Medical marijuana group claims more than 2,000 signatures for referendum in 7 days
Category: Medical Marijuana | Posted on Thu, July, 21st 2011 by THCFinder
HELENA -- In just a week, some 2,000 Montanans have signed petitions to let voters in 2012 to decide the fate of the more restrictive medical marijuana law enacted this year, referendum backers said Tuesday.
A group called Patients for Reform - Not Repeal recently launched a statewide campaign seeking enough signatures to place Senate Bill 423 on the ballot next year. If it obtains an additional level of signatures by Sept. 30, the law will be suspended until voters in November 2012 decide whether to retain or reject the statute
The referendum and lawsuit are a two-pronged attack by some medical marijuana businesses and patients.
In addition, a separate effort announced last week by Barb Crego, medical marijuana patient from East Helena, has plans for a constitutional initiative to decriminalize medical marijuana. Backers of the referendum and lawsuit said they are not involved in the proposed decriminalization constitutional initiative.
The Montana Cannabis Industry Association and others challenged the constitutionality of the new law in court.
On June 30, District Judge James Reynolds of Helena temporarily blocked some key parts from taking effect until a full hearing is held. One enjoined provision would have prevented growers from charging patients for supplying them with medical marijuana, while another would have limited the number of patients each provider could grow pot for.
"The temporary injunction is just that," said Rose Habib of Missoula, petitioning coordinator for Patients for Reform - Not Repeal, citing the need for the referendum.
So far, Habib said she's trained more than 150 "core volunteers," who in turn have taught 500 additional volunteers on how to gather signatures correctly. More than 1,500 other people have volunteered, she said.
Local election officials must verify that those signing the petitions are registered voters so they count.
"It's the largest gathering of volunteers I've ever seen in the 20-plus years I've worked on initiatives," said C.B. Pearson, a Missoula consultant assisting the group.
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.
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