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
Colorado Woman Speaks of Benefits of Medical Marijuana
Category: Medical Marijuana | Posted on Wed, October, 31st 2012 by THCFinder
Dispensaries offering medical marijuana in different forms, like edible puppy chow, have cropped up all over Colorado.
"I've tried all different kinds of therapies and drugs."
After dealing with chronic pain from fibromyalgia for a quarter of a century, Terri Robnett has finally found the closest thing to a cure yet.
"I'm working and function and without pain," she says. "I never could have done that before without cannabis, I couldn't. I enjoy life"
But she has to be discreet about how and when she uses.
"When you tell people you use medical marijuana there's always this kind of look, like 'Do you really or are you just using it to get high?'"
Of the roughly 100,000 people on Colorado's medical marijuana registry, the average patient age is 41 and severe pain is the most common reason for a red card certification.
"Sure, there are people who might not be legitimate, but I think the vast majority are," she says.
Terri hopes eventually the stoner stereotype will cease to be an issue.
"I can have a life now," she says. "I'm not walking around stoned or lethargic."
And because she recalls what her days were like before she could rely on cannabis, she's stepping out from the smoke shrouded shadows and encouraging Arkansans to look at the big picture beyond pot.
"It makes me sad to think of that there are people in Arkansas, you kow they're all over and they need this -- they need this help," she says.
Patients like Terri often say they opt for edibles because they can be more discreet.
Colorado is also working toward legalizing all marijuana, which could make a difference on how open people can be about their treatment options.
Detroiters prepare to vote on marijuana measure
DETROIT (AP) — Detroiters are preparing to vote on a proposal that would decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana.
The Detroit News reports (http://bit.ly/Vz30hR ) the ballot question, known as Proposal M, would allow adults over age 21 to possess less than an ounce of marijuana on personal property without criminal prosecution.
It's one of six issues facing city voters Nov. 6.
Proponents say Detroit no longer has the police resources to go after people using small amounts of marijuana at home. Opponents say it signals the city is soft on crime.
Detroit is struggling with high crime and a budget that's led to police cutbacks.
Michigan voters in 2008 approved the use of marijuana for medical reasons, but parts of the law are being challenged in court.
A Judge in Montana again suspends medical marijuana law
HELENA, Mont. (AP) — A Helena judge is again blocking the state from enforcing some provisions of the 2011 medical marijuana law.
The decision from District Judge Jim Reynolds comes a week before voters will decide whether to keep the new law, or reject it in favor of the original voter-approved 2004 initiative.
Reynolds said in an order last week that he re-evaluated the tougher new law in wake of new instructions from the Montana Supreme Court. The high court last month overturned Reynolds' initial decision blocking parts of the law.
Reynolds said he will again suspend enforcement of the law while fully evaluating the different test of constitutionality.
The ruling suspends the ban on medical marijuana providers receiving money for their product, and other provisions that advocates argue essentially shut the industry down.
Cannabis spray can help cancer patients cope with pain
Researchers are testing a cannabis mouth spray that they say can relieve pain in cancer patients who do not respond well to traditional painkillers like morphine.
The spray called Sativex is being trialled as evidence mounts for medicinal use of cannabis in people with cancer and multiple sclerosis.
Dr Brian Le, a palliative care specialist at the Royal Melbourne Hospital, said four Australian hospitals were participating in the study which involves about 300 patients in 20 locations around the world.
The trial is the last of several studies required for manufacturer GW Pharmaceuticals to try to license the drug in Australia, the Sydney Morning Herald reported.
A spokeswoman for Novartis, the company employed by GW Pharmaceuticals to commercialise the drug in Australia, said it was also working with the Therapeutic Goods Administration to make Sativex available to patients with multiple sclerosis who suffer from uncontrolled muscle spasticity.
No pharmaceutical drugs based on cannabis are currently licensed for use in Australia. Since 2004, health authorities in the UK, Canada and Spain have licensed Sativex for patients with MS, a neurological condition that causes painful muscle stiffness in about 90 per cent of sufferers.
While cannabis has been strongly associated with mental illness, Le said phase one and two trials of Sativex in more than 400 cancer patients found it relieved pain with few side effects, the most common being nausea.
He said psychiatric side effects were very rare in the doses used and that patients did not report feeling "stoned".
"Our experience is that pain improves and the patients actually feel better. They're more able to do daily activities, sleep better through the night without pain and think clearly, so instances of feeling confused or 'out of it' are low," he said.
"They don't feel better because they're stoned, they feel better because their pain is well controlled," he said.
The drug works by targeting cannabinoid receptors in the brain.
"Cannabinoid receptors are like morphine receptors in the body, they mediate how the pain is sensed and how that pain message is transmitted to the brain and therefore perceived, so it reduces the conduction of that message to say there is pain occurring," he said.
Medical Marijuana Is on Your Ballot
Category: Medical Marijuana | Posted on Thu, October, 25th 2012 by THCFinder
In a little over a week, we the voters will elect representatives who will make momentous, sometimes life-or-death decisions on our behalf. As a patient and advocate of medical marijuana, I am motivated this election by strong, bipartisan support for this medicine -- up to 80 percent in recent polls. If you are part of the majority of Americans who support cannabis access for medical purposes, you don't need to be in the three states with an initiative on the ballot to weigh in. My organization, Americans for Safe Access, has created a tool that allows you to make your vote for Congress a vote for medical marijuana, by grading members of Congress on their record on this issue: VoteMedicalMarijuana.org.
Based on their record since 1997, VoteMedicalMarijuana.org grades Members of Congress up for reelection on a pass/fail basis. Those who have generally voted for access to medical cannabis pass, and those who generally vote against it fail. For example, the 72 percent of Democrats and 29 percent of Republicans who voted this May in favor of de-funding Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) raids in medical cannabis states pass, and those who voted against it, fail. VoteMedicalMarijuana.org also identifies key champions of medical marijuana with the "honor roll" distinction, reserved for co-sponsors of important legislation that protects state medical marijuana laws.
Our Congressional Representatives are our voice in Washington. By voting for representatives who favor access, you are shaping public policy. In just the last two years, medical marijuana supporters have been key to statewide races, defeating Steve Cooley in his race for Attorney General in California, and electing Ellen Rosenblum as Attorney General of Oregon. Since Congress holds the key to granting medical cannabis access nationwide, supporters need to know whether or not their representative is on their side.
You may have read about the federal lawsuit ASA v DEA that was recently heard by the Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C. We are excited and optimistic that the courts will recognize the medical value of marijuana and force the government to properly reclassify it. Once this is achieved, Congress can get to work on developing the comprehensive public health policy that every patient deserves. It is Congress that funds the aggressive federal enforcement campaigns against state law-abiding medical cannabis facilities. And it is Congress that has the power to let patients use a currently prohibited "medical marijuana" defense in federal criminal trials. Your vote for your Congressperson -- and every American outside of my hometown of D.C. has one -- can be a vote for a sensible medical marijuana policy.
If you care about medical cannabis access, please visit VoteMedicaMarijuana.org before you cast your vote. This information is based on the Congressional record, but it is not comprehensive. If you don't see your Congressional, State Legislature or City Council race on this list, we invite you to ask the candidates yourself, and share their responses with us.
Voters in Arkansas, Massachusetts and Montana have the opportunity to vote for state medical marijuana laws, but voters in every state can and should weigh in on medical marijuana policy. Don't let your vote be ignored, and Vote Medical Marijuana on November 6th!
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