South Dakota: Mom Says Marijuana Is Right For Her Son

Lisa Schaunaman breaks the law every day.

She does it for her son, a wheelchair-bound 26-year-old who was disabled in a drunken driving accident nine years ago. But she also does it for taxpayers, she says.

Were it not for the marijuana she claims has kept her son Faron Demarrias seizure-free for two years, taxpayers would be on the hook for his Medicaid bills. The last seizure in September of 2013 ran up an $80,000 bill.

Schaunaman is one of an unknown number of South Dakotans who flouts the law and purchases “medical” marijuana on the black market, without a prescription or legal protections. She reached out to the Reader’s Watchdog in response to a story about an initiative to decriminalize marijuana.

Petitioners are gathering signatures for an initiative that would legalize medical marijuana in the state. Activists say those who choose to supplement their medical treatments with the drug are often left to navigate a black market they didn’t know prior to their decision or to travel to states with legal weed and risk arrest.

Schaunaman has talked to the media before, but always shielded her identity. This time, she was open to cameras and videos.

The risk of a misdemeanor charge is worth it, she says, because “I want people to be able to put a face to this.”

“I hope they pass that initiative,” she said. “The state needs to be open to it. It’s saving the taxpayers so much money,” she said.

She spends about $80 a month out-of-pocket on marijuana, which supplements her son’s prescription medication for seizures, Lamictal. Demarrias’ pills are covered by Medicaid, but the out-of-pocket cost for them would be $2,071.81.

The family buys $20 worth of marijuana at a time — which Demarrias smokes three or four times a week – and leaves it outside their home.

“I don’t abuse it like some people do,” Demarrias said.

They know they’re breaking the law.

“It’s always a concern,” she says of her worries about a criminal charge. “We never keep enough to get a felony. It would be a misdemeanor. If it happened, I would take the charge. I haven’t gotten in trouble, aside from a few no insurance tickets.”

Bob Newland, a longtime marijuana activist from Hot Springs, got into more trouble than that. Newland was charged with felony marijuana distribution in 2009 after a traffic stop. He was charged with possession of more than an ounce but less than a half pound of marijuana and two misdemeanors.

He was taking the drug to a South Dakota family for medical purposes, his lawyer said. The judge gave him 45 days in jail, but the felony stuck.

Newland wants marijuana legalized for recreational and medical purposes and has for years. Now that marijuana is legal for both purposes in Colorado, friends have asked him if he plans to move there.

“I tell them ‘as soon as it takes me more than 15 minutes to find marijuana in South Dakota, I’ll move to Colorado,’” he said this week.

The problem of access to medical marijuana isn’t for people like him, Newland said. It’s for previously “straight” South Dakotans who don’t know the underground market when they decide to try the drug for medical purposes.

“They’re either looking to buy it on the street or going across two states where it isn’t illegal to buy it, then traveling back through those same states and risking arrest,” he said.

Attorney General Marty Jackley has said he’ll only support medical marijuana if it’s approved by the Food and Drug Administration, dispensed by a pharmacy, tracked and secured. There’s little of that in the initiative currently being circulated by South Dakota Family Coalition for Compassion.

Jackley says he’s concerned about some of the language and implementation issues the initiative might present if passed.

One way or the other, Schaunaman says she’ll keep doing what she sees as right for her son, whom she cares for full-time. The family’s medical team is aware of what they’re doing, as are family and friends.

“We’re very open about it,” Schaunaman said. “People know.”

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Full Article: Mom: Marijuana is right for my son, taxpayers
Author: John Hult
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North Carolina: Dad With Epileptic Daughter Thrilled Over New CBD Oil Law

It’s something Dylan Morley has waited on for a long time, a law that allows him to legally get a strain of medical marijuana oil for his daughter.

Mia Morley, 7, suffers from intractable epilepsy. She is not able to walk or talk, and can experience multiple seizures in just a few minutes.

On Thursday, Governor Pat McCrory signed N.C. House Bill 766 into law. This means cannabis oils will be legal in North Carolina starting August 1.

Morley says it’s a much better bill than one that previously traveled through the House and Senate.

“I’m really excited about the new structure of the bill,” Morley says. “The way the last one was written kind of made it difficult to access for all the families that might be in need and this new bill will make it a lot easier.”

