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Michael Komorn

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About Michael Komorn

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    Michael A. Komorn focuses on medical marijuana representation. He is the president of the Michigan Medical Marijuana Association (MMMA), a nonprofit patient advocacy group with over 32,000 members, which advocates for medical marijuana patients and caregiver rights. Mr. Komorn is also an experienced defense attorney successfully representing many wrongfully accused medical marijuana patients and caregivers. He is a member of the Criminal Law and Marijuana Law Sections of the State Bar of Michigan.

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  1. Minnesota is the only state that I've seen which actually studies it's patients in it's medical marijuana program. The Minnesota DOH released a report of all of its patients a year ago, and in March, released a report about patients with intractable pain who are enrolled in the medical marijuana program. Minnesota studies and conducts trials and surveys while Michigan conducts criminal trials for patients and caregivers. This is all the fault of Governor Rick Snyder and Attorney General Bill Schuette who continue to allow patients and caregivers to be thrown into courts and jail for being part of the Michigan Medical Marijuana Program. The new 2018 report of Intractable Pain Patients in the Minnesota Medical Cannabis program can be read here: http://www.health.state.mn.us/topics/cannabis/about/ipreport.html The first year report of Minnesota Medical Marijuana patients is here: http://www.health.state.mn.us/topics/cannabis/about/firstyearreport.html
  2. The DEA is supposed to be using science to inform and regulate the pharmaceutical and health of the United States. But yet, the appointed chiefs of the DEA continue to be ill-informed, ignorant and plain out lie about the substances they are supposed to be researching. This is precisely why the USA is in an opioid drug crisis right now. Because the DEA is ran by idiots. Read the 2017 NASEM report that DEA Acting Administrator Patterson has ignored here. It contains solid evidence of the medical use of marijuana to treat many different conditions, and was a basis to our scientifically backed petitions. Read our petitions to add qualifying conditions here: http://komornlaw.com/petitions https://www.marijuanamoment.net/dea-head-slammed-over-marijuana-stance-by-lawmakers/ http://thehill.com/opinion/healthcare/387640-on-marijuana-and-opioids-the-dea-has-no-clue-what-its-talking-about
  3. My client is facing a number of years in jail. A confidential informant aka C.I. is involved. In most cases a C.I. is a person who is caught committing a crime by the police, and instead of being put on trial, the police use them as undercover informants. Usually the buying and selling of controlled substances. Using the "little fish" to catch "bigger fish" is the justification of this, but it routinely backfires and the C.I.'s have been murdered in a large number of cases. Back in my client's case, I get the C.I. on the witness stand and start asking her questions. Why are you testifying in this case? Why did you become a C.I. ? The C.I. responds she did this out of the concern for the children and safety of Michigan's Citizens. What? You would put yourself in a potentially dangerous situation ... for nothing in return? No payment? No Salary? No vacation days? Unheard of, because it was not the truth. The C.I. committed perjury. Not really a deal changer, although it makes the witness less credible, its not a conspiracy at this point. But the prosecutor in the case denied she was a C.I. , denied documents related to her being a C.I. existed, and denied he knew she was a C.I. Interestingly, the prosecutor in my client's case was also the prosecutor in the C.I.'s case. The prosecutor also failed to correct the record after the court relied upon this witness's false testimony. The prosecutor was then appointed as a judge, the next prosecutor notified me about the perjury. But did not notify anyone else that the prosecutor committed all of these cover-ups. All I have to do now is undo a case based on a lying witness, disrobe a judge, disbar a prosecutor and be a champion for truth and justice. Sounds real easy. Here is a case that sounds similar to mine. Although my case is just another medical marijuana case. All of these Very Important People are throwing their careers' away just for a medical marijuana conviction. Makes no sense at all. https://www.detroitnews.com/story/news/local/wayne-county/2018/05/15/detroit-murder-conviction-tossed-withheld-evidence/34965287/
