Can medical-marijuana dispensaries declare bankruptcy?
To an increasing portion of the populace, medical-pot dispensaries are a business similar to many others—they have a building, some staff, a product.
That’s not to say that everyone wants that business near their home, but an increasing percentage of the population appear to view it as an industry like others—and like some others, one that has some needed regulation.
But a recent case in California throws that into question. After all, if the federal government is a significant holdout in the movement toward acceptance of the medical-marijuana industry, and if the federal government is in charge of the Bankruptcy Courts … you get the picture.
As a story by Stephanie Gleason begins:
“Mother Earth’s Alternative Healing Cooperative Inc. is in some trouble. The San Diego startup that opened last year…
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I have a patient/friend who was 430 pounds, ate up with diabetes, and had to have oxygen all day, He got around on a little home scooter
for old people, but he ain’t old, just 58. He also had sleep apnea and heart problems along with low blood oxygen. I was visiting him after
not seeing him for a few years and that is the condition I found him in. He used to be 300 lbs and in a band and very active. He told me that
his doctor gave him 6 months to live. I told him about hemp oil and the experiences I have had and the miracles I have seen. He told
me he was hoping I had a joint but we would have to sneak downstairs to smoke so his wife would not know. I told him fuck that, I have some
oil and you can eat it, but we should show this Rick Simpson movie to your wife. He ate some oil and then hollered for his wife. she watched
it and said go for it. I gave him a ten gram tube and hugged everyone goodbye.
I got a call a month later and he told me that the stuff was a miracle, and his diabetes was gone. His blood oxygen is up to 75% and he can
walk to the corner store and back.
I got another call 3 months later and he told me he has lost over 100 pounds and is mowing his own lawn, and people see him walking around
in the grocery store and can’t believe their eyes. He said his preacher saw him and told him praise the lord cause they had prayed for him,
and he told his preacher to thank the ones who prayed for marijuana because that is what saved his life! The preacher said “what?’ and he
told the preacher that he eats one drop of marijuana oil a day and it cured all of his problems! The preacher said “Do you mean hash oil?”
and that is when he smoked his first joint with his preacher!
Should health care facilities have the power to make lifestyle decisions for you — and punish you when your choices don’t measure up to their ideals? More and more hospitals are making exactly those kinds of decisions when it comes to people who choose to use marijuana — even legal patients in medical marijuana states. Apparently, these places don’t mind looking exactly as if they have more loyalty to their Big Pharma benefactors than they do to their own patients.
A new policy at one Alaska clinic — requiring patients taking painkilling medications to be marijuana free — serves to highlight the hypocrisy and cruelty of such rules, which are used at more and more health care facilities, particularly the big corporate chains (the clinic in question is a member of the Banner Health chain).
Tanana Valley Clinic, in Fairbanks, started handing out prepared statements to all chronic pain patients on Monday, said Corinne Leistikow, assistant medical director for family practice at TVC, reports Dorothy Chomicz at the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner.
"We will no longer prescribe controlled substances, such as opiates and benzodiazepines, to patients who are using marijuana (THC)," the statement reads in part. "These drugs are psychoactive substances and it is not safe for you to take them together." (This statement is patently false; marijuana has no known dangerous reactions with any other drugs, and in fact, since marijuana relieves chronic pain, it often makes it possible for pain patients to take smaller, safer doses of opiates and other drugs.)
LIAR, LIAR: Corinne Leistikow, M.D. says "patients who use opiates and marijuana together are at much higher risk of death." We’d love to see the study you’re talking about, Corinne.
"Your urine will be tested for marijuana," patients are sternly warned. "If you test positive you will have two months to get it out of your system. You will be retested in two months. If you still have THC in your urine, we will no longer prescribe controlled substances for you."
TVC patient Scott Ide, who takes methadone to control chronic back pain, also uses medical marijuana to ease the nausea and vomiting caused by gastroparesis. He believes TVC decided to change its policy after an Anchorage-based medical marijuana authorization clinic spend three days in Fairbanks in June, helping patients get the necessary documentation to get a state medical marijuana card.
"I’m a victim of circumstance because of what occurred," Ide said. "I was already a patient with her — I was already on this regimen. We already knew what we were doing to get me better and work things out for me. I think it’s wrong."
Ide, a former Alaska State Trooper, said he was addicted to painkillers, but medical marijuana helped him wean himself off all medications except methadone.
Leistikow admitted that the new policy may force some patients to drive all the way to Anchorage, because there are only a few chronic pain specialists in Fairbanks. Still, she claimed the strict new policy was "necessary."
The assistant medical director is so eager to defend the clinic’s new policy that she took a significant departure from the facts in so doing.
"What we have decided as a clinic — we’re setting policy for which patients we can take care of and which ones we can’t — patients who use opiates and marijuana together are at much higher risk of death, abuse and misuse of medications, of having side effects from their medications, and recommendations are generally that patients on those should be followed by a pain specialist," Leistikow lied.
