Thursday, June 10, 2010

Alaska Medical Marijuana Law Needs a Few Changes

Alaska Medical Marijuana (MMJ) the good the bad and the ugly. At first glance it would seem Alaska's MMJ laws are fair and just:


SUMMARY: Fifty-eight percent of voters approved Ballot Measure #8 on November 3, 1998. The law took effect on March 4, 1999. It removes state-level criminal penalties on the use, possession and cultivation of marijuana by patients who possess written documentation from their physician advising that they "might benefit from the medical use of marijuana." Patients diagnosed with the following illnesses are afforded legal protection under this act: cachexia; cancer; chronic pain; epilepsy and other disorders characterized by seizures; glaucoma; HIV or AIDS; multiple sclerosis and other disorders characterized by muscle spasticity; and nausea. Other conditions are subject to approval by the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services. Patients (or their primary caregivers) may legally possess no more than one ounce of usable marijuana, and may cultivate no more than six marijuana plants, of which no more than three may be mature. The law establishes a confidential state-run patient registry that issues identification cards to qualifying patients.

For a pdf. file containing Alaska's MMJ application please use the following link;

But there are a few bad and ugly parts to the law;

First problem a physician must examine patients in person.

This can be more difficult than you might think as many of us living in rural Alaska never see true physicians as our contact is with PA's (physicians assistants), it has been over 7 yrs since I have seen a Dr (Physician). Though I have had regular contact with my PA who prescribes my daily prescription medications.

I have a real problem that it is legal for PA's to prescribe medications with known dangerous side effects, many of which a person can easily over dose on. Then there is the fact with so many prescription drugs there can be dangerous interactions.

Yet our PA's can not prescribe marijuana, which is not a drug but is one of the safest and most highly prized medicinal herbs ever known in the history of mankind. Marijuana can not OD a patient as it is non toxic has no known dangerous side effects, and MMJ is not known to have any dangerous drug interactions.

To prescribe MMJ the physician must personally examine and have a bona fide physician-patient relationship. This is extremely strange as PA's use video and internet to contact physicians for diagnosis and help with choosing prescription drugs for their patients on a regular basis. In rural Alaska many people have their court cases tried by telephone as travel is very expensive with many rural Alaskans living in areas that can only be accessed by plane or boat!

Washington State recently changed their laws to allow patients better access too MMJ.

In Washington State they very recently changed their laws to give patients better access to MMJ.
Washington's newest improvement on the medical marijuana program expands the number of health care providers who are legally allowed to recommend medical marijuana to patients, according to its sponsor, state Senator Jeanne Kohl-Welles (D-Seattle).

Until now, only medical doctors could legally authorize patients to use cannabis medicinally in Washington State. Senate Bill 5798, Kohl-Welles, now extends the ability to authorize the medical use of marijuana to other licensed health professionals who are authorized to prescribe controlled substances.

The next problem I see with our current medical marijuana laws is the limits on the amounts a patient may possess or grow. If someone was seriously using MMJ as a cancer cure as documented in the famous Phoenix Tears by Rick Simpson. There is no way they could legally grow or posses enough under Alaska's MMJ restrictions; 1 oz. and six plants only 3 of which may be mature!

Now to add insult to injury Alaskans under the Raven Act may have up to 25 plants or up to a ounce of weed in their homes. Why should a medical patient be restricted to less when their needs are for medicating themselves rather than those just smoking for recreation?

Now the limits on MMJ leave patients in short supply and this puts them into a Black Market with prices soaring to $500 a ounce and higher in Alaska!

Come on Alaskans lets tell our legislatures that we want fair medical marijuana laws and safe access for patients to purchase fairly priced MMJ. It is ridiculous to expect caregivers to grow MMJ to cure our cancer after it is diagnosed thus allowing the cancer to grow while your plants grow. What do you say to your oncologist, please wait 6 months to start my chemotherapy, my MMJ crop is not ready yet!

Alaska lets get it together and make our Medical Marijuana laws work. So MMJ laws will truly help our loved ones in desperate need of the only non toxic cancer cure! Contact your lawmakers and let them know Marijuana is not only the safest but is the most important Medicinal Herb ever known to mankind. And they need to address the above mentioned problems to give Alaskan MMJ patients safe and fair access to their medicinal herb.

If your not sure how to contact your local lawmakers please use this link;

In reality everyone should have the right to use, possess, and grow any amount of marijuana as it is the only safe known cancer preventative.

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