Category Archives: Medical Marijuana

Medical Marijuana

Multiple Sclerosis Treatment: Another Breakthrough For Medical Marijuana?

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Growing popularity of legalizing the use for medical marijuana seems to have created another breakthrough with the latest discovery that it could lead to relieving patients suffering from multiple sclerosis (MS).

medical marijuanaThis latest development was published in the journal Neurology, and is based on a review made by a team of researchers from the American Academy of Neurology who conducted the study on the effects of using medical marijuana. However, according to a report from The Boston Globe, they immediately dismissed the effects of marijuana to give relief of Parkinson’s disease and epilepsy or seizures.

Dr. Barbara Koppel, who heads the study and is a neurologist from New York Medical College in New York, disclosed that the marijuana plant contains cannabinoids, which provide relief of multiple sclerosis and with fewer side effects than tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the primary component that causes the feeling of being high. However, it was suggested to take the compound in a pill or spray form rather than smoke it, because it is harder to measure the exact amount of active compound that the patient could get when inhaled.

The National Multiple Sclerosis Society welcomes this new development and puts its support on the basis of fulfilling the rights of MS patients who want to try medical marijuana. They also advised their members to coordinate with health providers in accessing marijuana because it was not specifically determined in the study if smoking marijuana is helpful or safe for the treatment of MS.

Medical Marijuana

Doctors Aim to Study Marijuana More, Ask Feds to Make it Easier

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The American Epilepsy Society has asked the federal government to strip the dangerous drug label from marijuana so it can be studied more easily. medical marijuana

The society noted that it has received several reports of cases of marijuana being effectively used to treat seizures, but that more scientific study is needed to ensure the drug actually works and is safe to use.

However, studying marijuana is difficult at the moment, as it is currently classified by the federal government as a Schedule 1 drug, meaning the federal government considers it to be a dangerous, highly addictive drug with no known medical uses.

The Epilepsy Society has also reportedly softened its stance on using marijuana to combat seizures. It used to warn patients not to use marijuana for this purpose, but now advises careful consultation with epilepsy specialists in all treatments.

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Colorado Employers Allegedly Discriminating Against Marijuana Users

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Although marijuana is now legal in Colorado for recreational use, many employers still consider it a controlled substance (as it is classified federally) and discriminate against its users. drug testing Texas politiciansUrine drug tests are often used to screen potential employees by having them pass a pre-employment drug check or by screening employees by random drug testing on the job.

Drug testing business MCC, located in Grand Junction, said they’ve seen hundreds of jobs impacted by failed drug tests, particularly for marijuana, which is the drug most likely to show up in a urinalysis test.

“I want to say about 80% of our positives are for marijuana,” said MCC drug test collector Kyle Raaflaub. “THC stores in the fat cells so some people that aren’t very active… can have THC in their system up to 45 days. Vicodin, oxycontin, stuff like that, ecstacy, cocaine… those will only have a time table of 24 to 36 hours.”

Testing positive for any amount of marijuana is legal grounds to prevent employment or immediate termination.

Staffing agency Labor etc. says it must turn away potential employment candidates on a weekly basis for failing a drug test due to having THC, marijuana’s psychoactive substance, in their system.

“We get a percentage of our potential employees that have come up positive for THC that argue the fact that it’s legal in Colorado,” said Labor etc. Sales Director Kris Cox. “That they should be able to smoke marijuana and still be accepted for a position, but it is the employer right to say no.”

Current Colorado Law favors business owners banning all personal employee marijuana use on the basis that this is an at-will state.

“Employers can generally terminate employees at their will for no reason, or for any reason as long as it’s a lawful reason,” said employment attorney Anna Itenberg.

The recently enacted Amendment 64 also has a clause reserving employers right’s to drug test. But this seems to contradict Colorado Division of Regulatory Agency’s off-duty statute, which was put in place to protect employees from termination based on what they do in their time outside of work such as cigarette smoking.

The statute reads, “It shall be a discriminatory… for an employer to terminate… any employee due to that employee’s engaging in any lawful activity off the premises of the employer during nonworking hours…”

The Colorado National Organization Reforming Marijuana Laws (CO NORML) said urinalysis testing should not be allowed because it gives positive results for marijuana activity that could’ve occurred weeks ago.

