Medical marijuana proponents in New York renew push for legalization
Category: Medical Marijuana | Posted on Mon, November, 26th 2012 by THCFinder
ALBANY — Medical marijuana could blunt the pain of New York’s budget crunch.
Proponents of pot as a medicine have renewed their push for legalization, arguing that licensing fees and taxes could generate hundreds of millions of dollars a year in new revenues for the cash-strapped state.
“There is a huge amount of revenue here,” said state Sen. Diane Savino (D-Staten Island) who hopes to make New York the 18th state to legalize medical marijuana.
The high-minded talk comes as the state is reeling from Hurricane Sandy bills — and as the pot industry has hired one of the most powerful lobbying firms in Albany to define the issue as a budding financial opportunity.
“It has real economic impact,” said Patrick McCarthy, of the firm Patricia Lynch Associates.
The firm controlled by Pat Lynch, a former top aide to Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, was hired by Colorado-based marijuana company, Gaia Plant Based Medicine, to press lawmakers and Gov. Cuomo.
But the governor has offered only toking opposition.
“I understand the benefits, but there are also risks, and I think the risks outweigh the benefits at this point,” Cuomo said earlier this year, even as he warned that Hurricane Sandy could add $1 billion to the state’s budget deficit this year alone.
Cuomo said more research is needed to prove that legalizing medical marijuana will help people with problems such as cancer and multiple sclerosis, yet not increase drug abuse and criminal activity.
And the state’s influential Conservative Party called legalization of medical marijuana “a horrible idea.”
“It sends a wrong message to the youth of the state, and that’s more important than any amount of revenue the state would take in,” said party Chairman Mike Long.
The movement to legalize the once-demonized plant for medical use has spread like a weed in recent years.
Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com
Massachusetts medical marijuana law scrutinized
Category: Medical Marijuana | Posted on Thu, November, 22nd 2012 by THCFinder
The medical marijuana referendum was overwhelmingly passed by voters on Nov. 4, but city and state officials will have the final say on how the marijuana is dispensed in communities across the state.
State Rep. William "Smitty" Pignatelli, who represents the 4th Berkshire District, said the Leg islature will likely "tighten" language in the law to ensure that proper safeguards are attached to the state initiative.
Many say the medical marijuana referendum, as written, leaves the door open to exploitation of pot.
"I think it's poorly written, but that is the will of the voters," Pignatelli said.
Lawmakers "now have the obligation and the responsibility to implement restrictions for law enforcement and the medical field and make sure [marijuana] does not go to people who will put the drugs in the wrong hands," he said.
The Pittsfield Police Department is awaiting important details from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, the agency charged with addressing registration and administrative fees associated with opening medical marijuana treatment centers. These dispensaries would be allowed to grow, process and provide marijuana to patients or their caregivers.
These details include how much marijuana a patient could be provided for a 60-day medical supply; the administrative process and fees for registering a treatment center; and the regulatory framework for which patients with a verified financial hardship -- or other permissable reason -- will be allowed to grow a 60-day supply of medical marijuana on their property.
In Pittsfield, Mayor Daniel L. Bianchi and City Council President Kevin Sherman said that there will be discussion with the city solicitor on whether the zoning ordinance regulates where a medical marijuana treatment center can be placed.
Bianchi -- who said the city has been approached with inquiries about a center within city limits -- said that it was too early to know if it would be an agenda item on a council meeting, but he said that the health and zoning committees are likely to discuss the new law.
Read more: http://www.berkshireeagle.com
Inspection OKs Tucson medical marijuana dispensary
Category: Medical Marijuana | Posted on Wed, November, 21st 2012 by THCFinder
TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) — A facility that would be Tucson's first medical marijuana dispensary has passed its state inspection, but it's not yet known when it will open.
Harmony Duport heads the state Department of Health Service's inspections office. She says the dispensary operators now have permission to open their doors but so far haven't set a date to do so.
