N. J. patients hopeful the last hurdle has been cleared for medical marijuana
Category: Medical Marijuana | Posted on Wed, November, 28th 2012 by THCFinder
New Jersey health officials were upbeat on the day they announced that they were creating a long-awaited patient registry allowing seriously ill people to receive medical marijuana.
Within a couple of weeks, they predicted, eligible patients would be able to buy marijuana from the state's first dispensary, Greenleaf Compassion Center.
That was more than three months ago.
Patients say they have encountered mostly silence since then as they have waited anxiously for the call saying the nonprofit dispensary in Montclair, Essex County, is open for business.
While medical marijuana became legal in New Jersey in January 2010, the program has been set back by a series of delays, leaving patients on an emotional roller-coaster. The most recent delay was caused by confusion over whether marijuana sales should be taxed. After at least two weeks of discussions among various state officials, the Treasury Department decided Tuesday that the drug will be subject to the state's 7 percent sales tax.
For many patients, the last 90 days of waiting have been especially trying. They paid their $200 registration fee in August; their photo IDs arrived the next month by FedEx; and then, silence.
When they called the Health Department and Greenleaf, they couldn't get a clear answer on when the drug would be available, patients said.
State officials told them to await a call from Greenleaf with an appointment date; Greenleaf told them the state was still testing the marijuana plants and it did not know when it could dispense the drug.
Meanwhile, Greenleaf's website went blank, with visitors told only that it was "Temporarily Down for Maintenance." Its Facebook page also was stripped of the hundreds of postings and exchanges among patients who had eagerly shared their stories and concerns.
Read more: http://www.philly.com
Oregon girl, 7, is medical marijuana patient
Category: Medical Marijuana | Posted on Mon, November, 26th 2012 by THCFinder
PORTLAND, Ore. - A 7-year-old girl suffering from leukemia has become one of Oregon's youngest medical marijuana patients.
Mykayla Comstock's mother credits the drug with helping put the cancer into remission.
But her father, worried about the effects of the drug on her brain development, alerted child welfare officials to the treatment.
Mykayla was diagnosed with leukemia last spring and the marijuana eases the effects of chemotherapy, according to her mother. The girl takes a gram of cannabis oil daily, The Oregonian reported.
"First you get hungry," Mykayla told the paper. "Then you get really funny, and then you get tired."
Her mother, Erin Purchase, 25, administers Mykayla's cannabis with the help of her boyfriend.
Mykayla's mother credits the drug for the leukemia's remission.
"As a mother, I am going to try anything before she can potentially fall on the other side," said Erin Purchase, 25, who administers Mykayla's cannabis together with her boyfriend.
Mykayla's father, who is divorced from the girl's mother and lives in North Dakota, contacted child welfare officials, police and her oncologist.
Jesse Comstock said his concerns were prompted by a visit with Mykayla in August.
"She was stoned out of her mind," said Comstock, 26. "All she wanted to do was lay on the bed and play video games."
Comstock pays child support to Purchase and covers Mykayla's health insurance, the paper reported.
Oregon law requires no monitoring of a child's medical marijuana use by a pediatrician.
Medical marijuana proponents in New York renew push for legalization
Category: Medical Marijuana | Posted on Mon, November, 26th 2012 by THCFinder
ALBANY — Medical marijuana could blunt the pain of New York’s budget crunch.
Proponents of pot as a medicine have renewed their push for legalization, arguing that licensing fees and taxes could generate hundreds of millions of dollars a year in new revenues for the cash-strapped state.
“There is a huge amount of revenue here,” said state Sen. Diane Savino (D-Staten Island) who hopes to make New York the 18th state to legalize medical marijuana.
The high-minded talk comes as the state is reeling from Hurricane Sandy bills — and as the pot industry has hired one of the most powerful lobbying firms in Albany to define the issue as a budding financial opportunity.
“It has real economic impact,” said Patrick McCarthy, of the firm Patricia Lynch Associates.
The firm controlled by Pat Lynch, a former top aide to Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, was hired by Colorado-based marijuana company, Gaia Plant Based Medicine, to press lawmakers and Gov. Cuomo.
But the governor has offered only toking opposition.
“I understand the benefits, but there are also risks, and I think the risks outweigh the benefits at this point,” Cuomo said earlier this year, even as he warned that Hurricane Sandy could add $1 billion to the state’s budget deficit this year alone.
Cuomo said more research is needed to prove that legalizing medical marijuana will help people with problems such as cancer and multiple sclerosis, yet not increase drug abuse and criminal activity.
And the state’s influential Conservative Party called legalization of medical marijuana “a horrible idea.”
“It sends a wrong message to the youth of the state, and that’s more important than any amount of revenue the state would take in,” said party Chairman Mike Long.
The movement to legalize the once-demonized plant for medical use has spread like a weed in recent years.
Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com
Massachusetts medical marijuana law scrutinized
Category: Medical Marijuana | Posted on Thu, November, 22nd 2012 by THCFinder
The medical marijuana referendum was overwhelmingly passed by voters on Nov. 4, but city and state officials will have the final say on how the marijuana is dispensed in communities across the state.
State Rep. William "Smitty" Pignatelli, who represents the 4th Berkshire District, said the Leg islature will likely "tighten" language in the law to ensure that proper safeguards are attached to the state initiative.
Many say the medical marijuana referendum, as written, leaves the door open to exploitation of pot.
"I think it's poorly written, but that is the will of the voters," Pignatelli said.
Lawmakers "now have the obligation and the responsibility to implement restrictions for law enforcement and the medical field and make sure [marijuana] does not go to people who will put the drugs in the wrong hands," he said.
The Pittsfield Police Department is awaiting important details from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, the agency charged with addressing registration and administrative fees associated with opening medical marijuana treatment centers. These dispensaries would be allowed to grow, process and provide marijuana to patients or their caregivers.
These details include how much marijuana a patient could be provided for a 60-day medical supply; the administrative process and fees for registering a treatment center; and the regulatory framework for which patients with a verified financial hardship -- or other permissable reason -- will be allowed to grow a 60-day supply of medical marijuana on their property.
In Pittsfield, Mayor Daniel L. Bianchi and City Council President Kevin Sherman said that there will be discussion with the city solicitor on whether the zoning ordinance regulates where a medical marijuana treatment center can be placed.
Bianchi -- who said the city has been approached with inquiries about a center within city limits -- said that it was too early to know if it would be an agenda item on a council meeting, but he said that the health and zoning committees are likely to discuss the new law.
Read more: http://www.berkshireeagle.com
Inspection OKs Tucson medical marijuana dispensary
Category: Medical Marijuana | Posted on Wed, November, 21st 2012 by THCFinder
TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) — A facility that would be Tucson's first medical marijuana dispensary has passed its state inspection, but it's not yet known when it will open.
Harmony Duport heads the state Department of Health Service's inspections office. She says the dispensary operators now have permission to open their doors but so far haven't set a date to do so.
State officials are allowed under the medical marijuana law to identify the dispensary only to cardholders.
Duport says once the facility opens, that will trigger the law's provision to phase out grow-your-own authorizations for cardholders within 25 miles of a dispensary. That would apply to nearly all of the Tucson area.
The provision would apply immediately to people obtaining new cards and to current holders as their cards come up for renewal annually.
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