Written by Christopher Meyer | 5:54 pm on January 10, 2012
Maryland legislators propose moving forward with the state’s medical marijuana program, but would require doctors wishing to recommend marijuana undergo special training and approval.
This is an attempt to prevent a certain type of medical cannabis user from gaining access; by creating a short list of approved doctors with narrow views of who qualifies for medical marijuana treatment.
There is a persistent sentiment that medical marijuana is only appropriate for cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy, or for geriatric care, but evidence suggests medicinal possibilities for marijuana extend far beyond this narrow-minded approach.
Politicians who believe young people gaining access to marijuana is an indication of abuse ignore common sense and fail to see that just as with other medicines, simply because some people abuse drugs does not mean they aren’t effective in appropriate situations.
Yet, the potential for abuse of marijuana is low, as studies have suggested, and there is no reason for politicians to presume they know more about medical problems than doctors writing recommendations.
Controversy surrounding cannabis and the retinue of its opponents ensure any person, business, or professional associated with marijuana are quickly cast in a light of suspicion and ill-intent.
Perhaps the fear about marijuana is that it alters consciousness, but the argument should therefore also necessarily include alcohol, cough syrup, coffee, and tobacco. It generally doesn’t, and the argument loses credibility unless it includes all mind-altering substances.
The safety of the drug is what we should be concerned with, and as cannabis has no lethal dose — unlike commonly abused opioid pain killers – and has a very low risk factor for negative interaction with other drugs, doctors who wish to prescribe it do not need extra training or education.
Doctors are already trained to recognize those pursuing drugs to fuel addiction, and perhaps that training should be amplified, as death rates from overdosing on prescription drugs are climbing.
Factually, there is no reason to demand that doctor’s willing to recommend marijuana need extra training. Granted, doctors should be aware of the potential for addiction, but the minimal risk marijuana poses for addiction does not warrant the special scrutiny Maryland legislators are proposing
The fear prohibition brings casts a shadow on any person who associates with cannabis, be it recreationally or medically, which as I noted in a previous post, is not the crucial distinction the public forum has made it.
When politicians pretend to know more about the medical benefits of cannabis than doctors, it is our duty to call them out and remind them medicine should be available to all who seek it, not just for those with severe illness, or in the twilight of life who are deemed worthy.
Written by Christopher Meyer | 10:54 am on December 12, 2011
Attorney General Eric Holder was grilled on Thursday by the House Judiciary Committee. Directly confronting Justice Department policies concerning the regulation of medical marijuana, Representative Jared Polis asked questions which most concern the medical marijuana industry as it teeters between state and federal law.
Each of the 3 topics that Polis asked about received essentially the same answer. The simple message is this: Given their limited resources, the Department of Justice will not make it an enforcement priority to prosecute medical marijuana providers that are acting in conformity with state law.
You may be thinking that the medical marijuana community is breathing a sigh of relief, but this presents no drastic change in the official policy of the Department of Justice, and there is not sign that marijuana will disapear from federal view any time soon. (more…)
Written by Christopher Meyer | 11:22 am on August 19, 2011
- Tenth Amendment
This is the second part in our series exploring how the advancement of the marijuana movement does more than just erode prohibitionist attitudes, and has far-reaching benefits in many aspects of our society.
Ending marijuana prohibition in Colorado isn’t just about the medicine. The ability of states to set laws that govern what goes on within their borders as provided by the Tenth Amendment is also at stake. (more…)
Written by Christopher Meyer | 2:40 pm on July 28, 2011
You won’t hear about limits to how many barley plants a brewer may grow, or how many cocoa leaves a pharmaceutical company may possess to manufacture pain killers, yet Colorado’s newly enacted regulatory scheme not only requires that medical marijuana businesses limit the number of plants according to the number of patients that they serve, we must also connect specific plants to specific people.
Aggravating the situation is a graduated fee schedule the State of Colorado has created for medical marijuana center license. This means the more patients who declare a medical marijuana center as their primary provider, the more the medical marijuana center has to pay in licensing fees. (more…)
Written by Christopher Meyer | 7:42 pm on July 7, 2011
Two years ago, the company I work for began with three partners and a modest investment in some of Colorado’s finest medicine.
They had no storefront so Denver Relief’s owners Adam, Ean and Kayvan, began a delivery business by placing an ad in the Westword and getting a unique phone number.
For many months, Denver Relief operated this way and built a loyal patient base through word of mouth about outstanding medicine and service.
This is where I came in. I was driving a taxi at the time and the transition into delivering medical marijuana was a welcome change from long hours in a cab. I know the city well and enjoyed meeting new people.
It’s strange to recall how insubstantial the business felt then, how little we knew about what we were getting into, but with the vital support of our patients we have made it this far.
Without patients who are willing to take the steps to visit their doctor and pay the fees to get legal not only would Denver Relief not exist, but medical marijuana in Colorado would not have the prominence it does today.
With several ballot initiatives for legalization coming in 2012 it is imperative that as a community we do not let down the people who have supported us up to this point. (more…)
Written by Christopher Meyer | 2:22 pm on June 8, 2011
If you’ve dreamed of becoming a cannapreneur in Colorado, you will either have to wait a year or find the funds to purchase one of the many centers and cultivation facilities for sale.
With a moratorium in place until July of 2012, the only way to expand or enter the industry is to purchase an already existing business that has applied for a license.
This situation has created a unique and competitive market for medical marijuana businesses. (more…)
Written by Christopher Meyer | 2:52 pm on April 6, 2011
If you had the opportunity to visit the High Times Cannabis Cup this last weekend, you saw a wide variety of businesses that are participating in the marijuana movement; not just from Denver, but from around the country. The volume of people standing in lines on Saturday was a testament to how many are eager to see marijuana culture up close.
If you are legal Colorado medical marijuana patient, you had the opportunity to visit a restricted area where Colorado medical marijuana centers and vendors of infused products had booths to represent their young businesses.
While I am sure there were many who enjoyed their visit to this room, I had the awful feeling that it wasn’t a very good reflection of what a legitimate and professional industry should look like or sound like (there were at least three competing PA systems). (more…)