State officials are allowed under the medical marijuana law to identify the dispensary only to cardholders.
Duport says once the facility opens, that will trigger the law's provision to phase out grow-your-own authorizations for cardholders within 25 miles of a dispensary. That would apply to nearly all of the Tucson area.
The provision would apply immediately to people obtaining new cards and to current holders as their cards come up for renewal annually.
UFC welterweight Matt Riddle and the medical marijuana dilemma
Category: Medical Marijuana | Posted on Tue, November, 20th 2012 by THCFinder
The sport of mixed martial arts still isn't sure what to do about the pot smokers in its midst, which is bad news for them. It means they continue to get tested for a drug that remains in their systems far past the point of being active. If they get caught they're subject to punishments that don't fit the crime, all while the issue at the heart of the debate goes unexamined.
Just ask Matt Riddle if you don't believe me. He's a medical marijuana patient at home in Nevada, but when he got popped by a drug test in Calgary, where he beat Chris Clements with a finish that was dubbed "Submission of the Night" at UFC 149, he had the win erased from his record. He still considers himself 8-3 rather than 7-3 with one no contest, he told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) after a decision victory over John Maguire at UFC 154, but his record will never reflect it.
"I dropped him with a liver kick, hit him with a standing arm triangle, and it was a very dominant performance," Riddle said. "The unfortunate part is that, in this world, people are OK if you take Xanax and testosterone and all these other drugs as long as a doctor prescribes them, but if you're prescribed medical marijuana because of your issues, it's not acceptable and they really frown upon it."
And herein lies an important distinction, especially if you're one of those people who hears the words "medical marijuana" and immediately thinks "loophole." According to Riddle, he's got real issues that are really solved (or at least greatly improved) by using marijuana. Issues like ADHD, which he was diagnosed with as a child, and which led to him being prescribed an assortment of drugs. First there was Adderall, which killed his appetite since "it's basically speed," Riddle said. Then there was Prevacid to deal with stomach issues, since he wasn't eating well and was reduced to "skin and bones."
As a teenager, he started smoking marijuana for non-medicinal reasons, as many teenagers do. But he eventually found that it allowed him to ditch the prescriptions, and now, according to Riddle, "I don't take anything else."
He doesn't need to. Marijuana helps transform him from a high-strung basket case to someone who other people actually like, he said.
"You can ask anybody who hangs out with me, when I'm not on my medicine, it's not that I'm hard to be around, but I'm very intense," Riddle said shortly after his win over Maguire. "... I like to slow it down. I like to be normal, like a normal person. Right now, I'm on edge. If I didn't just get out of the cage, I'd want to beat the s--- out of somebody, just for no reason. That's just how I'm wired, and I don't like it. I like being a nice guy. When I use, I'm a very nice guy and everybody around me loves me more. I'm a much more pleasant guy to be around."
Conn. medical marijuana advocates looking to start business group
Category: Medical Marijuana | Posted on Tue, November, 20th 2012 by THCFinder
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - Advocates of Connecticut's new medical marijuana law are reaching out to entrepreneurs interested in growing, dispensing and starting related businesses, gauging the interest level for starting a new medical marijuana business organization.
About a dozen people, including some state Capitol lobbyists, turned out Tuesday at the Legislative Office Building for an organizational meeting of the proposed Connecticut Medical Cannabis Business Alliance, a concept modeled after a similar group in Colorado.
Eileen Konieczny, a registered nurse and medical marijuana consultant from Stamford, said she believes an alliance of medical marijuana businesses can help to educate Connecticut patients, doctors and the public about the benefits of the drug and the different forms of marijuana that can be used, ultimately combatting the stigma of pot smoking.
"The hardest thing I find now is, nobody wants to talk about it here on the East! Coast. Everybody is afraid of it," she said. "I've talked to more than one person who didn't even know what cannabis was until I said marijuana, and then you get the giggles and the snickers. Meanwhile, this is very serious to me. It's a really safe alternative to so many different things."
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