Users Find Medical Pot Supply Limited

  Users Find Medical Pot Supply Limited

Posted by CN Staff on January 26, 2009 at 05:40:51 PT
By Cassie Hewlings 
Source: Daily Sentinel 

Colorado -- Imagine having to drive to the Front Range every time a prescription needed to be filled. Such is the reality for many Western Slope users of medical marijuana.“There are over 5,000 medical marijuana users in the state, and a good chunk are on the Western Slope,” said Brian Vicente, executive director of Sensible Colorado, a drug-law-reform advocacy group, and a lawyer specializing in medical marijuana law. “We just haven’t seen the development of access out there like on the Front Range.”
Nearly 300 registered medical marijuana users reside in a four-county area — 130 in Mesa County, 60 in Montrose County, 52 in Delta County and 38 in Garfield County — according to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.An amendment passed by voters in 2000 allowed medical marijuana users who have registered with the state to possess less than two ounces of marijuana or grow up to six marijuana plants. The amendment also allows that person to designate a caregiver, who can possess or grow the same amount of marijuana, which is what many patients choose to do, Vicente said.“Some people are too ill to grow marijuana,” Vicente said. “It’s a fairly complicated process.”Vicente said the law does not limit how many patients a caregiver can provide for, so “dispensaries,” or collectives of caregivers, have become a popular method of providing marijuana on the Front Range to patients.“These facilities give patients a dignified, pharmacy-like setting to obtain marijuana,” he said.No dispensaries have been established on the Western Slope, Vicente said, but his organization predicts the facilities will begin to pop up within the year to meet the demand of medical marijuana users in the area.Dr. Craig Jones, a Grand Junction chiropractor, said he supports the idea of medical marijuana becoming more available to patients on the Western Slope because some patients who benefit from medical marijuana suffer from illnesses such as cancer, AIDS and severe pain that makes traveling to the Front Range dangerous to their health.“If you’re not using it for personal use, there shouldn’t be an issue with it,” Jones said. “Marijuana is a safer alternative to a lot of prescription drugs. When someone gets high, they stay at home, relax and eat chocolate or play the guitar.”According to the state Health Department, patients who would benefit from medical marijuana must be recommended to the department by their doctor and pay an annual fee, but doctors do not prescribe medical marijuana.Although patients on the medical marijuana registry are allowed under state law to possess the drug, possession of the drug remains a federal offense.Since 2000, three registered medical marijuana users in Colorado have been prosecuted federally.Vicente said the federal government usually does not prosecute, and doctors face no danger of prosecution at any legal level for writing recommendations.However, the fear of prosecution stops many doctors from recommending their patients for medical marijuana, he said.“It’s flatly false that a doctor can be charged with anything for writing these recommendations,” Vicente said. “We try very hard to educate doctors about that.”Most medical marijuana advocacy groups such as Sensible Colorado are based on the Front Range, Vicente said, and have had limited opportunities to meet with doctors on the Western Slope who might be more hesitant to recommend medical marijuana.Source: Daily Sentinel, The (Grand Junction, CO)Author: Cassie HewlingsPublished: Sunday, January 25, 2009Copyright: 2009 Grand Junction Newspapers, Inc.Contact: letters gjds.comWebsite: Colorado Medical Marijuana Archives

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Comment #11 posted by FoM on January 28, 2009 at 10:09:54 PT
Very good.
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Comment #10 posted by fight_4_freedom on January 28, 2009 at 10:09:02 PT
Yes, individual caregivers are allowed to grow
for patients. And obviously patients are allowed to grow for themselves. And a designated caregiver is allowed to grow for up to 5 different patients. They can grow up to 12 plants per patient. Each patient is allowed to possess only 2.5 ounces of *usable* cannabis at a time. That is not including stems, seeds, or leaves.
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Comment #9 posted by Hope on January 27, 2009 at 16:56:40 PT
FDA un-approved side-effects of cannabis ...
Mild euphoria.
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Comment #8 posted by Hope on January 27, 2009 at 16:55:12 PT
FDA approved side-effects of depression drug ....
  * An increased risk of stroke and ministroke have been reported in clinical studies of elderly people with dementia-related psychosis
  * Very high fever, rigid muscles, shaking, confusion, sweating, or increased heart rate and blood pressure. These may be signs of a condition called neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS), a rare but serious side effect which could be fatal
  * Abnormal or uncontrollable movements of face, tongue, or other parts of body. These may be signs of a serious condition called tardive dyskinesia (TD), which could become permanent
  * If you have diabetes, or risk factors for diabetes (for example, obesity, family history of diabetes), or unexpected increases in thirst, urination, or hunger, your blood sugar should be monitored. Increases in blood sugar levels (hyperglycemia), in some cases serious and associated with coma or death, have been reported in patients taking AxxxxxY and medicines like it
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Comment #7 posted by FoM on January 26, 2009 at 12:34:46 PT

