Tag Archives: mmj

Veterans Campaign for MMJ to Treat PTSD

Veterans suffering from Post Traumatic Stress disorder (PTSD) across the country are campaigning to obtain safe access to medical marijuana. Many veterans complain that they would rather use medical marijuana to treat PTSD than over the counter pills or drugs. PTSD is an anxiety disorder that occurs in the aftermath of a traumatic event, which in many cases for veterans typically happened in the field of battle. In recent years, medical marijuana has been shown to help improve PTSD symptoms, yet many states still don’t allow it as a qualifying condition for which it can be prescribed.

The movement to change this stance on medical marijuana has begun to take shape. “The Freedom to Choose” campaign has recently been launched by the Drug Policy Alliance, elected officials and veterans to target physicians, lawmakers and employers to recognize medical marijuana as a safe and effective alternative to other PTSD medications that may cause side unwanted side effects or are ineffective.

Although many states still do not allow the use of medical marijuana to treat PTSD, states such as Connecticut, California, Delaware, Massachusetts, and most recently Oregon, New Mexico and Maine have approved PTSD provisions in their state laws. Elected officials who openly support the campaign include New Mexico lawmakers such as Congresswoman Michelle Lujan Grisham (D) and State Representative Moe Maestras (D) from New Mexico, who are urging other states to keep PTSD as a listed condition for which medical marijuana can be prescribed.

Currently, veterans rely on a framework of care for PTSD that has remained unchanged since 1980. Unfortunately for the millions of veterans across the country, federal agencies are unable to recognize the potential benefits that medical marijuana can provide for those suffering with PTSD and their families. Hopefully for advocates of medical marijuana to treat PTSD, “The Freedom to Choose” campaign is the first step in the battle to help veterans who risked their lives in battle for the same system that may be stifling their medical options now.

Public Listening Sessions Aim to Clarify Massachusetts MMJ Laws

Public hearings on the future regulation of medical marijuana in Massachusetts are being held this month to bring clarity to the new law, which won by a landslide vote on the November 6th ballot.

On Wednesday evening in Worcester and Thursday in Boston, state officials from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health held a series public listening sessions before the implementation of medical marijuana regulations. The meeting, held at the Worcester Public Library, drew a large crowd and was standing room only. Another session is scheduled for February 27th at Holyoke Community College.

Under the law, which went into effect in January, the state has 120 days to hear comments and draft regulations on the use of medical marijuana. Alec Loftus, a spokesman from the Executive Office of Health and Human Services, says that the Department of Public Health is looking for input on a few key areas.

Rick Gulla, a spokesman for the The Massachusetts Medical Society, a group that represents physicians across the Commonwealth, said that the Society will be meeting with the DPH to share their opinion. The Society is not opposed to medical marijuana use but would like to see a number of issues addressed. The Society is also asking the Department to reclassify marijuana, to allow it’s oversight by the state’s prescription monitoring program.

Some state lawmakers have also introduced pieces of legislation that would make changes to the medical marijuana law. State Representative John Sciback of South Hadley supports the legalization of medical marijuana, but also filed a bill that would make clarifications to the language included in the original ballot measure that was approved last November. Sciback said that he hopes the Department of Public Health will be able craft their regulations by their May 1st goal.

Those who are unable to attend the listening sessions but are interested in learning about the business side of the medical marijuana industry also have options thanks to DispensaryPermits.com. The Boston-based company is scheduled to host their inaugural “Green Rush” Conference on March 2nd where several successful medical marijuana entrepreneurs are set to speak. The event was originally scheduled for February 9th at the Westin Copley in Boston but was rescheduled due to the blizzard that hammered the Northeast last week.

Interested parties looking to attend the March 2nd conference at the Sheraton Boston Hotel from 9AM-6PM can register here.


