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Medical Marijuana

D.C. Bill Lets Doctors Decide Medical Marijuana Patient Needs

Category: Medical Marijuana | Posted on Mon, April, 14th 2014 by THCFinder
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On Tuesday, Yvette Alexander, District of Columbia Council member for Ward 7, introduced the Medical Marijuana Expansion Amendment Act of 2014. The bill would amend the previous qualifying conditions list restricting D.C. patients’ access to medical marijuana. Currently, a doctor can only recommend medical marijuana for four conditions (HIV/AIDS, glaucoma, cancer, and multiple sclerosis).
 
Marijuana has been found to help treat a wide variety of conditions beyond those that qualify a patient for the D.C. program.  Alexander’s bill would strike out the qualifying conditions list altogether and permit the physician to make the decision as to whether or not medical marijuana would benefit a patient. This way, doctors wouldn’t have to be constrained by politics or wait for government officials to pass laws every time new benefits are discovered.
 
According to an NBC Washington report, all 13 Council members are in favor of this amendment. Even the Health Department Director, Joxel Gracia, testified that recommending medical marijuana should be up to doctors instead of government officials.
 
D.C.’s prohibitive medical marijuana laws have been largely ineffective, only protecting about 250 patients of the estimated 40,000 eligible patients living in the District since the current law went into effect in 2013. However, the bill would amend neither the rules governing the heavily regulated process by which a patient acquires a medical marijuana card, nor the rules controlling cultivation and distribution
 
Hearings on the new medical marijuana bill are likely to begin in early May of this year, with a vote following soon after.
 

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Group Pushes To End Oklahoma's Ban On Medical Marijuana

Category: Medical Marijuana | Posted on Fri, April, 11th 2014 by THCFinder
end-mmj-banTULSA, Oklahoma - An Oklahoma group is taking a step toward legalizing medical marijuana in the state. Oklahomans for Health will file an application for petition with the Secretary of State Friday, hoping to put the legalization of medical marijuana up for a statewide vote.
"The time is right now in Oklahoma to really get this going," said Oklahomans for Health chairman, Chip Paul.
 
Paul said the non-profit group has made it easy for lawmakers, by drafting a proposal to legalize marijuana for medical purposes.
 
"We've done a lot of research in other states -- what worked, what didn't, what's the most effective way, from a state perspective, to manage this and we've put that language in this initiative, so it should be a very easy thing for the state of Oklahoma to manage," Paul said.
 
Oklahoma's current ban on medical marijuana for medical purposes has some families so desperate that they're leaving the state, like little Jaqie Angel Warrior and her family.
 
Jaqie's mom, Brittany Hardy, said her daughter has the name of fighter.
 
"For a very strong little baby, she's the strongest soul I've ever met in life," said Hardy.
 
Jaqie is living with a very rare and potentially deadly form of epilepsy. At 20 months old, she's already been hospitalized 25 times and has up to 150 seizures a day.
 
"Every day that she's able to wake up and live through these seizures is another miracle and I'm tired of gambling with her life here in this state," Hardy said.
 
Her mom said Jaqie has tried every anti-seizure drug allowed in Oklahoma, with no success and no relief.
 
"She deserves some peace, she deserves her suffering to end, Oklahoma will never provide her that, not right now anyway," said Hardy. "She doesn't deserve to have to suffer just because of her zip code."
 
Hardy said Jaqie's doctor agrees, the little girl's only hope is medical marijuana.
 
So on Saturday, Jaqie, along with her mom, dad and three sisters, are packing up and moving to Colorado, where medical marijuana is legal.
 
"As parents, we refuse to let seizures come in and steal our baby," Hardy said. "At this point, we have no other option."
 
Its stories, like Jaqie's, that have moved Oklahomans for Health to push the state to lift its ban on medical marijuana.
 
"Literally, you could go to the Oklahoma State Penitentiary for treating your cancer with marijuana and that's just wrong," Paul said.
 
He said doctors, not the government, should determine if patients use pot to treat their pain.
 
As of now, Paul said, patients who suffer from serious medical conditions are prescribed pharmaceutical drugs that are highly addictive and have serious side effects.
 
