Tag: Medical Marijuana States

New York Legislature Approves Medical Marijuana for PTSD

Approximately 8 million adults suffer from PTSD, including many military veterans. (WikiMedia Commons/USMC)

The bipartisan proposal is headed to the governor’s desk after passing 50-13 in the Senate on Tuesday; it received overwhelming approval in the Assembly last month

ALBANY, NY — A bipartisan proposal to add post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as a qualifying condition for New York’s medical marijuana program has received final approval from state lawmakers and is headed to the desk of Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

The Senate passed S 5629 on Tuesday (50-13), and the Assembly version, A 7006, received overwhelming approval in May (131-8).

“State lawmakers are standing up for thousands of New Yorkers who are suffering from PTSD and might benefit from medical marijuana,” said Kate Bell, legislative counsel for the Marijuana Policy Project. “We hope Gov. Cuomo will do the same and sign this important legislation. With a single swipe of his pen, he can help countless people find relief.”

“Military veterans, first responders, and victims who have survived assault all deserve society’s respect and the best available treatments; they should not have to abandon their homes and move to another state in order to seek access to medical marijuana,” said Michael Krawitz, executive director of Veterans for Medical Cannabis Access. “This is compassionate and commonsense legislation that is widely supported by the public as well as lawmakers from both sides of the aisle.”

Twenty-six of the 29 states with medical marijuana programs allow patients with PTSD to qualify. In one of the states that do not, Alaska, marijuana is legal and regulated for adults 21 and older.

Bills to add PTSD to state medical marijuana programs have been approved and signed into law in Colorado and Vermont this year.

Legislation to add PTSD has also been approved in both chambers of the New Hampshire Legislature and is currently awaiting the governor’s signature.

“In the past year, 11 more states have approved allowing trauma survivors to use cannabis for PTSD. Now only three medical cannabis states exclude PTSD patients,” Bell said. “Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan and his colleagues should be commended for addressing the needs of New York residents who are dealing with this terrible condition, including our veterans. By signing this legislation, Gov. Cuomo can ensure New Yorkers don’t get left behind.”

S 5629 was introduced by Sen. Diane Savino (D-Staten Island) with a bipartisan coalition of seven co-sponsors, including Sen. Martin Golden (R-Brooklyn), who previously opposed medical marijuana legislation. A 7006 was introduced by Assembly Health Committee Chair Richard N. Gottfried (D-Manhattan) with a bipartisan coalition of more than three dozen co-sponsors.

“We are grateful to Sen. Diane Savino and Assemblyman Richard Gottfried for their leadership on this bill and other medical marijuana issues,” Bell said.

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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.

Vermont Governor Signs Medical Cannabis Expansion Bill

Vermont Governor Phil Scott

Governor Phil Scott has signed legislation, Senate Bill 16, expanding the state’s thirteen-year-old medical marijuana program.

The measure permits physicians to recommend cannabis therapy to patients with Crohn’s disease, post-traumatic stress, and Parkinson’s disease, and expedites access for patients with cancer or a terminal illness.

The bill also expands the number of permissible dispensaries in the state and allows existing operators to open one additional location each.

There are over 3,800 residents currently enrolled in the state’s medical cannabis program.

The new changes in law take effect on July 1, 2017.

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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 Lawmakers Pass Medical Marijuana Implementation Measure

TALLAHASSEE, FL — Members of the House and Senate have approved legislation to implement November’s successful Amendment 2 – a voter-initiated constitutional amendment regulating the use of medical cannabis.

Republican Gov. Rick Scott has pledged to sign the bill into law.

Lawmakers passed the measure on the final day of Florida’s special legislative session.

The measure prohibits patients from inhaling herbal preparations of cannabis, among other restrictions that proponents say violate the initiative’s original intent.

One the measure’s key backers, Orlando attorney John Morgan has said that he intends to sue the state over the proposed changes.

Under the law, patients diagnosed with cancer, epilepsy, glaucoma, HIV/AIDS, PTSD, ALS, Crohn’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, or multiple sclerosis – or who suffer from chronic pain related to any of these diseases – are eligible to receive a 70-day supply of cannabis-infused oils or edible products from a limited number of state-licensed dispensing facilities.

Florida’s medical access law must be operational by October.

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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.

Colorado Governor Signs Law Allowing Medical Cannabis for PTSD

DENVER, CO — Governor John Hickenlooper has signed legislation, Senate Bill 17, permitting physicians to recommend cannabis therapy to patients suffering from post-traumatic stress.

