Category Archives: Medical Marijuana

Examining West Virginia’s Medical Marijuana Law


FILE - This April 15, 2017 file photo shows marijuana plants for sale at the ShowGrow dispensary a medical marijuana provider in downtown Los Angeles. This year is poised to be a big one for legalized marijuana, with California and other states that recently approved recreational pot coming online. Yet uncertainty over the Trump administration's intents toward pot enforcement has created at least partial paralysis in those states on public consumption, licensing and other issues. (AP Photo/Richard Vogel,File)

 

WHEELING — Medical marijuana is on its way to West Virginia, although it will be more than two years before it arrives and doctors may start prescribing it for patients.

A bill legalizing the use of medical cannibis has been signed into law by Gov. Jim Justice, but the drug won’t be available to users until July 2019. That’s when a newly created West Virginia Bureau of Health starts to issue patient identification cards to those with ailments meeting qualifications for use.

Patients will be charged $50 for the identification card, but the charge can be waived under instances of financial hardship.

The cannabis prescribed to qualifying patients won’t come in a leaf form that can be smoked or ingested. Instead, users will receive the drug in the form pills, oils, gels, creams, ointments, tinctures, liquid and non-whole plant forms for administration through vaporization.

And the final version of the medical marijuana legislation approved by the West Virginia Legislature prohibits the home cultivation of marijuana by medical cannabis users.

Under the law, the West Virginia Bureau of Public Health may issue as many as 10 permits to businesses seeking to be growers of medical marijuana; as many as 10 permits to those wishing to be processors of the cannabis; and as many as 30 dispensary permits. Medical marijuana will be considered as a medical drug by the state, and its users will not have to pay sales tax when purchasing it. There will, however, be a 10-percent tax on sales from growers/processors to dispensaries.

West Virginia is the 29th state to pass a medical marijuana law, and it joins a growing trend among states thought of as having conservative, traditional values, according to information provided by the Marijuana Policy Project.

During the past year, six states have approved medical cannabis legislation, with West Virginia and neighboring Ohio and Pennsylvania passing their measures through Republican legislatures. Arkansas, Florida, and North Dakota are the others who have new medical marijuana laws, and all six states voted for President Donald Trump last year.

Medical Benefits

Tetrahydrocannabino, commonly known as THC, is the chemical compound in marijuana found to have medicinal benefits in treating chronic pain resulting from migraines, cancer treatment or glaucoma.

It also has been prescribed for muscle spasms caused by multiple sclerosis, epilepsy and seizures, and Crohn’s disease.

Delegate Mark Zatezalo, R-Hancock, pushed in the House for passage of the medical marijuana bill. He assisted House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Shott, R-Mercer, in crafting a reworked version of the legislation first passed in the Senate.

The Shott-Zatezalo amendment offered as replacement legislation made it illegal to dispense marijuana in dry leaf or plant form to a patient, and directed that medicines from marijuana come in the form of patches, pills or potions.

The Shott-Zatezalo version of the legislation was ultimately passed by the Legislature and signed into law.

Zatezalo said he had consulted his daughter, Jennifer, a doctor at Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, on the matter. She confirmed medical cannabis is sometimes prescribed at the center and other hospitals for chronic pain.

“I have no reason to doubt them … ,” Zatezalo said. “But I wanted to craft a better bill. I thought the one we had was loosely written. … What we came up with gave people what they needed medically. It is a little more controlled, with the Bureau of (Public) Health having oversight. There are people out there hurting, and the evidence is mounting that it has medical value.”

Sen. Mike Maroney, R-Wetzel, a medical doctor, was among those voting against medical marijuana legislation. He did not return messages seeking comment.

Legal Questions

Also voting against the medical marijuana legislation in West Virginia was Sen. Ryan Weld, R-Brooke, who also serves as an assistant prosecutor prosecuting drug crimes.

“The reason I voted against it had nothing to do with my being an assistant prosecutor,” he said. “I just know it (marijuana usage) is still illegal per the federal government. I know they stopped enforcing the law during the Obama administration. … But if the federal government wanted to make it illegal again tomorrow, there would be a lot of people running afoul of the law, and a lot of legal consequences.”

Weld cited the “supremacy clause” in the U.S. Constitution which gives federal laws supremacy over those passed by states.

Questions about the law were posed to the office of West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey.

“At this time, we are reviewing the new law and any legal issues that may arise for the State of West Virginia,” said Curtis Johnson, press secretary for Morrisey.

Medical marijuana legislation was supported by Delegate Shawn Fluharty, D-Ohio, also an attorney.

