Minnesota House Okays Bill On Medical Marijuana Study

Representatives voted 86-39 on a bipartisan basis to advance the Medical Marijuana Study bill, which differs from a measure state senators approved on Tuesday that would make physician-prescribed medical marijuana legal for a broad range of illnesses. More than 20 U.S. states have approved medical marijuana on a broad basis and others on a narrower basis, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

The two versions had bipartisan support in the Democratic-controlled legislature. Democratic Governor Mark Dayton said in a letter on Friday to sponsors of both measures that he would sign the House bill if the legislature approves it. “I know it’s easy for us sometimes as politicians or legislators to just tell people that we’ll wait another year, but these families can’t wait another year, they need relief now,” said Representative Carly Melin, the bill’s sponsor.

Patients would have to be Minnesota residents and register with the state health department to receive medical marijuana from licensed pharmacists under the bill. The health department estimated that about 5,000 people would enroll. Participants would have to be diagnosed with one of several conditions that include seizure disorders, cancer, glaucoma, multiple sclerosis and other disorders that cause severe muscle spasms, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, HIV and AIDS. Patients would be allowed to vaporize the cannabis, but would be prohibited from smoking it and would not be allowed to use the plant or leaf form. The Minnesota Medical Association supports the House proposal, but not the Senate measure, which would make medical marijuana legal on more broad terms.

To read more, visit http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/05/10/us-usa-minnesota-marijuana-idUSBREA480WW20140510

Dayton Gives Thumbs Up For Medical Marijuana Bill To Be Passed By House

On the House floor, the debate over the measure was emotional and free of the rancor that often accompanies controversial issues. Instead, a bipartisan cohort of lawmakers who stand on both side of the issue tearfully told personal stories of illness, pain and struggle that brought tears to speakers and listeners. “I feel like I’ve been crying all day long, hearing the stories, said Rep. Kathy Lohmer, R- Stillwater. But, she said, she feared the measure could harm the people it was designed to help.

Families of those who hope to be helped if the bill becomes law lined the House gallery Friday and watched the five-hour debate. Neither the House nor Senate proposals allow marijuana to be smoked; the House version allows vaporizing, but only in pill or oil form. The expansive Senate version lacks support from groups representing police and prosecutors, as well as medical professionals. Earlier this week, the Minnesota Medical Association announced its support for the current House proposal.

To read more, visit http://www.startribune.com/politics/statelocal/258636121.html

Can Planting Medical Marijuan Leave Local Watersheds Dry?

Wayne Hanson said the methods used to grow the plants are often anything but that. “Very rarely do I run into a legitimate marijuana grow,” Hanson said. “The sheriff’s office is not targeting those folks. But if they violate medical marijuana laws in how many plants they are growing or destroying the environment, they will be arrested and criminally charged. They have to face the consequences.”

Hanson estimates that there are more than 5,000 medical marijuana grows in the county. North Coast Water Board Executive Director Matt St. John said that there are no regulations specifically addressing environmental damage caused by medical marijuana grows. “The State Water Board directed me to develop a regulatory program for the discharges from marijuana operations, and has given us the goal of trying to complete that by the end of this calender year,” St. John said. St. John said water diversion only makes up a portion of the environmental damage caused by grows.

To read more, visit http://www.contracostatimes.com/california/ci_25732656/study-shows-medical-marijuana-grows-drying-local-watersheds

Medical Cannabis Report Are Disappointing

The health select committee considered a petition asking it to look at the decriminalisation of cannabis for pain relief and managing symptoms of chronic illness. The petition said unlike opioids cannabis does not need to be taken in increased dosages to maintain pain relief. The Ministry of Health said it was concerned about the use of raw cannabis as it varied greatly in chemical composition and strength.

In a report released on Friday, the committee said the Ministry of Health and drug funding agency Pharmac should continue to monitor international evidence about the use and benefits of medical cannabis, but made no other recommendations. “This report offers little relief to the many people who would benefit from a robust medical cannabis regime in New Zealand,” New Zealand Drug Foundation executive director Ross Bell said. “The report also failed to recognise that any health risks from smoking raw cannabis can be mitigated through edible or vaporised alternatives.”

