Thursday, September 12, 2019

DEA proposes to reduce the amount of five opioids manufactured in 2020, cannabis quota for research increases by almost a third



WASHINGTON – The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration is proposing to reduce the amount of five Schedule II opioid controlled substances that can be manufactured in the United States next year compared with 2019, per the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking being published in the Federal Register tomorrow and available for public inspection here today. 

DEA proposes to reduce the amount of fentanyl produced by 31 percent, hydrocodone by 19 percent, hydromorphone by 25 percent, oxycodone by nine percent and oxymorphone by 55 percent. Combined with morphine, the proposed quota would be a 53 percent decrease in the amount of allowable production of these opioids since 2016.

DEA proposes to increase the amount of marijuana that can be produced for research by almost a third over 2019’s level, from 2,450 kilograms to 3,200 kilograms, which is almost triple what it was in 2018. This will meet the need created by the increase in the amount of approved research involving marijuana. Over the last two years, the total number of individuals registered by DEA to conduct research with marijuana, marijuana extracts, derivatives and delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) has increased by more than 40 percent, from 384 in January 2017 to 542 in January 2019.

“The aggregate production quota set by DEA each calendar year ensures that patients have the medicines they need while also reducing excess production of controlled prescription drugs that can be diverted and misused,” said Acting Administrator Uttam Dhillon. “DEA takes seriously its obligations to both protect the public from illicit drug trafficking and ensure adequate supplies to meet the legitimate needs of patients and researchers for these substances.”


The Proposed Aggregate Production Quotas and Assessment of Annual Needs being published in the Federal Register addresses more than 250 Schedule I and II controlled substances and three List I chemicals, which include ephedrine, pseudoephedrine, and phenylpropanolamine. This reflects the total amount of substances needed to meet the country’s legitimate medical, scientific, research, industrial and export needs for the year and for the maintenance of reserve stocks. DEA endeavors to set production limits at a level required to meet these needs, without resulting in an excessive amount of these potentially harmful substances.

In setting the APQ, DEA considers data from many sources, including estimates of the legitimate medical need from the Food and Drug Administration; estimates of retail consumption based on prescriptions dispensed; manufacturers’ disposition history and forecasts; data from DEA’s internal system for tracking controlled substance transactions; and past quota histories. As a result of new laws and regulations that took effect in 2018, the number of factors that DEA considers in setting the APQ has increased. Information on these factors and how they were assessed appears in the Notice.

The five opioid substances were subject to special scrutiny following the enactment last year of the Substance Use-Disorder Prevention that Promotes Opioid Recovery and Treatment for Patients and Communities Act, known as the SUPPORT Act, which requires DEA to “estimate the amount of diversion of the covered substance that occurs in the United States” and “make appropriate quota reductions. DEA’s estimates of the amount of diversion that took place for each of these five opioid substances and how those estimates were calculated appear in the Notice.

Interested parties may submit public comments on the proposed APQ until 11:59 p.m. on October 10, following the instructions in the Notice. After taking the comments into account, DEA will publish another notice later in the year informing the public of the established APQ. After that, DEA allocates individual manufacturing and procurement quotas to those manufacturers that apply for them. DEA may revise a company’s quota at any time during the year if change is warranted due to increased sales or exports, new manufacturers entering the market, new product development, or product recalls. 
Image result for medical cannabis research
September 11, 2019
Contact: National Media Affairs Office
Phone Number: (202) 307-7977

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

DC Permits Medical Cannabis in Public Schools

DC Permits Medical Marijuana in Public Schools

It’s back-to-school season for D.C. students, but 11-year-old Zoey Carty isn’t able to join the other students in the classroom.

She suffers from frontal lobe epilepsy and experiences seizures, sometimes up to dozens of times a day.

Zoey’s mother, Dawn Lee-Carty, found prescription drugs didn't work.

“They don't make me feel good," Zoey said. "They make me want to go lay down, they give me headaches and leg aches, and they just don't feel good. I get tired afterwards."

They said the only form of treatment for her severe seizures has been medical cannabis and CBD oil, which she takes through a small inhaler. But D.C. public law banned Zoey from taking her medicine at school.

Her mother said it “means the world” to see her daughter alert and happy.

“To have a place where she belongs means the world to me,” Lee-Carty said.

The debate surrounding medical cannabis in schools is playing out across the country. While more than 30 states have legalized medical cannabis, most don't allow it in schools.

D.C. law makes it legal for minors to qualify for medical cannabis treatment, but the law is silent when it comes to being used in schools.

Zoey’s mother called council members, the mayor’s office and Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton. On Friday, Norton sent a letter to Mayor Muriel Bowser and D.C. Council Chairman Phil Mendelson advocating on behalf of Zoey’s condition.

“A policy, compliant with federal law, that would allow the student to use her medical cannabis inhaler in school would prove beneficial to this student,” the letter reads. “Medical cannabis, of course, is already legal in the District, and it would seem logical to allow consumption of this medicine, especially when needed immediately, where the student frequently is — at school.”

