MJ News for 06/04/2014

7greeneyes

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http://www.firstcoastnews.com/story/news/health/2014/06/03/medical-marijuana-ralph-epilepsy/9937487/




Medicinal marijuana legal in Florida with proof of need


JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- In November Florida voters will decide whether to legalize marijuana for medicinal use. But right now there is a provision in Florida law that allows the use of medical marijuana for certain patients. The Florida Doctrine of Medical Necessity is not well known but it is being used by people here in state who say medicinal marijuana is their last hope. The use of medical marijuana has been legal in Florida for medical use for more than two decades but those turning to cannabis must prove its medical necessity.

"We want medical marijuana for her," said Anneliese Clark. "We were ready to leave our home and move."

Clark just months ago says her mind was made, she had planned a move to Colorado where she believes her 9-year-old daughter Christina would have a better quality of life.

"There's really nothing left than new medicines that are coming out every day," said Clark. "But the side effects are horrific."

With not even a decade behind her little Christina has undergone three brain surgeries, taken 16 different medications, and traveled to three countries for stem cell treatment. Born with epilepsy, uncontrollable seizures have become a constant in her life.

"It's very difficult to watch," said Clark.

Tired of watching her child suffer, Clark is making a bold move. Suppressing her fears she's ready to provide Christina with a drug now embroiled in a controversial fight in the state of Florida.

"They don't have to suffer, their children do not have to suffer," said Christopher Ralph.

Ralph, a Legal Administrator for Health Law Services in Jacksonville for the past six months has reached out to law enforcement agencies, spreading the word about The Florida Doctrine of Medical Necessity.

"Florida's case law says if you have a condition that you're suffering from and this is the medication that's least harmful to you and effective then this is what will work," said Ralph.

Among the law enforcement agencies Ralph says he's been in contact with are Flagler, Broward, St Johns County and the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office.

"Of all of the law enforcement officials we've spoken to they've all said the same thing," said Ralph. "If somebody has all of this documentation there with them they're not there to violate people's rights. They're there to make sure no crime is being committed."

Clark says it's a crime what has been done to her daughter but it's not a crime to help her.

She says the next step now that she's working with Ralph is to get together the documentation needed to legally give her child medical marijuana.
 

7greeneyes

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http://www.boston.com/health/2014/0...legislation/yYM5IIWjDXmrpKLACqvpDK/story.html




As Medical Marijuana Bill Heads To Senate, Four States Consider Legislation




Disclosure: This article is packed with blunt puns.


Marijuana advocates lit up with glee last week as the U.S. House voted to step back and leave medical cannabis laws up to the states. After failing numerous times, getting the bill cleared through the House is like winning the jack pot for pro-marijuana legislators. The proposed bill would prohibit the federal government from interfering with state medical pot laws.

The legislation smoked through the Republican-dominated House with a 218-189 vote in favor of the bill Friday. The bill’s suprising majority vote represents increasingly joint views about federal oversight of state medical marijuana laws between Democrats and Republicans. The vote also reflects public opinion. The ratio of Americans in favor of medical marijuana is high at 73 percent, according to a Pew Research study.

But medical cannabis supporters aren’t exhaling quite yet—the bill has not hit the Senate floor, so things are still a little hazy until then.

Twenty-two states and Washington, D.C. have already enacted laws legalizing marijuana for medical purposes. Florida, Ohio, New York, and Pennsylvania are in the process of rolling out legislation. The criterion for a person to be prescribed a medical marijuana card varies in strictness from state-to-state. Minnesota, for instance, as one of the most conservative medical cannabis states, limits marijuana perscriptions to pill, vapor, and oil forms (aka you can’t smoke it) and restricts prescriptions to patients suffering from severe illnesses. California, on the other hand, is more liberal, allowing patients to carry up to 8 ounces of leaf form and has a much broader definition of cannabis-qualifying illnesses.

The House proposed legislation would not apply to Colorado or Washington where recreational marijuana is legalized.

As the bill heads to Senate and the medical marijuana debate continues, here are some states to follow:

•Minnesota- Minnesota became the 22nd state to legalize medical marijuana just last week. The state has one of the strictest medical marijuana laws (ProCon’s super useful chart compares the laws, fees, and possession limits) and advocates are already pushing to expand the laws.

•New York- A proposal to approve medical marijuana cleared the Senate Health Committee in May. If it clears the Senate Budget Committee then it will head to a full Senate and could get passed in June.

•South Carolina - South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley signed in legislation on June 2 allowing children with severe epilepsy to be prescribed a non-psychoactive oil form of marijuana.

