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New York becomes the 23rd state with medical marijuana

New York State Senators spoke about their journey, their growth in understanding, that medical marijuana is, in fact, a reality whose legality impacts people of all age groups when it is legally available.

Democrat Diane Savino closed the Senate session. She noted the FDA has refused to address the issue of rescheduling marijuana, to study the issue and correct the Federal law that currently exists. Savino chided the failure of federal bureaucracies charged with these issues. If they would look at cannabis dispassionately, scientifically, that action would've made the long struggle with this bill unnecessary.

She lauded Senator Bill Larkin, a Republican whose vote made it possible to move the bill forward (noted here in this forum in an earlier post, btw.)

In explanations for votes, Senator James Sanders, of Queens, expressed his dismay that veterans were left out of this bill by the failure to cover PTSD, and voiced his concern that the bill could be overturned based upon law enforcement concerns rather than scientific ones, as he voted for the bill.

Senator Kathleen Marchione demonstrated ignorance regarding the relative safety of marijuana and compared it to heroin, while opining that New York state must not turn in to California, whose medical marijuana legislation has so few restrictions it is de facto legality. She said she agonized over this bill. She is a conservative. And yet she voted yes because of the health benefits for those who suffer.

49-yeas 10 - nays

The Assembly has passed bills in support of medical marijuana five times, most recently in May, only to see the measures die in the Senate, where Republicans were cool to the idea.

The State Health Department would have up to 18 months to establish regulations governing medical marijuana, such as identifying the entities permitted to dispense it, though it is possible that doctors may be trained and allowed to recommend the drug before then. Initially, five organizations — both businesses and nonprofits — would be allowed to dispense marijuana, each at up to four locations around the state. The drug would be grown in New York and sales of it would be taxed at 7 percent.


"This legislation strikes the right balance," Governor Cuomo said. "Medical marijuana has the capacity to do a lot of good for a lot of people who are in pain and suffering, and are in desperate need of a treatment that will provide some relief. At the same time, medical marijuana is a difficult issue because there are risks to public health and safety that have to be averted. I believe this bill is the right balance, and I commend the members of the Legislature who worked so hard on this measure."

To be prescribed medical marijuana, a patient must receive a certification from a licensed practitioner who must register with the Department of Health and be qualified to treat the serious condition for which the patient is seeking treatment. The serious conditions for which medical marijuana can be prescribed are cancer, HIV/AIDS, ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease), Parkinson’s Disease, multiple sclerosis, damage to the nervous tissue of the spinal cord with objective neurological indication on intractable spasticity, epilepsy, inflammatory bowel disease, neuropathies, Huntington’s Disease, or as added by the commissioner by DOH.

To ensure medical marijuana is in the hands of only individuals in need and their health care provider, Registry Identification Cards will be issued by DOH to certified patients. The card would contain any recommendation or limitation on form or dosage imposed by the practitioner as well as other information. The Department would be able to suspend or revoke the card of a patient who willfully violates any provision of the new law.

Health insurers would not be required to provide coverage for medical marijuana.

NIDA's drug warrior stupidity preventing studies of marijuana

Just ponder the stupidity of this remark:

Marijuana is a trend that “will peak like tobacco then people will see their error,” said Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, which serves as the gatekeeper for U.S. marijuana research through its oversight of a pot farm that grows the only plants that can be used in clinical trials.

Funny. I don't recall scientists who wanted to study tobacco for its use an an adjunct to pharmaceutical medicine for issues such as wasting and nausea from chemotherapy.

I've never seen tobacco quell seizures in children who are at risk of death from the same.

I've never seen federal agencies try to cover up the reality that studies indicated tobacco caused cancer cells to die off, while leaving healthy cells intact. But yeah, sure, marijuana is just like tobacco in that tiny enclave Volkow has built in her mind regarding this issue.

But, after stalling for decades, the NIDA has approved a study looking at PTSD for veterans. Now, even though a farm at a university Mississippi receives a million dollars a year to grow marijuana legally - they don't have enough marijuana to supply the studies.

