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Medical Marijuana

Obama's Medical Marijuana Policy: Still Confusing

Category: Medical Marijuana | Posted on Thu, July, 7th 2011 by THCFinder
On Wednesday, without any public announcement, Deputy Attorney General James M. Cole issued a statement reiterating the Obama administration’s promise not to waste federal resources going after medical marijuana patients and their individual caregivers. This is a good start. Unfortunately, the letter goes on to say that it maintains the right to prosecute anyone in the business of cultivating, selling, or distributing marijuana to those patients. According to the letter, compliance with state law is no protection from federal marijuana laws.
 
When I first heard this, I feared this would be devastating to dispensaries. After sleeping on it, however, I realized the policy is as clear as mud, and it’s hard to know if anything will actually change in practice.
 
Despite numerous past statements by the president and attorney general that they would not go after businesses that were following state law, the Department of Justice has always had the ability to enforce federal law in medical marijuana states any time they felt like it. The fact that raids subsided in states that had clear regulations in place since the “Ogden Memo” was released in 2009 was a boon for the medical marijuana industry and allowed many patients access to unparalleled products and services. It appears that the scope and scale of some of these businesses has ruffled someone’s feathers.
 
The new policy (which Cole says is not new at all but simply a restatement of the “Ogden Memo”) doesn’t specify that smaller dispensaries are off-limits, but it specifically mentions the type of huge operations that were planned by Oakland last year as the focus of concern. It does not say where the size cutoff is, which is very disturbing to anyone involved in the industry.
 
This will certainly have a chilling effect on the types of businesses that open in medical marijuana states (and rest assured, they will continue to open). In this way, it is a huge step back from the Ogden memo.
 
If the spirit of the Ogden memo was to create a sense of consistency in federal enforcement, to let patients and those who supply their medicine feel safe within their own states, and make states feel confident crafting their own laws to best control medical marijuana, then Cole’s statement is a major reversal.
 

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Why a Mother Uses Pot to Treat Autistic Son

Category: Medical Marijuana | Posted on Wed, July, 6th 2011 by THCFinder
A mother, desperate to treat her severely autistic son turned to medical marijuana when she says no other treatment worked.
 
Medical marijuana is used to treat dozens of ailments, and one mother swears by it to help her severely autistic son. Meiko Hester-Perez didn't make the decision lightly, but two-and-a-half years ago, her son weighed just 42 pounds. Today, he weighs 112 pounds. "My son was absolutely withering away. You could see the bones in his chest," Hester-Perez says.
 
After doing a lot of research, Hester-Perez decided to get a medical marijuana card for her son Joey. The first time she gave him a pot brownie, she says she saw immediate results. "He was calm, sociable, happy, more productive."
 
We had a hard time finding any doctor to criticize Hester-Perez's decision to treat Joey's autism with medical marijuana, but Dr. Seth Ammeran, a Stanford Professor who's also on the American Academy of Pediatrics Substance Abuse Committee is concerned. He says, "Parents have the best interest of their kids at heart, and they want to do what's best for their kids, but as a medical professional who really needs to look at the science behind recommendations, I can't in good conscious recommend it."  The main reason Dr. Ammeran won't recommend it is because there's no research.
 
Hester-Perez is very particular when it comes to the type of pot she gives Joey. It's not only organic, but also veganic, which means there it contains no animal products. She also has it tested at a Bay Area lab that tests cannabis, nothing else.
 

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Germany launch for cannabis drug Sativex

Category: Medical Marijuana | Posted on Mon, July, 4th 2011 by THCFinder
GW Pharmaceuticals will today launch its cannabis-derived multiple sclerosis (MS) drug in Germany, which has the highest prevalence of MS in Europe.
 
Sativex contains active ingredients called 'cannabinoids' that are extracted from cannabis plants. It took GW around 10 years to develop the medicine, using genetically unique cannabis plants that are grown at a top-secret farm.
 
The Aim-listed business already sells Sativex, which treats muscle stiffness associated with MS, in Britain and Spain. GW said in May that in the nine months since launching in the UK, sales had reached around £2m.
 
Sativex contains active ingredients called 'cannabinoids' that are extracted from cannabis plants. It took GW around 10 years to develop the medicine, using genetically unique cannabis plants that are grown at a top-secret farm.
 