  4. Checks and Balances are put in place to protect the human rights of every citizen of the United States of America. One of those rights is the right to due process, meaning that you have the right to be secure in your home and with your property unless a court says otherwise. And you have the right to have your day in court before a jury of your peers. Asset Forfeiture has been tainted by police, prosecutors and courts where police just steal your stuff, leave, then go auction it off later. In some cases, not even a single criminal charge is filed. In other cases, prosecutors bring criminal charges, lose the criminal case, but continue with the forfeiture case. Other taint comes when police take all of the cash from you, but the amount they took is less than what it would cost to hire a lawyer to get it back. Why would anyone hire a $3000 lawyer to fight over a seized $2000 car ? We need more civil asset forfeiture and this bill would help a little bit. https://www.detroitnews.com/story/opinion/editorials/2018/05/10/civil-asset-forfeiture/34783509/
  5. All of the Republican candidates for the Governor primary in Michigan are against the legalization of marijuana. Only Lt Gov Brian Calley, who opposed the petition to add Autism to the list of qualifying conditions for medical marijuana said he supports medical marijuana. Current Attorney General Bill Schuette tried conflate marijuana with opioids and giving children drugs. Gubernatorial Primary Debate in Grand Rapids on May 9, 2018 DR. JIM HINES: I, I don't support the legalization of recreational marijuana. I think that would be bad. There's a ton of research that needs to yet be done. The interactions with medicine. What kind of cancer does it cause? Ahh, the impact on memory, your ability to work, and so I think that there's a ton of work that needs to be done. But if it's passed, I think that we have to deal with it and we have to, we have to know that the bus driver that is driving your kids is, is, is not under the influence of marijuana. We need to figure out how to keep it out of the hands of minors, and so there are a lot of things that need to be discussed and worked through, ah, as a government to, to make sure that ah, it can be as safe as possible, but I do not support the legalization of recreational marijuana. SENATOR PATRICK COLBECK Well, first let me be clear, I will respect the will of the people as expressed at the ballot box, so if they make it legal, I will respect that will. But I'm telling you I'm personally opposed to it and here's why. Right now I have 31,000 job openings in my District. Um, businesses are still putting drug tests out there for employees. If you're smoking recreational marijuana, you're not going to pass that drug test. And I don't want our government assistance roles to increase. I actually want to get people gainfully employed so they can, um, get a good job and take care of their families. If we go down this route, um, I think we're going to see an increase in our government assistance costs and that's not a road I want to take Michigan down. We finally got our fiscal house in order and this has an opportunity to actually, um, bankrupt our state. It's not a course I'd like to pursue, but we'll make it work no matter what happens. LT. GOVERNOR BRIAN CALLEY I do not support recreational marijuana, but I want to be clear that I will respect a vote of the people. I do support medical marijuana on the other hand. In fact, it's becoming more and more clear that it may have a role to play in defeating the opioid addiction epidemic. But this is an opportunity I think for, for a clear contrast. Bill Schuette led the charge against medical marijuana, even after the will of the voters was decided, and the support was enormous, he still continued to fight against the will of the voters, keeping patients from the medicine that they need. So I think it's important that we all speak up on what we think about this initiative, but when the voters have their say, their will must stand. ATTORNEY GENERAL BILL SCHUETTE I'm opposed to the legalization of marijuana, but ah, I think the citizens across the state will have the opportunity to vote and democracy will prevail. I'm concerned about putting more drugs in the hands of kids and the opioid epidemic that is raging across Michigan and America is real. You know we've — recently we had more prescriptions for opioids than there are people in the State of Michigan. I was at an event in Oakland County last week, I met a woman who shared with me that, that her son had died through ah, ah, opioid overdose and it breaks your heart. And we need to crack down on the pill-mill docs, we need to, you know, crackdown on the heroin dealers that peddle this ah, heroin to those who are in the grip of addiction, and I have an Interdiction Unit at the Department of Attorney General to do just that. President Trump asked me to come to the White House to discuss the issue of ah, opioids and how the federal government and the states can work together. I think that's another reason why President Trump endorsed me as Governor of the State of Michigan.