I don't remember how growing is set up for medical marijuana in Michigan. How will it be accomplished do you know? What I mean is will there be individual caregivers to grow for patients who aren't physically capable of growing it themselves?
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Comment #6 posted by fight_4_freedom on January 26, 2009 at 12:23:03 PT

We will try FoM
Another nice thing about our law that nobody really talks about is the fact that if you are a medical cannabis patient from one of the other 12 states, you can legally use your medicine while you are visiting Michigan.So eventually that could possibly bring in some revenue to our failing economy.
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Comment #5 posted by FoM on January 26, 2009 at 12:22:22 PT

NJ: The Great Debate: Medical Marijuana or Not?
Will New Jersey legislators pass a law in 2009?By Marcia FrellickMonday January 26, 2009 Encouraged by recent passage of a medical marijuana law in Michigan, supporters of a similar effort in New Jersey hope that 2009 will be their year. Opponents are equally determined to make sure it won't be.On Election Day 2008, Michigan became the 13th state to legalize medical marijuana. The law lets patients with "debilitating medical conditions" use marijuana when approved by a physician. But the federal government still classifies marijuana as an illegal Schedule I substance, defined as having a high potential for abuse and no medicinal value. Because physicians can't prescribe Schedule I substances and licensed pharmacies carry only prescribed drugs, pharmacies cannot dispense marijuana even in the states that have passed the laws. The State DebatesThe New Jersey Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act, was introduced in 2005 by state Senator Nicholas Scutari, and has since attracted several cosponsors in the Senate and Assembly. There have been two hearings but no votes.Proponents say marijuana is the only drug that works quickly to relieve debilitating pain, nausea, dizziness, and headaches caused by many conditions, and say it's safe, in part, because there is no known lethal dose."We estimate that 30,000 to 50,000 people in New Jersey are suffering needlessly or are risking arrest or imprisonment because they can't get safe or easy access to medical marijuana," said Ken Wolski, RN, MPA, executive director of the Coalition for Medical Marijuana in New Jersey.Opponents say there is no evidence that the drug is safe, that it may, in fact, harm patients, and that the advocates are trying to push legalizing all marijuana. They say there are synthetic drugs with some of the same properties as marijuana, such as Marinol, that already have FDA approval. "We're not against anything being used as medicine, as long as it goes through our normal drug approval process, which is the FDA drug approval process," said David Evans, spokesman for the Drug-Free Schools Coalition, which has been lobbying against medical marijuana in several states. "We only want to use a medicine if it's safe and effective. Marijuana has not met that test.""And there is a hidden agenda," Evans says. "They are using sick people to promote their political agenda, which is to legalize marijuana."Two Sides to Every IssueSeveral health organizations, including the NJSNA, the ANA, and the American College of Physicians, have come out with statements favorable to medical marijuana.The American Medical Association, the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, and the American Cancer Society, are among those that have rejected smoking marijuana as medicine.Sharon Rainer, MSN, APN, deputy executive director of the NJSNA, says the association easily passed the 2002 resolution in support of medical marijuana. She says two sticking points were the smoking aspect, both for the patient and those who would be exposed to secondhand smoke, and nurse practitioners' fear that they would be criminally liable for prescribing the drug. Regarding the smoking issue, she says, "At that point, it was risk versus benefit, and we felt that if people have tried other things and all else has failed, then the benefit would outweigh the risk." Language written into the bill would protect those prescribing marijuana. Both sides cite scientific evidence in their arguments.On April 20, 2006, the FDA issued a statement saying, "There is sound evidence that smoking marijuana is harmful. A past evaluation by several Department of Health and Human Services agencies, including the FDA, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, and National Institute for Drug Abuse, concluded that no sound scientific studies supported medical use of marijuana for treatment in the U.S., and no animal or human data supported the safety or efficacy of marijuana for general medical use."The National Institute of Medicine noted in a 1999 report: "Marijuana is not a completely benign substance. It is a powerful drug with a variety of effects. However, except for the harm associated with smoking, the adverse effects of marijuana use are within the range tolerated for other medications. Thus, the safety issues associated with marijuana do not preclude some medical uses."Tough Fight Ahead In Michigan, the campaign to pass a similar law took a year and a half, says Dianne Byrum, a former Michigan legislator and head of the Michigan Coalition for Compassionate Care Campaign. It passed with 63% of the vote. She says it was the chance to put it before the people that made the difference."You cannot get a legitimate public policy debate around marijuana in its medical use," she says. "You might have a hearing, but you're not going to get a vote — at least not in Michigan. There aren't enough people who will come forward to have a scientific and medical discussion rather than a political discussion." "But this overwhelmingly favorable vote means we are now going to have a medical discussion in Michigan. Ultimately, this will force the federal government to engage in a scientific and medical discussion." Wolski knows that the effort in New Jersey — where passage is up to the legislature and not a ballot initiative — will be a tough fight. He says that New Jersey tends to be conservative on such issues. But he is encouraged by the fact that New Jersey's law is by some measures more conservative than Michigan's. "I'd like to think we could get this done in 2009," Wolski said. "We have 25% of the country living under a medical marijuana state, and if New York and Wisconsin agree that medical marijuana would be a good idea, that would put more pressure on New Jersey legislators."Marcia Frellick is a freelance writer. To comment, e-mail: editorPA NursingSpectrum.comCopyright: 2009 Gannett Healthcare Group
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Comment #4 posted by FoM on January 26, 2009 at 12:12:41 PT

