South Africa Considers Allowing Medical Marijuana After Emotional Plea

The South African government has promised to investigate the issue of medical marijuana after a Member of Parliament made a heartfelt plea last week.

Medical Cannabis Growing Operation in Oakland,...

Mario Oriani-Ambrosini, an Inkatha Freedom Party Member of Parliament
and lung cancer survivor, told fellow politicians during a debate last
Wednesday that he would not be alive if not for his use of alternative
cancer treatments, including cannabis.

“I was supposed to die many months ago and I am here because I had
the courage of taking illegal treatments in Italy in the form of
bicarbonate of sodium and here in South Africa in the form of cannabis,
marijuana or dagga,” he said.

“Otherwise, I would be pumped with morphine and I would not be able to speak to you, Mr President.”

Oriani-Ambrosini asked his colleagues to consider a bill that he had written, which would legalize cannabis for medical and industrial purposes.

“What this paperwork stands for is the proposition that there is no rational argument for continuing to deprive medical marijuana to people like me who need it,” Oriani-Ambrosini continued. “It is a crime against humanity.”

Read more via South Africa Considers Allowing Medical Marijuana After Emotional Plea – Leaf Science.

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The Drug War’s Profit Motive – Radley Balko

Terrific reporting here from the Capitol Report, a small publication that covers politics and policy in Minnesota.

Minnesota state Rep. Carly Melin is trying to introduce legislation to legalize medical marijuana in the state, but she’s bumping up against some aggressive opposition from the state’s police agencies and law enforcement organizations, who have united behind a group called the Minnesota Law Enforcement Coalition.

Medical marijuana Acapulco gold

It may at first seem odd that police groups would so vigorously oppose medical pot. These aren’t medical organizations. They have no clear stake in the debate over the drug’s potential therapeutic benefits. According to the article, the police groups say they’re concerned about public safety, but we’ve been living with medical pot for nearly 20 years now, and there’s no empirical data to support the contention that legal medical marijuana brings an increase in crime. If you’re a fan of public choice theory, you might argue that narcotics cops may oppose any move toward legalization because a decrease in the demand for and supply of illegal pot might mean a decrease in need for narcotics cops to police it. And of course there will always be a supply of and trade in other illicit drugs to keep them busy.

Read more via Washington Post The drug war’s profit motive.

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Epilepsy Foundation Calls For Legal Access To Medical Marijuana

The Epilepsy Foundation of America is calling for an end to federal
restrictions on medical marijuana, in light of its potential benefits
for treating uncontrolled epilepsy.

On Thursday, the foundation released a statement pushing for legal access to medical marijuana nationwide.

“If a patient and their doctor feel that marijuana is their best treatment option then they need to have safe, legal access to medical marijuana and they need that access now.”

English: Medical marijuana neon sign at a disp...

The statement, written by Epilepsy Foundation CEO Philip M. Gattone and Chair Warren Lammert, notes that clinical trials have already begun on a marijuana-derived chemical called cannabidiol (CBD).

But federal restrictions make studying the chemical unnecessarily difficult, the statement continues. And while Lammert’s daughter is lucky enough to be one of the children enrolled in these trials, many others must wait for final FDA approval.

Some families have uprooted their lives to obtain CBD oil through Colorado’s medical marijuana program.

More than 100 families of epileptic children have relocated to the state since CNN aired the story of a young girl with Dravet syndrome last summer. Families have come not only from other states, but Canada as well.

Read more via Epilepsy Foundation Calls For Legal Access To Medical Marijuana – Leaf Science.

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Florida Set To Legalize Medical Marijuana This Fall

A strongly-backed amendment that would legalize medical marijuana in Florida will appear before voters in November.

On Monday, the Florida Supreme Court approved the wording of the amendment to appear on the ballot during this year’s midterm elections, reports The Orlando Sentinel.

English: Medical marijuana neon sign at a disp...

A Quinnipiac University Poll
released late last year suggests 82% of state voters support the
amendment. 60% support is required for the amendment to be adopted.

The amendment also has the backing of former Gov. Charlie Crist, who released a statement following Monday’s news.

“This is an issue of compassion, trusting doctors, and trusting the people of Florida. I will vote for it.” Crist is also running for state governor this fall.

The state Court decision, a slim 4-3 majority, marks the final hurdle in getting the amendment before voters.On Friday, organizers of the United for Care campaign confirmed they had gathered more than the required 683,000 voter signatures.Personal injury lawyer John Morgan has spent about $4 million to fund the campaign, reports The Associated Press.

The lawyer says his conviction is personal. “I got to see it first hand. My father was terminally ill. This guy was very anti-drug. But he was in pain, he had anxiety, he had no appetite. My brother suggested it to him and it was miraculous. I don’t know why medical marijuana works, I just know it does.”

Read more via Florida Set To Legalize Medical Marijuana This Fall – Leaf Science.

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Pete Carroll, Seattle Seahawks coach, says NFL should consider medicinal marijuana to treat injured players

JERSEY CITY, N.J. — Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll agrees with the notion that the NFL should look into medicinal marijuana as a means of taking the best possible care of its players.

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While not explicitly coming out in favor of it, Carroll answered a question about NFL commissioner Roger Goodell’s recent comments on the topic by making it clear he thinks it’s an avenue worth pursuing.

“I would say that we have to explore and find ways to make our game a better game and take care of our players in whatever way possible,” Carroll said at a news conference Monday following his team’s first practice of Super Bowl week. “Regardless of what other stigmas might be involved, we have to do this because the world of medicine is doing this.”

Medicinal marijuana is legal in 20 states and the District of Columbia. Washington is one of those states. Colorado and Washington recently legalized marijuana for recreational use.

That this season’s AFC Championship Game was played in Denver brought the issue to the forefront of the NFL news cycle, and Goodell said last week that the league could look into allowing medical marijuana if science showed it could be used to treat concussions

Read more via Pete Carroll, Seattle Seahawks coach, says NFL should consider medicinal marijuana to treat injured players – ESPN.

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