Arizona’s Legalization Of Medical Marijuana With Prop 203

Medical Marijuana was passed in November 2010 Arizona with Prop 203, becoming the 15th US State to recognize its medicinal qualities for various debilitating medical conditions. The Arizona Department of Health Services is now assembling the Rules and Regulations for its dispensing and usage.

Marijuana was legal until 1937 in the US. It was commonly prescribed medicinally. The Marijuana Tax Act was brought before Congress in 1937, which was passed and placed a tax on the sale of cannabis. This tax equaled roughly one dollar on anyone who commercially dealt marijuana. The ACT did not criminalize the possession or usage of marijuana however. The American Medical Association opposed the bill, arguing that cannabis was not dangerous and that its medicinal use would be severely curtailed by prohibition. Within 4 years, medical marijuana was withdrawn from the US pharmaceutical market because of the law’s requirements.

In 1970, the Controlled Substances Act was passed, making Marijuana a Schedule 1 Narcotic. A Schedule 1 Narcotic is supposedly one that has a high potential for abuse, no medical use, and not safe to use under medical supervision. As you will read soon in this E-Book, a lot of states disagree, and Arizona is the latest to realize marijuana’s benefits medicinally.

In 1996 California became the first state to legalize medical marijuana. The California Compassionate Use Act, known as Proposition 215, allowed patients freedom from prosecution with a physician’s recommendation. The federal government went after the initiative and threatened to arrest physicians for recommending it, but a federal court decision protected physicians under the First Amendment.

Despite persistence of federal oppositions, numerous states have passed their own medical marijuana laws, with the latest being Arizona. Canada has also changed their laws with regards to medical marijuana as well. In 2005, the Supreme Court upheld the federal ban on marijuana but did not question the validity of the state laws. Therefore, patients are protected from state prosecution in the states with legal medical marijuana, but not federal. Both the DEA and Justice Department have said they don’t want to go after patients, only large traffickers.

There were not many regulations put into place in California upon passing medicinal marijuana. Colorado subsequently passed it in 2000. Due to federal regulations neither state had widespread abuse of medical marijuana with the prospect of federal prosecution looming.

That all changed in 2009. President Obama announced his administration would no longer use federal resources to go after dispensaries and patients as long as they complied with state laws. Dispensaries began to multiply like rabbits, and within a few months patients were signing medical marijuana doctor los angeles up in Colorado at a rate of 1000 per day. In Los Angeles alone, medical marijuana dispensaries outnumber McDonald’s and Starbucks by 2 to 1.

Cannabis collective | Reuters.com

Arizona became the 15th state to legalize medical marijuana with Prop 203 passing in November of 2010. It was an extremely close vote that took over 11 days after the actual election to finalize the count. 1.7 million people voted and initially the vote was 7000 votes against it, but when it was final it won by slightly over 4000 votes.

Voters have passed medical marijuana in Arizona twice in the past but because of wording and conflicting federal laws nothing actually went into effect. Marijuana remains completely illegal under federal law. It is a Schedule 1 Drug under the US Controlled Substances Act, which means it is regarded as having high abuse potential and no medical use. Its possession, sale, manufacture, transportation and distribution for any purpose are against federal law.

However, more and more states continue to recognized its medicinal purposes. Fifteen states now have laws permitting medical use of marijuana. These laws exempt patients from criminal charges for personal possession and/or cultivation of small amounts with a doctor’s recommendation. What this means is since the overwhelming majority of smaller scale drug offenses are prosecuted by state law, patients are generally safe in these states from arrest (as long as local law is followed).

A 2002 Time magazine poll showed an amazing 80% of Americans supported legalizing medical marijuana. As you will read in this E-Book, medical marijuana is beneficial to patients suffering from many debilitating medical conditions such as Glaucoma, MS, ALS, Cancer, HIV/AIDS, Severe Muscle Spasms, and Chronic Pain.

Abbie Hofmann was jubilant in the final months before his death last year, at the age of 102, upon learning that the first scientific research on LSD in decades was beginning. What is the possibilities LSD will one day become the drug of choice for psychedelic psychotherapy? That remains in question because there may be better solutions. Some doctors prefer psilocybin over LSD because it is gentler and generally less intense says Charles S. Grob, a professor of psychiatry at the University of California Los Angeles. Psychedelic psychotherapy is being used in conducted trials to test their effects on anxiety in terminal cancer patients.

When Hofmann first discovered LSD (lysergic acid diethylamide-2.5) in the 1940s, he continuously asserted its potential benefits as an invaluable supplement in psychotherapy and spiritual practices. New studies, picking up where investigators in the 1950s and 1970s left off, are exploring the possible therapeutic effects of LSD on the intense anxiety encountered by most patients with life threatening diseases, such as cancer. In addition to LSD, other researchers have studied psilocybin (the active ingredient found in magic mushrooms), MDMA (Ecstasy), and many other psychedelic compounds for their existential anxiety properties.

The LSD studies are being conducted with the approval of the Swiss medical authorities by Peter Gasser, a physician at the Swiss Medical Society for Psycholytic Therapy. Gasser, whose study began in 2008, is almost entirely funded by the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies, a U.S. nonprofit that sponsors research with the goal of making psychedelics and marijuana into prescription drugs. Finding eligible candidates have been difficult for Gasser, therefore research findings are progressing slowly. Patients receiving the psychedelic therapy reports they were aided emotionally and none experienced panic reactions, but did overcome anxious feelings, and were aided in their reentry into regular life.

Beckley Foundation, a British based firm is funding similar LSD research in collaboration with the University of California. They are seeking to determine how the drug can foster creativity and what changes to the neural activity center within the brain occurs along with altered conscious when the drugs are taken. The UCLA researchers prefer psilocybin over LSD. The objective of the majority of the psychedelic psychotherapy is to determine their effects and potential assistance in combating anxiety in terminal cancer sufferers and other life threatening disease patients. It has proven those treated with these drugs encounter fewer panic reactions and experience less of paranoia.

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