Category Archives: Medical Marijuana

Medical Marijuana

Survey: Australia Votes In Favor of Medical Marijuana Legalization

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A recent survey conducted in Australia revealed that majority of the country’s residents approve of medical marijuana legalization. Roy Morgan Research conducted the telephone survey on Australians across various age groups, genders, and places of residence. The results showed overwhelming support for medical cannabis legalization in Australia, with more than 90 percent of the survey respondents desiring to have a medical marijuana bill implemented in the country.

In terms of gender, 92 percent of women and 90 percent of men said that medical marijuana should be legalized in Australia. The above-50 age group showed the strongest support for the bill, with 94 percent of them rooting for medical marijuana to become legal. “Not surprisingly, Australians aged 50+ are the strongest supporters, as this group is most susceptible to several of the conditions that medicinal marijuana can provide relief from: Parkinson’s disease, cancer, glaucoma and more,” said research company CEO Michele Levine in a news release.

In contrast, the younger generation of 14-to-24 age group showed the least affirmatives of any age bracket, but its 85 percent approval of medical marijuana still speaks volumes about the public’s clamor for medical pot.

“The results indicate an overwhelming support for legalising the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes,” said Levin. He added that the results are a great support for the Australian government’s plan to legalize medical marijuana. “This bodes extremely well for the Federal Government’s plan to legalise the growing of cannabis for medicinal purposes.”

In a surprising twist, survey results showed that Australians are aware that medical marijuana has other means of administration to the human body apart from smoking. “It should also be noted that only one third of the population believes that the smoking of marijuana should be made legal. This demonstrates that Australians understand that smoking and consuming marijuana for medicinal purposes are two very separate issues,” Levin expressed further.

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Medical Marijuana Substance Abuse

Marijuana Trends: Usage Doubled in 11 Years

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From 4.1 percent of Americans admitting to marijuana use in 2001-2002, the number has more than doubled after 11 years.

This was revealed by a study by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, based on personal interviews with respondents in two national surveys in the U.S. The percentage of people who use marijuana has since ballooned to 9.5 percent by 2012-2013. In addition, those who admitted to engage in marijuana abuse or dependence has also risen in number, from 1.5 percent in 2001-2002 to 2.9 percent by 2012-2013.

The research team led by Dr. Bridget F. Grant believe that regulations and continual education should be implemented. “While many in the US think prohibition of recreational marijuana should be ended, this study and others suggest caution and the need for public education about the potential harms in marijuana use, including the risk for addiction,” the researchers stated via a news item.

One potential reason behind this rise in use is the public’s updated perspective on marijuana, saying that cannabis is not risky to use. Another reason is that more U.S. states — now pegged at 23 and still growing — are legalizing medical marijuana, with four of them also legalizing recreational pot use.

Researchers emphasized the importance of regulating marijuana, saying that it does not come without health hazards. “As is the case with alcohol, many individuals can use marijuana without becoming addicted. However, the clear risk for marijuana use disorders among users (approximately 30%) suggests that as the number of US users grows, so will the numbers of those experiencing problems related to such use,” they added.

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Medical Marijuana

Minnesota Medical Marijuana Supporters Seek Broader Scope of Health Conditions

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It’s been barely four months since the legalization of medical marijuana in Minnesota, but some supporters and lawmakers are already discussing about modifications in the law. For starters, some patients diagnosed with chronic pain are not yet included in the allowable diseases for medical marijuana in the state.

Based on the approved legislation, people may use medical marijuana if they are diagnosed with cancer, glaucoma, HIV/AIDS, Tourette syndrome, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), multiple sclerosis (MS), seizures, and Crohn’s disease. According to a news release, Health Commissioner Ed Ehlinger is discussing the possibility of including “intractable pain” in the list of health conditions.

Some of the health conditions seriously being considered to become part of the disease shortlist are those that inflict severe or chronic pain to the patients. These may include epidermolysis bullosa, a congenital condition that makes skin hypersensitive and highly prone to tearing and blisters. Parents of children with this tissue disease resort to administer morphine for pain relief.

However, the biggest concern in adding more diseases on the list is the increased risk of marijuana abuse. Minnesota has one of the strictest medical marijuana programs in the U.S., primarily due to its non-inclusion of intractable pain in the program. This may have resulted to better security and control of the regulated drug, but this hasn’t generated much income for the state. In contrast, states with more lenient medical marijuana laws are enjoying millions of dollars in profit.

