New York: Medical Marijuana Patients, Physicians Outraged; Governor Proposes Leaving Patients BehindSubmitted by steveelliott on Tue, 06/03/2014 - 16:48
Comprehensive Legislation is Needed to Relieve Suffering in New York; Research Should Augment, Not Replace, Legislative Solution
Strong Statements from Patients, Caregivers and Physicians Calling on Governor to Support Compassionate Care Act
The Buffalo News on Tuesday reported on an agreement with Britain-based GW Pharmaceuticals to pursue clinical trials in New York for Epidiolex, a investigational new marijuana-derived drug that is intended for children with severe seizure disorders. The proposal is limited to research studies only, must go through the lengthy FDA-approval process, and would be focused solely on children under 18 years of age with severe seizure disorders who have not responded to other medications.
The research study is not the same thing as a patient access system for medical marijuana, such as the one as outlined in the Compassionate Care Act (S.4406B-Savino/A.6357B-Gottfried). The research trials would not allow eligible patients in New York to access medical marijuana under the supervision of their healthcare provider.
Rather, only a very small, select group patients -- likely limited to a few dozen -- who qualify for the research trial would be allowed access into the study.
Patients, caregivers and physicians, frustrated with Gov. Cuomo’s failure to support real solutions, reacted strongly to the proposed "trials."
Republican Support for Medical Marijuana Builds After GOP-Led U.S. House of Representatives Passes Bipartisan Bill Directing Feds to Respect State Marijuana Laws
Patients, Families and Advocates Cheer Maziarz and New York Times Editorial, Travel to Albany Monday to Demand Vote in Senate Finance Committee
In a another strong sign of growing GOP support for medical marijuana, new York State Senate Vice President Pro Tempore George Maziarz (R-Lockport) has signed on as co-sponsor of the Compassionate Care Act ( S.4406-B (Savino)), which would allow eligible patients with serious and debilitating conditions to access medical marijuana under the supervision of their healthcare provider.
In February, Maziarz became one of the first Senate Republicans to publicly announce his support for the Compassionate Care Act along with Senators Grisanti and Robach. Since then then, they’ve been joined by O’Mara, Bonacic and Larkin, who also announced their support. Maziarz, the third-highest ranking member of the Senate Republicans, joins Sen. Robach and Grisanti as Republican a co-sponsor.
Patients, healthcare providers and advocates with the statewide Compassionate Care NY coalition praised Sen. Maziarz and called on Senate leadership to finally allow a vote on the measure.
Rapidly Building Republican Support for Bipartisan Bill Comes as Republican Senator Phil Boyle Introduces Inadequate Measure
Patients, Families and Advocates Respond: Good that Boyle Supports Medical Marijuana; Now He Can Support Patients by Endorsing the Compassionate Care Act
In a Friday meeting with patients, caregivers and providers, New York State Senator John Bonacic (R-Middletown) has announced his support for the comprehensive medical marijuana bill known as the Compassionate Care Act ( S.4406-B (Savino) / A.3567-A (Gottfried)). With this announcement, Bonacic becomes the fifth Republican state senator to publicly endorse the bill, which would allow eligible patients with serious and debilitating conditions to access medical marijuana under the supervision of their healthcare provider.
Patients, healthcare providers and advocates with the statewide Compassionate Care NY coalition praised Bonacic and called on more Republican leaders to take their cues from the growing list of GOP supporters.
Groundbreaking Gathering at The New York Academy of Medicine Brings Together Leading Academics, Lawmakers, Community Groups and Experts in Policy to Discuss New Approaches
Brooklyn Congressman Hakeem Jeffries, NYC Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and More To Discuss How to Fix New York’s Broken Marijuana Policies
Thursday, May 1, marks the start of a major one-and-a-half day conference at The New York Academy of Medicine (NYAM) to discuss marijuana and broader drug policy reform. The conference commemorates the 70th anniversary of one of the nation’s first systematic studies to address many of the myths about marijuana, The La Guardia Committee Report: The Marihuana Problem in the City of New York, published in 1944.
