Michigan Supreme Court Says States MMJ Law Shields Patients from Prosecution
On Thursday the Michigan Supreme Court ruled that the state’s medical cannabis law shields patients from prosecution by state authorities.
The court said that the law showed voters’ "intent to permit both registered and unregistered patients to assert medical reasons for using marijuana as a defense to any prosecution involving marijuana."
"That's the way we wrote it," said Karen O'Keefe, an attorney with The Marijuana Policy Project, the group that spearheaded Michigan’s medical marijuana maw in 2008.
The ruling basically states that anyone with a doctor’s recommendation for medical marijuana before their arrest on marijuana-related offenses can use medical marijuana as a defense, even if they are not registered with the state.
Those of you who live in Michigan or have followed the progress of their medical marijuana laws knows that a lot of patients are being helped but that oftentimes the relationship between medical cannabis providers and state law enforcement has been contentious at best.
This new ruling may only be a small distinction to some, but if you have a doctor’s recommendation in Michigan it can be a very big deal. The essence of medical marijuana laws are their function as a shield for medical marijuana patients from regular cannabis laws. While this does nothing to change federal law, medical marijuana patients will come into contact with state and local law enforcement much more often than they will see a DEA agent.
And in the end all positive steps in marijuana law reform should be celebrated. Some will say that the pace of change is slow, but so to was the pace of prohibition. Marijuana became nationally illegal in the 1930’s but it took a few decades before law enforcement started cracking heads over it.
The road back to legality will be long, but as long as progress is always made the success of the ultimate goal is inevitable.
Medical marijuana legalized in Connecticut
Florida Seniors for Medical Marijuana
In just about any poll you see on marijuana legalization, the age group least in favor of it are senior citizens. And yet, as former federal prisoner Robert Platshorn points out, they are often in the most need of it.
Platshorn served nearly 30 years in prison on federal drug charges, and since getting out four years ago, he's been promoting medical marijuana use to seniors in Florida in his “Silver Tour.” He contends that medical marijuana legalization is a done deal in Florida once seniors are on board, and that’s a likely scenario.
As with anything, the key to winning over seniors is information. Many never heard of marijuana growing up and what they found out later in life about it was likely government propaganda. And as they learn more, they begin to see the truth. They were lied to and now is there chance to learn and benefit from an amazing plant.
Everyone deserves to have the option of medical cannabis to help with their ailments. And since seniors generally have more ailments than those younger than them, it makes sense that they should be informed about this natural, non-toxic medicine that was kept from them for so long.
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.
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