You're welcome and that's nice to read. Go Michigan! Make us proud!
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Comment #3 posted by fight_4_freedom on January 26, 2009 at 12:09:12 PT

Thanks for posting that FoM
We will be starting up our local compassion club sometime early next month. I cannot wait!And I must say Greg Francisco is doing a phenomenal job leading the MMMA along with other activists such as Melody K. and Brad. I met him the other weekend and in my mind he is definitely the right person to be leading this movement. The website is also flourishing with the quickness.
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Comment #2 posted by FoM on January 26, 2009 at 11:34:58 PT

Michigan: Marijuana Journal
What the Michigan Medical Marijuana Association does.By Greg Francisco Monday, January 26,2009 The Michigan Medical Marijuana Association (M3A) was organized as an umbrella group to serve the entire state of Michigan. We are incorporated as a non-profit and aspire to be Michigan’s leading advocate for medical marijuana patients and the community. We provide education, advocacy and open communication to our members, uniting ourselves into one community and one state. But we are not a substitute for local action.To serve those local communities M3A Compassion Clubs have began meeting in libraries and back rooms around the state. The first meeting of the Lansing Compassion Club met recently at Hydrobiz along Barnes Avenue with plans to continue meeting bi-weekly. A second group expects to begin meeting soon at Gone Wired Caf. And activists from surrounding counties attended the kick-off to learn how to launch Compassion Clubs in their own communities. It only takes a spark.M3A Compassion Clubs are patient support groups. A place for medical marijuana patients, their caregivers and those who care about them to safely meet and offer mutual support — no different than any other condition-based patient support group. Compassion Clubs are sources of information, emotional support and referrals. Things people do as a community.M3A Compassion Clubs are neither medical marijuana hook-up sessions nor are they a place to swap seeds or clones. It wouldn’t be appropriate for patients at an HIV/AIDS support group to break out their medications and start swapping around. It’s not appropriate at our meetings either. Transfers of medical marijuana and genetic material are private matters best done in private. By the same token, what members talk about or do in private away from the meeting is none of our business either.Any recreational marijuana user attending an M3A Compassion Clubs looking to score will be sorely disappointed. Our meetings are open to the public and are often held in public places. The Michigan Medical Marijuana Act prohibits smoking medical marijuana in public and smoking anything — just like tobacco products — is illegal inside public buildings anywhere in Michigan. These are not smoke sessions; they are a place where people who have lived in the shadows for too long can finally come together and openly support each other.To find out the time, date and location of M3A Compassion Clubs, visit our website at: or contact us at: info MichiganMedicalMarijuana.org 2009 City Pulse

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Comment #1 posted by TroutMask on January 26, 2009 at 06:28:52 PT:

Western Slope
Western Slope is to Denver what "Lynchburg" Mississippi is to New York City. No wonder they have to drive so far to find common sense.-TM
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