Pharmaceutical cannabis medicine Sativex had already been approved for use in New Zealand, but was difficult to get and was not subsidised, Mr Bell said. “No one has approval to use raw cannabis, and only 10 people have approval to use Sativex. The application process is a never-ending labyrinth of confusing paperwork.” Many other countries and states allowed its use for medicinal purposes, Mr Bell said.

To read more, visit https://au.news.yahoo.com/a/23392710/medical-cannabis-report-disappoints/

Only Five Growers Are Allowed On Florida’s Medical Marijuana Business

The licensees will have exclusive rights to grow, process and sell medical-marijuana products in those regions. At least three qualified companies have operations in Central Florida: Pecketts in Apopka; Jon’s Nursery in Eustis; and Costa Farms, a South Florida-based company that reported purchasing a large greenhouse operation in Apopka on Monday, three days after the Florida Legislature approved the bill. None of the three responded to Orlando Sentinel inquiries.

Statewide, almost all the qualified companies are family-owned and most have been so for generations, though a couple, including Costa, have grown into multi-national plant growers, said Ben Bolusky, chief executive officer of the Florida Nursery, Growers & Landscape Association.

So those families, he said, now are debating whether they want to get into a business they likely know little about, which could be very lucrative but also complicated by ethical concerns and stiff regulations. “I personally don’t know how to grow marijuana. I know how to grow plants,” said Alan Shapiro, owner for 40 years of Grandiflora, a qualified Gainesville greenhouse company that grows annuals, herbs, fruit trees, shrubs and other landscaping plants. “I’m not sure in this day and age you grow it [marijuana] like a normal plant.

To read more, visit http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/elections/florida-medical-marijuana/os-medical-marijuana-growers-monopoly-20140509,0,7207684.story

Public Spaces Usage Of Medical Marijuana Regulated

And it’s not just tobacco. The ban includes e-cigarettes, and marijuana, including for medical purposes. Northampton Public Health Director Merridith OLeary told 22News why she thinks more cities and towns are regulating smoking in public spaces.

When we think about park and recreation areas and what their intent. It’s to promote healthy activity. This is where children congregate, so not only do we have children congregating there but we have adults there and we want our adults to pose as healthy role models, said OLeary.

To read more, visit http://wwlp.com/2014/05/09/regulating-medical-marijuana-use-in-public-spaces/

Medical Marijuana Patients Being Forced Into Hiding In California

He’s also a stay-at-home dad with chronic neck and shoulder pain. And like millions of Americans, Barrett was prescribed Vicodin for his pain. “But it turned me into a jerk,” he said. “I was always angry and uptight.” By this time, however, Barrett was already open to alternative therapies.

Back in 2004, he had developed stomach cramps and soon thereafter began drinking Pepto-Bismol every day for relief. Doctors diagnosed him as having irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and so he began ingesting large doses of the antacid Prilosec. But the resulting lack of digestive fluid wrought havoc on the rest of his bowels, he said.

Later that same year, doctors put him on Bentanyl, Tagament, Latadine bowel, ulcer, and allergy medications, respectively. “Nothing ever seemed to work,” Barrett said. Then one day that year, Barrett was hanging out with a buddy, carping about his cramps, when his friend passed him a joint. The relief was immediate.

To read more, visit http://www.alternet.org/drugs/medical-marijuana-patients-are-forced-back-hiding-california

Medical Marijuana: Stories Of Hope (part 2)

Proponents are also thankful that the conversation has gotten this far in Iowa. But there’s a question being asked; should Iowa be growing its own marijuana and allowing it for conditions other than epilepsy? CBS 2 News went to Colorado where several Iowans have moved to get cannabis oil for seizure treatment.

The Selmeskis, originally from Swisher, are treating their daughter, Maggie. Rachael Selmeski pointed out the symptoms of of the seizures her two-year old endures daily. That was one right there. You can mostly see it in her eyes mostly. Her eyes will do a little weird trajectory. And the Selmeskis understand that people who don’t live this life have a hard time comprehending it.

Even last year at Christmas people were posting that their kids were getting them up at 4-oclock in the morning to open presents and Shawn and I were up making sure our daughter was still alive, says Rachael. Shawn Selmeski, now a student at the Denver Seminary, says he prayed about his initial belief that marijuana was bad.