On Tuesday, D.C. Public Schools clarified its policy, telling News4 that health professionals will administer medical cannabis to students in schools.

“That's good. That's good, and now we need to make it 50 states,” Lee-Carty said. “I mean I'm so happy that D.C. schools are able to do this, but it should be able to touch all 50 states because this is not an isolated incident.”

While the D.C. policy allows all patients in public schools to access medical cannabis, Zoey’s case is more complicated.

She attends Friendship Public Charter School, which, along with private schools in D.C., can make their own policies independent of state law. Friendship Charter School declined to comment as to whether Zoey and other students will be allowed to take their medical cannabis to school.

“That’s another thing that doesn’t make me feel good,” Zoey said. “I should go to school either way, medicine or no medicine.”


Credit Mark Segraves and Allison Park at NBC4 DC

Monday, September 9, 2019

Social Equity and New Mexico’s Medical Cannabis in Schools Law



Social equity is a concept that applies concerns of justice and fairness to social policy. Since the 1960s, the concept of social equity has been used in a variety of institutional contexts, including education, public health and public administration.

The guidance for the medical cannabis in schools law, by the Public Education Department, states that the Department of Health is not going to allow school nurses to administer medical cannabis to patients in the state’s medical cannabis program. This policy guidance from the PED is misconstruing state law and it also misconstrues Federal Policy about state medical cannabis laws.

Senate Bill 204, the medical cannabis in schools law, is written very clearly and the Public Education Department does not have the ability to change how the law was written or the intent of how the law was written. And that’s exactly what has happened.

The practice of administering medication for a RN involves providing the patient with a substance prescribed and intended for the diagnosis, treatment, or prevention of a medical illness or condition.

Medical cannabis is not a prescription and not prescribed. People in the state’s medical cannabis program are provided a Written Medical Certification Form and are then Recommended into the state’s medical cannabis program by medical professionals like Doctors and Nurses.

And according to state law for the medical cannabis program, Section 8 in subsection E: medical cannabis products are exempt from the state’s Schedule I CSA;

“E. the enumeration of marijuana, tetrahydrocannabinols or chemical derivatives of tetrahydrocannabinol as Schedule I controlled substances does not apply to the use of marijuana, tetrahydrocannabinols or chemical derivatives of tetrahydrocannabinol by certified patients pursuant to the Controlled Substances Therapeutic Research Act or by qualified patients pursuant to the provisions of the Lynn and Erin Compassionate Use Act;” [https://nmhealth.org/publication/view/policy/128/]

A school nurse that would administer medical cannabis is fulfilling that recommendation for medical cannabis use for that persons written certification into the program. These medical cannabis products allowed for use in schools are not a prescription, they are exempt from the state’s CSA, and these products are safer than using aspirin.

Recommendation or ‘Commendare’ in latin means ‘commit to the care of’, and that is what the school nurse would be doing which is different from administering a prescription medicine.

The school nurse would be conducting activities authorized in the Lynn and Erin Compassionate Use Act and the school nurse would be doing so as a "designated school personnel". According to SB-204 that means a school employee whom a public school, charter school or school district authorizes to possess, store and administer medical cannabis to a qualified student in accordance with the provisions of SB-204 law.

And then from Senate Bill 406, the Medical Cannabis Changes law from Section 14 in Subsection C and D;
“C. A school shall not refuse to enroll or otherwise penalize a person solely for conduct allowed pursuant to the Lynn and Erin Compassionate Use Act, unless failing to do so would cause the school to lose a monetary or licensing-related benefit under federal law or regulation.
D. For the purposes of medical care, including an organ transplant, a qualified patient's use of cannabis pursuant to the Lynn and Erin Compassionate Use Act shall be considered the equivalent of the use of any other medication under the direction of a physician and shall not be considered to constitute the use of an illicit substance or otherwise disqualify a qualified patient from medical care."” [https://www.nmlegis.gov/Sessions/19%20Regular/final/SB0406.pdf]

A school nurse or other school personnel would be conducting activities authorized in the Lynn and Erin Compassionate Use Act and the school nurse would be doing so as a "designated school personnel" and what the school nurse would be doing is not considered to constitute the use of an illicit substance or otherwise disqualify a qualified patient who is a student from medical care at school, all of which is conduct allowed pursuant to the Lynn and Erin Compassionate Use Act, the Medical Cannabis in Schools law (SB204) and the Medical Cannabis Changes law (SB-406).

