California Supreme Court to rule on medical marijuana tiff
Category: Medical Marijuana | Posted on Mon, January, 23rd 2012 by THCFinder
The issue of whether cities and counties in the state of California can ban medical marijuana stores - as some have done - will be reviewed by the California Supreme Court. But don't hold your breath as the ruling is as long as 2 years down the road.
The state's supreme court held closed door sessions last week and made the decision they would review rulings made by lower appeals California courts. This makes lower court decisions that have gone against medical marijuana stores are now put on hold until such time as the Supreme Court makes a ruling.
The chief counsel for a medical marijuana advocacy group called 'Americans for Safe Access', Joe Elford, told media after the Supreme Court decision that patients have been harmed by the lower court decisions and he applauded the higher courts decisions to review them.
"These cases were very problematic for patients and their ability to safely and legally access a medication that works for them," Elford said. "We're very pleased that local governments will now be unable to use appellate court decisions to deny patients access to medical marijuana in their own communities."
Supreme Court to look at two marijuana issues:
The court said there are two issues they will review. There have been rulings in California in which cities and counties have ruled against medical marijuana stores and sought to shut them down. For example, in L.A. due to lower court rulings the city was planning to bar all medical marijuana dispensaries.
The Supreme Court will also look at the state and Federal government remaining at loggerheads, with state law allowing medical marijuana dispensaries, and federal saying marijuana is not legal, period. The state legalized medical marijuana in 1996, the first state in the U.S. to do so.
There are now 16 states and DC in which the use of marijuana is permitted with the recommendation of a doctor, the latest state to join the list is Delaware last year. Medical marijuana is also legal in Canada and other countries.
No timeline for the review as yet been announced.
Medical Marijuana Reduces Traffic Deaths
Category: Medical Marijuana | Posted on Thu, January, 19th 2012 by THCFinder
Legalizing marijuana for medical purposes can mean fewer drunk drivers on the road, and fewer traffic deaths, according to a new study.
Researchers from universities in Colorado, Oregon and Montana reviewed accident statistics from 1990 to 2009, including those states that had adopted medicinal marijuana laws and those that hadn't. To date, 16 states and the District of Columbia have legalized medical marijuana.
States where marijuana can be purchased legally with a prescription experienced 9% fewer traffic fatalities, "most likely as a result of its impact on alcohol consumption by young adults," the researchers wrote in their report. They cite data from the Beer Institute that beer sales fall after medical marijuana laws take effect.
In other words, medical marijuana is allowing some young people easier opportunities to get high instead of drunk, thus lowering the risk of DUIs and accidents, supporters of legalization contend. The researchers posit several explanations for the reduced death rate. For one thing, driver simulation tests show that drivers under the influence of alcohol have less control than those under the influence of marijuana. Also, because marijuana is more likely to be smoked in private, whereas alcohol is consumed in bars and restaurants, marijuana users are more likely to choose a designated driver.
Medical Marijuana: the Best and Safest Pain Killer Compared to Oxycontin and more
Category: Medical Marijuana | Posted on Wed, January, 18th 2012 by THCFinder
Dr. Phil Leveque Salem-News.com
I had 5,000 or so patients with 70% complaining of severe pain, who found relief with Mairjuana.
Marijuana treats pain and has never caused a death...
(PORTLAND, Ore.) - I presume that a few people will disagree with my thesis. I will admit to a few exceptions and I will address them later.
For my own review, I pulled up the standard doses of the opiates, (from opium) and the opioids, not from opium but totally synthetic. I’m going to dismiss Codeine, an opiate which is lightly used any more in doses from 15 to 120mg but which is severely constipating and has many other intolerable side effects.
I will base my discussion on Morphine which is the standard pain killer with a usual dose of 10mg sometimes lower. The big “daddies” are Hydrocodone dose of about 20mg but soon to be long acting at about 40mg per dose; Oxycodone dose is about 15mg but has a long acting dose from around 40mg; Heroin dose is around 4.0mg but Heroin addicts frequently take 10 times more; Hydromorphone is not common with a dose of about 2.0mg.
All of these cause severe constipation and addiction and many other adverse side effects but some are much worse than others.
The Opioids, those not from Opium but totally synthetic are Meperidine or Demerol with a dose of about 50mg which is presumed to be about equal to Morphine in the dose of 10mg; Methadone has a dose of about 3.0mg; Fentanyl in a dose of about 0.2mg compared to Morphine.
It is important to note that with long term use all of the above drugs cause tolerance or the requirement for increasing doses for the same relief. I have left out some of both classes, Opiate and Opioid because they seem to be rarely used.
We will soon be having more long acting, more addicting, more lethal drugs like Oxycontin. Drug overdoses and deaths mostly from this later type of drug approached 37,000 deaths in 2009.
I first was introduced to the Opioid painkiller, Demerol, when I started my medical practice, for migraines. I could tell from my patients apparent suffering that it was severe and I thought Morphine might be best. I was advised by my betters that Demerol with a brain blood vessel relaxing action would be better. It was!
On Nov. 18, 2010 I posted Marijuana: Miracle Pain Killer in salem-news.com lightly covering this subject. It received 10 comments. On March 2, 2009 I posted Marijuana vs. Morphine drugs on salem-news.com after I heard that Marijuana was extremely useful for severe pain. On Feb. 13, 2009 I posted Marijuana vs. Anti-depressants. I received 35 comments many advising me that Marijuana was excellent therapy for pain with minimal adverse effects.
One of my biggest surprises in preparing this posting was to see that Marijuana was/is used together with drugs like Oxycodone and Hydrocodone for severe pain and otherwise. This may be one of the exceptions for Marijuana being equal to or better than Opiates. Some extreme pain requires surgical severing of the pain nerve. Transcutaneoous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (T.E.N.S.) may be another option. I still say that with my 5000 or so patients with 70% complaining of severe pain having found relief with Mairjuana and most were able to stop the narcotics.