Yeah. The NIDA can’t get enough of the type of pot needed for this study until 2015, according to Rick Doblin, of MAPS.

After 22 years of hard-fought efforts, the non-profit pharmaceutical company Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) has finally obtained approval from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) for a FDA clinical trial to examine the medical safety and efficacy of marijuana. The trial would study military veterans suffering from treatment-resistant post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Yet the study’s ability to receive Arizona state funding is in jeopardy due to State Senator Kimberly Yee.

Arizona has collected millions of dollars from its medical marijuana program. Under Arizona’s medical marijuana law, that money is reserved for furthering the provisions of the law and should include research and education – but none of it has been spent. A bill being considered by lawmakers would give the Arizona Department of Health Services discretion to use some of this surplus funding to study the medical benefits of marijuana. On March 10th, the bill HB 2333, sponsored by State Representative Ethan Orr of Tucson, passed the Arizona House 52-5, with strong bi-partisan support. But State Senator Kimberly Yee (Phoenix), who chairs the Senate Education Committee, refused to put the bill on her committee’s agenda before the March 20th deadline – saying only that she wanted the funds to be directed for drug abuse prevention.

Dr. Sue Sisley of the University of Arizona, who is the principal investigator of the proposed study, is also frustrated with the inaction of Senator Yee. “Twenty-two veterans a day are killing themselves,” said Dr. Sue Sisley, “They’re not benefiting from conventional medicine. And while many are using marijuana to help them with this debilitating disorder, they want it to be legitimized. They want data. They want to know what doses to take. They want to be able to discuss this with their doctors. The Obama administration is hearing this, because allowing us to do this study does represent a major shift in policy.”

“Cannabis medicine is natural, gentle, non-toxic, and should be available to PTSD sufferers in Arizona,” said Heather Manus, president of the Arizona Cannabis Nurses Association. “Many PTSD patients in neighboring states are successfully finding relief of symptoms through the use of cannabis.” The AZCNA has filed a petition with the Arizona Department of Health Services on behalf of veterans and other PTSD sufferers to add PTSD as a debilitating condition under the state’s medical marijuana law.


The reality is that it takes four months to produce pounds of marijuana - as many pounds as someone would want or need, via indoor grows - which the university could certainly do if the NIDA didn't want to continue to obstruct research.

So, let's add to the death toll of the drug warriors any vet who kills himself, among the 22 per day who do, who could benefit from marijuana in relation to symptoms of PTSD, in addition to the vets who have killed themselves in the 22 years the NIDA has refused to acknowledge they, not marijuana, are the drug problem in this nation.

Excuse my French, but fuck these folks who are doing this.

I am sick of this shit from these fucking liars.

NY State Limited Medical Marijuana Bill Gets Okay From Cuomo

A bill brought by two democrats, Senator Diane Savino (Staten Island) and Assemblyman Richard Gottfried (Manhattan), received a "go-ahead" by Gov. Cuomo, after only two decades of such attempts.

The bill, which still requires a vote by the state Legislature, will permit only doctors to prescribe marijuana in forms including oil-based and vapor to individuals with conditions including cancer, AIDS, epilepsy and multiple sclerosis.

But it won't legalize smokable forms of the drug, making it much narrower in scope than many other medical-marijuana legalization laws around the country. And it will allow the governor, upon recommendation by the state police superintendent or the state health commissioner, to suspend the program at any time.

While the bill's sponsors and patient advocates had pushed to permit smokable pot, Mr. Cuomo in recent days expressed concern about curbing what he described as marijuana's potential to become a "gateway" drug, a worry that was shared by some Republicans—including Senate Majority Coalition Co-leader Dean Skelos—whose votes were critical to the legislation's success.

The marijuana bill marks the rare occasion in which a piece of high-profile legislation will make its way to the governor's desk without a lengthy record of his fingerprints. While Mr. Cuomo exerted significant influence over the final product, the administration didn't become involved in shaping the bill until very late in the process, instead advocating for the governor's pilot program to introduce medical marijuana trials in a handful of state hospitals.