  6. The Brookings Institute released a comprehensive report on Marijuana legalization in Uruguay in March. In the report the researchers detail how well the program has worked and why the limitations placed upon legalization have only backfired against the country. The implementation of legalization in Uruguay has directly mirrored the implementation of medical marijuana here in Michigan. With local police forces ignoring and treating marijuana as if it were still illegal in many cases, while the state licenses and regulates the market. Timeline of legalization in Uruguay The report made the following recommendations:
  7. The autism petition has been approved by the Michigan Medical Marijuana Review Panel on 5-4-2018 and has been sent to the Director of LARA for a final decision to add the condition to the qualifying conditions for the Medical Marihuana Program. In the mean time, physicians in other states use medical marijuana to treat autistic patients already. http://www.wfla.com/community/health/tampa-doctor-uses-medical-marijuana-to-treat-patients-with-autism/1153159741
  8. Parents and caregivers of children and persons with Autistic Spectrum Disorder have been fighting to try medical marijuana as an option after exhausting all other treatment options available. This fight has been going on for at least 5 years, when LARA denied the petition for autism in 2013. In 2013, the review panel voted 2 yes and 7 no votes. The 2013 petition lacked any research or studies, so parents Dwight Z. and Dr Christian Bogner submitted a new autism petition with studies and help from researcher Joe Stone in 2014. 10/4/13 Final Determination of Department - Autism 8/27/15 Final Determination of Department - Autism LARA rejected the 2014 petition because they had made a "final decision" on autism in 2013. Michael Komorn, president of the Michigan Medical Marijuana Association, filed a lawsuit against LARA to get them to hear the 2014 petition. After months of stalling from LARA they finally decided to hear the petition, and in May 2015, the review panel heard the petition and testimony. LARA tried a dirty trick by not sending the research and studies to the panel. This was brought to the attention of the panel that research was submitted, so the board came back a week later to give time to the panelists to review the research. The panel then voted 4 yes and 2 no votes to approve Autism as a qualifying condition. In August 2015, the Director of LARA, Mike Zimmer, then rejected adding autism as a qualifying condition to the Medical Marihuana program against the wishes of the panel. In his rejection, Mr. Zimmer gave the reason that edibles may be illegal due to a confusing ruling from the Court of Appeals among other objections. Parents and caregivers of people diagnosed with autism continued to fight, and worked together to submit another autism petition. Adding 20 new peer-reviewed research studies from the past 4 years. The new autism petition was submitted in February and was sent by LARA and heard by the review panel on 4-27-2018. Wonderful and brave parents Amie Carter and Jamie Cooper testified before the panel, laying their hearts and family stories out there for the world to gawk at. At the following review panel meeting on 5-4-2018, the review panel approved of 10 conditions including Autism in a 6 yes and 1 no vote. Voting no on a condition is voting to subject the rejected-condition patient to arrest for the medical use or possession of marihuana. A suggestion was made by a panel member that the marijuana legalization ballot initiative would save any concerns for the denied patient conditions. This is not true. There are several differences between legalization and the medical marijuana program that would negatively affect a patient. First, the recreational marijuana initiative will apply a large tax and other costs that would not apply to patients if they were part of the MMM program. Second, patients are treated in the law differently regarding several issues. · Driving · Housing · CPS / Parenting / Custody issues · Employment · Immunities and Affirmative Defense Patients should not be punished for their use of cannabis when it is medical and not for adult recreation. Medical use and recreational use have significant distinctions, that were played out in the discussion of the panel and specifically the experience shared by Dr. Crocker who sees a variety patients with various diseases that are treated by cannabis. It makes no sense to deny the petition for these conditions when the evidence supports the therapeutic and palliative relief. 1. The panel are ignoring the reality of what a “no vote” is and means to patients. 2. The excuses used to deny or vote no have been: · Not enough research · Not enough clinical trials Panel members have lamented on this topic for years, but this argument makes no sense. Why would they approve of some conditions but not others, as they have given this reason for rejecting conditions? No condition has been thoroughly researched to use with marijuana. Absolutely zero clinical trials for any condition have been performed with crude marijuana flowers. Even though marijuana smoking has been shown to absolutely stop epileptic seizures, reduce eye pressure in glaucoma patients, open up airways in asthma patients, return appetite to AIDS patients, prevent nausea, reduce anxiety/stress and control pain signals. There are few, small, less than 100 people research studies on a few small conditions. Those studies are conducted only with Marinol, Sativex or other pharmaceutical formulations, not crude marihuana flowers and extracts. The FDA refuses to study crude marijuana extracts and flowers, and prefers a mono chemical therapy. One plant chemical, THC. Recently the FDA has been testing CBD. Two plant chemicals total from over 400 known cannabinoids (plant chemicals) within the cannabis plant. At this rate, the FDA will have tested each of the 400 