The Public Education Department, Department of Health, Albuquerque Public Schools, and Rio Rancho Public Schools all have failed to establish reasonable parameters regarding the administration and use of medical cannabis and the school settings in which administration and use are authorized as clearly provided for in the medical cannabis in schools law.
[Section B of SB-204; Subsection 2 on pages 2 -3: https://www.nmlegis.gov/Sessions/19%20Regular/final/SB0204.pdf]

The Public Education Department, Department of Health, Albuquerque Public Schools, and Rio Rancho Public Schools are all in violation of subsections 1 and 2 of Section D of the law, as the policy guidance and proposed policies are both discipling the student (and their family for that matter) and is denying eligibility to attend school by not allowing for a reasonable accommodation necessary for the student to attend school.
[Section D of SB-204; Subsection 1-2 on pages 3-4: https://www.nmlegis.gov/Sessions/19%20Regular/final/SB0204.pdf]

Reasonable accommodations are modifications or adjustments to the tasks, environment or to the way things are usually done that enable individuals with disabilities to have an equal opportunity to participate in an academic program or a job (U.S. Department of Education, 2007).

Even further, the New Mexico School Health Manual states;
“If there is not a school nurse to delegate medication administration the best practice is to have a parent/guardian administer the medication to reduce potential risk to the student and school district. This alternative is found to be impractical and may not be an option if the parent/guardian is not able, capable, or is unwilling.”
[Last paragraph on page 66 of the New Mexico School Health Manual: https://nmhealth.org/publication/view/guide/4317/]

The intent of the new Medical Cannabis in Schools law (SB-204) is to allow for that reasonable accommodation to be created. That reasonable accommodation allows these families to have a family life by being able to go to work, attend graduate school, and live their lives to create a better future for their families. That reasonable accommodation allows for their student to go to school and be given their medicine just like all the other students while at school.

The medical cannabis in schools law is clearly written in a way for that reasonable accommodation to be met by the PED and the Schools with rules and regulations that match the state law by allowing for school personnel to administer medical cannabis and by allowing for the storage of the students medicine at school.

The New Mexico Public Education Department has also ignored the facts with Federal laws and policy about state medical cannabis laws in the US, within the PED’s issuance of the guidance pdf provided to the schools. And that’s also where the Governor should have been performing her duty to see that the laws of the state are faithfully executed, like with this Medical Cannabis in Schools law. Senate Bill 204 and 406 are both protected state medical cannabis laws as provided in Federal Policy.
[Link: http://www.cannabisnewsjournal.co/2019/09/ped-rio-rancho-and-aps-medical-cannabis.html]

Currently there are now 10 states and one capital city with comprehensive medical cannabis programs allowing safe access to medical cannabis at school: Oklahoma City School District and these ten states; California, New Mexico, New Jersey, Maine, Washington, Colorado, Pennsylvania, Florida, Illinois and Virginia.

No school or school district in the US has ever lost any federal funding for allowing safe access to medical cannabis at school, nor has there been any problems. No school personnel has ever gotten in any trouble...none.



ASA Activist Newsletter - September 2019

In the September 2019 Issue:
  • ASA Unveils Medical Cannabis Patient’s Guide for U.S. Travel 
  • DEA to Issue New Rules for Cannabis Cultivation Facility Licenses
  • ASA Educates State Lawmakers at National Meeting
  • PFC Director Addresses Hazards of Untested Products
  • Nine Ways to Help Build Community and ASA
  • ASA Activist Profile: John Belville, Canyon County, Idaho
  • ACTION ALERT: Send ASA’s States Report to Your Lawmakers
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ASA Unveils Medical Cannabis Patient’s Guide for U.S. Travel 

Just in time for the Labor Day weekend, ASA released The Medical Cannabis Patient’s Guide for U.S. Travel. This guide helps patients understand the laws on access to cannabis when they travel to other parts of the country. The guide also contains helpful tips for patients to bear in mind while traveling.
ASA Travel GuideForty-seven states and four territories currently have some form of medical cannabis law, but those laws vary dramatically. Some extend reciprocity to registered patients from other jurisdictions or permit the use of cannabis for all adults. ASA’s new guide helps patients who are unsure about their rights or how to access medical cannabis where they visit.
“Most people take for granted the ability to travel across state lines during a long holiday weekend. But for almost three million medical cannabis patients across the country, traveling can be a difficult undertaking,” said ASA Interim Director Debbie Churgai. “Many patients rely on their medicine every day, so patients need to plan ahead in order to know where they will be able to find medicine safely and legally.”
While some medical cannabis programs recognize the rights of medical cannabis patients from other states or territories, in all cases traveling across state lines with any amount of cannabis is a federal crime. This is true even if the patient is transporting cannabis between two jurisdictions that have implemented medical cannabis programs and both recognize the patient as qualified to possess and use it.
The new Medical Cannabis Patient’s Guide to Travel in the U.S. is currently only available as an online resource, but ASA is raising funds to turn it into a printed booklet that can be more widely distributed to patients. Design, printing and distribution can cost thousands of dollars, so all contributions are welcome at https://www.safeaccessnow.org/travel_donate.  
Any dispensaries or other organizations interested in ordering copies of the travel guide should contact info@safeaccessnow.org.
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DEA to Issue New Rules for Cannabis Cultivation Facility Licenses

