Marijuana treatment sought for chronic PTSD sufferers
Category: Medical Marijuana | Posted on Wed, July, 20th 2011 by THCFinder
Researchers are seeking federal approval for what is believed to be the first study to examine the therapeutic effects of marijuana on veterans with chronic post-traumatic stress disorder, according to a report in The New York Times.
The proposal, from the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies in Santa Cruz, Calif., and a researcher at the University of Arizona College of Medicine, would look at the potential benefits of cannabis by examining 50 combat veterans who have not responded to other treatment, the paper reported Monday.
“These are people whom we put in harm’s way, and we have a moral obligation to help them,” Rick Doblin, founder and executive director of the psychedelic studies group, was quoted as saying.
In April, the Food and Drug Administration said it was satisfied that safety concerns over the study had been addressed by Doblin and Dr. Sue Sisley, an assistant professor of psychiatry and internal medicine at Arizona, according to a letter from the FDA provided to the Times by Doblin, but noted there are other hurdles, such as where the marijuana would come from.
One Army veteran from Texas who fought in Iraq for 18 months beginning in 2006, told the Times that he used marijuana three times a day in lieu of the prescribed painkillers and antidepressants. He asked that his name not be used because Texas does not allow medical marijuana.
“I have seen it with my own eyes,” he told the paper. “It works for a lot of the guys coming home.”
If the study is approved, veterans would be given up to 1.8 grams, or about three marijuana cigarettes, a day to treat anxiety, depression, nightmares and other symptoms brought on by PTSD, the Times wrote.
Seattle passes bill regulating medical pot shops
Category: Medical Marijuana | Posted on Tue, July, 19th 2011 by THCFinder
Setting up a possible confrontation with the federal government, the City Council on Monday passed a new law that establishes a regulatory framework for the growing number of medical marijuana dispensaries in Seattle.
The City Council unanimously passed its own ordinance because efforts to address medical marijuana, which is legal in Washington, foundered earlier this year in Olympia.
"How did we get here? The upshot is, (dispensaries are) here and we should regulate them," City Councilwoman Sally Clark said before the vote.
The ordinance, sponsored by Councilman Nick Licata, requires medical marijuana dispensaries to obtain a business license, pay taxes and fees and meet city land use codes. They would also be subject to the requirements of the city's "Chronic Nuisance Property Law," meaning if there are repeated complaints about activity at the establishments they could face fines or possible closure. The "open use and display of cannabis" would also be prohibited at the dispensaries.
Clark said in the coming months the Council would come up with zoning rules for the businesses - deciding where they can locate and where they would be banned. Dispensaries have opened in Ballard, Capitol Hill and SoDo, to name just a few neighborhoods. "For now, we're trying to provide as much clarity as we can," she said.
Phillip Dawdy, an advocate for changes to marijuana laws who spoke in favor the city ordinance. "At the end of the day it's patients that are going to be left out in the cold and pushed on the market if municipalities don't start dealing with this," he said.
The state Legislature had passed a medical pot bill, but Gov. Chris Gregoire rejected most of it. She said she worried the legislation put state workers at risk of federal prosecution.
Medical Marijuana a menace to society or natural source of relief to millions?
Category: Medical Marijuana | Posted on Tue, July, 19th 2011 by THCFinder
Source: A Drug Recall
Marijuana for Patients Remains Off-Limits
Category: Medical Marijuana | Posted on Mon, July, 18th 2011 by THCFinder
Irvina Booker makes a most unlikely criminal. She lives in constant pain, disabled by multiple sclerosis and arthritis, a grandmother whose limited mobility depends on her walker, her daughter and marijuana.
“I never smoked it before I got sick, and I don’t smoke it for fun,” said Ms. Booker, 59, who lives in Englewood, N.J. She would not divulge how she obtains her marijuana, but said, “I don’t want to be sneaking around, afraid someone is going to get arrested getting it for me.”
Like many people who contend that marijuana eases pain and appetite loss from serious diseases, Ms. Booker cheered in January 2010, when New Jersey legalized its use in cases like hers. But a year and a half later, there is still no state-sanctioned marijuana available for patients, and none being grown, and there is no sign of when there might be.
But for the first time, he said, “the possibility of just scrapping the program” came up, though only in passing. Aides to the governor denied that there was any discussion of abandoning the program.
The state has named six nonprofit organizations to grow and dispense marijuana. The would-be growers say that if they were given the go-ahead, it would take at least four months to get up and running.
“A lot of people ask when, how, if we’re really going to open, and we can’t tell them anything,” said Ida Umanskaya, a director of Greenleaf Compassion Center, which plans to operate in Montclair.
Another operator, Compassionate Care Centers of America Foundation, which would be based in New Brunswick, “remains cautiously hopeful,” said Raj Mukherji, a spokesman for the group.
Though marijuana remains illegal under federal law, in 2009 David W. Ogden, the deputy attorney general at the time, sent a memo to federal prosecutors across the country saying that they should not focus “on individuals who are in clear and unambiguous compliance with existing state laws providing for the medical use of marijuana.
Thousands get medical marijuana cards, despite legal tangle
Category: Medical Marijuana | Posted on Fri, July, 15th 2011 by THCFinder
More than 7,500 Arizonans had been approved for personal medical marijuana licenses as of Wednesday, despite a well-publicized court battle that has delayed implementation of other parts of the law.
The court fight between the state and federal governments has temporarily halted approval of marijuana dispensaries but not personal licenses, which had been granted to 7,570 individuals and 270 caregivers by this week. The Arizona Department of Health Services could not say how many of the caregivers, if any, also had patient licenses.