NY State will be the only state, other than Minnesota, that prohibits smoked marijuana for medical use, among those who currently have medical marijuana laws. This regressive stance was at the insistence of Gov. Cuomo.

This legislation went forward in spite of Cuomo's attempt to introduce an even more limited medical marijuana measure based upon a 1980s provision for research at hospitals. In May, the bill was introduced in the New York State Assembly. The only Democrat to vote against the bill was Sen. Simcha Felder, a Democrat who caucuses with the GOP (aka a DINO).

While Gov. Cuomo's concerns about marijuana becoming a gateway drug are quaint, they're unfounded and considered the equivalent of junk within the scientific community.


For decades, prohibitionists have claimed that marijuana is a “gateway drug” that inevitably leads to use of harder substances like heroin and cocaine — despite the fact that every objective study ever done on the gateway theory has determined that it’s absolute crap.

Last week, researchers at the University of New Hampshire released yet another study discrediting the gateway theory. Their findings, based on survey data from more than 1,200 students in Florida public schools, showed that a person’s likelihood to use harder drugs has more to do with social and environmental factors than whether or not they’ve ever tried marijuana.

The era in which someone lives also determines whether people use a variety of illicit drugs. When Nixon and Reagan were in office, the use of other drugs soared. When Clinton was in office, the use of MDMA was the other predominant substance. Wall Street long had cocaine delivered to offices with nary a whimper, but even this group is moving on to adderall, which they can easily obtain with a doctor's prescription without so much as a blink of the eye by the powers that be. But they're captains of industry and wolves and all that other garbage moneyfakers say about themselves.

New Hampshire study: http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2010-09/uonh-rom083110.php

Whether teenagers who smoked pot will use other illicit drugs as young adults has more to do with life factors such as employment status and stress, according to the new research. In fact, the strongest predictor of whether someone will use other illicit drugs is their race/ethnicity, not whether they ever used marijuana.

The researchers found that the strongest predictor of other illicit drug use appears to be race-ethnicity, not prior use of marijuana. Non-Hispanic whites show the greatest odds of other illicit substance use, followed by Hispanics, and then by African Americans.

Congrats to New York for overcoming the latent reefer madness of Gov. Cuomo. You would think, when considering a life-threatening issue, the Governor would take some time to learn if he were merely repeating the lies of drug warriors or talking about actual potential harm.

Thankfully, the law passed this round in spite of his reliance on outdated thinking that could've come from the mouth of Richard Nixon.

But it's easier to blame an herb, I suppose, than economic structures, as the reason for people turning to drugs. That would require even more actual fact to demonstrate that trickle-down theory is also junk (economic) science. Wouldn't want to upset the big money folks, tho.

The bill is now pending in the legislature.

Tomorrow: H.R. 4660: Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2015

H.R. 4660 contains an amendment that would defund the DEA by instructing the Justice Dept. to not supply federal funds to raid state-legal medical marijuana facilities.

This legislation will be heard in the Senate tomorrow.


Please contact your Senator to indicate your support for sane laws regarding medical marijuana and ask them to support the amendment to defund the DEA.


Hundreds of pounds of (non-psychoactive) hemp seeds seized at Canadian border


Hundreds of pounds of industrial hemp seeds bound from Canada to Colorado have been seized by federal authorities in North Dakota, marking the latest bump along the road to legalization of marijuana's non-intoxicating cousin.

At the center of the dispute is hemp activist Tom McClain. Armed with a copy of last year's federal Farm Bill, which allowed states to permit hemp cultivation for research and development, he set off for MacGregor, Manitoba, and bought 350 pounds of seeds used to grow a strain known as X-59 or Hemp Nut.

Shawn Neudauer, a spokesman for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, confirmed the seizure.

"The shipment is currently undergoing scientific evaluation, as hemp seeds can look much like marijuana seeds," Neudauer said in a statement.

