Tag: Medical Marijuana News

Study: Medical Marijuana Patients Reduce Their Use of Opioids

VICTORIA, BC — Patients with legal access to medical cannabis reduce their use of opioids, benzodiazepines, and other prescription drugs, according to data published online ahead of print in The International Journal of Drug Policy.

Researchers at the University of Victoria and the University of British Columbia assessed the use of medical cannabis and prescription drugs in a cohort of 277 patients registered in the Canadian government’s medical marijuana program.

Sixty-three percent of the respondents reported substituting cannabis for prescription medications. Patients were most likely to report using cannabis in lieu of opioids (32 percent).

Patients also reported using cannabis in place of benzodiazepines (16 percent) and anti-depressants (12 percent).

Respondents were most likely to reduce their use of prescription medications because they believed that cannabis posed fewer adverse side effects. Respondents also reported that “cannabis is safer” than prescription alternatives and that it provides “better symptom management.”

Authors concluded:

“The finding that patients using cannabis to treat pain-related conditions have a higher rate of substitution for opioids, and that patients self-reporting mental health issues have a higher rate of substitution for benzodiazepines and antidepressants has significant public health implications. In light of the growing rate of morbidity and mortality associated with these prescription medications, cannabis could play a significant role in reducing the health burden of problematic prescription drug use.”

The study’s conclusions are consistent with those of prior reports finding that patients with legal access to cannabis spend less money on conventional prescription drugs, and are less likely to use or abuse opioids.

Full text of the study, “Medical cannabis access, use, and substitution for prescription opioids and other substances: A survey of authorized medical cannabis patients,” appears in The International Journal of Drug Policy.

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Thank you for visiting MDMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Maryland. Our Mission at the Maryland Medical Marijuana Certification Clinics (MDMMCC) is to provide the certification necessary for qualified patients to obtain Medical Marijuana in compliance with the Maryland Medical Marijuana Laws in the State of Maryland.  MDMMCC will have offices open throughout Maryland.

The ‘Respect State Marijuana Laws Act’ Reintroduced In Congress

WASHINGTON, DC — United States Representative Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA), along with six other Republicans and six Democrats, has reintroduced bipartisan legislation, ‘The Respect State Marijuana Laws Act,’ to prevent the federal government from criminally prosecuting individuals and/or businesses who are engaging in state-sanctioned activities specific to the possession, use, production, and distribution of marijuana.

House Resolution 975 amends the federal Controlled Substances Act to read, ”Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the provisions of this subchapter related to marihuana shall not apply to any person acting in compliance with state laws relating to the production, possession, distribution, dispensation, administration, or delivery of marihuana.”

Passage of this Act would halt federal officials from prosecuting individuals and businesses in the 29 states that permit either the medical or the adult use and distribution of marijuana. According to national polling, 60 percent of Americans believe that state officials ought to possess the authority to “control and decide whether to legalize marijuana” – not the federal government.

“With the recent confirmation of militant marijuana prohibitionist Jeff Sessions to the position of US Attorney General, passage of this Act is a priority to ensure that medical marijuana patients and others are protected from undue federal interference,” NORML’s Political Director Justin Strekal said.

The bill is one of several pieces of legislation already filed in Congress to amend federal marijuana policy. Other pending measures include HR 715, which seeks to reschedule cannabis under federal law, and HR 331, which halts the federal government from taking civil forfeiture action against properties involved in state-approved, medical marijuana-related conduct.

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Thank you for visiting MDMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Maryland. Our Mission at the Maryland Medical Marijuana Certification Clinics (MDMMCC) is to provide the certification necessary for qualified patients to obtain Medical Marijuana in compliance with the Maryland Medical Marijuana Laws in the State of Maryland.  MDMMCC will have offices open throughout Maryland.

Guam Health Officials to Begin Licensing Medical Marijuana Dispensaries

MANGILAO, GUAM —  Health Department officials in Guam are accepting applications from those seeking to become licensed medical cannabis cultivators or providers.

Voters in the US territory decided in the 2014 general election to establish regulations governing the licensed production and distribution of medicinal cannabis to qualified patients.

Lawmakers codified those regulations last December.

Under the law, known as the Joaquin “KC” Concepcion II Compassionate Cannabis Use Act, physicians may recommend cannabis therapy to any patient for whom he or she believes that such treatment may provide therapeutic relief.

Patients are anticipated to be able to legally obtain medicinal cannabis products from licensed dispensaries by this summer.

Pending legislation endorsed by Guam’s Governor also seeks to legalize, regulate, and tax the use of cannabis by those age 21 or older.

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Thank you for visiting MDMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Maryland. Our Mission at the Maryland Medical Marijuana Certification Clinics (MDMMCC) is to provide the certification necessary for qualified patients to obtain Medical Marijuana in compliance with the Maryland Medical Marijuana Laws in the State of Maryland.  MDMMCC will have offices open throughout Maryland.

