Medical Marijuana

Two medical marijuana initiatives qualify for Los Angeles ballot

Category: Medical Marijuana | Posted on Thu, January, 3rd 2013 by THCFinder
The city clerk in Los Angeles Wednesday said a second medical marijuana initiative had gathered the necessary 41,138 signatures to qualify for the May ballot.
The initiative would permit only the medical marijuana dispensaries that existed before the city’s 2007 moratorium – or about 100 pot shops. Many in the organized medical marijuana community, including the Greater Los Angeles Collective Alliance and Americans for Safe Access, back this measure.
“The Los Angeles City Council can put politics and bickering aside and adopt an ordinance instead, like this initiative," said Yami Bolanos, president of the GLACA. "It’s time to finally do the right thing for the patients of Los Angeles.” 
Significantly, this measure also has the support of the powerful United Food and Commercial Workers Union, which wants to organize pot shop workers.
“Our initiative will guarantee safe access to medical cannabis for those suffering from debilitating and painful diseases and conditions, while at the same time enforcing the rule of law and protecting neighborhoods," said Rick Icaza, President of UFCW Local 770. 
The union, GLACA, and other medical marijuana groups are part of the Committee to Protect Patients and Neighborhoods – the group that sponsored the initiative. Icaza urged the City Council to adopt the initiative rather than place it on the ballot, which the council can do.
But the City Council, which has struggled to regulate dispensaries for years, has been working on a new ordinance. In addition, it must consider a second initiative that has qualified for the ballot.
It would allow most of the city’s hundreds of pot shops to remain open, as long as they abide by certain regulations. Those regulations include operating a certain distance away from schools and parks and requiring operators to undergo background checks.
The initiatives come as the federal government is in the midst of a crackdown on L.A. area pot shops. The local U.S. Attorney has issued more than 70 cease and desist orders and has threatened to issue more.
It’s unclear whether the Obama Administration will continue with that strategy as political winds change. Voters in the states of Colorado and Washington legalized marijuana in November.


Evicted for Smoking Medicinal Marijuana?

Category: Medical Marijuana | Posted on Thu, January, 3rd 2013 by THCFinder

James Cerda, a 64-year-old Goleta man, claims he’s being evicted from his apartment — owned by the Santa Barbara County Housing Authority — because he smokes medicinal marijuana to deal with post-traumatic stress. Cerda says the Housing Authority recently imposed new no-smoking rules in his apartment complex, located on Magnolia Avenue. Cerda said he received an eviction notice within the past month and has vowed to fight it.


He said he told housing authority officials years ago that he had a medical marijuana recommendation. Cerda said he spent six years in the military, two of which were served in Alaska. A graduate of UCSB and onetime county social service worker, Cerda said he’s lived in his current apartment complex — off and on — for more than 10 years. Because of holiday schedules, no one from the Housing Authority was available to comment. The Santa Barbara City Housing Authority, however, does not — as a policy or practice — seek to evict tenants who consume medical marijuana.



What's packed in your Joint?

Category: Medical Marijuana | Posted on Tue, January, 1st 2013 by THCFinder


Vaporizer makes using marijuana less harmful

Category: Medical Marijuana | Posted on Mon, December, 31st 2012 by THCFinder
When using Medical marijuana keep in mind MMJ can be consumed by using a vaporizer, readily available over the Internet at your local head shop and even at some local Dispensaries, which is a device that passes air heated to 325 to 350 degrees over dried marijuana. This allows the active compounds, THC and other healthy (''non-high'' producing) compounds such as cannabadiol and cannabinol, to be inhaled without burning the plant cellulose, which ignites at 451degrees. 
Other advantages of using a vaporizer are that much less material need be used and the active compounds are not partially destroyed by burning. This is an example of the public health concept of harm reduction and supports the argument to legalize marijuana. 


Massachusetts Medical Marijuana Market

Category: Medical Marijuana | Posted on Fri, December, 28th 2012 by THCFinder
During those few hours on November 29 when the power went out and Cambridge went dark, 200 people stood in the cold outside the Cambridge Community Center to hear two lawyers, Christian Sederberg and Brian Vicente, talk about medical marijuana, which becomes legal in Massachusetts in January.
Sederberg and Vicente were in town to promote the opening of the Boston office of their Colorado law firm, Vicente Sederberg—to explain, in other words, how the new law works, and to establish themselves as experts who can help their clients seize the business opportunities that will come with medical marijuana. They’ve been through this before, they told the crowd, adding that even though the state regulations for dispensaries haven’t been written yet, they know how to prepare an effective application for a permit to open a medical-marijuana dispensary—35 of which were authorized in last November’s ballot initiative.
What’s in it for the lawyers? “When everyone’s in the gold rush,” Sederberg said, “it’s good to be in the picks-and-shovels business.”
Sederberg and Vicente aren’t alone in sensing that there’s money to be made. “For nearly 40 years,” says Richard Evans, a Northampton attorney, “I never made a dime for my advocacy for the repeal of marijuana prohibition, unless you count the 20 bucks the guy at the hemp store knocked off the price of the shoes I bought.” But now Evans and his law partner, Michael Cutler, are talking to clients who are interested in spending up to $2 million to open and operate dispensaries. Then there’s Bruce Bedrick, the CEO of both the Arizona-based consulting and technology firm Medbox, and Kind Clinics, a turnkey medical-marijuana dispensary that recently opened an office in Natick. He’s consulting on the permitting process, and also grouping together clients with less money to put into partnerships (the minimum is $25,000).
The first dispensary probably won’t open until late 2013 or early 2014, but the market is already here. “A hundred-thousand patients for a state this size would not be unrealistic,” Bedrick says. And it’s only going to get bigger, he says, especially in the ultimate growth scenario: marijuana that’s regulated and taxed for recreational use. “This is going to generate a boon to the economy,” Bedrick says. “It will grow and grow.”


Medical-marijuana caregivers: a growing need

Category: Medical Marijuana | Posted on Thu, December, 27th 2012 by THCFinder
In his Oxford shirts and slacks, Gary still looks like the network engineer he used to be. But his current occupation is far from average. He lives in Maine with his wife, two older children, and nearly three dozen cannabis plants.
Gary is one of hundreds of medical-marijuana caregivers registered in his state, legally permitted to cultivate cannabis and sell it to up to five patients. As Massachusetts joins Maine and 16 other states in legalizing medical marijuana, there's much speculation about how our Department of Public Health will regulate dispensaries. But caregiver crops like the one in Gary's basement will be flowering throughout the Commonwealth by DPH's May 1 deadline.
Gary asked me not to publish his last name. He says he keeps his business on the DL, partly because of the social stigma tied to growing and selling marijuana, but primarily out of fear of being robbed.
"It's completely normal and legal [on a state level], but it's still a dark art," he says. "I still sing in the choir at church," he adds, "but my church doesn't know what I do."
Because he can't advertise directly, Gary found his patients through an online network called the Compassionate Caregivers of Maine, a nonprofit organization that helps medical-marijuana patients connect with caregivers. The service plays a crucial role in a state where medical marijuana is legal but dispensaries are limited, a situation Massachusetts medical-marijuana patients will soon find themselves in.
That's why last week, the CCM launched the Compassionate Caregivers of Massachusetts website,, which mirrors the Maine network's online model in anticipation of our medical-marijuana measure going into effect on January 1.



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