Medical Marijuana

RSS Feed for this category

Medical Marijuana: Minnesota Bill Passes Another Senate Hurdle, Wins First House Vote

The Minnesota medical marijuana bill has survived a third state Senate committee vote and won its first House vote. The Senate Health and Human Services Budget Division passed the measure Tuesday on a divided voice vote. The following day, the House version of the bill passed the House Civil Justice Committee on a voice vote with no dissenting votes.

http://stopthedrugwar.org/files/minnesotacapitol.jpg
Minnesota State Capitol
The bill, SF 97, would allow qualified patients or their caregivers to possess up to 2 1/2 ounces of usable marijuana and 12 plants. People suffering from cancer, glaucoma, AIDS, Hep C, or Tourette's Syndrome or a chronic or debilitating disease or its treatment that produces wasting syndrome, intractable pain, severe nausea, seizures, or spasms whose doctors approve of their use would qualify.

A previous version of the bill passed the Senate and every House committee vote during the 2007-2008 session, but died without a House floor vote. It faced the strong opposition of law enforcement and a veto threat from Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty. Pawlenty's position has not changed, but bill supporters are hoping it will.

"I am increasingly confident that this will be the year that Minnesota joins the 13 other states that have acted to protect medical marijuana patients from arrest," said bill sponsor Sen. Steve Murphy (DFL-Red Wing). "This is an issue where science, compassion and simple common sense come together."

Now the bill goes to the Senate Finance Committee. Its companion bill is awaiting further action in the House.

Press Release: Medical Marijuana Passes House Civil Justice Committee Without Dissent

Minnesota Cares logo

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE   
MARCH 11, 2009

Medical Marijuana Passes House Civil Justice Committee Without Dissent


CONTACT: Former Rep. Chris DeLaForest (R-Andover)......................................................(763) 439-1178

ST. PAUL, MINNESOTA -- The House version of Minnesota's medical marijuana bill passed the House Civil Justice Committee this morning in a voice vote with no dissenting votes. The vote came after powerful testimony from Joni Whiting, whose adult daughter's suffering was relieved by medical marijuana while she was undergoing treatment for the melanoma that eventually took her life.

    "It really feels like the momentum is building and this is the year we're going to get this done," said Sen. Steve Murphy (DFL-Red Wing), sponsor of the Senate version of the bill. "One-quarter of the country now protects medical marijuana patients from arrest, and there is simply no reason to use Minnesota's police resources to arrest the sick for trying to relieve their suffering."

    A previous version of the bill passed the Senate and every House committee in the 2007-2008 session, but was never brought up for a vote on the House floor.

    Thirteen states, comprising approximately one-quarter of the U.S. population, now permit medical use of marijuana under state law if a physician has recommended it. The newest such law was enacted by Michigan voters last November, passing with a record-setting 63 percent "yes" vote. U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder reaffirmed on Feb. 25 that the Obama administration intends to pursue a policy of non-interference with these state laws. A number of other states are considering medical marijuana legislation this year, including New Jersey, Illinois, Iowa and New Hampshire.

####

Location: 
St. Paul, MN
United States

Press Advisory: Medical Marijuana Bill Faces House Civil Justice Committee Hearing Wednesday

Minnesota Cares logo

MEDIA ADVISORY   
MARCH 10, 2009  

Medical Marijuana Bill Faces House Civil Justice Committee Hearing Wednesday

CONTACT: Former Rep. Chris DeLaForest (R-Andover)......................................................(763) 439-1178

ST. PAUL, MINNESOTA -- Fresh off of a resounding 6-2 victory in the Senate Health and Human Services Budget Division, Minnesota's medical marijuana bill faces its next House committee test in the Civil Justice Committee this Wednesday. If passed, the measure would make Minnesota the 14th state to permit medical use of marijuana by seriously ill patients with a physician's recommendation. The newest such law, in Michigan, was passed by voters in November with a record-setting 63 percent "yes" vote.

    WHAT: House Civil Justice Committee hearing and vote on medical marijuana legislation.

