Posts Tagged ‘medical marijuana dispensary’

Michigan Attorney General Goes After Medical Marijuana Law

Bill-Schuette1.jpeg
Photo: Voice of Detroit
Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette hates medical marijuana,
and he thinks you’re faking to get it.

​Michigan’s attorney general has been busily trying to dismantle the state’s medical marijuana law ever since it was passed by voters. Attorney General Bill Schuette announced legislative proposals on Wednesday targeting patients he claims are “exploiting” the law.

Schuette is not a fan of the law, passed by an overwhelming 63 percent of Michigan voters in 2008. In the sort of political gymnastics also favored by Republican attorneys  general in other states (examples: Rob McKenna of Washington state and Tom Horne of Arizona), Schuette claims to be a “states’ rights conservative” — unless the “state’s right” we’re talking about is a medical marijuana law.
In that case, the rules are different, and in Schuette’s mind, it’s open season on medical marijuana patients, because, in a brief he filed back in June in support of the City of Livonia — which is trying to ban medical marijuana use and sales — the attorney general claims the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act is preempted by federal law.

Oddly, Michigan law somehow trumps federal law with Schuette if it’s affirmative action we’re talking about. Apparently different rules apply when it comes to protecting the privileges of white people (after all, he is a Republican), as pointed out by Christine at Blogging for Michigan.
Schuette, of course, claims his proposed crackdown on, and evisceration of, Michigan’s medical marijuana law is to target “criminals who take advantage of the law.”
The attorney general announced his nefarious plans at an 11 a.m. news conference Wednesday in Lansing.
“The law has been hijacked by pot profiteers who threaten public safety on the roads and in our communities,” Schuette said, giving a free, handy demonstration of “how to ignore a majority of the voters.”
At the announcement to unveil the legislative proposals targeting patients, Schuette was joined by an assemblage of assholes including Senator Rick Jones (R-Grand Lodge), Representative John Walsh (R-Livonia), Dr. Steven E. Newman of the Michigan State Medical Society, Lt. Col. Gary Gorski of the Michigan State Police, Cass County Prosecutor Victor Fitz, Saginaw County Prosecutor Michael Thomas, Eaton County Sheriff Mike Raines, Clinton County Sheriff Wayne Kangas, and Berrien Springs Oronoko Township Police Chief Milton Agay.
Toke of the Town was unable to confirm a breaking rumor at press time that the group had decided to call itself the “Low-IQ All-Stars.”
Schuette tried to paint marijuana as causing a vast number of highway traffic accidents in Michigan, citing some bogus statistics from (surprise!) the Michigan State Police (obviously protecting their job security, not the public) which supposedly show the “marijuana-related fatalities remain the most common drug-related automobile fatality, and that such fatalities are on the rise in Michigan.”
“Driving with marijuana in your system is unsafe and jeopardizes the safety of our roadways,” Schuette said. “If you take drugs, don’t take the wheel.”
Schuette also proposed “legislative reforms” (read: gutting the law) to give prosecutors and law enforcement “the tools they need to crack down on criminals who exploit the loopholes of the MMMA.” (Translation: “Please make it easier for us to bust and harass legitimate patients and providers.”)
The pot-crazed attorney general proposed the creation of new crimes to crack down on the medical marijuana certification system:
• Make it a felony for physicians to knowingly falsely certify a debilitating medical condition for patients seeking to use medical marijuana
• Make it a felony to knowingly submit false information on an application for a patient or caregiver card
• Make it a felony to knowingly alter a patient or caregiver card
• Make it a felony to knowingly possess another person’s card or to transfer or allow a person to use another person’s card
• Prohibit felons from being caregivers (currently only those convicted of drug-related felonies are prohibited); and
• Make it a misdemeanor for a patient or caregiver to fail to report a lost or stolen card within seven days.
In addition, Schuette proposed legislation to address what he claimed were “several loopholes” in the law, including measures to “strengthen the hand of law enforcement” (WTF?) “limit criminal access to medical marijuana,” and empower local communities to regulate (translate: ban) medical marijuana facilities.
Schuette said he expects the bills to be introduced and considered by the Legislature this fall.

