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 Apr 5 - 11, 2018 
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Baked Goods

Health Department Improves Applications

Process easier, shorter

By
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Rob M.

Anyone treating their arthritis with cannabis will be relieved to hear that the application just became much easier. Instead of four pages, it's now only two. And it can be completed online—although you still have to print it out and submit it by mail or in person. I paid a somewhat hefty sum to have all that taken care of for me a couple years ago, so I've never touched an application. God bless progress.

According to a press release from the New Mexico Department of Health, the new application also has an easier-to-read font and instructions for applicants and certifying practitioners (so helpful). The old process required certifying practitioners to write out lengthy explanations about their patient's health issues—the new one requires only medical records and a proof of provider visit. Officials at the health department have 30 days to accept or reject an application.

One big driver for the change was surely the rising number of patients enrolled in the program. NMDOH said that at the end of February, there were nearly 49,000 patients enrolled. According to their statistics, the average patient is 49 years old. US News reports that nearly half of us listed post-traumatic stress disorder as our qualifying condition.

I once asked a psychologist if post-traumatic stress disorder was common. “I think everyone has PTSD,” she said. “We should probably stop calling it a 'disorder.' ”

Medical Cannabis Protections Extended Once More

Our great leader, Lord President of the Colonies, Donald Trump (may the light of a thousand suns illuminate his glorious countenance for a million eternities) has once again signed off on a spending bill that included the Rohrabacher–Farr amendment. The amendment protects producers and patients in states where medical cannabis is legal from prosecution by the federal government. It does this by denying any funds to the DOJ that would go toward such prosecutions. This year, the protections have been extended to cover 46 states, Guam and Puerto Rico (originally, the amendment only covered 36 states).

Of course, we have to go through this bullshit every few months because no one will push through a permanent fix—meaning I have to keep stroking the ass of His Holiness, the Once and Future Trump (of whom even the heavens sing in praise) every time and again, just to make sure we don't have to worry about thugs in riot gear busting into our homes and shooting our dogs. It's fucking degrading.

The next time it'll be up for approval will be in September.

Rep. Jared Polis, of Colorado, is also working to include an amendment that will protect producers and consumers in states where recreational cannabis is legal. Last month, he wrote a letter to appropriators for the FY 2019 budget urging that House of Representatives debate and vote on the “McClintock-Polis Amendment.”

He called the amendment a “temporary, but urgent and necessary fix” and promoted his Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Act—which would remove cannabis from the list of drugs scheduled under the Controlled Substances Act as a more permanent option.

Cannabis and Violence

The debate over whether cannabis increases or decreases violent crime is burning hot again—although with a completely fresh angle. You can probably guess my opinion. In my anecdotal experience, cannabis has had tranquilizing effects that seem to increase empathy and make anger dissipate, hardly something that would increase violence.

But law enforcement officials in Sonoma County are claiming that the legalization of cannabis in California has brought with it a spike in “home invasions, violent crimes and robberies.” According to the Cloverdale Reveille, the blame isn't being laid on criminals under the drug's influence, but on out-of-towners looking for easy money. Sonoma County Agricultural Commissioner, Tony Linegar, blamed the federal legal status of the drug, pointing out that its value in places where it's still illegal makes it an attractive target.

Meanwhile Brent Cooper, Attorney General for the 22nd Judicial District of Tennessee, told WKRN News 2 in Nashville that high-powered cannabis from legal states was causing an uptick of violence in his area.

As with the Californian authorities, Cooper didn't blame the psychoactive effects of the drug. Instead, he blamed the effects of his state's drug policies. Due to cannabis' illegality, the price runs high and that makes defending the contraband with violence all the more reasonable to a drug-dealer.

Okay, so I misunderstood this whole thing. It seems these people are saying illegal cannabis causes violence. Well, yeah.

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