    WHO: Expected witnesses include Joni Whiting, whose adult daughter benefited from medical marijuana during treatment for the melanoma that eventually took her life, and Robert Youcha of St. Francis, a paramedic who suffered spinal injuries in a 1998 ambulance accident, leaving him in constant pain.

    WHEN: Wednesday, March 11, 8:30 a.m.

    WHERE: Rm. 10, State Office Building, St. Paul.

####

Location: 
St. Paul, MN
United States

The Politics and Science of Medical Marijuana

The Cato Institute invites you to a Policy Forum: "The Politics and Science of Medical Marijuana" featuring: Donald Abrams, M.D. Director of Clinical Programs, Osher Center for Integrative Medicine, University of California Robert DuPont, M.D. President, Institute for Behavior and Health and Rob Kampia Executive Director, Marijuana Policy Project moderated by: Tim Lynch Director, Project on Criminal Justice, Cato Institute Ten years ago, on March 17, 1999, an important government study was released regarding certain patients’ use of marijuana as prescribed by their doctors. The Institute of Medicine, a branch of the National Academy of Sciences, issued what was then the most comprehensive analysis of the scientific and medical literature about marijuana. The report stated, “The accumulated data indicate a potential therapeutic value for cannabinoid drugs, particularly for symptoms such as pain relief, control of nausea and vomiting, and appetite stimulation.” Many medical experts continue to caution about harms that may result from smoking marijuana, though those harms need to be weighed against other harms that particular patients may be facing. In the political realm, the debate over the legal status of medical marijuana continues to rage. Since 1996, 12 states have legalized marijuana for medical use. What have medical scientists learned about marijuana over the past 10 years? And how have the politics on this contentious issue shifted at the federal and state level? Join us for a lively discussion of the science and politics of medical marijuana. (Luncheon to follow) Cato Policy Forums and luncheons are free of charge. To register, visit www.cato.org, e-mail events@cato.org, fax (202) 371-0841, or call (202) 789-5229 by 12:00 p.m. Monday, March 16. News media inquiries only (no registrations), please call (202) 789-5200. If you can't make it to the Cato Institute, watch this Forum live online at www.cato.org.
Date: 
Tue, 03/17/2009 - 12:00pm
Location: 
1000 Massachusetts Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20001
United States

Dying to Get High: Marijuana as Medicine

Find out how patients all over the country have defied the federal government in order to acquire their medicine and hear what is at stake in the battle to end marijuana prohibition. For more information, contact 207-333-6985 or info@mainecommonsense.org.
Date: 
Wed, 03/18/2009 - 7:00pm - 8:30pm
Location: 
Glickman Family Library -- 7th Floor
Portland, ME 04104
United States

Federal Prosecutors Seem Confused About Obama's Medical Marijuana Policy

I'm hearing a lot of discussion about this odd story from the LA Times:

The U.S. attorney in Los Angeles sent a confidential memo to prosecutors last week ordering them to stop filing charges against medical marijuana dispensaries, then abruptly lifted the ban on Friday, according to sources familiar with the developments.

So he initially orders everyone to completely back off of medical marijuana cases, then for unknown reasons, reverses course and tells prosecutors to proceed as they have in the past. It's creepy and plays right into the suspicions of those who thought the Feds wouldn’t back off without a fight.

Nonetheless, I'm leaning towards the assumption that the initial memo was just a little bit premature, but that we'll ultimately see a policy along those lines. I contacted Caren Woodson at Americans for Safe Access for a more informed analysis. Here's what she has to say:
I think it's confusion --- it's important to remember that we aren't even close to having the appropriate Obama officials seated at this point.  We expect, per the White House's comments, review of the policy as these people are formulating new policy. Keep in mind Deputy AG Ogden hasn't been sworn in yet.

At this point there has been no new movement; no new raids or new indictments. We are, however, still concerned about what becomes of the individuals still undergoing prosecution or waiting federal sentences... And I think that will require a deeper, more comprehensive discussion with the Obama Administration...once we have a better sense of who will be staying and who will not!