The NYAM published report concluded that “the sociological, psychological, and medical ills commonly attributed to marihuana have been found to be exaggerated,” but marijuana prohibition has stood largely intact for 70 years – until now.
When the LaGuardia Commission released its final report on marijuana in 1944, it was in the midst of a national debate about marijuana, and prohibition was still new. Now, 70 years later, a national discussion is again underway about our marijuana policies.
While Assembly Included Compassionate Care Act in Budget Proposal, the Senate and Governor Failed to Act
Advocates: To Alleviate Patient Suffering in New York, State Senate Must Immediately Bring Compassionate Care Act to Floor for a Vote
Governor Andrew Cuomo, Speaker Sheldon Silver, and Senate Co-Presidents Dean Skelos and Jeffrey Klein on Saturday announced that they had reach a budget agreement, but the deal excluded the Compassionate Care Act, a bill that would allow seriously ill New Yorkers access to medical marijuana under the supervision of their healthcare provider.
The Assembly had included the proposal as part of their one-house budget bill, but the Senate and Governor refused to include the bill in the final budget. The Compassionate Care Act has passed the Assembly four times, has bi-partisan support in the Senate, and is supported by a super-majority of New York voters. But senate leaders have refused to let the bill come up for a vote.
Patients, providers and caregivers were frustrated to learn that once again the Legislature refused to show the sick suffering some compassion and mercy. They urged immediate action by the Senate to pass the Compassionate Care Act as a stand-alone bill.
Tuesday: Assembly Health Committee to Vote on “Compassionate Care Act”
Broad Coalition Unites Behind Comprehensive Bill
On Monday, the first full day of the 2014 New York State Senate session, dozens of patients, families, caregivers and healthcare providers gathered in Albany for a press conference and lobby day to call on the State Senate to pass and Governor Andrew Cuomo to sign the Compassionate Care Act -- A.6357-A (Gottfried) / S.4406-A (Savino).
People living with cancer, multiple sclerosis, seizure disorders, and other serious, debilitating medical conditions; healthcare providers; and the parents of children who suffer from severe forms of epilepsy, such as Dravet’s syndrome, travelled from all corners of the State to call on the Senate to pass and the Governor to support the Compassionate Care Act, comprehensive legislation that would allow seriously ill New Yorkers access to medical marijuana under the supervision of their healthcare provider.
The lobby day comes on the heels of Governor Cuomo’s announcement last week in his State of the State address that he supports medical marijuana. The medical efficacy of medical marijuana has been well established in the scientific literature, and the feasibility of establishing comprehensive, statewide medical marijuana programs has been clearly demonstrated in the 20 states and the District of Columbia which have passed bills to establish such programs.
Hearings in Advance of 2014 Legislative Session
NY Patients, Families Will Join Medical Experts in Calling on Legislature to Take Immediate Action to Pass Legislation
Dozens of patients living with cancer, multiple sclerosis, severe seizure disorders, and other serious, debilitating medical conditions on Wednesday, December 18 will gather in Mineola for a hearing of the New York State Assembly Health Committee about the Compassionate Care Act -- A.6357-A(Gottfried) / S.4406-A (Savino). The Compassionate Care Act would create one of the nation’s most tightly regulated medical marijuana programs, allowing seriously ill patients access to a small amount of marijuana under the supervision of their healthcare provider.
What: New York State Assembly Health Committee Hearing on the Compassionate Care Act, New York’s Medical Marijuana Bill
When: Wednesday, December 18 at 10 AM
Where: Nassau County Legislative Chambers Theodore Roosevelt Executive & Legislative Building 1550 Franklin Avenue Mineola, NY
Who (dozens of patient and providers, including):
Missy Miller, a Long Island mother of 3 whose child suffers from a severe seizure disorder
Dr. Sunil Aggarwal, physician, researcher, and co-chair of NY Physicians for Compassionate Care
Paige Figi, mother whose child with Dravet’s syndrome is being successfully treated with medical cannabis in Colorado and was profiled in Dr. Sanjay Gupta’s CNN documentary, Weed
Mayor’s Claim that Medical Marijuana is “Hoax” Comes One Day after 600 New York Physicians Pledge Support for NY Medical Marijuana Bill
By Steve Elliott
Maybe New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg should stick to politics, and stay away from medicine.
