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domenica 18 settembre 2016

Patients may soon be able to use medical marijuana in California hospital

In a first-ever for California, patients at Marin General may soon be allowed to consume medical marijuana in the hospital.
If members of the Marin Healthcare District approve the resolution introduced by Dr. Larry Bedard at Tuesday’s meeting, the hospital’s staff would begin a review process examining the legal and medical implications of using medical pot at the acute-care center.
Patients, however, would not be allowed to smoke the drug, which doctors have been legally prescribing in California since the late 1990s because smoking is banned in the state’s hospitals.
Last month, Bedard told Media News about his plan.
“I want to have Marin General be the first hospital in California to openly and transparently allow patients to use medical cannabis,” said Bedard, a retired emergency medicine physician who used to work at Marin General and is now a member of the district board.
Last year, the pro-marijuana activist group California NORML reported that more than 1,500 physicians in the state had recommended medical marijuana under Prop. 215. The so-called Compassionate Use Act of 1996 effectively legalized the medicinal use of cannabis by seriously ill Californians. A federal court decision later established that California physicians who follow certain guidelines in recommending or approving the medical use of marijuana are immune from sanction or criminal prosecution.
Under the law, physicians are free to recommend marijuana for their patients, so long as they don’t actually assist them in obtaining it.
Bedard is no stranger to the often controversial subject of medical marijuana. He helped author the rebuttal to the argument against Proposition 64, an initiative appearing on the Nov. 8 ballot that would legalize the recreational use of marijuana. If voters pass the measure, California would join a handful of states and cities that already allow the practice, including Alaska, Colorado, Oregon and Washington, as well as Portland and South Portland, Maine, and Keego Harbor, Michigan.
Proposition 64 would make the recreational use of marijuana legal for adults age 21 and older in California; adults would be allowed to grow small amounts at home for personal use. The initiative would limit the sale of non-medical marijuana to be regulated as licensed businesses that only adults 21 and older would be permitted to enter.
Bedard said he is passionate about legalizing marijuana because he believes people of color are suffering disproportionately under existing law.
“Four times as many blacks and Latinos get arrested as whites with virtually the same use rates,” Bedard said. “If you want to reform the justice system, this is by far the easiest and most effective way.”
He also believes that adults should be able to choose whether they want to use cannabis or alcohol, which he considers to be far more harmful.
“As an emergency physician, I know that marijuana is safer than alcohol,” Bedard told Media News.
Bedard served on a California Medical Association task force on marijuana that led to the association recommending the legalization of cannabis.
Last month, after Bedard had sent his resolution to the administrators at Marin General, along with his fellow board members and other interested parties, the reaction was mixed.
“I think it is a fantastic idea,” said Frederick Mayer, a retired Marin pharmacist who heads Pharmacists Planning Services Inc., a nonprofit pharmacy education organization.
Mayer said hospitals in Israel have pioneered the use of cannabis for palliative care. He said in some cases marijuana can be substituted for the more dangerous narcotics used for pain management, which are leading increasingly to addiction problems.
Others, though, are more cautious, a reflection of the public’s mixed feeling about legalizing all uses of pot. District board member Jennifer Rienks said last month that she still has “a lot of questions” about Bedard’s proposal.
“At this point, I really need to hear more about it,” Rienks said.
In his resolution, Bedard acknowledges that Marin General administrators are “concerned that the federal government could/would retaliate by lifting the hospital’s Medicare provider number and the state could withhold Medi-Cal funding.”
But he says such fears are overblown since a federal budget amendment authored by California Reps. Dana Rohrabacher, a Republican and Democrat Sam Farr prevents the government from using federal funds to penalize patients, physicians and hospitals that are complying with state law.

Patients may soon be able to use medical marijuana in California hospital

mercoledì 14 settembre 2016

Degrado e droghe per strada. Cosi' in tutte le citta'. Come farsi meno male

Comunicato di Vincenzo Donvito
5 settembre 2016 14:43

 Non passa giorno che sulle cronache locali -e non- di tutti i media, si parli del degrado urbano, quasi sempre associato allo spaccio di droghe illegali. Immagini di persone che bivaccano, meglio se con una qualche bottiglia in mano e una sigaretta che possa essere scambiata per spinello, e seduti nei luoghi piu' significativi della citta', chiese e piazze storiche, giardini frequentati anche di giorno da bambini, etc. Immagini su cui talvolta i media provvedono ad oscurare i volti delle persone, ma non se queste sono manifestamente con la pelle non-bianca: dando cosi' il loro contributo al discutibile legame, tipico di chi ragiona con la pancia invece che con la testa, tra non-bianco e spacciatore di droga, e quindi responsabile del degrado.
Lasciando ad ogni media la propria responsabilita' nell'alimentare disordine pubblico, cio' che ci preme sottolineare e' che il metodo per cercare di farsi meno male e' a portata di mano, ma sembra che il nostro legislatore non sia interessato. Stiamo parlando della legalizzazione delle droghe, cioe' il controllo del mercato da parte dello Stato per un prodotto che oggi -pur se illegale- e' capillarmente diffuso e consumato si' da rendere libero il suo mercato: le forze dell'ordine non ce la fanno a seguire il ritmo dello spaccio per strada e, nonostante gli ingenti sequestri che vengono operati ogni giorno, la presenza e l'offerta di queste sostanze e' sempre maggiore, soprattutto per strada. Le proposte di legge in Parlamento ci sono, ma sono al momento bloccate nonostante si sia manifestato un ampio schieramento trasversale che le sostiene. In prospettiva si vede solo il buio. E lo spinello, che e' consumato da quasi tutti i giovani e non solo, continua ad essere venduto clandestinamente per strada da spacciatori che -in virtu' di un potenziale loro maggiore guadagno- non esitano a proporre anche l'acquisto di sostanze piu' pericolose e che creano facilmente dipendenza, come eroina, cocaina o metamfetamine varie.
Al momento, nonostante le positive esperienze in merito registrate in diversi Stati europei e degli Usa e delle Americhe, la legalizzazione e' una chimera. E il risultato sono queste immagini e queste quotidianita' di cui dicevamo prima. Certamente il problema non sara' risolto, ma sicuramente sara' contenuto ed arginato, con meno spacciatori e meno clienti per le strade.
Ci viene spontanea una domanda che rivolgiamo ai media, soprattutto locali, che sono giustamente preoccupati del degrado delle citta' per le quali si impegnano a svolgere un servizio di informazione: tante volte avete fatto campagne nell'interesse dei cittadini, promosso petizioni, sostenuto progetti di legge... perche' in questo caso vi limitate solo ad indicare coi volti scoperti non-bianchi i presunti colpevoli e non vi fate partigiani di una politica di riduzione del danno, sulle droghe e sulle nostre citta'?
Degrado e droghe per strada. Cosi' in tutte le citta'. Come farsi meno male