In other words, don’t freak out, at least not yet. The new administration has said the raids will end and that's what we're expecting.

Press Release: 10 Years After Institute of Medicine Recognized Medical Marijuana, Policy Catches Up With Science

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 

MARCH 9, 2009   

10 Years After Institute of Medicine Recognized Medical Marijuana, Policy Catches Up With Science
Big Progress on State, Federal Levels; MPP's Rob Kampia to Debate at Cato Institute Forum March 17

CONTACT: Bruce Mirken, MPP director of communications ............... 415-585-6404 or 202-215-4205

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- As the 10th anniversary of the Institute of Medicine's historic report recognizing marijuana's value as a medicine approaches, medical marijuana patients and advocates are celebrating remarkable progress that has accelerated rapidly in recent months. A decade after the report's release on March 17, 1999, medical marijuana supporters see policy finally beginning to match scientific reality.

     In late February, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder confirmed that President Obama's campaign promise to end Drug Enforcement Administration attacks on state medical marijuana laws "is now American policy." In November, Michigan voters passed a medical marijuana law by the largest margin ever racked up by such an initiative, and medical marijuana bills are moving steadily forward in legislatures across the country, including Minnesota, Illinois and New Jersey.

     After California voters passed the nation's first effective medical marijuana law in November, 1996, the Clinton administration asked the Institute of Medicine to review existing research and report on potential medical uses of marijuana. The report, "Marijuana and Medicine: Assessing the Science Base," while cautiously and carefully written, clearly acknowledged marijuana's therapeutic value for some seriously ill patients, stating, "Nausea, appetite loss, pain, and anxiety are all afflictions of wasting and all can be mitigated by marijuana."

     The report acknowledged the drawbacks of smoking and urged creation of a "rapid-onset, nonsmoked cannabinoid delivery system," but added, "In the meantime, there are patients with debilitating symptoms for whom smoked marijuana might provide relief." Studies published since 1999 have verified that marijuana vaporizers provide just the sort of rapid, nonsmoked delivery the IOM suggested.

     Until recently, federal officials ignored the findings, prompting co-author Dr. John Benson to tell the New York Times in 2006 that the government "loves to ignore our report. ... They would rather it never happened."

     "For 10 long years the federal government waged a war against science, and against the sick and suffering, but the Obama administration has clearly signaled that this insane war on patients is going to end," said Rob Kampia, executive director of the Marijuana Policy Project in Washington, D.C. "With medical marijuana bills advancing nationwide, it's clear a new day has dawned."

     Kampia will join University of California researcher Dr. Donald Abrams, whose studies have further documented marijuana's medical value, and opponent Robert Dupont for what should be a lively discussion of the report's 10th anniversary hosted by the Cato Institute in Washington, D.C., on March 17 at noon. For reservations for this free event, call 202-789-5229. The Cato Institute is located at 1000 Massachusetts Ave. NW.

     Studies published since the IOM report was released have confirmed that medical marijuana can safely relieve neuropathic pain, a particularly hard to treat type of pain that afflicts millions with HIV/AIDS, multiple sclerosis, diabetes and other illnesses. Other studies have shown that use of medical marijuana to relieve nausea and other drug side effects is associated with better adherence to life-saving treatment regimens for HIV/AIDS and hepatitis C.

     With more than 26,000 members and 100,000 e-mail subscribers nationwide, the Marijuana Policy Project is the largest marijuana policy reform organization in the United States. MPP believes that the best way to minimize the harm associated with marijuana is to regulate marijuana in a manner similar to alcohol. For more information, please visit http://MarijuanaPolicy.org.

####

CO: Vote on Medical Marijuana POSTPONED

**ALERT**

Grassroots power forces Board of Health to postpone vote on medical marijuana

 

March 18 Hearing date is delayed

GOOD NEWS!    The Colorado Board of Health has officially postponed its vote on restricting medical marijuana patients rights.  This vote was previously scheduled for March 18th and will be moved to a date to be announced-- likely in June.