In March 2014, the Morley’s moved to Colorado where the CBD oils were already legal. They recently moved back to Wilmington. Morley says that while his daughter still doesn’t speak or walk on her own, they have seen a decrease in seizures.

Governor McCrory’s signature gives the green light for board-certified neurologists across the state to recommend CBD oils to patients like Mia. The oils cannot be prescribed and pharmacies will not have them stocked. the Morley’s will have theirs shipped from Colorado.

Morley says the new law will change lives.

“There are countless families out there with children suffering and that’s a painful thing to watch–a child suffering everyday,” Morley says. “So I’m extremely thankful to the people who put in all the hard work to get the bill passed.”

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Full Article: Wilmington dad with epileptic daughter thrilled over new CBD oil – WECT, weather & sports Wilmington, NC
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Oregon: Fibromyalgia Patient Says Only Pot Helps Her Pain

Carolyn Morse grew up in a conservative, middle-class family in San Francisco, the daughter of a Baptist pastor and police officer. She never experimented with drugs. She didn’t even smoke.

But then she developed fibromyalgia, a chronic condition marked by pain, fatigue and insomnia.

She tried rounds of medications but they didn’t help. So she took a puff of marijuana.

“Suddenly, I felt normal,” Morse said.

Now 51, Morse is one of more than 71,000 medical marijuana cardholders in Oregon. She medicates about four times a week at bedtime to help her sleep. She doesn’t overdo it, she said. She hates the side effects, like midnight munchies. She just wants to live an active life.

She said she’s only stopped feeling like a criminal in the past two years.

Her journey started in 2006. A mother of two, she worked out regularly in the gym and had a full-time job as a banquet manager at Timberline Lodge. One day, carrying a stack of plates up stairs, she fell and injured her spine.

After that, she’d fumble and trip a lot. Glasses slipped out of her hands and she stumbled down stairs. She was dogged with fatigue and a fuzzy memory.

Physicians thought she might have multiple sclerosis and put her on steroids. Symptoms would ease, then flare up.

Eventually, she suffered sparklers of pain throughout her body. In 2009, she developed paralysis on part of her body.

“We rushed her to the hospital, thinking she’d had a stroke,” said Don Morse, her husband. “That’s when the definitive diagnosis of fibromyalgia was made.”

Doctors put her on Cymbalta, one of three drugs approved by the Food and Drug Administration for fibromyalgia. She also tried Vicodin and Prozac.

But nothing helped. She packed on 80 pounds and become a shut-in.

“I would stay in the house for weeks at a time,” Morse said. “I was a zombie.”

A friend suggested she try marijuana. Don Morse gathered all the research he could find. Together, they decided she should give it a try.

One night a friend brought over a hookah and she took a puff, the first in her life.

A warm feeling flooded her body and eased her pain. “It was like magic,” she said.

Her husband, who doesn’t like marijuana, helped her get her card.

They drove to a building in Southeast Portland, located on a gravel road. They had to enter in the back. Couches lined the room, and the walls had posters in red, yellow and green, reminiscent of Bob Marley.

“It smelled like a skunk,” she said.

In a room, she sat on a folding chair and answered questions. A physician took her blood pressure, weighed her and signed the forms.

She was good to go.

Obtaining medical marijuana was more difficult. She and her husband grew it for a time in their house but then discovered the Human Collective, a dispensary in Tigard. He helped with their books, and she learned to make fudge, caramels, cookies and brownies.

These days Don Morse directs the Oregon Cannabis Business Council and co-owns the Human Collective, now in Southwest Portland. Carolyn Morse whips up edibles for the dispensary.

She’s glad that the program has come out of the closet.

“There’s a paper trail,” she said. “There are cameras, a panic button. It’s changed a lot for me knowing I have a safe place to go.”

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Full Article: Fibromyalgia patient says only pot helps her pain |
Author: Lynne Terry
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Medical Marijuana Changed 6-Year-Old Daughter’s Life

Bella Chinonis can’t talk. She can’t walk, chew or play like most children her age. The 6-year-old Grand Blanc girl couldn’t even stand until a few months ago.

Her days have consisted of seizures lasting anywhere from 2 to 27 minutes and taking multiple prescription medications for problems she’s been dealing with since she was born.

Her mother, Ida Chinonis, says it wasn’t until Bella was introduced to cannabis oil that things started turning around for her little girl.

“She can stand now. She responds to voices and she loves the movie ‘Frozen.’ She didn’t do that before and the only thing different we are doing is giving her medical marijuana.”

