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Medical Marijuana Update

Submitted by Phillip Smith on (Issue #825)

Marijuana and epilepsy are in the news, Sanjay Gupta strikes again, and state houses across the country are grappling with medical marijuana and CBD bills. Let's get to it:


Last week, GW Pharmaceuticals announced that the FDA had granted orphan drug designation to a cannabis-based drug developed to treat childhood-onset epilepsy, The drug, called Epidiolex, contains a highly purified, plant-derived form of cannabidiol (CBD), a non-psychoactive compound found in marijuana that doesn't produce the "high" sensation associated with THC, the plant's main psychoactive ingredient. CBD has long been used as a treatment for Dravet syndrome, a rare and severe form of epilepsy in children, and GW Pharmaceuticals sees Epidiolex as useful in treating both Dravet and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS), another rare form of childhood epilepsy.

On Tuesday, CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta aired a new special on medical marijuana. The special, Weed 2: Cannabis Madness: Dr. Sanjay Gupta Reports was preceded by an op-ed in which Gupta "doubled down" on his support for medical marijuana.

On Wednesday, the AHP released a scientific review on epilepsy. The American Herbal Pharmacopoeia released Cannabis in the Treatment of Epilepsy, which compiles much of the leading and historical research on epilepsy and cannabis (medical marijuana) for use by scientists, physicians, patients, and parents, as well as those producing and manufacturing it for treatment.


On Tuesday, a revised CBD Medical Marijuana bill passed the state Senate. The bill, Senate Bill 174 was revised by its sponsors so that the University of Alabama-Birmingham could conduct a research study. It now moves to the House.


On Monday, the LA city attorney said 100 dispensaries had been shuttered since the city started enforcing new rules restricting them. City Attorney Mike Feuer said that besides enforcing the rules, the city had also successfully fended off legal challenges. The city attorney said he couldn't say how many marijuana dispensaries are now open in Los Angeles, since there is no permitting process for the shops. Before the measure passed last spring, police estimated roughly 700 dispensaries were operating, though others pegged the number far higher.

On Tuesday, a bill to further restrict dispensary locations died in committee. The measure, Assembly Bill 1588, would have widened "dispensary free" zone around schools from 600 feet to 1,000 feet, but was been blocked in the Assembly Public Safety Committee, Assembly Minority Leader Connie Conway (R-Tulare) said Tuesday. Conway is the author of the bill in question.

Also on Tuesday, the DEA and LAPD raided and closed four dispensaries. They hit the Black Rose dispensary in Fairfax, Downtown Medical Caregivers off Main Street, Washington and Western Medical Group in Harvard Heights, Herbman in Exposition Park and two homes in Beverly Hills. The same person owns all the dispensaries, the DEA said.

Also on Tuesday, Los Angeles reported it had collected $1.6 million in taxes from dispensaries for 2013.

Also on Tuesday, the San Diego city council gave final approval to medical marijuana regulations. Under the ordinances, dispensary operators must get conditional-use permit from the city -- which will be good for five years -- and an annual public safety permit from the San Diego Police Department. Collectives may not be within 1,000 feet of public parks, churches, child care centers, playgrounds, residential care facilities, schools and other dispensaries, and not be within 100 feet of residential zones. Dispensaries also are barred from having on-site medical professionals -- a law intended to prevent such businesses from becoming "one-stop shops." This should mark an end to a three-year battle that began after the council passed more restrictive regulations in 2011.

On Wednesday, San Bernardino SWAT teams raided two dispensaries. Little more is known at this point.


Last Friday, state regulators recommended added PTSD as a qualifying condition. The Michigan Medical Marihuana Review Panel appointed by the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs has decided to recommend that the department add PTSD to the list of qualifying conditions for medical marijuana. It is now up to Steve Arwood, Director of the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs, to accept or reject the recommendation.

On Tuesday, a pair of medical marijuana bills got a hearing. Two bills that would legalize the manufacture and sale of medical marijuana-infused products such as brownies and oils and permit communities to allow and regulate marijuana dispensaries in their towns got a hearing in the Senate Government Operations Committee hearing Tuesday, but no vote. Committee chair and Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville (R-Monroe) is not expected to schedule another hearing for at least a couple of weeks. The bills are House Bill 5104 and House Bill 4271.

Also on Tuesday, the Howell city council approved a dispensary moratorium. Council members said they were waiting for clarity from the state legislature.

New Hampshire

On Friday, the House passed a medical marijuana home cultivation bill. The measure, House Bill 1622, would allow patients and/or caregivers to grow up to two plants until dispensaries open near their residences. The bill now goes to the state Senate.

New Jersey

Last Friday, the health department said it would not consider expanding its qualifying disease list until 2015. The state's medical marijuana law, signed four years ago, required the health department to consider adding new diseases requested by the public after it submitted two annual reports, beginning in 2011, charting the program's progress. But it is too soon to add more illnesses and place greater demands on the program, Health Department Commissioner Mary O'Dowd's spokeswoman Donna Leusner said.

