Medical Marijuana Update

There is plenty of action in state legislatures, the battle over rescheduling continues, a Maine dispensary gets called out for using pesticides, and much more. Let's get to it:

National

Last Friday, Americans for Safe Access petitioned the DC Circuit Court for a rehearing before a full panel in its fight to force the federal government to reschedule marijuana. The move comes after a three-judge panel in January granted plaintiffs standing, but denied the appeal on its merits. In so doing, it set a near impossible standard for forcing rescheduling.

California

Last Thursday, prosecutors in Vallejo dropped charges against dispensary operator Matt Shotwell. The move marked an ignominious end to a series of a dozen dispensary raids conducted by Vallejo Police in early 2012. At least six dispensaries were raided, some repeatedly, but now cases against all six have now been dropped. The police raids came after the city council voted to impose taxes on dispensaries.

On Tuesday, the Concord city council approved an outdoor cultivation ban. The ban came despite only 14 complaint calls in the city of 120,000 residents. Council members cited concerns about public safety and "odiferous blight." Officials did say enforcement of the ban would be "complaint driven."

Colorado

On Tuesday, an audit found problems in the state's medical marijuana enforcement division. A report from the state auditor found that a lack of funding for the program led to a lack of consistent enforcement and a nearly two-year delay in reviewing license applications. Problems mentioned included a failure to quickly review applications, a failure to follow state law, and removing marijuana from dispensaries under disciplinary review and a failure to make sure seized marijuana is destroyed properly. The report also criticized the Department of Revenue for spending too much on capital projects and then laying off staff members, leading to long delays and mistakes in reviewing applications.

Florida

On Wednesday, activists were meeting with House Speaker Will Weatherford in an effort to get a pending medical marijuana bill moving. Weatherford has been blocking the bill, House Bill 1139, from getting a hearing or moving forward. No word at press time on the meeting results.

Illinois

Last Friday, the sponsor of a medical marijuana bill said it was just "one or two" votes shy of passing in the House. Rep. Lou Lang (D-Skokie) is the author of the medical marijuana bill, House Bill 1.

Maine

On Monday, state regulators said a dispensary was violating state rules by using pesticides on plants it was growing. Wellness Connection of Maine was ratted out by one of its own employees at its Auburn grow site, and investigators subsequently found pesticides present, as well as 20 other violations of the rules for growing marijuana. Wellness Connection said it would stop using pesticides and make other changes, too. State regulators will allow the dispensary to sell the pesticide-treated plants, but it must inform patients that chemicals were used in their growth. Wellness Connection, which runs half of the state's medical marijuana clinics, must now contact all prior and current patients to tell them pesticides were used in the products they purchased or are purchasing, and that they have stopped using the chemicals designed to keep bugs away.

Maryland

On Monday, a medical marijuana bill passed in the House. The bill, House Bill 1101, would set up a medical marijuana commission to which the academic medical centers could apply for permission to administer marijuana to patients within a research-focused program. Marijuana would be grown either by state-licensed growers or by the federal government.The bill now goes to the Senate.

Michigan

Last Friday, the Ypsilanti planning commission approved a new cultivation facility. It will be the second to operate in the city. The grow op won unanimous approval from the commission, on the condition that it construct a sidewalk and close a curb cut. Another facility has already been approved by the commission, but is awaiting site plan approval.

Nevada

Last Monday, Sen. Richard Segerbloom introduced a bill that would allow dispensaries to operate in the state. The bill, Senate Bill 374, would regulate dispensaries. Under the state's current medical marijuana law, there is no provision for dispensaries.

New York

On Tuesday, matching medical marijuana bills were introduced in the Assembly and Senate. Assemblyman Richard Gottfried filed Assembly Bill 6357 and Senator Diane Savino filed companion legislation, Senate Bill 4406. The bills would create a tightly regulated system of medical marijuana supply, complete with patient registries, but would not allow patients or designated caregivers to grow their own medicine. Patients would be limited to possessing no more than 2.5 ounces.

West Virginia

Last Thursday, Del. Mike Manypenny introduced a medical marijuana bill. In previous years, he has gone it alone, but this time around he has nine cosponsors. The bill is House Bill 2961.

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Anti-Cancer Treatments Employing Cannabinoids Get Spotlight

Legislators  need to get busy and make medical marijuana a priority in all states.  People’s lives are at stake. An article by Fred Gardner at Alternet (and at O’Shaughnessy’s Online) makes the case for treating cancer with dabs of cannabinoids:

"The anti-cancer properties of cannabinoids were a recurring theme at this year’s meeting of the International Cannabinoid Research Society, and also in a course for physicians presented Oct. 24, 2012, at the University of California San Francisco. One speaker, Jeffrey Hergenrather, MD, described a particularly dramatic case seen by a San Diego colleague: a 90% reduction in the size of an infant’s brain tumor achieved over the course of a year by parents applying hemp oil to the baby’s pacifier before naptime and bedtime."

Nothing is going to make prohibitionists look more stupid and unqualified to judge the effects of drugs than the fact that they may have prohibited a cure or treatment for some forms of cancer.

anti-cancer effects of cannabis

Thank you  for sharing on this....I wish that this all becomes universally used soon!

michigan

Our state sucks! The imbeciles made all the dispensaries close. Our govt. Is the laughing stock of the nation because they have no idea how to make money from dispensaries. So they used funds from the 10mill. they made from certifications to pay drug enforcement to crack down on dispensaries and seize all assets of the stores. Total retards! No reason to come to muchigan if you have an out of state certification becuz we have no place to buy it. Say no to michigan.

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