Bella is one of about 150 children in the state of Michigan approved for medical marijuana use.

She suffers from a genetic disorder called 1p36 deletion syndrome that causes a number of problems, including developmental delays, seizures and limited speech ability. Bella is also in stage renal failure, which is also known as kidney failure, and has multiple holes in her heart.

Chinonis said that after having Bella on various medications for years and to get the same results, she decided to pull her off the various prescriptions and wanted to start administering medical marijuana to her.

“I did a lot of research,” Chinonis said. “I was very hopeful it would help her.”

The process was not easy. Chinonis said Bella’s neurologist did not prescribe medical marijuana to minors. She set out to find doctors who would examine Bella and approve their request for medical marijuana. Unlike adult applicants for the Medical Marihuana program in Michigan, children need to get two doctors’ recommendations. Adults need just one doctor’s recommendation.

Chinonis said a doctor from Detroit and another from Texas examined Bella and made the recommendations needed for her medical marijuana application.

The use of medical marijuana for minors has been controversial among some medical professionals.

The American Academy of Pediatrics issued a statement saying they oppose the use of marijuana for minors. According to their web site their reason for not supporting its use is because of, “the negative health and brain development effects of marijuana in children and adolescents, ages 0 through 21 years.”

Robin Schneider, legislative liaison for the National Patients Rights Association, an agency that advocates for medical marijuana patients, says education about the drug means the difference between people supporting or refusing the use of medical marijuana.

“I find that doctors who attend trainings and classes understand the use of medical marijuana and support its use,” Schneider said. “I see what happens when children use medical marijuana. I don’t know scientifically why or how it works, but I’ve witnessed it.”

As of April 2015, there were 150 patients under the age of 18 registered with the state of Michigan to use medical marijuana. In less than three years, that number has more than tripled. In 2012, there were only an estimated 44 children registered for medical marijuana use in Michigan.

Chinonis says Bella’s seizures have been reduced, but there will still be challenges. She goes to therapy three times a week for three months and then she is off for three months before another session begins.

Bella takes cannabis oil at least three times day. It has to be specially made for her with the right combinations of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). In addition, she will never develop like her peers and she will always need constant care.

“I don’t worry about what will happen to her if we were not here,” said Chinonis of herself and her husband Denny Chinonis, Bella’s father. We are raising my boys letting them know that God gave her to us to take care of and they may have to step into our place and take care of her.”

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Full Article: Medical marijuana changed 6-year-old daughter’s life, says Grand Blanc mom |
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First Medical Cannabis Clinic In Delaware Opens

Delaware’s first medical marijuana dispensary opened Friday, four years after the state Legislature legalized its use.

The First State Compassion Center at 37 Germay Drive outside of Wilmington is open from 10:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Users must be registered medical marijuana cardholders with the Delaware Department of Health and Social Services.

The United States Drug Enforcement Administration still classifies marijuana for any purpose as an illegal Schedule 1 substance, along with heroin and methamphetamine.

Marijuana “has no accepted medical use in the United States,” according the 2014 National Drug Threat Assessment Summary from a D.E.A.

The U.S. Congress passed a bill in December directing federal law enforcement to not arrest medical marijuana sellers. House and Senate committees earlier this month passed amendments to spending bills that would prohibit the U.S. Department of Justice from using federal dollars to target medical marijuana operations.

Under state law, and with certification from a doctor, Delawareans can use marijuana to treat symptoms associated with cancer; Alzheimer’s disease; post-traumatic stress disorder; and conditions that cause intractable nausea, severe pain or seizures, among other illnesses.

Gov. Jack Markell signed a bill last week that decriminalizes the possession of 1 ounce or less of marijuana for personal use. The law, which takes effect in six months, eliminates criminal penalties for possession. A violation will be considered a civil offense punishable by a $100 fine and would not become part of a person’s criminal record.

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Full Article: First medical cannabis clinic in Delaware opens
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Website: The News Journal | | Delaware news

Texas Legalizes Cannabis Oil For Epilepsy Treatment

Cannabidiol (CBD) oil, a non-intoxicating derivative of the cannabis plant, has been legalized in the state of Texas to cure epilepsy.

However, the oil’s usage has a long list of arbitrary requirements, including proof that the patient was not previously healed by at least two pharmaceutical drugs, Anti-Media reported.

