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Medical Marijuana

New York Issues Final Rules for Doomed Medical Marijuana Program

Category: Medical Marijuana | Posted on Sat, April, 4th 2015 by THCFinder

Ever since New York Governor Andrew Cuomo put his signature on the Compassionate Care Act last year supporters have been waiting for their biggest fears to come true – the launch of a highly restrictive program that leaves countless patients unable to gain access to effective medicine. Now,the wait is over

On Wednesday, the New York State Department of Health issued its definitive rules for the state’s medical marijuana program and it appears that none of the concerns expressed over the past several months were even taken into consideration. Earlier this week, The New York Times pointed out the ultra-restrictive nature of the rules outlined in the agency’s meticulous 100-page draft, but concluded that some amendments were likely to occur before they published the final version.

Unfortunately, after receiving hundreds of concerned comments from patients, physicians and lawmakers, no significant changes were made; only corrections to formatting issues, but nothing for the betterment of the program. It remains simply a blueprint to one of the most cut-rate medical marijuana programs in the United States.

“No changes to the proposed regulation were made as a result of these comments,” is the most common line in the health department’s assessment of public comment. Among the concerns includes the fact that the program only allows 10 qualified conditions, as well as a limited number of dispensaries to service the needs of the entire state – posing difficulties for patients with transportation issues. There are also stipulations that will limit the types of edibles and oils that can be cultivated and sold as well as a laundry list of other senseless provisions that will force New Yorkers, young and old, to continue enduring debilitating ailments without the proper treatment.

Although there was hope the health commissioner would pull it together in the end, which the law authorized him to do, most supporters are not surprised by the agency’s decision to maintain the program’s restrictiveness out of what they suggest was needed to “strike the required balance.”

Last year, there was extensive demand on the part of the Cuomo Administration to amend the language of the Compassionate Care Act to purposely set New York’s medical marijuana program up for failure. In the weeks following its passage, key legislative forces, who supported the program, went on record to say that Governor Cuomo never backed medical marijuana and was never compassionate for the hardships of the potentially hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers in desperate need of the program.

Read More: http://www.hightimes.com/read/new-york-issues-final-rules-doomed-medical-marijuana-program


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Pot Lawsuit Could Threaten Medical Marijuana Programs Across the Nation

Category: Medical Marijuana | Posted on Mon, March, 30th 2015 by THCFinder

DENVER (AP) -- States are free to legalize marijuana, Colorado argued Friday in a filing to the U.S. Supreme Court in response to a lawsuit from neighboring states that have asked the nation's highest court to shut down Colorado's pot law.

The filing marks the first time Colorado has defended legal marijuana in writing. The federal government did not sue to block the state's 2012 vote to legalize pot for all adults over 21.

Colorado said that Nebraska and Oklahoma should sue the federal government for not enforcing the Controlled Substances Act, not other states. Colorado said the states' "quarrel is not with Colorado but with the federal government's" approach to letting states experiment with pot law.

"Nebraska and Oklahoma filed this case in an attempt to reach across their borders and selectively invalidate state laws with which they disagree," Colorado argued.

Because federal drug law bans marijuana for any purpose, including medical, Colorado argues that blocking recreational pot would also block pot for medical use in 23 states and Washington, D.C.

"Congress has endorsed a policy, at least with respect to medical marijuana, supportive of state regulatory and licensure laws," Colorado wrote. "This suit threatens to upset those administrative and political decisions."

The U.S. Supreme Court has not said whether it will hear the challenge, and it has no deadline for doing so.

Colorado Republican Attorney General Cynthia Coffman opposes marijuana legalization, but she said the problem needs to be fixed by federal drug authorities. "This lawsuit ... won't fix America's national drug policy- at least not without leadership from Washington, D.C., which remains noticeably absent," Coffman said in a statement.

Read More: http://www.hightimes.com/read/pot-lawsuit-could-threaten-medical-marijuana-programs-across-nation


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Dalai Lama backs use of marijuana for medicinal purposes

Category: Medical Marijuana | Posted on Fri, March, 27th 2015 by THCFinder

The Dalai Lama has joined the debate on the legalisation of marijuana by telling an audience in Mexico that he supports its use for medicinal purposes.
 
Speaking at an event in the state of Guanajuato on Tuesday, Tibet's spiritual leader said that "the exception" for smoking the drug would be if it were for medicinal use, reported AFP.
 
He clarified his position by adding that he did not support its use as a recreational drug, AFP reported. He was responding to an audience member's question about his position on the legalisation of the drug
 
The country is currently considering whether to legalise the drug. Mexico's former president Vicente Fox, who was hosting the event, supports its legalisation as a way to divert money from - and break - the country's powerful drug cartels.
 

