Articles Posted in Medical Marijuana in California

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

More concrete medical marijuana research is on the horizon thanks to grants awarded to two different universities by one foundation with the intent of advancing our understanding of cannabismedical marijuana treatments. University of Utah is planning a $740,000, two-year study on how marijuana affects the brain and why it affects some people differently. UC San Diego, meanwhile, received a cool $4.7 million to research the effects of cannabidiol (CBD) in the treatment of autism. The university said it is the largest private donation for medical cannabis research in U.S. history, according to KPBS.

Where the federal government has failed, The Ray and Tye Noorda Foundation is attempting to fill a need for more comprehensive medical cannabis research. The foundation says it donates sizable grants to projects it believes will help build a “world where all people enjoy equal opportunities to achieve health, purpose, and happiness.” Our medical marijuana attorneys certainly agree cannabis research fits the bill. Project subjects the foundation is funding also include chronic homelessness, economic advancement, housing and health initiatives, and re-entry into society after serving jail time, in addition to cannabis research.  Continue reading

The NFL, as with so many other professional and minor league sports teams, still ascribes to official federal line on marijuana, which is that as a Schedule I narcotic, it is highly addictive, dangerous and has no medicinal value. Of course, our cannabis lawyers in L.A. know that runs counter to the evidence and what dozens of states have thus far concluded. Given that NFL players are some of the most tenacious athletes – and take the hardest hits – they more than most might benefit from medicinal marijuana as an alternative to powerful and highly addictive opioid painkillers. But until the organization changes its stance, we’ll continue to have conflicts such as those seen with free agent Mike James.medical marijuana

James, a running back, injured his ankle during a football game in 2013. According to a CNN report, he was prescribed opioid painkillers. In short order (as so often happens) he became dependent on the pills. He became aware that an addiction was forming and wanted something safer to ease the pain.

After some research, he concluded marijuana was truly the best option – to ease the pain, end his addiction and maintain his physical prowess. James had some reservations about this decision, witnessing the way drug addiction in general harmed his family and his childhood communities. But, like a majority of Americans, he soon learned that cannabis does not belong in the same category as other street drugs at all, and decided to take the leap.

The NFL, unfortunately still takes a hard-line stance with marijuana use by players, who are drug-tested regularly. (Yet League officials see no problem whatsoever with players consuming dangerous opioid pain relievers.) CNN points to to a study from Drug and Alcohol Dependence, in which over half of ex-NFL players surveyed said they used opioids, with 71 percent of them admitting they misused them. Support for prescription painkillers continues, despite many leaders – President Trump included – have declared opioid addiction an epidemic. When it comes to medical marijuana, though, which can be a safe, effective, and non-habit forming treatment under proper medical guidance, this is where NFL leaders choose their line in the sand.

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Here in California, we have more than 20 years of anecdotal evidence of the ways medical marijuana can be used to treat a variety of ailments. Thanksmedical marijuana to the Compassionate Use Act of 1996, patients have been reaping the benefits of cannabis for everything from glaucoma to anxiety and chronic pain. Unfortunately, the research that would help independently establish these things has largely been stifled in the U.S., owing largely to the federal policy that classifies marijuana as a Schedule I narcotic. Meanwhile, as reported by U.S. News & World Report, Israel has become a leader in marijuana research – and one of the latest findings of Israeli researchers underscores the medicinal properties of marijuana for cancer patients.

Published in the European Journal of Internal Medicine, the study analyzes the effects of cannabis on symptoms related to cancer and cancer treatments. These include nausea, vomiting, headaches, weakness, pain, and more. According to the study, 1,046 out of 1,742 reported success in overcoming these symptoms after six months. This total did not include participants who passed away, switched cannabis providers, or did not respond to questionnaires. The study looked mostly at patients who were at an advanced stage of cancer and on average 60-years-old. These factors meant a quarter of patients died before the study was over, but even many of those patients reported having the pain of their condition eased by cannabis.

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