At the “Medical Cannabis and Cannabinoids: Policy, Research and Medical Practice” conference that took place in Prague March 4-7, 2015, representatives from organizations of medical Cannabis patients from 13 countries met and established the International Medical Cannabis Patient Coalition (IMCPC) (now with members from 39 countries), and put together a Declaration addressing the United Nations General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS) on drugs 2016.
The Declaration called on the United Nations (UN) to take the following actions:
• Recommend that increased attention and resources be given at the national and international level to the treatment with medical Cannabis and cannabinoids, and its research in particular.
• Invite all countries to secure stable, safe, economically available access to medical Cannabis and its derivatives to everyone who is indicated medically for such treatment.
• Require that the UN General Assembly Special Session on Drugs 2016 request that Governments either: exclude the Cannabis out of the 1961 UN Convention with no other actions, or prepare, debate and accept a Special UN Convention on Cannabis, that would be based on the scientific evidence, human rights, and the wellbeing of societies, and as suggested by the World Health Organization, re-schedules Cannabis to account for its medical use, and in amendment prepare special regulations for medical Cannabis that would not mimic those of medical opiates and opium
You can read the full report at http://american-safe-access.s3.amazonaws.com/criticalreview.pdf . The document was prepared by the Americans for Safe Access and presented at the Unity Conference 2016: A Conference on Harmonization of Global Cannabis.
The United Nations General Assembly will convene a special session on the world drug problem from 19 to 21 April 2016 at UN Headquarters in New York. Note a session organized by the Government of Urugua titled "CANNABIS AND THE CONVENTIONS: UNGASS AND BEYOND" will convene on April 20 (4/20). More information on the United Nations meeting can be found at http://www.unodc.org/ungass2016/en/about.html
New York, NY: The enactment of state laws permitting physicians to authorize cannabis therapy to qualified patients has not stimulated increases in marijuana use by young people, according to findings published in The International Journal on Drug Policy.
A team of researchers from Columbia University in New York City reviewed federal data regarding rates of self-reported monthly marijuana use among 12 to 17-year-olds between the years 2002 and 2011.
While the study's authors acknowledged that many medical marijuana states have greater overall rates of youth cannabis use compared to non-medical states, they affirmed that these jurisdictions already possessed elevated use rates prior to changes in law, and that the laws' enactment did not play a role in influencing youth use patterns.
"While states with MML (medical marijuana laws) feature higher rates of adolescent marijuana use, to date, no major U.S. national data set, including the NSDUH (US National Survey on Drug Use in Households), supports that MML are a cause of these higher use levels," investigators concluded. "[W]hen within-state changes are properly considered and pre-MML prevalence is properly controlled, there is no evidence of a differential increase in past-month marijuana use in youth that can be attributed to state medical marijuana laws."
Their findings are similar to those of a 2015 study that assessed the relationship between state medical marijuana laws and rates of self-reported adolescent marijuana use over a 24-year period in a sampling of over one million adolescents in 48 states. The study's authors reported no increase in teens' overall cannabis use that could be attributable to changes in law, and acknowledged a "robust" decrease in consumption among 8th graders. They concluded, "[T]he results of this study showed no evidence for an increase in adolescent marijuana use after the passage of state laws permitting use of marijuana for medical purposes. ... [C]oncerns that increased marijuana use is an unintended effect of state marijuana laws seem unfounded."
Ohio Patient Network (OPN) congratulates Speaker Rosenberger & welcomes the state legislators for forming a task force concerning medical marihuana for Ohio. OPN, the oldest medical marihuana organization in Ohio, offered our assistance to the task force efforts. Please use this link to view a video by the Ohio Channel of the Press Conference by the State Representatives.
A few days later on Tuesday (1/19/16) Senators Yuko & Burke announced town hall hearings to be held starting in Cleveland, and Toledo and Cincinnati. Please contact Ohio Patient Network if you are interested in testifying.
We urge patients and family members to attend and testify at the hearings. OPN will keep you updated. Please contact us for more details or if you are interested in testifying.
