Bill Introduced To Overturn Ban On VA Physicians Recommending Medical Marijuana
Category: News | Posted on Fri, November, 21st 2014 by THCFinder
U.S. House Representatives Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) and Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA), along with ten bipartisan Congressional cosponsors introduced the “Veterans Equal Access Act” (VEAA) today, marking a concerted federal effort to allow our country’s veterans to become medical marijuana patients in states where it’s legal. The VEAA would simply allow Veterans Affairs (VA) physicians to discuss and recommend medical marijuana to their patients, a right enjoyed by physicians outside of the VA system.
“Post traumatic stress and traumatic brain injury are just as damaging and harmful as any injuries that are visible from the outside,” said Blumenauer, the bill’s author. “Sometimes even more so because of the devastating effect they can have on a veteran’s family. We should be allowing these wounded warriors access to the medicine that will help them survive and thrive, including medical marijuana, not treating them like criminals and forcing them into the shadows. It’s shameful.”
The VEAA is cosponsored by a balanced mix of ten members on each side of the aisle, as well as a range of members from states that have, and still have not, legalized marijuana for medical use: Dina Titus (D-NV), Justin Amash (R-MI), Paul Broun (R-GA), Walter Jones (R-NC), Thomas Massie (R-KY), Sam Farr (D-CA), Jared Polis (D-CO), Beto O’Rourke (D-TX), Steve Stockman (R-TX) and Steve Cohen (D-TN).
In 2011, the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) issued a directive which said, “VHA policy does not administratively prohibit Veterans who participate in State marijuana programs from also participating in VHA substance abuse programs, pain control programs, or other clinical programs where the use of marijuana may be considered inconsistent with treatment goals.” However, in addition to giving wide discretion to continue discrimination against veterans, the policy also forbids VA physicians from issuing medical marijuana recommendations to their patients.
For many veterans, their VA physician is their primary care physician and they have no need to go outside of the VA system for health care. In fact, since more than a million U.S. veterans are at risk of homelessness due to poverty, they don’t have the option to pay for private physicians in order to meet their health care needs. As a result, veterans are either denied critical pain medication and other pharmaceuticals because of their medical marijuana use, or they are forced by their VA physicians to go without an important and adjunct therapy.
“Millions of Americans suffer from PTSD and chronic pain, but our veterans are even more adversely affected by these conditions, and yet we fail to treat them with the same level of respect,” said Mike Liszewski, Government Affairs Director with Americans for Safe Access, the country’s leading medical marijuana advocacy group. “Veterans must be given the same rights and health care options that we give other Americans, especially where medical marijuana is concerned.”
Researchers were granted permission earlier this year to study the effects of medical marijuana on Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). However, soon after, the University of Mississippi, the sole supplier of research-grade cannabis in the U.S., said it was unable to provide the requested strains, causing delays in the research. More recently, in June, the study hit another snag after the lead researcher, Dr. Sue Sisley, was abruptly fired by the University of Arizona.
In March, the Journal of Psychoactive Drugs published a study that found participants who used inhaled marijuana reported an average of 75 percent reduction in PTSD symptoms.
Official Bob Marley Marijuana Blend On the Way
Category: News | Posted on Wed, November, 19th 2014 by THCFinder
The world's most famous reggae singer is on the verge of becoming the Marlboro Man of Marijuana: The Bob Marley estate has licensed the Legend singer's name and likeness to create a special blend of herb dubbed Marley Natural.
Marley's widow Rita Marley and children Cedella and Rohan have teamed up with Privateer Holdings, a private equity group specializing in the legal marijuana market, to exclusively mass-produce those "heirloom Jamaican cannabis strains" that Marley himself smoked to make the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer the face of the herb revolution. Privateer also owns Tilray, a 60,000-square-foot property on Vancouver Island, British Columbia that ranks as the world's largest marijuana grow farm.
Although the blend won't hit the States where pot is legal – which now includes Alaska and Oregon – until late-2015, Marley is now positioned to become the face of a movement to legalize weed not just in America but worldwide. "Bob Marley started to push for legalization more than 50 years ago. We're going to help him finish it," Privateer Holdings CEO Brendan Kennedy told NBC News.
"It just seems natural that Daddy should be part of this conversation," Cedella Marley, 47, the reggae legend's first-born daughter, told NBC News in a taped statement. "As Daddy would say, 'make way for the positive day.'" Son Rohan Marley added, "Herb is for the healing of the nation; herb is for the meditation; herb is for the higher vibrations."
Rita Marley, who was once a member of Marley's backup singing group the I Threes, said in a statement, "You can depend on Bob, too. He’s 100 percent behind what is happening. He's happy because this is what we dreamed of," referring to marijuana legalization. "It was unruly for them to call it weed or drugs. We saw it as a spiritual thing, given to us by God." The Marley family also shared a commercial for the Marley Natural, as well as the blend's logo, a dread lion positioned between two pot leaves.
Marley finished ninth on Forbes' most recent list of the top-earning dead celebrities, with annual earnings of around $20 million for his estate (not including all the bootlegged clothing and paraphernalia featuring the singer's likeness). With the release of Marley Natural Fine Cannabis, and with the legal weed industry in America already at $50 billion and climbing with every state that decriminalizes marijuana, Marley's estate can expect to rocket up the posthumous earnings list in the near future.
Medical Marijuana Patient Stabbed & Charged With Possession
Category: News | Posted on Tue, November, 18th 2014 by THCFinder
On October 8th of 2013, Scott Waselik, 24 was stabbed in his home by his roommate, Kevin Rios, 22. Suffering a stab wound to the chest, Waselik managed to drive his car to the police station in his town of Sparta, New Jersey, and tell the police about the attack. Reluctantly, Waselik gave his address to police in order to get custody of his roommate. While Waselik was transported to the hospital for treatment, police headed to his house. When the cops arrived at the house, the saw Rios standing near his car, with a bag of cannabis in the open trunk, the report said. After cuffing Rios, one of the officers at the scene went in to the house to “clear” it and saw more marijuana and paraphernalia. After leaving the scene and coming back with a warrant, cops returned and seized the plant and the paraphernalia.
