Tag: Medical Marijuana States

Colorado Lawmakers Pass Bill to Allow Medical Marijuana for PTSD

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

DENVER, CO — Lawmakers in the Colorado legislature have passed a measure to add post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, to the list of conditions that qualify for medical marijuana in the state.

The measure, Senate Bill 17, will now be sent to the desk of Gov. John Hickenlooper for final approval.  It was approved

Previous attempts to add PTSD to the conditions that qualify a patient for medical marijuana in Colorado, most recently in 2015.

The Colorado Board of Health, which oversees the state medical marijuana program, has not added any new qualifying conditions since the program began in 2001.  Colorado voters approved medical marijuana in 2000,

Post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, is an anxiety disorder that is estimated to affect eight million Americans annually, including many military veterans returning from combat, as well as victims and witnesses of violent crimes, such as sexual assault.

Although adults 21 or older can purchase and possess up to an ounce of marijuana for recreational use in Colorado, allowing those suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder access to the state’s medical marijuana program is beneficial for several reasons, including significantly lower taxes on medical marijuana versus recreational marijuana.

Medical marijuana patients can also possess up to two ounces of marijuana, double that of recreational users.

The bill will allow medical marijuana patients under 21 who suffer from PTSD legal access to marijuana for the first time.

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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.

Medical Marijuana Patient Registry Opens in Maryland

ANNAPOLIS, MD — After lengthy delays, the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission has opened up the patient and caregiver registry for the state supervised medical marijuana program.

Starting Monday April 24, open enrollment for all patients and caregivers is available on the agency’s website.

The registry was opened in a three-phase roll-out earlier this month. Previously, patients and caregivers with last names starting A through L could only register in the week beginning April 10, and patients with last names M through Z could only register the week of April 17.

It is important to note that medical marijuana is not yet legally available in the state of Maryland.  The Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission will make a public announcement once medical marijuana is available to the public, and dispensary locations will be posted on the agency’s website.

Dispensaries are expected to be open in Maryland by December.

Maryland lawmakers authorized medical marijuana in April 2014.

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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.

Time Runs Out on Compromise to Fix Maryland Medical Cannabis Program

ANNAPOLIS, MD — After long and difficult negotiations and consultation with advocates, industry stakeholders, and the Attorney General, legislators agreed on a compromise bill, HB 1443, to address the lack of diversity in the Maryland medical cannabis industry without delaying the program.

Unfortunately, the clock ran out on the last night of session and the final vote occurred at 12:02 a.m. — just after the end of session.

This is really unfortunate for two reasons. First, because two lawsuits that would have been dismissed if the bill had passed will continue; they could derail the entire program.

Second, even though African-Americans have borne the brunt of marijuana prohibition, being almost three times more likely than whites to be arrested for possession, no African-American-owned companies received pre-approval to grow or process cannabis.  This unfairness is why the legislative Black Caucus championed the bill.

Under Maryland law, the Governor is required to call a special session if a majority of legislators in both chambers of the General Assembly petition him to do so.

It appears the speaker of the House of Delegates, Mike Busch, is the primary obstacle to this happening. If you are a Maryland resident, please call the speaker’s office and ask him to do the right thing. A good bill with overwhelming support should not fail just because the clock ran out before the final shot hit the basket.

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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.

Governor Signs Bill Making West Virginia the 29th Medical Marijuana State

West Virginia Governor Jim Justice (D) signs Senate Bill 386, the Medical Cannabis Act, on April 19, 2017. The Governor was joined for the bill signing by two of the initiative’s primary supporters, Senator Richard Ojeda (D-Logan) and Delegate Mike Pushkin (D-Kanawha), as well as Senator Mike Woelfel (D-Cabell) and Dr. Rahul Gupta the State Health Officer and Commissioner of the Department of Health and Human Resources’ Bureau for Public Health. (image/Office of the Governor)

CHARLESTON, WV. — Governor Jim Justice signed SB 386 into law on Wednesday, making West Virginia the 29th state in the nation to enact legislation allowing seriously ill patients to access medical marijuana if their doctors recommend it.

Senate Bill 386, titled the West Virginia Medical Cannabis Act, was introduced by Sen. Richard Ojeda (D-Logan) and substantially amended in the House before receiving final legislative approval on April 6.

The bill charges the Bureau of Public Health with regulating medical marijuana growers, processors, and dispensaries. Patients with specifically listed qualifying medical conditions will be allowed to use extracts, tinctures, and other preparations of marijuana, but not marijuana in flower or leaf form. A summary of the bill is available here.