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced last month that the long-stalled applications for cultivating research cannabis may have a path forward. The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has filed a notice in the Federal Register of its intention to promulgate regulations for registering with the DEA that govern the growing of cannabis for scientific and medical research under DEA registration
The DEA opened applications for prospective cultivators of research cannabis three years ago, but no action has been taken to issue new permits. The DOJ announcement comes just days before a court deadline to respond to a lawsuit by researchers seeking access to cannabis. Congressional lawmakers have also sought answers on the delay.
Over the past two years, the number of FDA-approved studies has increased by more than 40 percent to 542, as of January 2019. Currently only one facility, a farm at the University of Mississippi run by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, supplies all the cannabis for FDA-approved research studies. That limitation has prevented many studies from being able to obtain the materials needed to conduct research. Those researchers who have been able to obtain federal cannabis have frequently questioned the quality of the cannabis NIDA provides.
“After years of inexcusable delay, the DEA has finally taken a small step toward licensing new cannabis cultivation facilities for scientific research,” said ASA Founder and President Steph Sherer. “ASA has urged reform in this area for over a decade, and we hope that the DEA will move expeditiously now that the framework for license application review has finally been made public.” 
The DEA in its notice announced that it will establish new rules for the cultivation of research cannabis before processing applications. A public comment period on those rules will allow stakeholders to be heard. No timeline has been announced for the rulemaking process.
The DOJ’s statement notes that under the 2018 Farm Bill, DEA registration is not required to cultivate hemp for research.
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ASA Educates State Lawmakers at National Meeting

ASA staff tabling at NCSL
ASA spoke with hundreds of key state lawmakers and staff about crafting better medical cannabis policy last month during the annual National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) Legislative Summit. Among them were bill sponsors for medical cannabis legislation in Tennessee (Dr. Bryan Terry), Alabama (Rep. Mike Ball) and North Dakota (Rep. Linda Duba), and the sponsor of cannabis as alternative to opioid bill in Colorado (Rep. Jonathon Singer).
Dr Bryan Terry at the receptionASA also held two events during the Summit in Nashville. On Sunday, August 4, ASA held a pre-conference event co-sponsored with WM Policy (Weedmaps), which welcomed over 150 legislators to celebrate the release of ASA's "2019 State of the States Report: An Analysis of Medical Cannabis Access in the United States." Rep Bryan Terry, Chairman of the Tennessee House Health Committee, spoke during the event. His speech can be viewed here.  
ASA's David MangoneOn Wednesday, August 7th, ASA co-hosted another event with Eaze and the Marijuana Policy Project. During this event Illinois State Senator and NCSL President Toi Hutchinson and Colorado state legislator Jonathon Singer each spoke. 
ASA staff were assisted at the summit by David Hairston, chairman of the ASA chapter Safe Access Tennessee. David was profiled in the May 2017 ASA Activist Newsletter
The 2019 States Report can be downloaded for free at: https://www.safeaccessnow.org/sos.  
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PFC Director Addresses Hazards of Untested Products

In response to recent news reports about health problems related to vape products, Patient Focused Certification (PFC) Director Heather Despres highlighted safety information for consumers on ASA’s blog.
Depres points out the facts to look for on labels of cannabis products, and how to use ASA’s recently published “Patient’s Guide to CBD” to find helpful tips on reading packaging and labeling as well as understanding certificates of analysis.
The blog also covers the risks of purchasing products outside the regulated marketplace and what patients or other consumers should do if they experience an adverse event, including the benefit of being honest with doctors. 
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Nine Ways to Help Build Community and ASA

ASA’s Membership Coordinator Geoffrey Marshall provided tips for connecting with the cannabis community and helping build ASA’s advocacy strength on ASA’s blogthis month.  Among the opportunities are connecting through social media on FacebookTwitterInstagram, or Youtube and subscribing to ASA’s Medical Cannabis Brief newsletter for up-to-date medical cannabis news stories in a daily or weekly email. The blog also includes links for finding a representative from a local ASA chapter as well as ASA’s many free tools and resources.
How to connect with people in the community through outreach to dispensaries or the media are also discussed. Find out more on the ASA blog.
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ASA Activist Profile: John Belville, Canyon County, Idaho

Joh Belville, Idaho Cannabis CoalitionJohn Belville, 77, took an unusual path to becoming the Chief Petitioner for the medical cannabis initiative in Idaho that is currently gathering signatures.
John had become a drug and alcohol counselor in his forties, after a career as a musician traveling with various famous and not so famous bands. In 1974, he returned to Idaho to raise his own family, but his drug and alcohol abuse was running his life. In 1982, at the age of 40, he entered inpatient treatment and got sober. Three years later, he returned to college and completed a degree in Social Work and a minor in Abnormal Psychology at Boise State University. John worked with clients for 14 years until health problems forced an early retirement.
Those health problems were numerous and life threatening. He nearly died from complications due to diabetes and a double femoral artery blockage in both legs, plus an attack of necrotizing fasciitis, better known as flesh eating bacteria, all at the same time. The lack of blood flow in his legs left John with excruciating peripheral neuropathy in his legs that resulted in prescriptions for morphine, hydrocodone and occasionally oxycodone, and more drugs to treat the side effects. A full complement of opioids would reduce his pain but not eliminate it. Walking was painful, and he couldn’t sleep much.
Then he went to visit his son in Oregon.