“The reason why we don’t think drug testing should be used is because drug testing for marijuana does not show any type of impairment,” said CO NORML executive director Rachel Gillette.

The state government says it’s okay to smoke marijuana medically and recreationally, but employers seem to disagree.

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Minnesota Police Agencies Stand in the Way of Medical Marijuana Legalization

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Minnesota is considering legalizing the medical use of marijuana, but police agencies in the state are standing in the way of the measure. medical marijuana diabetes prevention

A bill in the state House of Representatives would legalize the possession and use of up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana for people suffering from a range of medical conditions including: cancer, Tourette’s syndrome, post-traumatic stress disorder and any other medical condition approved by the state Commissioner of Health.

Patients would  need to obtain an ID card by getting written certification from a doctor, says measure HF 1818, which was introduced by Rep. Carly Melin (D-Hibbing) last spring.

A similar measure had passed through the Minnesota House and Senate in 2009 prior to being vetoed by then-Governor Tim Pawlenty (R).

Current Democratic Governor Mark Dayton says he’d sign a bill if it were passed, but only with the support of Minnesota law enforcement agencies, and that’s where the hang up is. Thus far, no agency has lent support to the bill.

Their opposition, according to a news report, is based on fears that marijuana’s medical benefits are still unproven, that any legalization effort will increase the drug’s availability to kids and that the bill is too broad in listing qualifying conditions.

But, as reported in Politics In Minnesota earlier this month,  the head of one police agency said he was worried legalizing marijuana for medical purposes might make it more difficult for police to get federal funding to combat the illicit drug trade. Minnesota receives millions in anti-drug money from the White House every year, plus, asset seizures from drug raids have become an integral part of state police budgets.

As a result, Melin has said she may draft a compromise bill to legalize marijuana extracts in pill or liquid form. Some law enforcement agencies have said they might be open to such a measure.

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Ballot Initiative for Pot Legalization in California to Wait Until 2016

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California voters who were looking forward to stating their decision about whether to legalize marijuana will have to wait until 2016. new hampshire medical marijuana bill

The coalition of investors and strategists, including the Drug Policy Alliance, who are pushing for the ballot initiative has decided to wait another couple of years so it can gather more funding and support.

The group was instrumental in legalizing recreational pot in Washington and Colorado and medical marijuana in Massachusetts in 2012, and it plans to support efforts in November of this year to pass a recreational pot measure in Oregon and a medical cannabis measure in Florida.

California, however, will have to wait.

The coalition had already drafted the Control, Regulate and Tax Marijuana Act, registered it with the California secretary of state and was gathering signatures to get the initiative on the November ballot.

However, with the April 18 deadline for gathering signatures fast approaching, the group decided it would be better to postpone its efforts and take its time to do things right. The group said it also needs about $10 million to run a successful campaign in California.

“We believe the best way to go forward with any state ballot initiative is to have a strong funding base in place before launching the campaign,” said Graham Boyd, a leader in working to legalize marijuana in California.

If passed, the measure would have allowed those 21 and older to possess, purchase and use less than an ounce of marijuana and to grow up to six plants for personal use. It also would have established a 25% tax on marijuana sales to be distributed in support of education, drug and alcohol treatment, local government, law enforcement and environmental restoration for the damage done by illegal pot growing.


Medical Marijuana

Canadian Medical Marijuana Restrictions Not Yet Consistent

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Barely a month after news broke out about a New Brunswick Mountie stripped of his authority over medical marijuana use in Canada, authorities are still unsure about this pot debacle.

canada mountie medical marijuanaWhile many U.S. states have already approved the use of medical marijuana, federal agencies in Canada have yet to hammer down clear-cut policies and rules to restrict or control the use of the illicit drug. Canadian newspaper website The National Post recently summed up the viewpoints of a number of government agencies and departments on the issue of medical marijuana. Here are some of the highlights from the article:

  • Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) spokesperson Sgt. Julie Gagnon shared that the agency has recorded a number of Mounties identified to have been using medical marijuana. RCMP members are not banned from using the controversial drug, as long as they are authorized by their respective physicians. In addition, any medical issues among its members must be declared, especially those conditions that may affect public health and safety.
  • Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA), in charge of scanning airline clients and their luggage, does not have a clear rule against medical cannabis. CATSA representative Mathieu Larocque said, “our training programs and oversight mechanisms ensure that screening officers have the capacities and abilities to perform their duties”.
  • Department of National Defence (DND) spokeswoman Colleen Boicey said that members only need to declare their authorization to use medical pot to their base surgeon. Those identified to be using medical marijuana cannot be assigned in positions such as driving authorized vehicles, handling of arms and weapons, or engaging in field operations.
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Chris Brown Considers Taking Medical Marijuana For Anger Management Issues

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Years ago, Chris Brown was infamously linked to domestic violence against women, after he hit then-girlfriend and music superstar Rihanna. Now, the R&B singer seems like he’s going down the route of being a poster boy for pot.

chrisbrownOne day after appearing before the Los Angeles Superior Court last November 20, Brown declared that he should be prescribed medical marijuana to soothe his anger management problems. After all, medical cannabis is legal in California where he currently resides.

According to a news release, he added that he wants to discontinue his doctor’s current prescriptions of anti-depressant medication, citing that the drugs affect his overall health. As declared by a source close to Brown’s camp, the anti-depressant drugs “make Chris feel very numb and he felt that everything around him was fuzzy.” In addition, Brown frequently feels thirsty because of the medication.

Brown was sentenced by Superior Court Judge James Brandlin to three months in treatment and not less than 24 hours per week of community service, and will be subjected to drug tests.

It seems that Brown cannot catch a break. The embattled music artist reportedly figured in a civil disturbance wherein he had a violent argument with his mother and threw a piece of rock onto her car window. Meanwhile, he tested positive for marijuana last year, which almost certainly had a negative impact on his probation.

Medical Marijuana

Cannabis Biotech Aims to Develop Nasal Medical Marijuana Delivery System

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medical marijuanaPuget Technologies (PUGE) has revealed that its subsidiary company, Cannabis Biotech, has entered into an agreement with a patent attorney as it launches its product research to develop a system for the delivery of medical marijuana that uses the body’s mucous membranes, such as the nasal passages.

Cannabis Biotech is developing the system to serve the growing medical marijuana patient base who want to use medical marijuana but do not want to smoke it.

Aside from smoking, eating products that contain THC is the only other viable way for many people to use medical marijuana, but it takes much longer to take effect when eaten.

“Nasal delivery for administration of therapeutic remedies has been used for thousands of years and is very popular today,” says Ken Morrow, prominent international marijuana authority and head of the research group for Cannabis Biotech. “The system offers the potential of appealing to a broader patient base due to being user-friendly, reliable and fast-acting.”

According to Research and Markets, a leading international source for international market research reports and market data, the global drug delivery market was worth $142.5 billion in 2012. It’s a market that President and CEO of Puget Technologies Ron Leyland says the company feels it can tap into with a nasal delivery system for medical marijuana, similar to some cold and allergy medications that are administered via the nasal passages.

“Cannabis Biotech will be filing a design patent for a unique delivery device to optimize administration of the medicine and improve effectiveness and outcomes,” Leyland says. “The intranasal system will position Cannabis Biotech to take advantage of market growth and play a significant role in the future of medical marijuana development and commercialization.”

Medical Marijuana

Anti-Drug Activist Warns Against Medical Marijuana Initiative in Florida

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Calvina Fay, Executive Director of Drug Free America Foundation, Inc. and Save Our Society From Drugs, says Florida could be overrun by marijuana dispensaries, much like its current problem with prescription drug “pill mills” if a medical marijuana initiative passes in 2014.cape_florida

“Floridians should definitely be aware that the medi-pot initiative that they could see on the Florida ballot next year would allow for dispensaries in our state,” Fay said. “These criminal enterprises, making millions and operating under the guise of non-profit businesses, are a severe threat to our communities, just like pill mills. Other problems with marijuana dispensaries include the level of accessibility and direct marketing of marijuana to children. This is very disturbing to me, especially since the Florida medi-pot initiative has no restrictions on age, nor does it require parental consent. Further, there is no accountability as to what’s in the marijuana being dispensed.”