City Of San Diego Sued By Medical Marijuana Activists

The lawsuit was filed in Superior Court by the Union of Medical Marijuana Patients Inc., which calls itself a civil rights organization founded in 2007 in Los Angeles to defend and assert the rights of medical cannabis patients. Their petition for a writ of mandate contends that, according to a study of the zoning regulations passed by the council, only 30 dispensaries can possibly exist in the city.

The regulations, adopted in March, set distance restrictions between collectives and residences, schools, parks and other family-oriented facilities. It also required people who run the cooperatives to obtain a conditional use permit, good for five years, and a public safety permit, which must be renewed annually. An inspection of a map with all the guidelines laid out clearly shows that cooperatives will be concentrated in certain areas of the city and patients will need to travel relatively far to visit them, says the petition, the filing of which was first reported by Courthouse News Service.

The plaintiffs also said the city also did not properly follow the California Environmental Quality Act when adopting the regulations. The City Attorneys Office did not immediately respond to a request for comment. However, a San Diego-based group of medical marijuana advocates said the lawsuit will only serve to delay safe, reasonable access to medicinal cannabis for legitimate patients.

The Alliance for Responsible Medicinal Access said in a statement that San Diego’s medical marijuana providers and patients are eager to see permitted cooperatives operating lawfully in the city, and while its true the new ordinance is highly restrictive, this attempted end-run around our City Council through the courts will do nothing to improve access. Our local medicinal marijuana community should continue to focus its energy and resources on proving to regulators, law enforcement and the community that we are good neighbors and an asset to our city, the group said.

To read more, visit http://fox5sandiego.com/2014/05/03/medical-marijuana-activists-sue-the-city-of-san-diego/

How Does Medical Marijuana Work?

There is not a day that goes by that I don’t see a cancer patient who has nausea, pain, loss of appetite, insomnia, depression and I could write six different prescriptions for all of those concerns, all of those costing money and could interact with each other and could interact with the chemotherapy that I’m prescribing… or I could recommend one medicine and it’s a plant that they could grow their own,a Abrams said.

Dr. Abrams has been an advocate for the herb since the early 90as, but his first successful cannabis medical trial didn’t happen until five years after California did the Compassionate Use Act. According to Abrams, the legislation allowed patients to legally possess weed, but didn’t make it any easier for doctors to study i did The real kicker here is the only legal source to get cannabis to do research with is from NIDA, the National Institute on Drug Abuse,a Abrams said.

NIDA has a congressional mandate to only study substances of abuse as substances of abuse, so they can provide cannabis but they can’t provide funding for any clinical trials to show that cannabis may have a medical benefit.a Advertise Under the Drug Enforcement Association, cannabis is classified as a schedule one controlled substance. That as the same category as heroin, meaning the government believes it to have a high potential for abuse and no medical benefit. Methamphetamine and cocaine are both schedule two substances, so the government recognizers their medicinal properties and they can be accessed through a prescription.

Because of the prohibition that we have in this country against this plant, this flower, to develop evidence which is what we need in this evidence-based medicine environment, people have to spend quite a bit of time and resources basically reinventing the wheel, Abrams said.

To read more, visit http://www.nbcnews.com/id/55087317/ns/local_news-fargo_nd/t/cannabis-question-how-it-works/

Gov. Tom Corbett Changes Position On Medical Marijuana

Drug Enforcement Administration and U.S. Food and Drug Administration to ensure public safety and health efficacy within the pilot program. “These families want a specific approach that will address the problem at its core,” Corbett said. “This administration is committed to helping develop a medically responsible solution.”

Attending the meeting along with Governor Corbett were First Lady Susan Corbett, Pennsylvania Secretary of Health Michael Wolf; Physician General of the Commonwealth Dr. Carrie DeLone; Pennsylvania Secretary of the Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs Gary Tennis; and parents from two of the affected families, Deborah Knecht and Christine and Eric Brann. “I look forward to working with the legislature to help these children,” said Corbett.

To read more, visit http://www.wgal.com/news/gov-tom-corbett-changes-position-on-medical-marijuana/25759062

Company In Israel Provides Medical Marijuana To Pediatric Patients

The country also offers pediatric pot. The service not the actual marijuana provided by Tikun Olam usually costs $100 per month, including a one-time tutorial fee of $40 to help teach patients how to properly use the marijuana. However, for kids, the service is free.