Rep. David Simpson introduced Bill HB 2165 last month for the legalization of cannabis in the state, which paved the way to let people use CBD oil.

“The law requires patients who qualify under the initial guidelines to be given permission by two state-licensed physicians before they can be approved for the medication,” according to one publication*.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott, who once opposed the bill, had to compromise by signing it.

“There is currently no cure for intractable epilepsy and many patients have had little to no success with currently approved drugs…However, we have seen promising results from CBD oil testing and with the passage of this legislation, there is now hope for thousands of families who deal with the effects of intractable epilepsy every day,” Abbott said in a statement.

Texas became the 15th state to allow limited medical use of marijuana-derived oils after Abbott’s signing. There are 23 other states that allow some form of legal and regulated cultivation, sale or production of multiple strains of medical marijuana for multiple debilitating conditions, The Huffington Post reported.

More states are open to the legalization of cannabis, even those that are traditionally conservative like Louisiana.

However, THC, which is obtained from cannabis or made synthetically and is the primary intoxicant in marijuana and hashish, remains forbidden in Texas. *edit

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Full Article: Texas Legalizes Cannabis Oil for Epilepsy Treatment : News : Headlines & Global News
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Tennessee: No Guidance From State As Cannabis Oil Law Takes Effect

More than a month after Gov. Bill Haslam signed the state’s first law allowing Tennesseans to use cannabis oil for limited medicinal reasons, neither the state nor the Tennessee Medical Association has offered formal guidance on the oil’s use.

There has been no advice to potential patients or doctors as to how they might follow the new law. Without that guidance, interested parents or patients are turning to the advocates who helped pass the law for help.

“We just want everybody who has the ability to use it to have access to it, and to do it the right way, and not get a product that’s going to cause more problems in the long run,” said Stacie Mathes, who’s currently administering the oil to combat the seizures suffered by her nearly 17-month-old daughter, Josie.

The Tennessee Department of Health has done nothing to educate the public or doctors specifically about the new cannabis oil law, department spokesman Woody McMillin said. McMillin noted the department’s legislative affairs office provides information about any applicable legislation to appropriate boards after each session; so far they’ve met with the Board of Osteopathic Examination this year but not the Board of Medical Examiners.

After these meetings, the state is supposed to post information about every applicable law to its website, McMillin said. But there’s no timeline as to when that might happen for cannabis oil. The legislative updates section of the department’s site is only current through July of 2014.

Advocates and lawmakers argued that research shows the oil can help treat seizures and epilepsy, in addition to other conditions. At the same time, the Tennessee Medical Association, the state’s largest professional organization for physicians, doubts that research, said spokesman Dave Chaney. The TMA doesn’t think it needs to provide information to its members about administering cannabis oil.

“We were neutral on the bill and have not provided information to our members because it really has no bearing on how physicians treat or interact with patients,” Chaney said. “It does not allow physicians to prescribe or recommend cannabis oil as treatment – patients still have to get it somewhere else outside of state lines – so the physician’s role ends with a diagnosis.”

The law, sponsored by Rep. Jeremy Faison and Sen. Debra Massey, took effect when the governor signed it May 4. It allows people who suffer from epilepsy or intractable seizures to medicate with cannabis oil that is low in THC, the psychoactive component that makes marijuana a popular recreational drug.

People still can’t grow marijuana in Tennessee, and doctors may only recommend usage because federal laws make it illegal to prescribe any marijuana-based product. But people interested in using the oil have many questions as to where they can get it, how effective it will be, how it interacts with other medications or how long to continue using the oil.

That’s left people confused and seeking answers, said advocate Sandy Bush, speaking at a recent ceremonial signing of the cannabis oil bill. Bush, whose son, Cameron, suffers from seizures, said people tend to want their doctors to know answers to questions about treatment.

“I do think it’s important for physicians who are treating these kids to know there could be drug interactions with their current medications, just how the oil works in general in the body,” Bush said. “There are things a physician can understand about how the oil works in the body that are maybe above the level of a parent, so I do think it’s important that they start leaning about it.”

The Matheses already knew where they were going to get their oil ahead of the law’s passage, so they were able to obtain oil and start administering it right away. Josie is doing well on the oil, Stacie Mathes said. But there are many parents who are “in the dark” as to many aspects of the law and the use of cannabis oil.