New York

On Monday, Assembly Democrats rolled a medical marijuana bill into this week's budget proposal. The move is designed to get some traction for medical marijuana, which has been stymied for years in the state Senate.


Last Thursday, the Medford city council voted for a moratorium on dispensaries. But it will take another vote, on a second reading of the bill, to enact it formally. The city argues that despite state action, marijuana is still illegal under federal law. Last fall, it revoked the business license of Mary Jane's Attic and Mary Jane's Basement, located in a shopping center.

Last Friday, the Senate gave final approval to the statewide dispensary regulation bill. The final version of the bill gives local governments the ability to ban dispensaries, but only for one year. The bill now goes to Gov. John Kitzhaber (D), who has not said whether he will sign it.

On Tuesday, state officials said 281 dispensaries began the process of registering with the state. A new law, passed in 2013, directed the Oregon Health Authority to create a registry of medical marijuana facilities. Those facilities must follow security and testing rules and they have to carefully track the marijuana coming in and out of their stores. The state, meanwhile, has two regulators who will inspect the establishments annually.

South Carolina

Last Thursday, a CBD medical marijuana bill won a House committee vote. The bill calls for clinical trials of a CBD-based drug and would also allow doctors to prescribe CBD oil pharmaceuticals, although it's unclear whether all doctors would be able to do so.


On Tuesday, the state Senate passed a CBD medical marijuana bill. The bill would allow compassionate use of non-intoxicating cannabis oil by Utahns with untreatable epilepsy. It passed the Senate by a wide margin, despite reservations some senators have about the oil's safety and long term benefits. House Bill 105 now goes back to the House, which had already passed it, but now must sign off on changes in the Senate version.


On Wednesday, the state Senate passed a medical marijuana expansion bill. The bill lifts the 1,000-patient cap on the state's dispensaries and authorizes two more dispensaries. Senate Bill 247 now heads to the House.


On Saturday, the state Senate approved a bill regulating dispensaries as part of an effort to roll the medical marijuana system into the state's new legal marijuana system. The current unregulated dispensaries would have to close or obtain a state license by September 2015. The bill also allows patients to grow their own, but reduced the amount they can grow and possess. Senate Bill 5887 now goes to the House. The legislative session ends this week.

[For extensive information about the medical marijuana debate, presented in a neutral format, visit]

Permission to Reprint: This content is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license. Content of a purely educational nature in Drug War Chronicle appear courtesy of DRCNet Foundation, unless otherwise noted.


kickback (not verified)

Georgia is now a " Medicinal Cannabis " State .  The Governor need`s to sign it of course . Welcome to the South ...

Thu, 03/13/2014 - 6:10am Permalink
saynotohypocrisy (not verified)

In reply to by Mark Mitcham (not verified)

The war on users of the 'wrong' drugs is the last stand for Puritan control freaks. There's also the people who have an economic reason to be afraid of smiles, their relatively well paid job depends on people being unhappy/causing problems.

Fri, 03/14/2014 - 11:28pm Permalink
Ted Wright (not verified)

My bill, HB 1622 passed the NH House in a vote of 227-73 (76%).  The Governor has threatened a veto of the bill for reasons unknown to us.  This bill would allow patients to grow 2 plants at home while we wait for dispensaries (ATC's) to get up and running.  The bill would also allow patients protection from arrest while they wait for id cards to become available.  Last year's law (RSA 126-X) requires that the Department of Health and Human Services begin issuing id cards in July of 2014.  However, the AG's office, in a move to delay implementation of the law, has instructed DHHS not to issue cards until dispensaries are open and serving the public.  At our current pace, this will take years to accomplish...

Fri, 03/14/2014 - 9:20am Permalink
WarrenMullaneyMD (not verified)

The FSPHP (Federation of State Physiican Health Programs) must be dismantled if any progress is to be made with both medical marijuana and ending the drug war.  

Most people have never heard of the FSPHP. That is by design. The FSPHP is an arm of the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM).

ASAM is a corporate  front-group representing drug testing labs, 12-step rehabilitation centers, and other interests.  It is also a political front group representing prohibitionists and the dichotomous chronic lifelong brain disease spiritual recovery model of addiction.    ASAM is the propaganda, misinformation, and lobbying arm (influenced DSM-V, redefining diagnostic criteria, etc.)  FSPHP is the silent muscle.

Quietly, insidiously, and largely hidden from view, these organizations have caused a sweeping transformation in healthcare that poses grave problems for all of us as they have convinced regulatory agencies and administrative medicine that they are valid and altruistic organizations that exist to protect the best interests of the public. They do not.