“The feds have made it clear they will not pursue states that have legalized medical marijuana,” he said. “In fact, the recent budget in Congress did not allocate a single dollar to allow Attorney General Jeff Sessions to target those states.”

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Can pregnant women safely consume marijuana?


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By Tracy Seipel • Today at 9:00 AM

On many mornings, with a few puffs of pot — and one cannabis-laced chocolate-covered blueberry in the afternoon — Richelle has been able to stop the severe nausea that has accompanied her third pregnancy.

The regimen not only ended the constant vomiting, but the San Jose, Calif. mother can now finally eat an entire cheeseburger — and keep it down.

“The medical field frowns on pregnant women using marijuana,” said the 27-year-old bookkeeper, who lost 30 pounds early on in her pregnancy because of her condition, called hyperemesis gravidarum, which also causes dehydration.

“But I possibly would not have kept the pregnancy without it,” said Richelle, who is now in her 25th week and asked that her last name not be used because she does not want to be publicly attacked for her beliefs.

After two decades of allowing its medicinal use, California is now one of eight states that have legalized recreational marijuana for people 21 and older. Public health officials, however, say the implications surrounding its consumption by some people — like pregnant women and adolescents, who may be more vulnerable to its potential harmful effects — still must be addressed.

Some states — including Alaska, Washington and Colorado — require warning labels saying the product should not be used by pregnant or breastfeeding women. But California does not.

Surveys show that most Americans don’t like the idea of pregnant women using marijuana.

A Yahoo News/Marist College poll of 1,222 adults released this month found that 67 percent of Americans think it’s safer to use marijuana than opioids to relieve pain. But 69 percent said it’s not acceptable for pregnant women to use marijuana to reduce nausea or pain. Half of cannabis users — and 60 percent of those who have tried it — also don’t think pregnant women should use marijuana, according to the poll.

Dr. Ira Chasnoff, a professor of clinical pediatrics at the University of Illinois College of Medicine and a leading researcher in the development of children prenatally exposed to alcohol and drugs, said a range of studies supports those concerns.

“The general belief is that it’s not harmful,” Chasnoff said of cannabis consumption. “But there are all sorts of aspects of cognitive function — the way the brain works — that are impacted by marijuana exposure.”

He pointed to research that shows low birth rates in babies born to women who have consumed pot during pregnancy, as well as data on higher rates of Attention Deficit Disorder and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder as they get older. Other research has shown that those offspring later in life have problems with “executive functioning,” or the ability to plan and complete tasks, Chasnoff said.

That’s why he believes guidelines that communicate the risk and discourage the use of medical marijuana by pregnant women — or women considering pregnancy — must be established. Research indicates that more U.S. women are now using marijuana during pregnancy, most often to treat morning sickness — which most physicians say can be better treated with more established medications.

A recent study in the Journal of the American Medical Association said that in 2014 nearly 4 percent of pregnant women between the ages of 18 and 44 reported having used marijuana in the past month, compared with 2.4 percent in 2002.

In Oakland, 36-year-old Sarah — who runs a cannabis consulting business with her husband — said she has been using the drug during her 17-week pregnancy to help not only with morning sickness but also with sciatica pain and mood swings.

Like Richelle, she takes a few puffs of a marijuana cigarette every so often, but also uses a few drops of liquid cannabis on her tongue at night. The pain disappears, she said, and she’s able to keep food in her stomach.

She has read a host of studies on the potential side effects the drug might have on her baby. So have some of her relatives, who have told her that using marijuana will “risk having my child come out dumb,” said Sarah, who also said she didn’t want her last name published because she fears she’ll be ostracized.

But she remains unconvinced by what she calls “limited research.” And she says that she doubts that an organically grown plant could harm her baby.

A landmark 395-page study on the health effects of cannabis and cannabinoids released in January by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine also wasn’t able to draw many conclusions.

After reviewing the available research, the authors determined that the long-term effects of smoking cannabis during pregnancy are still unclear. But they did agree that there is substantial evidence that the babies of women who smoke marijuana while pregnant have lower birth weights.

Sarah says she doesn’t abuse the drug but believes it helps to reduce the anxiety that comes with being pregnant. “There is a human inside me growing, and everyone is telling me what I can and cannot do,” she said. “It creates a lot of worry.”

And in her line of work, she has also met many women who used marijuana when they were pregnant and whose children — of all ages — seem well-adjusted.

“Everything in moderation,” Sarah said.

