Medical Marijuana

Obama's medical marijuana 'reversal': A 'blatant contradiction'?

Category: Medical Marijuana | Posted on Mon, July, 11th 2011 by THCFinder
The Justice Department has threatened to crack down on medical marijuana businesses, even those allowed under state laws — and advocates aren't pleased
Medical marijuana advocates were thrilled in 2009 when President Obama's Justice Department advised federal attorneys to avoid prosecuting patients who use medical marijuana in accordance with state laws, or their caregivers. Now, the thrill is gone. Deputy Attorney General James Cole has issued a new memorandum offering "guidance" on the earlier policy: All marijuana use and commerce is illegal under the Controlled Substance Act, Cole reiterated, and the new crop of state-sanctioned, large-scale marijuana warehouses and dispensaries are in federal crosshairs. Is this a flip-flop on pot?
Obama broke his word: There's obviously a "blatant contradiction" here, but Obama's trying to have it both ways, says Jacob Sullum in Texas' Odessa American. As late as last summer, his administration told Congress that state-approved pot purveyors could rest easy, as Obama had promised during his presidential run. This new "unacknowledged reversal" is a ploy to "get credit for tolerance" and for being tough on drugs.
"The week of lying dangerously"


U.S. decrees that marijuana has no accepted medical use

Category: Medical Marijuana | Posted on Fri, July, 8th 2011 by THCFinder
Marijuana has been approved by California, many other states and the nation's capital to treat a range of illnesses, but in a decision announced Friday the federal government ruled that it has no accepted medical use and should remain classified as a highly dangerous drug like heroin.
The decision comes almost nine years after medical marijuana supporters asked the government to reclassify cannabis to take into account a growing body of worldwide research that shows its effectiveness in treating certain diseases, such as glaucoma and multiple sclerosis.
Advocates for the medical use of the drug criticized the ruling but were elated that the Obama administration has finally acted, which allows them to appeal to the federal courts. The decision to deny the request was made by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and comes less than two months after advocates asked the U.S. Court of Appeals to force the administration to respond to their petition.
"We have foiled the government's strategy of delay, and we can now go head-to-head on the merits," said Joe Elford, the chief counsel for Americans for Safe Access and the lead attorney on the lawsuit.
Elford said he was not surprised by the decision, which comes after the Obama administration announced it would not tolerate large-scale commercial marijuana cultivation. "It is clearly motivated by a political decision that is anti-marijuana," he said. He noted that studies demonstrate pot has beneficial effects, including appetite stimulation for people undergoing chemotherapy. "One of the things people say about marijuana is that it gives you the munchies and the truth is that it does, and for some people that's a very positive thing."
In a June 21 letter to the organizations that filed the petition, DEA Administrator Michele M. Leonhart said she rejected the request because marijuana "has a high potential for abuse," "has no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States" and "lacks accepted safety for use under medical supervision." The letter and 37 pages of supporting documents were published Friday in the Federal Register.
This is the third time that petitions to reclassify marijuana have been spurned. The first was filed in 1972 and denied 17 years later. The second was filed in 1995 and denied six years later. Both decisions were appealed, but the courts sided with the federal government.


HIV sufferer has medical marijuana confiscated

Category: Medical Marijuana | Posted on Fri, July, 8th 2011 by THCFinder
A St. John’s man had $1,500 of medical marijuana confiscated when he went to pick up a package at Purolator and was met by the RCMP instead.
Richard Oakley, who tested positive for HIV 25 years ago, moved back to the province from British Columbia three months ago to be near family.
He told The Telegram he received the first package since coming home without a problem from his designated grower in B.C.
But last week he kept trying to claim his second delivery of marijuana and marijuana-laced chocolates and Purolator told him to come back Monday. That’s when he was met with the RCMP officer.
Oakley said he was assured there’d be no problem. Then he got a call saying it was shipped illegally.
“They’re going against my civil rights as a human being. They are taking away my quality of life,” Oakley said, sifting through a stack of papers chronicling his diagnosis and access to treatment, including marijuana.
“I don’t want to cause any trouble. I just want to live my life.”
Oakley said he understood as long as the package doesn’t smell and doesn’t advertise its contents, it should be acceptable.
The marijuana eases his nausea from taking a cocktail of medicine, and relieves his pain.
He also has neuropathy, which freezes nerves in his feet. The marijuana also eases that so he can go for walks and keep the blood flowing.
Since his supply was taken, he hasn’t been able to endure his pills, said Oakley, a longtime volunteer AIDS activist in B.C.
“I’m getting sicker by the minute. I can’t take my medication without throwing up,” said Oakley, who has an authorization from Health Canada for medical marijuana.
“It took years and years to get the licence,” he said.
He warns if the disease takes over, it will cost the Newfoundland government a lot of money to take care of him.


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.


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.


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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