Tags Posts tagged with "Compassionate Care Act"

Compassionate Care Act

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South Carolina is a state that barely allows patients access to non-intoxicating types of cannabis oil. One state lawmaker plans to change that in the 2017 session by suggesting a proposal aimed at establishing a more comprehensive medical cannabis program.

Senator Tom Davis, who is thought of one of the state’s leading forces in the push for marijuana reform, has introduced a bill called the Compassionate Care Act, which would allow patients with a variety of health conditions to purchase cannabis from state licensed dispensaries as long as they have a doctor’s approval.

Senator Davis told a group earlier this week, “If a doctor in his or her professional opinion believes that cannabis can be of a medicinal benefit to a patient for whatever reason, whether it’s epilepsy, PTSD or glaucoma or any number of things, and then why should 170 politicians in Columbia be the ones that say no?” Davis continued, “ I really think it says something about our state negatively that we do not allow doctors to make decisions that are in their patients’ best interest. I mean to me that’s not what an enlightened, concerned and caring state does.”

Davis’ bill would not give patients the freedom to engage in home cultivation, unlike similar legislation introduced by State Representative Todd Rutherford, which would give individuals with only a handful of serious conditions access to medical cannabis. Providing patients with safe medicine, while keeping a tight leash on marijuana production, is the goal of the Compassionate Care Act, according to Davis.

Last year, South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley said that she would be open to discussing the issue of a more comprehensive program. Reports indicate that Haley has already had several meetings with Senator Davis on the subject, but she has not signaled whether she would sign a reform of this magnitude if it lands on her desk this year.

It will first be up to the state legislature to get onboard with the concept. Last year, the South Carolina Senate voted 7 to 4 against a medical cannabis bill brought forth by Senator Davis. One thing is certain, South Carolina residents support the issue. The latest Winthrop Polls finds that 78% of the state’s citizens are in favor of medical cannabis.

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One of the most important issues of the November ballots has to do with marijuana, and these two states just decided to become a part of it. A ballot measure looking to legalize cannabis in Arizona has been approved to be voted on in November. The Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol (CRMLA) was told by the Arizona Secretary of State that their measure is going to be put forth as Proposition 205. If the proposal passes, people aged 21 or older are going to be allowed to buy marijuana in a similar way that they buy alcohol. Of course, there are some people fighting against this, because people claim that they were confused when signatures were being collected. Regardless, the legal counsel for CRMLA states that there is nothing the courts can do to stop the proposal from showing up on the ballot in November.

“Eighty-three years ago, Arizona voters approved a ballot measure to repeal the failed policy of alcohol prohibition,” chairman of the Yes on 205 campaign, J.P. Holyoak, said. “This November, we will have the opportunity to end the equally disastrous policy of marijuana prohibition. Prop 205 would establish a more sensible system in which marijuana is regulated and taxed similarly to alcohol.”

The second state is North Dakota. North Dakota’s Secretary of State Al Jaeger announced that a proposal called the North Dakota Compassionate Care Act of 2016, which looks to legalize a statewide medical cannabis program, is going to be on the ballot in November. Organizers needed to collect over 13,000 signatures in order to qualify. They were able to collect about 18,000, and approximately 17,000 of them were considered valid. If voters approve the measure, patients with one of a specific list of conditions would be able to buy up to three ounces of cannabis every two weeks so long as they have a recommendation from a doctor.

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If North Dakota were to implement a legally regulated medical cannabis industry, they would need at least $3.5 million annually as well as many workers, according to North Dakota’s Health Department’s analysis. Of course, that is if a measure to legalize makes it onto the ballot in November and is approved by voters. The analysis was published late on Wednesday, not too long after Republican Governor Jack Dalrymple had a special meeting with the North Dakota Legislature in an attempt to handle a $310 million shortfall to the state treasury; they’ve concluded that there might be setbacks to the many agencies, including the Health Department. Rilie Ray Morgan, a Fargo financial planner who is leading the attempt to legalize medical cannabis purposes, called the projections an exaggeration and an attempt to stop the legalization efforts.

“Everybody knows the state is struggling financially,” stated Morgan, who would benefit from medical marijuana for his chronic pain. “Obviously, I don’t believe the state is in favor of this, and I believe they are grossly overinflating the amount of money and manpower that will be needed.”

