Monthly Archives: September 2016

Study Finds States That Allow Medical Marijuana May Have Less Opioid Use

8 Indest-2008-5By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law

On September 15, 2016, a new study was released from Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, that suggests people in states that allow medical marijuana may be using fewer opioid painkillers. Researchers analyzed crash data in 18 states from 1999 to 2013 and revealed that states that allow medical marijuana use saw a reduction in opioid involvement in fatal car accidents.

The Relationship Between Medical Marijuana Laws and Opioid Use.

The study, published in the American Journal of Public Health, is the first look at how the relationship of medical marijuana laws might affect the use of opioid painkillers. “After the implementation of a medical marijuana law, there appears to be less opioid use, at least among young and middle-aged adults,” study lead author June Kim said. He’s a graduate student in epidemiology at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health in New York City.

The researchers used data from the Fatality Analysis Reporting System database of about 69,000 drivers from 18 states who died in auto accidents between the years 1999 and 2013. Tests for alcohol and other drugs had been conducted on the drivers.

In states where medical marijuana law was legal and easily accessible, the study found that drivers between the ages of 21 and 40, had almost half the chances of testing positive for opioid painkillers, than those who crashed before such a law was implemented. The results further add to evidence suggesting that patients with chronic pain may substitute marijuana for a prescription painkiller in states where the option is available.

The study authors stressed that it’s not clear if the opioid painkillers — or, for that matter, marijuana — contributed to any of the car accidents.

Click here to read the published article in the American Journal of Public Health.

To read one of my prior blogs on the use of medical marijuana as a treatment for opioid addiction, click here.

Contact Experienced Health Law Attorneys for Medical Marijuana Concerns.

The Health Law Firm attorneys can assist health care providers and facilities, such as doctors, pharmacists and pharmacies, wanting to participate in the medical marijuana industry. We can properly draft and complete the applications for registration, permitting and/or licensing, while complying with Florida law. We can also represent doctors, pharmacies and pharmacists facing proceedings brought by state regulators or agencies.

To contact The Health Law Firm please call (407) 331-6620 and visit our website at www.TheHealthLawFirm.com.

Sources:

Ingraham, Christopher. “Study: medical pot means less opioid use.” Orlando Sentinel. (September 16, 2016). Print.

Dotinga, Randy. “Do medical pot states have less opioid abuse?” WebMD News from HealthDay. (September 15, 2016). Web.

About the Author: George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., is Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law. He is the President and Managing Partner of The Health Law Firm, which has a national practice. Its main office is in the Orlando, Florida, area. www.TheHealthLawFirm.com The Health Law Firm, 1101 Douglas Ave., Altamonte Springs, FL 32714, Phone: (407) 331-6620.

KeyWords: Marijuana treatment for opioid addiction, alternative addiction treatment, alternative for painkillers, medical marijuana defense attorney, American Journal of Public Health, medical marijuana for patients with chronic pain, substituting medical marijuana for prescription opioid painkillers, lawyer for medical marijuana growers and distributors, health lawyers for marijuana distributors, legal counsel for marijuana growers and distributors, medical marijuana laws, medical marijuana legalization, medical marijuana lawyer, defense attorney, reviews of The Health Law Firm, The Health Law Firm attorney reviews, The Health Law Firm, attorneys for physicians, pharmacist legal defense attorney, Board of Medicine defense lawyer, Department of Health defense counsel

“The Health Law Firm” is a registered fictitious business name of George F. Indest III, P.A. – The Health Law Firm, a Florida professional service corporation, since 1999.
Copyright © 2016 The Health Law Firm. All rights reserved.

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New Lawsuit Filed to Block Medical Marijuana Ballot Initiatives in Arkansas

1 Indest-2008-1By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law

On September 6, 2016, a coalition of groups already attempting to block a medical marijuana measure from the Arkansas ballot asked the state’s highest court to also disqualify a competing legalization proposal. The coalition called “Arkansans Against Legalized Marijuana” asked the state Supreme Court to prevent election officials from counting any votes for the proposal to allow patients with certain conditions to buy and use marijuana. The proposal is among two medical marijuana proposals on the November 8, 2016, ballot.

The Coalition Alleges that the Proposal Misleads Voters.

The coalition, which includes the state Chamber of Commerce and the Arkansas Farm Bureau, said in its complaint that the proposal misleads voters and leaves out key information about the measure’s effects. “It contains misleading statements, omits material information that is essential for a fair understanding of the Act, and is tinged with partisan coloring,” the complaint reads in part.

Additionally, according to the complaint, the ballot title “falsely tells voters that the Act limits the use of marijuana,” “gives the false impression that all marijuana will be tested for quality, safety, and potency” and “fails to tell the voters that the Act permits ‘cannabis care centers’ to sell food and drink that contains marijuana,” among other issues.

The claims are similar to those in its lawsuit against the competing medical marijuana measure.

“In my view and in the view of my organization these two pieces of legislation are similar and are almost indistinguishable,” said state Surgeon General Greg Bledsoe, the coalition’s spokesman.

Back in 2012, Arkansas voters narrowly rejected a medical marijuana proposal. David Couch, the sponsor of the new measure challenged, noted that proposal survived a similar challenge before the court and said he was confident his proposal would also prevail.

The Challenges Against the Proposals.

Both Couch’s proposal and the competing initiative from Arkansans for Compassionate Care would allow patients with certain medical conditions to buy marijuana, but they differ in their regulations and restrictions.

The proposal from Arkansans for Compassionate Care is also fending off a separate challenge from Kara Benca, a Little Rock attorney, which argues the group didn’t follow reporting restrictions for its canvassers.

The lawsuit filed against Couch’s proposal says the ballot title fails to tell voters it would allow dispensaries to sell food and drink that contain marijuana. It also says the ballot title doesn’t tell voters the impact the measure would have on employers, landlords, churches and schools.

To learn more, click here.

Contact Experienced Health Law Attorneys for Medical Marijuana Concerns.

The Health Law Firm attorneys can assist health care providers and facilities, such as doctors, pharmacists and pharmacies, wanting to participate in the medical marijuana industry. We can properly draft and complete the applications for registration, permitting and/or licensing, while complying with Florida law. We can also represent doctors, pharmacies and pharmacists facing proceedings brought by state regulators or agencies.

To contact the Health Law Firm, please call (407) 331-6620 and visit our website at www.TheHealthLawFirm.com.

Source:

DeMillo, Andrew. “New lawsuit filed over medical marijuana effort in Arkansas.” Chicago Tribune. (September 6, 2016). Web.

About the Author: George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., is Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law. He is the President and Managing Partner of The Health Law Firm, which has a national practice. Its main office is in the Orlando, Florida area. www.TheHealthLawfirm.com The Health Law Firm, 1101 Douglas Ave., Altamonte Springs, FL 32714, Phone; (407) 331-6620.

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The Health Law Firm” is a registered fictitious business name of George F. Indest III, P.A. – The Health Law Firm, a Florida professional service corporation, since 1999.
Copyright © 2016 The Health Law Firm. All rights reserved