Category: Dispatches

The Opium Exclusion Act of 1909 (The US War on Drugs Commences)

By Dale Gieringer  Relevant background as the nation struggles with a deadly, worsening opiate epidemic. First published in O’Shaughnessy’s Autumn 2009, slugged “A Century of Failure.”  On February 9, 1909, Congress passed the Opium Exclusion Act, barring the importation of opium for smoking as of April 1. Thus began a hundred-year crusade that has unleashed unprecedented crime, violence and corruption around the world -a war with no victory in sight. Long accustomed to federal drug control, most Americans are unaware that there was once a time when people were free to buy any drug, including opium, cocaine, and cannabis, at...

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MBC Cannabis Guidelines Have Appendicitis

By Fred Gardner   The Medical Board of California (MBC) at its October 27 meeting voted on new Guidelines for the Recommendation of Cannabis for Medical Purposes with two appendices that practitioners might find useful.  Appendix 1 is a “Decision Tree” that violates an important tenet of the Guidelines adopted by the board. This ruptured appendix is a clear case of bureaucratic malpractice. The Guidelines state, “A patient need not have failed on all standard medications in order for a physician to recommend or approve the use of cannabis for medicinal purposes.” But the “Decision Tree” makes cannabis a treatment of last resort...

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CA Med Board Adopting New MJ Guidelines

By Fred Gardner   The Medical Board of California (MBC) will vote today (10/27) to adopt “Guidelines for the Recommendation of Cannabis for Medical Purposes.” The guidelines were drafted by a two-member task force that relied heavily on input from the Center for Medical Cannabis Research (CMCR) at UC San Diego. The draft guidelines do not include provisions promoted by the Federation of State Medical Boards that pro-cannabis doctors considered onerous. (Read the background here.) “Thankfully absent,” says Steve Robinson, MD, are provisions in the Federation’s “model guidelines” that would have • allowed only a patient’s primary physician to approve their use...

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Disagreement on Florida Agreement

From Anne Morgan, MD, who practices Family Medicine in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. (The consent form was included in rules governing the approval of cannabis use issued by the state medical board earlier this month.) Attached is the  “Medical Marijuana Consent Form” that Florida physicians are supposed to have patients sign. It is wrong and unconscionable to make me have my patients sign something I am not in agreement with. I am supposed to “explain the information.” I already have my own consent-to-treat form in place. The list of side effects is inaccurate, especially suppression of the immune system. I know...

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MBC Promoting One-Sided ‘Agreement’

By Fred Gardner   “It’s nice to win one for a change,” said Stephen Robinson, MD, as we headed for hot, flat Sacramento August 30 to attend a meeting of the Medical Board of California’s Cannabis Task Force. He was referring to the MBC’s posting a few days earlier of draft “Guidelines for the recommendation of cannabis for medical purposes.” The Task Force had chosen not to adopt several provisions recommended by the Federation of State Medical Boards that Robinson had decried as onerous on behalf of the Society of Cannabis Clinicians. One provision rejected by California’s board  —now adopted...

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