Tag: Medical Marijuana News

Hearing Thursday for Terminal NH Cancer Patient Seeking Medical Marijuana Access

Hearing Thursday for Terminal NH Cancer Patient Seeking Medical Marijuana Access

Linda Horan of Alstead wants a New Hampshire medical marijuana ID card, which would allow her to obtain medical marijuana legally in Maine and protect her from arrest and prosecution in New Hampshire

CONCORD, NH — Merrimack County Superior Court will hold a hearing at 10 a.m. on Thursday on a lawsuit against New Hampshire Commissioner of Health and Human Services Nicholas Toumpas filed by a terminal cancer patient seeking access to medical marijuana.

Linda Horan of Alstead, who is suffering from Stage 4 lung cancer, filed a pre-registration application to participate in New Hampshire’s medical marijuana program after receiving approval from all five of her physicians.

She wants to receive a medical marijuana ID card that will allow her to obtain medical marijuana legally in Maine and protect her from arrest and prosecution in New Hampshire. A lawsuit asking that she be able to do so was filed by her attorneys on November 5.

The hearing for an “expedited temporary order” will take place on Thursday at 10 a.m. at the Merrimack County Courthouse.

Gov. Maggie Hassan signed New Hampshire’s medical marijuana program into law on July 23, 2013, but patients are still at risk of arrest and prosecution because program ID cards have not been issued.

Horan pled her case directly to Gov. Hassan on September 7 after receiving a lifetime achievement award during the New Hampshire AFL-CIO Labor Day Breakfast.

A video of her statement is available below.


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.

New York Governor Signs Medical Marijuana Emergency Access Bill

New York Governor Signs Medical Marijuana Emergency Access Bill

Patients and Families Applaud Gov. Cuomo and Call on Health Department to Implement Law Quickly and Get Medicine to Critically Ill Patients

NEW YORK, NY — After months of pressure from patients and advocates, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a bill Wednesday that will expedite access to medical marijuana for critically ill patients in the Empire State.

In June, with overwhelming bipartisan support, both houses of the legislature passed A.7060 (Gottfried) / S.5086 (Griffo), directing the state to establish a program to help critically ill patients obtain emergency access to medical marijuana as soon as possible.

The bill was delivered to Governor on October 30th, and he had until Wednesday to either sign or veto the bill. The bill instructs the state to issue patient cards to qualified, critically ill patients as soon as possible, making it clear that they are medical marijuana patients and affording them some protection from law enforcement and child protective services.

Yesterday, patients, families, and advocates rallied outside Governor Cuomo’s Manhattan office to urge the governor to sign the bill. People living with HIV/AIDS and community organizing groups like VOCAL NY and ACT UP stood in solidarity with those advocating for emergency access outside the Governor’s Office, recalling a time when they were also denied access to life-saving medications.

“I am so very relieved that Governor Cuomo has signed this bill,” said Missy Miller of Atlantic Beach, whose son Oliver suffers from life-threatening seizures.  “I once again have hope that I will be able to offer my son the chance at significant relief. This gives Oliver and the truly sickest patients across NY the opportunity to get access to medical marijuana expeditiously, thereby relieving suffering. This has been an incredibly long and difficult process, but I have renewed faith in my home state.  This will become real to me when Oliver gets the medicine he needs.”

Since the medical marijuana law passed a year ago, not one patient in New York has been able to access medical marijuana. Tragically, at least four children who would have likely benefited from it have died while waiting to obtain this much-needed medicine.

Just last month, longtime medical marijuana advocate Beverly McClain, who had metastatic cancer, passed away without ever benefiting from the law she helped pass.

New York’s medical marijuana program is slated to become operational in January of 2016, but some fear that program will not come on line as scheduled. The state has yet to launch a system for patients to register and just unveiled the mandatory doctor training in mid-October.

Recent media accounts suggest that several of the planned dispensaries are having trouble finalizing sites. With only 20 dispensaries statewide for almost 20 million people across 54,000 square miles, the failure of even one dispensary to open is problematic, especially to those who are critically ill.