In the Time of Trump, Can Congress Take the Lead on Marijuana Policy?

While the marijuana community — consumers, industry, and advocates alike — eyes with trepidation the reign of avowed anti-pot Republican Jeff Sessions at the Justice Department, the Trump executive branch isn’t the only game in town when it comes to making marijuana policy. Congress is back in session, and after last November’s legalization and medical marijuana victories at the polls, the pot state delegation is larger than ever.

And at least some of those senators and congressmen and women representing the 28 states (and the District of Columbia) that have embraced medical marijuana and the eight states plus DC that have so far gone for adult legalization, are gearing up to fight for reform at the Capitol.

A nascent congressional Cannabis Caucus formed in December is preparing a plethora of bills for the current session, and its members say they are optimistic about their chances, even in the time of Trump — and Republicans holding every committee chair in both houses. It’s because Congress is riding the marijuana wave, too, said caucus founder and co-chair Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR).

“This Congress is going to be a little better than last Congress, and last Congress was better than the one before that,” he said in an interview this week with The Cannabist. “It’s very interesting watching the momentum build.”

That momentum derives from public opinion polls consistently showing nationwide majorities favoring legalization and, more importantly, the actual victories at the polls in November, where legalization went four for five and medical marijuana went four for four.

“It’s easier for people to embrace much of what we’re doing legislatively,” he said. Fixing industry-critical concerns such as the lack of operating expense deductions or access to financial services for state-legal businesses or barriers to medical marijuana research are now mere “housekeeping” issues, he added.

Nonetheless, fixes still have to get through the Congress. They haven’t so far, and it’s a long way between filing a bill and seeing it signed into law. Still, Blumenauer and colleagues will be pushing harder than ever.

He is joined in the Cannabis Caucus by co-chairs Reps. Jared Polis (D-CO), Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA), and Don Young (R-AK). The bipartisan grouping is notably made up of representatives from vanguard legalization states, but by no means all of them — California alone has 53 House members — and there is certainly room for more to come on board.

“I’m more hopeful than ever before that we can move legislation like the Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Act,” Polis told The Cannabist, referring to last session’s H.R. 1013, which picked up 19 cosponsors and was referred to a slew of subcommittees, but never even got a hearing.

That bill was one of about two dozen pot-related proposals filed in the last session, and they’re already starting to pile up again this session. While Blumenauer told The Cannabist more were to come, here’s what’s on the table so far:

H.R. 331 — Filed by Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA), the States’ Medical Marijuana Rights Protection Act would block federal civil asset forfeiture aimed at the owners of state-legal medical marijuana operations.

H.R. 714 — Filed by Rep. H. Morgan Griffith (R-VA), the Legitimate Use of Medicinal Marihuana Act would move marijuana to the Controlled Substance Act’s Schedule II, opening the door to more research and, potentially, doctors’ ability to prescribe (as opposed to recommend) marijuana for patients. It would also bar the use of that act or the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act to interfere with medical marijuana in states where it is legal.

H.R. 715 — Also filed by Rep. Griffith, the Compassionate Access Act would reschedule marijuana, provide for its medical use under state laws, and remove CBD (cannabidiol) from the definition of marijuana.

H.R. 975 — Filed by Cannabis Caucus co-chair Rep. Rohrabacher, the Respect State Marijuana Laws Act would exempt people and entities from certain provisions of the Controlled Substances Act if they are acting in compliance with state laws. Rohrabacher authored similar legislation in the last Congress, garnering 20 cosponsors, including seven Republicans.

There is no outright federal marijuana legalization bill out there yet this session, but expect to see Rep. Polis come back with his bill or perhaps Bernie Sanders reviving his bill to end federal marijuana prohibition, or both. Given political realities on the Hill, though, the Cannabis Caucus will likely save its political capital for fights it might be able to win, such as fixing the tax and banking problems facing the industry.

Another key battleground — and one where marijuana advocates have actually won before — is the appropriations process. The Justice Department and the DEA can’t go after marijuana in legal states if Congress bars them from spending any federal funds to do so, and that’s exactly what Congress did when it approved the Rohrabacher-Farr Medical Marijuana Amendment last session.

If a similar amendment were to succeed again, even if Attorney General Sessions wanted to call out the cavalry, he couldn’t buy the horse feed, and it wouldn’t matter how many nasty memos his deputies wrote.

And while his past pronouncements are indeed worrisome, he was quite coy at his nomination hearings, saying that he “won’t commit to never enforcing federal law,” but adding that enforcement priorities are “a problem of resources for the federal government.”

Sessions did add later in the hearings that it’s not “the attorney general’s job to decide what laws to enforce,” but suggested that his former colleagues could settle things once and for all.

