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ASA: Medical Marijuana in the News: Week of 4/20

Jim Finnel

Fallen Cannabis Warrior & Ex News Moderator
ASA ACTION: Making the Case for Community Solutions

Officials throughout California have been wrestling with the question of regulating medical marijuana dispensaries. In an effort to cut through the myths and misrepresentations, ASA studied the experience of communities that have instituted regulatory ordinances and found that regulations are working well. Officials report that regulated dispensaries can meet the needs of both patients and the larger community. See ASA’s study at ASA*:*Medical Cannabis Dispensing Collectives and Local Regulation.


Official backs marijuana outlet
by Meera Pal ,
Contra Costa Time
Pleasanton Councilman Matt Sullivan would like to make a medical marijuana dispensary work in the Tri-Valley. Sullivan said he looked at reports from Americans for Safe Access, a group that promotes safe and legal access to cannabis for therapeutic use. He learned about communities, such as Santa Rosa and Santa Cruz that have successful dispensaries.


Panel dislikes pot shop plan for Templeton
by Stephen Curran ,
San Luis Obispo Tribune (CA)
Discussion grew heated Thursday night as the Templeton Area Advisory Group voted to urge county officials to turn down a plan for a medical marijuana dispensary in an industrial area at the north side of town.


Proposed Medical Marijuana Dispensary in Templeton
by Amy Andrews ,
KSBY - NBC TV 6
Several weeks after a medical marijuana dispensary in Morro Bay is raided by federal agents, another facility is on its way to San Luis Obispo County.

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RESEARCH: Medical Marijuana May Be Best Cancer Fighter

One of the most exciting areas of recent research on cannabis relates to cancer. A Harvard Med School study found more than a decade ago that nearly half of all oncologists were recommending cannabis to their patients to ease the side effects of chemotherapy. But new research goes far beyond that, describing how certain cannabinoids actually fight tumors in ways that no other drugs do.


Cannabis as a possible treatment for lung cancer
by Jonathan M. Gitlin ,
Arstechnica
More news from the American Association for Cancer Research's annual meeting today. A team of researchers at Harvard have identified an anti-cancer potential for one of the active ingredients in cannabis, delta-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).

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OPINION: Commentators Speak Out for Patients

Medical marijuana is an issue of increasing importance for many communities, as more states take up the debate about removing criminal penalties. The obvious injustice of cases such as Angel Raich’s, where courts rule that dying patients have no right to medication that eases suffering or is even life-saving, has heightened criticism of politicians who stand in the way of doctors practicing medicine.


It's time to approve medical marijuana
EDITORIAL , Chicago Sun-Times
We've all seen the images and heard the testimony of ailing Americans who gain relief from their chronic physical pain or discomfort by smoking marijuana. These people have no other remedies at their disposal to make their lives more tolerable. Medical marijuana is just that: medicine. Denying it to those who need it borders on cruelty.


Still seeking some relief
EDITORIAL , Stockton Record
Angel Raich is at the forefront of an intense, shifting national battle over the use of medical marijuana. The issue pits the state against the federal government, the judiciary against the executive, theory against regulation, and history against a growing acceptance of marijuana's value in restricted doses and uses.


12 states give OK to medicinal cannabis
by Ed Kociela, OpEd ,
The Spectrum (UT)
Somebody finally got it right. Gov. Bill Richardson recently signed a bill that makes New Mexico the 12th state in the Union to allow medical use of marijuana.

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FEDERAL: Rosenthal Medical Marijuana Re-Trial May 14

The judge has made clear he sees the government’s desire to again try marijuana author Ed Rosenthal as misguided. And despite the prosecutor’s claim that he is pursuing the case in an effort to show the whole truth about the 62-year-old medical marijuana advocate, the government is nonetheless seeking to keep from the jury any information about the humanitarian nature of Rosenthal’s work on behalf of a city of Oakland medical marijuana program. Last time, that meant a jury that convicted but then immediately renounced the verdict when they got the full story.


No Medical Marijuana Defense in Rosenthal Retrial
by Bay City News ,
CBS 5 TV (San Francisco)
A federal judge in San Francisco ruled today that for a second time, Oakland marijuana advocate Ed Rosenthal would not be able to claim before a jury that he was growing medical marijuana for patients.


Feds retrying pot advocate despite judge's suggestion
by Bob Egelko ,
San Francisco Chronicle
Federal prosecutors brushed off a judge's suggestion that they not retry a prominent marijuana advocate on cultivation charges and say they will press ahead, even though he cannot be sent to prison if he is convicted.

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CALIFORNIA: Implementation in Orange County

The hard work of patients and activists in Orange County – including Aaron Smith from Safe Access Now and Bill Paoli and others from the Orange County chapter of ASA – helped convince an all-Republican board of supervisors to move forward on medical marijuana. It goes to show that this is a medical and moral issue more than a political one. Orange County’s congressman, Dana Rohrabacker, every year sponsors federal legislation to end attacks on medical marijuana patients and their staunchly conservative paper routinely supports medical marijuana in its editorials.


