Medical Marijuana and Cannabis News
Back in June, the University of Arizona without warning fired Dr. Sue Sisley, the lead researcher in a program that would have studied the use of medical cannabis for post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms - though many suspect it was for Sisley's marijuana advocacy.
Dr. Sue Sisley.
The move struck a blow to people hoping for clinical proof of the efficacy of cannabis that could increase access to medical cannabis in Arizona and beyond, including Iraq veteran Ricardo Pereyda who created a petition that has more than 29,000 signatures so far (and could use one from you, too). See the petition and links to sign it below.
It was billed as California's the nation's first "marijuana farmers market," and it attracted hundreds of patients who stood in line to get a farm-fresh experience buying medical cannabis.
Unfortunately, it was also illegal.
That, at least, is the contention of L.A. City Attorney Mike Feuer, who today announced that he has asked a judge to issue a preliminary injunction that would forbid the operators from doing their California Heritage Market again, a spokesman for his office told our associates at the LA Weekly.
With a November ballot initiative teed up for medical marijuana, the camps working both sides of the issue are now deep in the trenches, trying to lure voters. Cold, hard cash is obviously powering the efforts, which begs the question: Where's the money coming from?
In both camps, big-money donors are footing most of the bill. But in terms of the pro-pot movement, two main funders are being underwritten by thousands of contributors from across the state -- moms and pops and potheads opening their wallets for $50 and $100 donations.
Last week, Gov. Mark Dayton named 16 people to a task force that's responsible for evaluating the state's medical cannabis program. The list is a mixed bag, including eight healthcare providers and four members of the public -- but also four opponents from the law enforcement community.
None of them have been content to sit on the sidelines. Dakota County Attorney James Backstrom, for instance, once wrote an op-ed calling cannabis "the most dangerous illegal drug in our nation," and reaffirmed that position last November, mocking the use of the term "medical."
Daniel Soligny had a good life, except for the whole health insurance thing. He didn't have the most glamorous job, sure, but spending 14 hours a day on rollerblades at Sonic Beach Miami Gardens kept him active, and his girl, Jacqueline, was always by his side. Although he was 20 and she a young-looking 35, the couple was a psychic match -- enjoying weekend outings to South Beach and goofing off.
Then he found out he had tumors on his testicles. Chemo? Nope. Cannabis? Yes. Read more over at the Broward-Palm Beach New Times.
If it wasn't for cannabis, Danny Belcher wouldn't sleep. He's spent more of his life now away from Vietnam as he ever did there but the memories still cause him to have nightmares. It's illegal in Kentucky, but Belcher doesn't care. He's going to use it. He just doesn't want to be afraid of being a criminal anymore.
"I realize it's just a nightmare," he told a joint committee on Veterans, Military Affairs and Public Protection yesterday according to the the Courrier-Journal. "I will light that pipe up. I'll be a criminal. I'll go back to sleep."
Sufferers of post-traumatic stress disorder can begin obtaining medical marijuana legally under Arizona law as soon as January.
Will Humble, director of the Arizona Department of Health Services, announced the decision today in his blog. PTSD patients and medical-cannabis advocates have been expecting a decision since last month, when state Administrative Law Judge Thomas Shedden ruled that PTSD should be deemed a qualifying ailment.
With the vote on medical marijuana a mere four months away, a group chaired by both those who advocate and those who are opposed to medical weed has formed a Blue Ribbon Commission to provide research, expert opinions, and feedback on a wide range of medical marijuana issues.
Florida For Care says its purpose is to help formulate a medical marijuana "Gold Standard" for the state by holding several meetings between now and November throughout Florida to not only educate people, but to serve as a resource for state legislators as they seek to develop and support medical marijuana policies. Read more over at the Broward-Palm Beach New Times.
Arizonans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder now qualify for medical cannabis recommendations in the state, according to a health department ruling Wednesday. This is the first time a condition has been added to the list since voters approved the program in 2010 and is a huge victory for Arizona's large veteran population.
According Arizona Department of Health Services director Will Humble there is at least one study showing that cannabis can help with PTSD symptoms and that the study, combined with numerous of anecdotal accounts, was enough to sway his decision.
Minnesota state capitol.
Lawmakers in other states are now turning to Minnesota's new cannabis law as a model for their own legislation, despite the law's restrictions on eligibility and usage.
Over the past few weeks, legislators in both Pennsylvania and Georgia have turned to the Minnesota law, which passed in May, as a starting point for bills in their own states. But while the Minnesota law makes medical marijuana legal, it's limiting, offering only certain kinds of cannabis for certain patients.