My experience and that of several thousands of physicians indicate that Marijuana works well for 150,000 Medical Marijuana patients for about 70% of those requesting permits for pain. It also works well for the 30% who have muscle spasms and the 20% of those who have nausea and vomiting for patients with Cancer or HIV or the medications for them.
CBS News had a recent story on the use of Marijuana in the various 17 legal states in 2009. Delaware had 11.86% of people using Marijuana and it went up to 16.29% for Alaska. The overall percentage for use in the U.S. was about 9%. In Australia and New Zealand it was up to about 20%.
Washington changing up marijuana laws
Category: Medical Marijuana | Posted on Tue, January, 17th 2012 by THCFinder
This could be a step forward for medical marijuana patients and community over the long haul.
THE Legislature is about to get another medical-marijuana bill. It is a necessary bill.
The medical-cannabis regime in Washington — "cannabis" is the official name now — was left in chaos last year by the Obama administration's threat to prosecute state employees who licensed any cannabis business.
The Obama people didn't say they would arrest state employees, and they haven't done it elsewhere. But their threat was enough for Gov. Chris Gregoire to veto much of the bill.
What survived was "collective gardens" — small grows by patients and their providers. But dispensaries — the shops — were in limbo.
Spokane, which on this issue is located somewhere in cultural Idaho, shut its dispensaries down with raids by police. We are told dispensaries remain open in Mukilteo, Shoreline, Seattle, Issaquah, Kent, Tacoma, Gig Harbor, Lacey, Olympia and Castle Rock.
That is not enough. Cannabis has proven medical value, and some of the patients who want it live east of the mountains. They ought to be able to buy it. (We believe all people over 21 ought to be able to buy it, but that is another matter.)
The new bill, by Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles, D-Seattle, allows nonprofit (but taxable) cannabis dispensaries by local option. For counties of more than 200,000 — Whatcom, Snohomish, Kitsap, King, Pierce, Thurston, Clark, Yakima and Spokane — the bill would allow dispensaries unless a local jurisdiction opted out. In the other 30 counties, jurisdictions would be out unless they opted in.
The bill also sets up a voluntary statewide registry to give patients protection from arrest, which was vetoed in last year's bill. It also says a conviction for driving under the influence requires actual impairment, not only a blood test, because traces of cannabis may stay in the blood for days.
Gregoire's office has seen the draft bill and a representative says that in its present form the governor probably could sign it. That would be a step forward on a long road.
Protecting patients in the workplace
Category: Medical Marijuana | Posted on Tue, January, 17th 2012 by THCFinder
Help protect hard working Americans who have the right to medicate and live a normal life!
Do you use marijuana for medical reasons? Do you want to get a job when you graduate? Tough luck.
Many are unaware that the California Supreme Court has ruled that employers may fire anyone who fails a drug test, even legal medical marijuana patients. Sadly, many find this out only after they’ve lost their jobs. Only a legislative action will change the climate now.
SB129 (Leno) would grant needed employment rights to medical marijuana users and will be voted on as soon as Jan. 19 in Sacramento. Whether or not you use medical marijuana, you should support this bill along with the 65 percent of California voters who agree that medical marijuana users shouldn’t lose their right to work.
California NORML regularly receives calls from frantic workers in danger of job loss. Ironically, many tell us that it’s marijuana that enables them to be productive workers by managing their pain without opiates, or allowing them to sleep, or staving off migraine headaches. But unless they can stomach pharmaceutical medications for their ailments, they’re out of luck when it comes to the job market.
Medical Marijuana Patient Could Face 99 Years in Texas Prison
Category: Medical Marijuana | Posted on Wed, January, 11th 2012 by THCFinder
A 22-year-old medical marijuana patient is set to be extradited to Texas in the coming days to face pot possession charges that could land him in prison for up to 99 years.
Mendocino resident Christopher Diaz sits in a Ukiah jail awaiting extradition to Browns County, Texas. His case has caught the attention of medical marijuana advocates throughout the state, who are holding the case up as an example of the failings of national marijuana law.
Diaz was arrested on October 30th as he drove through Austin, Texas on his way to visit his great-grandmother who was very ill. He had less than a half-an-ounce of hash, and less than a quarter ounce of marijuana in the car when authorities pulled him over. He was arrested on possession with intent to distribute it.
After his arrest, Diaz left Texas and hightailed it to his home in California. He has now been indicted for bail jumping. He is currently being held on a $160,000 bail, but the judge in the case wants you to know that as a California official, she is required to comply with Texas authorities under the Uniform Extradition Act. Judge Ann Moorman said that she has no authority in the matter, and even the bail amount was set in Texas and outside of her jurisdiction. Advocates of Diaz and medical marijuana in general say that the waiting for extradition could have been done out of custody.
Diaz suffers from severe asthma and said his family moved to California five years ago so they could specifically pursue alternative treatments for his breathing ailment. The marijuana was found with his recommendation wrapped around it, along with religious documents from the THC Ministry that Diaz says his entire family belongs to and adheres to their belief about the religious rights of marijuana as a sacrament as well as a health treatment.
The Brown County District Attorney Michael Murray told media last week that while less than an ounce of pot isn’t a huge deal in California, it is in Texas. Murray said the case is a serious one and that he doesn’t believe Diaz needs marijuana for medical purposes.
If convicted, Diaz faces a sentence of between five and 99 years in a Texas prison. Murray told the Press Democrat. ”He needs to come back and face the music. There’s not much tolerance (here) for anybody distributing drugs for any reason.” Diaz could be extradited any day.
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