Tag: Top Stories

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.

Washington Lawmakers Send Marijuana Reform Bill to Governor

OLYMPIA, WA — Lawmakers in Washington state have sent a comprehensive marijuana reform bill to the desk of Governor Jay Inslee (D), making several changes to the state’s cannabis regulation policies.

The bi-partisan Senate Bill 5131 was sponsored by Sens. Anna Rivers [R] Steven Conway [D], and received overwhelming support in both chambers of the legislature.

Among the notable changes made by SB 5131 is a provision that makes it legal for adults 21 or older to share up marijuana with each other without compensation, provided it is out of public view.

Adults can share up to half an ounce of marijuana, 8 ounces of marijuana infused products in solid form, 36 ounces of marijuana infused liquids, or 3.5 grams of marijuana concentrates.

The products must still be in their original packaging and purchased from a state licensed dispensary.  While possession of up to one ounce of marijuana has been legal for adults 21 or older in the state, sharing cannabis remained a felony punishable by up to five years in prison.

The bill also included language to allowing registered medical marijuana patients 18 years or older to purchase cannabis plants from dispensaries.

Under state law, home cultivation of cannabis is only allowed by registered medical marijuana patients, but state law previously did not explicitly allow the sale of seeds or clones to patients.

Non-patients, even those adults 21 or older, are not permitted to grow cannabis plants for recreational use. However, the SB 5131 instructs state regulators to study the feasibility of allowing home cultivation in the future, with a report on the findings due by December.

Advertising by marijuana retailers will be curtailed under the bill, however, including banning images of marijuana from any outdoor advertising.  Marijuana retailers will also be banned from targeting ads to people outside of Washington state, or from using any mascots or other images that could appeal to children.

The full text of Senate Bill 5131 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.

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.

Just Say “No” to Taxpayer Funded Medical Marijuana Raids

Since 2014, the Department of Justice has been prohibited from using taxpayers’ funds to enforce federal anti-marijuana laws in states that regulate its medical use.

But that could all change this week as Congress decides how to fund the federal government for the remainder of this fiscal year. 

At issue is a provision known as the Rohrabacher-Farr amendment, which maintains that federal funds can not be used to prevent states from “implementing their own state laws that authorize the use, distribution, possession or cultivation of medical marijuana.”

In December, Congress re-authorized the amendment as part of a short term spending package through April 28, 2017, at which time the budget — and the Rohrabacher-Farr Amendment — will expire.

With anti-cannabis zealot Jeff Sessions now heading the Department of Justice, we can’t leave patients across the country and those who supply their medicine vulnerable to a federal crackdown on medical marijuana.

Over 90% of all Americans support the legalization of medical marijuana, according to nationwide polling data published last week. Further, 73 percent of voters oppose federal interference in states that regulate its use.

Let’s ensure that these programs and the millions of patients who rely upon them are protected. 

Tell your member of Congress to get this right. Demand that they protect patients from Jeff Sessions and his Department of Justice. 

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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 Moves Closer to Legalizing Recreational Marijuana for Adults

MONTPELIER, VT — The Vermont Senate approved a bill on Friday that would regulate the production and sale of marijuana and eliminate penalties for personal possession and cultivation by adults 21 and older.

The Senate amended H. 167, an unrelated House-approved bill, to replace it with a revised version of a marijuana regulation bill that passed last year in the Senate and failed in the House.

The Senate also amended H. 167 to include the same home cultivation provision that is included in H. 170, a bill that has been making its way through the House.  H. 170 would eliminate Vermont’s civil penalty for possessing one ounce or less of marijuana and remove penalties for possession of up to two mature marijuana plants and up to four immature plants.

The Senate proposal would allow unlimited small-scale cultivation licenses for producers no larger than 500 sq feet.  The marijuana regulation bill that failed in the House last year, S. 241, did not include a home cultivation provision.

The Senate-amended version of H. 167 will receive one final vote before being sent back to the House for consideration.

“Most Vermonters think marijuana should be made legal for adults, and they’re looking to lawmakers to come up with a plan, said Matt Simon, New England political director for the Marijuana Policy Project.  “We applaud the Senate for approving a thoughtful alternative to marijuana prohibition that would account for public health and improve public safety. We would love to see the House step up and join the Senate in supporting this sensible reform. If the House isn’t willing to support the Senate’s proposal, it at least needs to support its own Judiciary Committee’s plan and pass H. 170.”

Most Vermont voters are in favor of the policy changes proposed in H. 167 and H. 170, according to a survey conducted March 20-21 by Public Policy Polling. Fifty-seven percent support allowing adults 21 and older to possess and grow limited amounts of marijuana, and 54% support regulating and taxing marijuana similarly to alcohol. The results are 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.

Study: Medical Marijuana Legalization Linked to Lower Medicaid Costs

(Sonya Yruel/Drug Policy Alliance)

Patients use fewer prescription drugs in states where access to medical cannabis is legally regulated, according to data published in the journal Health Affairs.

Investigators at the University of Georgia assessed the association between medical cannabis regulations and the average number of prescriptions filled by Medicaid beneficiaries between the years 2007 and 2014.

Researchers reported, “[T]he use of prescription drugs in fee-for-service Medicaid was lower in states with medical marijuana laws than in states without such laws in five of the nine broad clinical areas we studied.”

They added, “If all states had had a medical marijuana law in 2014, we estimated that total savings for fee-for-service Medicaid could have been $1.01 billion.”

The findings are similar to those previously published by the team which reported that medical cannabis access was associated with significantly reduced spending by patients on Medicare Part D approved prescription drugs.

Separate studies have reported that patients with legal access to medical marijuana reduce their intake of opioids, benzodiazepines, anti-depressants, migraine-related medications, and sleep aids, among other substances.

