How much education do doctors need before recommending medical marijuana to patients?
Category: Medical Marijuana | Posted on Fri, November, 9th 2012 by THCFinder
After Massachusetts voters passed a ballot initiative on Tuesday legalizing the use of marijuana for medical purposes, I’m wondering how the law will be implemented, as my colleague Chelsea Conaboy details the challenges in today’s Globe.
The state’s Department of Public Health will follow the lead of other states and require patients to get a physician’s approval to apply for a medical marijuana identification card. This card will enable them to obtain and possess a certain amount of the drug from a state dispensary if they have a debilitating condition.
How easy it will be to obtain such a card and how many dispensaries the state will allow to open, however, remain unknown. And whether the state will ensure quality control and standardization of products sold in these dispensaries also is uncertain. State health officials also need to define which conditions are debilitating enough to constitute pot use.
In Colorado, college students have no trouble getting a card and getting as much pot as they need at one of the more than 1,000 dispensaries scattered throughout the state. (They’ll probably have an even easier time now that Colorado along with Washington passed a ballot measure on election day to legalize the drug for all adults over age 21.)
Dr. Lauren Smith, interim commissioner for the Department of Public Health, said in a statement on Wednesday that “the Department will work closely with health care and public safety officials to develop smart and balanced policies and procedures over the coming months. We will work carefully, learn from other states’ experiences and put a system in place that is right for Massachusetts.”
In other words, they haven’t figured out exactly how the system is going to work.
Medical marijuana will likely resurface in Ark.
Category: Medical Marijuana | Posted on Thu, November, 8th 2012 by THCFinder
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Arkansas failed to become the first southern state to legalize medical marijuana this week, but the narrow loss didn't discourage the measure's supporters who said Wednesday they plan to tweak their proposal and try again.
"We'll try to get it through the General Assembly and if that doesn't work, we'll take it back to the people," said Chris Kell, campaign strategist for Arkansans for Compassionate Care, the group advocating for the medical marijuana measure.
Voters in Tuesday's election narrowly rejected the measure that would have allowed patients with qualifying conditions to buy marijuana from nonprofit dispensaries with a doctor's recommendation. More Arkansas voters cast ballots for the medical marijuana measure than they did for President Barack Obama, with more than 500,000 voters in favor of the marijuana issue and about 390,000 votes cast for Obama.
"I think this vote just shows that it's really not as controversial as everybody thought," Kell said.
Mass. OKs medical marijuana
Category: Medical Marijuana | Posted on Wed, November, 7th 2012 by THCFinder
BOSTON (AP) — Massachusetts voters have overwhelmingly approved a move to legalize medical marijuana, but questions remain over how distribution will be regulated and whether the state can stop abuses.
The law approved through Question 3 on Tuesday’s election ballot eliminates penalties for the use of marijuana by people with cancer, Parkinson’s Disease, AIDS and other conditions determined by a doctor. It will allow nonprofit treatment centers to grow and provide marijuana to patients or their caregivers.
Opponents say they are concerned that the state Department of Public Health, which is supposed to regulate the treatment centers, will not be able to prevent abuses. The department has been criticized in recent months for a lack of oversight at a drug-testing lab that was shut down after a chemist allegedly acknowledged mishandling evidence and faking test results.
Detroit could decriminalize possession of small amounts of Marijuana
Category: Medical Marijuana | Posted on Fri, November, 2nd 2012 by THCFinder
A proposal that will appear on Detroit ballots Tuesday could partially decriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana. But how it would affect policing in the city is still up for debate.
Proposal M would amend a 1984 Detroit city ordinance in order to exempt adults over the age of 21 from being prosecuted for the possession of less than an ounce of marijuana on private property.
In June former Detroit Police Chief Ralph Godbee -- who resigned last month due to a sex scandal -- said even if the measure passed the department might continue to enforce existing state and federal laws outlawing marijuana possession.
"A city ordinance can't trump that," he told MLive. "So that would be the priority for us. If you look at the amount of devastation that substance abuse has caused in the inner city, anything that makes it easier to access that, fundamentally I'm opposed to it."
Detroit police had no immediate comment on how the proposal would affect policing in the city.
"The Detroit Police Department is aware of this proposal, and will be ready to address this ordinance, if it should pass," Sgt. Eren L. Stephens, a DPD spokeswoman, told the Huffington Post.
The Coalition for a Safer Detroit, which put the measure on the ballot, says its passage would encourage Detroit police to focus more of their resources on serious crimes. A statement on the group's website argues that de-prioritizing marijuana possession as a crime would save the police and courts a considerable amount time and money:
Read more: http://www.huffingtonpost.com
Voters take up marijuana laws in 6 states this election
Category: Medical Marijuana | Posted on Thu, November, 1st 2012 by THCFinder
LOWELL, Mass. - Karen Hawkes was just 38 when a stroke robbed her of almost everything.
Hawkes, from the seaside community of Rowley just north of Boston, was forced to abandon her law-enforcement career. Chronic pain made it difficult to care for her two young children.
Pharmaceutical painkillers left her mind foggy following that 2006 stroke, but Hawkes eventually discovered something that eased her pain and allowed her to function: marijuana.
Rowley, and many others who suffer from chronic pain, are paying close attention to the Nov. 6 election, when six states, including Massachusetts, will vote on ballot initiatives related to marijuana use.
In Massachusetts, Ballot Question 3 seeks to make the state the 17th in the nation to allow marijuana to be used for medicinal purposes. No state has legalized marijuana, but that could soon change.
Polls suggest Washington could be the first state to wholly legalize marijuana. Voters will be asked to make the drug available for sale to people 21 and over at state-licensed marijuana stores.
In Colorado, a ballot measure seeks to legalize limited possession of marijuana. The measure would allow people to grow up to six marijuana plants in their homes and also legalize marijuana sales at regulated retail stores.
Similar legalization is on the ballot in Oregon, but support for that measure lags in the polls.
Voters in Arkansas, meanwhile, will decide if marijuana can be used for medical purposes. Montana is considering a measure that would tighten its existing medical marijuana law.
Read more: http://www.sgvtribune.com
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