This delay is a direct result of the overwhelming grassroots response the Board received when it announced this vote-- including the hundreds of emails and letters sent by supporters like yourself.  

After receiving this response, the state decided to delay the vote to secure a room large enough to accommodate the many, many patients and supporters that care about this issue.  

Click HERE to support Sensible Colorado's important-- and effective-- work.   

On behalf of Colorado's over 5000 medical marijuana patients, thank you for responding to Sensible Colorado's action alerts (and those of our partners at MPP, ASA, SAFER, and Norml). 

For now, medical marijuana patients in Colorado can breathe a sigh of relief.  But we will need your help again in June.  Keep an eye out for further action alerts and donate today to support our work.  Every dollar we raise allows us to keep fighting this threat to safe access.   

In solidarity,

Brian Vicente

Executive Director 

www.sensiblecolorado.org  

Location: 
CO
United States

Medical Marijuana: Illinois Bill Advances With Favorable House Committee Vote

For the first time, a medical marijuana bill has won an Illinois House committee vote. The House Human Services Committee voted 4-3 Wednesday to send forward HB 2514, the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act.

Under the bill, persons diagnosed by a physician as suffering a debilitating medical condition and their caretakers would be issued an ID card and placed on a registry run by the Department of Public Health. Each patient could possess up to two ounces of usable marijuana and seven plants. If enacted, the Illinois medical marijuana law would expire after three years and have to be reenacted.

A companion bill, SB 1381, is pending in the state Senate. It is sponsored by former state's attorney Sen. Bill Haine (D-Alton) and is scheduled for a hearing next Tuesday.

Wednesday's House committee vote came after public testimony from proponents and opponents of the bill. Medical marijuana patient Lucie MacFarlane, 46, of Joliet, told the panel she uses the herb to relieve the constant pain she suffers from neurofibromatosis and a surgery that left her spine fused.

"Doctors need every safe, effective medicine available to them when treating patients with serious conditions such as cancer, HIV/AIDS and multiple sclerosis," said Dr. Jay Riseman, a Springfield physician who testified before the committee. "I've seen medical marijuana work for patients when nothing else did, and I should be able to recommend it to my patients without leaving them vulnerable to arrest and even jail."

House bill sponsor Rep. Lou Lang (D-Skokie) was perhaps the bill's most ardent advocate. "People cannot get relief in any other place, except totally sedating and debilitating medication that makes them unable to cope with life," he said, pointing to MacFarlane and other patients. "Strong evidence shows that this is very significant help to them in their life, and I don't understand why anybody would be against this," Lang said.

But Lang understood all too well the opposition and blamed posturing politicians looking for any excuse to kill it. Addressing concerns raised by the California experience -- a much more wide open system than that envisioned in his bill -- Lang said the legislation is tightly drafted. "This is a very controlled bill. It doesn't allow anyone to have more than seven plants," Lang said. "Second, we have to be able to trust the medical community." He said there is little outcry when doctors prescribe massive amounts of morphine, Vicodin or codeine to alleviate pain. "It's only when you start talking about cannabis that people start talking about that, because they're looking for an excuse to be against the bill," he said.

Medical Marijuana: On the Move in Minnesota as Second Senate Committee Gives Okay

A bill that would legalize the medicinal use of marijuana in Minnesota has cleared a second committee in the state Senate, with the Judiciary Committee approving it on a narrow 4-3 vote. A hearing on the companion House bill before the House Civil Justice Committee is expected shortly.

The bill, SF 97, would allow qualified patients or their caregivers to possess up to 2 1/2 ounces of usable marijuana and 12 plants. People suffering from cancer, glaucoma, AIDS, Hep C, or Tourette's Syndrome or a chronic or debilitating disease or its treatment that produces wasting syndrome, intractable pain, severe nausea, seizures, or spasms whose doctors approve of their use would qualify.