5 Tips For Choosing A Medical Marijuana Dispensary

DSCF1226 sized for toke.jpg
Photo: Steve Elliott ~alapoet~
The “medicine wheel” at Ben Reagan’s dispensary, The C.P.C., is used to demonstrate for patients the continuum between saliva and indica varieties of medicinal cannabis.

Co-Founder, The C.P.C.

Choosing alternative medicine such as medical cannabis is a big decision, and one you probably took a long time to make.  Now that you’re here, and whether or not you were previously a cannabis user, there are a few things you should know about dispensaries (also known as collectives) to ensure that you get the quality of life improvement and medical benefits you’re looking for.
Here are five tips to help get you started on your new journey.

1.  Store nearest you. 
Some cities like Seattle are one of the most progressive, medical cannabis-friendly cities in the Unites States, having recently gone from 10 to approximately 51 known, licensed dispensaries in a very short time.
If you live in one of the other medical-cannabis friendly cities such as Denver, chances are there is a collective within 10 minutes of you, and a large majority of them have delivery services. Or if you’re really lucky, in California in cities such as San Francisco and Los Angeles, dispensaries are practically more common than Starbucks.
Of course, continuing legislative flux can have an impact in your state, such as Arizona, where confusing laws have slowed down the approval process for new dispensaries, and unfortunately the attorney general is jockeying to close them down.
Either way, do some research, you have lots of choices ─ some of our favorite resources include WeedmapsPotlocatorTHC List, and CannabisNW.
2. The Experience.
For all of us it’s the “experience” that counts, and with dispensaries this is even more so.
For starters, think about the type of experience you’re seeking. Some collectives taking form in Washington are prone to the California model with heavy security doors, bullet-proof glass and large display jars.
Other dispensaries have lounge areas that, while they remain smoke free, offer a comfortable setting to review medicines, new products, and treatment plans.
Some focus on a groundwork/community model like the Farmers Markets in Seattle and Tacoma, where you can experience a large number of vendors offering more of a “home grown” experience in a market setting.
jeremy and ben (cpc).jpg
Photo: Steve Elliott ~alapoet~
Jeremy Kaufman, left, and Ben Reagan at The C.P.C. dispensary in Seattle’s Georgetown neighborhood
​Some, like The CPC, the Seattle dispensary I co-founded with my partner Jeremy Kaufman, have opted for a more personal, one-on-one experience that works on educating the customer so as a team, patient and dispensary can customize the medicine and treatment plan for specific conditions.
The CPC caters to folks that have serious pain management issues, sports injuries, back and neck pain, etc., so we’ve set it up more like a doctor’s office with first time consults lasting anywhere from 20-30 minutes at a time.
Folks should also consider the feel of the place, pricing, and even the level of community help. Do they give back?  Are they involved in the policy and regulation fight in their own city or state?
Finally, when you walk into your collective remember you are the one paying for the surroundings. You’re the one deciding what model you like with your collective buying power!
Bottom line, when you walk into a dispensary it should not look and feel like a place where “stoners” hang out.
For a great resource to see what other folks are experiencing and chatting about check out the forum at LegalMarijuanaDispensary.com.
3. Knowledge. 
Do you leave your collective feeling like you do when you leave your doctor’s office?
Are the folks running it more informed than you, and equipped with the knowledge that will enable you to deal with the ailments and illnesses that are impacting your quality of life? Does the dispensary encourage you to ask questions?
When you leave your chosen place do you feel enriched by what you got from there?
You can tell how much interest they have in sharing knowledge by the environment they created for you.
Getting educated about the benefits for your particular condition will make a big difference in the impact this medicine has for you.  For example, when some people start to use medical cannabis, the unwanted experiences (paranoia, feeling uncomfortable, impaired) can easily be averted with a little consultation, knowledge and empathy for the patient.
The good news is that customized medicine can be created, for example in the case of a car accident the patient may suffer from back pain which is muscle-related, and whiplash which is nerve-related.  Blends are created to provide patient with “functionality” during the day and for pain management and sleep at night.
Find a dispensary with knowledgeable folks running the place, and your treatment plan, experience and quality of life will reflect that.
4. Quality of Medicine. 
There are myriads of things that take place during growing of the plant that have a big impact on the quality of medicine.  For example, the potency level (of THC-CBD-THCA); proper flushing (getting all the excess fertilizers out), and finally, curing and manicuring (the look and quality of the medicine).
Many collectives spend a good amount of time with their providers, learning and understanding his methods for growing effective medicine. Many here in the Seattle area have a natural approach and prefer organically grown medicine.
You can always ask about where it comes from and how it was grown.
DSCF1236 sized for toke.jpg
Photo: Steve Elliott ~alapoet~
Medicated caramels and a choice bud of “UW Med” strain medical cannabis from The C.P.C. in Seattle
​Moving on from the plant, most new patients don’t realize that edible cannabis medicine, also called medibles, are now a high-quality, highly effective alternative, and can be engineered to fight specific and highly targeted ailments and symptoms
Some medibles (candy, caramels, peanut butter cups, cookies, chocolates) can have a longer duration then combusting. Low tolerance folks will find they only need half a gram or less of cannabis to have an effect
Also, anything that melts in your mouth such as chocolate or caramels will have a sublingual effect allowing you to control how much of an immediate effect you receive.  Naturally, taking smaller bites will have the edible in your mouth longer and will give you a bigger initial brain effect.
For chronic pain management indica strains are used to produce a relaxed, heavy body effect.  And for nerve-related issues such as fibromyalgia, whiplash, sciatica, sativa strains are used to produce a body-based, clear-headed effect.
Additionally, sublinguals such as tinctures and candies are used when fast-acting relief is required, for example onset of a migraine headache. Topicals, such as creamswaxes and ointments reduce inflammation, pain, and ache, and do not produce a body or head “effect.”
Of course, inhalants remain the fastest way to get medicine into the system, and if you’re not familiar, many folks are opting for vaporizing which eliminates the need to combust.
Make sure to always ask if your dispensary offers products that are guaranteed for consistency, equitable strength, efficacy, etc.?
Net-net, pass on dispensaries that do not guarantee their products, or may simply stock their shelves so you have something to buy – beware the fake chocolate almond bar!
5. Commitment to the Community.
 
