Archive for the ‘medical marijuana’ category

Candidate For Illinois Governor Would Have Vetoed Medical Marijuana Law

September 19th, 2014

Republican candidate for Illinois governor Bruce RaunerBruceRauner announced earlier this week that, if he had been in office, he would have vetoed Illinois’ new lawwhich allows seriously ill patients access to medical cannabis. Rauner also said he preferred a system that would make business licenses available only to the highest bidders in order to raise money for state coffers.

Governor Quinn, who signed the medical marijuana bill in 2013, took exception to the comments, pointing out that the process is both competitive and transparent. His campaign called Rauner’s statements “heartless” and stressed that the law “will ease pain and provide relief for cancer patients (and) severely ill people.”

Rep. Lou Lang, who sponsored the current law, noted that Illinois’ program is among the most tightly-controlled in the country. He also stated that “[t]he whole notion that Mr. Rauner would veto the bill, the notion that it would go to the highest bidder, is just callous, and flies in the face of logic.”

Rauner’s opposition to the current law stands in contrast to most Republican lawmakers, who joined Democrats earlier this year to extend the program to allow individuals with seizure conditions to qualify for access. His statements are particularly important because the winner of this election will be in office in 2017 — when the current program expires. In order for seriously ill patients to continue to have access, a new law will need to be passed.

Rally for Medical Marijuana Bill Held at Pennsylvania Capitol

September 17th, 2014

Pennsylvania lawmakers returned to the Capitol from their summer recess Monday, while medical marijuana supporters rallied for Senate Bill 1182, or the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Act. This bill would allow doctors to recommend extracted oil, edible products, ointments, and other marijuana-based products to patients with debilitating medical conditions.

Sen. Daylin Leach

Senate Bill 1182 co-sponsors, Sen. Mike Folmer (R-Lebanon) and Sen. Daylin Leach (D-Montgomery/Delaware), said their bill could be sent to the floor next week.

“We are so close. We are closer than we have ever been,” stated Senator Leach. “If this runs in the Senate, we get more than 40 votes, and we are promised it will run next week in the Senate. We have counted in the House. There are 203 members. We have counted about 160 yes votes,” he said.

However, although they have gathered enough votes in the House, there is still concern from the Senate that House leadership may block the bill before reaching the floor.

According to Rachelle Yeung, legislative analyst at the Marijuana Policy Project, “We know that there is overwhelming support amongst Pennsylvania voters for medical cannabis, and it’s time for their legislators to step up and really represent the will of the people.”

Sen. Folmer thanked the crowd on the Capitol steps for their grassroots efforts and reassured that they were very close, and that things were looking good.

Following the rally, the group that organized it, Campaign for Compassion, continued their educational efforts by handing out informational packets on medical marijuana and talking to their representatives.

“Hopefully, they will learn this is something Pennsylvania needs and they will stand up and do what is right and put the political horse trading to the side,” said Christine Brann, a Campaign for Compassion ambassador.

 

 

 

 

Grease Pot Parody: Steve Berke-style

September 16th, 2014

Grease Pot ParodyAdding to his ever-growing series of pro-cannabis law reform song parody videos, as well as in support of his home state’s current efforts to pass a medical cannabis initiative, comedian and Miami Beach political gadfly Steve Berke has just released a new pro-pot parody based on the famous movie of the 1970s ‘Grease‘.

Upping the ante in Berke’s video productions, his talented crew drove from Florida to Texas, in search of the original amusement park backdrop used for the 1978 movie production of ‘Grease’.

“You’re The Law That I Want!”
A more heartfelt and satirical political advertisement in support of passing the voter ballot initiative question in Florida this fall, Amendment 2, is hard to envisage.

For more information about Steve Berke’s 4TT production company and make donations to run 30 second version of the Grease parody on Florida TV stations check out press release below.

 

PRESS CONTACT: Lee Molloy
PHONE: 786-499-6134
EMAIL: LeeGMolloy@gmail.com

September 15, 2014

For Immediate Release

Miami Beach politician drives 1,400 miles to Texas to shoot “Grease” parody video supporting the legalization of medical marijuana in Florida

Founded by former Miami Beach mayoral candidate Steve Berke, The After Party PAC is a political organization fighting to legalize medical marijuana in Florida. Advocating for a ‘Yes’ vote on Amendment 2, The After Party recently commissioned a shot-for-shot parody video of the song “You’re the One that I Want” from the movie “Grease.”

