San Francisco Medical Marijuana Doctor Offers Three Rules of Medical Cannabis Use
Greenway Medical Marijuana Physicians Evaluations' Medical Director, Dr. Arif Khan advises his patients to follow three rules in order to benefit from medical cannabis. Dr. Khan, a cannabis-knowledgeable physician, works with Greenway patients to find the right combination and method of medical marijuana use to address their specific symptoms.
"Cannabis is a complex medication with a spectrum of benefits, and safe therapeutic use requires selecting strains (Indica v. Sativa) and moderating dosage, depending on each patient's medical condition," said Khan.
Dr. Khan's Three Rules of Medical Cannabis Use are:
Rule #1: Question the Dispensary
Patients need to question their dispensary about the various types of medical marijuana and the elements of each strain. The characteristics of cannabis vary depending on where it was grown, and how it was grown (indoor or outdoor / in hydro, soil, or organic). The dispensaries should know the answers.
Rule #2: Make it Personal
Patients need to use the appropriate strain of cannabis for the medical condition. What friends or family are using may not be effective for the patient. For instance, Sativa is generally not a good choice for patients suffering from insomnia, high blood pressure, heart disease, or anxiety. For these conditions, Indica is typically a better choice.
If a patient is suffering from depression, Indica strains could potentially bring on more severe symptoms. Patients should discuss Indica-Sativa hybrids with Dr. Khan and their local dispensary provider.
Rule #3 Timing and Dosage
The type of cannabis patients need in the morning may be completely different from what they need in the evening. For instance, patients suffering from morning nausea, midday stress, or evening relaxation require different delivery methods and strains of medicinal marijuana.
Medical marijuana can be ingested, smoked, vaporized, drank, taken in a capsule, and applied topically as a salve or ointment. Patients suffering from localized pain may benefit more from applying cannabis salves and other topical treatments rather than ingesting or smoking cannabis.
For asthma sufferers, smoking is out of the question, so they should try taking their medication in the form of a drink, tea, tincture, or other edible form.
Illinois Legislature Shoots Down Medical Marijuana Bill
The Illinois House on Thursday narrowly voted down the authorization of marijuana for medicinal purposes. The bill would have allowed people suffering from chronic pain or nausea caused by certain debilitating conditions to be prescribed a potent dose of cannabis to alleviate the symptoms. It fell four votes short of passage. The sponsor of the bill, Rep. Lou Lang, D-Skokie, pledged to continue pushing toward legalizing the illicit herb. "I am going to continue to press on, on this particular piece of legislation, or some version of it until I pass it," Lang said. "Next year, the year after, I’m a young man. I'll be here awhile."
For Jaime Clayton, a Grafton man who has coped with AIDS for 22 years, approval of the measure has been "a long time coming." He participated in a clinical trial of medical marijuana at the University of California San Francisco in 2002 and has been an advocate ever since. A study said trial participants enjoyed increased appetite and weight gain without weakening their immune systems. "A little bit of relief, a little bit of compassion … that's the selling point," Clayton said. The bill would have established a three-year pilot program for Illinois. Opponents say legalizing marijuana for medical purposes would send the wrong message to youth, potentially serving as a gateway drug.
Use Of Video In Medical Marijuana Exams Called Into Question
MISSOULA, Mont. -- A medical marijuana provider being criticized for using teleconference exams says it is following the law.
The Montana Board of Medical Examiners banned the use of video for medical marijuana exams in November, concluding that certification for marijuana use requires a full, in person assessment with a doctor.
Jean Branscum, The Executive Director of the Montana Board of Medical Examiners says the conclusion to limit video teleconferencing is a clarification of a decision in May to set certain standards of care for medical marijuana patients. "When it comes to a standard of care of physicians who are certifying individuals for medical marijuana, that requires a hands-on physical examination by a physician and they indicated that the exclusive use of teleconferencing methods to certify individuals does not meet this level of care."
News reports have surfaced that the Montana Caregivers Network in Missoula continues to use video exams.
A representative of the Montana Caregivers Network told NBC Montana tonight that its physicians only use teleconferencing for follow-up appointments, not for initially issuing a medical marijuana card. The network also says the follow-up video exams are necessary for patients living in rural areas.
Branscum says though physicians are expected to fulfill a standard of care they were trained with, there is no official position from the Montana Board of Medical Examiners on the use of video in follow-up appointments for medical marijuana patients.
Police Make Arrests in Medical Marijuana Cases
LAS VEGAS -- Federal charges have been filed against 15 people for allegedly distributing marijuana through medical marijuana businesses.