cannabinoids separately within 16,000 years. Counting 40 years for THC-only studies, 40 years x 400 cannabinoids = 16,000 years. Which is why, the American people have bypassed the FDA and have approved marijuana as a medicine on a state by state basis. Sick people cannot wait for the FDA to continue to hamper research and deny that marijuana is a medicine. All because the FDA refuses and prefers a single chemical standardized consistent drug. These are terrible reasons because research on marijuana has been hampered. We mentioned this in our petition https://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/19/health/policy/19marijuana.html · Dr. Crocker and other physicians have conflated marijuana smoke and tobacco smoke and then offered and relied upon this unproven fact that the two smokes are the same and have the same health effects. Marijuana smoke is different than Tobacco smoke and has different effects on humans and animals. See The large studies on lung function by Dr Tashkin and all of the other studies that show the only difference between a non-smoker and a marijuana-only smoker is that the marijuana-only smoker has a larger forced air lung capacity. Effects of smoked marijuana in experimentally induced asthma. Effects of cannabis on lung function: a population-based cohort study · Legalization, if the review panel does not approve a condition, the sick patient can possess by adult recreational means. The review panelist who made this comment is a physician and in her reason for denial of the petition is saying that a person should self-medicate! Unheard of advice from a physician. · The panel mentioned several times that they wanted “severe” conditions, severe brain injury vs brain injury or severe autism vs autism. Aren't people with less severe conditions allowed treatment? Are we equal or are severe conditions more important? Nothing about this reason makes any sense to deny a condition from this non-toxic safe medication. The review panel is supposed to look at each individual petition, and only those petitions, to determine if the condition should be added to the MMMA. Frequently, the panel members have made comments or asked questions about other conditions while debating petitions. "Why are we voting on "chronic pain" when "severe and chronic pain" is a qualifying condition?" "Why are there petitions for Arthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis?" "Brain Injury is too vague, but Traumatic Brain Injury is a condition that may be more appropriate" "Colitis is too broad, colitis can be infectious or non-infectious" Panelist Dr Lewandowski said there was only one "good" study that showed "clinical improvement with dronabinol in this submission" of obsessive compulsive disorder and "this meet the expectation in support of peer-reviewed information". All of the research we submitted in our petitions was peer-reviewed except for one paper on Autism, all of the studies showed palliative or therapeutic benefit and efficacy. The requirements by LARA are the following: Provide a summary of the evidence that the use of marihuana will provide palliative or therapeutic benefit for that medical condition or a treatment of that medical condition. Rule 33(1)(a). Include articles published in peer-reviewed scientific journals reporting the results of research on the effects of marihuana on the medical condition or treatment of the medical condition and supporting why the medical condition or treatment should be added to the list of debilitating medical conditions under section 3(b) of the MMMA, MCL 333.26423(b). Rule 33(1)(b). Note that Lewandowski's remarks about clinical improvement is not a requirement within the MMMA, the LARA Administrative rules, nor the Petitions themselves. The whole point about medical marijuana programs is that we cannot get marijuana into clinical studies. Cannabis's schedule 1 status, FDA monotherapy rules, NIDA grant bias for harms not benefits, DEA hoop jumping, propaganda and political football including bribery, corruption and market forces (from private prison unions, alcohol, tobacco and Big Pharma industry not wanting competition) makes it incredibly difficult and near impossible to study marijuana for medical benefits. Tabled conditions: · Non chronic non severe pain · Colitis · Organ Transplant
  9. About six-in-ten Americans support marijuana legalization. Nancy Reagan's "Just Say No", the unsuccessful campaign that failed to keep children and adults off of drugs is finally over. Prohibition has never worked in any country. Especially with the history of Alcohol prohibition, there is no way that marijuana prohibition would ever work. Now, a majority of the people of the United States would rather make marijuana legal, and tax it instead of giving the industry to the black market cartels. http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2018/01/05/americans-support-marijuana-legalization/ http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2018/02/07/fox-news-poll-support-for-legalizing-marijuana-hits-record-high.html https://www.cbsnews.com/news/support-for-marijuana-legalization-at-all-time-high/ https://poll.qu.edu/national/release-detail?ReleaseID=2539 http://news.gallup.com/poll/221018/record-high-support-legalizing-marijuana.aspx Even Republicans want Legal Marijuana. https://www.mpp.org/news/press/initiative-to-regulate-marijuana-like-alcohol-in-michigan-qualifies-for-november-ballot/