An abstract of the study, “Medical marijuana laws may be associated with a decline in the number of prescriptions for medicaid enrollees,” appears 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.

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.

CBS Poll Finds Support for Legalizing Marijuana at Record High

More than six in ten Americans believe that the social use of marijuana should be legal for adults, according to nationwide polling data provided by CBS News.

The percentage marks a significant increase since 2013, when only 45 percent of respondents endorsed legalization, and it is among the highest levels of public support ever reported in a national poll. Only a majority of those respondents over the age of 65 did not support legalization.

Source: CBS News

Pollsters also reported that 88 percent of US adults support regulating the use of medical marijuana, and that 71 percent of Americans — including majorities of Republicans, Democrats, and Independents — oppose efforts on the part of the federal government to interfere in state’s that have legalized the plant’s distribution and use. The percentage represents a blowback to the Trump administration, which in February threatened “greater enforcement” of federal anti-marijuana laws in states that have legalized its adult use.

Fifty-three percent of respondents said that they believe alcohol to be more harmful than cannabis, and a majority of those under the age of 65 acknowledged having used it.

Source: CBS News

The CBS News poll possesses a margin of error of +/- four percent.


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.

Homeland Security Chief: Marijuana Possession is Grounds for Deportation

United States Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly Speaks at George Washington University on Tuesday, April 18, 2017. (DHS handout)

In a speech Tuesday, United States Secretary of Homeland Security John F. Kelly announced that the Trump Administration would use marijuana possession as a reason for deporting immigrants.

“ICE will continue to use marijuana possession, distribution and convictions as essential elements as they build their deportation removal apprehension packages for targeted operations against illegal aliens living in the United States,” he said.

Marijuana is currently illegal under federal law, but eight states have legalized it for adult use and 28 states have medical marijuana laws.

Individuals following state law would be exposed to deportation.

“Whether it’s the construction of a wall or deporting individuals for marijuana possession, the Trump Administration has signaled its desire to use the drug war as a tool to persecute immigrants,” said Jerónimo Saldaña, Policy Manager at Drug Policy Alliance’s Office of National Affairs. “It’s outrageous to think that anyone following medical advice under state law would be subject to deportation.”

The Trump Administration has nefariously used the drug war as a way of targeting immigrants, and yesterday’s statement is merely another example of this tactic. Uniquely though, the desire to deport people for marijuana use demonstrates the conflict between state and federal law on marijuana, and the necessity to end federal prohibition.

“We hear talk about ending the state-vs-federal conflict on marijuana laws to fix the banking and tax problem,” said Saldaña, “but the Kelly statement shows that there are far more dramatic consequences for our nation’s disastrous drug policy.”

Under the Obama Administration, simple drug possession was not a priority offense. Taken alongside recent statements and actions by Attorney General Jeff Sessions, it is clear that the drug war is being escalated.

Recently, Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-AZ) reintroduced the “Veteran Visa and Protection Act,” which would establish a visa program allowing certain deported veterans to re-enter the U.S. as lawful permanent residents. They will also be eligible for the existing naturalization process for military service and will regain access to their military and veteran benefits. The bill will also stop the deportation of eligible veterans who are currently in removal proceedings.

According to the Immigrant Defense Project, one out of every four “criminal removals” – over 250,000 deportations – involved a person whose most serious conviction was for a drug offense.

Last year, Human Rights Watch released a report on drug deportations, noting that, “Thousands of families in the United States have been torn apart in recent years by detention and deportation for drug offenses.”

And last week, the ACLU released a report noting that veterans who have served the country as lawful permanent residents have been “subject to draconian immigration laws that reclassified many minor offenses as deportable crimes, and were effectively banished from this country.”

There have also been moves at the state level to prevent law enforcement from documenting misdemeanor drug crimes and therefore exposing immigrants to harsh deportation proceedings.

The New York State Assembly passed legislation that creates a process for sealing the criminal records of people arrested for simple possession of marijuana in public view, providing a measure of protection for immigrants by making it difficult or impossible for immigration authorities to meet their legal burden of proof for a judge to find a lawful permanent resident deportable. Often these arrests were the result of stop and frisk encounters targeting young people of color, and immigrant New Yorkers with minor records have already been deported by ICE under the Trump Administration’s crackdown.

The California State Assembly is currently considering a bill that protects Californians who are operating lawfully under state marijuana laws by providing that, absent a court order, local and state agencies, including regulators and law enforcement, shall not use agency resources to assist in any federal enforcement against state authorized medical cannabis or commercial or noncommercial marijuana activity.

“It is unconscionable that immigrants are being targeted and deported for simple possession of marijuana – and it’s especially egregious in states that have a legal framework for marijuana. States and municipalities must stand against this type of fearmongering and protect their residents,” said Melissa Moore, Deputy Director for the Drug Policy Alliance’s New York office.

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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.

Oregon Governor Signs Legislation Protecting Cannabis Consumers’ Privacy

Oregon Governor Kate Brown

SALEM, OR — Oregon Governor Kate Brown signed legislation into law this week limiting the ability of government officials to obtain data identifying customers who purchase marijuana at state-licensed retail facilities.

Voters legalized the commercial production and retail sales of cannabis in November 2014. Retail sales of cannabis to those age 21 or older began in October 2015.

The new law, which took effect immediately upon signing, states “A marijuana retailer may not record and retain any information that may be used to identify a consumer.”

It also mandates retailers to destroy any existing customer records from their databases.

Lawmakers pushed for the measure following comments from the Trump administration threatening to ramp up the enforcement of federal anti-drug laws in states that have regulated the adult use of marijuana.

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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.