Veterans Told NO Again on Medical Marijuana
While many used this past Memorial Day weekend to honor our fallen soldiers and reflect on the sacrifices they made for us, the Drug Czar was busy lecturing surviving veterans about why they aren’t allowed medical marijuana to treat Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and other ailments.
The veterans’ group asked the White House specifically to "allow United States Disabled Military Veterans access to medical marijuana to treat their PTSD."
WH Response: https://wwws.whitehouse.gov/
The group put out a press release today detailing their disappointment with the White House’s response. “The White House response to our petition was very disappointing,” it read in part. “We asked for a change in policy. To have our petition answered by the drug czar, an ex-policeman, is most inappropriate given the drug czar is bound by law to ONLY discuss current law and has no power to discuss policy change with the public. Even the lowest ranking staffer at the White House or anyone from the Veterans Health Authority would have been more appropriate.
“Al Byrne, retired Naval Officer and co-founder of VMCA, was blunt in his assessment of the White House concern for injured Veterans:
“’Vets have used cannabis for PTS since the Revolutionary War. We know what we need and to be told by our President, the Commander in Chief, that he does not care about those he has sent to war by denying medicine to the wounded is unconscionable.’”
If the federal government can treat so many sick people with disregard, it’s little surprise that they have no compassion for our veterans as well.
Medical marijuana will never be fully accessible in the country without major federal policy changes. And that means a lot of political changes, in the White House and in Congress. There is still a long road to travel.
So-Called "Cannabis Capsules" in Multiple Sclerosis Study Only Contain THC
A new study out of Great Britain about the effects of cannabis on Multiple Sclerosis tries to portray a major defeat for medical marijuana opponents when all it really does is show the flaws of the study itself.
The large study out of Britain, funded by Britain's Medical Research Council, shows a failure of a single chemical in cannabis – tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) – to work better than a placebo for MS patients. However, anyone with even the most rudimentary knowledge of cannabis knows it contains dozens of chemicals, including one that has to be included in any study of medical cannabis, CBD.
The second most common cannabinoid found in cannabis, CBD or cannabidiol, has been shown in many instances to be a powerful anti-inflammatory as well as being an effective medicine for anxiety, convulsions, and nausea and has even been shown to reduce the growth of cancer cells (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cannabidiol). Yet these researchers didn’t bother to include it in the study.
As many know, THC does have some medical benefits, but CBD and other cannabinoids are emerging as medical powerhouses in their own right. THC is the psychoactive chemical in cannabis that produces euphoria, among other feelings.
Whether you believe in creationism or evolution or some other form of intelligent design, cannabis is the way it is for a reason. Each chemical interacts with the others in special ways that have produced amazing results. This is why the synthetic drug Marinol fails for so many people, because it only contains THC.
If you’re not going to study all of the chemicals in cannabis, why bother? Medical marijuana patients get relief from the full range of cannabinoids, not by extracting certain ingredients.
David Nutt, professor of neuropsychopharmacology at Imperial College London, says this study is just the beginning. "It would be wrong to interpret these preliminary findings to mean that cannabis does not achieve its licensed use. Cannabis is not licensed for limiting disease progression, it is licensed for dealing with spasticity and pain," he said.
Either way, “cannabis” wasn’t studied, THC was.
Medical Marijuana Helping Sick Kids in Michigan
There are currently 44 people under the age of 18 with medical marijuana cards in Michigan. Three of them are even under the age of 10.
This has been described as controversial, but kids are put on anti-depression and anti-anxiety medication all the time. Millions of kids take ADHD medication every day. So where is the controversy with kids and prescription pills? Marijuana is a non-toxic plant yet suicidal thoughts are a side effect of every depression medication there is.
Consider the case of 14 year-old Cooper Brown. He suffers from epilepsy and his mother – fed up with the inconsistency and dangerous side effects of every prescription epilepsy medication they tried – turned to medical marijuana.
So Rebecca Brown is considered controversial. Yet her son has dramatically less seizures now that he is being medicated with cannabis edibles. What exactly is controversial about that?
Doctors say the lack of clinical trials is a problem, but when you are a desperate mother watching your child suffer from drugs that have plenty of “clinical” trials behind them, you may begin to wonder if the FDA has any idea what it’s talking about.
Rebecca Brown doesn’t have time to wait for the federal government and the FDA to stop playing politics and approve medical marijuana. Her son suffers daily, or at least he did so before she began medicating him with cannabis.
"This isn't something we entered into lightly," Rebecca said. "I've done a lot of reading and a lot of research. I have everything tested.
"I am not a pot smoker and never in a million years thought of trying this," she said. "But when your child is suffering and you feel desperate, you consider things you may not have before.
"Parents, when their kids are healthy, they take it for granted."
And when their kids aren’t healthy, parents take action – or at least they should. Rebecca Brown took action, and her son is better for it.