“I think one obvious concern is that the United States Congress has made the possession of marijuana in every state and distribution of it an illegal act,” he said. “If that something is not desired any longer, Congress should pass the law to change the rule.”

And then there’s Sessions’ boss, President Trump. While he projects a law and order image and has campaigned against “drugs,” the drugs he seems most concerned about are heroin and the prescription opioids — not pot. He’s also suggested in the past a willingness to let states experiment on marijuana policy, and he has a lot of other things on his plate. It’s not at all clear he would let Sessions unleash a war on weed even if he wanted to.

Earl Blumenauer doesn’t think Trump wants to charge into this particular melee.

“This is a struggle and will continue to be, but this is something where I honestly don’t think the new administration, which has probably enough controversy on its hands, is going to knowingly pick a fight with what, almost without exception, was approved by local voters,” Blumenauer said.

To ensure that Sessions doesn’t strike out, “we need to make the case directly to Trump” about the economic potential of the marijuana industry, said Polis. But until federal marijuana prohibition is ended, “the industry really exists at the discretion of the president and the attorney general, and that’s a dangerous place to be,” he added.

Well, and Congress, too. It holds the purse strings, after all.

Marijuana policy is going to be at play in the 115th Congress. Ending federal prohibition remains the Holy Grail, but in the meantime, there are concrete actions Congress can take to protect medical and legal marijuana and the industry it’s creating. Now, let’s see if the Cannabis Caucus can lead the way to some victories.


This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license from StopTheDrugWar.org and was first published here.

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Thank you for visiting MDMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Maryland. Our Mission at the Maryland Medical Marijuana Certification Clinics (MDMMCC) is to provide the certification necessary for qualified patients to obtain Medical Marijuana in compliance with the Maryland Medical Marijuana Laws in the State of Maryland.  MDMMCC will have offices open throughout Maryland.

Arkansas Governor Signs Law Delaying Enactment of Voter-Approved Medical Marijuana Initiative

Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson (arkansas.gov)

LITTLE ROCK, AR — Lawmakers passed legislation this week to delay the enactment of the state’s voter-initiated medical cannabis program.

The bill was signed into law Monday by Republican Governor Asa Hutchinson

House Bill 1026, now Act 4, postpones the implementation of the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Amendment by 60 days.

Under the new timeline, regulators have until July 1, 2017 to begin accepting applications from those seeking a state license to grow or dispense medical cannabis.

Fifty-three percent of voters decided in favor of the Amendment on Election Day.

Because the legislation amends a constitutional amendment, it required the votes of over two-thirds of state lawmakers.

Lawmakers in several states, including Florida, Maine, Massachusetts, and North Dakota, are pushing forward similar legislative efforts to either significantly delay or amend voter-approved marijuana initiatives.

NORML Executive Director Erik Altieri expressed strong criticism toward these proposed changes and delays, stating: “Voters have lived with the failings of marijuana prohibition for far too long already. Lawmakers have a responsibility to abide by the will of the voters and to do so in a timely manner.”

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Thank you for visiting MDMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Maryland. Our Mission at the Maryland Medical Marijuana Certification Clinics (MDMMCC) is to provide the certification necessary for qualified patients to obtain Medical Marijuana in compliance with the Maryland Medical Marijuana Laws in the State of Maryland.  MDMMCC will have offices open throughout Maryland.

Clinical Trial: THCV Lowers Blood Sugar Levels In Type 2 Diabetics

DERBY, UK — The administration of THCV (tetrahydrocannabivarin), a non-psychoactive component of cannabis, is positively associated with glycemic control in type 2 diabetics, according to the randomized, placebo-controlled data published in the journal Diabetes Care.

Investigators from the University of Nottingham, School of Medicine assessed the twice daily administration of various cannabinoids (CBD or THCV or CBD and THCV in combination) versus placebo over a period of 13 weeks in 62 non-insulin dependent subjects with type 2 diabetes.

Authors reported that the administration of THCV alone “significantly decreased fasting plasma glucose” levels and improved pancreatic cell function. By contrast, other treatment therapies failed to show detectable metabolic effects.

Investigators concluded, “THCV could represent a new therapeutic agent in glycemic control in subjects with type 2 diabetes.”

Population-based observational studies have previously reported that cannabis consumers typically possess lower BMI and other favorable indices related to diabetic control compared to those without a history of marijuana use.

Full text of the study, “Efficacy and safety of cannabidiol and tetrahydrocannabivarin on glycemic and lipid parameters in patients with type 2 diabetes: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled parallel group pilot study,” appears in Diabetes Care.

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Thank you for visiting MDMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Maryland. Our Mission at the Maryland Medical Marijuana Certification Clinics (MDMMCC) is to provide the certification necessary for qualified patients to obtain Medical Marijuana in compliance with the Maryland Medical Marijuana Laws in the State of Maryland.  MDMMCC will have offices open throughout Maryland.