GW, with its marketing partner Almirall, is planning further European launches of Sativex and GW is also trialling the drug as a potential treatment in cancer pain. Last week, the company began a second Phase III trial of Sativex in cancer, in conjunction with Japan's Otsuka Pharmaceutical.
 
The company said today that muscle stiffness is a common symptom affecting around 80pc of the 130,000 MS patients in Germany.
 

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Dream Cream makes medicated mochas on the Hill

Category: Medical Marijuana | Posted on Mon, July, 4th 2011 by THCFinder
As a self-employed social media consultant and programmer, Jim Chaney used to wake up, smoke a joint and drink some coffee. Now he's growing a business that brings his morning ritual and the benefits of medicinal marijuana together in a tasty beverage bottled right here on Capitol Hill.
 
Cheney said he is just trying his best to "be a good American citizen and work within my rights." He hopes the latest effort by New Approach Washington will be successful in expanding the legal status of marijuana use. In the meantime, he has brewed up a popular new product.
 
"I really like Frappuccinos," said Cheney, "and it would be really great if you could get medical marijuana benefits from it." So Cheney decided to do it himself and started making Dream Cream in the spring.
 
Dream Cream is a cold brew of locally-roasted coffee mixed with medicated milk or cream, then "lightly sweetened" with cane sugar. The drink is manufactured, bottled and labeled for sale by Cheney himself in a kitchen space in an undisclosed Capitol Hill dispensary.
 
"It's basically a Frappuccino with the corporate stuff ripped out of it and replaced with cannabis," he said.
 
You can find bottles on sale for $10 at seven dispensaries in the city, including the Apothecary at Broadway and E Olive Way, Capitol Hill Patient Group at 14th and Pike, and the BOTH collective at 10th and Union (if you have your medical marijuana card, of course).
 

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News Montana Judge Blocks Medical Marijuana Restrictions

Category: Medical Marijuana | Posted on Fri, July, 1st 2011 by THCFinder
In a preliminary injunction issued on Thursday, state District Judge James Reynolds in Helena ruled those limits would effectively deny access to pot for many patients entitled to use it under the state's 7-year-old medical marijuana statute.
 
Reynolds said in his 15-page ruling that he was refraining from making a judgment about whether marijuana has medical benefits, noting that issue already had been decided by Montana voters and the state Legislature.
 
Instead, he said provisions of the law passed earlier this year to overhaul the original voter-approved 2004 ballot measure legalizing pot for medicinal purposes went too far.
 
Reynolds specifically blocked provisions outlawing any profits in the supply of medical marijuana, including a ban on growers charging customers to recoup the cost of cultivation and a ban on advertising and promotion of medicinal pot.
 
He also barred enforcement of sections of the new law limiting cultivation to no more than three patients per supplier.
 
"The court is unaware of and has not been shown where any person in any other licensed and lawful industry in Montana -- be he a barber, an accountant, a lawyer or a doctor -- who, providing a legal product or service, is denied the right to charge for that service or is limited in the number of people he or she can serve," Reynolds wrote.
 
He added that such restrictions "will certainly limit the number of willing providers and will thereby deny the access of Montanans otherwise eligible for medical marijuana to this legal product and thereby deny these persons this fundamental right of seeking their health in a lawful manner."
 

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Ariz. officials reviewing medical marijuana memo

Category: Medical Marijuana | Posted on Fri, July, 1st 2011 by THCFinder

Potential delays for medical marijuana in AZ continues as Arizona reviews the recently released federal memo concenrning medical marijuana dispensaries and growers.

PHOENIX (AP) — As Arizona officials review a new federal memo on medical marijuana, a lawyer for would-be dispensary operators say the memo doesn't really change anything.

The Department of Justice memo warns that commercial dispensaries and growers would still be violating federal drug laws regardless of state law.

Attorney Ryan Hurley says that stance is consistent both with a 2009 department memo and recent letters from U.S. attorneys.
 
Hurley says it means his clients — prospective dispensary operators — remain at risk of federal prosecution. But he says patients and individual caregivers apparently still won't be prosecution targets.
 
Arizona has filed a federal lawsuit asking a judge to rule on whether Arizona can implement its medical marijuana law despite the apparent conflict with federal law.
 

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