According to the Department of Justice, federal and local authorities arrested 11 people in Las Vegas and one in Los Angeles Thursday morning.
The defendants face charges including conspiracy to distribute marijuana, distribution of marijuana, conspiracy to commit money laundering, distribution of marijuana near schools or colleges, possession of a firearm in relation to drug trafficking, and failing to disclose or concealing information concerning Social Security benefits.
Businesses named in the criminal complaints include, The Happiness Consultant, the Nevada Compassionate Center, Dr. Reefer, LV Fingerprinting and Organic Releaf. These federal charges are a follow up to the raids on the businesses that occurred late last year.
Here is a list of the defendants.
- John Birmele, 36, aka Mr. Happy, of Las Vegas, NV
- Kelly Birmele, 36, of Las Vegas, NV
- Laura Rhoades-Yokoi, 36, of Henderson, NV
- John Allen Youngblood, 40, of Los Angeles, CA
- Timothy Hough, 31, of Henderson, NV
- Michael Ellsworth, 57, of Henderson, NV
- Reynalda Barnett, aka Reyna Barnett, 59, of Las Vegas, NV
- Clyde Barnett, 21, of Las Vegas, NV
- Pierre Werner, 39, of Las Vegas, NV
- Ron Teston, 57, of Las Vegas, NV
- Kristen Krusyna, 21, of Las Vegas, NV
- Michael McAuliffe, 53, of Las Vegas, NV
- Katree Darriel Saunders, 30, of Las Vegas, NV
- Chad Uhl, 26, of North Las Vegas, NV
- Caroline Dellaville, 49, of Henderson, NV
No new trial for Modesto pot vendors
A federal court has denied the request for a new trial by two Modesto men convicted on federal drug charges for operating a medical marijuana dispensary.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit in San Francisco has affirmed the convictions and sentences of Ricardo Montes, 29, and Luke Scarmazzo, 29, the U.S. attorney's office for California's Eastern District said Tuesday in a news release.
Scarmazzo and Montes had appealed because they claimed the trial judge made a mistake by not granting them a new trial after a juror read and discussed during deliberations a summary of a newspaper article on the marijuana policies of presidential hopefuls.
The Court of Appeals agreed with the District Court in Fresno in finding that the jurors' consideration of such information could not have affected their verdict.
A federal jury in Fresno found the two men guilty in May 2008 of manufacturing marijuana and distributing the drug, as well as operating a continuing criminal enterprise.
In November 2008, U.S. District Judge Oliver W. Wanger sentenced Scarmazzo to 21 years and 10 months in prison and Montes to the 20-year mandatory minimum prison sentence.
The evidence at trial showed that from 2004 until September 2006, the two men openly ran the California Healthcare Collective, a marijuana dispensary they cofounded in Modesto.
During those two years they made $9.2 million in sales, with up to 14 employees who cultivated, packaged and distributed marijuana, according to the news release.
Medical marijuana is legal in California, but federal laws outlaw its possession and distribution, even if the activities are allowed under state law.
ANN ARBOR: City Council approves revisions to medical marijuana ordinance
The Ann Arbor City Council delayed voting on the medical marijuana ordinance during Monday’s city council meeting, instead postponing the decision until Jan. 18.
Protesters gathered outside Monday’s council meeting, holding signs and chanting “Marijuana is not a crime.” Many of them also spoke during the public commentary session of the meeting.
Among those who spoke was Chuck Ream, a local advocate whose voice has become well known on the medical marijuana topic.
“The medicine is a simple herb that was approved by 63 percent of the voters,” said Ream. “I ask you not to go along with the repression of the day. Ann Arbor has got to believe that we have brains and a heart here…. The law says that no level of government can invade the homes of patients and caregivers.”
The council chose not to make a final decision on the regulations at this time, instead delaying the vote until Jan. 18 so the city attorney’s office is able to make necessary changes. General concerns dealt with the caregiver registry.
“There is a concern out there, and the ultimate question here for the council is whether or not there is a concern about registering people,” said City Attorney Stephen Postema.
“This was originally inserted on request of the police. They do want to know where product is being grown because they do not want to waste resources doing criminal investigations of people who have this [growing permit.]
“The idea that state law precludes all of this type of regulation is something that we’ve looked at and addressed, and I think that the courts ultimately be looking at that in all core cases across other communities.”
Final approval of the bill will occur in February pending the Jan. 18 vote, and zoning regulations will be discussed at that point.
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