Medical Marijuana ID Cards Proposed

Medical Marijuana ID Cards Proposed
Posted by CN Staff on March 03, 2005 at 18:27:01 PT
By Pat Arnold, Daily News Staff Writer 
Source: Siskiyou Daily News
Yreka -- Within the next few months, health departments in 10 California counties are implementing a pilot program for the issuance of identification cards to medical marijuana users. Siskiyou County is not one of those 10 counties.A voluntary identification card program for medical marijuana users was authorized in 2003, by a law sponsored by former State Senator John Vasconcellos of San Jose. But at the time Vasconcellos' bill was introduced, there was no money available to implement the program. Since then, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has approved a $1.5 million startup loan for the program, authorities say.
The cost to state and local governments to operate a voluntary ID card program has been estimated at $4 million a year, but it is anticipated that in time, the program will pay for itself from fees charged to cardholders for the issuance and renewal of cards.According to Siskiyou County Public Health Officer Dr. David Herfindahl, this program is currently in the planning stages and in all likelihood, will not make its way to Siskiyou County before the end of the year. The State Department of Health Services is responsible for formulating the regulations to operate the ID program and so far, none of those regulations have made their way to Siskiyou County, Herfindahl said.The program contemplates a system where patients desiring to obtain an ID card would be required to see a licensed physician to make a determination whether medical marijuana is warranted for their particular illness.The patient would then bring a written prescription from the physician to the local health department, who would confirm the patient's identity and that the patient had a face-to-face meeting with the physician making the recommendation for the use of medical marijuana. Once that information has been verified, the process of issuing an ID card that includes a photograph of the patient would begin."It is not the job of the health department to second guess or confirm the medical decisions of a physician," Herfindahl said, adding that the only role of the county health department in this program would be to confirm that the prescription was written by a licensed physician and confirm the identity of the patient presenting the prescription.Planners say the identity of patients who are valid cardholders will be made part of a data base at a Web site accessible to law enforcement on a 24-hour a day, seven day a week basis. Only law enforcement would have access to the information in the data base, State Department of Health Services said.Obtaining a card is not mandatory, but advocates of the ID card system are hopeful that medical marijuana users throughout California will be part of the ID card program, as users in Alaska, Hawaii, Nevada, Oregon and Washington already are.Advocates say the benefit of having an ID card is that if law enforcement stops someone at any hour of the day or night, they will be able to confirm the identity of the cardholder, the validity of the card and the cardholder's right to possess marijuana."We are still batting numbers around, and until it actually starts happening, we really don't know the number of cards that will be issued or what the cost to the cardholder will be," a representative of the State Department of Health Services said.The pilot program for the issuance of ID cards will be instituted this summer in Amador, Del Norte, Trinity, Mendocino, Marin, Shasta, Sonoma, Sacramento, Santa Cruz and Yuba counties. Cards for the remaining 48 counties in California are expected to become available at the end of the year, officials said.Source: Siskiyou Daily News (CA)Author: Pat Arnold, Daily News Staff Writer Published: Thursday, March 3, 2005Copyright: 2005 Siskiyou Daily News Contact: editor siskiyoudaily.comWebsite: Articles & Web Site:Medicinal Cannabis Research Links Marijuana ID Cards Coming To Issue ID Cards To Medicinal Pot Users Ordinance
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Comment #4 posted by FoM on March 04, 2005 at 17:13:41 PT
I want to thank you for your nice greeting you post in your comments. It makes me smile.
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Comment #3 posted by Agog on March 04, 2005 at 17:10:14 PT
Deplorable Idea
I can't think of any other medically recognized substance that this is required for. If there are some, please someone educate me.In the meantime we could improve on the idea, maybe a big SCARLET THC emblazoned on our clothes and vehicles, then of course we could get barcode tatoos, would that satisfy our self appointed masters?My best wishes go out to the entire Cnews bethca!
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Comment #2 posted by ekim on March 03, 2005 at 20:19:11 PT
Will Norml give Arnold the golden joint award 
But at the time Vasconcellos' bill was introduced, there was no money available to implement the program. Since then, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has approved a $1.5 million startup loan for the program, authorities say.
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Comment #1 posted by FoM on March 03, 2005 at 18:33:37 PT
News Article from
N.C. Central Looks For Acceptable Medical Use For Marijuana
Researchers Look At Ways To Limit Side Effects March 3, 2005RALEIGH, N.C. -- North Carolina Central University is leading research efforts to find an acceptable medical use for marijuana. Researchers hope to get rid of the side effects that have made it a highly abused drug and keeping the part that effectively relieves pain.The medicinal use of marijuana is an issue before the U.S. Supreme Court. Some with various diseases say the illegal drug is the best way they have found to relieve pain. There is a connection between the issue and North Carolina Central University. 
 Dr. Joong Youn Shim and Dr. Allyn Howlett are looking at a molecular model of a protein helix in a brain cell that works as a receptor site for THC, the active compound in cannabis or marijuana. "The active compounds in marijuana are good pain relievers. That's a good therapeutic use, but on the other hand, the side effects are muddled thinking, loss of short-term memory and sleepiness," Howlett said.With a clear picture of how THC interacts with the brain's receptors, the research team believes it can master the drug's effects."If we're ever going to use these compounds medicinally, we want to eliminate those side effects," Howlett said.Some cancer patients on chemotherapy claim marijuana relieves nausea. Others with multiple sclerosis said it stops the pain of tight muscles. Without a Food and Drug Administration-approved form of the drug, many people demand the right to use it in its raw form."Their argument is that they need to smoke it. It gets into their body very quickly," Howlett said.However, the raw form can and does get into the hands of drug dealers and drug abusers. If this research succeeds, the hope is that the drug could be available in a safe form that would not be a hot commodity for recreational users.Graduate students at North Carolina Central are a big part of the research, which means valuable experience for them as they may be looking for jobs in the pharmaceutical industry.Health Team Medical Expert: Dr. Allen MaskHealth Team Producer/Photographer: Rick ArmstrongOnLine Producer: Kamal Wallace Copyright 2005 by WRAL.com
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