Called “You’re the Law that I Want (Yes on 2)” the musical parody faithfully recreates the carnival scene made famous by John Travolta and Olivia Newton John – with Berke taking on the role of Travolta.

The original Fun House used as a location in the ’70s movie classic was in service at a county fair in Texas this summer. So, Berke and the production crew traveled the 1,400 miles from Miami Beach to Decatur (in an RV) especially for the two-day shoot.

“Our crew drove half way across the country because we wanted to make this parody as authentic as possible,” Berke said. “We felt compelled to really go to bat for the 1.1 million Floridians who signed the petition to get medical marijuana on the ballot this November.”

Berke is a former professional tennis player who found marijuana after herniating two discs in his lower back. The injury permanently ended his tennis career and Berke, an athlete and Yale graduate, realized that marijuana wasn’t just for stoners when his doctor in California recommended trying medical marijuana to manage his pain as an alternative to dangerous prescription drugs.

“Ultimately, all we are asking for is that people in Florida have the same opportunity that I had to get the medicine they need,” Berke said. “And, our video gets that message across in a way that is fun, informative and memorable.”

 

Ohio Gubernatorial Candidate Supports Medical Marijuana

September 11th, 2014

Eighty-seven percent of Ohio voters think that people should be able to use marijuana as medicine, although nearly all of the currently elected state officials, including Gov. John Kasich, disagree.

However, according to the Cincinnati Enquirer, some of the candidates running in November’s election — Ed FitzGerald (D), David Pepper (D), Micah Kamrass (D), and Charlie Winburn (R) — believe marijuana use should be legal with a doctor’s recommendation.

Ed FitzGerald

“There are people that are suffering from conditions that medical marijuana can alleviate, especially those chronic pain types of conditions, “ FitzGerald, struggling Democratic candidate for governor, said in a telephone interview. “I just think that it would show a real lack of compassion if we would continue to deny them that access.” “As long as it’s done under the supervision of a doctor… I think the risks associated with medical marijuana are outweighed by the benefits,” he stated.

Other candidate’s stances seem to follow suit. Fellow Democrat David Pepper, the Anderson Township Democrat running for attorney general, also supports legal medical marijuana use. He views it as a way to curtail the extensive use of prescription painkillers, which can lead to fatal overdoses. In addition, Micah Kamrass, the Sycamore Township Democrat running for the 28th Ohio House District in northeast Hamilton County, supports legal medical marijuana use if it ensures that people get the care that they need when extremely ill. Charlie Winburn, the Republican Cincinnati city councilman running for the Ohio Senate’s 9th District, is leaning towards supporting the legal use of medical marijuana under a doctor’s care, especially to aid in relieving the pain and suffering caused by cancer or glaucoma.

Unfortunately, the prospect of a medical marijuana initiative getting passed this November is unlikely. Proponents of medical marijuana lack legislative support, though they have started circulating three separate ballot initiatives. The Ohio Rights Group, whose amendment has gained most momentum, has gathered only 100,000 of the required 385,000 signatures needed to secure the amendment on the November ballot. The group is now targeting the November 2015 ballot.

MPP’s Mason Tvert on ‘Fox & Friends’ with Bishop Ron Allen: Part 2

September 9th, 2014

Here is the second debate between MPP’s Mason Tvert and prohibitionist Bishop Ron Allen on Fox & Friends, as promised.

Workers’ Compensation to Cover Medical Marijuana in New Mexico

September 9th, 2014

According to the Courthouse News Service, medical marijuana recommended by a physician for an injured patient’s pain must be paid for by the patient’s employer and insurer, the New Mexico Court of Appeals ruled.

Despite marijuana’s federal classification as a controlled substance, the court concluded that New Mexico law grants Gregory Vialpando reimbursement for medical marijuana to treat the high-intensity pain that followed failed spinal surgeries caused by a workplace back injury. As the ruling states, Vialpando met the required threshold for payments under New Mexico’s workers’ compensation laws when his physician diagnosed medical marijuana as reasonable and necessary for his treatment. The August 29 decision is based on a lower court finding that Vialpando’s participation in the New Mexico Department of Health’s Medical Cannabis Program constitutes reasonable and necessary medical care, the requirement set for reimbursement by the state’s Workers’ Compensation Act.

