What a month it has been in medical marijuana news! Los Angeles had its first annual High Times Medical Cannabis Cup where the attention was on the future of medical marijuana laws in California. It has been more than 15 years since California voters approved Proposition 215, the Compassionate use initiative that allows adults with a doctor’s recommendation to possess and cultivate marijuana. Although the High Times Medical Cannabis Cup shows how far the cannabis culture has come, Los Angeles news and the latest headlines across America show that there still is a battle to regulate one of the oldest medicines in existence.
According to Americans for Safe Access 71% of voters in California support medical marijuana. California was the first to take on this initiative but it seems that they are still struggling to get it right. In Los Angeles, where the pot shops are against the ropes trying their best to show they can be safe and legal, there are hopeful groups like Drugpolicy.org, that believe California will be the first to end decades of failed prohibition and pass a successor to Prop. 19. Five initiative campaigns are fueling the efforts.
The California Medical Association (CMA) called for regulation of medical cannabis and the California Attorney General is asking for clarity of state law legality. The Medical Marijuana Regulation, Control and Taxation Act of 2012 (MMRCT) is an answer to these concerns as it would create a uniform statewide policy and oversite, reasonable tax rates, and strong penalties for abuse.
“Three of the initiatives, Regulate Marijuana Like Wine 2012 (RMLW), the Repeal Cannabis Prohibition Act of 2012 (RCPA), and the California Cannabis Hemp & Health Initiative of 2012 (CCHHI), offer competing, though mostly similar, versions of legalization, while the Marijuana Penalties Act of 2012 would expand decriminalization. The fifth initiative, the Medical Marijuana Regulation, Control and Taxation Act of 2012(MMRCTA), seeks to bring statewide regulation to the state’s confused and chaotic medical marijuana marketplace.”
Since states have not been consistent with laws and regulations it’s hard to say who is setting the best example in terms of what’s best for most, but it’s clear that California is setting the stage and doing all it can to follow through with this long battle to bring cannabis back to it’s medicinal status. After all, for thousands of years it’s been one of the 50 fundamental herbs in Chinese medicine. Ironically, practitioners of Chinese medicine in the US are not able to provide dà má or cannabis sativa to their patients. Even in China dà má is hard to purchase because it is considered poisonous, if used it is in combination with other herbs. This doesn’t dispense the fact that it does have therapeutic effects, “Marijuana is used to tread a number of ailments including colitis, hemorrhoids, chronic cough, alleviating pain, promoting digestive function, insomnia, even cancer.” says Dr. Wieber a professor of TCM at Everglades University. She doesn’t recommend smoking it but rather ingesting it in the more appropriate manner like tinctures for acute conditions, tea for digestive issues and oils for skin conditions.
Back at the Medical Cannabis Cup, winners of 6 awards, including best edible was Studio City’s dispensary, Buds and Roses. In this video shot by a friend, Remy Medranda, you will here the shop owner, Aaron speak at 51:00 about the current war on dispensaries in Los Angeles as he receives an award on stage. He tells the audience that even though all this “freedom” is currently being celebrated, its actually very much in danger because of the constant pressure by the Federal government cracking down on progressive movement cities like Los Angeles.