Chasnoff strongly disagrees with that view — and with patients who tell him that cannabis is natural and organic. That doesn’t mean it can’t potentially harm a fetus, he said.

“We know that marijuana’s THC (the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana) crosses very readily from the blood into the brain, so even a small amount has the potential for crossing over into the fetal brain,” Chasnoff said.

The chemical is drawn to fat, he said, and because the fetal brain is almost all fat, the drug remains there longer. It’s one reason why marijuana, unlike other drugs, can be detected in a person for three days to three weeks afterward, depending on the amount and concentration of cannabis consumed.

Marijuana also crosses readily into a mother’s breast milk, said Chasnoff, adding: “We have been able to measure the level of marijuana in the baby’s urine.”

Dr. Frank Lucido, a primary care physician in Berkeley who for two decades has recommended medical marijuana to his adult patients if he determines it will benefit them, doesn’t believe there is enough significant research to warrant pregnant women avoiding cannabis.

“With anything in medicine, you weigh the benefits and the risks,” said the 69-year-old physician. “Nobody has ever died from cannabis, but we know women die from hyperemesis gravidarum.”

So if a pregnant patient is unable to keep food or liquids in her stomach, and marijuana would help, then he would advise it — as he does to perhaps one or two patients each year.

“But I usually discourage it (smoking marijuana) because we don’t know — and smoking can cause low birth weight,” Lucido said. “And maybe smoking (the drug) is the problem.”

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(in) Legislature Considering Indiana’s First Medicinal Cannabis Laws


Submitted by Marijuana News on Tue, 03/21/2017 – 08:30

This legislative session, a record 11 proposals addressed the use of cannabis. Most of them never got a hearing, but two are still moving through the legislature and could become Indiana’s first medical cannabis laws.

Indiana is one of six states that have not passed any form of medical cannabis legislation, including CBD.

CBD stands for cannabidiol, also known as “hemp oil.” It is a non-psychoactive cannabis, with low tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC – so it can’t get people high.

For the past seven years, senators have sought Dr. Trent Jones’ testimony on the topic. He spoke from California last January, via Skype.

“The longer you wait on these children with catastrophic seizures the more damage you do to their ability to develop,” says Jones. “This is the seventh time I’ve personally testified for it, for CBD and industrial hemp in general.”

Jones is a Hoosier native and works now with the National Institute for Cannabis and Endocannabinoid Research or NICER. He strongly advised lawmakers to legalize a form of medical cannabis to treat epilepsy through Senate Bill 15.

This bill has support in the House and the Senate. A related bill defining CBD products as having no more than 0.03 THC also passed the House.

Bobbie Joe Young lobbies for cannabis legislation in Indiana, and is the co-founder of Higher Fellowship. While industrial hemp is legal for research, she says medicinal cannabis bills have never seen this much traction.

“The reason that politicians are concerned is, in our opinion, strictly wording,” says Young. “We’re breaking the stigma and saying hey ‘look at the education, look at the medical background, look at the research.’”

She and fellow lobbyist David Phipps say public opinion is changing and the stigma is fading.

“Bills similar to SB 15 have passed unanimously through the House,” says Phipps, “We expect the same thing to happen and the next obstacle will be the governor’s desk.”

But it may not be smooth sailing, Gov. Eric Holcomb has said he had no plans to expand legal drug use, especially in light of the state’s opioid epidemic.

The Controlled Substances Act of 1970 still classifies all forms of cannabis as Schedule 1 drugs. A recent study did not definitively prove the benefits of medicinal cannabis.

At the same hearing that took testimony from Dr. Trent Jones in January, Republican Sen. Aaron Freeman says he worries about the grey lines.

“I mean law enforcement has to have clear guidelines as to is this legal or not and I worry how is it they are going to know where it was grown,” says Freeman.

Sen. Karen Tallian has proposed cannabis related legislation for the past seven years and is a co-author on the CBD bill for epilepsy. She’d like to add a provision to the bill, in hopes to pave the way for more medical cannabis legislation.

“A study for the health committee during the summer, to look and see about other conditions that may benefit.” Tallian says.

As the debate continues, many are watching it closely. Bettyjo Bouchey lives in Fishers. She is a mother and a doctor, and says her friend from Colorado offered to buy her some CDB hemp oil after her son was diagnosed with primary generalized epilepsy two years ago.

“I fear I would go to jail for helping my son,” says Bouchey, “I mean can you imagine, going to jail for giving your child something that may help with their seizures?”

She says she’d like to know more about CBD it for her 12-year-old. She worries about him being on so many pharmaceuticals.