The only direction that the Lord showed me was, ‘you need to go to Colorado and get your child on marijuana.’ and Ill tell you what, its never been a struggle for me past that point. Its never been an issue. These are THC plants here, so were in the middle of harvesting both CBD and THC, explains Matt Lindsey, manager of the medical marijuana growing facility where Maggie gets her medicine.

To read more, visit http://www.cbs2iowa.com/news/features/top-stories/stories/medical-marijuana-stories-hope-part-2-26704.shtml

Indiana Goes Too Far And Backwards In Medical Marijuana Debate, According To Davich

I’m not sure if it includes a rare genetic disorder called Aicardi syndrome, which affects just a few children in this country, including 2-year-old Adalyn Hiles of Griffith. The adorable toddler was born with the little-known disorder and suffers clusters of scary seizures every day that last up to 10 minutes at a time. She is a trooper, but every day is a struggle, said her father, Jason Hiles, who also advocates for legalizing medical marijuana.

Indiana has laws about medical marijuana that if eased up on could be potentially helpful to Addies condition, he told me. Many Aicardi families, as we call them, are moving to states like Colorado to have their (children) use medical marijuana to help control their seizures. Little Addie is currently on four different seizure meds, and the family faces a serious financial hardship June 1 when the state takes away her Medicaid coverage through its spend-down program.

We still have primary insurance, but Medicaid was picking up what the insurance would not cover, Hiles said. That’s a whole other column for me, but Addie’s parents also are upset that she wont be legally allowed to curb her seizures with medical marijuana. Addie has never used marijuana, yet, but the average lifespan of Aicardi kids is just 18 years, her father said. Legalizing medical marijuana will probably not happen anytime soon in this slow-to-change, conservative state, which doesn’t bode well for Brown and many others in her time is ticking situation.

The question is, will it be legalized in time for younger generations of Hoosiers, such as Addie, who may suffer literally thousands more seizures while waiting on our lawmakers to ride their horse-and-buggies into the 21st century?

To read more, visit http://posttrib.suntimes.com/news/davich/27261748-452/jerry-davich-indiana-goes-too-far-backward-in-medical-marijuana-debate.html

Chesterfield To Appeal To Court Ruling On Medical Marijuana

Chesterfield Township officials have decided to appeal a recent district court ruling involving the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act and a possession charge that originated in the township. By a 6-1 vote on May 5, Board members authorized the township attorney to appeal Judge William Hackels recent court ruling, a decision that will likely result in a jury trial to determine whether the defendant was in violation of the Medical Marijuana Act when he was found in possession of marijuana with an expired medical card.

Township Attorney Robert Seibert said the defendant, Michael Inagro, argued in court that he was immune from prosecution under section 8 of the states Medical Marijuana Act. In its most general sense, what (section 8) says is if you don’t have a card, but you are treating with a physician and there is a bona fide physician-patient relationship the patient is receiving therapeutic benefit from the use of the marijuana to alleviate a serious and debilitating medical condition and a professional has done a full, complete assessment of the patients medical history you’re allowed to possess the marijuana, Seibert told the board.

In this particular case, the judge ruled that simply seeing the physician and getting a script for medical marijuana is, in and of itself, sufficient immunity from prosecution. If the case proceeds to a jury trial, the jury will have to determine whether the defendant was allowed to be in possession of marijuana through the bona fide patient-physician relationship defense. Seibert said that in district court, the judge said, I’m not going to make that call, I’m going to let the jury decide when the jury hears the doctor testify and the patient testify, they can decide whether its an ongoing relationship or not. To get that far, were going to be sitting in a court room for two days arguing that to a jury and I’m simply saying from a dollars and cents standpoint it makes more sense to me to go to circuit court and try to get the judge to reverse it, Seibert added.

Prior to the vote, the township attorney said that if Chesterfield did not appeal the ruling, it could negatively impact hundreds of the townships marijuana cases. If we don’t appeal it, the result is going to be that were going to be taking a lot of these cases to jury trial, which is going to cost you substantially more, he said.

To read more, visit http://www.voicenews.com/articles/2014/05/08/news/doc536ba4d2adee8503321088.txt