“West Virginians are compassionate people and this law will help our neighbors who are struggling with illness,” said Governor Justice. “How could you turn your back on a loved one who is suffering? This is a vehicle for our doctors to help the people.”

“This legislation is going to benefit countless West Virginia patients and families for years to come,” said Matt Simon of the Marijuana Policy Project, who is a West Virginia native and graduate of West Virginia University. “Medical marijuana can be effective in treating a variety of debilitating conditions and symptoms. It is a proven pain reliever, and it is far less toxic and less addictive than a lot of prescription drugs. Providing patients with a safer alternative to opioids could turn out to be a godsend for this state.”

Six states have adopted comprehensive medical marijuana laws in the past 12 months. Three of those laws, including West Virginia’s, passed through Republican-controlled legislatures.

Lawmakers in Pennsylvania and Ohio approved them last April and June, respectively. The other three were approved by voters in November in states won by Donald Trump — Arkansas, Florida, and North Dakota.

“Intensifying public support and a growing body of evidence are driving the rapid growth in the number of states adopting medical marijuana laws,” Simon said. “Lawmakers are also learning about marijuana’s medical benefits from friends, family members, and constituents who have experienced them firsthand in other states. More than nine out of 10 American voters think marijuana should be legal for medical purposes. In light of this near universal support, it is shocking that some legislatures still have not adopted effective medical marijuana laws.”

A February 2017 Quinnipiac University Poll found 93% of U.S. voters think marijuana should be legal for medical purposes.

Effective medical marijuana laws have now been enacted in 29 states, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. territories of Guam and Puerto Rico. An additional 18 states have adopted medical marijuana laws that are ineffective because they are either unworkable or exceptionally restrictive.

Only three states — Idaho, Indiana, and Kansas — have not approved any form of medical marijuana law.

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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.

North Dakota Governor Signs Bill Amending Voter-Approved Medical Marijuana Initiative

North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum (North Dakota Office of the Governor)

BISMARK, ND — North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum (R) signed legislation on Tuesday amending provisions of the North Dakota Compassionate Care Act – a voter-initiated measure approved by 65 percent of voters last November.

Senate Bill 2344 makes several significant changes to the law. Specifically, it removes provisions permitting patients the option to home cultivate their own cannabis if they do not reside within proximity to an operating dispensary.

It allows for the establishment of no more than two state-licensed cannabis producers and eight total dispensaries.

The law permits qualified patients to possess and inhale herbal forms of cannabis, but only if such preparations are explicitly authorized by the recommending physician.

Otherwise, patients must obtain cannabis-based medicines via tinctures, capsules, patches, or topical formulations.

Edibles and concentrates are not defined as “medical cannabinoid products” under the law.

Patients will be permitted to possess up to three ounces of cannabis or cannabis-infused products, but no more than 2,000 milligrams of THC, over a 30-day period.

The program is anticipated to be operational within a year.

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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.

West Virginia Lawmakers Approve Amended Medical Marijuana Measure

“Welcome to West Virginia” sign along westbound U.S. Route 48 and West Virginia Route 55 east of Wardensville in Hardy County, West Virginia (Wikimedia/Famartin)

CHARLESTON, WV — Lawmakers in both chambers of the West Virginia legislature have approved a significantly amended version of Senate Bill 386, which seeks to establish a state-regulated medical cannabis program.

The measure now awaits action from Democrat Gov. Jim Justice, who has previously expressed support for permitting qualified patients to access cannabis therapy. If the governor fails to sign SB 386, it will become law without his signature.

West Virginia will become the 30th state to authorize by statute the physicians-recommended use of cannabis or cannabis-infused products.

Under the amended measure, qualified patients will be permitted to obtain cannabis-infused oils, pills, tinctures, or creams from a limited number of state-authorized dispensaries. Cannabis-based preparations will be produced by state-licensed growers and processors. Patients will not be permitted to grow their own cannabis, nor will they be able to legally access or smoke herbal formulations of the plant. Similar restrictive programs are presently in place in Minnesota and New York, and are awaiting implementation in Louisiana, Pennsylvania and Ohio.

To participate in the proposed program, both patients and physicians would need to be registered with the state. The Bureau of Public Health is mandated under the legislation to begin issuing patient identification cards by July 1, 2019.

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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.

Arizona Appellate Court Strikes Medical Marijuana Campus Ban

PHOENIX, AZ — An Arizona appellate court has ruled that a 2012 law amending the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act (AMMA) to prohibit the use of medical cannabis on college campuses is unconstitutional.