All of these considerations have led to the creation of an advisory panel for Minnesota, who will submit their recommendation to the health commissioner next month. If Ehlinger approves the legislative updates before January 1, 2016, pain patients could potentially purchase medical cannabis by the third quarter of 2016.

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Medical Marijuana

California Medical Marijuana Law Gets A Makeover

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A month after Montana’s medical marijuana law was reported to be on the brink of getting repealed, the state of California just announced that its version is getting an much needed improvement.

A recent news article cited that California Governor Jerry Brown has signed three laws that form part of the California Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act (MMRSA). The updated bill aims to improve the regulations in the medical marijuana market and streamline the distribution of medical cannabis within the state.

The three bills signed by Gov. Brown have distinct goals in terms of medical marijuana regulation in California:

  • Assembly Bill 266 establishes the regulatory and licensing functions of the MMRSA. This includes the legalization of medical marijuana in the state, issuance of medical marijuana licenses to for-profit businesses, and creation of 17 types of medical marijuaa licenses.
  • Assembly Bill 243 provides regulations for cultivation of marijuana for medical purposes. The California Department of Food and Agriculture will implement rules and regulations for medical marijuana growing.
  • Senate Bill 643 defines the regulatory structure of the MMRSA, including the establishment of standards for medical marijuana prescriptions.

The announcement was released during the “Medical and Recreational Marijuana in Southern California” seminar in Santa Monica on October 9.

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Health & Wellness Medical Marijuana

Marijuana Use Increases Risk Of Prediabetes

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Type 2 Diabetes has been linked to several factors, but a recent study revealed that the risk of prediabetes is heightened by use of marijuana.

According to a new study published in the journal Diabetologia, people who have used marijuana either in the past or continuously have a higher likelihood of developing prediabetes, which could later on become Type 2 Diabetes. The results were based on the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults (CARDIA) study, where more than 3,000 participants between 18 and 30 years of age were recruited in 1985 and monitored continually on a yearly basis.

Results showed that people who currently use marijuana have a 65 percent higher likelihood of developing prediabetes compared to those who never used cannabis. However, the researchers found no link between marijuana use and Type 2 Diabetes. “It is unclear how marijuana use could place an individual at increased risk for prediabetes yet not diabetes,” the researchers said in a news release.

In addition, the study also discovered a trend for people who admitted to have used marijuana more than 100 times before they reached adulthood. “Occurrence of prediabetes in middle adulthood was significantly elevated for individuals who reported using marijuana in excess of 100 times by young adulthood,” the research team added.

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Medical Marijuana

Montana On The Verge Of Repealing Its Medical Marijuana Legislation

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Montana legalized the use and distribution of medical marijuana in 2004, but recent developments have produced a downtrend for the industry, risking its eventual demise in the state.

According to a news item, the approval of medical cannabis use in Montana has led to a rapid boom in the business, enlisting close to 5,000 providers and having 30,000 patients signed up for the program. The change started when the federal government ordered prosecutors to shift their focus away from marijuana offenses and into other crimes. This caused a sudden influx of providers and physicians who were able to freely issue marijuana prescriptions without fear of getting caught.

The lack of regulations in Montana’s medical marijuana program eventually led to more shops being put up, some of which were placed right in front of worship centers. A growing number of citizens began to oppose medical marijuana, and this has urged the Drug Enforcement Administration to actively pursue erring marijuana providers throughout the state in 2011. It was in this year that the state legislature approved a law that restricts profit for pot providers. As a result, the number of providers dwindled to less than 400.

The “repeal in disguise” law set in 2011 was criticized by the Montana Cannabis Information Association, which filed a lawsuit against the state. The state Supreme Court is expected to reach a verdict by October this year, and this will determine the future of medical marijuana in Montana.

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Medical Marijuana

Connecticut Doctors Don’t Participate In Medical Marijuana Program Despite Many Patients

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Connecticut may have approved the use of medical marijuana within state lines, but the program hasn’t quite grown in recent years. According to the state’s Consumer Protection, only a few doctors have been participating in the medical marijuana program.