“If anything we just want the chance to see if it works. You know, let’s do some clinical trials, lets do some proof of concept, you know I’m a doctor I believe in evidence, I get it.” Bouchey says.

SB 15 would include a registry for approved patients. The proposal will be heard in the House in the coming weeks.

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Medical Marijuana, Inc.’s CBD Oil RSHO-X™ Garners National News Headlines Across Mexico For Significantly Reducing Seizures Of Epileptic Children


Articles Focus On RSHO-X™ Study Conducted on Severe Epileptic Children By Mexican Neurologist Who Reported Elimination in Seizures in 17% of Cases and Reduction of Motor Seizures in 84% of Cases

News provided by

Medical Marijuana, Inc.

Mar 17, 2017, 09:00 ET

 


SAN DIEGO, March 17, 2017 /PRNewswire/Medical Marijuana, Inc. (OTC: MJNA), the first-ever publicly traded cannabis company in the United States, announced today that its subsidiary HempMeds® Mexico garnered national news headlines across Mexico for the positive results of a recent study conducted by renowned Mexican physician Dr. Saul Garza Morales on the effects of its RSHO-X™ product in treating children with severe epilepsy. HempMeds® Mexico was the first company to receive government import permits for its cannabidiol (CBD) oil product Real Scientific Hemp Oil-X™ (RSHO-X™) via the Mexican Health Department COFEPRIS.

An article from Mexico newspaper Reforma, “Ayuda cannabidiol a 84% de pacientes,” or “Cannabidiol helps 84% of patients,” explained how 84 percent of children with epilepsy treated with RSHO-X™ halved the number of seizures they suffer from, according to this first clinical study on the use of cannabis in patients with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome in Mexico.   

“We are proud that our cannabidiol (CBD) hemp oil product, without THC, has enabled 17% of patients in the study to experience 100 percent relief from their seizures, the best results of any product/medication in the world regarding the reduction of seizures in Lennox-Gastaut patients,” said Medical Marijuana, Inc. CEO Dr. Stuart Titus. “It is exciting to see such widespread news coverage of these study results by the Mexico media, as studies that prove the therapeutic benefits of CBD like Dr. Garza’s study will continue to help fuel less restrictive medical cannabis programs not only in Mexico, but across the globe. In addition, as news spreads of this revolutionary treatment for diseases such as epilepsy, more patients and families that suffer from debilitating medical conditions will receive help with medical marijuana.”

The study included 39 patients with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome, a severe form of pediatric epilepsy that typically develops before the age of 4. Of those 39 patients, who took up to 5-7mg CBD/kg progressive doses of RSHO-X™ 5000MG, 84% experienced a 50% or greater reduction in motor seizures; 53% reported better than a 75% reduction in seizures; and seven reported a complete elimination of all seizures (17%) over a four-month period, with zero reported side effects.

Results of this study are set to be published in the near future. To view the study, click here.

Other major national Mexico outlets that have reported the results of Dr. Garza’s epilepsy study with RSHO-X™ include:  

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Good morning! My name is Virgil Anderson, and I’m a mesothelioma cancer patient at The National Cancer Institute.


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March 15, 2017

Good morning!
My name is Virgil Anderson, and I’m a mesothelioma cancer patient at The National Cancer Institute.
I was reading through kyusmjparty.weebly.com, and I was hoping you had a minute to check mesothelioma.net. Mesothelioma dot net is the world’s most comprehensive informational site on mesothelioma treatment.

Because of this cancer’s very poor prognosis, our site cover a wide range of therapeutic treatment options, including medicinal marijuana and CBD oils. You can read more at mesothelioma.net/medical-marijuana-mesothelioma/.
In fact, we have over 1000 pages on health therapies alone, ranging from nutritional to naturopathic therapy.
Ultimately, I was hoping you could take a minute to review some of that information and consider consider linking back to our site. If you need additional literature, or would like to hear about other treatment options, please let me know. I’d be delighted to chat.
I applaud your work at kyusmjparty.weebly.com, and I appreciate your time in advance. Anything you can do to help would go a long way.
Hope you’re off to a good start in 2017, and God Bless.
Virgil
Virgil Anderson
Cancer Patient @NCI
Mesothelioma.net

 

How Medical Marijuana Helps Mesothelioma Patients

 

When it comes to treatment options for cancer, individuals will typically undergo aggressive chemotherapy in order to combat the equally rapid growth of the cancer cells. The treatment, however, can leave patients feeling drained if they do not make the necessary lifestyle changes. Fortunately, however, medical marijuana is available as an option to help reduce the severity of chemotherapy side effects.

