Because we are going to slow down on producing our potcast on youtube, we will instead be providing written content about marijuana-related news and research. This will be posted most Fridays on our blog on NaturesWayMedicine.com.
The House passed the Marijuana Opportunity, Reinvestment and Expungement (MORE) Act but it was amended with rules that go against equality and justice for all. The new language requires that people get a federal permit to open a cannabis “enterprise.” The cost of this permit is not certain but it may be tens of thousands of dollars if the federal government bases their requirements off of state laws.
The Act also now prevents people with prior convictions of marijuana crimes from being allowed to run or operate such a business. This runs contradictory to the purpose of the law, which is meant to counter the war on drugs and help people who have been affected by it negatively.
Patients are having trouble affording cannabis in Pennsylvania, where marijuana is only medically legal and not recreationally allowed. This creates a lot of problems for patients, especially during this economic struggle from the coronavirus lockdowns (PA has strict lockdown requirements relative to other states).
The problem with this is that patients are prone to purchase cannabis off the black market. The high costs are probably caused by a lack of supply. Since the PA medical marijuana program only allows a small amount of license holders to produce cannabis products and the facilities have to grow indoors, the amount of cannabis being produced is low. The small amount of cannabis products can be charged at very high prices because demand outweighs supply. If the program allowed more growers to operate or if the growers were able to produce larger amounts of cannabis, the products would go down in price. This would cause patients to go to dispensaries instead of the black market. Right now it is hard for patients to justify purchasing an eighth of cannabis from a dispensary for $65 instead of an eighth from the black market for $30, which is illegal.
Clearly a lot has to change in Pennsylvania and it serves as an example of what happens when production of cannabis products is capped and prices surge: patients go to the streets to purchase their medicine.
A mayor in Mississippi, Mary Butler, is filing a lawsuit because she does not like the medical marijuana law (Initiative 65) that passed in Mississippi last Fall. Her complaint is that is does not limit cities’ ability to regulate the locations of medical marijuana dispensaries and grow-ops.
The attorney general of Mississippi is arguing against her lawsuit. The marijuana law states that the Mississippi Health Department has until mid-2021 to establish rules for a medical marijuana program. The Health Department supports Butler in her lawsuit. The Department says that the new marijuana law in Mississippi stretches it too thin by requiring it to get into the business of appropriations, agriculture, packaging, transport, advertising, marketing, and other practices that it is not used to handling.
The big picture in Mississippi is that despite the citizens voting for their marijuana law by a wide margin on November 2nd, the state legislature there is opposed to it. They are trying to stop the democratic process and prevent patients from getting the medicine they deserve. Hopefully, this lawsuit will go nowhere and the cannabis program will start up without delays. Something to stay tuned for.
One of the legal issues that occurs in states that legalize marijuana is that prisoners and people on probation or parole are not allowed to use cannabis by their probation officers and wardens. Since they can have access to other medications, like pain medications or anxiety pills, there is no reason to forbid their use of cannabis if they are medical marijuana patients. Unless they reside in a federal prison, inmates and parolees should have equal access to all medicine allowed by the state they live in.
A facility in Albuquerque, New Mexico held a man named Joe Montano because while he was on house arrest he used cannabis as a medical marijuana patient. A judge struck this down and said that just because he was on house arrest does not mean he should not be allowed to use medical cannabis like other patients. County attorneys said he violated federal laws but this did not pass in court. The old excuse that marijuana is “federally illegal” does not hold up when patients are in state institutions and following state laws. Good job New Mexico!
The Texas medical marijuana program is currently a false hope for patients. Their Compassionate Use Program only allows 0.5% THC in cannabis sold to patients. This is just a little bit more than the 0.3% allowed federally in hemp. Because of this, there are only 3,519 (dissapointed) patients in Texas and the advocacy group NORML does not even consider the Texas program to be a true medical marijuana program. It is more of a CBD program, which is pointless because CBD is already legal and doesn’t have the same medical value as THC does.
We have posted a couple articles this week worth reading for new users of medical cannabis.
The first is about the differences between recreational and medical marijuana.