Those opposing marijuana have always used the argument that legalized cannabis will put our children at risk and increase the use of the pot amongst teenagers. This new study from Columbia University disproves that with polling over a million teenagers over 24 years. The study found that there was no significant increased risk after legalizing medical marijuana. Legalized cannabis should not be seen as a danger to our youth and communities, but instead welcomed responsibly. The researchers found no discernible impact in the 21 states that had legalized the drug for medical use. “The risk of marijuana use in states before passing medical marijuana laws did not differ significantly from the risk after medical marijuana laws were passed,” the co-authors
The governer of Georgia signed the state's low THC oil medical marijuana bill into law back in April, but only now is the registry available and ready for patients to sign up. Georgia officials have made the process of signing up and own a medical card restricted as to make sure only patients with real need will be able to buy it. A doctor must sign you up to receive your card, which will appear similar to a drivers license with holographics that make it extremely difficutlt to fake. Georgia law does not touch on distribution or cultivation of medical marijuana in the state. The commission is charged with making recommendations for that process and will present them by December 2015
In New York, medical marijuana is expected to be available next year. but for some patients everyday of waiting is a painful struggle. This week, the state senate passed a bill that would allow qualifying patients to gain early access to medical marijuana. The bill would grant certain out of state dispensaries to import New York standard medical marijuana, however moving the product across state lines is still federally illegal. “The reality is that a few months of suffering for a person who has one of these serious, degenerative conditions can feel like an eternity,” Griffo said. “The difference of two, three or four months can make a world of difference to those people who are painfully waiting every day to receive this relief. That is a long time to continue suffering multiple seizures on a daily basis, and it is wrong for anyone to make them wait any longer if we have the ability to provide that relief much sooner.”
California has long been known for it's legalization of medical marijuana, and an upcoming event known as the "Get Baked Sale" is focused on spreading voter's support to help pass recreational marijuana later this year. The food truck hub in San Francisco will host all sorts of medible goodies from pancakes to cupcakes, and though some vendors will be selling non-medicated food, citizens with medical cards will be able to partake in a deliciously stoned day of baked goods. Marijuana is only legal for medical purposes in California, but that isn't stopping purveyors of pot-infused cupcakes, nuts and other edible forms of the drug from putting on an outdoor food festival to showcase their wares.
Popular television service, Dish, is facing a Supreme Court case after terminating an employee for testing positive for THC in a random drug test. The employee in question was prescribed medical marijuana by a doctor to ease his seizure symptoms along with his quadriplegia, and his attorney argues that under Colorado's Lawful Activity Statute he cannot be fired while lawfully owning a medical marijuana card and using his prescribed medicine outside of work. But Mike Evans, Coats' attorney, argued that Coats' medical marijuana card was legal under Colorado law, so he was protected from firing under Colorado's Lawful Activities Statute, which protects employees from being punished by their employers for legal, off-duty activities. Coats has maintained that he was never under the influence while he was at work.
Canada's Supreme Court has made a final ruling in a case involving illegal cookies. A baker from the Cannabis Buyers Club of Canada was being charged with making pot cookies, as the law only allowed the sale of dried buds as medicine. The Supreme Court has now ruled that medical marijuana is no longer restricted to dried plant matter and can now be sold in any form. Restricting people to dried marijuana for medical purposes has been declared "null and void" by the court. The court ruled that prohibiting possession of non-dried forms of marijuana is "contrary to the principles of fundamental justice because they are arbitrary; the effects of the prohibition contradict the objective of protecting health and safety".
California was one of the early leaders of marijuana reform, but has since backpedaled and once again struggles to pass the necessary legislation to regulate marijuana properly. Two similar bills have each been proposed and passed by the state senate and assembly, and now await the opposites approval vote. Major differences in the bill include who will oversee the regulation of the drug, either newly created companies specifically to oversee marijuana or the Department of Public Health, and Department of Food and Agriculture. Last year, the Assembly rejected a bill that would have created an agency within the state’s Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control to regulate the medical marijuana industry. A competing measure backed by police was passed by the Senate but eventually failed to garner enough votes to get through the full Assembly.
