Articles Posted in Medical Marijuana in California

The issue of children and marijuana protections arose once again in the form of a proposed bill from Californiamedical marijuana Senator Jean Fuller (R-Bakersfield). The senator wanted to get on the books more concrete ramifications for dispensaries who sold marijuana to underage clients. The bill proposed a tiered system in which first offenders would receive a 15-day license suspension, second-time offenders within a three-year period would receive a 25-day suspension, and a third offense in three years would lead to a full license revocation. SB-1451, however, was vetoed by Gov. Jerry Brown, who called the bill “not necessary,” according tot a report from High Times. Gov. Brown pointed to the Bureau of Cannabis Control and cited their power to suspend or revoke licenses based on these exact kinds of violations and said he would rather the bureau be able to use their own discretion in determining punishment.

In the numerous discussions surrounding the issue of cannabis laws in California and other states across the country, there has been an extraordinary amount of focus on children. Can they be recommended marijuana by a doctor? What is the punishment for selling to a minor? How can marijuana businesses advertise in a way that would not be seen by or not be appealing to children? How do we make the packaging child safe? How does cannabis affect developing brains and bodies? How far should a business be located from schools? The list goes on and on, and many of these issues can be addressed simply with the guidance of a skilled marijuana legal counsel. Continue reading

It seems parents and schools are finally giving more thought to children and the ailments that can be treated withmedical marijuana medical marijuana. Delaware News Journal reported an increasing number of parents are turning to cannabis for their children with especially serious or rare conditions. It’s no wonder then that California lawmakers recently passed a bill to allow medical marijuana on school premises.

SB-1127 was introduced by Calif. Sen. Jerry Hill (D-San Mateo) and has passed both houses of the state legislature. Ultimately, the bill would leave it up to school districts and boards of education to decide whether or not to allow medical marijuana on school grounds. While it’s noble to allow school district to have some autonomy, this decision could lead to much confusion and unnecessary distress. Prop 64 allowed cities in California to maintain a ban on sales and cultivation at their own discretion, and it has led to a great deal of Californians not being able to full participate in the cannabis economies they voted to legalize. Similarly, the most vulnerable students and their parents could very well be pigeon-holed by rigid district officials and judgmental peers who can’t understand the complex decisions a parent must make to ensure their child has the best care possible. After all, cannabis generally isn’t recommended by physicians for children except in severe cases.
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A recent bill out of the California state house would make marijuana compassionate-care programs exempt from themedical cannabis substantial state taxes on the medical cannabis that they supply to patients in need. SB 829 corrects a hole in Proposition 64, which saddled these not-for-profit organizations with taxes. The Compassionate Use Act of 1996 made medical marijuana legal in California, which spurred the birth of compassionate-care programs for patients with serious health issues and financial restraints. According to NORML, these organizations have been able to donate product and function tax-free up until this year when recreational marijuana became legal.

What did recreational legalization have to do with medical marijuana patients and associated care programs? As our marijuana attorneys can explain, after voters approved Proposition 64, government representatives and officials began ironing out how the recreational program would work. It was determined a set of guidelines was needed that could pull together the medical marijuana industry (which had been active for 20 years) with the new recreational cannabis law. That is when MAUCRSA (Medicinal And Adult-Use Cannabis Regulatory Safety Act) was born. What was intended to streamline rules and make things easier for business owners, customers, and law enforcement officials ended up strapping medical marijuana institutions with a significant number of regulations they previously did not have to follow. Continue reading

The company that produced the first ever cannabis-derived medicine to be approved for use by the U.S. Food & Drug medical cannabisAdministration has revealed to investors the cost of the drug: $32,500 per year. This is reportedly on the low-end of original estimates between $30,000 and $60,000. Epidiolex, made with CBD and used to treat rare forms of childhood epilepsy, is said to be priced competitively with other epilepsy drugs on the market. This, however, is not other epilepsy drugs.

One of the reasons, among many, that marijuana has become so popular for medicinal use is that it is relatively inexpensive compared to other treatments, even without the help of insurance companies to cover the costs. Some markup by pharmaceutical companies is to be expected to cover testing, research, and ensure consistency and purity of the product. The disparity between cost and price in this instance seems specifically designed to prey on desperate families already prepared to pay top dollar to help their children. In fact, the price was set with the consultation of insurance companies, according to a Business Insider report.

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A survey from the Department of Veterans Affairs recently indicated about a millionmedical marijuana veterans are using medical marijuana. This is in spite of the fact that the department does not allow its doctors to recommend marijuana. The department cites Controlled Substances Act, 21 U.S.C. Section 812 as the reason for this policy, stating they are bound by the federal ban on cannabis being part of a federal agency. The department even shies away from studying the benefits of cannabis, instead focusing their research almost entirely on its problems, according to an article from New York Times.

