The National Institute on Drug Abuse is a US federal government research institute. They have updated their “DrugFacts: Is Marijuana Medicine?” page to now include that marijuana extracts can kill cancer cells. Due to a recent study conducted at St. George’s University, London we now know that cannabis can "dramatically reduce" brain cancer cells. Despite promising research and legislation preventing the DEA to interfere with state's medical marijuana laws, patients are still being threatened by the Justice Department. "We have the Justice Department continuing to threaten patients with arrest and prosecution in spite of the fact that Congress has voted to prevent the Justice Department from interfering with states that have passed medical marijuana laws," Burnett said. "These are all just parts of the major hypocrisy within the federal government when it comes to the issue of marijuana."
Unfortunately for those Tennesseans in need, the state's main medical marijuana bill has been delayed until next year. The House Health Committee, Senate Health, and Welfare Committee, all decided to delay action on the bill until next year because "it needs more work", though the work needed has yet to specified. The only hope for this year is a bill being pursued that would legalize cannabis oils, but only for treatment of seizures. Sen. Randy McNally, R-Oak Ridge, also raised a common fear that the state could face federal legal issues by legalizing medical marijuana. President Barack Obama and the current federal administration have said they won't pursue convictions, but marijuana is still banned in any circumstance by federal law.
This week the Supreme Court ruled that citizens on probation can now legally smoke medical marijuana as long as they have their medical card. The Arizona Political Director for Marijuana Policy Project says this is groundbreaking, and now patients are finally being treated as such and have the right to their own medicine. A recent poll shows that 45% of respondants think marijuana should be legal for those 18 and up, while only 42% only agree with medical cannabis. Last year, Pew Research Center concluded that a slim majority of Americans — 52 percent — favor pot legalization. Twenty-three states and D.C. permit medical marijuana use, and 76 percent of doctors say they would prescribe it to patients. But there are still significant barriers to accessing and dispensing medical cannabis, not the least of which is the fact that the federal government has dubbed marijuana a Schedule 1 drug with no medical benefits. As a result, insurers choose not to cover it, making prescriptions financially cumbersome.
In October of 2014, the country of Chile planted their first crop of newly legalized medical marijuana. Today this pilot of a program harvested it's first medical marijuana and citizents with debilitating conditions like cancer and Lupus will now have legal access to pain relieving marijuana. Some chilean lawmakers have approved a plan for recreational use but that bill must still pass both houses of Congress. Planting, selling and transporting marijuana is usually illegal in Chile and carries prison terms of up to 15 years. But the law allows medical use of marijuana with the authorization of several ministries.
Iowa has taken steps forward towards legalizing medical marijuana, and the state senate may see a debate this week. The bill would allow Iowans with serious illnesses such as: cancer, multiple sclerosis, Crohn's disease, post-traumatic stress disorder and other chronic and debilitating ailments to be prescribed medical marijuana. A rally in support of the bill will be held on Tuesday hosted by Iowans 4 Medical Cannabis. The medical marijuana bill has not been scheduled for debate on the Senate floor, but supporters say Senate Democrats are talking about bringing up the legislation for a vote of the full Senate. House Republicans and Gov. Terry Branstad have both indicated they do not intend to pursue legislation on medical marijuana this session, so the proposal could meet a dead end if it clears the Senate.
The Alabama Senate is working on a bill to allow medical marijuana to be prescribed by a doctor for patients in need. After a full medical evaluation, the patient is put into one of three classes of a marijuana prescription ranging from being able to purchase five ounces, all the way up to sixteen ounces of medical pot per month. The state will also regulate the amount of dispensaries allowed per city based on population. “There are doctors that want to prescribe marijuana for their patients because it works,” Singleton said in a written statement last week. “It just makes sense to let them.”
The New York state Health Department issued it's final regulations for the state's medical marijuana program this week. The program is expected to start next year, though many are upset by the limited list of illlnesses that are covered for medical marijuana. These conditions include: cancer, HIV/AIDS, Lou Gehrig's disease, Parkinson's disease, multiple sclerosis, spinal cord damage, epilepsy, inflammatory bowel disorder, neuropathies and Huntington's disease. The bill is however written to allow the state's health commissioner authority to include other conditions to the list. "Expanding the initial set of regulations would have subjected the State to unnecessary scrutiny and jeopardized the program's ability to move forward in any meaningful manner," the health department said. The state has not started accepting applications yet from organizations that want to produce marijuana in New York. The health department said it will publish information soon on its website about the application process
This week a bill is progressing in the Tennesee state house allowing patients with serious and terminal illnesses access to medical marijuana. This bill would only allow marijuana to be prescribed in gel tab pills or a patch, though another bill proposed would allow cannabis oils to be prescribed as well. Both bills have many more hurdles to go through but are on the right path legalizing for quilifying Tennessee residents. Murfreesboro attorney Ted LaRoche has lobbied for the bill with several state lawmakers and said he was pleased at the bill's initial passage. He said the proposal would offer a level of "compassionate care with control" to those who need it most.
In Texas, Rep. Marisa Marquez has sponsored House Bill 2785 which is 40 pages of in depth marijuana legislature examining what conditions benefit from marijuana, as well as how to keep it in the hands of responsible adults. Marquez is hoping to make Texas the 24th state with legal medical marijuana, allowing their seriously ill patients access to non-addictive and truly helpful alternative medicine. Surverys show 77% of Texans support medical marijuana reform. Though he considers Texas to be a leader on many issues, Moody said the state has been “clearly absent from the discussion related to marijuana enforcement and how we regulate that market. It’s a national discussion that is ongoing and it’s happening without us. As Texans I don’t think we should allow that to happen.”
In 2014, Florda just missed the 60% mark needed to legalize marijuana, but with the presidential election around the corner, marijuana law is making a larger impact than ever on voters and politicians alike. State legislator Dr. Julio Gonzalez (R) sees the need for medical marijuana, but only believes it should be available to a "small number of patients." Soon enough the state of Florida will be able to decide for itself on marijuana reform and political figures. “I don’t think we can predictably foretell how the marijuana issue will affect the upcoming election cycle at this point. Suffice it to say that the sole priority for the legislature ought to be the best interests of the people of Florida and to remain focused on performing the very best service it can for Floridians.”
Susan Lind-Kanne is a 59 year-old resident of Oregon with severe arthritis problems in her hands, knees, and even her toes. She has been a medical marijuana patient for 5 years, but about 2 years ago she discovered her love for marijuana-infused edibles. The day she first tried a Gummiez hard candy, it took about 10 minutes for her to get the full use of her hands again and to this day she always keeps a bottle of her favorite edibles in her purse. Smoking marijuana isn't nearly as effective or as long-lasting as eating it, she said. She figures she'd have to puff on a pipe for much longer to get the same relief she gets from a single candy, which helps her manage pain for up to three hours at a time.
North Carolina is on the road to legalizing medical marijuana after it's bill passed a first reading in the General Assembly this month. State Representatives and Marijuana Policy leaders agree that not only is it logical, but the evidence shows that ill patients can gain many benefits from medical marijuana. The representatives also agree that contrary to local belief, legalization will not increase marijuana use in their communities. “It’s illogical for the government not to legalize marijuana because we could earn money from taxing it, and we could spend less taxpayer money imprisoning kids who were caught with marijuana. All that does is ruin someone’s life and waste taxpayer money,” freshman Emelina Vienneau said.