  10. A large private donation will fund another study on using medical marijuana for autism. But this is not the first, nor is it the last clinical study on marijuana for autism. Marijuana aka Cannabis regulates the body and mind into a more normative state. Cannabis is also a very strong anti-inflammatory, and thus relieves a lot of pain. Many people with autism also suffer from pain, but are unable to communicate their pain. The autistic person in pain unable to communicate then manifests into aggression, irritability, self-injurious behavior, screaming and other outbursts. With the help of parents and physicians, the Michigan Medical Marihuana Association has submitted autism to be a qualifying condition again with the Michigan Medical Marihuana Review Panel. There will be a meeting on May 4th 2018 at 9am in Lansing, MI where the panel will vote on autism along with 21 other new proposed conditions. Please if you can show up to the meeting and give your support to the board members so they support adding these conditions to the Michigan Medical Marijuana Program. While we at the MMMA of course support more research on cannabis for all conditions, it is cruel to prohibit this safe non-toxic medicine from people who suffer and may already be using cannabis illegally to treat autism. If you want to leave a public comment, the deadline is 5/3/2018 at 5pm to email comments to LARA-BMMR-Legal@michigan.gov http://komornlaw.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/MMRP_Notice_of_Public_Hearing_5.4.18_618072_7.pdf http://komornlaw.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/MMRP_Notice_of_Public_Hearing_4.27.18_618073_7.pdf Autism is a qualifying medical marijuana condition in California, Minnesota and Pennsylvania. https://www.pa.gov/guides/pennsylvania-medical-marijuana-program/ http://www.health.state.mn.us/news/pressrel/2017/cannabis113017.html https://www.mprnews.org/story/2017/11/30/minnesota-oks-medical-marijuana-for-autism-apnea The main "treatment" for autism is Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA). ABA is mostly about teaching behaviors and correcting unwanted behaviors as you would train a dog or animal. ABA does not treat the person itself, nor does it diagnose, treat or check for pain or discomfort. ABA is akin to a nun using capital punishment using whips and canes to "fix problem children". https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/312723 https://www.cmcr.ucsd.edu/index.php/2015-11-20-20-52-15/active-studies/123-the-effects-of-cannabidiol-cbd-on-symptoms-of-severe-autism Although the above clinical trial is still in Phase 1 and has not started yet, there are other clinical trials which have advanced to phase 2. An interesting clinical trial below is part of the US Department of Defense budget. https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT03202303 This clinical trial in Israel seems to be more fleshed out and has more information. https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT02956226 http://www.nbc4i.com/news/u-s-world/dad-uses-medical-marijuana-to-treat-daughter-with-autism/1102805672 http://www.wfla.com/community/health/tampa-doctor-uses-medical-marijuana-to-treat-patients-with-autism/1153159741
  11. As the president of the Michigan Medical Marijuana Association, I testified before the Michigan Medical Marihuana Review Panel earlier today in support of the 21 petitions submitted by our patient and caregiver educational non-profit organization as well as other researchers, patients and caregivers, physicians and parents who combined resources to work on the petitions. There is another meeting for the panel to vote on these conditions NEXT WEEK Friday, May 4th ,2018 at the same location. I do not think there will be additional comments, but by being present you may sway the panel members. http://www.mlive.com/news/index.ssf/2018/04/michigan_considers_authorizing.html
  12. While the experienced members in the Michigan Medical Marijuana Association already know the ins and outs of certifications, physician appointments and sending paperwork into the state, hopefully articles like this one help people who know nothing about medical marijuana. Although the article never answers the question in the headline, getting a Michigan medical marijuana card is very similar to getting a prescription from a doctor. Although there is an extra step required that is more like getting a professional medical license from the state. The process is fairly easy, although needlessly stressful and LARA likes to reject patients for not "dotting every i" in the application. Prescription holders do not have to jump through the same hoops as medical marijuana patients. It is an unfair system. https://www.lansingstatejournal.com/story/news/2018/04/23/how-hard-get-michigan-medical-marijuana-card/450779002/
  13. When the legislature banned a patient and caregiver from extracting marijuana using butane inside of a residence, the reason given was for the safety of the public. The changes to the MMMA proposed by Triston Cole do not rely on safety, or any logical reason at all. This kind of power grab is frightening. It is one thing to ban an activity, it is quite another to make extracting marijuana a 5 year felony. Triston Cole wants extracting marijuana to carry a longer sentence of 5 years in prison when the manufacture of marijuana is only a 4 year sentence. What is next? Making a felony out of a medical marijuana patient baking their own brownies? Making it a felony for a medical marijuana patient to grow their own medicine? This would ban iso extraction and ice/water extraction, not to mention CO2 and other forms of extractions. Talk with your representatives about these bills. Tell them to leave medical marijuana patients alone and give them the same respect as other patients. http://legislature.mi.gov/doc.aspx?2018-HB-5843This bill modifies the MMFLA to make it explicit that only a processor licensee or its agents can extract marijuana resin. http://legislature.mi.gov/doc.aspx?2018-HB-5844Adds a 5 year felony for extracting marijuana resin without a processor license. Adds a 10 year felony for extracting marijuana resin if it causes severe injury. Adds a 20 year felony for extracting marihuana resin if it causes death.http://legislature.mi.gov/doc.aspx?2018-HB-5845Modifies the MMMA Section 7 , 333.26427, removing all immunity if a patient or caregiver extracts plant resin by chemical extraction.