The group collecting signatures for what is known as the North Dakota Compassionate Care Act submitted approximately 17,600 signatures last week. Advocates needed to have at least 13,500 qualified signatures in order for it to be on the ballot during November’s general election. Secretary of State Al Jaeger has around one month to decide whether the signatures were legitimate. The Health Department is neutral on the issue, according to Brenda Weisz, the agency’s accounting director. She and agency spokeswoman Colleen Reinke state that the review was just trying to provide “factual” data about the bill and its costs. The agency stated that the cost to regulate a medical cannabis program during the first two-year budget cycle would be $8.7 million. Every two years after that, the cost would be about $7.3 million and would need thirty-two more full-time employees.

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Sponsors of a measure with the goal of legalizing cannabis in North Dakota did not receive a sufficient amount of signatures by the July 11th deadline to make it onto the ballot on November 8th, a sponsor said. The speakers needed to collect at least 13,452 signatures to the secretary of state’s office.

“Sounds like we just missed the mark. We had about 80 percent of the signatures we needed but weren’t able to get them all,” Tony Mangnall of Fargo, a member of the sponsoring committee and chairman of the North Dakota Libertarian Party, which endorsed the proposed initiative, stated.

Committee chairman Eric Olson of Fargo was not able to provide a comment. The proposed bill would have made it legal for anyone aged 21 or older to cultivate, have, use, and distribute cannabis without a license. Cannabis and cannabis paraphernalia would not have been able to be taxed by more than twenty percent. Mangnall stated that sponsors are going to collect signatures again another time to make it onto the ballot in 2018. They state that the reason they weren’t able to gather enough signatures is that they needed to resubmit the measure after their initial one’s language had errors, taking months off of their timeframe.

“Probably next time around we’ll have all the signatures we need,” Mangnall added.

At the same time, sponsors of a proposed bill to legalize medical cannabis planned to give the signatures to Secretary of State Al Jaeger at two p.m. Monday, July 11. They announced last week that they had approximately 15,500 signatures. Those signatures need to be checked for legitimacy, but if the right amount of signatures passed, the Compassionate Care Act would allow for the possession of up to three ounces of medical cannabis for treatment of more than twelve debilitating medical conditions. Here are examples of just a few: cancer, epilepsy, AIDS, and glaucoma.

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Alana Muller is twenty-seven and has suffered from Lyme disease and epilepsy for the last 12 years. She became sick of having to take so many medications to treat both of her conditions. Two months ago, Muller decided to try something new so that she wouldn’t need to load herself with pills. She decided to try medical marijuana.

“I was always in pain. I couldn’t focus. I was always tired. I also get migraines,” she stated. “Since starting medical marijuana I’ve been able to cut down my seizure medication. Instead of taking six pills a day, I only take three. It (medical marijuana) helps me focus, and alleviates my pain from neuropathy.”

Muller was not able to receive medical marijuana for Lyme disease since it isn’t approved by the state to receive medical marijuana. However, luckily for her, epilepsy is one of the drugs on the list. Here are some of the other diseases that the state has approved to receive medical marijuana: cancer, Lou Gehrig’s Disease, Parkinson’s disease, seizure disorders, multiple sclerosis, cancer, HIV/AIDS, damage to the nervous tissue of the spinal cord, inflammatory bowel disease, neuropathies and Huntington’s disease.

Mueller is one of the many in New York who has been able to be relieved because of the Compassionate Care Act, which was signed into law in July 2014. However, it was not put into play until January of 2016. At first, the medical marijuana program was shaky because it was tough to approve doctors for the program. However, there are now six hundred physicians statewide who are registered in the program. The Health Department states that five months have passed, but 5,066 patients have already joined the program.

“The beneficial aspect that has been shown in literature is that it stimulates appetite so it’s for people with HIV or who are undergoing chemotherapy for cancer,” Dr. Azher Siddiqi, of the Dongan Hills-based Staten Island Medical Practice Associate, P.C, said. “It also helps people with recurrent seizures by reducing the amount of seizures. It helps people with multiple sclerosis to reduce spasticity and relieve pain.”