Consumer Protection Commissioner Jonathan Harris said in a news item that the agency has continued to run a public service campaign to urge more physicians to register in the program. However, since the start of their campaign, only 239 doctors have signed up to certify thousands of Connecticut patients — 4,914 registered patients to be exact. The number of certifying doctors needs to be increased, according to Harris. “We would like to keep expanding so it meets the expanding patient base,” he expressed.

MarijuanaDoctors.com co-owner John Nicolazzo said that despite the hundreds of doctors who registered in the program, only eight of them are actively certifying potential medical marijuana patients. “There is a very low amount of physicians that are participating in the cannabis program, whether Connecticut, New York or anywhere else,” said Nicolazzo.

Connecticut has six approved medical marijuana dispensaries, which can provide cannabis for patients diagnosed with cancer, epilepsy, Crohn’s disease, and PTSD. Registered doctors may certify patients to receive medical marijuana, but they are not allowed to prescribe the drug.

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Medical Marijuana

Michigan Review Panel Includes Autism As Condition For Medical Marijuana Prescription

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The Michigan Medical Marijuana Review Panel has recommended to include autism as one of the health conditions that the state approves for medical marijuana treatment. The recommendation, which the panel released on July 31, is one step closer to giving autistic kids an additional method of treatment. The final decision, however, will come from the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA).

This bit of news came as a surprise to parents of autistic children and medical marijuana advocates, who said that they expected a negative response from the panel. One of the petitions that convinced the panel was the case of Lisa Smith, who administers cannabis oil to her child diagnosed with autism. The drug has helped the 6-year-old kid sleep and eat better, according to a news release. A medical marijuana user herself due to her epilepsy, Smith was able to use marijuana to alleviate her child’s condition. “She’s heroic in that she came forward and was able to tell her story so that this could happen,” said Michael Komorn, who serves as Smith’s attorney.

The strong support for medical marijuana treatment for autism pushed the review panel to reconsider and eventually recommend the cause. “The parents I’ve talked to are passionate and adamant that this represents a dramatic improvement in the quality of life for them and their affected children,” said panel member David Crocker.

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Medical Marijuana

Medical Marijuana Use For PTSD Patients Not Allowed in Colorado

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Despite the shouts of jubilation in the state of Colorado over the approval of medical marijuana in 2001, not all patients will have access to the controversial wonder drug.

According to a Reuters article, Colorado did not approve the use of medical marijuana by individuals who experience post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Colorado Board of Health spokesperson Mark Salley confirmed the majority vote against considering PTSD as a debilitating problem, which could have granted it an inclusion in the list of health conditions permissible for treatment using cannabis.

This recent development sparked outrage from supporters of medical marijuana, particularly from those who could have benefited from the alternative treatment. “In my opinion, the board sent a message to [PTSD] patients that they just don’t matter,” according to Cannabis Patients Alliance director Teri Robnett. Meanwhile, Veterans For Freedoms spokesperson John Evans expressed his sentiments on the negative vote. “The irony is that the members that voted against us stated a lack of scientific research and data, and just voted against collecting such data,” Evans said.

Medical cannabis continues to be allowed for use by patients diagnosed with HIV/AIDS, glaucoma and cancer.

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Medical Marijuana Substance Abuse

Marijuana-Smoking Church Sues Indiana For Religious Persecution

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Advocacy for marijuana is taken to a whole new level, as a religious community filed a lawsuit over marijuana legislation.

The First Church of Cannabis, a community of believers who consider marijuana as a way to know oneself, sued the city of Indianapolis for violating the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA). The lawsuit was filed in Marion Circuit Court, and lists the city’s top government and law enforcement officials, including Gov. Mike Pence. Church founder (and Grand Poobah) Bill Levin enforced their right to enjoy religious freedom. “Today we invite the state of Indiana and all its leaders to joyfully meet us in a court of law for clarifications on our core religious values. We look forward to engaging them on the high plane of dignity and discipline, with love and compassion in our hearts, to find a swift and sensible answer for our questions of religious equality,” Pence said in a news statement.

Marijuana is still considered an illegal substance in the state of Indiana, but the church stands firm in its belief that the RFRA is enough to allow them to use cannabis during services. In fact, the church considers that marijuana is “our fountain of health, our love, curing us from illness and depression.” The church’s first service on July 1 saw at least a hundred attendees — and dozens of police officers who were given authority to arrest anyone found smoking cannabis.

The church was founded on March 26, 2015, on the same day that the state’s religious objections measure took effect.

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