“We’re heartened that Governor Cuomo did the right thing and signed this emergency bill,” said Julie Netherland, New York deputy state director at the Drug Policy Alliance.  “Patients in New York are suffering, and some patients’ lives are at risk every day they are forced to wait.  There’s no real victory until critically ill patients get their medicine.”


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.

US Senate Approves Funding Provision Expanding Medical Cannabis Access to Veterans

US Senate Approves Funding Provision Expanding Medical Cannabis Access to Veterans

WASHINGTON, DC — On the eve of Veterans Day, members of the US Senate adopted language to permit Veterans access to medical marijuana in states that allow for its use.

On Tuesday, Senate members passed the FY2016 Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Bill,which for the first time includes language to allow Veteran’s Administration (VA) doctors to recommend medical marijuana to patients in states where medical marijuana is legal.

The Daines/Merkley amendment had been previously approved by members of the US Senate Appropriations committee in May. By contrast, House members narrowly rejected a similar amendment this spring. House and Senate leaders will now need to reconcile the two versions of the FY2016 spending bill.

Under current regulations, the Department of Veteran’s Affairs prohibits doctors from issuing cannabis recommendations even where it is legal.

If the Daines/Merkley amendment is ultimately included in the reconciled version of the FY2016 spending bill, the Justice Department will be barred from spending any money to limit VA doctors from recommending marijuana, or to penalize veterans who choose to use medical marijuana in states that allow it’s use.


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.

Senate Approves Veterans Medical Cannabis Access, but ‘Gag Order’ Remains in Effect

Senate Approves Veterans Medical Cannabis Access, but ‘Gag Order’ Remains in Effect

WASHINGTON, DC — On Tuesday, the Senate approved the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies (MilCon-VA) Appropriations Act for fiscal year 2016 which contained the Veterans Equal Access Amendment.

If signed into law, the amendment would forbid the Veterans Administration from punishing V.A. doctors who write medical cannabis recommendations in states where it is legal to do so.

However, the current “gag order” policy forbidding V.A. physicians from writing medical cannabis recommendations or even discussing the benefits of medical cannabis therapy, known as VHA Directive 2011-004, remains in place for the time being.

Changing the policy could take place through some combination of Congressional action and/or revising the policy internally at the V.A. It’s important to note from the outset that Directive 2011-004 is set to expire at the end of 2015. At that point, the V.A. could reissue the directive, issue a new directive with a different policy on medical cannabis, or (however unlikely) simply let it expire without a replacement policy. The most likely outcome seems to be a revised policy.

In spite of the “gag order” nature of Directive 2011-004, it was actually an improvement upon the previous policy which allowed the Administration to deny health care to veterans enrolled in state medical cannabis programs. Despite this improvement from the pre-2011 policy, the current directive still puts veterans at a disadvantage by having to go out of network and out of pocket to see a doctor if they require medical cannabis therapy.

Of course, any change in policy would have to conform to whatever budget riders are attached the MilCon-VA Appropriations bill, but the likelihood of the amendment language becoming law is slim.

While the Senate version of the MilConVA bill contains Veterans Equal Access Amendment that was offered by Senators Daines (R-MT) and Merkley (D-OR) and was added in committee by a vote of 18-12, the language does not appear in the House version of the bill, where the amendment was narrowly defeated by a floor vote of 210 – 213.

Considering Republicans control both the House and Senate, it seems unlikely that Senate Judiciary Ranking Member Mikulski (D-MD) will be able to successfully negotiate to keep the language in the final bill that makes it way to the President’s desk. Had the amendment passed both the House and Senate, the language would be all but assured to be included.

With the directive set to expire at the end of the year, the most likely way for the “gag order” to be lifted is through the V.A. issuing a new directive that removes it. However, the V.A. could issue an unsatisfying improvement that allows V.A. physicians to discuss the benefits of medical cannabis, but still explicitly forbid them from writing recommendations in states that have medical cannabis programs.