On February 18th Ohio Patient Network provided written and verbal testimony to the Ohio State Representative Medical Marijuana task force in Columbus.
Ohio Patient Network (OPN) is a 501C-3 non profit organization. OPN is Ohio’s oldest coalition of patients, caregivers, activists and medical professionals who support the compassionate use of cannabis for various medicinal purposes. We share information between patients, medical professionals, attorneys, and educate the public with the latest developments in the therapeutic use of cannabis.
OPN has been involved with state legislators and the various legislative bills that have been introduced over the years, such as Senate Bill 343, House Bill 478, House Bill 214 and others. Bill after bill were introduced, yet never brought up for a hearing, except once. Frankly, working the legislative route has not been productive. We are pleased to finally see an interest in regards to medical marijuana at the state house. With no reservation I say thank you to the men and women behind issue 3. That effort, even though it did not pass, has propelled our issue forward.
Within the material I provided you is a CD with a number of PDF files. They contain numerous reports and articles on a wide variety of topics. Most are richly documented; cannabis has a very long therapeutic history. Of particular interest to me are the United States Government reports, none of which substantiate marijuana classification.
I have found an interesting connection between seniors and veterans with PTSD. Both have trouble sleeping at night, for which cannabis is effective for both groups. Even more interesting are the deep-pain patients, who take an amazing amount of opioid drugs--so much that they would literally kill me. The theme I heard over and over again is the more marijuana they have, the less opioids they need to deal with their pain and the more functional they are with their families. This is reflected in the JAMA study I have provided, which reported a very significant drop in overdose deaths in states where medical marijuana is legal.
Today polling is between 85 to 90 percent, and with 23 states passing medical marijuana laws to date, medical marijuana prohibition is clearly not supported by the public. There is solid reason why. At a fundamental level, we have a policy that is based on a false premise. Marijuana is not a schedule one drug.
This panel should recommend that our legislators pass a meaningful medical marijuana law quickly. If they don’t, it will be done for them at the ballot in November. I am available to answer any questions you may have, whether personal, factual or policy recommendations.
The testimony was given by Robert Ryan, President Ohio Patient Network, who also provided hie own personal testimony. The actual written materials can be viewed at the following link http://www.ohiopatientsnetwork.org/images/testimony/Rob_Ryan_Testimony_to_Representative_Task_Force_hearing_2-18-16.pdf. An audio recording that captures the task Force Panel questions and the responses can be heard on a MP3 file at http://www.ohiopatientsnetwork.org/images/audio/Ohio_State_Task_Force_MMJ_hearing_Rob_Ryan_2016-02-18.mp3.
Below is a draft of fundamental or basic elements of a legislative medical bill for Ohio. Please email or call us with your comments or suggestions. Note this is not meant to be a detailed document with numbers of plants or other details. It is a high level document to start the discussion with legislative representatives.
DRAFT Elements of Ohio Medical Marihuana Legislation
by Rob Ryan, Ohio Patient Network
- Patient self sufficiency
◦ Enabled to grow for self
◦ Commerce restrictions (no personal sales)
◦ Enable reasonable caregiver assistance
▪ With personal caregiver/grower authorization
- Legal protections for
◦ Patients, caregiver, suppliers and medical professionals
- Enable Medical Research
◦ Using Ohio produced marihuana
- State Commission with regulatory oversight
◦ Appointments by legal, medical & law enforcement & patient advocates organizations.
▪ (Patient, Nurse, Medical, Pharmacy, Law Enforcement, Civil Rights, etc, etc)
▪ Must include a patient stakeholder representative
◦ Governor appoints a commission member,
◦ No restrictions on commission memberships
▪ (i.e. political office holder, past felon, etc)
- Regulated commercial medical supply (i.e. dispensary)
◦ Includes quality, safety, testing mechanisms
◦ Taxed to provide funding for
▪ Commerce legal oversight
▪ Commission members and activity
▪ Testing requirements compliance
▪ Medical Research
- Establish political Blue Ribbon panel on future of cannabis laws
◦ Reports, studies and recommendation to legislation.
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