“He said try this, and handed me some cannabis tincture, a 50/50 CBD and THC,” John says. “’Yeah sure, right,’ I said. I knew drugs, and a little weed wasn’t going to do anything.”
Like many people, John had to overcome misconceptions about what the medical use of cannabis means--all the more so because of his background as a recovering alcoholic and a counselor.
“Five minutes later I was pain free. From a five on the pain scale with the morphine to a zero. I was amazed.”
Adding the cannabinoids achieved what the opioids alone could not, and with no side effects, including intoxication. The tincture didn’t get him high; it just eliminated the pain.
“Morphine and hydrocodone helped with pain, but I couldn’t think, and sleep was always a problem,” John says. “I’d take a time-release morphine before bed, but six hours in, I’d be awake with pain and have to get a hydrocodone. A little tincture, and I’d go right back to sleep with no pain.”
Joh Belville, Idaho Cannabis Coalition
As successful as his experience with cannabis tincture was, John still had a problem. He was only visiting Oregon, and Idaho, where he lives, is one of the three states remaining with no medical cannabis law of any kind.
“My kid as a joke said ‘you’d be perfect as a chief petitioner,” John recalls. “You’re an ex-alcoholic, cleaned up, now a counselor.”
On Tuesday, June 25, John went to the state capitalwith other patient advocates to file the paperwork that began the process of qualifying the Idaho Medical Marijuana Act for the November 2020 ballot. They have until August 30 to gather and submit to the Idaho Secretary of State more than 55,000 signatures.
“It’s been fun,” John says. “My wife and I went to the farmers’ market last weekend and collected about 100 signatures. The older folks are all for it. They understand why we need it.”
Signature gathering events this month include September 6 - 8 at Julia Davis Park in Boise, September 7 in Jerome, and September 13-15 at Hyde Park in Boise. Activists can also download the 10-page petitionand gather signatures themselves.
On September 21, John and his wife Jackie are starting the first of what will be regular meetings of the Idaho Cannabis Coalition in Nampa, Idaho, to be held at 4:20 on the third Saturday of each month. Follow the Idaho Cannabis Coalitionfacebook page for more information. 
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ACTION ALERT: Send ASA’s States Report to Your Lawmakers

Your state lawmakers need to know how to better meet the needs of medical cannabis patients. Use the link below to send them ASA State of the States Report so they have the tools to improve safe access in your state. It’s quick and easy, so take action today!

Sunday, September 8, 2019

PED, Rio Rancho, and APS medical cannabis in schools policy neglects to allow reasonable accommodation portion of new law



Image result for medical cannabis in schools law


The guidance for the medical cannabis in schools law, by the Public Education Department, states that the Department of Health is not going to allow school nurses to administer medical cannabis to patients in the state’s medical cannabis program. This policy guidance from the PED is misconstruing state law and it also misconstrues Federal Policy about state medical cannabis laws.

Senate Bill 204, the medical cannabis in schools law, is written very clearly and the Public Education Department does not have the ability to change how the law was written or the intent of how the law was written. And that’s exactly what has happened.

The Governor’s Office did not give this law the proper attention as it went through the implementation process, and during this entire process the Department of Health Medical Cannabis Program did not have a Medical Director on staff to oversee any of this, nor did the PED have a Secretary in place.

The Governor is the executive for the state and as the state’s constitution says, the Governor has a duty to see that the New Mexico Constitution and the laws of the state are faithfully executed. That did not happen with new medical cannabis laws in 2019. Despite this, we keep seeing how much time has been spent on proposed Recreational Cannabis Policy going on since the end of June.

More time spent by the Governor’s Office on trying to plan for enacting a proposed recreational cannabis law for 2020 than on the duty to see that the laws of the state are faithfully executed, like the Medical Cannabis in Schools law and Senate Bill 406.

“Medical Cannabis in Schools - Guidance Regarding School Nurses In accordance with current law”
Link:https://webnew.ped.state.nm.us/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/SHSB_Guidance_School-Nurses_Medical-Cannabis_August-2019.pdf


Why did the PED decide not include relevant policy materials for the state’s school nurses in this Guidance for Schools PDF from the National School Nurses Association Guidelines for Medical Cannabis and from the The National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) Guidelines for Medical Cannabis?