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Washington Senate Approves PTSD As Qualifying Medical Marijuana Condition

Category: Medical Marijuana | Posted on Sat, March, 21st 2015 by THCFinder
 

washington state capitol olympia marijuanaMedical marijuana has been found to be an effective treatment for PTSD. That’s why so many states have added PTSD to the list of qualifying conditions to become a medical marijuana patient. Washington unfortunately is not one of those states. But it does appear that PTSD has a good chance of being added to Washington State’s medical marijuana program. This week the Washington Senate approved a bill that would do just that. Per The Joint Blog:

Washington State’s full Senate, with a 48 to 0 vote, has approved a bill to add PTSD as a qualifying medical cannabis conditions.

Senate Bill 5379 was filed by Senator Steve Hobbs, an active member of the Army National Guard, and has been sent to the state’s House of Representatives. Its passage in the House will send it to Governor Jay Inslee for consideration. Nine other states – Michigan, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, New Mexico, Arizona and Oregon – allow those with PTSD to use cannabis for medical purposes.

No one should be denied medical marijuana if it helps treat their condition. To deny a suffering person medicine is a terrible thing, and such an act lacks compassion towards sick and suffering people. I’m happy to see this bill move forward. The bill now moves to the Washington House. I have to assume that if the bill passed unanimously in the Washington Senate, that it has a good chance of passing in the House, albeit maybe not unanimously.


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Good News for Medical Marijuana

Category: Medical Marijuana | Posted on Thu, March, 19th 2015 by THCFinder
Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., in Washington, Wednesday, April 2, 2014Credit Pablo Martinez Monsivais/Associated Press

A bipartisan Senate bill that would permit the medicinal use of marijuana in states that allow it is slowly gaining support among lawmakers. The latest to sign on is Senator Barbara Boxer, Democrat of California, who became a co-sponsor of the bill on Tuesday.

Senators Cory Booker of New Jersey and Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, both Democrats, and Rand Paul, the Kentucky Republican, introduced the bill earlier this month. They were joined a day later by Dean Heller, Republican of Nevada. The editorial board praisedthe bill as “a big step in the right direction” even though it would not repeal the destructive federal ban on marijuana altogether.

Instead, it would remove marijuana from Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act, which is meant for drugs that have no acceptable medical uses, like heroin. The legislation would place cannabis into Schedule II, which includes drugs like cocaine and methadone that have legitimate medical uses but have a “high potential for abuse.” It would also ease restrictions on research of marijuana’s medical uses.

The support of Ms. Boxer, who has spent 30 years in Congress andsaid in January that she will not seek re-election in 2016, adds political heft to the bill and will hopefully encourage more liberal lawmakers to back it, too. Her home state was the first to allow the medical use of marijuana through a ballot initiative in 1996.

A slight majority of Americans support legalizing marijuana altogether, according to polls by Gallup, the Pew Research Centerand other organizations. But support is much higher for medical uses of the drug. In a 2013 Pew survey, 77 percent of Americans said marijuana has “legitimate medical uses.”

Source: http://takingnote.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/03/18/good-news-for-medical-marijuana/


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Legal Marijuana In Colorado Has Already Generated $15 Million For Schools

Category: Medical Marijuana | Posted on Wed, March, 18th 2015 by THCFinder

Legal marijuana in Colorado has already generated more than $15 million in tax revenue that is specifically earmarked for public schools, according to the latest data from the state's Department of Education.

Since Jan. 1, 2014, when the state's first retail marijuana shops opened, $15.6 million has been generated for the Building Excellent Schools Today (BEST) grant program, said Scott Newell, director of the office of capital construction for the state's Education Department. The marijuana funds for schools were generated via a special voter-approved 15 percent excise tax on marijuana sales.

Newell's office oversees all funds flagged for school construction in the state through BEST. In addition to marijuana excise taxes, additional funding for BEST is provided from state lottery spillover proceeds and interest, as well as the state land trust -- all of which is put into a single fund and dispersed via grants to needy districts and schools.

"This year will mark the first year [marijuana] excise tax dollars will be part of the revenues we provide in the form of grants," Newell said.

The BEST grant program was first established in the state in 2008 as a way to generate additional funding for public schools in the state to renew or replace deteriorating facilities. The grant money is available to state public school districts, charter schools and boards of cooperative educational services, as well as the Colorado School for the Deaf and the Blind. It can be used for construction of new schools and general construction, in addition to renovation of existing school facility systems and structures.

The BEST program disperses its grant funds annually, Newell explained, and the Education Department projects that in the 2014-2015 fiscal year the program will take in about $108 million in revenue, from all sources, including an estimated $16 million total in marijuana excise taxes. In the fiscal year following, the department projects, it will take in another $16 million from marijuana excise taxes, with a total of more than $90 million in revenue that year.

 

Read More: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/03/17/colorado-marijuana-schools_n_6888444.html


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