil immunity is designed to protect patients from losing custody fights or employment actions simply because they use medical marijuana. A pot user could still be sued for driving under the influence, they say, because that is negligent behavior, whether the driver has taken a prescription drug, alcohol or medical marijuana.
 

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Research Halted on PTSD Study

Category: Medical Marijuana | Posted on Thu, July, 24th 2014 by THCFinder
research-halted-on-ptsdSuzanna Sisley used to be a professor at the University of Arizona, where she was working on four years of bureaucracy and nonsense to obtain the permission in order to conduct what was thought to be an extremely beneficial study. Sisley was getting ready to conduct the first federally approved research on the effects of cannabis on PTSD, an affliction that our veterans deal with on a constant basis. There are very few studies regarding the subject available so veterans, scientists, and marijuana activists were greatly looking forward to the study when the university terminated Sisley via letter, which stated that the researcher was getting the boot because funding was running out and because "the telemedicine program she worked with is shifting in a different direction". The school denies that Sisley was fired because state legislators opposed the work and were pressuring the school to fire her, something which the school claims wasn't happening. The spokesperson from the college said that they are trying to find someone to replace Sisley.
 
People were outraged when the story began to circulate the internet. Firing someone who was so close to conducting such an important study? Not okay. The study would've taken fifty vets, all suffering from the effects of PTSD, and tested those symptoms with different strains and smoking methods of marijuana. This study would've been the first and only controlled study of the effects that marijuana has on the illness and the fact that it's not commencing has a lot of people hanging their heads.
 
While the teacher is asking to be reinstated, Ricardo Pereyda said that ending the study is a huge disservice to military vets. Pereyda served in the Army in the Iraqi war and now suffers from the symptoms, which include serious depression, anxiety, and bad insomnia. "It allowed me to get some much needed rest and sleep," he said. "It reduced my anxiety attacks. It just allowed me to regain something that I had lost overseas during my deployment and allowed me to reconnect with people around me."
 
The process of getting funding and approval for research like this is difficult and Sisley had made it quiet far. With her termination, there is a great worry that the study will no be continued. That ominous feeling is only reinforced by a statement released by Matt Barden, a spokesperson for the Drug Enforcement Administration. He stated, "In regards to medical marijuana, the DEA of course recognizes the pain and suffering of individuals with seriously illness and their need for medication. However, the FDA has repeatedly concluded that marijuana has a high potentially for addition and no acceptable level of medical use." Unfortunately for Barden, the DEA, and the FDA, the acceptance of medical marijuana is spreading like wildfire and the pressure to conduct studies like these will only increase the longer the "War on Drugs" is dragged out.

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Illinois Legalizes Medical Marijuana For Children With Seizures

Category: Medical Marijuana | Posted on Mon, July, 21st 2014 by THCFinder
illinois-legalizes-mmj-for-children-with-seizuresJuly 20 (Reuters) - Illinois children and adults with epilepsy will soon be allowed to use marijuana to ease their symptoms under a law signed on Sunday by Democratic Governor Pat Quinn, the latest in a series of measures loosening restrictions on cannabis by U.S. states.
 
The move to add epilepsy and other seizure disorders to the list of conditions legal to treat with marijuana or its extracts comes as numerous states have made medical use of the drug legal. Two states, Colorado and Washington, have legalized its recreational use.
 
"This new law will help alleviate the suffering of many adults and children across the state," Quinn said in statement. "Epilepsy is a debilitating condition, and this much-needed relief will help to reduce some of its symptoms for those who endure seizures."
 
The Illinois law, which takes effect in January, would allow children who experience seizures to be treated with non-smokable forms of cannabis, as long as they have permission from a parent.
 
"I have a 14-year-old constituent by the name of Hugh who lives with epilepsy," said Republican state lawmaker Jim Durkin, who co-sponsored the new law. "His parents, Bob and Kelly, want to provide their son with as much relief as possible. Unfortunately, traditional medications and methods have not worked."
 
The state is putting the final touches on a broader medical marijuana plan, a tightly regulated program whose regulations were finalized just last week.
 
Residents will be allowed to apply for permission to use the drug to treat medical conditions in September, and the full program is expected to be up and running early next year, Quinn spokeswoman Katie Hickey said on Sunday.
 

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Arizona To Allow Medical Marijuana For PTSD

Category: Medical Marijuana | Posted on Fri, July, 11th 2014 by THCFinder
arizona-to-allow-mmj-for-ptsd
One of the conditions that would most benefit from the effects of marijuana is PTSD. Post traumatic stress disorder effects many of the people who are whisked overseas and fight for our freedoms... Which should include the freedom of getting the best medicine possible when they return from duty. However, that's not the case most of the time. Instead, the vets get told that they are not allowed to use a natural medicine like marijuana but instead are fed Vicodin and morphine. When vets ask for the plant, they are scorned at the VA hospital, being told that no, marijuana is still illegal.
 
Officials in Arizona, however, are beginning to think differently regarding their residents that have fought in wars. On Wednesday, the Director of the Department of Health and Services Will Humble, announced that PTSD sufferers will be able to utilize marijuana for their symptoms starting January 1st. Not only in this a great step for the vets who reside in Arizona but for marijuana advocates everywhere. Most states and laws do not recognize PTSD as a valid condition for medical marijuana and pro-potters have been trying to convince people that cannabis is extremely good for veterans and helps relieve their worst symptoms.
 
