Medical Marijuana Wins Over Voters - What Now? 
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Medical Marijuana Wins Over Voters - What Now? 
Posted by CN Staff on November 15, 2010 at 20:05:32 PT
By Howard Fischer, Capitol Media Services
Source: East Valley Tribune
Arizona -- Would-be patients hoping to get some medical marijuana now that voters have approved the law should not hold their breath. State Health Director Will Humble said Monday Proposition 203 gives his agency 120 days from the time the election results are certified — now set for Nov. 29 — to come up with the rules and regulations of how the system will operate.Theoretically, he said, that should allow doctors to begin writing the legally required recommendations for patients in early April. But Humble said they may not have any place to purchase their drugs, at least not legally.
At the end of that 120 days, Humble said his agency has to start reviewing what he expects to be hundreds of applications by groups that want to operate one or more of the marijuana dispensaries around the state. And, by law, he’s currently allowed to give permits to only 125 of them.Humble said he probably will screen each of the applications to check their plans for operations and security and award the licenses to only the most qualified. The alternative, he said, is a simple lottery process — something he does not favor.Even that, however, doesn’t get the process started: He said each dispensary needs time to get up and running.“And remember, they’ve got to get their cultivation facility up and running so they have an inventory that’s legitimate,’’ he said.“I don’t want this to be inventory that comes off the street or from Mexico or something,’’ Humble said. “This has got to be from cultivation facilities inside the state.’’He figures it could be sometime next summer, if not the fall of 2011, before the plants are legally grown, harvested and ready for sale.But Andrew Myers, the campaign manager for Prop. 203, said patients may not have to wait that long. He said the measure allows those who are at least 25 miles from a state-regulated dispensary to do their own cultivation.“Patients will be given I.D. cards before dispensaries will be licensed,’’ he said. “So, at the outset, the first batch of patients are all going to be able to grow, for a year, until their renewal comes up.’’Humble, though, said he’s still researching that question.More complex, he said, will be everything else to make the system work. Humble said there needs to be a secure computer system to track the drugs and the users.On the front end, he said there needs to be an inventory system to ensure that everything that starts out as seeds in a legal cultivation facility winds up being sold through a legal dispensary, and only to a legitimate cardholder.“That’s not as simple as it might sound on the surface,’’ he said.“When they grow the plants, they weigh different amounts at different times,’’ Humble said.“And there’s a drying period,’’ he continued. “So part of that weight was water weight.’’He said dispensaries need round-the-clock access to the database of patients who have state-issued cards to verify that person is entitled to purchase marijuana. More to the point, the system will keep cardholders from buying more than 2 1/2 ounces every two weeks, the limit in the new law.Finally, law enforcement needs the same access to determine whether the person they stopped is entitled to have that bag of marijuana.Of greater concern, Humble said, is keeping some doctors from becoming the kind of “recommendation mills’’ he said have popped up in Colorado. The health director said he wants to spell out what sort of doctor-patient relationship has to exist before a physician can write such a recommendation.“If we have a loose interpretation of what a doctor-patient relationship is ... then you could end up with situations like they have in Colorado where folks are walking into a doctor’s office for a 15-minute appointment and $150 bucks on the barrel head, they’re walking away with a recommendation,’’ Humble said.At the very least, Humble said, he wants some assurance that doctors have discussed alternative to marijuana for their patients, particularly those who say they need the drug for “severe and chronic pain,’’ one of the conditions that lets a doctor write a recommendation. He said that should include biofeedback and acupuncture, where there is peer-reviewed evidence both actually work.“Chronic pain is very difficult to measure,’’ Humble said, which is one reason he opposed the initiative in the first place. And that, he said, provides an opportunity for abuse.In Colorado, he said, more than 90 percent of cardholders get them for chronic pain.“The majority of those cardholders are guys in their 20s and 30s,’’ Humble said.“I’m not saying none of them are in chronic pain,’’ he continued. But Humble said that condition becomes a “gateway’’ into Colorado’s system.“I want to make sure we have some checks and balances in the system ... to make sure they are in a true doctor relationship, that they’ve truly evaluated that patient, that they truly think marijuana is the mechanism that they want to use for managing that patient, and they’ve talked with that patient about the various alternative treatments that they may have access to,’’ he said.Source: East Valley Tribune (AZ)Author: Howard Fischer, Capitol Media ServicesPublished: November 15, 2010Copyright: 2010 East Valley TribuneContact: forum aztrib.comURL: http://www.eastvalleytribune.comCannabisNews Medical Marijuana Archives
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Comment #6 posted by museman on November 17, 2010 at 09:16:48 PT
Who cares what "YOU" want?