A previous version of the bill passed the Senate and every House committee vote during the 2007-2008 session, but died without a House floor vote. It faced the strong opposition of law enforcement and a veto threat from Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty. Pawlenty's position has not changed, but bill supporters are hoping it will.

"I am increasingly confident that this will be the year that Minnesota joins the 13 other states that have acted to protect medical marijuana patients from arrest," said bill sponsor Sen. Steve Murphy (DFL-Red Wing). "This is an issue where science, compassion and simple common sense come together."

Before voting, the Senate committee heard testimony from opponents and proponents of the bill. "Two puffs, two minutes, and the violent sickness was totally gone," said Kathy Rippentrop, who described her mother's use of marijuana to alleviate the symptoms of cancer chemotherapy. "An hour later, Mom was able to have a good meal. The stomach problems from the chemo were totally gone. It also helped her regain a quality of life that allowed her to continue to fight."

And while some worried that allowing for the use of medical marijuana would make law enforcement's job more difficult, Sen. Yvonne Prettner Solon (DFL-Duluth), whose husband died of colon cancer, was not one of them. "We're not talking about getting people hooked on drugs and then going out in the street and, you know, destroying their lives and passing it on to other people," said Prettner Solon. "We're talking about end of life issues -- a last resort for people's suffering."

Drug War Issues

Criminal JusticeAsset Forfeiture, Collateral Sanctions (College Aid, Drug Taxes, Housing, Welfare), Court Rulings, Drug Courts, Due Process, Felony Disenfranchisement, Incarceration, Policing (2011 Drug War Killings, 2012 Drug War Killings, 2013 Drug War Killings, 2014 Drug War Killings, 2015 Drug War Killings, 2016 Drug War Killings, Arrests, Eradication, Informants, Interdiction, Lowest Priority Policies, Police Corruption, Police Raids, Profiling, Search and Seizure, SWAT/Paramilitarization, Task Forces, Undercover Work), Probation or Parole, Prosecution, Reentry/Rehabilitation, Sentencing (Alternatives to Incarceration, Clemency and Pardon, Crack/Powder Cocaine Disparity, Death Penalty, Decriminalization, Defelonization, Drug Free Zones, Mandatory Minimums, Rockefeller Drug Laws, Sentencing Guidelines)CultureArt, Celebrities, Counter-Culture, Music, Poetry/Literature, Television, TheaterDrug UseParaphernalia, ViolenceIntersecting IssuesCollateral Sanctions (College Aid, Drug Taxes, Housing, Welfare), Violence, Border, Budgets/Taxes/Economics, Business, Civil Rights, Driving, Economics, Education (College Aid), Employment, Environment, Families, Free Speech, Gun Policy, Human Rights, Immigration, Militarization, Money Laundering, Pregnancy, Privacy (Search and Seizure, Drug Testing), Race, Religion, Science, Sports, Women's IssuesMarijuana PolicyGateway Theory, Hemp, Marijuana -- Personal Use, Marijuana Industry, Medical MarijuanaMedicineMedical Marijuana, Science of Drugs, Under-treatment of PainPublic HealthAddiction, Addiction Treatment (Science of Drugs), Drug Education, Drug Prevention, Drug-Related AIDS/HIV or Hepatitis C, Harm Reduction (Methadone & Other Opiate Maintenance, Needle Exchange, Overdose Prevention, Safe Injection Sites)Source and Transit CountriesAndean Drug War, Coca, Hashish, Mexican Drug War, Opium ProductionSpecific DrugsAlcohol, Ayahuasca, Cocaine (Crack Cocaine), Ecstasy, Heroin, Ibogaine, ketamine, Khat, Kratom, Marijuana (Gateway Theory, Marijuana -- Personal Use, Medical Marijuana, Hashish), Methamphetamine, New Synthetic Drugs (Synthetic Cannabinoids, Synthetic Stimulants), Nicotine, Prescription Opiates (Fentanyl, Oxycontin), Psychedelics (LSD, Mescaline, Peyote, Salvia Divinorum)YouthGrade School, Post-Secondary School, Raves, Secondary School