Humble published a blog post on the health department's website on Wednesday, stating, "Today, I issued a Director's Decision that will authorize the use of marijuana for patients that are currently undergoing conventional treatment for a diagnosis of PTSD. Physician certifications would be valid only for the palliative care of PTSD symptoms (not treatment). Certifying physicians will be required to attest that they have reviewed evidence documenting that the patient is currently undergoing conventional treatment for PTSD before signing the medical marijuana certification." The announcement from Humble comes as a surprise, as he previously said that there was insufficient evidence on cannabis' effects on PTSD. Humble seemed to change his mind about the subject when an administrative law judge suggested that state officials allow the use of cannabis for PTSD.
 
Those that are suffering from PTSD will be able to use the plant this January, after the state has time to work out official rules and regulations. The dispensaries also need to prepare their educational literature as well as up their stocks, as there are many people that suffer from PTSD and will probably end up needing the plant to help assist them sleep, eat, and live normally. Hopefully the new ruling will allow PTSD sufferers to get the help and treatment that they need.

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Pharmacist urges county to prepare for medical marijuana

Category: Medical Marijuana | Posted on Wed, July, 9th 2014 by THCFinder
pharmacist-medical-marijuana
Brevard County commissioners want to know how they can handle issues related to medical marijuana dispensaries, with a focus on zoning approaches for such facilities.
 
After hearing Tuesday from three speakers discussing the issue, commissioners asked county planning and development officials to do the research and report back to the commission.
 
The issue came before the commission after Satellite Beach pharmacist Eric Luzar made a citizen’s request to put it on the agenda.
 
Luzar is a founder, along with other Florida pharmacists, of Sunrise Compassionate Care, which is considering getting involved in medical marijuana dispensaries should voters in November approve the medicinal use of pot,as well as related to a recently passed state law.
 
Luzar said he and pharmacists from Fort Lauderdale, Naples and St. Petersburg have formed a business venture to open medical marijuana dispensaries around the state, if permitted by state regulations. Locally, he said, potential sites could be on Merritt Island and in Palm Bay.
 
Luzar told commissioners he believes such dispensaries should have pharmacists involved in dispensing the marijuana.
 
Additionally, he said, the County Commission needs to decide how it wants to set up zoning rules for such dispensaries, such as hours of operation; restrictions on on-site consumption; how far away they should be from schools, churches or residentially zoned property.
 
Initially, the state will have dispensaries tied to a recently passed law allowing the use of a special strain of marijuana that is supposed to eliminate or dramatically reduce life-threatening seizures in children with severe epilepsy. The law also allows patients who suffer from severe muscle spasms or cancer to be put on a “compassionate-use registry” for the product, as long as their doctors approve.
 
Florida’s law, known as the Compassionate Medical Cannabis Act of 2014, restricts legal marijuana to strains that are low in euphoria-inducing tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, and high in cannabadiol, or CBD.
 
The bill allows physicians to start ordering this marijuana for medical use by their eligible patients on Jan. 1.
 

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New York legalizes medical marijuana

Category: Medical Marijuana | Posted on Tue, July, 8th 2014 by THCFinder
medical-marijuana-approved-in-ny
(CNN) -- New York became the latest state to permit the use of medical marijuana on Monday.
 
At a news conference in New York City, Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed the Compassionate Care Act, which allows doctors to prescribe marijuana in a nonsmokable form to patients with serious ailments that are recognized by the state on a predefined but flexible list of conditions.
 Dr. Gupta: I agree with Clinton on pot 'Doubling down' on medical marijuana City council: Free pot for homeless
 
The bill was passed by the State Assembly and Senate in June, said Jason Elan, a spokesman for Sen. Diane Savino, a sponsor of the bill.
 
Cuomo said Monday that it was difficult to develop and pass the bill because it needed to embrace increased medical acceptance of marijuana while rejecting situations and conditions that state legislators said could have "good intent and bad results."
"There is no doubt that medical marijuana can help people," Cuomo said Monday. "We are here to help people. And if there is a medical advancement, then we want to make sure that we're bringing it to New Yorkers."
 
Senate Co-Leader Jeffrey D. Klein said the "patient-centric program" will provide relief to thousands of people and will be "one of the safest, most tightly regulated medical marijuana programs in the country."
The legalization of medical marijuana has had "overwhelming support" in state polls, State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver has said in a statement.
 
'I like weed and I'm a good person': Pot smokers fight stereotypes
 
Cuomo has said the act included criminal penalties in case a person tries to defraud the system, as well as a "fail safe" mechanism allowing the governor to "suspend the program at any time on recommendation of either the State Police Superintendent or the Commissioner of Health if there is a risk to the public health or public safety."
 
New York will be the 23rd state, along with the District of Columbia, to allow medical marijuana in some form, according to information compiled by the National Conference of State Legislatures.
Among the states that allow medical marijuana are Connecticut, Vermont and New Jersey, each of which borders New York.
 
The momentum has picked up recently, with most of these efforts taking effect over the past decade.
 
Read more: http://www.cnn.com

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