We mentioned earlier the need to evaluate your dispensary on its commitment to community. This industry is filled with passionate people, many who spend a good amount of time working hard to support the community.
For example, consider this Denver dispensary and its food drive to support the homeless, or this California dispensary that supported a local beach clean-up.
Part of having a Commitment to the Community is providing a positive face to what we do.
Does the place you go to follow common sense simple things, like signage that says “no medicating on site”, discretion in the signage, or is it located where children may be walking by on their way back and forth to school?
Ask the dispensary questions about their commitment to their community.
And be sure to mention what you think they can do better. As we all know, community works better with feedback!
Ben Reagan_The CPC_ Headshot 72dpi.jpg
Photo courtesy Ben Reagan
Ben Reagan, co-founder, The C.P.C.
About the Author

Ben Reagan, co founder of The C.P.C, was inspired to join the industry after seeing the benefits of medical cannabis first-hand with a very close family member.
Ben brings a deep intelligence, vision, and dedication to his craft, and has an insatiable desire to seek out what’s new in the industry.
The C.P.C was co-founded as a means to assist those in our community who are seeking out alternative medicines and treatments under Chapter 69.51A RCW in the state of Washington.

Boulder Boots 1/3 MMJ Collectives…”High Standards”

Boulder Co city officials have rejected more than 1/3 of the applications from people seeking to run medical marijuana dispensaries or growing operations in the city, slowing the pace of what once was seen as a Wild West-style rush for riches.

Ten months after the initial 119 business-license applications were turned in by Boulder’s November deadline — set when the City Council last year approved sweeping new regulations for the budding industry — 40 medical marijuana companies have licenses to operate.