Mayor Bloomberg on Friday ran afoul of medical science and the opinions of more than 600 New York physicians when he called medical marijuana “one the great hoaxes of all time." The statement came just one day after NY Physicians for Compassionate Care held a press conference announcing the support of more than 600 physicians from across New York for medical marijuana legislation pending in Albany.
The New York medical community has been pushing for the passage of the Compassionate Care Act – A.6357 (Gottfried) / S.4406 (Savino) – a bill that would allow healthcare practitioners to talk to their patients about medical marijuana and certify those with serious, debilitating illnesses so that they may have access to a small amount of medical marijuana to relieve their symptoms.
Doctors Say They Should be Able to Recommend Marijuana as an Effective Medication
By Steve Elliott
More than 600 New York physicians on Thursday will announce their support for a carefully regulated medical marijuana program for seriously ill state residents.
Physicians from all over the state have signed a statement affirming that doctors should not be punished for recommending the use of marijuana for seriously ill people, and seriously ill people should not be subject to criminal sanctions for using marijuana if the patient's physicians have told them such use may be beneficial, according to NY Physicians for Compassionate Care.
The announcement comes as lawmakers in Albany consider the Compassionate Care Act -- A. 6357 (Gottfried)/S. 4406 (Savino) -- which would allow healthcare practitioners to talk to their patients about medical marijuana and authorize those with serious, debilitating illnesses so that they can access medical marijuana to relieve their symptoms.
The bill, which according to its sponsors would create one of the most tightly regulated medical marijuana programs, also has the support of hundreds of patients and their families and dozens of organizations across the state.
By Sunil Aggarwal, M.D., Ph.D., PGY-3, NYU Medical Center
The article "Medical Marijuana: Clearing Away the Smoke" by Grant, Atkinson, Gouaux, and Wilsey published this month in Bentham Science’s 5-year-old, peer-reviewed, National Library of Medicine-indexed and internationally edited Open Neurology Journal represents a major milestone in the consolidation of knowledge and regularizing of clinical practice with regards to the medicinal use of cannabis.
The authors, well-established faculty members or associates at leading American academic medical centers, have yet again reviewed the gold-standard clinical trials-based evidence for medical uses of cannabis and related cannabinoids and have found:
1. that it is inaccurate to say that cannabis lacks medical utility or that information on its safety is lacking
2. that judgments on relative benefits and risks of cannabis and cannabinoids as medicines need to be viewed within the broader context of risk-benefit of other standard agents as well, many of which are associated with more serious adverse events, and
3. that enough information and clinical experience exists that an algorithm can be constructed to guide decision-making for physicians who may be considering recommending medicinal cannabis to patients with neuropathic pain, which the authors offer.
Talk of renewed unity within the cannabis legalization movement ignites a sense of family within the community
By Michael Bachara, Hemp News Correspondent/Oregon NORML Member
The 9th Annual Oregon Medical Cannabis Awards, sponsored by Oregon NORML, included a public Holiday Bazaar featuring unique items from a dozen vendors and held educational programs at the World Famous Cannabis Café located 322 SE 82nd Ave, Portland, OR 97216. The Cannabis Cafe is a private club that serves Oregon Medical Marijuana Program registrants, and is not usually open to the public.
United States: Sunil Aggarwal, PhD – Removal of Cannabis from Schedule I of the Controlled Substances ActSubmitted by restore on Tue, 12/21/2010 - 06:57
The Pharmaceuticalization of Cannabis: Rescheduling proponents suggest cannabis doesn't meet the Controlled Substances Act's extensive criteria for placement in Schedule I. The U.S. Government clings to the stance that cannabis merit’s Schedule I status.
