Drug may do more harm than good, say critics
VANCOUVER * There is little to no research to support the supposed
benefits of medical cannabis, and what evidence exists suggests that
using marijuana as medicine may do more harm than good, family
doctors' associations across Canada are telling their members.
A trio of advisories prepared by the Alberta College of Family
Physicians has been distributed to more than 32,000 clinicians,
summarizing the scientific literature, or lack thereof, around
"One thing that was quite consistent was adverse events," said Dr.
Mike Allan, a professor of family medicine at the University of
Alberta in Edmonton. "And the benefits, even if they're real, are much
smaller than what people might anticipate."
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Have they opened Pandora's box? Some Deerfield Beach city leaders
worry that's what they might've done by allowing marijuana
dispensaries in the city.
They're now trying to stop medical dispensaries from clustering
citywide by keeping them out of commercial areas that also have homes,
as well as setting rules to stop them from opening next to one another.
Mayor Bill Ganz said he doesn't want the city to become known as the
place to buy pot, even if it's just the medical kind that doesn't get
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Medical marijuana is now available in Maryland. Here's what you need
to know about it.
Medical marijuana is now available in Maryland, more than four years
after the General Assembly passed a law legalizing it.
Standing up the industry -- with growers, processors, dispensaries and
doctors -- took longer than expected. The law needed to be tweaked,
rules needed to be written and legal battles needed to be fought over
who won licenses.
Here's what prospective users need to know about medical marijuana.
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The proliferation of personal yet industrial-scale marijuana farms,
licensed and shielded by health privacy laws, has created a shadow
market in which individual patients are collectively churning out as
much marijuana as some commercial producers - with none of the scrutiny.
Although they operate under the guise of legitimacy, a Globe and Mail
investigation has found that these personal grow-ops are prime
targets for robberies and abuse by organized crime.
As the federal government edges closer to scrapping Canada's
longstanding prohibition against the sale of recreational marijuana,
the country's two-tiered medical marijuanaregime serves as a major
obstacle to one of Ottawa's frequently stated legalization goals: the
elimination of gangsters from a legal marketplace.
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Maryland began the sale of medical marijuana to residents in pain on
Friday, ending years of delays by embarking on a program that features
some of the most liberal policies in the nation on who can qualify for
the prescribed cannabis.
Dozens of people stood outside a licensed dispensary in Montgomery
County, Potomac Holistics, where owners began making sales soon after
receiving their first shipment Friday afternoon.
"You can tell there's a buzz, and we're excited for so many reasons,"
Askinazi said. "We're giving care to people who need it."
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Motacan Compassion Society is exempt from business licence
requirement, operator argues
A medical marijuana dispensary is suing the City of Abbotsford in an
effort to remain open and avoid paying thousands of dollars in tickets.
Motacan Compassion Society, which operates a storefront location in an
alley off Montrose Avenue in downtown Abbotsford, says it is exempt
from bylaws requiring a business licence due to its not-for-profit
In a petition filed last week in B.C. Supreme Court, "principal
operator" David Smith claims Motacan is a registered society that
provides "reasonable access to medical cannabis to members of the
society on a highly subsidized basis."
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Palm Beach County's first medical marijuana dispensary is now open for
At noon Tuesday, Knox Medical opened the center at 1 South Dixie
Highway in Lake Worth, across the street from Lake Worth City Hall.
The dispensary occupies a former bank building in downtown Lake Worth,
and the interior resembles a dentist or doctor's office. Patients
check in at the foyer and then can proceed to a room with glass
display cases showcasing Knox Medical's products.
Knox Medical CEO Jose Javier Hidalgo said the new dispensary will
improve access to medical cannabis for everyone in South Florida.
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The Pennsylvania Department of Health on Wednesday pledged to make
medical marijuana available to patients by May and released a list of
109 approved practitioners statewide.
It also launched the medical marijuana patient and caregiver registry,
with instructions on how those interested can sign up. More than
200,000 patients across the state could qualify for medical marijuana
Pennsylvanians with 17 medical conditions are eligible for medical
marijuana patient ID cards.
Those conditions are Lou Gehrig's disease, autism, cancer, Crohn's
disease, epilepsy, glaucoma, HIV/AIDS, Huntington's disease,
inflammatory bowel disease, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease,
post-traumatic stress disorder, sickle cell anemia, spinal cord
damage, chronic pain, neuropathies and intractable seizures.
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Dr. Sanjay Gupta, neurosurgeon and chief medical correspondent for CNN
is reported to have said, "Every 19 minutes somebody dies of a
prescription drug overdose. It doesn't happen with marijuana." In the
past Gupta was against legalising medical marijuana in the U.S. but
now he is in favour of it. He sees some benefit for certain types of
The use of medical marijuana (medical cannabis) as a medicine has not
been rigorously tested due to several restrictions. But there is some
evidence to suggest cannabis can reduce nausea and vomiting during
chemotherapy, improve appetite in people with HIV/AIDS, and reduce
chronic pain and muscle spasm.
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On medical marijuana, the public is way ahead of officialdom.
Statewide, 71 percent of Florida voters voted in favor of the medical
marijuana amendment last November. In Flagler County, the margin was
the same. In Volusia County, 73 percent voted to approve.
Overwhelming support. Particularly in a state like Florida which is
known sharp political divisions on most issues. Even so, the
Legislature was so reluctant to pass legislation putting the amendment
into effect that nothing was approved during the regular spring session.