So far, 41 of those 119 applications, from existing businesses that had opened prior to adoption of the new rules, have been rejected for reasons that include zoning problems, incomplete paperwork and — in about half of the cases — the sometimes extensive criminal records of owners, operators and investors.

City officials say the vast majority of the 38 applications that remain in their queue have passed their initial background checks and are well on their way to being awarded business licenses.

As for those medical marijuana business owners who have been denied licenses, some have closed shop or moved to cities with less stringent rules. Some fired or bought out employees and partners with problematic pasts.

And many others are appealing the city’s decisions — a tactic that allows them to stay open and keep their fingers in Boulder’s multimillion-dollar marijuana industry while they plot their next steps.

(Source)

Legalize Marijuana to Decrease Usage

Legalize it!by Jeremiah Vandermeer – Wednesday, August 3 2011

The latest stats show the number of Americans who use marijuana has gone up since last year. If the government really wanted to reduce marijuana use, they would legalize it.

The AFP reports:

SAMHSA also looked at Americans’ marijuana use and found that numbers using pot in the past month were up for the two years covered by the report: 6.4 percent of Americans aged 12 and older said they had used marijuana in the past month compared to six percent in 2007-2008.

In the 12- to 17-year age group, marijuana use fell, but seven percent of US teens still use cannabis, the report said.
The 10 states that saw the highest use of marijuana were Alaska, Colorado, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Oregon, Rhode Island, and Vermont.

Medical marijuana is legal in all of those states except for Massachusetts and New Hampshire.

Perceptions of the dangers associated with marijuana use were lowest in the 10 states where the drug was used the most, according to the study.

Drug Warriors love to shout in booming voices that if we legalized marijuana, stoners would begin coming out of the woodwork and cause an epidemic of bong-rips and bloodshot eyes. Scientists completely disagree, and say that marijuana law reform does not lead to an increase in usage.

In fact, they say just the opposite. Evidence from countries like Portugal and the Netherlands shows that liberalizing drug laws actually leads to a decrease in usage. Put that in your pipe and smoke it, Drug Warriors.

Don’t believe me? Listen to The Young Turks:

What a Marijuana Judge Looks For When Reviewing A Strain

by Matt Mernagh – Monday, July 11 2011

On Tuesday, July 12 I will reach a marijuana review milestone. Having pen & published 150 marijuana reviews. That includes marijuana photo galleries too. The last two reviews published, Cindy Bubbles and DJ Short’s Blueberry were donation from cannabis growers I know. From their personal head stash. Review 150 is another personal grower donation. Their samples were awesome. l am developing an excellent nug network of people who want to show off their efforts. Always looking for more. You can send your product to be reviewed to 1161 St. Clair Ave West, Toronto, ON, M6E 1B2.
I always write my reviews under the influence of the marijuana being reviewed. Usually rocking out on Blip to get the beat of my words down. If I had it together I would return to my original career as a music critic and do cannabis and album reviews. Rock out to a album to be reviewed while vaporizing marijuana also being reviewed. My influence is to take a music critic approach to my weed reviews. With a bit of food critic thrown in. Note, the music critic is sent everything. Developing a pallet takes time. Publicists pester professional critics (not food ones), offer dinners, passes and the like to curry favor. If weed arrived around here at the pace music, movies and other culture sent to alt-weeklies like NOW I’d have to hire a staff.
It’s more difficult to be critical with weed because it’s generally all very, very, good. The people handing me buds are proud of their homegrown grass. They want to show someone who will appreciate it by photographing and blogging their senses. In other words I’m getting cream.
Rarely am I afforded an opportunity to review the same strain twice. I’ve had a few strains several times now. Especially my favorite Jean Guy. I can even identify her.
Then exactly what are we judging? The grower, the genetics or the bud. Or combination of all three. I believe all of the above. Some weed is well grown, but doesn’t do diddly for my health condition or have a solid marijuana high. Then there’s weed that works for me and isn’t well grown. Flush your plants! Breeders do produce strains that do just suck Cartman’s balls.
Marijuana grown by two different people will produce different results. Based on skill level, nutrients and soil. Presuming both received equal genetics. One growers seed maybe fresh and vibrant while another receives old tired beans.
A goal we have is to hold a grower competition involving the same strain. Everyone picks up their clone on the same day and returns 90 later with finished result. With the clone producer not allowed to compete as they grew the mother plant.