A confluence of  currents have created ideal conditions for protection, power, and secrecy.  They use dismissal and distortion of data and have complete disregard for evidence based medicine and science in favor of positions dictated by prohibition, religion, and spiritual "recovery." As onerous and unwarranted these impositions are for doctors they have made little impression on the outside world

All one has to do is look at the players involved and connect the dots.  The FSPHP is the brainchild of Robert Dupont. He and other cronies such as Doug Talbott created a phony specialty complete with diploma mill "board certification" in the late 80's then spread out and volunteered at State Physician Health Programs.  By kicking out their predecessors who did not conform to the groupthink, double-think and ends justifies the means ethical and criminal violations they have effectively infested the state PHPs with the primary aim to increase prohibition and  impose an evangelistic lifelong abstinence chronic brain disease  spiritual recovery model of addiction medicine on healthcare. The infestation of state physician health programs and lobbying efforts were designed to influence State Medical Societies,  Departments. of Health, law enforcement and regulatory boards.  They have gained tremendous sway and more than accomplished this goal  But it is an incestuous lair.  There are not that many of them. The power structure consists of profiteers and geriatric fossils who exert leverage through both willing gulls  "in recovery" as well as thugs and ex-felons.

It is a rigged game. Professional ethics and professional standards do not apply.  Dichotomous black and white thinking to further the cause.

The same prohibitionists involved in ASAM mariuana policy are involved in the FSPHP.  An ultra-conservative group o ASAM physicians called "Like-Minded Docs" are involved in the scam at the State level.  The list is worth looking at. The public list is attached below. The non-public list contains many other names familiar for being on the wrong side o the drug war.

Dupont, Andrea Bartwhell .(former Deputy Director for Demand Reduction from the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy and past President of ASAM), and other likeminded cronies have their hand in every piece of the pie."marijuana massachusetts"


While the ASAM is the public outreach and education arm of the front-group,  the FSPHP is the private "muscle" that gets things done with complete disregard for professional standards, ethics, and the law.  Reports of crimes are occuring in multiple states where the FSPHP has gained power.  Forensic fraud, coercion, threats, political abuse of psychiatry, false diagnoses and other abuses are being reported.  Physicians have reported crimes and ethical violations to law enforcement, the AGO, the ACLU, and the media--only to have the door slammed in their face.

hese  "Brown-shirts" for prohibition are unregulated, accountable to no one, and under multiple layers of immunity, impunity, and opacity.

The ASAM is a not even recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties.  The ABAM "board certification" is worthless.   They say they are this  but are actually this

The ASAM doctors who joined the State Physician health programs incorporated in 1990 under the FSPHP (Federation of State Physician Health Programs)   There website does not give much info but this is the reality of it

Now take a look at the names here

if you look up the others you will find they are heavily involved in State public policy regarding medical marijuana in the states in which they reside.

is behind closed doors.   No ones even looking.    But it is not that hard to figure out once you connect the dots.  Just do some research on the members of  LMD docs and it will become increasingly clear (Colorado, NC, Washington, etc)   .  This is a national problem.   

 There will be no changes in medical marijuana unless this group is exposed and removed.  There will be no end to the pointless war on drugs unless these groups are eviscerated.  Things will only get worse.  Dupont wants to extend this "new paradigm" to the masses.  They are anti-science prohibitionist zealots.  No reason. No evidence base. Just profit, prohibition, and propaganda.

It is time to expose these witch-prickers full measure.   All the facts are easily found  But no one is talking..  This is organized crime. This ingenious scaffold  was erected over a considerable length of time, and the infrastructure almost foolproof.  The Emperor has no clothes .The junk science and conflicts of interest are easy to identify and expose.  And if the right people got involved we could blow the whole shit-house up in flames in a heartbeat.



Current List of Members April 26, 2013
Terry AlleyDavid AltmanTrey AppletonJo ArubaWilliam BakerMichael BaronAndrea BarthwellFred BaurerAnthony CampoNeil CaprettoGary CarrEd ChastkaWilliam ClarkDean DrosnesRobert DupontPaul EarleyStanley EvansLisa FaraMarc GalanterJoe GarbelySteve GarrisonWayne GavryckMarty GeraldPatrick Gibbons Timothy GoodenCynthia GordonLloyd GordonRoland GrayWilliam GreeneRaju HajelaScott HambletonLynn HankesHarry HaroutunianDan HeadrickEric  HedbergGeorge HeymachKevin HolbertBeth HowellWilliam JacobsGregory JonesKyle KampmanMerlin KilburyMary-Anne KowolBarbara KrantzDon KurthMike LeathJonathan LeeDorothy LennonBarry LubinSteven LynnHerbert MalinoffRobert MallinOmar ManejwalaDarrin MangiocarneDick McKinleyDavid Mee-LeeMichael MillerFred MontgomeryJes MontgomeryAl MooneyRobert MooneyCharles MorganEllen OvsonDavid Paulsrud Mel PohlAlexis PollesSean PonceJason PowersHerbert RakatanskyT. Roland ReevesRichard RiesJudy RivenbarkJeffrey RothKen RoyRon SchwerzlerMarv SeppalaJon ShapiroRandy ShermanCharles SincoxGreg SkipperChappy SledgeDavid SmithBernadette SolouniasStephen StraubingScott TeitelbaumKen ThompsonJoe TroncaleGeorge VaillantGary VeenmanVic VinesCharles WaltonMing WangMelissa WarnerRobert WestcottHoward WetsmanCharles WhitfieldMike WilkersonShawn WilliamsMark WinsbergDave WithersJohn WoodsPenny Ziegler
Sat, 03/15/2014 - 3:34am Permalink

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