Only seven patient applications have been denied so far and 93 percent of applications for caregivers — who help patients administer their medical marijuana — have been approved.
Three-quarters of approved patients are men and about 60 percent are older than 41. But the department said two minors have also had applications approved. The vast majority of applicants cited chronic pain as the reason they needed medical marijuana.
Close to 80 percent of applicants have asked for approval to grow their own marijuana, which is allowed under the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act for anyone who does not live within 25 miles of a dispensary. Individuals approved to grow their own can legally maintain up to 12 plants in their homes and caregivers can grow for up to five patients at a time.
Those numbers have even some medical marijuana activists concerned about quality control and safety issues surrounding home-grown marijuana in residential areas.
The state in May stopped processing dispensary applications after concerns were raised that state employees might face federal prosecution for assisting in marijuana distribution. The state sued the Justice Department on May 27 seeking clarification of the federal government’s position before proceeding on the dispensary applications.
The Justice Department issued a memo in June that was supposed to give guidance to states with medical marijuana laws, but Gov. Jan Brewer said it offered “little more than continued confusion and doublespeak.”
“If this memo was an attempt at clarity, it failed,” she said.
The delay in dispensary decisions has sparked other lawsuits by groups trying to force the state to begin processing applications. The American Civil Liberties Union filed a motion last week asking a federal judge to dismiss the suit brought by Brewer and Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne.
“Arizona is in a very gray area because the law passed at an unfortuitous time when the federal government is unclear,” said Allen St. Pierre, executive director for the National Organization for Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML).
If no dispensaries are approved in the state, every medical marijuana patient would theoretically be able to grow their own. Those who did not get that permission initially could pay $10 and apply to amend their license.
If a home-grown market sprouts up in Arizona, Dhar Mann is ready to cultivate it.
States with medical marijuana see a decrease in pot smoking by teens
Category: Medical Marijuana | Posted on Thu, July, 14th 2011 by THCFinder
When states debate medical marijuana laws, one of the issues sure to come up is whether legalizing marijuana for medical uses sends the wrong message to young people. Does legalizing medical marijuana create an atmosphere of permissiveness regarding marijuana? Does legalizing medical marijuana make it easier for kids to get their hands on dope?
Some of those questions are highly subjective and difficult to answer. One question, though stands out as being straightforward enough to actually study. That question is simply this: Are teenagers more likely to smoke marijuana after a state legalizes medical marijuana than they were before it was legalized in their state?
A study conducted by the Marijuana Policy Project in partnership with a psychology professor from the State University of New York has concluded that teen use of marijuana does not change much when a state legalizes marijuana. If anything, teenage use seems to go down.
In Colorado, the researchers noted that there is really isn’t enough data to reach hard conclusions, but the data they have shows that in 1999, 10.3 percent of 12-17-year-olds reported using marijuana within the month prior to the survey. In 2007-2008, 9.1 percent reported marijuana use in the same time frame. Colorado passed its medical marijuana law in 2000.
As of today, 16 states and the District of Columbia have passed medical marijuana laws. Of the 13 states studied, only two, Michigan and New Mexico, showed an increase in marijuana among teenagers after passage of the laws. As in Colorado, the change is small enough to be within the margin of error.
Nationwide, the study concluded that teenage marijuana use has gone down since California became the first state to legalize medical marijuana in 1996.
The study’s authors wrote that all of the data used in the study comes from surveys done by the federal government or the states themselves, so it is unlikely to be rigged by a pro-drug bias on the part of the surveyors.
From the study:
One argument consistently raised in opposition to such measures is that they “send the wrong message to young people” and encourage teen drug experimentation. For example, in an October 1996 letter to anti-drug advocates, U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration Administrator Thomas A. Constantine wrote, “How can we expect our children to reject drugs when some authorities are telling them that illegal drugs should no longer remain illegal, but should be used instead to help the sick? … We cannot afford to send ambivalent messages about drugs.”
Such arguments continue to be raised by opponents of medical marijuana laws. In June 2007, Connecticut Gov. M. Jodi Rell (R) explained in her veto statement of a medical marijuana bill, “I am also concerned that this bill would send the wrong message to our youth.”
Similarly, U.S. drug czar Gil Kerlikowske told the Associated Press in September 2010, “I think all of the attention and the focus of calling marijuana medicine has sent the absolute wrong message to our
The study concludes:
Since the mid-1990s, the U.S. has witnessed a well-publicized and sometimes emotional national debate over the medical use of marijuana. Contrary to the fears expressed by opponents of medical marijuana laws, there is no evidence that the enactment of medical marijuana laws in 16 states and the District of Columbia have produced an increase in adolescent marijuana use in those states or nationwide. Instead, data from those states suggest a modest decline nationally and in medical marijuana states overall, with large declines in some age groups in some states. Only two of 13 states with operating medical marijuana programs have experienced an overall increase in youth marijuana use since passing a medical marijuana law, and both of those states have a modest amount of data since the programs are relatively new.
This data trend strongly suggests that the effect of state medical marijuana laws on teen marijuana use has been either neutral or positive. California researchers, who appear to be the only ones to specifically study the issue in the context of a survey of adolescent drug use, found no evidence of a “wrong message” effect. Legislators considering medical marijuana proposals should evaluate the bills on their own merits, without concern for unproven claims that such laws increase teen marijuana use. Opponents of medical marijuana laws should cease making such unsubstantiated claims.
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