“I want to make sure we have some checks and balances in the system."What is really meant here is "Paychecks and bank balances" -for the favored class, and control over the less favored classes -particularly those who dare to medicate themselves without some overpaid quack giving permission. Credit to the (money-created) credited, screw everyone else - that is the real intention and agenda.LEGALIZE FREEDOM
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Comment #5 posted by runruff on November 17, 2010 at 03:23:51 PT
The DEA is a toothless tiger.
It's starting to get better and better as each state takes a turn away from prohibition and the DEA are looking more like what they really are. Loosing respect as citizens catch on to who these useful idiots really are. If the forty that raided the sanctity of my home are an example of the level of people they are, then...what do you say? The DEA is on automatic pilot. They don't think, they just do. After forty years of pretending to fight a war on drug[s], they have everything worked out in detail, ie who gets a cut of what? They all run on built in assumptions.That this little self serving troll is being confirmed by the Senate is just so wrong on so many levels. I have no respect for either body and as the world looks on they ask, What does a "free Amerika" need with a DEA. Doesn't one cancel out the other?
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Comment #4 posted by Hope on November 16, 2010 at 15:29:00 PT
Smart people.
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Comment #3 posted by Hope on November 16, 2010 at 15:14:24 PT
Mile High Summit
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Comment #2 posted by FoM on November 16, 2010 at 11:42:05 PT
Mile High Summit Videos From Nov. 6, 2010
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Comment #1 posted by FoM on November 16, 2010 at 10:52:06 PT
Coalition Presses DEA for Response to Rescheduling
Medical Marijuana Coalition Presses DEA for Response to Rescheduling Petition as Senate Holds Confirmation Hearings on Administrator Michele Leonhart 
WASHINGTON, Nov. 16, 2010 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A national coalition of medical marijuana advocates is renewing their demand to the Drug Enforcement Administration to act on an eight-year-old petition to reschedule marijuana for medical use as the U.S. Senate Judiciary committee holds confirmation hearings for interim DEA administrator Michele Leonhart this Wednesday, November 17, 2010.The rescheduling petition offers a unique opportunity to narrow the ever widening gap between federal and state medical marijuana laws. Last week, Arizona became the 15th state to legalize medical use of marijuana. Medical use of marijuana was first approved by California in 1996. However, the intervening years have seen no movement by DEA officials to revise obsolete regulations against medical marijuana.The marijuana rescheduling petition, filed by the Coalition for Rescheduling Cannabis in 2002, presents the Obama administration with a rare opportunity to reclassify marijuana by removing it from the most restrictive schedule in the Controlled Substances Act. Marijuana is currently a schedule I drug, meaning that it has no accepted medical use and is only available for research under the most restrictive conditions provided by federal regulations. Recognition of marijuana's accepted medical use by 15 states would enable the DEA to place marijuana in a less restrictive schedule, enabling increased research, patient access, and establishing a federal regulatory context for state medical marijuana programs.Federal rescheduling is supported by the American Medical Association, the American Nurses Association, and the American Public Health Association. Rescheduling is necessary to implement the recommendations of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences. The Department of Justice (DOJ) has also recognized that marijuana is used medically under state laws and directed the DEA and U.S. Attorneys not to prosecute individuals for such use in these states. In addition, recent studies by the California Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research have documented marijuana's effectiveness in treating a variety of ailments. A final decision on the rescheduling petition is supposed to be made by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). As acting DEA Administrator, Michele Leonhart has had the rescheduling petition on her desk for three years but has so far failed to respond. "It's time to end the delay," says Coalition spokesman Jon Gettman, adding, "The government has had eight years to consider this petition, during which the evidence for marijuana's medical efficacy has only grown."The Coalition for Rescheduling Cannabis includes the American Alliance for Medical Cannabis, Americans for Safe Access (ASA), California NORML, the Drug Policy Forum of Texas, High Times, the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), New Mexicans for Compassionate Use, Oakland Cannabis Buyers Cooperative, and Patients Out of Time.To arrange interviews with Coalition for Rescheduling Cannabis spokespeople, please call Jan Carlos Byl, Ph: 202-320-9492, drugscience or email Dale Gieringer at dale Copyright: 2010 PR Newswire Association LLCURL:
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