Browsing: Medical

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Graphic: PHenry

​As pharmacists and drug regulators from across the United States meet in Tucson this week, marijuana will be headlining the agenda.

The National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP) opens its symposium today with presentations on medical marijuana by experts including Caren Woodson, government affairs director with Americans for Safe Access, the country’s largest advocacy group focused on the issue.

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Photo: Coaster420
Washington state health officials are considering expanding the categories for which medical marijuana may be used.

​Washington State health officials are on the verge of deciding whether patients suffering from depression or certain anxiety disorders should be allowed to use medical marijuana as part of their treatment, Molly Rosbach at The Seattle Times reports.

Washington’s medical marijuana law, adopted by voter initiative in 1998, limits the legal use of medical marijuana to patients who have been diagnosed with a “terminal or debilitating medical condition.”
That includes patients with cancer, HIV, multiple sclerosis, hepatitis C and several other diseases causing pain or nausea  “unrelieved by standard medical treatments and conditions.”

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Monroe Co., FL Sheriff’s Dept
Marijuana still equals money — but now nobody has to get arrested.

​With a recent softening in attitudes toward medicinal use of the herb, along with a more pot-tolerant administration, Colorado’s medical marijuana industry is going into high gear — and the increased profile of dispensaries has made them among the biggest newspaper advertisers, according to public radio station KUNC.

With more than 14,000 patients statewide approved to use medical pot — more than a 70 percent jump since last year — the dispensaries have a bigger customer base. And, according to Sensible Colorado member Brian Vicente, the pot outlets have money to spend.

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Photo: Selkem
What the doctor ordered?

​A new scientific study published in Harm Reduction Journal suggests that marijuana is a safe and effective substitute for alcohol and prescription drugs.

The study, published by researchers at the University of California, Berkley, showed that 40 percent of marijuana users said they’ve used pot to control their alcohol addictions, 66 percent said they used marijuana instead of prescription drugs, and 26 percent said marijuana helped them stay off harder “street” drugs such as cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine.

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Photo: Wo/Men’s Alliance for Medical Marijuana
Plant limits may become a thing of the past in California.

​A California court of appeals in San Diego has ruled that the amount of marijuana a medical user can legally possess is a question jurors should decide, and using limits defined in state law is improper.

The unanimous ruling could change the way many medical pot cases are handled at the trial stage, according to legal experts. A ruling is expected soon from the California Supreme Court that deals with a similar issue, SignOnSanDiego reports.
Medical marijuana patient Nathaniel Archer of San Diego was arrested by San Diego police with 98 pot plants in his home, along with 1.72 pounds of dried marijuana. He was convicted in 2007 for cultivating and possessing marijuana and sentenced to probation.

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Photo: Matt Wright, Wikimedia Commons
Denver is now collecting 3.9 percent tax on medical marijuana sales.

​The Mile High City started collecting sales tax on medical marijuana today.

The City of Denver expects every medical marijuana dispensary in the city to pay 3.6 percent sales tax starting Dec. 1, reports Patricia Calhoun in Westword.
“Tax revenue agents will be meeting with all dispensaries, giving them the information,” said City Attorney David Fine.

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Photo: Coaster420
Nugs like this Purple Kush beauty could be legal for medical use if Pennsylvania legislators show some leadership.

​A public hearing on legalizing medical marijuana is scheduled for Wednesday, Dec. 2, in Harrisburg, Pa., before the House Health and Human Services committee.

Discussed will be House Bill 1393, introduced in April by State Rep. Mark Cohen, D-Philadelphia. According to Cohen, the bill aims to ease the lives of suffering patients, take money away from the illegal drug trade and create about $25 million a year in tax revenue from the sale of marijuana.
“The bill has a 1-in-4 chance of becoming law, but I think that health care groups will lean toward it,” Cohen told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

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Artwork by Jim Wheeler
Medical marijuana patients win another battle in San Diego

​The manager of a San Diego medical marijuana dispensary was acquitted today of five charges of possessing and selling marijuana for profit.

Jovan Jackson, 31, was convicted, however, of possession of ecstasy and Xanax, according to SignOnSanDiego News Services.
Jackson, who was arrested after a pair of raids at Answerdam Alternative Care in Kearny Mesa last year, began to weep quietly as the verdicts were read in the courtroom of Judge Cynthia Bashant.
The verdicts ended a weeklong trial in San Diego Superior Court. According to SignOnSanDiego, the jury foreman said afterward that the lack of clarity in California’s medical marijuana law was a major reason for the acquittals.
Medical marijuana advocates said the verdicts were a rebuke to San Diego District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis and local law enforcement. Aggressive medical marijuana enforcement has been a priority for Dumanis’ office.

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Wikimedia Commons
Maine is one of only three states — along with Rhode Island and New Mexico — authorizing state-run marijuana dispensaries.

​A new task force is studying how, when and where medical marijuana will be distributed in Maine, WABI TV 5 reports.

The 14-member committee, assigned by Gov. John E. Baldacci after voters approved marijuana dispensaries in last month’s election, will advise the governor on how to implement the law with safeguards to protect public health and safety.
The rules are supposed to be in effect in 120 days. According to task force member Attorney General Janet Mills said “this time period is unrealistic.”

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Photo: Westword
Attorneys Bob Hoban (left) and Rob Corry, joined by patients, speak at a news conference today about the CannaMart lawsuit.

​Four medical marijuana patients and two caregivers in Centennial, Colo., have announced a lawsuit against the city for forcing the closure of CannaMart, a pot dispensary, Westword reports.

The plaintiffs will argue that cities like Centennial “are prohibited from imposing land use restrictions on local businesses when such restrictions infringe upon the rights upheld by the state Constitution as ‘matters of statewide concern’.”
The group says it’s the first time in Colorado history that a coalition of patients and caregivers will sue a municipal government to reopen a dispensary.
According to Bob Hoban, one of the attorneys representing the patients and caregivers bringing the suit, a ruling in the case could turn out to be precedent-setting. “This isn’t something we’re looking at as a test case, something to throw against the wall to see if it sticks,” he told Westword. “It’s something where we believe the court is almost compelled to come down on our side because of the Constitutional issues at stake.”
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