Sunday, June 30, 2019

Sanford using monopoly power to control therapeutic cannabis in North Dakota

North Dakota has turned to therapeutic cannabis and is widely expected to legalize for all adults in its efforts to reverse opioid abuse.

So far nearly 700 patients in North Dakota have received cards. But, earlier this month a group of protesters held a rally at the Sanford hospital in Fargo claiming the medical industry monopoly is creating barriers to therapeutic cannabis.
However, according to a statement released by Sanford, each doctor can decide whether to certify, based on what they feel is “medically best” for patients. The statement also said patients legally using medical marijuana are allowed to do so at Sanford hospitals in North Dakota and Minnesota. [Patients face roadblocks 2 years after North Dakota voters approved medical marijuana]
In 2016 North Dakota voters passed Measure 5 then the legislature drafted rules and a Republican governor signed it into law. The Botanist in Fargo was the first of eight planned therapeutic cannabis dispensaries in North Dakota and seven other North Dakota cities have been named for stores.
The most recent cities to be added to the list of dispensary sites are Minot, Devils Lake, Jamestown, and Dickinson. They join Grand Forks, Bismarck, and Williston as future homes to medical marijuana dispensary sites. There are currently 14 conditions that qualify for medical marijuana treatment. They range from cancer and glaucoma to epilepsy and Alzheimer’s Disease. [It’s about high time]
Republican Gov. Doug Burgum supports decriminalization but there is concern among activists that Republican operatives will provide names of patients to the Trump Organization that would prevent them from purchasing firearms.

North Dakota's failed poorly-written Amendment 3 that would have legalized for all adults also included language that would have forced the expungement of the records for some cannabis convictions yet in its repressive nanny state neighbor to the south if you're even suspected of ingesting cannabis members of the law enforcement industry will force a catheter into your urethra and seize your assets.

Yes, South Dakota is among the worst states for opioid abuse yet even Democrats in that red state believe residents are too fragile for legal cannabis. Even the South Dakota State Medical Association contends that although "marijuana and dronabinol decreased pain" the fact that it is illegal makes it less effective as a therapy.

Sanford, Avera and Rapid City Regional enjoy virtual medical industry monopolies in South Dakota, too. Even today Sanford is preparing to absorb an Iowa health care giant.

Meanwhile, Illinois has just legalized for all adults and in New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham has created a study group designed to bring a plan for legalization to the next legislative session.

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