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PTSD added to list of qualifying conditions for medical marijuana treatment

Category: Medical Marijuana | Posted on Sun, June, 30th 2013 by THCFinder
ptsd-issuesAUGUSTA, Maine — A bill adding post-traumatic stress disorder as a qualifying condition for the prescription of medical marijuana quietly became law on Wednesday without Gov. Paul LePage’s signature.
 
The bill, sponsored by Rep. Elizabeth Dickerson, D-Rockland, amends the Maine Medical Use of Marijuana Act to add post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), inflammatory bowel disease and other illnesses to the list of conditions for which a physician may prescribe medical marijuana.
 
The new law takes effect late September.
 
Dickerson said Friday that she sponsored the bill at the request of a number of veterans, one of whom told her he would rather use medical marijuana than something like Prozac.
 
Paul McCarrier, legislative liaison for Medical Marijuana Caregivers of Maine, said the change will help veterans and patients in Maine access “their medicine of choice” and will help physicians and others gather data about how medical marijuana can help veterans with PTSD.
 
The original bill received “quite a bit of pushback” from the Maine Medical Association, McCarrier said, because it contained language that would have added treatment of opioid or other pharmaceutical dependence, as well as “any other medical condition or its treatment as determined by a physician.”
 
Gordon Smith of the Maine Medical Association said that language was just one aspect of the bill that made many MMA member physicians uncomfortable.
 
“We had quite a fight with a few legislators who were very bothered by [our opposition] and asked, ‘Don’t we trust the doctors?’” Smith said. “I said, ‘No, not all 4,000 of them, no. We really feel there would be a weak link that would be utilized to just support the recreational use of marijuana.”
 

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Category: Medical Marijuana | Posted on Fri, June, 28th 2013 by THCFinder

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NJ Marijuana Patients Now At 1000 But Most Just Wait

Category: Medical Marijuana | Posted on Thu, June, 27th 2013 by THCFinder
newjersey-mmj-patientsWithout fanfare, the NJ Health Dept. reported last week that 1,000 patients are now registered to receive medical marijuana. It's hardly a milestone.
 
 Due to a shortage of dispensaries and several delays in the state program, only about 130  patients have actually been able to buy cannabis. Many patients are upset.  Medical marijuana was legalized three-and-one-half years ago for compassionate use.  
 
Only patients with serious illnesses and diseases, including terminal cancer, AIDS, epilepsy, and MS, qualify for its use, but they still cannot get it. One patient, a former corrections officer, has sued the state for the delays, claiming he is suffering while the state imposes restrictive regulations that he says led to the opening of only one dispensary. That dispensary only sells to North Jersey patients and has said it is overwhelmed by the demand.  Eighteen other states and the District of Columbia have legalized the drug for sick people.  
 
According to ProCon, a non-profit dedicated to data-collection and research on social issues, there were about 1 million marijuana patients nationwide, as of last December, including 4,466 in Rhode Island and 107,666 in Colorado.  
 
At that time, New Jersey had 239 registered patients.  There is no break-down on how many have actually been able to purchase cannabis, nationwide, but New Jersey regulations are the strictest in the country. 
 

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Maine Adopts Law Allowing Medical Marijuana for PTSD

Category: Medical Marijuana | Posted on Thu, June, 27th 2013 by THCFinder
ptsdAUGUSTA, ME – Maine residents suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) will soon be allowed to treat their symptoms with medical marijuana if their doctors recommend it. A bill adding PTSD to the list of qualifying conditions for medical marijuana, LD 1062, became law Tuesday without the governor’s signature.
 
A similar measure was signed into law earlier this month in Oregon, and medical marijuana is currently allowed in the treatment of PTSD in California, Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, and New Mexico.
 
“There is mounting evidence demonstrating the benefits of medical marijuana for individuals suffering from PTSD,” said David Boyer, Maine political director for the Marijuana Policy Project. “Maine lawmakers should be commended for taking action to ensure veterans and others living with PTSD are able to use medical marijuana to alleviate their symptoms and live healthy and productive lives. They deserve nothing less.
 
“A growing number of states are beginning to consider allowing the use of medical marijuana in the treatment of PTSD,” Boyer said. We hope they will move forward and follow the example that has been set by Maine and other states.”
 