CA Supreme Court Rules Storefront MMJ Dispensaries Legal

For years, medical marijuana dispensaries in California were deemed illegal even in the eyes of the law. Over 700 medical marijuana dispensaries have been shut down in the Los Angeles area in the past year alone due to an overwhelming voter ban in 2012. Thanks to final court ruling on Jan. 16, after years of struggling over the hot-button issue, the CA Court of Appeals held that storefront dispensaries are legal under California law, so long as they operate on a not for profit basis and adhere to certain corporate forms.

As a result, the California Supreme Court denied requests from the League of California Cities, the San Diego District Attorney’s Office, the Sacramento District Attorney’s Office, the Sonoma District Attorney’s Office, the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office and the Los Angeles City Attorney to depublish or review the published decision in People v. Jackson.

This decision establishes that storefront medical marijuana dispensaries are unquestionably legal under California law and that local citizens cannot continue to rely on their now-discredited view that all sales of medical marijuana are illegal in order to support their ongoing attacks on state compliant medical marijuana dispensaries.

Another important impact of the recent court ruling is providing medical marijuana providers with a clear defense to state criminal charges. Specifically, the ruling held that in mounting a defense at trial.

With this ruling finally put in place, medical marijuana dispensaries and their owners now have a legal precedent to fall back on. This pro-marijuana dispensary movement only benefits the entrepreneurs who are now thinking of opening up their own treatment centers in places like Massachusetts, where voters recently approved a measure that makes marijuana legal for medicinal use.

As a result of this new MMJ-friendly landscape, conferences designed to answer the many questions that are tied with this controversial industry have begun to pop up. One such example is the upcoming Green Rush Conference on February 9 hosted by MMJ consulting start up DispensaryPermits.com.

With the goal of teaching potential dispensary owners how to get their piece of a billion dollar industry, they have recruited a team of successful marijuana entrepreneurs to educate the public. With the marijuana industry growing at an unprecedented pace, it will be interesting to see who will be next to cash in.

New Study Indicates Medical Marijuana Could Be A Cure for Cancer

A recent medical marijuana study conducted by two Bay Area scientists has caught the attention of many suffering patients all over the country. For once, medical marijuana isn’t being hailed as a cure for glaucoma or back pain, but as an integral weapon against the most feared disease of all: cancer. 

Dr.Sean McCallister and Dr.Pierre Desperez of the California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco have found that a compound derived from medical marijuana could stop metastasis in many kinds of aggressive cancer, offering the first legitimate hope for curing cancer in decades.

Despite years of government claims that marijuana has no medicinal properties, multiple studies have shown that tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the principal psychoactive ingredient of marijuana, is the mortal enemy of the cancer cell. That being said, not everyone that might like to utilize medical marijuana and its potential benefits are interested in smoking or ingesting the plant.

In 2007, Dr. McAllister, a scientist at the Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco who has been studying cannabinoid compounds for 10 years, found that cannabidiol (CBD), a non-psychoactive component of the marijuana plant, is a potent inhibitor of breast cancer cell proliferation, metastasis and tumor growth.

Apparently, cannabidiol kills breast cancer cells and malignant tumors by switching off expression of the ID-1 gene, a protein that appears to play a major role as a cancer cell conductor. The scientists say CBD offers hope of a non-toxic therapy that could treat aggressive forms of cancer without any of the painful side effects of chemotherapy.

The announcement has been hailed by medical marijuana legalization advocates as further proof that the government should stop restricting access to this medically-beneficial plant. Still, the scientists are quick to point out that just smoking a joint won’t cure cancer. ”We used injections in the animal testing and are also testing pills,” said Dr.Desperez.

“But you could never get enough Cannabidiol for it to be effective just from smoking.” In addition, the team has just begun the process of synthesizing the compound in the lab instead of using the  medical marijuana in plant  form in an effort to make it more potent.

The team is hopeful that this development will allow clinical trials to advance as soon as possible.  It is very likely that positive results with human, clinical trials could present the first ray of hope for those suffering from this debilitating disease that has affected many people all over the world. Although development of a synthesized cannabidiol medication would still ultimately benefit pharmaceutical companies,  it may also remove some of the unnecessary controversy that surrounds the use of medical marijuana by young cancer patients.