By Michael Bachara, Hemp News Correspondent
Sunil Aggarwal, PhD, represents a new generation of scientific-minded doctors, leaving cannabis’ negative propaganda behind and fighting for it as a valuable, medicinal plant. His credentials include the Medical and Scientific Advisory Board of Americans for Safe Access (ASA), Health Professionals for Responsible Drug Scheduling, service on the Board of Directors for the American Academy of Cannabinoid Medicine and he is a Seattle Hempfest Core Staff Member.
The Sixth National Clinical Conference on Cannabis Therapeutics, co-sponsored by the School of Medicine, University of California at San Francisco; the Rhode Island State Nurses Association and Patients Out of Time will be held on April 15 - 17, 2010 at the Crowne Plaze Hotel in Warwick, RI.
Continuing education credits will be available through the University of California's Office of Continuing Medical Education.
Nursing contact hours have been applied for through the Rhode Island State Nurses Association and are pending approval.
Agenda - Sixth National Clinical Conference on Cannabis Therapeutics
Thursday April 15, 2010
7pm Reception & Exhibits
Friday, April 16, 2010
7:30 - Registration and Continental Breakfast
8:00 - Al Byrne - Welcome/Opening Remarks – Donald Abrams, MD (UCSF), Jesse Stout (RIPAC) and Donna Policastro, RN (RISNA)
8:30 - Raphael Mechoulam, PhD – Cannabis:Opening New Vistas in Both Therapy and Chemical Biology
9:10 - John McPartland, DO – A Molecular View of the Synergistic Shotgun
9:35 - Robert Melamede PhD– Endogenous Cannabinoid System Review
10:20 - Gregory L. Gerdeman, PhD – Cannabinoids and the Neurobiology of Reward, Habit Formation and Addiction
10:45 - Andrea Hohmann, PhD – Endocannabinoid System & Neuropathic Pain
11:10 - Heather Bradshaw, PhD – The Endogenous Cannabinoid System and Reproductive Pain
By Anna Diaz for Oregon NORML
The American Medical Association (AMA) voted in November 2009 to reverse its long held position that marijuana be retained as a Schedule I substance with no medical value. The AMA adopted a report drafted by its Council on Science and Public Health (CSAPH) entitled, "Use of Cannabis for Medicinal Purposes," which affirmed the therapeutic benefits of marijuana and called for further research.
The change of position by the largest physician-based group in the country was precipitated in part by a resolution adopted in June 2008 by the Medical Student Section (MSS) of the AMA in support of the reclassification of marijuana's status as a Schedule 1 substance.
"It's been 72 years since the AMA has officially recognized that marijuana has both already-demonstrated and future-promising medical utility," said Sunil Aggarwal, Ph.D., the medical student who spearheaded the passage of the June 2008 resolution by the MSS and was one of the CSAPH report's designated expert reviewers. "The AMA has written an extensive, well-documented, evidence bases report that they are seeking to publish in a peer-reviewed journal that will help to educate the medical community about the scientific basis of botanical cannabis-based medicines."
By Monica Guzman, Seattle PI Staff
Marijuana has long been classified as a dangerous drug with no medical benefits. But thanks in part to the work of a University of Washington medical student, a major medical association this week urged the federal government to reconsider.
"It's a huge shift on medical ideology," said Sunil Aggarwal, who's been studying the medical uses of marijuana for 10 years. "It's something I've been dreaming of since I was an undergraduate and found out that marijuana wasn't a horribly dangerous thing."
Since 1997, the American Medical Association has taken a hard line against the drug, endorsing its classification as a Schedule 1 controlled substance -- the most restrictive category -- and asserting its lack of medical value. Aggarwal's research, published in his dissertation and in two articles in the Journal of Opioid Management -- helped convince AMA members that the drug has potential.