lunedì 12 settembre 2016

ITALIA - Cannabis terapeutica. Caso Pellegrini. Civati: ministro Orlando si lava le mani

"Avevamo chiesto al ministro Orlando di intervenire sul caso Pellegrini promuovendo una riforma del Codice penale che consentisse alle persone affette da patologie che necessitano di cure palliative, come quelle che richiedono l'uso della cannabis e dei suoi derivati, di non dover incorrere in denunce e pene detentive. Pellegrini, lo ricordiamo, affetto da fibromialgia, si trova ora agli arresti domiciliari dopo essere stato in carcere per molti giorni, nonostante le sue condizioni di salute". Lo dichiarano in una nota i deputati di Possibile, Pippo Civati e Andrea Maestri, che aggiungono: "La risposta del ministro Orlando alle nostre richieste si e' dimostrata ancora una volta pilatesca: mentre il Governo non esita a invadere il campo riservato al Parlamento con decreti-legge, leggi delega in bianco e voti di fiducia sui temi piu' vari, sull'autoproduzione e la detenzione di cannabis per uso terapeutico, ancora sanzionato penalmente nel nostro paese, il ministro della Giustizia si limita a ricordare la giurisprudenza piu' favorevole (ci pensi la Magistratura) e a rimettersi alle forze politiche che hanno assunto l'iniziativa parlamentare (ci pensi il Parlamento)". "Una questione- concludono Civati e Maestri- che dovrebbe spingere tutti a riflessioni e azioni di buon senso e' lasciata ancora una volta da questo Governo nell'ambiguita', senza coraggio e nell'ignoranza totale delle leggi e delle procedure". 

ITALIA - Cannabis terapeutica. Caso Pellegrini. Civati: ministro Orlando si lava le mani

domenica 4 settembre 2016

Peter Thiel-backed Marley Natural Enters Cannabis Distribution Game

By Chris Roberts on August 26, 2016@cbloggy


One of the first state-approved cannabis distributors in California will carry the red, gold, and green flag.

Marley Natural — the venture capital-backed cannabis brand licensed by the heirs of reggae legend Bob Marley — received approval to open a cannabis processing and distribution center in Santa Rosa this week.

California’s Medical Marijuana Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act requires all cannabis products to pass through a state-licensed distribution center before reaching retail shelves. On Tuesday, city officials in the Sonoma County city gave the green light to Marley Natural to open a “processing, manufacturing, and distribution center” in a business park, according to the Santa Rosa Press Democrat.

With its easy access to cannabis-producing regions via US-101 and its proximity to population centers in the Bay Area, Santa Rosa is an ideal center for cannabis commerce. At least, city officials hope so.

Marley Natural is the first cannabis business to receive city approval under interim zoning rules meant to encourage marijuana businesses. Other major cannabis brands, including Cannacraft’s Care By Design and AbsoluteXtracts, also do business in the city — despite a June raid by local law enforcement on its property.

Marley Natural’s move represents a push to control several stages of the supply chain.



Various strains of cannabis and other cannabis- and hemp-derived products under the Marley Natural label went on sale in California in April. The brand launched in Oregon earlier this week, and there are plans to expand to Washington.

The company licenses existing growers to produce outdoor cannabis under the Marley Natural label.

Privateer Holdings, the cannabis venture capital fund launched following a $75 million investment from Peter Thiel‘s Founders Fund, is based in Seattle. In addition to investing in Marley Natural, Privateer has also sunk capital into cannabis information website Leafly.

For now, Santa Rosa is the planned headquarters of its California operations. The company plans to employ up to 40 people there, the newspaper reported, and obtain state license as soon as they become available in 2018.

Have you tried the Marley Natural strains? Tell us about your experience.
Chris Roberts has written about medical cannabis, drug policy, and legalization ever since spending a few months in Humboldt County in 2009, with bylines for the San Francisco Chronicle, San Francisco Examiner, and SF Weekly. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram @cbloggy.


Peter Thiel-backed Marley Natural Enters Cannabis Distribution Game