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Medical Marijuana Requests At An All-Time High

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Postby Aquarian » Thu Apr 16, 2009 6:07 am

Dispensary owners report 50 to 300 percent rise since Obama took office
by Brian Alexander

The number of ailing people turning to medical marijuana to ease their symptoms has spiked this year, say dispensary owners in some of the 13 states where it's legal.

Requests have jumped anywhere from 50 to 300 percent, they say, since President Barack Obama took office and signaled that he won't use federal marijuana laws to override state laws as the Bush administration did. Others say the economic downturn may also be responsible as more people without insurance are seeking alternatives to costly medications.

In the past few months, marijuana co-ops, clubs, businesses and even lawyers who have advocated for looser dope regulations say they've been inundated with requests for information and certifications that permit people to use marijuana for medical purposes.

"I have been flooded with calls," reported Seattle attorney Douglas Hiatt, a long-time marijuana advocate. "It's ‘Where can I find a doctor [to prescribe it]? How can I start a co-op?' You wouldn't believe it."

Under the George W. Bush administration, federal authorities maintained that federal marijuana laws took precedence over state law, even in states that had approved therapeutic cannabis. But Obama indicated during the presidential campaign that he supported the controlled use of marijuana for medical purposes, saying he saw no difference between medical marijuana and other pain-control drugs.

"My attitude is if the science and the doctors suggest that the best palliative care and the way to relieve pain and suffering is medical marijuana, then that's something I'm open to," Obama said in November 2007 at a campaign stop in Audubon, Iowa. "There's no difference between that and morphine when it comes to just giving people relief from pain."

In February, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder pledged to limit Drug Enforcement Administration raids of prescription cannabis dispensaries to those businesses and organizations that break both state as well as federal laws.

"Our focus will be on people, organizations that are growing, cultivating substantial amounts of marijuana and doing so in a way that's inconsistent with federal and state law," he said.

300 percent increase
Hard numbers and state-to-state comparisons are difficult to come by because state laws vary and because some states are still creating their programs; New Mexico expects to license its first legal marijuana producer this month. But the state of Colorado has tracked registered medical marijuana users since implementing its law on June 1, 2001. As of the end of 2008, there were 4,720 applications received, almost all of which had been approved. But as of February 28 of this year, that number stood at 6,796, an increase of 2,076 in just two months.

"I have had a 300 percent rise at my business," reported the owner of Colorado's Boulder County Caregivers, a marijuana dispensary. (She asked not to be named since she also works in local government.)

Her numbers are rising despite obstacles that remain in the path of those seeking access. For example, many doctors are reluctant to authorize their patients to use marijuana either because its efficacy has not been proven in rigorous trials, shown to be superior to other drugs, or because they themselves fear risking their own federal license to prescribe medications like opiate pain killers if they are seen to be defying federal drug law.

"I have legitimate cancer patients who cannot get a doctor to sign," the Boulder dispensary owner said. "Their doctor will say ‘Talk to your oncologist,' and the oncologist will say ‘Talk to your other doctor.' So I see the same doctors' names over and over. Patient records show the same two clinics because so many go there since their own doctors will not do it for fear of federal retribution."

Some organizations leap this hurdle by providing their own doctors.

"I have 12 doctors working with us right now," said Paul Stanford, director of The Hemp and Cannabis Foundation, based in Portland, Ore. THCF has started clinics in eight states, often by bringing along one of its own paid doctors who happens to be licensed in that state.

Stanford claimed his clinics are booming, too, with about 50 percent more calls and patient certifications than before the new administration took office.

In addition to the Obama administration's position on medical marijuana, demographics may also be a co-factor in the overall rise. Many people born after World War II have had at least some exposure to marijuana, and now that the government has indicated it will be more lenient, might be more inclined to turn to the party drug of their youth to ease the maladies of age. Few people under 65, "are truly naïve to cannabis," suggested Dr. Frank Lucido, an Oakland, Calif., physician who has long been a leader in California's medical marijuana community.

Economy may be playing role
Lucido has seen an increase in patients, too, but a slight one, a much smaller bump than he would have expected. It's possible, he speculated, that because so many dispensaries have opened in California, some offering quickie - and often dubious - medical exams to certify patient need, that the total number of medical marijuana consumers has boomed, but that many are avoiding more stringent practitioners like himself.

One final possibility for the increase in numbers is economic. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that at least 45 million Americans under age 65 are now without health insurance.

As the number of medical marijuana outlets expands, and fear of federal drug charges diminishes, some of those people, faced with paying out of pocket for pharmaceutical drugs or for cannabis, "will turn to medicine that is good for a whole bunch of ailments, that you can grow yourself and not spend a tremendous amount of money on," Hiatt said. "That's very appealing to lots of people."

© 2009 msnbc.com

http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2009/04/15-7

It's too bad the Obama Administration has relinquished any possibility of making this herb federally legal. We have these legal drugs being peddled by Big PhRma against the will of kind individuals who sometimes have transformed into neurotic and mesmerizing ones because of their dependency on legal drugs. We hear of these horrible side effects from legal drugs and the most we hear from marijuana is drowsiness, lethargy, and munchies. One of the interest groups who desire for marijuana to remain a schedule 1 substance is the pharmaceutical industry. They don't want the competition, as marijuana is significantly cheaper than many prescription medicines.

