Busy Week in Medical Cannabis – Shows a Mixed Bag

Busy Week in Medical Cannabis - Shows a Mixed Bag

There are now 33 states where the use of medical marijuana/cannabis in some form is permitted—and there are ten states plus the District of Columbia that have approved marijuana/cannabis for recreational use.

When you look at this list, the Deep South is still largely lagging the rest of the country in legalizing it for medical use.

It appeared that Alabama was moving toward some legalization for medical use, but that momentum has stalled. Now they have decided to think about it some more.

Alabama lawmakers voted Friday to create a medical marijuana commission that will make recommendations for a bill they might consider in the 2020 legislative session. This is less than what proponents of the original bill had in mind. That plan would have created a medical marijuana commission to implement and regulate the legal of cannabis.

Meanwhile in New Jersey, momentum is swinging the other way.

A bill to greatly expand New Jersey’s medical marijuana program cleared the state Senate Thursday. It now heads to the full Assembly for a vote.

The proposal would increase the maximum number of medical marijuana dispensaries, allow patients to buy larger quantities of the drug, and slowly phase out the sales tax on medical cannabis.

Although the bill passed easily, some lawmakers still raised doubts about the state’s medical marijuana program, which has been growing rapidly under Gov. Phil Murphy.

A little reported angle of medical marijuana/cannabis is the number of people who need it but can’t afford it.

This commentary by Julia Arnsten, M.D., is chief of the Division of General Internal Medicine at Albert Einstein College of Medicine and Montefiore Health System, and a registered practitioner with the New York State Medical Marijuana Program argues people who need it, have it prescribed, still can’t buy it.

Of nearly 500 chronic pain patients certified to use medical cannabis in our practice to date, fewer than half reported purchasing it at a licensed dispensary — largely because they cannot afford it.

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Authored by: Ed Coghlan

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The DEA needs shut down!

Thanks to our corrupt Government! Amazing though the Government has had a US Patent # 6630507 since 2003 for medical purposes!!?? Throughout the years, as marijuana has been up for rescheduling again and again, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) continues to refuse regardless of studies showing marijuana’s numerous benefits. For the record, a Schedule I drug is one that has ‘no current accepted medicinal value in the United States.’ That’s where we’re at with marijuana currently, which seems ludicrous, especially considering that Meth has created an unprecedented crisis in the country for all its harm it causes and is Schedule #2. Still opioid gets the “crisis” attention and Meth is barely mentioned remains scheduled at #2 saying to our youth and everyone that Methamphetamine is a safer medical chemical drug than a natural medical beneficial plant? So meth is more useful than marijuana in the eyes of our government???


I live in illinois and legal recreational marijuana use was just passed here. I dont like marijuana, so it doesn’t matter to me. My sister smokes and says it doesn’t help her pain, but helps her to sleep. I’m just gonna throw this out here, the Opium plant is also God made. Not sure what they have to do to make it into all the various types of pain medication. Has anyone ever tried the real opium in the raw? Just wondering if it works?


Cannabis has been legal in California for 10 years or so, and though product is slowly becoming more standardized, the cost hasn’t come down. Between the retail price and the exorbitant taxes/fees, the cost is prohibitive. I’m no Progressive, but this doesn’t seem fair to the poor folks (which we’re going to become ourselves if something doesn’t give) who may need it as medicine (or want it recreationally). Unfortunately, this only encourages the black market.

I, personally, don’t want to see increased state involvement (by way of subsidies/welfare expansion); rather, if the state would ease up off the licensing restrictions, regulations, and insane “excise taxes” (15% that gets added onto the initial sales price, with sales tax being figured upon THAT total!), more people could have access to this potentially healing plant. It would be a win-win for everyone.

In hard numbers, if my husband stayed on Klonopin, we’d only be paying about $3.00 per month (that stuff’s POISON, though); however, he gets nearly as good symptom relief using medical cannabis and CBD but we’re laying out an extra $150-$250 per month or so for it, and we don’t always have the luxury of that kind of wiggle room. (We don’t drink alcohol, take vacations, or drive new cars, either.)


Yes, in California cannabis is all over the place, and it is outrageously overpriced! When you get opioids @ $1.50 for up to 3 months, compared to cannabis, at about $100 for an ounce, it’s no wonder no one buys it; since the reason you’re paying only a buck and a ½ for pain meds tells you that obviously you’re too poor to pay attention to begin with, and further, many docs won’t give you your opioids any longer if you are on a contract with them, and have THC on a UA test. So, you buy, and try, find it works great with the opioids, but, oops! Lost on both accounts because now you cannot afford the weed, and now you’ve also lost the only thing that has gotten you through the worst of the worst of the pain. Bottom line is: the price has to come down on the cannabis. Or better yet, let us have both without question. Or, the best solution, let the gov put cannabis on our formularies!

That ridiculous REEFER MADNESS I saw in junior high was ludicrous as if it’s like L.S.D. and you go crazy. It is great for lifting your mood up. I know it makes my friends and I laugh alot. Plus great for nausea too.


Mr Coghlan,

While I admire you as an author I have to wonder what PNN is coming to.With this story and the plethora of others regarding marijuana *legalization instead of marijuana *efficacy I am convinced this is fast becoming stoner central.

The studies I have encountered have proved it does not help with pain. Study after study show relaxing patients but also shows by end of study more opioid medicine used instead of less is used. In states with recreational becoming legal, medical quickly becomes unused for the most part.. leaving many to wonder if medical legality was a stepping stone to recreational.

I am absolutely FOR pain patients. I am one. If it worked I would be a poster child. But in my experience it did not. Please explore what works not what is popular.

I am terrified we will be forced to take cannabis instead of what works for us. Fact is, even after studies proving it is the opposite I see things turning that way.

It sure sounds like pure PC [edit] to me.

Not a PC fan