"They would be far better served with something that's non-addictive, that's an herbal remedy, versus and addictive prescription drug," said Paul.
 
Jaqie's parents say their little one takes two different narcotics.
 
"One of them she's physically addicted to, she's been addicted to it since she was 6 months old," Hardy said. "We would literally be arrested if we didn't give them to her."
 
Hardy said she calls and writes lawmakers nearly every day, begging for an amendment to the law. She, like Paul, believes Oklahoma voters have the right to decide whether the marijuana, for medical purposes, should be legalized in the state.
 
"It's a valid medicine and it needs be recognized as such, it could literally help hundreds of thousands of people," Paul said.
 
If the state gives Oklahomans for Health the green light on starting a petition, Paul said the plan would be to kick of the initiative June 1st. Then, they will have 90 days to gather 190,000 physical signatures.
 

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Long Beach Approves Tax on Medical Marijuana Before It's Even Legalized

Category: Medical Marijuana | Posted on Fri, April, 11th 2014 by THCFinder
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Long Beach residents on the Golden Coast voted to allow the city to collect taxes on medical marijuana—that is, if the City Council ever allows dispensaries to sell the drug.
 
The Long Beach Press-Telegram reported:
 
 Measure A passed with 74 percent of the vote, according to unofficial results released Wednesday, which includes all of the city’s 268 precincts and mail-in ballots.
Taxes can only be collected if the council creates regulations to govern medical marijuana sales in Long Beach. If that takes place, the city would be able to impose a business license tax at an initial rate of 6 percent of for-profit dispensaries’ gross sales receipts for marijuana. The tax rate could be increased to a levy of up to 10 percent of gross marijuana sales.
 
The measure also provides for a tax, to be initially assessed at a rate of $15 per square foot, on business property improvements made to grow medical marijuana. The tax could be increased to a $50 per square foot assessment on business improvements.
 
For dispensaries that qualify as nonprofits, the taxes would instead be assessed at a rate of $10 per square foot of business improvements rather than as a percentage of sales.
 
The city has tried for years to regulate the sale of medical marijuana. After court decisions and legal wrangling, the city began a new process to come up with a broad framework for the ordinance. The issue is before the Planning Commission, which would send its recommendations to the council.
 
 
Long Beach created a lottery in 2009 and gave permits to 32 medical marijuana facilities. A group of dispensary owners ended up challenging the lottery and, as a result, the city banned all medical marijuana facilities.
 
The new tax would bring much needed revenue to the city, supporters claim, and would help dispel underground drug circles.
 
It is almost rather comforting that Long Beach residents are willing to pass a tax on medical marijuana, considering that only about 28 miles up the beach acquiring marijuana entails no more than a simple stroll up Venice boardwalk.
 

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How medical marijuana is helping California children with epilepsy

Category: Medical Marijuana | Posted on Mon, April, 7th 2014 by THCFinder
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After 25 failed epilepsy medications, Nazy Nouri had two treatment choices for her 9-year-old daughter: cutting out part of the little girl’s brain or marijuana.
 
“I really felt like we had nothing to lose; this was the last resort,” Nouri said. “If it doesn’t work, then we were going to maybe go with brain surgery.”
 
Her daughter Kiana started using an oil extract from cannabis in December. The oil comes from Realm of Caring California, a group trying to find a permanent home in the Southland after the city of Los Angeles shuttered its North Hills facility.
 
“After 10 days, I saw immediate results, she was more coherent, her speech was coming out,” Nouri said. “I’ve had her in speech therapy since she was 24 months old. All of a sudden she was speaking in sentences.”
 
Nouri never wanted to give her child marijuana.
 
“I was concerned, but you have to weigh what your options are,” she said.
 
Doctors planned to remove part of Kiana’s brain without a guarantee the drastic measure would work, Nouri said.
 
Her daughter’s first seizure happened at 4 months old, they increased in frequency and intensity as she aged. The constant convulsions left Kiana developmentally stunted.
 
The Northridge family tried everything as Kiana’s seizures worsened. The neurologist would add one medication, then another.
 