This follows the seizure of hemp seeds from Italy to KY last month by the DEA, who also informed the KY Ag. Dept. it needed to provide coordinates for all hemp fields sown in KY... the better to raid you, my dears.

Currently Colorado has a "don't ask, don't tell" policy for hemp growers in that state, where marijuana was officially legalized in 2012. The state has not been asked to, nor has it intervened on McClain's behalf. The seeds need to be planted within the next few weeks in order to have sufficient time to grow before harvest.

Jim Greig, marijuana activist (1951-2014)

From Americans for Safe Access:

On Monday, cancer took the life of medical cannabis activist Jim Greig. Jim had suffered from Ankylosing Spondylitis, a severe form of arthritis, since the '80s. He was confined to a wheelchair and was bedridden 80 percent of the time. He began using medical cannabis in 1995 and became a tireless advocate shortly after.

Jim proved to be one of the most powerful patient advocates the medical cannabis movement has ever seen. Jim was instrumental in getting pro-medical cannabis candidate Ellen Rosenblum elected as Attorney General of Oregon. Rosenblum was a much-needed champion for medical cannabis and there is no doubt that the current distribution laws would never have been enacted had her Republican opponent won in 2012.


From Jim:

Science Over Ideology?

Mr. President, I'd really like to understand where you're coming from. With 80 percent of U.S. voters supporting medical marijuana legalization and a slim majority favoring adult use, I have a hard time comprehending your reluctance to act properly.

There is no risk to you — and certainly your fellow Democrats in Congress could stand a boost in their popularity.

Mr. Obama, may I remind you that when you were elected, one of your initial points on how your administration would operate revolved around supporting science rather than ideology. You said "promoting science isn’t just about providing resources — it’s about protecting free and open inquiry. It’s about listening to what our scientists have to say, even when it’s inconvenient — especially when it’s inconvenient.”

Well sir, I'm not sure how to break this to you, because it might be "inconvenient" but there is no scientific legitimacy behind the illegality of cannabis in any of its forms. Surely you must agree that the continued prohibition of industrial hemp is absurd. And to deny patients like myself legitimate access to a non-toxic, non-addictive, grow-it-at-home substance that greatly reduces my consumption of toxic pharmaceuticals, is cruel and capricious.


KY Medical Marijuana Bill Dies on the Floor


A medical marijuana bill passed by the House Health & Welfare Committee earlier this year ultimately died on the chamber floor. It’s passage planted a larger seed in the General Assembly that committee chair Tom Burch said will eventually come to fruition.

“I think eventually it will happen, because every survey I’ve run shows big percentages of people that want it legalized," Burch said. "I’m sure some of the legislators here on this panel, if they surveyed their district, probably comes back close to mine.”

“I was here when we criminalized the use of marijuana back in the 70s," Burch said. "It was a rush to get these criminals off the street, and all this kind of stuff that was going on. It was ill advised, but it was a good election year and everybody wanted to be against crime, so that's why we passed it, so that a little bag of marijuana would get you five years."

Thank you for telling that truth, Mr. Burch.

But GOP support will be crucial to the passage of the bill. Republicans in the Senate are concerned about people using the drug for recreational purposes. Senator Julie Denton, a Republican on the joint committee, said members of her party who supported a successful bipartisan effort to legalize medicinal cannabis oil still remain opposed to marijuana.

I hope the Republicans refrain from any of that Kentucky bourbon since they oppose recreational marijuana. Wouldn't want them to be blatant hypocrites for choosing a drug that's not as safe as marijuana. Think of the children!

NY State Medical Community Disputes Cuomo's claim

Patients and healthcare providers are outraged by Governor Cuomo’s attempt to derail the legislation. Providers were particularly disturbed by Cuomo’s claims that the bill had little support from the medical community.

“As a physician and a delegate of the Medical Society of the State of New York, I fully support the Compassionate Care Act,” said Dr. Laura Decker of Kingston. “When Governor Cuomo says that health professionals don’t support the Compassionate Care Act, he isn’t speaking for me or hundreds of other doctors who know that medical marijuana can help alleviate the pain and suffering of some patients. In fact, some of our most respected health organizations, including The New York Academy of Medicine, support the bill. It’s time that the Governor listened to health professionals and patients and get behind the Compassionate Care Act.”