Patients who use opiates and marijuana together are NOT in fact at higher risk of death, abuse, misuse and side effects; I invite Ms. Leistikow to produce any studies which indicate they are. As mentioned earlier, pain patients who also use marijuana are usually able to use smaller, safer doses of painkillers than would be the case without cannabis supplementation.
LAKEWOOD, Colo. (AP) — Marijuana activists are headed to an Obama campaign office to protest what they consider “hostile actions” from the administration.
Pot activists say that President Barack Obama’s administration is making “attacks” on medical marijuana patients.
Several activists were headed to a campaign office in Lakewood Thursday to hand out pamphlets and criticize the administration’s approach to marijuana.
A spokeswoman for the Obama campaign in Colorado had no immediate statement on the marijuana protest.
Similar protests were planned in six other states, some at Obama campaign offices and some at federal buildings.
(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
by Chelsea Rabideau
Posted on July 5, 2012 at 11:50 PM
Updated Friday, Jul 6 at 10:52 AM
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) – A Kentucky state senator from Louisville is pitching a bill in Frankfort that would legalize medical marijuana. It’s named in honor of one of medical marijuana’s long-standing supporters, Gatewood Galbraith, who died in January. But, one of the senator’s long-time friends says the bill is self-serving.
David Toborowsky says he’s been friends with democratic senator Perry Clark for 15 years. He’s also a supporter of Clark’s opponent Chris Thieneman. When Clark introduced the Gatewood Galbraith Memorial Medical Marijuana Act of 2013 Thursday, Toborowsky says he was bothered.
“You know, being an elected official is leadership and as a constituent, I would hope for a little more from that. Like I said, there’s more important issues out there,” Toborowsky said.
But, there’s a little more to it.
Toborowsky said he faced an uncomfortable situation during the last legislative session. He claimed he went to Clark’s house to talk politics and the senator was smoking pot.
“They handed it to me, I’m not a pot smoker, it’s not my thing,” Toborowsky said. “I don’t judge anybody, what people do in their personal lives is their business. I didn’t think anything of it and it didn’t bother me until the bill was filed…and I thought, you know, that’s kind of self-serving.”
Senator Clark freely admitted to using the drug.
“I have chronic back pain. I’ve been known to smoke weed. People know that about me somewhat. I’m not a chronic smoker. I’m a 70’s child, child of the 70’s, I’m a veteran,” Clark said. “They put me in not the greatest places in the Orient. We were sailors so, you know what we were doing and we weren’t behaving totally. But, I have been recommended marijuana for my back.”
Again, Toborowsky said he’s been friends with Clark for 15 years. But, he’s also contributed money to republican Chris Thieneman’s campaign in the past. He also caused his own stir when he listed the same address as Thieneman when he filed to run for the Jefferson County School Board in 2010.
Ky. State Police Tackling Funding Cuts
Posted: Jul 1, 2012 3:22 PM
FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) – Kentucky State Police are curtailing some operations and searching for more efficient ways to perform other duties to deal with high gas prices and a 2.4 percent cut in state funding.
Lt. David Jude said the agency is still hiring and training new troopers and aren’t reducing their ability to respond to emergency calls. Jude told The Messenger-Inquirer that the things people "would associated with the Kentucky State Police" haven’t been impacted.
"Credit goes to the governor for … not making a much deeper cut than that," Judge said.
There are currently about 900 troopers on the force, roughly the same number the agency had in the 1970s. That number of troopers is adequate because technology has made patrol work more efficient, with troopers able to file citations electronically, Jude said. Jude said the agency recently acquired equipment, through grants, that greatly reduces the amount of time troopers spend mapping highway accidents.
The goal is to use technology as a way to "improve performance with the manpower we got," Jude said.
Trooper Corey King, public information officer for the state police post in Henderson, said the budget means the post will likely not use a helicopter this year when doing sweeps for marijuana patches.
"We have to prioritize things," King said. "We’re cutting a little here and there – and flight time (for marijuana eradication) is part of that – to make sure safety and (response) is No. 1."
In addition to the budget cuts, high fuel prices have affected the operations at the Henderson post, King said.
"We go through a lot of fuel and we patrol a lot of areas. We’ll have to sacrifice in other proactive areas" so the emphasis can remain on taking priority calls, King said.
Jude said troopers are identifying areas where there are known traffic issues and are setting up checkpoints on those roads, rather than actively patrolling those areas.
"We would challenge the post commanders to fund the appropriate place for checkpoints," Jude said. "It’s not a decision to park your car and not use gas – it’s a more efficient way to do what you’re doing."
While some vacant positions have been unfilled, the state police are still hiring for trooper positions, Jude said.
"We’re fortunate to run a cadet class every year," Jude said. "If you look at … Kansas and Georgia, some of those states haven’t had a cadet class in years."