Even if the V.A. were to take that “split the baby” approach, Congress could create access to medical cannabis through the V.A. by passing the CARERS Act. In addition to permanently ending the “gag order,” CARERS would also end the federal crackdown on state legal medical cannabis programs and expand research opportunities.

ASA encourages people to take action in support of CARERS by calling their Members of Congress. 


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.

Time is Running Out for PA House to Act on Medical Marijuana

Time is Running Out for PA House to Act on Medical Marijuana

It has been almost six months since the Senate passed sensible medical cannabis legislation. Seriously ill patients have been suffering while waiting for the House to take action. They should not have to wait one more day.

HARRISBURG, PA — With very few session days remaining this year, Republican leadership in Pennsylvania still has not introduced medical marijuana legislation in the House. Early reports about the contents of the draft still raise serious concerns — including a 10% THC cap, an explicit prohibition on dried flowers and plants, and no immediate legal protections for patients.

It has been almost six months since the Senate passed sensible medical cannabis legislation. Seriously ill patients have been suffering while waiting for the House to take action. They should not have to wait one more day.

It is time for the House to vote on comprehensive and compassionate medical marijuana legislation. Let them know that Pennsylvanians are tired of waiting. They need to do it right! Do it now! Let them know that compassionate use legislation should be focused on the needs of patients and not politics as usual.

Urge them to tell leadership our concerns and to demand safe and affordable access for Pennsylvania’s most fragile citizens.

If you are a Pennsylvania resident, please call your representative today! Let him or her know it is critical that these problems are addressed and the bill is brought to the floor for a vote immediately. You can click here to find your representative’s contact information along with talking points to guide your call.


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.

US Senate Approves Funding Bill That Allows Veterans to Access Medical Marijuana

US Senate Approves Funding Bill That Allows Veterans to Access Medical Marijuana

WASHINGTON, DC — The United States Senate on Tuesday passed the FY2016 Military Construction and Veterans Affairs (MilCon-VA) Appropriations Bill, which includes language to allow Veterans Administration (VA) doctors to recommend medical marijuana to their patients in states where medical marijuana is legal. The language was included as an amendment in the Senate Appropriations committee in May.

“Veterans in medical marijuana states should be treated the same as any other resident, and should be able to discuss marijuana with their doctor,” said Michael Collins, deputy director of national affairs for the Drug Policy Alliance. “It makes no sense that a veteran can’t use medical marijuana if it helps them and it is legal in their state.”

The Veterans Equal Access Amendment was sponsored by Republican Senator Steve Daines of Montana and Democratic Senator Jeff Merkley of Oregon. It passed the Committee 18-12 in a bipartisan vote. The funding bill will now be negotiated with the House’s version as part of an omnibus spending bill.

“On this eve of Veterans/Armistice Day where we remember those who served in the military and the treaty agreement to reach peace concluding WWI, we see this victory as a step toward a peace treaty with the government we volunteered to defend with our lives and as a step toward restoring our first amendment rights and dignity as citizens of the United States, ” said TJ Thompson, a disabled Navy veteran.

Currently, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) specifically prohibits its medical providers from completing forms brought by their patients seeking recommendations or opinions regarding participation in a state medical marijuana program. The Daines-Merkley amendment authorizes VA physicians and other health care providers to provide recommendations and opinions regarding the use of medical marijuana to veterans who live in medical marijuana states.

In 2002, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed in Conant v. Walters the right of physicians to recommend medical marijuana, regardless of its illegality under federal law, as well as the right of patients to receive accurate information. The Daines-Merkley amendment supports that first amendment right and restores a healthy doctor-patient relationship.

There are numerous federal healthcare programs besides the VA such as Medicaid, Medicare, and CHIP – but only the VA prohibits physicians from discussing and recommending medical marijuana to their patients. A Medicare patient may freely discuss medical marijuana use with her doctor, while a returning veteran is denied the same right.