More than 70 organizations support the Compassionate Care Act, including the New York State Nurses Association, the Pharmacists Society of the State of New York, the New York Academy of Medicine, the Statewide Breast Cancer Network, the Hospice & Palliative Care Association of New York, 1 in 9: The Long Island Breast Cancer Action Coalition, GMHC, New York Physicians for Compassionate Care, and many more.

“As Chair of NY Physicians for Compassionate Care, I represent more than 600 New York physicians who want the ability to recommend medical marijuana for their patients,” said Howard Grossman, MD, of New York City. “Physicians understand that medical marijuana can be a very useful tool for some patients and, compared to other medications, has relatively little risk and minimal side effects. The science is clear, and the medical community stands behind the Compassionate Care Act. It’s time for Governor Cuomo and the Senate leadership to stop stalling and pass the Compassionate Care Act. I hope with the clock running out, the Senate and the Governor don’t let the bill die as they did last year and consign patients to another year of needless suffering."


The legislative session ends today. Cuomo had issued a set of complaints to legislators regarding provisions in the medical marijuana bill that, he said, would keep him from approving any bill. These include his refusal to acknowledge that marijuana may be smoked or vaporized, rather than ingested, for medical use. Savino (D-Staten Island) amended the bill to exclude smoking for any patient under 21. Cuomo wants to limit the conditions covered by the medical marijuana bill, and wants to remove the provision that the bill would be enacted within a year (he wants more time). In addition, Cuomo wants a 5 year sunset provision to reverse the current legislation.

Hey, DEA, look at the child that you killed.

Her name was Lydia Schaeffer.

She died on Mother's Day, most likely from a seizure. Her father found her, dead, in her bed.

You, Michele Leonhart, are responsible for her death.

I am SICK of this shit in this nation. This situation needs to change. NOW. Not until another election cycle. How many more people will die because of political posturing in the U.S.?

Haven't any of you any shame? Any compassion? Why should any parent face the death of a child because the govt. is too embarrassed to admit is has lied to us all for 80 years?

We know you've been lying. Now stop.

In February, Wisc. okayed CBD-only marijuana for children with epilepsy. This was in response to Dr. Sanjay Gupta, FINALLY, as someone in a position to do so, who told the nation and the world that the DEA has lied to all of us about cannabis for the entire 50 years of the Controlled Substances Act, and Gupta demonstrated the medical benefit of cannabis for children with Dravet's syndrome epilepsy by the stories of children.

Parents swarmed hot lines to find out information. People picked up and moved their families to Colorado, rather than wait for their sleazy-ass politicians in their states to pass a law that would allow parents to choose the best medication for their children.

I say, now, to any parent with a child dealing with this - Don't wait for the politicians. Don't wait for the smarmy "think tank" jerks to recognize that children do not deserve to suffer just so they can have a job. Move your child. Start an online petition. Get your children out from under the control of a govt. that does not give a SHIT about them if it means they don't get to keep their drug war gravy train intact. Yes. I am livid.

And you should be too.

Lydia's parents thought the American government could be reasonable and responsible - they didn't understand how deeply the reefer madness has saturated this society - among those who get paid to propagate it.

Since the 1930s, Anslinger's FDN engaged in a propaganda campaign aligned with Treasure Dept. Sec. Andrew Mellon (his uncle) to make sure Harry A. had a cushy job after federal prohibition ended. Anslinger was an outright racist son of a bitch. Scum of the earth. A lying piece of scum. And so is everyone else who repeats the lies of the DEA now. To do so, you participate in 80 years of racist attacks.

Our govt. suppressed evidence that cannabis was useful to people with epileptic seizure disorders. I wonder how many people with epilepsy died over the eighty years that the prohibitionists have lied to the American people?