“We were on a combination of three medications at one point,” Nouri said. “She was all drugged up, still having seizures.”
 
As the family prepared for surgery, Nouri heard the first stories about Charlotte Figi in Colorado.
 
Last year, 5-year-old Charlotte became the poster-child for an oil extracted from cannabis that treats seizures and cancer for adolescents and adults. Charlotte’s Web, the strain of sativa named for its first patient, produces high amounts of cannabidiol, or CBD, but low amounts of the psychoactive compound tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC.
 
A person taking CBD gets the medicinal effects of cannabis without the intoxication, some doctors claim. The medication is extracted from the marijuana plant using a rotary evaporator, mixed with olive oil, then ingested.
 

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Medical marijuana for epilepsy

Category: Medical Marijuana | Posted on Thu, April, 3rd 2014 by THCFinder
mmj-for-epilepsy-in-kidsSPRINGFIELD — Children would be able to use medical marijuana to treat severe cases of epilepsy and public universities would ban smoking on campuses under measures lawmakers advanced Wednesday.
 
The medical marijuana proposal cleared the Senate 49-5 as sponsoring Sen. Iris Martinez dismissed worries that children would be “getting stoned.” The Chicago Democrat said the oil part of the cannabis plant that’s been helpful to children contains little to no THC — the element often associated with getting high.
 
The bill, which heads to the House, would add epilepsy to the list of ailments that medical marijuana can be used for in Illinois and restrict use for epilepsy patients to those under age 18. Medical marijuana was approved by lawmakers last year for numerous ailments, but it is not expected to be available for the public until 2015.
 
Martinez said she took up the issue after receiving a letter from a mother who moved to Colorado with her child so he could receive medical marijuana to treat his seizures.
 
“They had to leave their family and their home in Chicago,” Martinez said. “I’m a mom, and that letter moved me to do something.”
 
The children would be given the oil to drink or take intravenously if they cannot swallow.
Republican Sen. Bill Brady of Bloomington objected, saying calling it a hard choice because “children are struggling.”
 

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Will CBD Hurt THC?

Category: Medical Marijuana | Posted on Thu, April, 3rd 2014 by THCFinder

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THC is not the only compound in cannabis that assists us. While it is the substance that gets the user high, not all people want that feeling from the medicine they get. And because marijuana is a plant and can be bred and changed, giving the user no effects other than relief from symptoms. The solution for this is simple; hemp based CBD oil. This oil can be taken orally or applied topically and contains very little amounts of THC, which makes the oil perfect for children who need medicine for epilepsy, ADHD, and other afflictions.

The push for the legalization of the CBD oil (the law states that CBD oil derived from hemp plants containing less then 3% THC is completely legal, although oil taken from plants with a higher content then 3% is still illegal) came from the parents of many children who suffer with epilepsy. Seizures in children are especially difficult and not all medicines work to stop the episodes. The children who have been using CBD oil have shown amazing improvement in their walking, talking, eating, and overall function since adding the CBD to their daily routine, not to mention an extremely large decrease in seizures. There are at least a dozen states, however, that are pushing to legalize the use of all CBD oil for patients that need it.

Although these CBD laws seem like they're very positive, there is still some skepticism coming from marijuana supporters, with the belief that the CBD bills might hinder the rest of the movement. The deputy director NORML criticized the CBD bills that are building up around the country. The deputy director said that the laws are "unworkable" and don't have any genuine benefits. And there was a policy manager from the Drug Policy Alliance who stated that they were concerned that the new bills will "leave other reform effects behind". While the CBD is great for younger children and those who don't want the effects of THC, there are people who utilize the THC for their ailments too. But with a non-psychoactive cannabis plant that seems to be gaining more and more popularity, THC may be in trouble.

Hopefully, CBD and THC will be able to co-exist together in the same movement. It's difficult to tell where it will go from here and it's understandable that some people are worried about the movement. If CBD takes off (which it already is, as it appeals to those who really just aren't looking to get high), there is the potential for psychoactive cannabis to become less popular in the mainstream. But as always, only time will tell what will happen in this brand new industry.


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