In giving marijuana to kids, many worry about the studies that suggest that marijuana can harm a young persons brain. However, for parents who have to watch their children endure the pain of cancer, any treatment seems to be better than none. One man, named Yanic Eshed, says he believes in the benefits of marijuana for children . His 9-year-old son is being treated for bone marrow cancer.

For the first 9 months of treatment, his son did not use medical marijuana, and Eshed says he wishes he had known about the benefits. He noted that he could have been saved him from months of pain. A board member of the Physicians for Humans Rights, a group Tikun Olam is appealing to in order to gain a partnership in the Palestinian Authority, says that giving cannabis to pediatric patients can help them overcome some of the problems related to serious diseases, including HIV/AIDs.

CNBC noted that in Israel, medical marijuana is a $40 million industry and that research conducted there has helped spur Americas own industry, which is expected to be valued at $2billion this year. While the medical marijuana industry has clearly already taken off in several states and legalization legislation is taking place in many more, we seem to be far away from taking such a progressive stance when it comes to medical marijuana and our children.

To read more, visit http://www.examiner.com/article/company-provides-medical-marijuana-to-pediatric-patients-israel

Medical Marijuana Bill Obliterated By Louisiana Senate Committee

Voting against Claitor’s motion was Mills and Sen. Yvonne Dorsey-Colomb, D-Baton Rouge. Mills opened the pitch for his bill by listing harmful and uncomfortable side effects like loss of vision and bloody urine of drugs like Viagra, birth control and opiates that the Federal Drug Administration has approved.

To read more, visit http://www.nola.com/politics/index.ssf/2014/04/medical_marijuana_louisiana_le.html

Washington Bans Collective Medical Marijuana Gardens

Passed in 1998, the law does not actually provide any arrest protections for medical marijuana patients. Unlike any medical marijuana state but California, there is no statewide registry of medical marijuana patients. There are no Washington State medical marijuana cards, only doctors recommendations typed on tamper-proof paper.

Washington State defines a fairly standard set of conditions to qualify for the recommendation, but it remains only an affirmative defense in court to charges of possession and/or cultivation — patients can still be arrested. Initially, Washington didn’t even define how much marijuana a patient could possess and cultivate, referring only to a 60-day supply. That supply turned out to be fairly generous in western areas like Seattle and mighty low in eastern areas like Kennewick, depending on the attitude of law enforcement toward medical marijuana.

Eventually, that 60-day supply got defined as 24 ounces (a pound and a half!) and 15 plants — the greatest statewide limits in the country. But there still remained the problem of where to buy marijuana if you couldn’t or wouldn’t grow it. That’s where entrepreneurs stepped in with a creative interpretation of the designated provider (caregiver) portions of the law and the activists were more than happy to help . A caregiver, who could only serve one patient at a time, was legally allowed to assist their patient with the use of medical marijuana. So, entrepreneurs opened storefront dispensaries.

To read more, visit http://www.hightimes.com/read/washington-bans-collective-medical-marijuana-gardens

Medical Marijuana Refugees “Migrating” To Colorado

More than 100 families have moved to Colorado Springs in recent months to obtain the oil, and mothers have launched lobbying efforts in many states to legalize medical marijuana for conditions such as epilepsy. Many of them have connected with Realm of Caring, a group started by a family who developed the “Charlotte’s Web” low-THC plant and the oil, which is rich in cannabidiol, or CBD, according to Heather Barnes-Jackson, the group’s executive director.

The plant is named for Charlotte Figi, who began taking the CBD oil (also called “Realm Oil”) at 5 as a last resort and saw a drastic reduction in her violent grand mal seizures. Research has showed that CBD has anti-inflammatory, neuro-protectant and antioxidant properties through its interactions with the brain and the body, Barnes-Jackson said.

Meanwhile, other families watch with envy, unable to uproot their families but hopeful that their states will consider a change in marijuana laws, at least for this oil — which has marijuana’s intoxicating ingredient, THC, removed — and this condition. A British company, GW Pharmaceuticals, has been approved for a study in the United States using a cannabis extract for patients with Dravet syndrome, a particularly severe form of epilepsy.