 

Appetite Improvement

 

One of the most advantageous reasons to consider medical cannabis as a supplementary medication is for the advantages it offers individuals struggling with nausea and appetite suppression. Medical cannabis is often used as a way to encourage patients to eat more, and it can be one of the best medications to apply for singular benefits because of how few side effects the supplement has.

 

Pain Management

 

Medical cannabis can also be invaluable for those who want to manage the regular pains and aches that come with chemotherapy. Because of the heavy toll that the primary medication can take on the body, many individuals may feel as though they do not have as much mobility or comfort available to them. Medical marijuana can be used as a pain management tool, reducing the aches while also improving the individual’s response to the pain.

 

Mood Stabilization

 

Cannabis can be a powerful tool when it comes to mood elevation. Many individuals may feel their moods worsen when they undergo chemotherapy and feel the side effects that come from it. With cannabis, however, individuals will feel much more optimistic about their treatments, which can lead to a better recovery in the future, as the body will respond to how the individual feels.

 

Those interested in such a program should be sure to speak with their doctor in order to determine what type of treatment will work best for their needs.

 

 

“You can’t put the genie back into the bottle”


 

 

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(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)
Patrick McGreevyPatrick McGreevyContact Reporter

Warned of a possible federal crackdown on marijuana, California elected officials and cannabis industry leaders said Friday they were preparing for a potential showdown in the courts and Congress to protect the legalization measure approved by state voters in November.

The flashpoint that set off a scramble in California was a news conference Thursday at which White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer told reporters that the administration had no plans to continue the Obama administration’s permissive approach in states that have legalized marijuana for recreational use.

“I do believe that you’ll see greater enforcement,” he said, adding that the administration would continue to allow states to regulate the sale of marijuana for medical use.

The latest development could force California officials and marijuana industry leaders into an unusual alliance against the federal government, with billions of dollars in profits for businesses and taxes for state coffers at stake.

The state agency responsible for drafting regulations said Friday it was going ahead with its plans to start issuing licenses to growers and sellers in January.

“Until we see any sort of formal plan from the federal government, it’s full speed ahead for us,” said Alex Traverso, a spokesman for the California Bureau of Medical Cannabis Regulation.

In Congress, Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Costa Mesa) plans to introduce legislation that could blunt Spicer’s threat by preventing the Department of Justice from enforcing federal laws against the recreational use of marijuana in states that have legalized it, a spokesman said Friday.

And industry officials warn that any federal crackdown in California and other states will result in many growers and sellers continuing to operate, but on the black market.

California Atty. Gen. Xavier Becerra says he is ready to safeguard the rights approved by 57% of voters in Proposition 64, which allows California adults to possess, transport and buy up to an ounce of marijuana for recreational use.

“I took an oath to enforce the laws that California has passed,” Becerra said in a statement Thursday after Spicer’s comments. “If there is action from the federal government on this subject, I will respond in an appropriate way to protect the interests of California.”

State lawmakers also say California should do what it can to preserve Proposition 64.

“We will support and honor the laws that California voters have democratically enacted,” said Assemblyman Rob Bonta (D-Oakland), an author of legislation creating the licensing system for medical marijuana dispensaries.

Becerra would likely be joined in any defense of the state’s marijuana policy by attorneys general in other parts of the country. Recreational use has also been legalized in Washington state, Colorado, Oregon, Alaska, Maine, Massachusetts and Nevada, home to a combined 68 million Americans.

Washington Atty. Gen. Bob Ferguson, who has worked with Becerra on opposing President Trump’s travel ban, said he and Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee last week asked for a meeting with U.S. Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions to discuss how the recreational marijuana use system is working in their state.

California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, a leading supporter of Proposition 64, took a similar approach, sending a letter Friday to Trump urging him not to carry through with threats to launch a federal enforcement effort.

“I urge you and your administration to work in partnership with California and the other … states that have legalized recreational marijuana for adult use in a way that will let us enforce our state laws that protect the public and our children, while targeting the bad actors,” the Democrat wrote.

If the Justice Department starts arresting licensed marijuana sellers, the multibillion-dollar industry would join forces with the states that issue permits to challenge the action in court, said Amy Margolis, an attorney whose law firm has more than 200 clients in the marijuana industry, including businesses in California.

“This industry is so mature and it’s so far along that I have no doubt that if the Department of Justice started true enforcement actions against cannabis businesses, that they would go to court,” Margolis said. “I see joint actions between the states and the industry hoping to prevent those type of actions.”