•Florida- Florida legislators approved the “Compassionate Medical Cannabis Act of 2014” in early May, allowing for “non-euphoric” marijuana prescriptions for patients with severe epilepsy. Residents will cast votes on broader marijuana legislation in November.

Hope you didn’t get too burnt out from all those puns. I was on fire though, right?
 

7greeneyes

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http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/06/03/maureen-dowd-tries-marijuana_n_5442224.html




Maureen Dowd Tries Edible Marijuana And Has A Really, Really Bad Trip


New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd traveled to Colorado to cover the state's legalized pot scene -- and it didn't go very well.

Now, Dowd's "bad trip" is quickly becoming the stuff of Internet legend.

In Denver, Dowd sampled a marijuana candy bar (this is research after all), and when she didn't feel anything at first, she ate some more.

Dowd writes:

"But then I felt a scary shudder go through my body and brain. I barely made it from the desk to the bed, where I lay curled up in a hallucinatory state for the next eight hours. I was thirsty but couldn’t move to get water. Or even turn off the lights. I was panting and paranoid, sure that when the room-service waiter knocked and I didn’t answer, he’d call the police and have me arrested for being unable to handle my candy.

I strained to remember where I was or even what I was wearing, touching my green corduroy jeans and staring at the exposed-brick wall. As my paranoia deepened, I became convinced that I had died and no one was telling me."


That's led to responses on Twitter such as this one:

"pourmecoffee ✔ @pourmecoffee
Follow
@NYTimesDowd

Did you ever really look at your hand? I mean *really* look at it?
7:00 PM - 3 Jun 2014"


And this:

"Andi Zeisler @andizeisler
Follow
This explains a lot about Maureen Dowd, you guys."

Dowd doesn't say how much of the candy bar she ate, or if she ate the whole thing. But the next day, a medical consultant at an edibles plant told her that it should have been divided into 16 pieces, especially for someone like Dowd, who says she is not a "regular" marijuana user.

But that suggested serving size isn't mentioned on the label.


Of course, as many have pointed out on Twitter, Dowd could've asked.

Regardless, careful reading of her column reveals several things we didn't know about Dowd:

She wears green corduroy jeans.
She used to love Sky Bars.
Her normal drugs of choice are chardonnay and mediocre movies-on-demand.
Maybe next time Dowd tries an edible, she can write about why she fell out of love with Sky Bars. Was it a bad experience with the vanilla section?

See more Twitter responses to Dowd's column below.
 

7greeneyes

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http://www.forbes.com/sites/jacobsu...ndment-actually-stop-medical-marijuana-raids/




Would The Rohrabacher-Farr Amendment Actually Stop Medical Marijuana Raids?


Last week’s House vote against federal interference with state laws allowing medical use of marijuana was a big deal politically, reflecting growing Republican support for federalism in this area. But it’s not clear that the amendment, assuming it is included in the appropriations bill approved by the Senate and signed by the president, will accomplish what its backers hope. Here is the text of the amendment, which was introduced by Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.):

None of the funds made available in this Act to the Department of Justice may be used, with respect to the States of Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Washington, and Wisconsin, to prevent such States from implementing their own State laws that authorize the use, distribution, possession, or cultivation of medical marijuana.

Prior to the vote on the amendment, Rep. Sam Farr (D-Calif.), chief co-sponsor, summed up its purpose this way:

This is essentially saying, look, if you are following state law, you are a legal resident doing your business under state law, the feds just can’t come in and bust you and bust the doctors and bust the patient. It is more than half the states. So you don’t have to have any opinion about the value of marijuana. This doesn’t change any laws. This doesn’t affect one law, just lists the states that have already legalized it only for medical purposes, only medical purposes, and says, “Federal government, in those states, in those places, you can’t bust people.”

Yet if the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) arrests a patient in Colorado for growing marijuana and the U.S. attorney prosecutes him, that does not, strictly speaking, “prevent” that state from “implementing” its law decriminalizing cultivation of cannabis for medical use. The DEA and the U.S. attorney are enforcing the federal ban on marijuana; they are not compelling Colorado to punish behavior its voters have decided to no longer treat as a crime. Arguably the same could be said for raids on state-licensed dispensaries, although enough of those would shut down commercial distribution of marijuana to patients, effectively preventing the state from implementing its law aimed at giving patients an alternative to home cultivation.

There is even more room for interpretation in states, such as California and Washington, where the legal status of businesses distributing medical marijuana is unclear. In those cases federal officials maintain that dispensaries are not authorized by state law, while state and local officials disagree among themselves about what the law allows. Which reading of the law does the Rohrabacher-Farr amendment require the feds to follow?