OC To Draft Policy On ID Cards For Medical Marijuana Users
KNBC TV-4 (Los Angeles)
Orange County supervisors ordered staffers Tuesday to draft a policy on issuing identification cards to medical marijuana users and return to the board in 90 days.


O.C.'s medical marijuana plan advances
by Christian Berthelsen ,
Los Angeles Times
Orange County supervisors narrowly passed a measure Tuesday to move forward with licensing guidelines for medical marijuana use, but the proposal faces an uphill battle before it can actually become law.
OPINION

Make patients the priority
EDITORIAL , Orange County Register (CA)
The hearing Tuesday that led a 4-1 majority of the Board of Supervisors to take some steps toward having the health department issue photo ID cards to medical marijuana patients marked a welcome beginning to discussion and possible reform. It also highlighted the precarious position legitimate patients with a bona fide recommendation from a licensed physician find themselves in, more than 10 years after California voters passed Proposition 215, the Compassionate Use Act.


Marijuana as medicine
EDITORIAL , Press-Telegram
Orange County supervisors should honor voters' wishes. Californians want doctors to be able to prescribe marijuana to patients who would benefit from it, but federal law makes it illegal to sell or possess it. On Tuesday, Orange County supervisors will decide what to do about the conflict.

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PATIENT RIGHTS: Right to Work is Fundamental

ASA is taking the case of Ross v. Ragingwire to the California Supreme Court in an attempt to clarify worker rights and employer responsibilities around medical marijuana. A difficulty is the way drug testing is conducted, since tests typically cannot determine if a worker is using cannabis on the job or only on personal time, since the metabolites can show up two weeks after use.


Medical Marijuana at Work?
by Kristin Edelhauser ,
Entrepreneur
The use of medical marijuana is a controversial issue across the country. But now, workplaces in states that permit medical marijuana use are entering unknown territory as they debate whether employees should be allowed to use the drug on the job. This situation poses both a legal and ethical dilemma for companies as they try to maintain a zero-tolerance drug-use policy and comply with state legislation at the same time.

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ILLINOIS: Religious Leaders Support Medical Marijuana Bill

While many opponents of medical marijuana use arguments that all marijuana use is immoral, clergy members in Illinois are making clear that easing the suffering of the sick and dying is a moral imperative of its own. The state legislature there is again considering a bill to remove state criminal penalties for patients.


Clergy push for medical marijuana
by Associated Press ,
Concord Monitor
Arguing that Illinois lawmakers have a moral duty to legalize medical use of marijuana, dozens of pastors and church leaders are urging them to allow doctors to recommend the drug for seriously ill patients.


Some clergy support Illinois medical marijuana bill
by Sheila Smith ,
Herald-Review (IL)
This week, at least 50 religious leaders throughout the state have been waiting to find out what happens to the medical marijuana bill waiting to be debated in the state Senate. No action has been taken this week.

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MINNESOTA: Lawmaker’s Personal Experience Driving Bill

Dismissing the medical benefits of marijuana is harder once a family member or friend needs it. A Minnesota lawmaker is pushing legislation there after seeing what his father went through and realizing how medical marijuana could help.


Murphy sponsors medical marijuana bill because of father’s agony
by Brian Voerding and Britt Johnsen ,
Winona Daily News (MN)
A bill to legalize marijuana for medical use is advancing through the Minnesota Legislature, though a final outcome is still uncertain.

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CANADA: Health Canada Cannabis Policy Under Fire

The Canadian government has taken on the issue of medical access to cannabis by devising a state-run cultivation and distribution program. But patients have been sharply critical of the quality and safety of the cannabis provided, and many have urged that private solutions be allowed. ASA Medical Advisory Board member Philippe Lucas’ project is one of the best alternatives, as the in-depth article below details.


Corporate Cannabis
by Brian Preston ,
The Walrus Magazine
Philippe Lucas is apologizing for the quality of his cannabis. He is director of the Vancouver Island Compassion Society, which dispenses medicinal marijuana from behind an old storefront in Victoria. “This used to be a school of Chinese medicine,” he says. “Can you feel the healing vibe?” Not at first. Apart from a comfy, well-worn couch in the waiting area, and a batik with yin-yang dolphins that you brush aside to enter the dispensing office, the place feels like a regular medical clinic. It reflects Lucas’s personality: lean, clean-cut, and intense—there’s nothing of the spacey stoner about him. If there’s a “healing vibe,” it emanates from the staff: the receptionist dressed in a fuzzy old sweater welcomes clients with “Hello, beautiful!” and “Can you use a hug?” Then she hugs.


Health Canada markup on medical marijuana: 1,500%
by Dean Beeby ,
Canadian Press
The federal government charges patients 15 times more for certified medical marijuana than it pays to buy the weed in bulk from its official supplier, newly released documents show.



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MORE ABOUT AMERICANS FOR SAFE ACCESS
Find out more about ASA at ASA*:*Advancing Legal Medical Marijuana Therapeutics and Research. More medical marijuana news summaries can be seen at ASA*:*Medical Marijuana News Summaries.
 
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