Vialpando’s employer at the time of the incident, Ben’s Automotive Services, and health care provider, Redwood Fire & Casualty, argued that medical marijuana should be treated as a prescription drug. If it were, it would require a pharmacist or health care provider to dispense, which New Mexico’s medical marijuana program does not have, and thus, could not be paid for by worker’s compensation.

However, the appeals court found that although “medical marijuana is not a prescription drug,” if it were, “our analysis would lead to the same conclusion.” “Indeed, medical marijuana is a controlled substance and is a drug. Instead of a written order from a health care provider, it requires the functional equivalent of a prescription – certification to the program. Although it is not dispensed by a licensed pharmacist or health care provider, it is dispensed by a licensed producer through a program authorized by the Department of Health,” the court wrote.

Vialpando’s employer and insurer also argued that reimbursements would force them to commit a federal crime, or at least violate federal public policy. The appeals court rejected that, as well.

“Although not dispositive, we note that the Department of Justice has recently offered what we view as equivocal statements about state laws allowing marijuana use for medical and even recreational purposes.”

In terms of the next steps for New Mexico’s medical marijuana policies, the state is heading in the right direction considering legalization.

 

MPP’s Mason Tvert Debates Bishop Ron Allen on ‘Fox & Friends’

September 5th, 2014

On Thursday, MPP’s Mason Tvert appeared on Fox & Friends to discuss a law that was recently passed in Berkeley, California that directs medical marijuana dispensaries to donate a portion of their medicine to low-income patients. This idea did not sit well with noted prohibitionist Bishop Ron Allen:

Mason will be back on Fox & Friends this Saturday morning, where he will reportedly continue his discussion with Bishop Allen.

For-Profit Institutions Ineligible to Receive Medical Marijuana Research Grants

September 4th, 2014

According to the Denver Post, for-profit companies will not be awarded funding for state-supported medical marijuana research, under the terms of the grant program released Wednesday. However, for-profit firms will be approved as subcontractors on grant proposals.

In the official request for applications, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment indicates that only certain institutions are qualified to apply as primary recipients for the $9 million in available research grant money to study the benefits of medical marijuana, including “not-for profit organizations, health care organizations, governmental entities and higher education institutions.” In addition, there is no requirement for eligible applicants to be based in Colorado.

Although Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper (D) already signed a bill in May allowing the state to fund up to $10 million for research into the medical efficacy of marijuana, health department officials are still hoping that researchers will be allowed, for the first time, to conduct clinical or observational trials using the kinds of marijuana products that are already available in Colorado’s medical-marijuana system.

“Colorado is a national leader in the development of new strains of marijuana and its component parts that appear to have promising therapeutic effects,” the application request states.

[MPP emphasis added]

However, restrictions limiting the applicants eligible for the grants, on top of existing concerns about federal funding and oversight, only further complicate the research proposals. All of the complications involved in the process demonstrate the federal government’s ongoing efforts to hinder the study of the benefits of medical marijuana.

 

 

 

Many Illinois Medical Cannabis Patients May Begin Applying For Program

September 3rd, 2014

The Illinois Department of Public Health began accepting patient applications today for the state’s medical cannabis pilot program. Applicants whose last names begin with the letters A through L may apply today through the end of October. Applicants with last names that start with M through Z may apply during the months of November and December. Beginning in January, applications for patient registry ID cards will be accepted for all applicants year-round.

Here are some useful links and information for patient applicants:

Applications for businesses are also now available. Final versions of the dispensary and cultivation center license applications, along with detailed instructions, are now available here. There is a narrow window to submit business applications. Both types of business applications must be received by their respective state agencies between September 8 and September 22.

Virginia Governor McAuliffe Expresses Support For Medical Marijuana

August 29th, 2014
McAuliffe
Gov. Terry McAuliffe

Earlier this week, Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe took a question about legalizing and regulating marijuana for adults’ use, as Colorado has done. While he is not “yet” supportive of this sensible policy change, he did use the question as an opportunity to express his support for medical marijuana. The Virginia General Assembly should follow suit by sending Gov. McAuliffe a comprehensive medical marijuana bill in 2015.

Virginia law already recognizes marijuana’s medicinal benefits, but, because of the way the law is written, patients are left without a legal way to access, possess, or even use their medicine without a change in federal policy. Virginia can and should enact a law similar to the laws in 23 states and D.C. that allow the terribly ill to use, possess, and access medical marijuana in state despite the failed and draconian federal prohibition.

If you are a Virginia resident, please email your lawmakers urging them to pass compassionate legislation.