- About Us
- Get Involved
- Our Projects
- Affiliated Projects
- Support Us
- Our Building
by Thomas H. Clarke
SPRINGFIELD, IL – The Illinois Senate voted Friday to approve a bill that would allow Illinois residents with serious illnesses to use medical marijuana if their physicians recommend it.
The full Senate voted 35-21 to approve the measure, which received approval from the full House of Representatives on April 17 and now heads to the Governor’s desk for approval.
If Gov. Pat Quinn (D) signs the bill, Illinois will become the 19th or 20th state to legalize medical marijuana in some capacity. Maryland recently passed a bill to establish a medical marijuana program, as well. In addition to Illinois and Maryland, 18 states plus the District of Columbia allow the medical use of marijuana.
by Deborah Burger
If there is one problem that symbolizes the ongoing national healthcare emergency, it is the rampant price gouging in the healthcare industry that continues to price too many Americans out of access to care and into financial ruin. Not only is the problem not solved by the Affordable Care Act, but it is a likely reason many will continue to demand more effective reform, as in expanding and extending Medicare to cover everyone.
Predatory pricing practices can be found nearly everywhere in healthcare, by the drug companies, insurance companies, medical suppliers, outpatient clinics, boutique medical services, and many others as chronicled this spring in Time magazine.
U.S. hospitals are among the biggest abusers, as illuminated in recent data released by Medicare on hospital charges for a variety of common procedures as well as brand new findings by the Institute for Health and Socio-Economic Policy, the research arm of the National Nurses United, based on Medicare cost reports.
The editorial board of the News-Gazette felt compelled to issue an editorial in the May 14 edition blasting a medical marijuana law that, after more than 3 decades, will finally let Illinois citizens have legal access to cannabis.
Make not mistake about it. Just about any patient in Illinois who needs cannabis can get it now. Except for the News-Gazette's editorial board and State's Attorney Julia Rietz, most other citizens of Illinois are not so dorky they can't find a dealer if in need. The ONLY thing the new law does is allow them _legal_ access. It does create a government-regulated monopoly system that requires those participating to give up some fundamental human rights. The state apparently feels it can't compete with the black market, so imposes its use on anyone who participates, as well as a number of ridiculous restrictions.
by Doug Fine, National Cannabis Coalition
Stigma, the final front in the Drug War, was on my mind as I addressed my colleagues at the Society of Professional Journalists’ Southwest Regional Conference in Santa Fe on a recent brisk spring afternoon. I assumed, since 80% of Americans want the Drug War to end, that I was of like mind with the news anchors, radio hosts and newspaper editors who had traveled to the conference from Wyoming to the Mexican Border. After all, everywhere I go to speak, young and old, left and right, and men and women alike seem to nearly universally recognize that the United States’ longest and most expensive war soon will finally end on the federal level.
by Americans for Safe Access
BERKELEY, CA — As U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder delivered a commencement speech Friday for UC Berkeley law school graduates, a plane flew overhead with a banner that read “Holder: End Rx Cannabis War. #Peace4Patients,” in protest against recent actions by the Justice Department (DOJ) in the Bay Area.
Outside the Hearst Greek Theater, where Holder gave his speech, medical marijuana advocates also handed out fake DOJ recruitment flyers, detailing how the Obama Administration is engaging in harmful tactics that are adversely affecting the lives of hundreds of thousands of patients in California.
DENVER – The Colorado state legislature passed the first bills in history Wednesday to establish a regulated marijuana market for adults. Representatives of the Amendment 64 campaign will discuss the landmark achievement and next steps at a news conference Thursday at 10 a.m. in the Creswell Mansion Office Building (1244 Grant St., Denver).
"The adoption of these bills is a truly historic milestone and brings Colorado one step closer to establishing the world's first legal, regulated, and taxed marijuana market for adults," said Mason Tvert, director of communications for the Marijuana Policy Project, who served as an official proponent and campaign co-director for the ballot measure approved by Colorado voters in November.
WASHINGTON, DC — Nearly nine out of ten Americans — including 80 percent of self-identified Republicans — now say that marijuana should be legal if its use is permitted by a physician, according to nationwide Fox News telephone poll of 1,010 registered voters.
The poll, released Wednesday, was conducted by under the direction of Anderson Robbins Research (D) and Shaw & Company Research (R) and possesses margin of sampling error of ± 3 percentage points.
According to the poll, 85 percent of voters agree that adults ought to be allowed to use cannabis for therapeutic purposes if a physician authorizes it. The total marked an increase in support of four percent since Fox last polled the question in 2010 and is the highest level of public support for the issue ever reported in a scientific poll.
Although respondents were divided on whether they believed that “most people who smoke medical marijuana truly need it,” the overwhelming majority of voters nonetheless agreed that consuming the plant should be legal if a doctor permits it.
by Bill Moyers and Michael Winship
If you want to see why the public approval rating of Congress is down in the sub-arctic range — an icy 15 percent by last count — all you have to do is take a quick look at how the House and Senate pay worship at the altar of corporations, banks and other special interests at the expense of public aspirations and need.
Traditionally, political scientists have taught their students that there are two schools of thought about how a legislator should get the job done. One is to vote yay or nay on a bill by following the will of his or her constituency, doing what they say they want. The other is to represent them as that legislator sees fit, acting in the best interest of the voters — whether they like it or not.
But our current Congress — as cranky and inert as an obnoxious old uncle who refuses to move from his easy chair — never went to either of those schools. Its members rarely have the voter in mind at all, unless, of course, that voter’s a cash-laden heavy hitter with the clout to keep an incumbent on the leash and comfortably in office.
Many military veterans and civilians suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder are finding relief with marijuana, but even in some medical marijuana states, its use is not approved.
by Phillip Smith
Access to medical marijuana continues to expand as more and more states embrace the healing power of the herb. At the same time, hundreds of thousands of veterans of America’s decade of wars are returning home burdened with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), a condition as old as war itself, but that in years past went either unrecognized or was seen as a soldier’s personal failure, his “shell shock” or “battle fatigue.” Could medical marijuana help?
Scott Murphy of Newton, Massachusetts, is an Iraq combat veteran who uses medical marijuana for chronic pain. “I use medical cannabis for chronic pain from a motorcycle accident that was aggravated by my military service,” Murphy said. “I had a severe accident when I was 18, I have a rod in my femur and four plates in my hip. The pain is to the point where it is affecting my walk.”
by Tori Field and Beverly Bell
Heather Retberg stood on the steps of the Blue Hill, Maine town hall surrounded by 200 people. “We are farmers,” she told the crowd, “who are supported by our friends and our neighbors who know us and trust us, and want to ensure that they maintain access to their chosen food supply.”
Blue Hill is one of a handful of small Maine towns that have been taking bold steps to protect their local food system. In 2011, they passed an ordinance exempting their local farmers and food producers from federal and state licensure requirements when these farmers sell directly to customers.