  14. A great article on the history of marijuana in Florida, showing how prohibition has failed.
  15. The Michigan Medical Marijuana Association has submitted a petition for treating opioid dependence with medical marijuana. The public hearing for public comments will be heard on April 27, 2018. Read more about it at http://komornlaw.com/petitions Pa. approves sale of marijuana 'flower,' and will allow cannabis to treat opioid addiction Updated: APRIL 16, 2018 — 5:58 PM EDT by Sam Wood, Staff Writer @samwoodiii | samwood@phillynews.com The price of medical marijuana could fall dramatically for some patients by mid-summer. And the drug will soon be used to treat opioid withdrawal in Pennsylvania, which will become the second state after New Jersey to allow it for that purpose. At a news conference in Harrisburg, Secretary of Health Rachel Levine said she had approved the sale of cannabis flower, the traditional smokable or vaporizable form of the plant. “It’s another tool,” Levine said. “The whole idea of this program is to provide another tool in the toolbox of physicians to treat these conditions.” Since the launch of the state medical marijuana program in February, dispensaries in Pennsylvania have sold only pricey marijuana oils and extracts. Flower, also known as leaf or bud, needs no processing and is less expensive to produce. “For some patients, the cost of their medical marijuana could drop by 50 percent with the addition of flower,” said Chris Visco, owner of TerraVida Holistic Centers, a chain of dispensaries with shops in Sellersville and Abington. “It offers the lowest price per milligram of THC, the active ingredient.” Marijuana producer Charlie Bachtell, CEO of Cresco Yeltrah, said being able to sell plant material will streamline a large part of his production. “We just have to weigh it and put it in a container,” he said. “There’s no manual labor turning it into something else, whether it’s filling a capsule or filling a vape pen. Every time someone touches it, it makes it more expensive.” Though smoking cannabis is prohibited by Pennsylvania law, the difference between lighting up and vaporization is literally a matter of degrees. Vaporizing requires less intense heat and a specialized electronic device so that the marijuana doesn’t combust, but the method delivers the same psychoactive and physical effects as smoking. (To discourage smoking, dispensaries are forbidden from vending pipes, bongs and rolling papers.) Nearly all of the 29 states that have legalized marijuana in some form allow for the distribution of plant material. Minnesota and West Virginia are among the last weed-legal states with laws banning its sale. Levine accepted more than a dozen recommendations made last week by the state’s medical marijuana advisory board. With her decision, doctors will still need to register but will be able to opt out of the published registry. Terminal illness, neurodegenerative diseases, and dyskinetic and spastic movement disorders are now qualifying conditions. Allowing the use of cannabis to help wean people off of opioids may have the greatest impact on the state. New Jersey was the first to approve “addiction substitute therapy for opioid reduction” last month. By adding treatment for opioid withdrawal to the list of approved uses, Levine opened up the possibility for clinical research on the two drugs at state health systems. “This is major news,” said physician Sue Sisley, founder of the Scottsdale Research Institute, where she researches medical marijuana’s effects on PTSD in veterans. “We have all these opioid task forces in so many states, and almost none of them even mention cannabis as a substitution for opioids as part of the treatment strategy.” Sisley called Levine’s decision “courageous” but warned it could be politically “radioactive.” “It’s a very conservative medical environment you have in Pennsylvania,” said Sisley, who serves on the steering committee of Jefferson’s Lambert Center for the Study of Medicinal Cannabis and Hemp in Philadelphia. “But Dr. Levine recognizes she needs to solve the problem and start preventing all these deaths that are all so preventable.” Advocates applauded the evolution of the state marijuana program. “I am ecstatic today,” said State Sen. Daylin Leach (D., Montgomery), who helped drive the legislation that became the state’s medical marijuana law. “Allowing the whole plant will dramatically expand the number of patients who benefit from medical cannabis and will go a long way toward guaranteeing that this huge new industry survives and prospers.” Becky Dansky, legislative counsel of the Marijuana Policy Project, said that allowing the sale of flower represented more than a cheaper option for patients, many of whom are on disability. “For many patients, it’s the best form to treat their symptoms,” Dansky said. “The key now is to get it on the shelves as soon as possible.” http://www.philly.com/philly/business/cannabis/marijuana-medical-flower-opioid-addiction-therapy-rachel-levine-cresco-terravida-20180416.html
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