Maine Marijuana Caregivers Form Trade Association
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Maine Marijuana Caregivers Form Trade Association
Posted by CN Staff on November 18, 2010 at 11:17:11 PT
By Glen Adams, The Associated Press
Source: Associated Press 
Augusta, Maine -- Just as doctors and pharmacists have done, Maine medical marijuana caregivers are forming a trade association to give them a unified voice in the state. But its members say it also will help to ensure good prices for the pain-easing drug and advocate for patients."We're here first and foremost to advocate on behalf of people's whose job this is," Jonathan Leavitt, board chairman of Medical Marijuana Caregivers of Maine said Thursday. "We're also here to guarantee that patients get the best prices, and that's going to be done by forming real solid relationships with caregivers and helping them network to lower their prices."
The announcement at the State House came a year after Maine voters expanded a decade-old medical marijuana law. The law set the stage for a formal system for obtaining the drug and authorized one dispensary for each of the state's eight regional public health districts.Maine also allows caregivers to provide one-on-one services to patients who suffer from chronic, painful illnesses and find relief in marijuana. About 100 of the roughly 500 caregivers in the state have banded together in the new trade association, Leavitt said.Besides creating a setting for making patient referrals, Leavitt sees the association as a single voice to advocate for common interests. For example, its members see a need to drop a portion of the law that requires marijuana-treated patients to be registered with the state."We resent that," said Leavitt, who noted that recipients of other medicines don't have to be registered. He said there are now between 750 and 1,250 registered patients. Caregivers also would like to be allowed to legally possess more than 2.5 ounces of marijuana.The association provides caregivers with a network for exchanges of supplies of marijuana, which Leavitt said can help them to offer marijuana to patients for significantly less than the $350 to $400 per ounce he says some dispensaries charge.Leo Trudel, executive director of Safe Alternatives, a dispensary in the northern Maine town of Frenchville, said his business charges $250 an ounce, although he acknowledged that prices are not cheap, due to quality assurance costs and the laws of supply and demand."Growing marijuana for medical use is not like growing tomatoes in your backyard," Trudel said.But caregivers see themselves as alternatives to dispensaries for patients, not competitors."Would I tell a patient not to use a dispensary? Absolutely not," said Fred Kessler, a patient who suffers from Chron's disease and is on the board of the caregivers' association.Kessler, a former unsuccessful applicant to operate a dispensary in western Maine, sees a role for the caregivers association in establishing standards for the drug and self-policing in addition to working with state policymakers.Source: Associated Press (Wire)Author: Glen Adams, The Associated PressPublished: November 18, 2010 Copyright: 2010 The Associated PressCannabisNews  Medical Marijuana Archives
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Comment #2 posted by Storm Crow on November 19, 2010 at 11:28:57 PT
Just like growing tomatoes in your backyard!
"Growing marijuana for medical use is not like growing tomatoes in your backyard, Trudel said."Why not? Aside from the constraints due to prohibition, how is the growing medical cannabis or edible tomatoes any different? Both are always better if home-grown! Both are frost-tender annuals. Both grow easily from either cuttings or seeds and do better with lots of fertilizer and full sun. (Cannabis does like a bit more magnesium than tomatoes, though.) I think cannabis may be a tad hardier than tomatoes, but there are really no major differences between growing good cannabis and good tomatoes- EXCEPT THOSE CREATED BY PROHIBITION!Legalize it! 
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Comment #1 posted by The GCW on November 18, 2010 at 15:35:03 PT
Would you support marijuana legalization in Colorado in 2012___Absolutely. Itīs inevitable. 
___Never. Drugs are bad. ___Depends on how itīs regulated. ___Wait, I thought it was legal. CA: Who killed Proposition 19?Webpage:
Pubdate: 18 Nov. 2010
Source: Boulder Weekly (CO)
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