PTSD is the first new qualifying condition to be added since the state legalized medical cannabis in 2001.

Members of the Colorado Board of Health had previously rejected efforts to include PTSD as a qualifying condition, opining that sufficient evidence did not yet support its efficacy.

More information is available 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.

Pennsylvania Governor to US Attorney General: Back Off!

Surrounded by medical marijuana patients and advocates, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf signs Senate Bill 3 on April 17, 2016.

In a recent letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf wrote a pointed letter regarding the Department of Justice and it’s posturing to implement a crackdown of lawful state medical marijuana programs.

The full letter:

Dear Attorney General Sessions:

Last year, the Pennsylvania passed bipartisan legislation to legalize Medical Marijuana that I was proud to sign into law. The legislation was the result of conversations with Republicans and Democrats and fierce advocacy from families of children who were stricken with terrible illness that could be helped by Medical Marijuana.

We talked to kids who suffer dozens of seizures in a given day. We met veterans who have seen absolute terror and seek relief from the effects of their post-traumatic stress. We approached the responsibility of providing relief to the people of Pennsylvania very thoughtfully.

Since I signed the legislation, we have taken very careful and deliberate steps to implement the law so that those who are suffering can get relief while ensuring that the state is a responsible steward of the program.

Given the bipartisan and medical consensus for Medical Marijuana in Pennsylvania and many other states, I am disturbed to know that you are actively pursuing a change in federal law to go after medical marijuana suppliers.

We do not need the federal government getting in the way of Pennsylvania’s right to deliver them relief through our new medical marijuana program.

Your action to undo the protections of the Rohrabacher-Farr amendment, which prevents the use federal funds to disrupt states’ efforts to implement “their own State laws that authorize the use, distribution, possession or cultivation of medical marijuana” is misguided.

If you seek to further disrupt our ability to establish a legal way to deliver relief of medical marijuana to our citizens, I will ask the Attorney General of Pennsylvania to take legal action to protect our residents and state sovereignty.

Sincerely,

Governor Tom Wolf

It recently came to light that Jeff Sessions sent a private letter to Congressional leadership requesting that the agency be permitted to target and prosecute state-licensed medical cannabis facilities, currently prohibited by a spending rider known as the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer amendment.

“I believe it would be unwise for Congress to restrict the discretion of the Department to fund particular prosecutions, particularly in the midst of an historic drug epidemic and potentially long-term uptick in violent crime,” Sessions wrote, “The Department must be in a position to use all laws available to combat the transnational drug organizations and dangerous drug traffickers who threaten American lives.”

Jeff Sessions actually seems to believe that lawful medical marijuana patients, i.e. sick people, are causing the violent crime and contributing to transnational drug trafficking.

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein was questioned about federal marijuana policy during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing earlier this week and he brought up current DOJ policy and left the door wide open to a potential crackdown.

“Jim Cole tried to deal with it in that memorandum and at the moment that memorandum is still in effect. Maybe there will be changes to it in the future but we’re still operating under that policy which is an effort to balance the conflicting interests with regard to marijuana,” stated Rosenstein, “So I can assure you that is going to be a high priority for me as the U.S. Attorneys come on board to talk about how to deal with that challenge in the states that have legalized or decriminalized marijuana, whether it be for recreational or medical use…”

The Cole Memo, is a Justice Department memorandum, authored by US Deputy Attorney General James Cole in 2013 to US attorneys in all 50 states directs prosecutors not to interfere with state legalization efforts and those licensed to engage in the plant’s production and sale, provided that such persons do not engage in marijuana sales to minors or divert the product to states that have not legalized its use, among other guidelines.

But while the Justice Department contemplates its next move, Wolf and other state politicians are taking action. Recently, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (D), Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper (D), Oregon Gov. Kate Brown (D) and Alaska Gov. Bill Walker (I) issued a letter to the new U.S. Attorney General and to Secretary of Treasury Mnuchin calling on them to uphold the Obama Administration’s largely ‘hands off’ policies toward marijuana legalization, as outlined in the Cole Memo.

“Overhauling the Cole Memo is sure to produce unintended and harmful consequences,” the governors wrote. “Changes that hurt the regulated market would divert existing marijuana product into the black market and increase dangerous activity in both our states and our neighboring states.”

Click here to send a message to your member of Congress to urge them to force the Department of Justice to respect state marijuana laws.

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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.

Rod Rosenstein: Marijuana Is Federally Illegal and Has No Medical Use

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein responds to questions about federal marijuana policy during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Tuesday, June 13, 2017. (C-Span)

WASHINGTON, DC — Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein was questioned about federal marijuana policy during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing Tuesday, and his responses were disconcerting to say the least.

Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) asked Rosenstein about the current tension between state and federal marijuana laws.

“We do have a conflict between federal law and the law in some states. It’s a difficult issue for parents like me, who have to provide guidance to our kids… I’ve talked to Chuck Rosenberg, the administrator of the DEA and we follow the law and the science,” said Rosenstein, “And from a legal and scientific perspective, marijuana is an unlawful drug. It’s properly scheduled under Schedule I. And therefore we have this conflict.”

He further elaborated on the Trump Administration’s view of the Cole Memo, which was issued by President Obama’s Deputy Attorney General James Cole, which lays out guidelines for marijuana businesses operating in medical and legal states if they wish to avoid federal interference.

“Jim Cole tried to deal with it in that memorandum and at the moment that memorandum is still in effect. Maybe there will be changes to it in the future but we’re still operating under that policy which is an effort to balance the conflicting interests with regard to marijuana,” stated Rosenstein, “So I can assure you that is going to be a high priority for me as the U.S. Attorneys come on board to talk about how to deal with that challenge in the states that have legalized or decriminalized marijuana, whether it be for recreational or medical use…”

He also said that the Department of Justice is “responsible for enforcing the law. It’s illegal, and that is the federal policy with regards to marijuana.”

After testifying in front of the Senate Appropriations Committee, he also appeared before its House counterpart.

Representative Kilmer (D-WA) further questioned the Deputy Attorney General on the Cole Memo and the Department of Justice’s pending review of it, asking for an update on Attorney General Jeff Sessions view on it.

Rosenstein responded: “I do not have an update. I can tell you, it’s a very complicated issue for us. Under federal law as passed by the Congress, and given the science concerning marijuana, it’s a Schedule I controlled substance. That’s a decision I’ve talked with (DEA) Administrator Rosenberg about. Some states have taken a different approach and legalized or decriminalized marijuana for medical use and in some cases recreational use…The question of whether it’s legal under federal law is resolved because Congress has passed a law — it’s illegal. Scientists have found that there’s no accepted medical use for it. Cole made an effort to examine the issue and find a way forward for the department where we could continue with our obligation to enforce federal law and minimize the intrusion on states that were attempting to follow a different path.”

Despite these critiques, Rosenstein stated any revisions are likely to happen further down the road.

“For the moment the Cole memo remains our policy. There may be an opportunity to review it in the future, but at the moment I’m not aware of any proposal to change it. But I think we’re all going to have to deal with it in the future.”

Send a message to your member of Congress to support legislation to end federal marijuana prohibition by clicking 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.

AG Jeff Sessions Wants to Prosecute Medical Marijuana Providers

Jeff Sessions speaking at the Values Voter Summit in Washington, DC. (Flickr/Gage Skidmore)

WASHINGTON, DC — The first shots in the Trump Administration‘s War on Marijuana have been fired by Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

Sessions — who believes that marijuana is “only slightly less awful” than heroin and claims that “good people don’t smoke marijuana” — has reportedly asked congressional leaders to undo federal medical marijuana protections that have been in place since 2014.

Those medical marijuana protections, first known as the Rohrabacher-Farr amendment, were reauthorized this year as the  following the retirement of Congressman Sam Farr.

The amendment bans the Department of Justice from using federal funds to interfere with state medical marijuana laws, specifically stating that no federal funds may be appropriated to “prevent any [state] from implementing their own laws that authorize the use, distribution, possession, or cultivation of medical marijuana.”

In a May letter that became public Monday, first obtained by MassRoots’ Tom Angell and subsequently verified by the Washington Post, the Attorney General believes that the amendment would “inhibit” the Department of Justice’s ability to enforce the Controlled Substances Act.

“I believe it would be unwise for Congress to restrict the discretion of the Department to fund particular prosecutions, particularly in the midst of an historic drug epidemic and potentially long-term uptick in violent crime,” Sessions wrote. “The Department must be in a position to use all laws available to combat the transnational drug organizations and dangerous drug traffickers who threaten American lives.”

When President Donald Trump signed the current spending bill into law, he included a signing statement objecting to numerous provisions in the bill, including Rohrabacher-Blumenauer Amendment.

“Division B, section 537 provides that the Department of Justice may not use any funds to prevent implementation of medical marijuana laws by various States and territories,” Trump noted in his signing statement. “I will treat this provision consistently with my constitutional responsibility to take care that the laws be faithfully executed.”