Margolis would argue that it is a states’ rights issue.

“The argument would be that this is a situation where the states have the right to regulate and tax an industry the way they want,” she said, adding that states are gaining tax revenue to pay for government programs.

Although federal law does not outline a medicinal use for marijuana, Trump administration officials have made public statements indicating they recognize that such a benefit exists, which could help the industry in a potential court case, Margolis said.

However, the states may find their hands tied legally if they try to keep federal agents from raiding and shutting down marijuana growing and sales operations, according to Adam Winkler, a professor at UCLA School of Law.

“I imagine that California will mount a legal challenge to any crackdown on recreational marijuana,” Winkler said. “Yet there is not much California can do. Federal law is supreme over conflicting state law. Federal agents are entitled to enforce federal law anywhere in the country, including California.”

He said there are limits to federal power, but the courts have held that the federal government does have the authority to enforce federal drug laws.

Aaron Herzberg, an attorney for the industry, agreed that the state would face a tough fight. He cited the 2005 case Gonzales vs. Raich, in which the U.S. Supreme Court found that under the commerce clause of the U.S. Constitution, Congress may criminalize the production and use of homegrown marijuana even if states approve its use for medical purposes.

“Let’s face it: If the federal government wants to shut down recreational marijuana, they could quite easily accomplish it using federal law enforcement and taxation tools,” Herzberg said.

Others say one basis for legal action would be an argument that enforcing laws against marijuana would damage states that have put regulations in place and are depending on hundreds of millions of dollars in taxes to pay for government programs.

States are too far down the path of regulating, licensing and taxing those who are making big investments in the sanctioned marijuana industry to pull the rug out now, said Richard Miadich, an attorney who co-wrote Proposition 64.

“Given the strict regulatory structure set forth in Proposition 64, that medical and adult-use regulations are being developed in concert, and that public opinion is squarely on the side of states’ rights on this issue, I think it is impractical for the federal government to reverse course now,” he said. “Not to mention the potential for great harm to individual states.”

Supporters of Proposition 64 say there is also a potential political solution.

In recent years, Rohrabacher and former Rep. Sam Farr (D-Carmel) won congressional approval of a rider to the federal budget that prohibited federal funds from being used to prosecute medical marijuana businesses that are in compliance with state laws.

Rohrabacher plans to introduce legislation that would expand the protection to businesses that comply with state laws allowing the growing and sale of marijuana for recreational use, according to spokesman Ken Grubbs.

The congressman is planning the legislation “because recreational use is an issue of individual freedom and should be dealt with legally according to the principle of federalism, a bedrock conservative belief,” Grubbs said.

Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Torrance) is also “reviewing options to counteract whatever the Trump administration’s plans” are for state marijuana laws, said senior advisor Jack d’Annibale.

Another option, though a long shot, would be for Congress to attempt to change the federal Controlled Substances Act to decriminalize the use of marijuana nationally.

Herzberg said reinstituting federal raids would be “a major setback for the industry.”

But the state could still go ahead with a licensing system for medical marijuana growing and sales in spite of a federal crackdown on recreational use, according to Hezekiah Allen, head of the California Growers Assn.

“A vast majority of California growers and cannabis business owners would choose to participate only in the medical marketplace if given the option, and some would choose to avoid licensure entirely if they were unable to distinguish themselves from adult-use businesses,” Allen said.

Because Spicer did not provide details on what an enforcement effort might look like, many in the industry hope it will focus on the illegal exporting of marijuana to other states, leaving alone state-licensed firms that grow and sell pot.

“The biggest crackdown we may see is on the increase of cannabis being illegally exported out of recreational states,” said Nate Bradley, executive director of the California Cannabis Industry Assn.

State Sen. Mike McGuire (D-Healdsburg) said any change in federal enforcement policy on states that have legalized recreational use would be misguided.

“You can’t put the genie back into the bottle — marijuana regulation and enforcement can’t and shouldn’t go backwards,” he said.

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Sen. Morgan McGarvey Hosting Public Mtg RE: Medical Marijuana (KY) on February 18th in Louisville, Kentucky


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Senator Morgan McGarvey Hosting 2/18 Public Meeting

Legalize Kentucky Supporters:

Sen. McGarvey filed a bill to allow medical marijuana in last year’s Legislative session and is expected to do so again this year. We need to get a huge crowd to attend this Saturday to thank him for his past support, and show him there are still many supporters of this important issue!

