As debate over Arizona's medical-marijuana proposition heats up, physicians across the state say the proposition is a double-edged sword.
Physicians agree that marijuana can provide relief for patients with serious illnesses, but they also find ethical dilemmas in recommending a drug that is not federally approved. Others warn against the potential for abuse similar to prescription pills.
Already Four States Have Marijuana Legalization Bills In Play; Californians To Vote On Legalization in 2010
It can readily be said that 2009 was one of the busiest and most productive years in cannabis law reform since NORML’s founding in 1970. However, it appears as if 2010 is going to be an even busier year–notably marked by the increasing number of actual state legalization bills and a voter initiative in America’s most important state.
Currently, there is legalization legislation pending in California, Massachusetts, Vermont, and a legalization bill was just introduced this week in Washington. Frankly, most of these bills do not have a strong prospect in passing this time out, however the immense public discussion that is generated is crucial for overall reform efforts.
The formula is simple: No public discussion or debate about legalization, obviously equates to no substantive law reforms. This is what regrettably happened in the United States, Canada and Europe from 1980-2000, buttressed by extreme federal anti-marijuanism in the form of the DARE program in the public school, the blitzkrieg of Partnership for a Drug-Free America ads polluting media airwaves and omnibus federal crime bills overloaded with severe and costly penalties (i.e., mandatory minimum sentencing, civil forfeiture, mass drug testing, etc…). However, since the turn of the century, there have been ever-increasing public discussions and debates about marijuana prohibition–principally driven by the creation and implementation of medical cannabis laws in thirteen states–which is leading to greater public support for reform.
New Jersey is poised to become the next state to allow residents to use marijuana, when recommended by a doctor, for relief from serious diseases and medical conditions.
The state Senate has approved the bill and the state Assembly is expected to follow. The legislation would then head to the governor's office for his signature.
Gov. Jon Corzine, the Democrat who lost his re-election bid last month, has indicated he would sign the bill if it reaches his desk before he leaves office in January. It would likely be one of Mr. Corzine's last acts before relinquishing the job to Republican Chris Christie.
Mr. Christie has indicated he would be supportive of such legislation, but had concerns that one draft of a bill he read didn't have enough restrictions, a spokeswoman said.
The bill has been endorsed by the New Jersey Academy of Family Physicians and the New Jersey State Nurses Association.
A clip of a TV program discussing marijuana legalization.
Hey, hyperactive kids, in California you can get stoned -- legally. California doctors are now recommending marijuana to children diagnosed with attention hyperactivity disorder, Sphere reports.
Since 2004, California has given out more than 36,000 medical marijuana cards. The number of these cards going to children - it appears that all of the known cases are teenagers - is not known, as doctors are not required to report medical marijuana cases.
However, experts say medical marijuana cards going to minors are on the rise. Parents must accompany children under 18 requesting medical marijuana to this doctor's appointment, the New York Times reports.
In about 2001, Martin Davies—a former Utah radio personality who was once named Best Talk Radio Host by City Weekly readers—found that his pension, unemployment insurance and other safety nets had evaporated in a company bankruptcy, reducing the 61-year-old’s income to just a $432 monthly Social Security check. Unemployed and uncertain of his future, Davies went hiking near Ogden, where he made a surprising discovery that would open an entirely new career path for him. He stumbled into a garden of marijuana.
The English-born Davies then saw an elderly gentleman appear from the woods.
“You’re not going to hurt my plants, are you?” the mysterious man said.
The old man explained he was sick and grew the plants for his own medicinal use. Davies has arthritis in his hip, which he soon learned was greatly alleviated by the use of marijuana.
Shortly thereafter, Davies grew a small amount of marijuana for his personal use, but his small operation didn’t stay that way. “A brother-in-law happened on to [Davies’ marijuana] and indicated that he would like to buy it. [Davies] let him do that, and that began the trip that got us here,” said defense attorney Bernie Allen during a speech in court that was also the source for the old-man-in-the-woods story above.
“Here” was the U.S. District Court in Salt Lake City in 2008, where Davies was facing 10 years to life in prison after police discovered three houses and a storage unit stuffed with hydroponic marijuana growing operations. More than 1,000 plants were found in various stages of development at the four locations. According to warrants, “The Martin David Davies Marijuana Trafficking Organization” had been pegged by the Drug Enforcement Administration as a multi-state marijuana source.
Before we get to my talk with Mr. Mirken, let’s touch on the history of marijuana criminalization in the United States.
1915-1937: Twenty-seven states pass laws prohibiting the use of marijuana. Texas, New Mexico, Colorado, and Montana lead the way.
1937: The Marihuana Tax Act of 1937. At Congressional hearings, Harry Anslinger, Commissioner of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics, stated, “Marihuana is an addictive drug which produces in its users insanity, criminality, and death.” Contrasting testimony came from Dr. William C. Woodward. Dr. Woodward was both a doctor and a lawyer, and served as Chief Counsel to the American Medical Association. He said, “The American Medical Association knows of no evidence that marihuana is a dangerous drug.”
Medical Marijuana Inc Continues Development and Completes 1st Stage of the National Rollout of Its Educational Seminars
Medical Marijuana Inc (PINKSHEETS: MJNA) announced today they have completed the taping of the Educational Seminar series as the 1st step toward the Seminar program being offered across America in those states where permitted by law. These Seminars will continue to be held in Ukiah, Ca. through the rest of the year.
In the last few days, quite a few pieces have appeared in the media about the use of marijuana as a treatment for autism. In fact, our own About.com Guide to Addictions has written a blog post on the subject and received some interesting responses from parents and, notably, from adults with autism.
Her questions and concerns grow from articles on sites such as Opposing Views, Autism-PDD.Net, and the New York Times' MomLogic blog which cites a blog from a mom who writes about "Why I give my 9 year old pot."
Following the lead of neighboring states Minnesota and Michigan, Wisconsin lawmakers introduced a bill Monday that could legalize marijuana for medical use.
At a press conference Monday, Sen. Jon Erpenbach, D-Waunakee, and Rep. Mark Pocan, D-Madison, introduced the Jacki Rickert Medical Marijuana Act, which would allow people suffering from diseases such as multiple sclerosis, cancer and AIDS to use cannabis as relief for pain associated with the diseases.
The bill also lists post-traumatic stress disorder, Alzheimer’s disease and epilepsy as conditions that could allow patients to receive prescriptions for cannabis.
The bill would allow for the distribution of up to 3 ounces of marijuana to individual patients from "compassion centers" throughout the state or would allow patients to grow up to 12 marijuana plants on their property for medicinal use.
Businessman Len Goodman owns a company that makes hand-painted art tiles, but these days his office desk is strewn with the raw materials of a new enterprise: fat, sweetly pungent marijuana buds.
Newly licensed by the state to produce and distribute medical marijuana, Goodman must decide which strains he will grow in a steel-doored industrial building somewhere in Santa Fe County that will soon be converted into a high-tech indoor greenhouse.
"Every one is different," Goodman said of the brownish buds in plastic bags. "It's like wine."