The amendment’s lead sponsor, Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R.-CA), respond to the report of Sessions’ letter by telling the Washington Post that “Mr. Sessions stands athwart an overwhelming majority of Americans and even, sadly, against veterans and other suffering Americans who we now know conclusively are helped dramatically by medical marijuana.”

Support for marijuana law reform nationwide is at an all time high, according to recent polling, including overwhelming support for medical marijuana.

A CBS News poll conducted in April found that 88% of US adults support regulating the use of medical marijuana, and that 71% of Americans – including majorities of Republicans, Democrats, and Independents – oppose efforts by the federal government to interfere in states that have legalized the plant’s distribution and use.

A separate poll conducted by Quinnipiac University, also released in April, found that 94% of adults support legalizing medical marijuana, with 73% opposed to federal interference in states that have legalized it.

While on the campaign trail, Trump implied he believed that marijuana should be regulated at the state, not federal, level.

“In terms of marijuana and legalization, I think that should be a state issue, state-by-state,” then-candidate Trump said at a Nevada campaign rally in 2015.

According to the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, 46 states and the District of Columbia have enacted some form of medical marijuana law, although many states have limited or non-functional medical marijuana programs.

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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.

Vermont Governor Signs Medical Marijuana Expansion Bill Into Law

MONTPELIER, VT — Vermont Governor Phil Scott has signed into law a bill to expand the state’s medical marijuana program.

Senate Bill 16, which received overwhelming support in both chambers of the state legislature, was aimed at improving access to medical marijuana in Vermont.

Among the changes made by the new law:

  • Patients and caregivers may now grow their own cannabis, even if they are also registered with a dispensary;
  • Three new ailments have been added to the list of conditions that qualify for medical marijuana in Vermont: post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), Chron’s disease, and Parkinson’s disease;
  • The number of medical marijuana dispensaries authorized in Vermont will be doubled from four to eight;
  • Dispensaries may now grow cannabis outdoors, provided the plants are grown in an enclosed, locked facility shielded from public view;
  • Dispensaries are no longer required to be non-profit;
  • Dispensaries may have up to two locations; and
  • Strengthened testing requirements for marijuana infused edible products

Originally, the bill also sought to increase the amount of marijuana a patient is allowed to possess from two ounces to three, but that increase did not make it into the final bill as passed.

The full text of the bill, as enrolled, can be found 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.

‘Pot for Periods’ Bill Advances in New York

(Darrin Harris Frisby/Drug Policy Alliance)

ALBANY, NY — A bill that would allow women suffering from severe menstrual cramps access to medical marijuana in New York has been given preliminary committee approval, sending the measure to the floor of the Assembly for consideration.

The New York Assembly Health Committee approved Assembly Bill 582, which would add dysmenorrhea as a qualifying medical marijuana condition, by a 21-2 vote following a hearing last month.

Dysmenorrhea is recurring pain and discomfort experienced monthly by many women during menstruation.  In severe cases, this pain can be debilitating, further limiting a woman’s ability to perform daily activities.

Many women have found that medical marijuana can help alleviate many of the painful effects of dysmenorrhea.

“Not only will this improve women’s wellness and productivity during menstruation, but it will also advance New York State in one of the country’s fastest-growing industries,” says Assemblymember Linda Rosenthal (D-Manhattan), the sponsor of the bill.

“This is a woman’s health issue and for years women have suffered in silence. There’s Midol. You can take Advil, but really nothing more,” Rosenthal added.

Rosenthal is a leading advocate for women in the New York Assembly, successfully passing a measure last year which exempted feminine hygiene products from state and local sales tax.

New York currently allows medical marijuana to treat Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS); cancer, chronic pain, epilepsy, HIV/AIDS, Huntington’s disease, inflammatory bowel disease, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, neuropathies and spinal cord damage.

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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.

Montana Governor Signs Law Establishing Medical Marijuana Tax

HELENA, MT — Montana Governor Steve Bullock has signed legislation, Senate Bill 333, establishing new regulations for the state’s medical cannabis program and imposing first-ever taxes on gross cannabis sales.

The new law, which takes effect on July 1, imposes a four percent tax on gross sales, payable by cannabis providers.

The tax drops to two percent after June 30, 2018.

Taxes will be earmarked for the newly created ‘Medical marijuana state revenue account.’

Other provisions in the law establish regulatory oversight for licensed providers/manufacturers, dispensaries, and testing labs.

Montana voters in November approved an initiative expanding the state’s 2004 medical marijuana law in a manner that for the first time allows for the licensed production and dispensing of medical cannabis.

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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.