Both Waselik and Rios had cards, allowing them to consume the plant in allowance with their state’s law. The police, however, said that the marijuana found wasn’t from a state approved dispensary, as is required by the law in New Jersey. Waselik, a patient who suffers from Crohn’s disease, wasn’t even given a chance to defend himself before being slapped with the possession charge. For the last year, he has been arguing his case that he had a right to have the marijuana found in his home.
On Friday, Waselik caught a break and the judge hearing the case did him a huge favor. The judge ruled that the police had no authority to enter the house in the first place. Which means that both the cannabis (totaling at 74 grams) and the paraphernalia can’t be used as evidence. But the judge ruled that the police had no emergency need to enter the house, seeing as how Rios was already in custody and Waselik was on his way to the hospital.
Targeting a medical marijuana patient is a low blow by the police. With the judge throwing out the evidence of the plant and the paraphernalia, Waselik will be able to consume his marijuana in peace. As a patient dealing with Crohn’s, he is definitely someone would could benefit from using the plant as a medicine. Those patients that need the plant should not be targeted, especially when they are complying with the laws regarding possession.
Supplying Marijuana Grow Equipment Now Illegal In The Netherlands
Category: News | Posted on Wed, November, 12th 2014 by THCFinder
I remember when I was a teenager growing up in the 90’s, Amsterdam (and the Netherlands in general) was the Mecca of marijuana. I always wanted to come visit there, visit their stores, and smoke their world class marijuana. While marijuana has technically been illegal in the Netherlands since that time, back then it was very loosely enforced. Things have changed quite a bit since then, with the Netherlands taking a harder stance against marijuana, while some states in the U.S. have loosened their marijuana laws.
It sounds like it is now illegal to even supply marijuana growing equipment in the Netherlands. Per The Stoned Society:
Today a majority of the Dutch Senate voted for the so-called growshop law, essentially prohibiting the supply, preparation and facilitation of illegal cannabis grows. Growshops will now have to operate more discretely if they want to continue their business.
It is already illegal to grow cannabis in the Netherlands, but now also supplying (even water cans and regular soil) and preparations (electrical construction for example) is illegal and punishable, depending on the size and personal vs commercial grows, by jail sentences up to 3 years.
Have you been the the Netherlands lately? How is the ‘cannabis scene’ there? If you have visited there in decades past, how has it changed? Is Amsterdam still considered to be the Mecca of marijuana to you?
FBI: Marijuana Arrests Down, Enforcement Still Wastes Over 457 Million Annually
Category: News | Posted on Tue, November, 11th 2014 by THCFinder
New arrest data has been released by the F.B.I., which shows that marijuana arrests have declined, but an enormous amount of money is still being wasted on enforcing failed policies. Below is a reaction from NORML and StopTheDrugWar.Org:
By Erik Altieri, NORML Communications Director
The FBI’s annual Uniform Crime Report was released this morning and provides an updated look at the total number of marijuana arrests law enforcement made across the country in 2013.
The good news is that numbers are down slightly from 2012’s arrest figures. In 2012, there were about 749,825 marijuana arrests (compared to 757,969 in 2011).
The new report shows a modest decrease in arrests. In 2013, there was a total of 693,481 arrests made for marijuana charges, with the overwhelming majority of these being for simple possession. Law enforcement made about 609,423 arrests for possession alone, a decrease of 48,808 arrests compared to 2012. While we may be seeing slight decreases due to the growing number of states who have begun to reform their marijuana policies, the fact that over 600,000 individuals are still being arrested for a non-violent act shows how much work we have left to do in ending our disastrous prohibition of marijuana.
Using the ACLU low-level estimate of cost per arrest ($750), the minimum enforcement cost for the 609,423 individuals put in handcuffs for just marijuana possession in 2013 would be in excess of $457,067,250.
NYPD to stop arresting for low-level marijuana charges, will issue tickets instead
Category: News | Posted on Mon, November, 10th 2014 by THCFinder
It’s high time for a change in how the NYPD deals with pot possession.
City cops will stop arresting people on low-level marijuana charges and issue tickets instead, a police source said Monday.
The change in policy is expected to be announced by Mayor de Blasio and NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton at an afternoon press conference, the source said.
There has been a growing pressure on law enforcement to curb arrests for small amounts of marijuana because they are disproportionately made in black and Hispanic communities.
According to the Marijuana Arrest Research Project, blacks and Hispanics represented 86% of those arrested for marijuana possession in the city in the first eight months of the year. Studies have shown that whites are equally as likely to use the drug.
The reform policy was embraced by Brooklyn District Attorney Kenneth Thompson during his 2013 campaign for office. He promised to fine those arrested with small amounts of marijuana rather than put them in cuffs and charge them.
"Too many young people are being arrested for low-level drug charges that leave a permanent stain on their records for what should be a violation," Thompson had said.
The de Blasio administration has been slow to warm up to the policy, but Bratton has spoken recently about handling some minor criminal offenses without making arrests.
Bratton has come under criticism in the wake of a Staten Island suspect’s death as cops arrested him for selling untaxed cigarettes. Critics said it showed the flaws in the Broken Windows policy of aggressively targeting low-level crime. Eric Garner died in a police chokehold on July 17 and the city medical examiner ruled the death a homicide.
It wasn’t immediately clear exactly how much pot would be considered criminal.
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