Here is the information: 

Senator Morgan McGarvey

Public Meeting

10 AM

Saturday, February 18

Douglass Community Center

2305 Douglass Blvd

Lawmaker says top issue for constituents is marijuana; oncologist advocates for safe access


02/12/2017 12:39 PM

Far and away the largest number of phone calls from constituents of Rep. Jason Nemes, R-Louisville, are in support of marijuana legalization, and he says he’s heard plenty of other lawmakers also getting the calls.

Nemes recently published online what voters are calling him about, and in a phone interview with Pure Politics he said the calls on marijuana come in three forms: advocating for medical marijuana in pill form, medical marijuana that can be smoked and full-scale state legalization of the federally illegal drug.

“I’m getting contacted on all three of those areas, I don’t know where I am on it, but the Kentucky Medical Association tells me there’s no studies that show that it’s effective,” Nemes said in a phone interview on Wednesday.

Dr. Don Stacy, a board certified radiation oncologist who works in the Kentucky and Indiana areas, said there’s a reason there’s no studies proving effectiveness — studies have not been allowed to take place.

“It’s one of those things where we can’t provide randomized phase three studies in cannabis without making it legal — that is the gold standard for any sort of medicine,” Stacy said. “We have a variety of studies of that nature from other countries of course, but American physicians are very particular about American data. The database we have now is plenty enough to say we shouldn’t be arresting patients for trying to help themselves.”

Stacy said he became interested in marijuana after he noticed some of his patients were doing better with treatment than similar patients. In reviewing their records and through private discussions with the patients, he learned “a significant portion” of those doing better were the patients using marijuana.

“I was surprised by that,” he said. “I’ve always been a skeptic of alternative medicines, but then I began to research the data. I was impressed with the data.”

Dr. Stacy said he’s had some particular patients who showed minor or moderate improvements or side effects, but patients who had to stop treatment because the toxicity of the treatment was so severe. The patients who had to stop treatment tried marijuana, and then they were able to complete their treatments showing “dramatic differences,” Stacy said.

Because of the improvements in patients, Stacy is advocating for safe and legal access to the drug.

Twenty-eight states and the District of Columbia allow access to medical marijuana in different forms. Through those states allowing access, Stacy said several show improvements outside of overall medical care.

In states that have legalized medical marijuana the suicide rate has dropped by 10 percent among males 18 to 40, he said.

“It says when people have serious medical or behavioral issues — if you cannot find the treatment that helps you then some people decide to end their lives, and cannabis apparently prevents a certain portion of people from doing that.”

Stacy said that there is also a 10 percent decrease in physicians prescribing narcotics in medical marijuana states. The effect of that, Stacy said is a 25 percent decrease in overdose deaths linked to narcotics in states with medical cannabis laws. With the level of heroin and opiate abuse in Kentucky, he said there would be positive effects seen here too.

“I think that one-quarter of the people who will overdose and die of narcotics in this state in this year would be alive if we had a medical cannabis law.”

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The Next Big Brain Cancer Drug Could Come from Marijuana


Sy Mukherjee

9:44 PM Central

Image result for marijuana

GW Pharmaceuticals (gwph, +2.63%) is already well on its way to winning the first-ever U.S. approval for a cannabis-derived therapy. But an early trial suggests that these treatments could also be an effective way to fight one of most devastating forms of brain cancers: glioblastoma multiforme.

The U.K.-based company unveiled preliminary data Tuesday from a mid-stage study on an experimental drug combining cannabidiol and THC, the “high” producing element of marijuana. Results so far show that the drug boosted brain cancer patients’ median survival rates by about six months compared to a placebo. Typically, this type of cancer ravages the brain and (on average) leaves 70% of patients dead within two years of being diagnosed.

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“We believe that the signals of efficacy demonstrated in this study further reinforce the potential role of cannabinoids in the field of oncology and provide GW with the prospect of a new and distinct cannabinoid product candidate in the treatment of glioma,” GW CEO Justin Gover said in a statement.

GW is already interpreting the results as a reason to expand its foray into cancer treatment. The company’s most advanced drug candidate, Epidiolex (for treatment of severe epilepsy related to a number of rare disorders), is closest to reaching the U.S. market. But the firm has staked out more far-reaching ambitions in an environment where cannabis-based products have been increasingly accepted.

For one, Gover thinks that cannabidiol-based therapies show plenty of promise in behavioral disorders like schizophrenia, he told Fortune last year.