Montana Supreme Court to Hear Medical Marijuana Appeals This Week
Starting Wednesday morning the Montana Supreme Court will begin hearing oral arguments in two separate appeals of a 2011 law that severely restricted medical marijuana access in the state, one appeal by the Montana Cannabis Industry Association and one by the state of Montana.
The state is appealing whether the District Court Judge James Reynolds was wrong to block the law’s ban on medical marijuana cardholders compensating providers for marijuana products and its limit that a provider can provide pot for a maximum of three cardholders. The MCIA is appealing the same judge’s ruling that denied a preliminary injunction against the enforcement of the entire 2011 Medical Marijuana Act as the Cannabis Industry had sought instead of just the five sections he blocked.
As many of you know, the medical marijuana industry has been decimated in Montana with over 90% of caregivers eliminated, thanks to federal crackdowns and state Senate Bill 423, which destroyed much of the 2004 MMJ law that was approved by voters.
Lawyers for the MCIA called SB 423 “an unconstitutional broadside on the rights of Montanans” and said in the brief the filed in their appeal that “The central problem with the act… is that it is calculated to deny all reasonable access to medical marijuana” and it seeks “to choke off access to medical marijuana for those in need by eliminating caregiver producers.”
Attorneys for the state say that commercially selling marijuana is illegal under federal and state law.
Arguments are expected to begin at 9:30 am local time in a case that will likely decide Montana medical marijuana law for some time to come. Hopefully patients have their access restored. Lawyers for the state can strut around all they want talking about their version of “the law,” but all they are really doing is hurting sick people.
Recall Elections in Wisconsin Could Pave the Way for Medical Marijuana
The June 5th recall elections of several Republicans could remove some major opponents of medical cannabis in Wisconsin.
Governor Scott Walker is an opponent of medical cannabis, saying “Federal law still classifies marijuana as a Schedule 1 narcotic and I believe state law should reflect this as well," when asked if he supported medicinal marijuana.
Lt. Governor Rebecca Kleefisch is a former cancer patient and still opposes medical marijuana.
Four Republican State Senators are also facing recall, including State Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, who is a longtime opponent of MMJ. Most of his constituents supported a medical marijuana bill in the legislature a couple years ago, according to records.
State Senators Pam Galloway and Terry Moulton are also opposed to MMJ and are facing recall.
No matter what happens with the others, if Governor Walker remains in office there is no chance for medical marijuana to become legal in Wisconsin, as the legislature doesn’t have enough votes to override his veto.
If things go well in Wisconsin next month, it could help send a major message to politicians across the country. Medical marijuana is overwhelmingly popular is every state and nationwide. Those hoping to secure elected office should assess how out of touch they are with voters on the MMJ issue.
The Jacki Rickert Medical Marijuana Act (JRMMA) languished in the state legislature in 2009 and 2010, and all of the officials listed above opposed it publicly, and they are being opposed in the recall elections by mostly JRMMA supporters. So medical marijuana is likely to play a key role in the minds of voters on June 5th.
The feelings of elected officials need to be brought into line with those who are voting for them. Which means many elected officials need to lose their jobs.
9th Circuit Court Rules MMJ Not Protected By Americans with Disabilities Act
Costa Mesa and Lake Forest, California have been trying to ban medical marijuana dispensaries for several years and today the 9th Circuit court agreed with the cities, saying that medical marijuana use wasn’t protected by the Federal Americans with Disabilities Act.
Several patients had filed suit in federal court trying to overturn the bans, seeking relief from the government under the ADA. "We recognize that the plaintiffs are gravely ill, and that their request for ADA relief implicates not only their right to live comfortably, but also their basic human dignity," Judge Raymond Fisher wrote for the majority. "We also acknowledge that California has embraced marijuana as an effective treatment for individuals like the plaintiffs who face debilitating pain. Congress has made clear, however, that the ADA defines 'illegal drug use' by reference to federal, rather than state, law, and federal law does not authorize the plaintiffs' medical marijuana use. We therefore necessarily conclude that the plaintiffs' medical marijuana use is not protected by the ADA."
In other words, marijuana’s illegality under the federal Controlled Substances Act means there is really nothing patients can do to protect themselves, from the feds or even from their own city. Which means the battle over federal marijuana policy continues. Until federal laws are changed, there is nothing a state can really do to allow medical cannabis.
There was one small ray of hope in the 9th Circuit’s decision as Judge Marsha Berzon dissented from their opinion, saying, "Looking at the language of § 12210(d)(1) alone, I would come out where the majority does - concluding that the statute is ambiguous," she wrote. "But unlike the majority, I would not declare a near-draw. Instead, looking at the words alone, I would conclude that the plaintiffs have much the better reading, but not by enough to be comfortable that their interpretation is surely correct. Turning then to the legislative history, I would again declare the plaintiffs the winner, this time sufficiently, when combined with the language considerations, to adopt their interpretation, absent some very good reason otherwise. And I am decidedly not convinced that the majority's facile 'trump' via the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) works, because, among other reasons, the supposed tension relied upon does not exist."
Small hope indeed as the onslaught against medical marijuana continues on all government levels across the country.
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