The Governor’s Office, Public Education Department, Department of Health and the State Board of Nursing were all provided those policy materials to review before this Guidance for Schools was created and posted to the PED’s website on August 29, 2019.

Why has state government allowed so much more time to be dedicated to a proposed Recreational Cannabis Law for 2020 this year, while continuing to neglect the state medical cannabis program and new laws passed in 2019?

This year the new Secretary of Health, Kathyleen Kunkle, has dedicated more of her time for meetings about recreational cannabis policy and has spent less time on the states Medical Cannabis Program and that has resulted in this incomplete policy guidance for schools. 

All this time spent on recreational cannabis policy is hurting families of medical cannabis patients - it’s causing harm to the state’s medical cannabis program...

The proposed policy being put forth by some of the schools and school districts is a policy that ignores state law and continues to discriminate against students who are medical cannabis patients by not allowing reasonable accommodation.

Schools and School Districts are exploiting one section of the law which goes against the intent of how the law was written (Subsections 1 and 2 below);
"B. A school board or the governing body of a charter school may adopt policies that:
(1) restrict the types of designated school personnel who may administer medical cannabis to qualified students;
(2) establish reasonable parameters regarding the administration and use of medical cannabis and the school settings in which administration and use are authorized; and
(3) ban student possession, use, distribution, sale or being under the influence of a cannabis product in a manner that is inconsistent with the provisions
of this subsection."

From subsection one(1) above, the PED has violated the intent of the law by providing policy guidance that says school nurses could not administer medical cannabis and the policy guidance also misconstrues federal policy about medical cannabis.

And here we see further exploitation of Subsection 1 and 2 of Section B by these schools in the Albuquerque area:
The Rio Rancho Public School District has proposed the following medical cannabis in schools policy which also violates the intent of the law by banning all school personnel from administering medical cannabis;
“3. Administration of Medical Cannabis: School personnel may not possess, store, or administer medical cannabis. However, each campus shall have a designated secure area to store medical cannabis in each school’s office, and shall designate a location for the administration of medical cannabis. Medical cannabis to be possessed, stored and administered pursuant to this policy may only take the form of a non-refrigerated capsule, extract, or concentrate that is ingested orally and that is not inhaled in particulate form as a vapor or by burning. Medical cannabis may only be possessed, stored and administered by the primary caregiver of a qualified student, in accordance with state law, district policy and this regulation.”
[From page 4 of proposed RRPS Policy 1029: https://v3.boardbook.org/Public/PublicItemDownload.aspx?ik=45075446]


The Albuquerque Public School District has proposed the following medical cannabis in schools policy which also violates the intent of the law by requiring the qualified patient’s primary caregiver(s) to be the only one(s) to administer medical cannabis when it is needed and by not requiring any school personnel to help administer medical cannabis;
“Under certain circumstances where it is necessary for a student to take medical cannabis during school hours, the district will cooperate with the certifying practitioner and the parents or legal guardian, to permit the primary caregiver to administer medical cannabis in a school building, if the following requirements are met…”
[From Page 1 of the proposed APS policy: https://v3.boardbook.org/Public/PublicItemDownload.aspx?ik=45098728]

“Albuquerque Public Schools shall not require any employee to store or administer medical cannabis. School nurses and health assistants may consult on site administration plans and shall be made aware of all qualified students with medical cannabis treatment and administration plans at a school site but shall not be required to store or administer medical cannabis.”
[From Page 4 of the proposed APS policy: https://v3.boardbook.org/Public/PublicItemDownload.aspx?ik=45098728]


The Public Education Department, Department of Health, Albuquerque Public Schools, and Rio Rancho Public Schools all have failed to establish reasonable parameters regarding the administration and use of medical cannabis and the school settings in which administration and use are authorized as clearly provided for in the medical cannabis in schools law.
[Section B of SB-204; Subsection 2 on pages 2 -3: https://www.nmlegis.gov/Sessions/19%20Regular/final/SB0204.pdf]


Whereas Section D of the SB-204 medical cannabis in schools law clearly states that;
“D. A public school, charter school or school district shall not:
(1) discipline a student who is a qualified student on the basis that the student requires medical cannabis as a reasonable accommodation necessary for the student to attend school;
(2) deny eligibility to attend school to a qualified student on the basis that the qualified student requires medical cannabis as a reasonable accommodation necessary for the student to attend school or a school-sponsored activity; or
(3) discipline a school employee who refuses to administer medical cannabis.”
[Section D of SB-204; Subsection 1-2 on pages 3-4: https://www.nmlegis.gov/Sessions/19%20Regular/final/SB0204.pdf]


The Public Education Department, Department of Health, Albuquerque Public Schools, and Rio Rancho Public Schools are all in violation of subsections 1 and 2 of the law, as the policy guidance and proposed policies are both discipling the student (and their family for that matter) and is denying eligibility to attend school by not allowing for a reasonable accommodation necessary for the student to attend school.