Studies have shown that medical marijuana can help treat post-traumatic stress and traumatic brain injury, illnesses typically suffered by veterans. A 2014 study of people with PTSD showed a greater than 75% reduction in severity of symptoms when patients were using marijuana to treat their illness, compared to when they were not.

A legislative version of the Daines-Merkley amendment was included in groundbreaking Senate medical marijuana legislation introduced in March. The Compassionate Access, Research Expansion and Respect States (CARERS) Act is the first-ever bill in the U.S. Senate to legalize marijuana for medical use and the most comprehensive medical marijuana bill ever introduced in Congress. The bill was introduced by Senators Cory Booker (D-NJ), Rand Paul (R-KY), and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and generated enormous interest.

With the Senate approving one element in the bill, supporters say it is time for the Senate Judiciary Committee to hold hearings on the full bill.

“The politics around marijuana have shifted in recent years, yet Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley hasn’t held a hearing on the bill,” said Bill Piper, director of national affairs for the Drug Policy Alliance. “We will move the CARERS Act piece by piece if we have to but now is the time for the Senate to hold a hearing on the bill as a whole.”


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.

Texas Veterans Want Access to Medical Marijuana

Texas Veterans Want Access to Medical Marijuana

Texas Veterans to Gather at State Capitol on Veterans Day to Launch ‘Operation Trapped;’ Group Wants Legal Access to Medical Marijuana — a Safer Alternative to Many Prescription Drugs — for PTSD, TBI, and Other Service-related Conditions

AUSTIN, TX — Texas veterans and their supporters will gather in front of the Vietnam Veterans Monument at the Texas State Capitol at 1 p.m. CT on Wednesday, Veterans Day, to announce the launch of Operation Trapped. The monument is located on the northeast side of the Capitol grounds near the corner of 14th Street and Brazos Street.

Operation Trapped, backed by Texans for Responsible Marijuana Policy, is a veteran-based campaign intended to build support for legislation allowing access to medical marijuana — a safer alternative to prescription drugs — for treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), traumatic brain injury (TBI), chronic pain, and other service-related conditions.

Speakers at the event will include David Bass of Killeen, a U.S. Army veteran who served in Operation Desert Storm and Operation Iraqi Freedom II; Clif Deuvall of Waco, a U.S. Air Force veteran who participated in Operation Frequent Wind and the historic Saigon Airlift in Vietnam; and Christopher Sum of Houston, a retired U.S. Army Airborne Ranger who served four deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The campaign will display some of the empty prescription pill bottles it has begun to collect from supportive Texas veterans to represent those who are suffering from serious medical conditions that could be relieved by medical marijuana.

“As veterans, we have made many sacrifices to protect and serve our country,” said Bass. “Far too many soldiers come home to endure the debilitating conditions caused by war. These veterans, along with many other patients, are being left out in the cold.

“Veterans deserve safe and legal access to this medicine,” Bass said. “The Texas State Legislature needs to act now to create a medical marijuana program that works. Until they do, we will continue to stand with veterans and medical marijuana advocates to demand swift action from our state leaders.”

More information about Operation Trapped is available here.


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.

DEA Chief Shows Yet Again He Has No Clue About Marijuana

DEA Chief Shows Yet Again He Has No Clue About Marijuana

DEA Chief Administrator Chuck Rosenberg has once again managed to stick his foot in his mouth about cannabis. Earlier this week, Rosenberg stated that the notion of patients finding therapeutic relief from cannabis bothered him, going on to say “don’t call it medicine — that is a joke.”

The statement comes just a couple of months after the newly appointed DEA chief admitted that he was “not an expert” on marijuana, and had difficulty stating with certainty whether marijuana was more or less dangerous than heroin. After a week of what must have been intense internal deliberation, Rosenberg later clarified his position, but the embarrassment of nation’s top drug enforcement agent’s inability to assert the relative harms of substances was already done.

While Rosenberg’s statement was laughable, asserting that medical cannabis is a joke demonstrates a lack of fitness for the job of running the nation’s Drug Enforcement Agency. There are literally hundreds of clinical studies and case reports pointing towards the medical efficacy of cannabis.