Parents who have endured years of epilepsy’s consequences — particularly those who have children with Dravet syndrome, which can be fatal at any time — feel that they don’t have time to wait. The Food and Drug Administration, which must approve any legal use of medical marijuana, says it “requires carefully conducted studies in large numbers of patients (hundreds to thousands) to accurately assess the benefits and risks of a potential medication.” It recently gave approval to GW Pharmaceuticals for testing of the CBD-based drug Epidiolex for both Dravet and Lennox-Gastraut syndromes, two severe forms of epilepsy, and the company hopes to work with doctors and patients to perform clinical trials in the United States this year.

Officials with the FDA, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the National Institute on Drug Abuse and the Office of National Drug Control Policy all declined to discuss the government’s position on CBD oil or relaxing restrictions on marijuana for research purposes.

But even in the epilepsy community there is a debate about whether using the extract is appropriate. In February, the Epilepsy Foundation released a position paper calling for an end to DEA restrictions on clinical trials and research and asking the agency to allow greater access to medical marijuana oil.

To read more, visit http://health.heraldtribune.com/2014/04/28/medical-marijuana-refugees-flock-colorado/

Medical Marijuana May Help Treat Symptoms Of MS

Researchers didn’t find enough evidence to show that medical marijuana is helpful in treating movement problems in people with Huntington’s disease, tics in those with Tourette syndrome or seizures in people with epilepsy. The drug also didn’t appear to provide relief to patients with cervical dystonia, which is a rare disorder characterized by involuntary muscle contractions in the neck.

For people with Parkinson’s disease , the researchers concluded that medical marijuana is probably ineffective in treating abnormal movements that can develop in the late stages of the disease. These abnormal movements appear as a side effect of the drug levodopa, which is the main drug used to treat Parkinson’s disease.

Marijuana contains about 60 active compounds called cannabinoids. The most well-known marijuana compound is tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is associated with the “high” effect of smoking marijuana and can cause psychosis and anxiety. Another compound is cannabidiol (CBD), which is not psychoactive and appears to have opposite effects. However, more research is needed to know all the effects of marijuana compounds, experts say.

“Cannabinoids should be studied as other drugs are, to determine their efficacy and, when evidence is available, should be prescribed as other drugs are,” the researchers wrote in their study. The ratio of THC to CBD compounds in marijuana samples varies, and medical marijuana tends to have a lower relative amount of THC.

To read more, visit http://news.yahoo.com/medical-marijuana-may-help-treat-symptoms-ms-220049588.html?.tsrc=appleww

Gov. Corbett’s Refusal To Support Medical Marijuana Is Against Public Opinion And Sound Rationale

And now there is pending legislation, authored by conservative Republican state Sen. Mike Folmer. Once a critic of marijuana legalization, Folmer had a considerable change of heart after he was diagnosed with non-Hodgkins lymphoma in 2012. For the first time, a medical marijuana bill in Pennsylvania has growing bipartisan support.

That bill, the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Act, would enable adults to possess and use small amounts of marijuana, prescribed by a doctor, to treat a range of illnesses and disorders, including cancer, post-traumatic stress disorder and glaucoma, among others. Children, too, could be treated with the drug with a guardian’s consent, most typically (but not exclusively) to alleviate the ill effects of severe seizure disorders, an application which has been life-changing for many in states that have already legalized medical marijuana usage.

So why is Corbett content to stand astride the overwhelming will of the people? His public stance is that changes in drug laws should be undertaken at the federal level. He would have us believe that he is unaware that medical marijuana is legal in 21 states and Washington, D.C. Instead, he deflects attention toward the president, saying this month: We all know he’s admitted to smoking pot in the past. He’s had the opportunity to go and tell the FDA (to legalize the drug).

To read more, visit http://triblive.com/opinion/featuredcommentary/5987636-74/marijuana-medical-pennsylvania

Massachusetts Governor In Hot Seat To Speed Up Medical Marijuana Access

Gov. Deval Patrick (D) is being pressured to speed up access to medical marijuana. Advocates for medical marijuana rallied outside the Massachusetts statehouse Thursday as lawmakers held a hearing on a bill that would legalize marijuana in the state, according to the AP.

To read more, visit http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/04/25/massachusetts-medical-marijuana_n_5212007.html