“By enacting A.R.S. § 15-108(A), the Legislature modified the AMMA to re-criminalize cardholders’ marijuana possession on college and university campuses,” the Court opined. “The statute does not further the purposes of the AMMA; to the contrary, it eliminates some of its protections.”

The Court argued that campuses and universities possess the authority to enact their own individual policies restricting medical cannabis use, but that lawmakers cannot do so.

The decision overturned a medical-marijuana cardholder’s 2015 felony conviction for the possession of a small quantity of cannabis while attending Arizona State University.

Lifetime NORML Legal Committee member Tom Dean represented the patient-defendant in the case pro bono, and NORML Legal Committee attorney Tom Holtz filed an amicus curiae brief on behalf of NORML.

The Arizona Attorney General’s Office has not yet publicly stated whether they intend to appeal the ruling to the state Supreme Court.

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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.

New Mexico Governor Vetoes Medical Marijuana Changes

SANTA FE, NM — New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez has vetoed House Bill 527, a measure that would have made improvements to the state’s medical cannabis program.

The most significant provision in the legislation would have allowed New Mexicans diagnosed with opioid use disorder by a licensed practitioner to be eligible for the New Mexico Medical Cannabis Program. Nationally, in 2015, more people died from opioid overdoses than died from HIV/AIDS when that epidemic peaked in the 1990s, and New Mexico suffers from a disproportionate rate of opioid overdoses compared to nearly every other state in the nation.

The measure was a collaboration between Sen. McSorley (D-Bernalillo) and Rep. Gentry (R-Bernalillo). Sen. McSorley sponsored the initial measure to make changes to the Lynn Pierson and Erin Armstrong Compassionate Use Act (LECUA) this legislative session. Representative Gentry introduced a similar measure that included input from the Office of the Governor. Senator McSorley supported Rep. Gentry’s bill and helped get it through the state Senate. HB 527 passed the Senate (28-9) and the House (45-16). This is the first time that the LECUA has successfully been amended by the legislature since it was signed into law in 2007.

“In the Governor’s veto message it states that provisions in the bill “may erode” the intent of the New Mexico’s medical cannabis law. Really, it is the Governor who is eroding the intent of the law by denying access to New Mexicans who desperately need it,” said Jessica Gelay, policy manager for the Drug Policy Alliance. “New Mexico has a public health emergency with respect to opioid overdoses. Vetoing this bill means even more New Mexicans will die. It really is that simple.”

As stated, in statute, “The purpose of  the Lynn and Erin Compassionate Use Act is to allow the beneficial use of medical cannabis in a regulated system for alleviating symptoms caused by debilitating medical conditions and their medical treatments.” All changes proposed in H527 were completely aligned with this purpose.

The veto message also states that “[i]ncluding “opioid use disorder” independently will likely cause a rapid increase in program enrollment, which the program is currently unable to sustain.”

“The Department of Health has control over the number of producers licensed and the amount of medicine that they are allowed to grow,” said Gelay. “There is no reason that New Mexico’s medical cannabis program cannot sustain growth related to adding qualifying conditions. If enrollment in the program increases, the Secretary has several options including increasing the number of plants producers can grow, allowing more licensed producers, or both. Additionally the Dept. of Health just added several additional employees and purchased additional equipment and office space to be able to accommodate program growth.”

More than 33,000 New Mexicans are qualified to participate in the state’s Medical Cannabis Program, which is administered by the Department of Health (DOH). Patients are certified by a medical practitioner to have one of 21 serious medical conditions and must register with DOH in order to become a qualified patient.

The Drug Policy Alliance, the nation’s leading proponent of drug policy reform, has released a plan to address increasing rates of opioid use and overdose (now the leading cause of accidental death in the United States).  The plan marks a radical departure from the punitive responses that characterize much of U.S. drug policy and instead focuses on scientifically proven harm reduction and public health interventions that can improve treatment outcomes and reduce the negative consequences of opioid misuse, such as transmission of infectious diseases and overdose.

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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.

West Virginia to Become 29th Medical Marijuana State: Legislature Sends SB 386 to Governor

“Welcome to West Virginia” sign along westbound U.S. Route 48 and West Virginia Route 55 east of Wardensville in Hardy County, West Virginia (Wikimedia/Famartin)

CHARLESTON, WV — A medical marijuana bill received final approval in the West Virginia Legislature on Thursday and is headed to the desk of Gov. Jim Justice. He has publicly expressed support for legal access to medical marijuana and is expected to sign the bill into law, making West Virginia the 29th state to adopt an effective medical marijuana law.