“A lot of parents have talked to doctors. Some are like, ‘Well, we just can’t do it.’ Some are really on board because they know a lot of patients don’t really have options, at this point,” Mathes said.

After receiving many questions, Mathes organized two Facebook events to teach people about the law and how to legally obtain the oil. Bush is working with her husband to create a website that answers many of those same questions.

Both Bush and Mathes said they wished the state would do more to help answer these questions.

“I wish they would (but) I’m not really surprised,” Bush said. “This whole process has really been parent driven, with the help of course of our bill sponsors.”

Implementation of cannabis oil and medical marijuana laws has been anything but uniform across the nation, said Karmen Hanson, a medical marijuana policy analyst with the National Conference of State Legislatures. Each state has different criterion for what’s needed in order to obtain the oil: some allow growing in their states while others, like Tennessee, simply create a legal defense for people who have the appropriate type of oil.

“It doesn’t mean that the state even has the responsibility of even creating a how-to guide on how to access it. That’s not even necessarily what the state’s role is,” Hanson said.

But Hanson acknowledged there have been delays and confusion in implementing laws in other states. What’s allowed and what isn’t also changes quickly. “Charlotte’s Web,” a popular form of cannabis oil, is being shipped from several states where forms of medical marijuana are legal.

Bush and Mathes want to avoid that confusion, and they’re willing and happy to do what they can. They just think the state, or someone, should help.

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Full Article: No guidance from state as cannabis oil law takes effect
Author: Dave Boucher
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Website: The Tennessean

Minnesota: Sick, Dying, And Waiting For Doctors

Kathleen and Rick Blake lost their 8-year-old son Michael to leukemia in 1988, four years after his diagnosis.

Last year, their family was again struck by cancer when doctors diagnosed their daughter Jessica with glioblastoma multiforme, a brain tumor.

Determined to help Jessica, the Blakes want her to start taking medical cannabis in July, when qualified patients will be able to legally use marijuana for the first time. “We’re looking for hope, because conventional medicine has not given us any,” Rick Blake said.

But even though medical marijuana use is now legal in Minnesota and the state Department of Health has started registering the thousands of patients who will be eligible to use it, doctors are wary of signing up patients.

Having seen what has happened to their daughter, the Blakes are determined to try.

Before being struck by cancer, Jessica Blake, 39, was a middle school social studies teacher in Esko, Minn., south of Duluth. She’s had radiation and chemotherapy and now has short-term memory loss. She struggles to speak on the phone.

Her mom retired from her job in Grand Rapids to care for her. Both parents have moved into her Duluth home.

Kathleen Blake said studies show marijuana holds promise for treating diseases like the one Jessica has. She concedes that her hope may be misplaced, as the research only was done on mice. But she and her husband are determined to see if medical marijuana will help.

“There has been some research on mice that shows shrinking of glioblastomas and actually completely eradicating their tumor,” she said.

But Jessica Blake’s doctors at Essentia Health in Duluth have told the family that they aren’t ready to put her on the state medical cannabis registry. The Blakes say doctors at the University of Minnesota and Mayo Clinic also have turned them down.

Across Minnesota, other families have received similar responses from doctors.

As the state opens the door to medical marijuana use in pill or oil form, people suffering from nine different conditions set in law are seeking access to the drug. But few have received it.

Marijuana remains illegal under federal law. Providers fear they could still be banned by Medicare if they become involved with marijuana in any meaningful way.

Doctors also are wary of how it might interact with finely tuned clinical trials and treatments.

Dr. Brian Konowalchuk, chief of neuroscience for Essentia Health, said he and his fellow providers understand patient interest. But although lawmakers passed the medical cannabis law a year ago, Konowalchuk said its approval for medical use is so new that Essentia is still grappling with what to do.

“We have a tremendous amount of resources dedicated to this issue, and we are working very diligently to do the right thing for our patients,” said Konowalchuk, who cannot discuss individual cases.

While that deliberation is underway, Kathleen Blake fears an opportunity, now so close, is slipping away.

“I have prepared one child for death, and I would prefer that my daughter was walking with me as I was getting ready to die,” she said. “[Yet] I have to, once again, walk with one of my children, as they are getting ready to die.

“Given the fact that conventional medicine has no hope to offer us, obviously, we want to try what we can.”

Some patients with incurable disease are struggling to improve their quality of life in the time they have left.