MPP Wants 27 Medical Marijuana States By 2014

Our recent victory in Delaware brought the count of medical marijuana states up to 16.

Today, I’m happy to report that we’re also making incredible progress in other states and — with your support — we will remain on track to reach our goal of making medical marijuana legal in 27 states by 2014.

– We’re raising money to place a pair of medical marijuana initiatives on the November 2012 ballots in Arkansas and Idaho.  The Arkansas signature drive has already started, and the Idaho drive will hopefully start in September.

– We’re now just a couple votes short of passing our bill in New York state, and the governor has recently improved his position. We’re ready to re-start our lobbying campaign in Albany as soon as we raise the money.

– In Illinois, our bill fell just three votes short in the state House. We’re now actively organizing to pick up those three votes, and we already have the support of the governor.

– Here in the District of Columbia, the city government will soon be accepting applications from business entrepreneurs who wish to grow and dispense medical marijuana. We’re now so close to having five dispensaries in our nation’s capital!

– In Maryland, the governor just launched a commission to formulate a medical marijuana bill that will be acceptable to key legislators and other powerbrokers, and one of MPP’s staff attorneys has been appointed to that commission.

I’m going to be blunt: MPP will be incurring $100,000 in monthly expenses to keep this “27 states by 2014” strategy on track. But it will be worth every penny.

Just to put this into perspective … if you and 970 other friends each donate between $5/month and $2,000/month on your credit cards, we’ll reach the goal of generating $100,000/month for the “27 states by 2014” campaign.

Changing laws isn’t easy, but that’s why we’re here. Please start (or increase) your monthly credit card donation today to help make the “27 states by 2014” plan a reality.

 

Rob Kampia thumbnail (master)Rob Kampia
Executive Director
Marijuana Policy Project
Washington, D.C.

Marijuana Growers’ Kids In Better Health According To Canadian Study

Canada grow roomBy Steve Elliott of Toke of the Town

A new study from Canada flies in the face of stereotypes regarding the offspring of marijuana-growing parents. Children from homes where cannabis is grown were healthy and drug-free, according to the study — in fact, healthier than other children — leading to questions about why such kids are often removed from their homes.

The research from the Motherisk Program at Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children indicates the automatic removal of kids from marijuana-growing parents can be worse for the children than allowing them to stay at home, according to Gideon Koren, a University of Toronto professor and the program’s director, reports CBC News.

“After examining 75 of the kids over several years, we came to very clear conclusions that a vast majority of these kids are doing well,” Koren said. “Well fed, well kept, doing well in school and developing well.”

“In fact, the health problems found in this population were actually fewer than those in the general Canadian population,” according to a news release from the Hospital for Sick Children.

Children often enjoyed the lifestyle benefits of having high-income parents — even though that income is made illegally — and taking them away often “does a lot of damage,” Koren said.

“Taking a small child from his or her parents in a well-adapted environment causes fear, anxiety, confusion and sadness — everything that comes from separation,” he said.

When children are found in homes identified as marijuana-growing operations, they are usually removed, separating them from their parents and often placing them into foster care.

The Hospital for Sick Children examined 75 kids between 2006 and 2010 from Ontario’s York Region, just north of Toronto.

canada marijuanaSince 2006, child-welfare workers have learned more about the effects marijuana grow-ops have on children and have changed how they maintain the children’s safety, according to Patrick Lake, executive director of the York Region Children’s Aid Society.

“We have developed a more customize and comprehensive process to determine best response, on a case-by-case basis, while looking for ways to safely maintain children with their parents or relatives,” Lake said.

This was the first study done on the topic, and the findings mean authorities will now see these children differently, according to Koren.

“When police and children’s aid go into that situation, they have to look much more carefully on what happened to that child, and now blanket-wise moving kids out of their homes,” he said.

Article From Toke of the Town and republished with special permission.

%d bloggers like this: