11/18/2014, Leading TX marijuana legislator, 2015 session best chance yet for medical cannabis


In the 2013 session, Naishtat filed the bill, as he had five times before. In the last session, though, it received a hearing in the House Public Health Committee for the first time. Though it did not get a vote, Naishtat said the hearing was “important incremental change,” and that its chances of passage in the upcoming session, which begins January 5, are greater.

The hearing featured powerful testimony, Naishtat said, including that of Vincent Lopez. Lopez is a muscular dystrophy patient and user of medicinal marijuana. In 2013, he founded the Patient Alliance for Cannabis Therapeutics (PACT), an organization that allows patients a safe place to share their stories and helps patients advocate. Lopez spoke Wednesday about coming out of the “cannabis closet.”

“In stepping out of the cannabis closet, I had always been familiar with the feelings of fear and intimidation, but nothing compared to the weight I was carrying by not coming out, by not saying anything, by living life in secret,” he said. “No longer could I live in silence knowing I had an answer in cannabis for the painful muscle spasms, the stiffness and contortion I endure, the loss of appetite and sleep.”

Leslie Grady McAhren, executive director and director of research at CG Corrigan Inc., a nonprofit licensed medical cannabis provider based in Albuquerque, New Mexico, said studies show a 28.4 percent decrease in opiate deaths in states with medical marijuana, like New Mexico…

Other patient advocates at the event included AmyLou Fawell, president of Mothers Advocating Medical Marijuana for Autism, and Terri Davis Carriker, founder of Embrace Moms, a support group for Christian mothers whose children suffer from medical conditions and disabilities.

Texas Is the Next Big Test for Legal Weed


Ninety-seven percent of marijuana arrests in Texas are for low-level possession, and in 2010, more than 78,000 people were arrested for marijuana in the state, with each lock-up costing taxpayers an estimated $10,000…

“We’ve got 22 veterans a day that are killing themselves across the nation,” he [Republican Tony Tinderholt] added, saying that “if [marijuana] has really true effects that are helpful and really make a difference in people’s lives, we’d be crazy not to support something like that.”


9/16/2014, Republican Rep. Tan Parker open to medical marijuana in Texas

Here are 12 stats that define the year in marijuana (CO)


9. 103,918
That’s the number of medical marijuana patients reporting “severe pain” as their condition for a license — or 94 percent of the state’s total patients.

10. $60.1 million
That’s the amount Colorado has brought in via taxes, licenses and fees on recreational and medical marijuana, from January to October.

Colorado’s first legal hemp crop


“It came up just amazing,” Billings said. “We irrigated three times, compared to six or seven times for (nearby) corn crops.” Billings said he’s planning to make his own lines of hemp oils, lotions and mints, and he’s talking with retailers including Walmart and Whole Foods to carry the products.

Audit: Medicaid fraud allegations stem from questions on workers

As reported yesterday by the Santa Fe New Mexican:

Portions of an audit made public for the first time show that Gov. Susana Martinez’s administration based fraud allegations against a Santa Fe-based behavioral health provider primarily on incomplete documentation of workers’ credentials, rather than on faulty Medicaid billing practices…

The Martinez administration stripped Presbyterian and the other providers of their Medicaid funding. The providers were replaced by five Arizona companies, some of which have announced they are struggling financially since setting up shop in New Mexico…

Making the audit public would compromise the long-running investigation, according to an attorney general’s spokesman. More than 18 months have passed since the audit was completed, and the Attorney General’s Office still has not contacted Presbyterian about the investigation, Daniel said…

Lindsay Lohan Is Battling the Chikungunya Virus


Chikungunya, which is often compared to dengue fever, is transmitted through mosquito bites, and its symptoms include fever, fatigue, rash and debilitating joint pain. There is no cure, and the pain can last for months.

Though scientists have known about chikungunya for decades, it has suddenly spread rapidly in the last year from Africa to the Caribbean, Central and South America and the U.S. More than one million people contracted the virus in 2014.

Do you think Ms. Lohan is getting something prescribed for the pain?

Why Police Aren’t Catching Drunk Drivers


Still, the bottom line is that drunk drivers today are unlikely like to be caught and even less likely to be prosecuted. There are almost 300,000 incidents of drunk driving each day, but less than 4,000 of those incidents result in arrest. Driving drunk may not be cool, but it’s definitely still happening.

See, that’s because alcohol is not part of the drug war.

Guidelines for Prescribing Controlled Substances for Pain (CA)

Medical Board of California, November 2014

Click to access medicalboardpainguidelines.pdf

Interesting excerpts:

Pain associated with cancer is sometimes given a separate classification, although it is not distinct from a patho-physiological perspective. Cancer-related pain includes pain caused by the disease itself and/or painful diagnostic or therapeutic procedures [and the sequelae of those processes]…

Pain as an Illness:  Finally, it may be helpful to point out that pain can be regarded as an illness as well as a symptom or a disease. “Illness” defines the impact a disease has on an organism and is characterized by epiphenomena or co-morbidities with bio-psycho-social dimensions. Effective care of any illness, therefore, requires attention to all of these dimensions. Neuropathic pain, end-of-life pain and chronic pain should all be viewed as illnesses…

Physicians should consider a trial of benzodiazepine tapering in patients concomitantly using opioids or other respiratory depressant medications…

Opioid therapy should be presented to the patient as a therapeutic trial or test for a defined period of time (usually no more than 45 days)…

The Board recommends that physicians proceed cautiously (yellow flag warning) once the MED reaches 80 mg/day…

“Limitations To Urine Drug Testing (UDT):  There is currently no way to tell from a urine drug test the exact amount of drug ingested or taken, when the last dose was taken, or the source of the drug…

Opioid withdrawal symptoms are uncomfortable, but are generally not life threatening. Opioids can be stopped abruptly when the risks outweigh the benefits. This is not true for benzodiazepine withdrawals, which can be life threatening…

Physicians can be held accountable for patient abandonment if medical care is discontinued without adequate provision for subsequent care…

Methadone is a focus of current debate because it is frequently involved in unintentional overdose deaths. These deaths have escalated as methadone has increasingly been used to treat chronic pain…

12/28/2014, Help still sought for closed pain center’s patients


Boilerrph87 posted this about Indiana in the comment section:


Hedrick, who operated a dozen clinics in eight cities, told the state medical board in October that a suspension of his license would likely force his business into bankruptcy.

Funny, I just read a long article about how Medicare just about refuses to shut down hospices:

Medicare’s federal regulator has punished a hospice just 16 times in the last decade, despite carrying out 15,000 inspections and identifying more than 31,000 violations.

And yet pain clinics are allowed to be shut down?