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JoelK75/Flickr
A handful of herbal healing

Rarely does a week go by without a new headline, from a respected publication, coming out highlighting another of the amazing benefits of responsible cannabis use. While critics of medical marijuana ignorantly, and incessantly, argue that a majority of medicinal weed smokers have no real physical ailment, every day more and more people across the country are stepping out of the cannabis closet to treat their illnesses.
The headlines regarding cannabis and health benefits have become so commonplace, that we as advocates need to constantly remind ourselves that while it is a miraculous plant, marijuana is not a “miracle drug”. Still, it comes as a bit of a shock when otherwise respected scientists and researchers rush so quickly to condemn pot as a useless form of pseudo-medicine, as a recent article in the journal of Arthritis Care and Research unfortunately did.

The South Carolina legislature has cannabis on their minds and seem to be okay with industrial hemp, but don’t think they are coming close to actually legalizing pot anytime soon.
A bill allowing South Carolina farmers to grow industrial hemp moved through a state Senate agriculture panel Thursday with little opposition and a lot of support. Meanwhile, state Sen. Tom Davis filed a bill that would allow doctors to recommend CBD-rich oil to patients with seizure disorders.

Under the guise of helping sick patients find relief, Maryland created the country’s most restrictive medical marijuana program last year that limits distribution to people who sign up for university-run studies licensed through the state. The program is so strict that many medical marijuana advocacy groups don’t consider Maryland to be a true medical marijuana state.
Lawmakers were quick to pat themselves on the back for being so progressive, but nearly a year later the reality is that the program has gone nowhere and sick Marylanders are still without access to legal medical marijuana.

Joseph Friedman deals drugs. Oxycontin, valium, morphine, even cocaine are things that he can get his hands on for a price. The one thing he can’t sell, though, is marijuana. Friedman is a pharmacist in Illinois who is helping to lead the charge to change marijuana from a Schedule I controlled substance (meaning it’s federally illegal to prescribe or dispense) to a Schedule II substance that he can legally sell over the counter.
Friedman is part of a growing interest by Big Pharma in the plant, including a push by lawmakers in Michigan to allow for “medical grade” cannabis to be sold in pharmacies, and he made his case Tuesday before the Illinois State board of Pharmacy.

D. Ramey Logan.

Since September, Long Beach city officials have been working on officially allowing medical marijuana dispensaries in the southern California city. They’re just not clear on exactly how to do it.

According to the Press-Telegram,
Long Beach City Attorney Charles Parkin says he has concerns with the legality of a current proposal that limits dispensaries to industrial zones, with no more than two dispensaries allowed in each city district.

Flickr.com/sarahakabmg

As we reported here last week, lawmakers in the Caribbean nation of Jamaica, citing progressive new pot laws in states like Colorado and Washington here in the U.S., will begin to move forward with talks regarding the decriminalization of marijuana on the irie isle.
The potentially good news out of Jamaica came hot on the heels of an announcement out of Switzerland, where as of October 1st, adults over the age of 18 who have been accused of small-scale possession will face a misdemeanor and a fine of 110 Swiss Francs – or about $100 U.S. – rather than the standard court appearance and possible ding on their criminal record.

While the U.S. government teeters precariously on the edge of complete shutdown, hinging on a hyperbole-ridden argument over whether or not its citizens deserve proper basic health care, their neighbors to the north in Canada are on the verge of another revolutionary leap in government-backed healthcare reform.Starting tomorrow, the Canadian government will begin to pump $1.3-billion dollars into its Health Canada program, earmarked specifically to prop up large-scale free market medical marijuana growing operations across the country, in a move that is expected to create not only jobs and revenues, but hundreds of thousands of new medical marijuana patients as well.

These synthetic smokables do not resemble marijuana.

Stephane Colbert says her 19-year-old son died in 2011, allegedly after he smoked a synthetic, lab-made c compound called “Mr. Smiley” that many news outlets are calling “synthetic marijuana”..
Synthetic weed was banned federally in May of 2011 but Nicholas Colbert still was able to purchase some of the stuff in September of that year from a neighborhood Kwik Stop in the Springs.

ct.gov

The Connecticut medical marijuana program can now officially move forward after proposed regulations for the newly-created industry were approved last night by the state General Assembly. The rules now head to the secretary of state for filing.
Officials say that within two weeks the new medical marijuana department will be accepting grower and retailer applications. Licenses should be issued at the start of the new year, which means medical marijuana dispensaries are at least five months away from being open.

Wikimedia commons/Dnd523.
Dr. Sanjay Gupta.

Arguably the most well-known doctor in the United States this week has announced that he is now in favor of legalizing medical cannabis and that he was wrong to speak out against medical marijuana in the past.
CNN chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanja Gupta says that five years ago, the research he was seeing just wasn’t there to prove that cannabis was a beneficial substance in America. At the time, Gupta rallied against cannabis, even penning an article in 2009 titled “While I Would Vote No on Pot”. But he now says his position was flawed, and it was mostly at due to his own willful ignorance on the matter.

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