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New York’s therapeutic cannabis program, also known as the Compassionate Care Act, which started up at the beginning of 2016, did not only come with various restrictions but were only of benefit to those who are almost dead. Even then, the tight regulations that are involved in this disaster have put cannabis products for the most part out of reach for the few patients who meet all requirements to be allowed to obtain medical marijuana. Be that as it may, Manhattan Assemblyman Richard Gottfried, the legislator who was vital in the battle to legalize cannabis for New York, says he will present a few new bills in the following weeks that he trusts will prompt a large-scale development of the project.

A new article in the Village Voice shows that Gottfried’s arrangements to present a bill that will expand the quantity of cannabis cultivators allowed to work over the state from five to some place in the region of 10. The proposition would simplify the permitting process, dodging an elongated endorsement period, by drawing the next selection of pot companies from the original applicants that did not make the starting cut in 2015.

All of Gottfried’s attempts to strengthen the medical cannabis program are particular splits from a full proposal (A07476) that was proposed back in 2015. Gottfried’s plans to introduce his objectives at a time in which he hopes to let lawmakers give selective focus on products that people are actually interested in rather than making people get past a bunch of demands. Gottfried firmly believes that this may be the most efficient way to achieve a couple of wins in the middle of medical cannabis growth since some of the bills proposed will be considered more acceptable and easier to implement as others would cause more of a raucous.

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Patients suffering from deadly diseases in New York do not actually need to wait until January 2016, when the medical marijuana program will launch, to get their hands on useful medicine; Governor Andrew Cuomo signed some pieces of legislation that would allow patients undergoing life-threatening illnesses to have access to medical marijuana before January on Tuesday. The “Emergency Access” legislation was passed months after the medical marijuana community pressured the governor and the state to give dying patients medicine immediately.

A couple of months ago, the New York State legislature approved the bills extremely quickly; the ink barely had time to dry before they were being prepared to reach the governor’s office for an overview/ When the legislation finally landed on Cuomo’s desk late in October, he had ten days to either sign or reject the measures with a ton of pressure following. His decision came in the 11th hour.

“I deeply sympathize with New Yorkers suffering from serious illness and I appreciate that medical marijuana may alleviate their chronic pain and debilitating symptoms,” Cuomo stated. “I am also mindful, however, of the overarching authority, jurisdiction, and oversight of the federal government.”

The governor seemed to have been very pressured into putting the emergency legislation to work. Cuomo was neither a true supporter of the bill nor the medical marijuana program approve by the state legislature in 2014. Not only has he been deemed the primary suspect behind the outcome of the Compassionate Care Act, which gave access to patients only with treacherous conditions, Cuomo did not ever make it clear that he was going to sign the emergency access proposal. Instead, he only said that he was going to give it some thought.

“Our top priority has always been to deliver relief to those in pain,” spokesman for the Cuomo Administration, Rich Azzopardi, said in the summer. “We will review the legislation in the context of implementing the Compassionate Care Act and complying with existing federal statutes.”

A concoction of marijuana laws were passed by Jerry Brown, a Californian Governor, yesterday. This resulted in the government overlooking the entire marijuana industry in California. The new bill specifically takes a shot at the environmental impact of cultivating cannabis, now more than ever because of the drought. Medical marijuana was legalized by the Compassionate Care Act in California almost two decades ago, so growing marijuana has been legal in the state for the farmers who distribute the marijuana to state dispensaries. However, this is not to say that they have had it easy thanks to inconsistent rules and excess law enforcement.

Assembly Bill 243, Assembly Bill 266, and State Bill 643 will result in local licenses for cannabis business and make a new dedicated Bureau of Medical Marijuana Regulation. As a part of it, farmers would then need to report all of their water use and keep tabs of every single source. This is because earlier in the summer, a report proved that Northern California farmers were diverting wild streams. According to brown, these bills are a “new path for responsible marijuana cultivation.”

To add on to the well-known impact of marijuana upon the state and its water supply, the bills also shed light on other natural concerns. For instance, the bill would help keep track of the use of pesticides, chemicals, and waste products. Assembly Bill 243 forces all nine water boards in California to project how much wastewater will be discharged from marijuana farms near public lands. Consumers are also benefitting from this bill. The new marijuana cultivation department will be working with the California Department of Food and Agriculture and the Department of Public Health to make a labeling system and testing process for edible products, compounds, and oils.

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