Marijuana’s effect on cancer still isn’t all that clear. A big recent review by American scientists suggests the drug is effective for treating pain and nausea in cancer patients but doesn’t necessarily treat (or cause) cancer. However, GW’s drug isn’t just a bowl of weed to be smoked – it contains concentrated derivatives and is undergoing the kind of clinical testing that could provide insights hampered by U.S. policy towards studying cannabis.

CONTINUE READING…

http://fortune.com/2016/09/26/gw-pharmaceuticals-marijuana-therapy/

Ignorance abounds in Kentucky concerning cannabis law


 

In October, farmworkers transported harvested marijuana plants at Los Suenos Farms, America’s largest legal open-air marijuana farm, in southern Colorado.

 

The following story was printed on Kentucky.com and my response is included.

By Thomas Vance

The world is watching Colorado and is finding out that everything we have been told by our government about marijuana has not been factual, to put it nicely.

Colorado legalized medical marijuana in 2012 and recreational in 2014. They have paid more than $150 million in taxes on $1.3 billion in sales for 2016 and have created more than 20,000 full-time jobs in the process and none of the predicted harms of legalization have materialized.

California has had an easy access medical marijuana program for 20 years and none of the terrible things we have been told will happen should cannabis be legal have happened.

All we have to do is copy Colorado’s regulations and standards and get on with it. What are we waiting for? The people in our eastern counties are praying for something to replace the coal industry. God has one ready to go for us and we are ignoring his help.

It’s like the old joke about the guy trapped on his roof in a flood. He prays for God to save him. A helicopter comes by and offers to pick the man up. “No, no, thanks anyway but God said he would save me.”

After a while a boat comes and offers to pick up the man. Again he says no because, “God will save me.”

Later on that night, the waters rose and the man drowned. When he gets up to Heaven He asks God, “Why, why God, didn’t you save me?” and God replies, “I sent you a boat and a helicopter, why didn’t you get in?”

Let’s take this winning lottery ticket the good Lord has given us: an industry safer and healthier than coal. Alleviate the suffering of our eastern counties, create thousands of jobs, garner millions in revenue, enable billions in economic activity and put that money to work for the citizens of our great state.

It would seem that if we get to the end of this legislative session and nothing is done, one could reasonably conclude the Republican-controlled legislature is being derelict in its duty to improve the lives and the well being of our citizens and our state.

Thomas Vance of Alexandria is senior adviser for Veterans for Medical Cannabis Access.

Sample of comments:

H.B. Elkins ·

Media Consultant at Kentucky Valley Media Consulting

Industrial hemp, medical marijuana and recreational marijuana are three distinctly different and separate issues. Far too many times, advocates have appeared to champion the first two and then they show their true colors and advocate for the third. This puts a cloud of suspicion over the motives for supporting industrial hemp and medical marijuana.
You do your cause no favors by mentioning Colorado’s approval of recreational use if you are really advocating medical use. I suspect you are really for full legalization and are just using medical use as an incremental step.
Be honest about your motives. It won’t make me support recreational legalization — I don’t — but it will allow me to respect your efforts.

 

MY RESPONSE:

It is people like HB and JOHN below who are complicit in keeping the repeal of cannabis hemp laws out of KY. Unfortunately most of the politicians in KY have the same mindset.

It all boils down to who has the money now and who they don’t want to have any in the future.

Personally, I am not a legalizer, I am a repealer, meaning that I believe all Cannabis statutes from the Federal Government and UN should be abolished as they are illegal to begin with in my opinion. (Do your own research because I am tired) Legalization renders to regulation which renders to incarceration because, well, what can be more profitable than the prison industrial complex?

This plant has been useful for all of humanity’s existence and will continue to be,  regardless of whether it is legalized or not. (Again, do the research).. The sad part is all the people that could be helped (and one day it may be YOU) that will suffer and die needlessly because of evil people whose only concern in life is how much money they can scarf up from everyone else.

In the meantime, many peoples lives are being saved or at least made better by an illegal plant that God put here, by people who are risking there very lives to get this to those that need it – real patients.

Yes, there are those of us who enjoy smoking a good cannabis ‘cig’ – It helps relieve the mind of stress and pain. Sure is a lot better than the alcohol which most people consume on a daily basis and end up dying from in the long run…

So, I guess until everyone gets their heads on straight about Cannabis, everyone will continue to suffer from statutes, regulation, and imprisonment because people are either too stupid to educate themselves, or are too evil to care.

Which one are YOU???

sk

SOURCE AND LINK TO ORIGINAL ARTICLE ON KENTUCKY.COM