Reasonable accommodations are modifications or adjustments to the tasks, environment or to the way things are usually done that enable individuals with disabilities to have an equal opportunity to participate in an academic program or a job (U.S. Department of Education, 2007).

Even further, the New Mexico School Health Manual states;
“If there is not a school nurse to delegate medication administration the best practice is to have a parent/guardian administer the medication to reduce potential risk to the student and school district. This alternative is found to be impractical and may not be an option if the parent/guardian is not able, capable, or is unwilling.”
[Last paragraph on page 66 of the New Mexico School Health Manual: https://nmhealth.org/publication/view/guide/4317/]

The intent of the new Medical Cannabis in Schools law (SB-204) is to allow for that reasonable accommodation to be created. That reasonable accommodation allows these families to have a family life by being able to go to work, attend college or graduate school, and live their lives to create a better future for their families. That reasonable accommodation allows for their student to go to school and be given their medicine just like all the other students while at school.

The medical cannabis in schools law is clearly written in a way for that reasonable accommodation to be met by the PED and the Schools with rules and regulations that match the state law by allowing for school personnel to administer medical cannabis and by allowing for the storage of the students medicine at school.

The New Mexico Public Education Department has also ignored the facts with Federal laws and policy about state medical cannabis laws in the US, within the PED’s issuance of the guidance pdf provided to the schools. And that’s also where the Governor should have been performing her duty to see that the laws of the state are faithfully executed, like with this Medical Cannabis in Schools law. Senate Bill 204 is a protected state medical cannabis law as provided below, from Federal Policy.

Currently there are now 10 states and one capital city with comprehensive medical cannabis programs allowing safe access to medical cannabis at school: Oklahoma City School District and these ten states; California, New Mexico, New Jersey, Maine, Washington, Colorado, Pennsylvania, Florida, Illinois and Virginia.

No school or school district in the US has ever lost any federal funding for allowing safe access to medical cannabis at school, nor has there been any problems. No school nurse has ever gotten in any trouble...none.

Medical Cannabis in Schools Law/ School Board Policy Meetings:
Rio Rancho is having their meeting addressing medical cannabis in schools on September 9th 2019 at 5:30PM in the District Office Board Room. (https://www.rrps.net/district/school_board___policies)

Albuquerque Public Schools is having their meeting addressing medical cannabis in schools on September 11th 2019 at 4pm. The APS Board of Education Policy and Instruction Committee Meeting is going to be at the John Milne Community Board Room, Alice and Bruce King Educational Complex, 6400 Uptown Blvd. NE.



Appendix
Medical Cannabis in Schools Policy Guidelines And Training Resources For School Nurses | by Safe Access New Mexico | http://www.cannabisnewsjournal.co/2019/08/medical-cannabis-in-schools-policy.html


Federal Policy: Protection for state medical cannabis laws, as provided in the Rohrabacher–Farr amendment, Sec. 538 of the “omnibus” appropriations bill. Every year, the federal budget in the US Congress (“omnibus” appropriations bill) includes a rider that continues to bar the DOJ from enforcing the federal marijuana ban in some circumstances pertaining to states who enact their own medical cannabis laws. This rider is also known as the Rohrabacher–Farr amendment.
Here is the full text of the rider: (www.safeaccessnow.org/federal_marijuana_law)

“SEC. 538. None of the funds made available under 4 this Act to the Department of Justice may be used, with respect to any of the States of Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming, or with respect to the District of Columbia, Guam, or Puerto Rico, to prevent any of them from implementing their own laws that authorize the use, distribution, possession, or cultivation of medical marijuana.”


United States v. McIntosh: The federal Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals interpreted the quoted language to bar the DOJ from prosecuting individuals who manufacture, distribute, or possess marijuana in strict compliance with state medical cannabis laws.


Conant v. Walters (2002): The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals held that the federal government could not punish, or threaten to punish, a doctor merely for telling a patient that his or her use of cannabis for medical use is proper. However, because it remains illegal for a doctor to "aid and abet" a patient to obtain cannabis or conspire with him or her to do so, the court drew the line between protected First Amendment speech and prohibited conduct as follows -- A physician may discuss the pros and cons of medical cannabis with his or her patient, and issue a written or oral recommendation to use cannabis within a bona fide doctor-patient relationship without fear of legal reprisal. There have been no such criminal or administrative proceedings against doctors to date. (https://www.safeaccessnow.org/landmark_federal_conant_v_walters)



Saturday, September 7, 2019

September 2019 Medical Cannabis Events and Program Policy Meetings




September 2019 Medical Cannabis Events and Program Policy Meetings:
Medical Cannabis in Schools Law/ School Board Policy Meetings:Rio Rancho is having their meeting addressing medical cannabis in schools on September 9th 2019 at 5:30PM in the District Office Board Room. (https://www.rrps.net/district/school_board___policies)