When the House voted to make "marihuana" illegal in everything but name in 1937, the jackasses in the House didn't even know what they were voting for - they didn't know they were voting to make hemp illegal, nor did they know they were making cannabis medicine illegal. Some did. But one upstanding legislator's famous remark was "What is this ah'm voting fowa?" Jackasses.

The doctor who served to represent the American Medical Asso. was ignored when he noted the doctors of this nation did not want Congress to prohibit a useful part of the pharmacopeia for doctors.

Congress wouldn't listen to them - they had the fat cat asssholes like Melon to appease - whose poor widdle nephew needed a job and wanted to carry a gun and beat up on black people. It's the American way - right, Congress? Isn't that what you've ALL done for this entire 80 years of prohibition? Why yes, yes it is.

Why do people who work for the DEA get away with murder and with lying to the American people for this long? Why, because our government ALLOWS THEM TO DO THIS.

It's TIME TO STOP THE DEA before they can kill any more children in this nation. We would have no problem stopping someone in a shopping mall aiming to harm children. Why should the DEA get a pass as it continues to work to kill children from its offices in D.C.?

It's REPULSIVE and it needs to stop now.

It needs to stop now - but our government officials are too scared to do the right thing. Or if they're not too scared, they're too cynical. Or they're too indebted to the campaign contributors and donors. Who will speak for the children of this nation? NOT CONGRESS. Who will stand for the ill and the disabled in this nation, rather than the defense contractors and bureaucrats who make their living by harming the American people?


Wisconsin epilepsy patients are still waiting for doctors to give them a marijuana-based anti-seizure drug, two months after Republican Gov. Scott Walker signed a bill allowing the drug's use.

Federal law prohibits the use or possession of cannabidiol, an extract derived from marijuana that's also known as CBD. Parents of children suffering from seizures believe the drug could help alleviate their suffering. Federal officials haven't approved the drug's use, but eight states including Wisconsin have passed legislation allowing doctors to dispense the drugs under certain conditions since January, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. The U.S. Department of Justice has said it won't challenge the laws if they're followed.

"This law has been named after my daughter but it's not going to go anywhere," said Lydia's mother, Sally Schaeffer. "We're locked up. (The clinical trial requirement) puts everybody between this rock and a hard place."

Doctors are afraid to go against the DEA. Scott Walker doesn't give a shit about the Wisconsin people - as he has demonstrated over and over again. Think tanky twits are repeating their stanky old lies in newspapers all over this nation. Who will stand up to these bullies?

If our govt. knows a life-saving substance exists, but knows it is being withheld from people for political reasons, shouldn't someone in our govt. stand up and stop this? Isn't this contributing to the death of someone by a refusal to assist in a way that could prevent such deaths?

Who will have the courage to stop this abuse of power?

It's not like the stanky liars are ever going to stop their lies. It's time to take away their mandate to do so.

TX GOP votes to add Hemp to Platform, nixes mmj

But medical marijuana only lost out when the chairman of the committee broke a tie and voted against including medical marijuana as part of their state political platform.

The times, they are a changin' America. Even the GOP in Texas is getting a whiff of truth about the half century of lies about marijuana - and they can see which way the wind is blowing in regard to the American voter.

This is actually a good sign for liberals and mj reformers - marijuana reform should be far easier for Republicans to accept because there's no actual biblical statement against cannabis - and, in fact, many in favor, since Hebrew University in Jerusalem, in the 1980s, validated linguistic research in 1939 that noted cannabis had been mistranslated as "calamus" in the KJV (and earlier, for that matter).

Yeah, cannabis is in the bible, ye godly - kaneh bosem. Anywhere you see "fragrant cane" mentioned in the bible, or calamus, that's marijuana those priests were using... six pounds of it dissolved in a quart of so of olive oil and the anointment for the Levite priest to speak with god.

uh huh. It seems like it would be heretical to make cannabis illegal if you're a righteous person. Against god's very own command to the Levite priests.

If John Ashcroft had really wanted to follow the bible, he would've been anointed with cannabis oil, not Crisco™

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