By DOC on 6/18/2012 8:39 PM
Since 1996, 17 states and the District of Columbia have passed some form of medical marijuana legislation that extends legal protections to patients using marijuana for medical purposes. These include Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Maine, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington. Legislation passed in Maryland recognizes the medical benefits of marijuana, but mandates only that patients can claim an “affirmative defense” for its use, meaning they must prove their need for it to avoid fines or imprisonment. Medical marijuana bills were introduced in 19 states in 2012, but either did not pass or were not voted on due to failure to be approved in committees in 10 of them. In New Hampshire, both houses of the legislature have passed a bill. but the governor is threatening to veto it, with legislators now working to gain enough support to overturn the veto if it comes. Bills have been introduced in the legislatures...
By DOC on 2/22/2012 11:30 PM
 It now appears likely that renowned singer Whitney Houstonʼs recent death was the result of an interaction between one or more prescription medications and alcohol, which, as we have seen far too many times before, can be a lethal combination. In another high-profile tragedy in 2008, actor Heath Ledger died from a combination of several medications. The report by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner of New York concluded that he died " the result of acute intoxication by the combined effects of oxycodone, hydrocodone, diazepam, temazepam, alprazolam and doxylamine” and that “...the manner of death is accident [sic], resulting from the abuse of prescription medications." Although these two losses are tragic, they are but two of more than 37,000 other accidental deaths occurring each year due to prescription drugs in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). In fact, the number of deaths caused by prescription drugs now exceeds those from traffic accidents, and has doubled...
By DOC on 5/25/2011 10:09 AM
Although they might be surprised by the idea, many of today’s seniors are trend-setters. Actually, they should be used to it. During the 1960’s and ‘70’s, Baby Boomers championed bell bottoms, made The Beatles stars, went to Woodstock (or wished they had), and introduced America to organic food and to “pot”. Most of the Boomer generation is now nearing retirement, and the oldest—those born in 1945—are already beginning to retire. And they, and their somewhat older peers, are still setting trends.
By DOC on 5/2/2011 1:01 PM
Colorado Residency
   The web site for medical marijuana in Colorado is fairly comprehensive. Go to for the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. Select Medical Marijuana and then click on Forms. I will be referring to the application, physician certification and the information sheet to clarify the process. Please explore this site for more information and additional regulations.
   Becoming a carded medical marijuana patient is a privilege for Colorado residents. The chart at the bottom of the instruction sheet outlines all of your options to establish ...
By DOC on 7/19/2010 2:54 PM
You may recall from last week’s installment that some 35 million people worldwide and 5.5 million in the United States have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, equating to about 5% of people between the ages of 65 and 74 and nearly 50% of people over 85. You may also recall that the numbers appear to be increasing, and that an estimated 10 to 11 million Americans will have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease by 2050.

By DOC on 7/5/2010 5:50 PM
Among the specific conditions for which marijuana can be recommended in other states is the agitation that accompanies Alzheimer’s disease, a much-feared and little understood degenerative brain disorder. As we will see, it is possible that cannabis may have a far more significant role to play in Alzheimer’s disease than merely treating agitation. The disease is named after Alois Alzheimer, the German psychiatrist and neuropathologist who described the disease and the changes in the brain that characterize it in 1906. The disease usually affects people over the age of 65, though a much-less prevalent form can affect much younger people. Alzheimer’s disease is not a part of normal aging, though the risk of developing it increases with age, with its prevalence (the number of cases in the general population at any given time) doubling every five years after age 65. Some 35 million people worldwide and 5.5 million in the United States have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. This equates to about 5%...
By DOC on 7/5/2010 5:47 PM
New Mexico, Rhode Island and Washington State specifically mention hepatitis C infection as a condition for which marijuana may be recommended, though New Mexico specifies that a hepatitis C patient be undergoing active antiviral treatment. The hepatitis C virus attacks the cells of the human liver and is usually spread by exposure to the blood of an infected person, though in rare cases, it has also been passed from an infected mother to her newborn or been contracted by sexual contact. The infection is initially asymptomatic in up to 70% of patients. When symptoms do occur, they are usually mild, and may include low-grade fever, nausea or poor appetite, joint and muscle aching and occasionally right upper abdominal pain. An estimated 200 to 300 million people are infected with hepatitis C worldwide, with some 3-4 million cases in the United States. The diagnosis is often made when abnormal liver enzyme levels are found during routine blood testing, or when the disease has progressed and causes cirrhosis...
By DOC on 6/21/2010 12:02 PM
As we saw in last week’s installment, most states with medical marijuana laws have established procedures for adding new conditions to the list of symptoms or illnesses for which medical marijuana can be recommended. These procedures usually require that medical evidence support the use of cannabis for those conditions. We have also seen, however, that medical research on cannabis often consists of only a few clinical studies with, in many cases, small numbers of patients. Furthermore, medical authorities sometimes disagree about whether the research supports the use of cannabis for specific medical conditions or not.

By DOC on 6/17/2010 12:14 AM
This week we continue our discussion of medical conditions for which marijuana can be recommended in other states. The medical marijuana laws in Michigan and Maine specifically mention “nail-patella syndrome” as a condition for which medical marijuana may be recommended, and the Wisconsin medical marijuana bill that was passed by the State Senate but not acted upon by the State Assembly in the most recent legislative session also specifically mentions nail-patella syndrome. (The bill also mentioned another relatively rare medical condition, Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, as well as post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD.)

By DOC on 6/4/2010 9:56 AM
As we have seen, a number of states allowing the medical use of marijuana specify individual diseases for which marijuana may be used. Among them is amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also called Lou Gehrig’s Disease after the extraordinary New York Yankees player who developed the condition in 1939 and was forced to stop playing baseball. He died of ALS in 1941. British physicist Stephen Hawking is perhaps the best-known ALS patient today, though other prominent figures have had the disease, including Senator Jacob Javits of New York, the actor David Niven, and jazz musician Charles Mingus. Some 30,000 people in the US have been diagnosed with ALS, and around 5,000 new cases are diagnosed each year.