Research and anecdotal evidence have concluded that medical marijuana can alleviate common symptoms of PTSD, such as anxiety and traumatic memories. The federal government has blocked efforts to conduct clinical trials exploring the potential benefits of medical marijuana in the treatment of the condition.
 
There are approximately 7.7 million American adults suffering from PTSD, according to the National Institute of Mental Health.
 

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Oregon House votes to legalize medical marijuana dispensaries

Category: Medical Marijuana | Posted on Wed, June, 26th 2013 by THCFinder
oregon-medical-dispensariesSALEM, Ore. (AP) — The Oregon House took a step toward legalizing medical marijuana dispensaries on Monday as lawmakers narrowly approved a bill that would license and regulate retail outlets that connect marijuana cardholders with the drug.
 
Under existing law, the state's nearly 55,000 medical marijuana cardholders must grow the pot themselves or find a person to grow it for them. The bill would give cardholders another option: purchasing their medicine from state-regulated medical marijuana retail outlets.
 
House Bill 3460, which passed 31-27, would require dispensaries to register with the state medical marijuana program and meet certain quality standards. The bill next goes to the Senate, which could vote on it later this week.
 
The bill sparked a hearty debate among lawmakers Monday.
 
Critics said it doesn't do enough to stop what they see as abuses of the state's medical marijuana program.
 
Rep. Andy Olson, an Albany Republican and former Oregon State Police lieutenant, said the bill lacks teeth to crack down on facilities that don't comply with the new regulations.
 
"I'm a major advocate for those who are in need of marijuana as a medicine," he said. "I am opposed to the abuse."
 
Olson said he wanted to craft a new bill for the 2014 Legislature to consider that would address his concerns.
 
Rep. Peter Buckley, an Ashland Democrat and a chief sponsor of the bill, acknowledged that the state's medical marijuana program has problems, but said the bill was never meant to be a panacea.
 
"This bill focuses on one thing: safe access to medical marijuana for people who are legally qualified to access medical marijuana," Buckley said.
 
Emphasizing this point, Rep. Mitch Greenlick, D-Portland, told lawmakers: "This bill does not fight Mexican cartels. The bill doesn't solve hunger in Oregon. The bill doesn't help the Blazers win the championship. The bill does a simple thing."
 
Greenlick said the bill is intended to create an easy, safe way for users to obtain the drug from dispensaries.
 

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Let States Legalize Marijuana, U.S. Conference of Mayors Tells Feds

Category: Medical Marijuana | Posted on Wed, June, 26th 2013 by THCFinder
us-mayors-obamaIt has been seven and a half months since residents of Colorado and Washington voted to legalize marijuana, and so far the Obama administration has not responded in any substantive way, although Attorney General Eric Holder keeps promising a policy statement "soon." Yesterday the U.S. Conference of Mayors, meeting in Las Vegas, weighed in on the side of federalism, unanimously endorsing a resolution declaring that "states and localities should be able to set whatever marijuana policies work best to improve the public safety and health of their communities."
 
Accordingly, the mayors say "federal laws, including the Controlled Substance Act, should be amended to explicitly allow states to set their own marijuana policies without federal interference." Until that can be accomplished, the mayors urge President Obama to "reexamine the priorities of federal agencies to prevent the expenditure of resources on actions that undermine the duly enacted marijuana laws of states." The Respect State Marijuana Laws Act of 2013, introduced by Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.) in April,  would take the decision away from Obama administration by barring federal prosecution of people who grow, possess, transport, or sell marijuana in compliance with state laws. 
 
The mayors' resolution also directly criticizes marijuana prohibition as "costly and ineffective," saying it enriches violent criminals, results in racially disproportionate arrests, and diverts resources from "programs that more effectively serve the public and keep our cities safe from serious and violent crime." It suggests that decriminalization can allow states to "more effectively and responsibly control marijuana use and sales among adults in their jurisdictions in a way that reduces costs and crime and improves public health and safety." And it notes that polls indicate most Americans, including opponents of legalization, believe the federal government should not try to stop states from making that policy choice.
 
In a similar expression of deference to state voters' choices, Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), who opposed Washington's legalization initiative in November, last week joined other members of her state's congressional delegation in signing a letter urging Holder to leave state-legal marijuana businesses unmolested. 
 

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