Related Article: Medical Cannabis in Schools Policy Guidelines And Training Resources For School Nurses | Cannabis News Journal | http://www.cannabisnewsjournal.co/2019/08/medical-cannabis-in-schools-policy.html

Albuquerque Public Schools is having their meeting addressing medical cannabis in schools on September 11th 2019 at 4pm. The APS Board of Education Policy and Instruction Committee Meeting is going to be at the John Milne Community Board Room, Alice and Bruce King Educational Complex, 6400 Uptown Blvd. NE.
(https://www.aps.edu/about-us/board/meeting-archives)



The Governor's Working Group on Cannabis Legalization will hold two upcoming meetings:
Sept. 9th: Equity Sub-Group, Albuquerque Downtown Library, 9am – 2pm.
Discussion will be centered on equity provisions for expanding cannabis industry in New Mexico.

Sept. 10th: Working Group Meeting
Albuquerque City Council Chambers
1 Civic Plaza, Basement Level
9am – 12noon
For more info: https://marijuana.2020nm.com/agendas/

If you have general comments to submit you can use the contact form here (https://marijuana.2020nm.com/agendas/) OR:
Create them in a Microsoft Word format
Attach them to an email and submit to: comments@marijuanaworkgroup.com



2019 Clinical Symposium on Medical Cannabis: The Science and Practice
September 20 - September 21, 2019 at Hotel Albuquerque presented by The UNM School of Medicine

Symposium Description
This symposium is primarily designed for physicians, clinicians, pharmacists, nurses and other healthcare professionals. Discussions will focus on the most common conditions for which medical cannabis is recommended, the evidence for its effectiveness, and guidelines about dosage, treatment protocols, and side-effects. National and local experts will help practitioners and other healthcare professionals develop an understanding of the science and health effects of medical cannabis, including presentations on cannabis and cancer, PTSD, chronic pain, epilepsy and opioid abuse disorder. The symposium will also feature a discussion of the New Mexico Medical Cannabis Program and on-going cannabis research efforts in New Mexico.
Event Details: https://hsc.unm.edu/school-of-medicine/education/cme/2019/medical-cannabis.html



New Mexico PBS Science Cafe: CANNABIS, PESTICIDES & PUBLIC HEALTH
Presented by: New Mexico PBS
Saturday, September 28, 2019 from 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM (MDT)
UNM Continuing Education, 1634 University Blvd NE, Room C
Admission to the café is free, but a reservation is required.
Free Tickets Here: http://www.cannabisnewsjournal.co/2019/09/new-mexico-pbs-science-cafe-cannabis.html



New Mexico's Department of Health Issues Medical Cannabis Cards to Out of State Patients



SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) New Mexico has begun issuing medical cannabis registry cards to people who live outside the state.

Two people in Texas and an Arizona resident have received cards to purchase medical cannabis in New Mexico after successfully suing to enroll.

Marissa Novel of medical cannabis producer and dispenser Ultra Health said that a card was delivered Friday to her company's Arizona-based CEO.

Ultra Health CEO Duke Rodriguez served as co-plaintiff in the legal challenge of residency requirements and qualified for enrollment based on his post-traumatic stress disorder.

Reforms to New Mexico medical cannabis laws this year dropped the in-state residency requirement. The administration of Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham says that change was inadvertent and it intends to appeal.

Novel says it will be difficult to appeal the court order.

New Mexico prohibits recreational cannabis sales and use.


Friday, September 6, 2019

New Mexico PBS Science Café: Cannabis, Pesticides & Public Health on September 28, 2019



DON’T MISS THE NEW MEXICO PBS SEPTEMBER SCIENCE CAFÉ
on
CANNABIS, PESTICIDES & PUBLIC HEALTH

Saturday, September 28, 2019
10:00 am -12 Noon
UNM Continuing Education
1634 University Blvd NE, Room C


The legal cannabis industry across the country is booming and a tremendous amount of money rides on healthy crops. But, unlike others in the agricultural industry, there is not a clear understanding of what is safe for workers and consumers regarding exposure to pesticides and fungicides. According to a 2013 study in the Journal of Toxicology, up to 69.5 percent of pesticides on a cannabis bud can transfer into a smoker’s lungs. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that regulates pesticides used on other crops, has not approved any pesticides for use on cannabis because the plant remains illegal at the federal level. Without proper testing and regulations from state and federal agencies, the public’s health is at risk.


Come to the September New Mexico PBS Science Cafe and view a clip of a PBS program and then join in a discussion with Leslie McAhren, MPH, MFA, DrPH candidate. She will discuss the exposure and health effects of pesticides in the cultivation of cannabis.


Admission to the café is free, but a reservation is required. RSVP


Seats are limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis.


Be more curious…be more amazed..come to the New Mexico PBS Science Café.



More than 20,000 individuals and families support New Mexico PBS each year.
Thank you for your supporting public broadcasting.
We couldn’t do it without you.
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