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Thirty-eight percent of the 17,591 patients registered in Hawaii's
medical marijuana program were located on the Big Island.
Recently released data by the state Department of Health indicates the
trend of medical marijuana patients in Hawaii is changing.
Thirty-eight percent of the 17,591 patients registered in Hawaii's
medical marijuana program were located on Hawaii Island, according to
the data released Friday. That's down from 40 percent in March and 42
percent in December.
Meanwhile, the percentage of patients hailing from Oahu has jumped
from 25 percent in December to 29 percent last month, a more than
1,300-patient increase. The Big Island's patient count increased by
about 300 people in that same time, the Hawaii Tribune-Herald reported.
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The medical marijuana industry officially has its guidelines with the
passage of a bill out of the Florida Legislature on the last day of a
three-day special session.
The votes were 29-6 in the Senate and 103-9 in the House. The few no
votes were mostly Democrats who wanted fewer restrictions in the bill,
but also a few Republicans who remain against the idea of medical
marijuana on principle.
Gov. Rick Scott said he "absolutely" will sign the bill. That means
big changes for patients, caregivers, doctors and growers, compared
with the far more limited medical marijuana law passed by the
Legislature in 2014, which resulted in seven grower/dispensers in the
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TEMPLE TERRACE -- Dropping a giant joint in favor of the "USS
Maryjane" seemed to smooth the waters for a pro-marijuana entry in
this year's Temple Terrace Fourth of July Parade.
The new float designed by the National Organization for the Reform of
Marijuana Laws featured the flag-festooned ship crewed by some
military veterans and painted with the slogan, "Hemp for Victory."
The theme plays off a World War II film from the Department of
Agriculture that praised the nation's hemp farmers for their work in
creating strong ropes from the stalks of marijuana plants for the
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Walk into a medical marijuana dispensary in New Jersey and the first
thing to hit you is the stink.
Weed's scent is a sour blast that seems to reek of citrus, diesel, and
skunk. At the Garden State Dispensary in Woodbridge, Middlesex County,
charcoal air purifiers -- encased in gleaming steel and larger than
jet engines -- are strategically placed through the facility. It's
hard to say whether their presence tempers the odor, which is
generated by thousands of cannabis plants growing under lights in the
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FRANKFORT, Ky. -- Saying its time has come, state Sen. Morgan McGarvey
on Wednesday called on the legislature to consider legalizing medical
marijuana to relieve pain and suffering of terminally ill people.
"It's 2017," McGarvey, a Louisville Democrat, told members of the
joint House-Senate Health and Welfare Committee. "I think it's time we
had a conversation about medical marijuana without
Members of the committee took no action on legislation McGarvey is
proposing for the 2018 legislative session but no one spoke against
the proposal and some committee members spoke in favor of the measure
that went nowhere in the past two legislative sessions.
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Two Healing Health locations re-open after fire inspections but only
for existing buyers
Two London marijuana dispensaries are back in business after
temporarily closing this month following a visit from a fire
inspector, but neither of the pot shops are taking on new customers.
Healing Health Compassion stopped selling cannabis at its Dundas
Street store for several days - moving its inventory off site - and
closed its Wonderland Road location after a fire inspector visited the
Dundas shop June 4, prompting fears of a crackdown by city officials.
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Dr. Caroline MacCallum wants doctors to know that cannabis "isn't the
taboo medicine" they might think it is. Not only has she used it
successfully to treat more than 50 conditions, she has also seen how
it has helped her patients stop using prescription opioids.
MacCallum, a specialist in complex pain and cannabinoid medicine, is
the medical director at Green Leaf Clinic in Langley, where she
assesses patients for their eligibility for Canada's Access to
Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations program.
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As was widely foreseen, the Liberals' "Legalize marijuana in as
awkward, truculent, and impractical a way as possible" legislation has
created a whole new industry. I don't mean selling weed, of course: we
had that trade before. I'm referring to newspaper columns, op-eds, and
interviews about how crummy this law is. I have about 120 deadlines in
the next 12 months, and I could use this topic for ... 30? Maybe 40?
For now, let me cover just one aspect of legalization: the issue of
roadside testing for marijuana impairment. The law contains provisions
to permit this, and the constitutional angles are being smacked around
like a tetherball. There seems to be a widespread assumption that
because the law permits on-the-spot testing for impairment, such
testing must be a practically possible thing; a solved problem.
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Province has concerns about pot legalization but next moves remain
MANITOBA - Justice Minister Heather Stefanson says she has "lots of
concerns" with the federal government's new legalized marijuana
legislation tabled Thursday, but won't speculate publicly what
Manitoba's next move will be.
"We want to listen to Manitobans and consult on that," she told
The federal government's proposed law, which sets the minimum age to
purchase marijuana at 18, gives provinces some latitude to increase
that age, but Stefanson declined to say whether she believes 18 is too
young to buy marijuana.
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PARTICIPANTS in the annual 4/20 event at the Manitoba Legislative
Building are likely to be in an even more celebratory mood this year
as the federal Liberal government is poised to introduce legislation
to make good on its promise to legalize pot.
The April 20 bash, which extols the consumption of cannabis -
especially the smoking of it - may also have a more political
undertone as local medical marijuana advocates protest a lack of
consultation by the Pallister government before introducing a bill
last week setting out new rules to deal with cannabis when
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