As with many other states, Louisiana has legislation legalizing medical marijuana twice in the last 30 years, but a system for regulating the drug was never put into place. This week, a bill to further legalize and regulate marijuana was approved by the state house, is on it's way to the senate, and then will reach the governor who has previously mentioned his support for the bill. This legislation, if passed, would allow one cultivation site to supply 10 dispensaries spread accross the state. Only marijuana in the form of pills and oils will be legal for sale, and only a few conditions are currently set to qualify patients for the drug, however the legislation allows for more illnesses to be added. Mills said he plans to follow through with the regulating agencies to make sure the law is actually implemented, if it passes. He aims to prevent another quarter-century loophole for patients who can't get their hands on medical marijuana, even though it's technically already legal. "To me, when you pass legislation, you've got to make sure it's a practicality."
Last Friday was the deadline for New York companies to apply for licenses to produce and/or sell medical marijuana when the program starts. Only five companies will be chosen for licenses, and one hospital wants to partner up with an already established medical marijuana company in Colorado, for a new branch in NY. The hospital gains many benefits from their own licensed medical marijuana company. Not only will it allow medical research into benefiting diseases like alzheimer’s, epilepsy and cancer, but it also ensures the hospital's patients access to the drug as insurance companies still do not cover marijuana. Michael Dowling, chief executive of the North Shore-L.I.J. system, said in a statement that it had formed the partnership because it “recognizes the importance of our patients having access to every legal option to manage the symptoms of their illness, if there is clinical evidence to support marijuana’s use for the condition.
This week, the governor of Texas signed a historical bill that legalizes medical marijuana in the form of pills, and oils for qualifying patients. The legislation is written to allow doctors to prescribe the medical marijuana to patients, but legally a doctor cannot prescribe even CBD oils as it is a Schedule 1 Controlled Substance despite CBD oils not getting the user high. Similarly, Arizona was in the same predicament years ago until they legalized a more comprehensive law allowing cultivation and sale of marijuana. "I'm glad the we're talking about medical marijuana with some actual sincerity now in Texas, because this entire state is just tragically behind the rest of the country," Shaun McAlister, the president of DFW NORML said. "On the other hand, I'm really nervous about a CBD-only push because, for one thing, CBD-only legislation represents a really shallow understanding of what cannabis actually is and what it can do."
It's official...Texas has legalized medical marijuana! The governor signed the bill into law this week that would allow medical marijuana oils for patients with severe epilepsy. Though the bill is very restrictive and many potential patients will not be allowed to benefit from the drug, it is still a historic day for the highly conservative state. To qualify for the CBD oil, epileptic patients must prove that atleast two previous medications have not helped, then receive approval from two different doctors. “While this program leaves most patients behind and we’re concerned about its functionality, today is one for the history books," Fazio said. "The Texas Legislature is sending a resounding message: Marijuana is medicine. We commend our Texas lawmakers and look forward to continuing this conversation when the 85th Legislature convenes in 2017.”
On July 1st, in just one month, medical marijuana becomes legal in Minnesota allowing patients to receieve the drug in only the form of pills and liquids.This week registration opened for qualifying patients, and one mother is particularly happy to soon receive the medicine for her son. The Rapp family used to live in California where Scott received a few drops of cannabis oil a day that brought him from hundreds of seizures a day to only a few. Previous medication to prevent seizures, though better than nothing, shows little results compared to the cannabis oil and the side effects the come with the other drugs take a toll on his life. Until the bill becomes law next month, Scott is left to use his previously prescribed drugs, waiting for the day he can again find relief. Minnesota’s medical cannabis program is one of the most strictly regulated in the nation. It is limited to patients with certain conditions, including epilepsy, cancer and glaucoma, and the drug will only be sold as pills and liquids. Cannabis will be sold at just eight clinics, scattered across the state. The first three will open July 1 in Minneapolis, Eagan and St. Cloud.