Among them is Bill Ward of Ham Lake, who was diagnosed last fall with pancreatic cancer.

Ward and his wife Kim own a half dozen Subway sandwich shops. Their oldest child is getting married in October. When they said cancer wasn’t in their plans, a doctor responded with advice that startled them.

“He just said, [and] this is when it got real … ‘What you should do is plan a simple wedding early just to make sure you’re here for it,'” Ward recalled. “He just said, ‘You should move it up, sooner.'”

That’s how much time Ward has left. At 55, he’s in second round of chemotherapy at the Masonic Cancer Center at the University of Minnesota.

But he said doctors don’t aim for a cure.

“I’m past that stage,” he said.

Ward said some days are better than others. The days that he can eat are usually the better ones, but they’re hard to come by.

“If I could choose to not eat all day, I would probably choose that,” he said. “That’s been a huge problem for me.”

Ward, who has lost 40 pounds, said he’s increasingly hearing people talk about medical marijuana, some of it meant specifically for people with pancreatic cancer who suffer from cachexia, the physical wasting and malnutrition associated with chronic diseases. He’s had casual conversations about marijuana with nurses and others.

“But when I mention it, it’s like, ‘Oh, they have drugs that are way better than that. It’s like the good stuff,'” he said. “But here, I am, two or three months into it and nobody’s given me anything for it yet, either. Where is the good stuff?”

Like the Blakes, Ward thinks medical cannabis is an obvious alternative to conventional drugs. He hopes to simply get on the registry under the terminal-illness provision when he speaks to his doctor next week.

Others, however, have wider reservations about the process the state set up to supply medical cannabis to eligible patients. They question how and if it will work.

Cassie Traun is a 25-year-old information technology worker who suffers from Crohn’s disease — another eligible condition. She spoke to her doctor about the registry on Tuesday.

“He wants to certify me; he’s wanted to get me legal for years,” Traun said. “It’s just a matter of whether Health Partners is going to be okay with it or not. He has to follow the rules of the health group, unfortunately.”

A Health Partners spokesman said this week that organization is still weighing its options. Other providers, including Allina Health and Mayo Clinic, also aren’t saying much about marijuana.

Beyond getting on the list, Traun has other concerns. They include prices of up to $500 a month per patient charged by the state’s two medical marijuana manufacturers. That isn’t covered by health insurance.

Traun said she’d also like more assurance from the state that its Internet-based registry is secure. She’s uncomfortable about turning over her medical records to the Minnesota Department of Health as law requires.

“I’m sure that [the department] is not trying to leak them out to anyone,” she said. “I wouldn’t think that they’re trying to do that. But it’s just one of those things that we really do need to think about, when you’re asking for really personal information like that. I don’t like random people knowing all my business about my health.”

Manny Munson-Regala, an assistant state health commissioner, said patient data is important because the medical cannabis program is based on the premise that the drug is medicine. That is based on evidence, he said.

Research data on patients was a key argument for reassuring doubters in the first place, he said.

Munson-Regala also said state officials have been telling health care providers for a long time that the program was coming, but some are just starting to react.

“At some level, I guess it’s not surprising that that’s occurring,” he said. “You know, for a lot of docs and a lot of providers, it became, ‘Oh, the clock just ticked. I need to start thinking about this.'”

Some patients say providers simply need to follow the law.

Sarah Wellington, a patient representative on the state’s Task Force on Medical Cannabis Therapeutic Research, suffers from multiple sclerosis and wants to be on the registry. She said her symptoms would qualify her for the list, but this week her neurologist and primary care clinic denied her request to be placed on it.

Wellington, a middle school teacher from St. Paul, lobbied for legalizing marijuana at the Legislature last year. She said health care providers insisted on keeping marijuana at a safe distance in the law, but now can’t keep from meddling in it anyway.

“They kept saying, ‘We’re not going to prescribe; we’re not going to prescribe,'” she said. “And I wanted to say, ‘You’re not prescribing. You’re simply saying that I have this medical condition.’ It doesn’t feel like they understand the law. It feels like the law was set up in a way that’s going to fail.”

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Full Article: Medical marijuana: Sick, dying, and waiting for doctors | Minnesota Public Radio News
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Medical Marijuana Will Be Available At Minnesota Hospitals

During the final days of the 2015 regular legislative session, state lawmakers amended Minnesota’s medical cannabis statute to address patients’ use of medical cannabis in hospitals and other health care facilities.