Not to mention, legalizing marijuana and letting people grow them in their backyards may help (not fully) stymie the drug wars in Mexico? There's a reason why there is a drug war in Mexico and most of it is the criminilization of drugs, most of it marijuana (tons and tons of it). If it were legal and people grew them in their homes and eventually sold in stores, drug traffickers and their gangs will lose the profit incentive because it would be readily available in the market...Why aren't we thinking of this?
The Few assume to be the deputies, but they are often only the despoilers of the Many.
Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel
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Postby Nesaie » Fri Apr 17, 2009 12:41 am

Dude...don't even get me started...oh wait...let me get more (the dice said) vodka. :D OK, much better now, I will get started. BTW, good to see you :D

We all know what prohibition did for the mob. Today history is once again repeating itself with hemp/pot. The majority of Americans believe that pot should be legal, but since this government is fascist and not a Republic, it is still illegal. Hemp seed have valuable Omega-3 oils, which we don't get enough of...yet...the government is trying to tell me that is wrong? How many lies do I bloody have to listen to???

I have seen too many people in pain from cancer. And I'm beginning to believe that cancer was a government/corporate created disease (still researching, maybe another time we can talk about it in the "conspiricy" forum?). DO NOT DENY CANCER PATIENTS PAIN MEDICATION! Do NOT TRY to take over for what Mother Nature has already provided!

I know people with "green cards". My roommate who died didn't get one because his VA dr kept putting him off (it didn't stop him though ;)). A few months back some local servants raided an indoor medicinal marijuana place...illegally. And they took names. I would caution anyone about any kind of registration with any type of government. It's like the book I Robot, where the robots get confused about the rules and start running in circles (not to be confused with the movie by the same name and nothing in common with the book).

Ah...Aquarian, it is good to see you. :D. This subject is just so personal for me that I have to let it go for a bit...before I start using Germanic English (AKA called vulgar by the Normans) ;)

(And I'm still listening to that hot musician Michael Franti...Dang...he is HOT :P especially his words are HOT)
Such a society would be dominated by an elite, unrestrained by traditional values. Soon it will be possible to assert almost continuous surveillance over every citizen... - Zbigniew Brezhinsky
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Postby Nesaie » Fri Apr 17, 2009 12:53 am

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=29PP20mcyQU

I like this song, maybe you will too? :D
Such a society would be dominated by an elite, unrestrained by traditional values. Soon it will be possible to assert almost continuous surveillance over every citizen... - Zbigniew Brezhinsky
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Postby Aquarian » Fri Apr 17, 2009 7:33 am

I'm glad you're as interested (possibly even more than I) in this subject as I am. I believe that if we have cigarettes, alcohol and other generally harmful substances, then the whole argument that we do not have marijuana available in the market because of its alleged harm is simply null because of the innate hypocrisy in such an argument. Ugh.

Thanks for the Michael Franti songs; he's def. a 9/10.

:D :lol:
The Few assume to be the deputies, but they are often only the despoilers of the Many.
Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel
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Postby Dark-Samus » Sat Apr 18, 2009 3:05 am

I think those who needs marijuana should get it.
Although I don´t think people should just smoke it because they get a kick out of it.
IT´s jsut as harmful towards nature as real smoking.
Talking about smoking.
DESTROY ALL SMOKING INDUSTRIES! :evil:
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Postby Nesaie » Tue Apr 21, 2009 10:31 pm

Dark-Samus wrote: IT´s jsut as harmful towards nature as real smoking.
Talking about smoking.


I assume you're talking about cigarettes, correct? Would that be tobacco raised with or without pesticides (which are made from industrial waste and increased after WWII).

If you are attempting to compare modern day cigarettes with organic canibus, show me the studies. I want the methodology used for the study, I want who funded it, I want when it was done, etc. On what exactly to you base your opinion?

Or...do you have the guts to answer those questions? :P
Such a society would be dominated by an elite, unrestrained by traditional values. Soon it will be possible to assert almost continuous surveillance over every citizen... - Zbigniew Brezhinsky
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Postby Dark-Samus » Wed Apr 22, 2009 12:40 am

I´m talking about smoking in general. :lol: :mrgreen:
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Postby Tairaa » Sun May 03, 2009 2:30 pm

IT´s jsut as harmful towards nature as real smoking.


And how exactly is marijuana smoke bad for the environment?

Firstly there is shear size to consider, if every bit of pot every grown was burned, it probably wouldn't sum up as much CO2 as 2 years forest fires.

Second, the thought that CO2 is bad for the environment is entirely misplaced. It's bad for US, but the plants, and nature in general has no problem with CO2

Now cigarretes may be harmful in the way they are grown and the chemicals in them... But I would also doubt that there would be any substantial amount of pollution, definitely not enough to have an effect on nature.
"George Bush says he speaks to god every day, and christians love him for it. If George Bush said he spoke to god through his hair dryer, they would think he was mad. I fail to see how the addition of a hair dryer makes it any more absurd."
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Postby Dark-Samus » Sun May 03, 2009 11:39 pm

They wouldn´t be harmful in small amounts and yet over almost half the world specially in the west smokes, so I´d say it affects on a significant scale, not to mention the fabrics that makes them...
Plus it affects people around you that does not smoke.
I`ve gotten a eternity long coughing because of people smoking around me :evil:
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Postby Tairaa » Mon May 04, 2009 9:20 am

Small amounts indeed, but what I'm trying to say is 100 metric tonnes of marijuana being burnt wouldn't have a detectable impact on the environment. Naturally grown tobacco wouldn't either.

Like I said, the way they grow Tobacco and the chemicals they add may have an impact, particularly in the growing phase as opposed to the burning, but again it's unlikely.

The only impacts would be on the human side of things. I for one, when I smoke, don't smoke around others for that very reason, it's my choice for me to smoke. It pisses me off to no end to see parents smoking in their house with their children. Seriously, your kids can't make an informed decision about sex, and just as such they should NOT be exposed to harmful smoke, they are too young to say "It's ok", you've got no right to expose them to that.
"George Bush says he speaks to god every day, and christians love him for it. If George Bush said he spoke to god through his hair dryer, they would think he was mad. I fail to see how the addition of a hair dryer makes it any more absurd."
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