SB 386, introduced by Sen. Richard Ojeda (D-Logan), received initial approval from the Senate last week (28-6). The House substantially amended the bill before approving it on Tuesday (76-24). The Senate passed the new version on concurrence Wednesday afternoon (28-6), along with some minor amendments, and the House signed off on the final version Thursday (74-24).

“Some of the House amendments to the bill are concerning, but it still has the potential to provide relief to thousands of seriously ill WestVirginians,” said Matt Simon of the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP), who is a West Virginia native and graduate of West Virginia University. “We commend the Legislature for passing this compassionate and much-needed legislation, and we encourage Gov. Justice to sign it into law.

“This will be an important and, in some cases, life-saving program,” Simon said. “It is critical that the state implement it promptly. We are committed to working with officials to make sure the program is as effective as possible and to get it up and running in a timely fashion. Many patients cannot afford to wait much longer.”

Senate Bill 386, titled the West Virginia Medical Cannabis Act, charges the Bureau of Public Health with regulating medical marijuana growers, processors, and dispensaries.

Patients with specifically listed qualifying medical conditions will be allowed to use extracts, tinctures, and other preparations of marijuana, but not marijuana in flower or leaf form. This differs from the original version of the bill and the medical marijuana programs in most other states. A summary of SB 386 is available here.

“There is nearly universal support for legalizing medical marijuana in the U.S., and it spans the political spectrum,” Simon said. “This is the third state in a row to pass a medical marijuana bill through a Republican-controlled House and Senate. Hopefully, this is a trend that will continue with some other states and at the federal level.”

A February 2017 Quinnipiac University Poll found 93% of U.S. voters think marijuana should be legal for medical purposes. Twenty-eight states, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. territories of Guam and Puerto Rico have enacted effective medical marijuana laws, and 18 states have adopted medical marijuana laws that are ineffective because they are either unworkable or exceptionally restrictive.

Once S.B. 386 is signed into law, only three states in the nation — Idaho, Indiana, and Kansas — will lack any form of medical marijuana law.

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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.

Here Are the 23 States That Allow Medical Marijuana for PTSD

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

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is not rare. According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, about eight million adults suffer from it in any given year, including tens of thousands of Afghanistan and Iraq veterans. Somewhere between 11% and 20% of those vets will suffer from it each year.

PTSD isn’t limited to vets, though—trauma comes in many forms—and 7% to 8% of the population will suffer from it at some point in their lives. That figure rises to 10% for women.

Treating PTSD can be tricky, but numerous anecdotal reports and testimonies suggest medical marijuana can be of help. Even the stodgy VA, which tends to see marijuana use among PTSD patients as “cannabis use disorder,” and notes that there have been no randomized, controlled clinical trials on the efficacy of marijuana in treating PTSD, concedes that some studies have shown positive results.

The good news for PTSD sufferers is that there are an awful lot of places in the country that have medical marijuana laws authorizing its use for PTSD. More than two dozen states, US territories, and the nation’s capital allow its use, and acceptance seems to be accelerating, with seven states– Arkansas, Florida, North Dakota, Ohio, Illinois, New Jersey and Rhode Island—joining the list in the past year.

Colorado could be next. Legislation to PTSD to the state’s list of qualifying conditions has passed the state Senate and is moving through the House. It could be on the governor’s desk by the time you read these words.

Colorado is a marijuana legal state already, so PTSD patients don’t have to wait for the law to change there to be able to obtain it. But making PTSD a qualifying condition would mean that patients would then be eligible for an exemption from the state’s 10% tax on recreational marijuana, paying only state and local sales taxes.

Here are the 23 states, two territories, and one city that either list PTSD as a qualifying condition for medical marijuana or otherwise allow its use:

  1. Arizona
  2. Arkansas
  3. California
  4. Connecticut
  5. Delaware
  6. Florida
  7. Guam
  8. Hawaii
  9. Illinois
  10. Maine
  11. Maryland
  12. Massachusetts
  13. Michigan
  14. Minnesota
  15. Montana
  16. Nevada
  17. New Jersey
  18. New Mexico
  19. North Dakota
  20. Ohio
  21. Oregon
  22. Pennsylvania
  23. Puerto Rico
  24. Rhode Island
  25. Washington
  26. Washington, D.C.

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.