The amendment extends protections and immunities to employees of health care facilities to possess medical cannabis while carrying out their employment duties. These protections include providing care or distributing medical cannabis to a patient on the Minnesota medical cannabis patient registry who is actively receiving treatment or care at the facility. The amendment also allows health care facilities to reasonably restrict the use of medical cannabis by patients. For example, the facility may choose not store or maintain a patient’s supply of medical cannabis or that use of medical cannabis may be limited to a specific location.

With certification and registration beginning Monday, June 1, the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) has added informational resources on the Medical Cannabis website ( to help Minnesota patients better understand their options under the state’s new medical cannabis program.

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Cannabis Provides The Most Effective Relief For Fibromyalgia Pain

Hey Big Pharma, it is high time (did you see what I did there?) to relinquish your stranglehold on US consumers. Your drugs are overpriced… there’s an understatement…they don’t work in many cases and they have horrible side effects. Did you know that nearly 70% of Americans are on at least one prescription drug and more than half take two? This is according to the nice folks at the Mayo Clinic and Olimsted Medical Center. Want to read more about that?*edit*

Remember the movie “Network” with Peter Finch? OK, if you are younger than 50, you probably don’t remember it. If you’ve never seen it, you should rent it. Peter Finch’s character gets the ax from broadcast TV and is none too happy about it. In his last appearance he persuades his viewers to shout out of their windows “I’m as mad as hell, and I’m not going to take this anymore!”

I want you all to do the same thing. We need to rise up against Big Pharma because there is a “new kid in town.” Actually, it’s a very old kid; it’s been around for almost 5,000 years and has incredible healing benefits with no side effects. Yes, I am talking about marijuana. Cannabis oil is finally being recognized as a viable alternative to prescription meds. And Big Pharma don’t like it one little bit. They have successfully quashed cannabis research for decades in this country. But, that seems to be changing…way too slowly.

So, where am I going with this and when do I get to talking about fibromyalgia, you might ask? I’m getting to it now. For those of you who don’t know anything about fibromyalgia, it is a poorly understood disorder that affects women disproportionately and often is debilitating due to constant deep tissue pain, fatigue, irritable bowel syndrome, headaches and sleep disorders. It is so debilitating that fibromyalgia sufferers describe it in these terms;

“Having fibromyalgia is a life sentence.” Another said “One simply cannot have a productive life living with this disease.”

It has only recently even been recognized as a “real disorder” and was thought to be a psychosomatic condition experienced by “hysterical women.” Woo hoo! It’s a real disorder, say real doctors…there’s progress. About 5 million Americans suffer from it. *edit*

Here’s the story. There are 3 prescription meds currently on the market for fibromyalgia; Cymbalta, Lyrica and Savella. We’ve all seen the ads for Cymbalta and Lyrica, since they advertise the crap out of both these drugs. Not terribly effective, though. With Cymbalta, only 8% of users rated it as “very effective” and 60% said it did “not work at all.” With Lyrica, it was 10% yay and 61% nay. If these were TV series, they would have been canceled already with that success rate. And then there are the side effects; as we call it in our household “Tacoma or Death.” Get it?

Here are just a few of the side effects listed on a bottle of Lyrica:

1. Serious, even life threatening, allergic reactions
2. Suicidal thoughts or actions in about 1 in 500
3. Swelling of hands, legs and feet, serious for those with heart problems
4. Dizziness, blurred vision, weight gain, sleepiness, trouble concentrating, dry mouth and feeling “high.”

In my opinion, if you are going to “feel high” on a drug that doesn’t even work and costs an arm and a leg, you might as well use marijuana. Amirite or amirite?

In a survey of 1,300 subjects, conducted by The National Pain Foundation, 379 subjects said they had used cannabis therapeutically and 62% rated it as “very effective” with only 5% rating it as “not working at all.”

If you still need more hard facts, because damn it, we’re Americans and that’s what convinces us, in 2006, some cool German scientists did a study and determined that all the participants who completed the trial reported significant reductions in daily pain and electronically induced pain.

While no treatment works for everyone, many fibromyalgia sufferers credit cannabis use with “giving them their lives back.”

News Moderator: Jacob Redmond 420 MAGAZINE ®
Full Article: Cannabis relieves fibromyalgia pain
Author: Leslie Kahn
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