Florida Health Regulators’ Proposed Medical Marijuana Rules Undercut Voter-Approved Amendment

Florida Health Regulators’ Proposed Medical Marijuana Rules Undercut Voter-Approved Amendment | NORML

TALLAHASSEE, FL — Proposed rules by the Florida Department of Health to regulate the dispensing of medical cannabis are contrary to the intent of Amendment 2, the ballot initiative approved by 71 percent of voters on Election Day. Specifically, the draft rules would not permit physicians to recommend cannabis therapy to patients with chronic pain – […]

Florida Health Regulators’ Proposed Medical Marijuana Rules Undercut Voter-Approved Amendment | The Daily Chronic


Thank you for visiting MDMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Maryland. Our Mission at the Maryland Medical Marijuana Certification Clinics (MDMMCC) is to provide the certification necessary for qualified patients to obtain Medical Marijuana in compliance with the Maryland Medical Marijuana Laws in the State of Maryland.  MDMMCC will have offices open throughout Maryland.

Illinois State Treasurer Urges Trump to Let Banks Work with Marijuana Industry

SPRINGFIELD, IL — Illinois State Treasurer Michael Frerichs on Monday sent a letter to President Trump asking for “clear guidance” in allowing banks to do business with the marijuana industry.

Illinois is one of 28 states that allows medical marijuana under a state-supervised program.

Federal law currently prohibits banks from processing money from customers working in the legal marijuana industry, making it difficult for marijuana related businesses to do everything from opening checking accounts to securing loans, while restricting customers to cash-only transactions.  Cash-only transactions can make it difficult for state regulators to properly audit sales, verify that taxes are being collected properly, and invites criminal activity at retail locations.

Frerichs sent Trump a letter Monday encouraging the administration to issue guidelines to assure that “responsible financial institutions will not face penalties or prosecution for conducting business with state-licensed marijuana cultivators and dispensaries,” according to a press release issued by Frerichs’ office.

“Medical marijuana is not right for everyone. However, its positive results for those with debilitating conditions, including Veterans and children threatened by seizures, are undeniable,” Frerichs said. “Updating our banking laws to embrace commonsense change will allow Illinois to properly manage this reasonable program, guarantee uninterrupted access to medical users, and protect financial institutions that serve the industry.”

Frerichs notes that guidance from the new regime is “particularly important” considering Trump’s nominee for Attorney General, U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL).

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Thank you for visiting MDMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Maryland. Our Mission at the Maryland Medical Marijuana Certification Clinics (MDMMCC) is to provide the certification necessary for qualified patients to obtain Medical Marijuana in compliance with the Maryland Medical Marijuana Laws in the State of Maryland.  MDMMCC will have offices open throughout Maryland.

Indiana: American Legion Calls on Lawmakers to Permit Medical Marijuana Access

INDIANAPOLIS, IN — The American Legion of Indiana passed a resolution on Sunday calling on state lawmakers to permit veterans’ access to marijuana as a therapeutic remedy.

The resolution acknowledges that legalizing cannabis access will reduce opioid addiction and overdose deaths, and urges members of the Indiana General Assembly to “amend state legislation to remove restrictions from marijuana and reclassify it in a category that, at a minimum, will recognize cannabis as a drug with potential medical value.”

Legislation is pending in the state, Senate Bill 255, to establish guidelines for the licensed production and dispending of cannabis to qualified patients.

During its national convention in September, the American Legion called on Congress to remove marijuana from its Schedule I classification under federal law. With nearly 2.5 million members, the American Legion is the largest veterans advocacy organization in the United States.

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Thank you for visiting MDMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Maryland. Our Mission at the Maryland Medical Marijuana Certification Clinics (MDMMCC) is to provide the certification necessary for qualified patients to obtain Medical Marijuana in compliance with the Maryland Medical Marijuana Laws in the State of Maryland.  MDMMCC will have offices open throughout Maryland.

Public Forums Announced to Debate Proposed Florida Medical Marijuana Rules

Public Forums Announced to Debate Proposed Florida Medical Marijuana Rules | NORML

Floridians voted overwhelmingly in favor of Amendment 2 on Election Day, passing the measure intended to regulate the production and dispensing of medical cannabis to any patient who is diagnosed with a debilitating medical condition by their doctor. However, newly proposed rule by the Department of Health seek to significantly amend this legislation in a manner that is contrary to patients’ […]

Public Forums Announced to Debate Proposed Florida Medical Marijuana Rules | The Daily Chronic


Thank you for visiting MDMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Maryland. Our Mission at the Maryland Medical Marijuana Certification Clinics (MDMMCC) is to provide the certification necessary for qualified patients to obtain Medical Marijuana in compliance with the Maryland Medical Marijuana Laws in the State of Maryland.  MDMMCC will have offices open throughout Maryland.