In fact, the primary things preventing the kind of evidence that the federal government demands before classifying something as medicine are the DEA-mandated NIDA-monopoly and the Schedule I status in Controlled Substances Act, which the DEA has stridently maintained for decades. This self-fulfilling ban on medical advancements was documented in great detail in a report by the Brookings Institute, published earlier this year.

Given that DEA chief Rosenberg has demonstrated abject ignorance regarding medical cannabis, we urge President Obama to fire him immediately and appoint a chief who has a genuine comprehension of the medicinal value of cannabis. With NIDA, the National Cancer Institute, and other federal agencies slowly but surely coming around to the medical value of cannabis, the DEA remains as the last federal bastion of Reefer Madness mentality.

Please take a moment to fill out this petition to remove Rosenberg from the appointed position that he clearly is unqualified for

Sign_Petition_to_Fire_Chuck_Rosenberg


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’ First Medical Marijuana Dispensaries Open

Illinois’ First Medical Marijuana Dispensaries Open

Department of Health approves over a dozen long-awaited dispensaries to open this month; licensed and regulated businesses begin providing medical marijuana to patients with serious illnesses

SPRINGFIELD, IL — Illinois’ first medical marijuana dispensaries have been approved to open across the state, with five expected to open Monday, including locations in Addison, Canton, Marion, Mundelein, and Quincy.

So far, a total of eight are approved by the Illinois Department of Public Health with seven more dispensaries expected to open later this month, bringing the total number of medical marijuana dispensaries operating in Illinois to fifteen. In order to be protected under state law, Illinois patients must obtain their medical marijuana from one of these licensed dispensaries.

“This is a great day for suffering patients who have been waiting to have access to this medicine,” said Chris Lindsey, a legislative analyst for the Marijuana Policy Project. “We are grateful they will no longer have to put themselves at risk by purchasing it in an underground market.”

Under the Illinois Medical Cannabis Pilot Program (MCPP), patients must register and select one designated dispensary as their source of medicine. According to the Department of Public Health, 3,300 patients have registered for the medical cannabis identification cards.

“The dispensary openings mark the most significant milestone since the pilot program began nearly two and half years ago,” said Chris Lindsey. “A limited number of patients with certain conditions will now be able to legally access medical marijuana. We hope the state can see that a program like this works and we can finally relieve the suffering of Illinois’ most vulnerable citizens.”

Illinois is one of 23 states in the nation (in addition to the District of Columbia) to adopt a law allowing people with serious illnesses to use medical marijuana if their doctors recommend it.


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 Medical Marijuana Sales (Finally) Begin Today

Illinois Medical Marijuana Sales (Finally) Begin Today

The sale of medical cannabis to qualifying patients and caregivers will begin at eight dispensaries located throughout the state.

SPRINGFIELD, IL — After years of delays, the first eight dispensaries in Illinois will begin selling medical marijuana as early as next Monday after state officials gave growers the green light Friday to begin shipping cannabis to dispensaries.

The eight dispensaries are located in Marion, Mundelein, Canton, Quincy, Addison, North Aurora, Schaumburg and Ottawa.  According to Joseph Wright, Director of Illinois Medical Cannabis Program, about a dozen dispensaries are expected to open by the end of November, and up to 25 by the end of the year. Illinois law allows for up to 60 dispensaries statewide, along with 21 cultivation sites.  Dispensary applications are approved on a rolling basis.

In order for patients to obtain medical marijuana from a dispensary, they must have a state-issued medical marijuana ID card and have designated a dispensary with the Illinois Department of Public Health. The DPH started mailing patients their official program ID cards last week.

For more than 3,300 registered medical marijuana patients in the state, access to cannabis is long overdue. Illinois first approved a medical marijuana pilot program in 2013. The bill took effect in early 2014,  and is set to expire at the end of 2017.

More information for medical marijuana patients in Illinois is available from the Department of Public Health’s website.


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.