Medical Marijuana Dispensaries on the Ballot in Four Cities in CA
Patients in San Diego, California are having a tough time getting their hands on their medicine, even though medical marijuana has been legal in CA since 1996.
That’s because all of the openly operating storefronts that sell marijuana have been shut down.
In response, activists in four local cities have placed measures to authorize medical marijuana dispensaries on the November ballot.
"It’s immoral to make me choose between suffocating and doing business with a drug dealer," says Vey Linville, a medical marijuana patient who uses tinctures to treat his severe emphysema. "This is not a choice that the patient should be faced with. It’s wrong."
This November voters in Imperial Beach, Solana Beach, Del Mar and Lemon Grove will have the chance to approve medical marijuana dispensaries and bring some relief to patients in the area.
But even if these measures pass, there are no guarantees that any medical marijuana dispensaries will be allowed to operate.
That’s because U.S. Attorney Laura Duffy has been aggressive in enforcing the federal ban on marijuana. Working with the DEA and local law enforcement, she’s led the way in forcing local dispensaries to shut down.
Duffy has even gone so far as to threaten city officials in Del Mar with federal prosecution if they go through with setting up dispensaries, if the measure there passes.
Medical marijuana law takes effect in Connecticut
Are State Officials Violating Medical Marijuana Law in Michigan?
Last week a lawsuit was filed in Ingham County, Michigan Circuit Court charges that the state agency responsible for issuing Michigan's medical marijuana registry identification cards is violating the law by not properly carrying out its legal responsibilities.
The suit was filed Sept. 19 against Steven H. Hilfinger, who is the Director of the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA), and Rae Ramsdell, Director of the Bureau of Health Professions with LARA. It alleges that the Michigan Medical Marihuana Program (MMMP), which they oversee, is not acting in accordance with the state's marijuana act passed in 2008. The plaintiff in the suit is Martin Chilcutt, a U.S. Navy veteran in his late seventies, who is the founder of a group called Veterans for Medical Marijuana Access.
The lawsuit itself requests a writ of mandamus, which is a court order used to force government officials to perform their duties. Those who don't perform could be found in contempt of court.
The suit also charges that the MMMP program has not established a review panel to add new medical conditions to a list allowing qualified patients to legally use pot according to the timeline set forth in state law has not issued registry cards in a prompt manner and has failed to issue annual reports.
Attorney Thomas Lavigne filed the lawsuit against the MMMP. He said medical marijuana advocates decided to appeal to the courts after efforts to press the matter with the agency and state legislators went nowhere.
"They're failing to uphold their duty to follow the law by issuing these cards in a timely manner and their time limits have long passed. It should be a no-brainer," he said. "It's just part of a larger pattern of complete disregard for patient and caregiver rights by the state apparatus on every level."
Things have been rough for patients in Michigan since the medical marijuana law went into effect, and relations between patients and law enforcement have been strained at times. Maybe the courts can do what the politicians have failed to do.
Arkansas Supreme Court to Let Voters Decide on Medical Marijuana
The Arkansas Medical Marijuana Act – set to be on the statewide ballot in November - was recently challenged by state conservative groups that argued the ballot measure's summary was misleading and incomplete, for example, by not specifying which illnesses a person would need to have to legally obtain the drug. The groups asked the court to remove the measure from the ballot.
Arkansas Supreme Court justices rejected the argument, concluding in their opinion that the summary "informs the voters in an intelligible, honest and impartial manner" about what the measure would do.
And what would the measure do? If passed, the measure would enable people in Arkansas who have certain illnesses, such as cancer and glaucoma, to legally acquire marijuana to help relieve their symptoms. Eligible people would get a certificate to buy marijuana at dispensaries that would be set up across the state.
Arkansans for Compassionate Care is the group behind the Arkansas initiative, and they said its proposed law includes limits on the number of dispensaries selling the medicine, as well as strict controls over who is eligible to use it. Earlier this year the group gathered 120,000 signatures to put the measure on the ballot, almost double the number that state law requires.
Arkansas has the chance to become the first Bible belt state to approve medical marijuana, hopefully opening the door for medical relief to come to others in the southeast.
"Medical marijuana is not about providing health care to people," said Larry Page, executive director of Arkansas Faith and Ethics Council, a group that is part of the opposition coalition. "What's driving this is the effort to legalize marijuana for recreational use."
Not surprisingly, Larry Page is completely ignorant of what marijuana can do as a medicine, and the fact that it is a safer and less addictive alternative to the dangerous and deadly prescription drugs pushed by the pharmaceutical companies. Or, more likely, Larry Page is being paid off by Big Pharma.
Medical Marijuana Forum Hosted by Multiple Sclerosis Resources of CNY
The Multiple Sclerosis Resources (MSR) of Central New York hosted an educational forum on medical marijuana Wednesday night in East Syracuse. The forum was in support of a medical marijuana bill - AB 7347 – that was passed by the New York State Assembly this year, but that failed to gain any traction in the state Senate.
In a letter about the forum, Board President of MSR Bill Jackson writes that "it is a shame" that MS patients are forced to risk arrest to purchase drugs which help them to live and work comfortably.
"Many of our clients already are using marijuana to lessen pain, deal with spasticity and many other physical issues," wrote Jackson. "Keep in mind that MS is not the only disease that marijuana shows results in, but it can help cancer patients, those affected by AIDS, and certainly for persons at the end of life."
Dr. Sunil Kumar Aggarwal, a graduate of the University of Washington School of Medicine, spoke at the forum Wednesday night and presented his research findings on just how effective marijuana can be in helping those with MS.
Why should any patients be denied the option of medical cannabis?
Medical Marijuana Regulation and Control
This November voters in Massachusetts will decide on Question 3, a ballot measure that would legalize medical marijuana for qualified patients.
Opponents talk a lot about teen use and increased trafficking if medical marijuana passes, but their arguments 1) miss the point of regulation and control and 2) don’t even address whether medical marijuana can help people; they avoid that subject because most agree that marijuana has medicinal properties.
A pediatrician in MA wrote an email to The Boston Globe recently that sums up the issue quite well. “We know tobacco causes lung disease, worsens heart ailments, and is the leading cause of death from disease in the United States,” he writes. “We regulate it, we tax it and we allow for individual choice and its consequences.
“We know that liquor causes cirrhosis. We regulate it, we tax it, and we allow for individual choice and its consequences.
“We are involved in the legalization of gambling in Massachusetts even today. The Commonwealth benefits from it financially knowing full well what public health consequences may result.
“I won’t even talk about guns.
“In so far as medical marijuana is concerned, if revenue is an issue, here is a solution.
“If crime is an issue, here is a solution. If clinical trials are an issue, have the FDA reclassify THC. There are already more significantly more expensive, toxic and addictive pharmaceuticals approved. If quality control is an issue, this is the way to protect our population.”
The money made from marijuana prohibition for a certain few blinds many to the fact that we control other substances in a legal market and yet we don’t apply the same logic to marijuana, the safest of them all.
More and more people are waking up. It’s just a matter of time before the walls of prohibition come tumbling down.
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