During a telebriefing on Friday, Farr seemed to acknowledge that it leaves some wiggle room for the Justice Department. “This isn’t a finely written policy yet,” Farr said. “This is a statement of congressional intent that [the] DEA [should] back off on these issues. We will have to continue to reconcile federal policy with state policy.” Still, he said, “this had strong, bipartisan support,” and “the language, I think, is very simple and very clear, and that makes it a lot easier to implement. We’ll always have oversight as to implementation.” Bill Piper of the Drug Policy Alliance added that “legislative intent matters,” and “I think intent was very clear from the excellent floor speeches.”
 

7greeneyes

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http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/06/03/south-carolina-medical-marijuana-bill_n_5440369.html




(South Carolina) Nikki Haley Signs Medical Marijuana Bill Into Law


South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley (R) signed the Medical Cannabis Therapeutic Treatment Research Act into law Monday, clearing the way for children with severe epilepsy to use cannabidiol oil (CBD), a non-psychoactive derivative of cannabis, to help reduce their seizures if recommended by a licensed physician.

The bill, which passed the Senate unanimously and cleared the House with a 92-5 vote, will also designate a new clinical trial at the Medical University of South Carolina dedicated to evaluating the effectiveness of CBD in controlling epileptic seizures.

Seven other states -- Alabama, Iowa, Kentucky, Mississippi, Tennessee, Utah and Wisconsin -- have also implemented similar CBD-only medical marijuana proposals in the past four months.

In Iowa, Gov. Terry Branstad (R) initially opposed similar legislation but signed the bill into law Friday under pressure from parents seeking to ease their epileptic children’s seizures.

“This bill received tremendous support and truly shows the power of people talking to their legislators and to their governor about important issues to them, to their families and to their children,” Branstad said before signing the bill at a statehouse rotunda ceremony.

On Thursday, Minnesota became the 22nd state in addition to the District of Columbia to legalize medical marijuana.

According to a February HuffPost/YouGov poll, the majority of respondents, 70 percent, supported legalizing medical marijuana while 17 percent thought it should be illegal.
 

7greeneyes

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http://www.independent.co.uk/news/w...-by-10-per-cent-since-last-april-9481619.html




Ever since Colorado started getting high, crime has dropped by 10 per cent


Crime in Denver, the capital of Colorado, has dropped by 10 per cent since last year - reassuring those who feared it would rise after the first legal marijuana stores opened in the state on 1 January.

The statistics published by Denver authorities show that crime overall dropped by 10.6 per cent, while violent crimes including sexual assault and homicide fell by about 5 per cent in total. Meanwhile, property crime such as motor theft fell by around 11 per cent in the city as a whole.

While the fall has not been directly linked to the legalisation of marijuana, the trend is likely to bolster pro-cannabis campaigners and those who welcome the $1.9million (£1.2 million) in tax the government has so far gathered from legal cannabis sales.

When medical marijuana stores are included, the Colorado collected $3.5 million (£2.1 million) in taxes since it became the first US state to legalise cannabis in 2012, with commercial sales beginning at the start of the year.

“All the naysayers who were against marijuana legalization are eating crow about now. Colorado’s weed sales just keep trending up, and with the sales of legal weed, they are improving their schools and reducing overall crime rates,” yoga teacher Christina Sarich wrote about the drop in crime in an article that has gone viral on pro-cannabis websites.

However, the latest figures coincide with the publication of a study by scientists from the University of Pennsylvania, who claim that marijuana can cause sleeping problems.

Crime in Denver, the capital of Colorado, has dropped by 10 per cent since last year - reassuring those who feared it would rise after the first legal marijuana stores opened in the state on 1 January.

The statistics published by Denver authorities show that crime overall dropped by 10.6 per cent, while violent crimes including sexual assault and homicide fell by about 5 per cent in total. Meanwhile, property crime such as motor theft fell by around 11 per cent in the city as a whole.

While the fall has not been directly linked to the legalisation of marijuana, the trend is likely to bolster pro-cannabis campaigners and those who welcome the $1.9million (£1.2 million) in tax the government has so far gathered from legal cannabis sales.

When medical marijuana stores are included, the Colorado collected $3.5 million (£2.1 million) in taxes since it became the first US state to legalise cannabis in 2012, with commercial sales beginning at the start of the year.

“All the naysayers who were against marijuana legalization are eating crow about now. Colorado’s weed sales just keep trending up, and with the sales of legal weed, they are improving their schools and reducing overall crime rates,” yoga teacher Christina Sarich wrote about the drop in crime in an article that has gone viral on pro-cannabis websites.

However, the latest figures coincide with the publication of a study by scientists from the University of Pennsylvania, who claim that marijuana can cause sleeping problems.

People who had taken the drug before they were 15 were twice as likely to suffer these complications, results showed.
 

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