For veterans who rely on medical treatment through the VA, this can mean they never receive access to medical marijuana. Many veterans have reported cannabis to be an effective treatment for chronic pain and post-traumatic stress disorder – two common issues among those who have fought in wars. It could also mean that veterans will still seek a way to obtain medical marijuana, either by visiting a physician certified to recommend cannabis other than their VA doctor, by purchasing recreational marijuana if they live in a state where it’s legal, or by illicit means. None of these methods are ideal, and this certainly is not the way we should be treating those who have served our country. There are, however, a few things that would be helpful for veterans to know about medical marijuana and the VA. Continue reading

New medical research is revealing significant findings in the treatment of concussions thatmedical marijuana involves cannabis. A joint project by the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine,  Toronto’s Scythian Biosciences  Corp., and The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis has led to the development of a “concussion pill,” which combines CBD and an NMDA amino acid anesthetic, according to UPI. Pre-clinical studies on rodents are showing improved cognitive function after traumatic brain injury, more so than either component of the pills does on its own. Trials also showed no adverse effects caused by either component individually nor in combination.

Traumatic brain injuries have made headlines in recent years as more attention has been brought to the dangers of aggressive contact sports, such as football, and the long-term damage caused by concussions. Meanwhile, football players have become some of the strongest advocates for medical marijuana. Cannabis, particularly CBD, has proven to be effective at treating chronic pain caused by sport-related injuries, and does not have the addictive properties of opioids, which are typically prescribed for such injuries. Other players suffer from conditions unrelated to sports, but using medical marijuana has made it possible for them to enjoy activities with fewer limitations. For example, medical marijuana is proving to be a breakthrough treatment for severe seizures, paving the way for people with epilepsy to perform at a competitive level like never before. All of these factors make athletes ideal for receiving the benefits of medical marijuana treatments. Yet continued backward thinking about the drug is holding us back.
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Extremism breeds extremism, a concept seen pretty clearly in the marijuana industry. In amedical marijuana country where, despite mounting evidence, the federal government is stubbornly standing by marijuana’s classification as a Schedule I narcotic, it’s discouraging to see facts seemingly ignored. It’s no wonder, then, people would take the opposite extreme stance to combat. A report from Los Angeles Times delves into the phenomenon of pro-marijuana hyperbole in the face of anti-cannabis hysteria.

Controlled Substances Act, 21 U.S.C. Section 812, deems that marijuana has no medical benefits, is addictive, and would be harmful to use even under a doctor’s supervision. Thirty states and Washington, D.C., disagree with this assessment and have passed medical marijuana laws as such. Those states laws, however, can only go so far to usurp the authority of the federal government. Continue reading

In the fight for medical marijuana, there has been no more compelling of a battlegroundmedical marijuana than opioid addiction. Both U.S. and Canadian governments have dubbed the rapid increase in overdoses to be a crisis or epidemic. Meanwhile, cannabis has demonstrated itself to be the potential key to unlocking the addictive cycles, adding to the urgency in passing more effective medical marijuana laws. In New York, emergency rules have been put in place to allow medical marijuana as an opioid replacement. Yet in Ontario, where medical marijuana is permitted at the federal level for a variety of conditions, workers are still having opioids pushed on them.

New York state Department of Health recently added opioid dependency to the list of 12 other conditions that qualify patients for medical marijuana recommendations, according to Marijuana Moment. Chronic pain, one of the key issues opioids are used to treat, is already on the list, but specifically adding opioid substitution gives doctors the freedom to recommend cannabis to those with opioid addictions regardless of the reason they started taking them. Officials are hoping this strategy reduces the number of opioid deaths, noting that states with pro-medical marijuana laws on the books have seen a 30 percent drop in opioid prescriptions for Medicaid users. Continue reading

medical marijuanaOklahoma recently became the 30th state to approve some form of medical marijuana, a significant step in proving cannabis support is a non-partisan issue and that old-school propaganda tricks aren’t working to scare an informed electorate anymore.

State Question 788 passed with 57 percent approval despite almost half a million dollars spent on a campaign to shut down the proposal. Gov. Mary Fallin and Sen. James Lanford (R) joined several health and law enforcement organizations to voice opposition to the ballot initiative, according to a report from Forbes. Some voters claim the issue did not even appear on their ballot, causing speculation as to how far some would go to stop the measure. Even the fact that the issue was placed on a primary ballot rather than during a general election seemed to be tactically designed to set it up for failure since voters who show up at primaries tend to lean more conservative. The passage of the measure in spite of such obstacles, however, proves what cannabis advocates like our medical marijuana attorneys have been saying all along: marijuana is not a partisan issue. Continue reading

We are currently experiencing the final gasps of the anti-marijuana agenda in the U.S., evidenced by more and more medical marijuanaAmericans not only support cannabis in theory, but also in practice. Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs recently published a report showing that daily use of marijuana among adults is on the rise since 2007, while teen use is actually dropping.

Findings showed daily use increased among all age groups between 18 to 64, with an insignificant lead in the data among 18 to 34-year-olds. Non-daily use increased across all adult categories as well, but especially among 26- to 34-year-olds. The most likely cause is the wave of states that have legalized marijuana in some form. California is one of nine states (with a guest appearance by Washington, D.C.) that has total legalization for adult use. The number jumps to 29 when counting states with medical marijuana laws. The specifics vary by state, but the fact of the matter is Americans are discovering the health and recreational benefits of marijuana and incorporating it into their daily lives. Continue reading