Essence Blog

Visiting Nevada? You Can Purchase Medical Marijuana Here!

Did you know that is possible for out of state residents to buy medical marijuana in Las Vegas?

When you are suffering from pain, anxiety, cancer and other ailments, medical marijuana is oftentimes the only thing that brings true relief.  This is all fine and dandy if you live in a state that understands the benefits of cannabis but when you find yourself in a position where you have to travel out of state, it can be tough to continue your treatment.

If you’re visiting Nevada (Vegas maybe?) – when it comes to the medical marijuana programs – it is one of the few states that recognizes reciprocity. In other words, you can continue your medical marijuana program confidently here – provided you meet the following conditions:

  • Your medical marijuana card must be issued by your home state and have a valid expiration date
  • The law in your home state must protect medical marijuana card holders from criminal prosecution for using cannabis as a form of treatment
  • Before you receive your medical marijuana card, your home state must make it a requirement that you discuss the benefits of cannabis for medical purposes with a qualified physician.
  • Nevada authorities must be able to verify your status easily on the database of registered users

It is also important to note that the possession laws vary from state to state. Thus, you must to do your research before you visit to ensure that you are in compliance with all Nevada medical marijuana possession laws.

Residents of Nevada Can Legally Buy Medical Marijuana in Rhode Island and Michigan

Although it is changing day by day, there are still a number of states that don’t recognize medical marijuana as a legitimate form of treatment. Thus, Nevada residents often find it hard to get their treatment when they travel out of state.

What’s more? Many of the states that DO recognize the benefits of cannabis for medical purposes will also deny visitors their treatment. But, there are three states – Rhode Island, Michigan, and Nevada – where this is not an issue. If you have a valid medical marijuana card, it’s possible to get your treatment from approved dispensaries. It is also worth noting that the medical marijuana laws are different in each of these states, so before you visit, it’s recommended that you do your due diligence to ensure that you remain within legal limits and any other requirements.

For more information about the medical marijuana laws for each state, check out Americans for Safe Access. This site is an excellent place to get up-to-the-minute news on the ever-changing medical marijuana laws.

As of right now, reciprocity (or lack thereof) is one of the biggest issues that many medical marijuana users have to face. But, there is good news – more states are jumping on the medical marijuana bandwagon and are creating laws that legalize its distribution. If the current trend continues, we can expect that the view of medical marijuana will change for the better. As a result, it may soon be legal in many more states.

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Mexico’s New Direction In Terms of Cannabis Policy

Attendees of The UN Drug Policy Summit held in New York on April 20th were met with a surprising announcement made by none other than the Mexican president Enrique Pena Nieto. In the spirit of 420, he spoke about his plans to support cannabis marijuana legislation for research, scientific, and medical purposes.

Nieto has the unique distinction of being the very first Mexican president to ever make such bold statements in favor of cannabis. But, it’s also important to note that his suggestions were strictly centered around legalizing cannabis use for medicinal, not recreational, purposes.

Mexico’s Current Views on Cannabis

When it comes to the letter of the law, Mexican residents can legally possess up to five grams of cannabis without fear of dealing with serious criminal charges. This law, which was voted on and passed back in 2009, is considered by many to lay the foundation for marijuana legalization.

And things continue to change e.g., in the past year, there have been several organizations that have lobbied for immediate legislative action. It’s safe to say that many in Mexico are eager for to see the cannabis laws in the country changed.

Furthermore, Nieto announcement is just another step forward in the government’s plan to slowly roll out a new set of marijuana-related laws designed to protect Mexican citizens from underground trafficking and Mexican cartels.

Still, when you consider the institution’s conservative views on marijuana, one does wonder if the president’s timing (4/20) when revealing his plans to fellow attendees was a smart move. Fortunately, there were other representatives present who shared similar views – like Jamaican Foreign Minister Kamina Johnson-Smith, who referenced the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs when bringing up similar concerns about outdated marijuana laws.

The Life-saving Effects of Legalization in Mexico

Mexico is constantly bombarded with violence stemming from notorious dealers, smugglers, and gangs. Thus, the legalization of cannabis will have an interesting impact on the country.

The current militarized approach to illegal marijuana consumption and cultivation has not been as successful as government officials have hoped. Thus, it is Nieto’s belief that, a change in Mexico’s cannabis policy may be just what the country needs to slow down the country’s escalating ever-increasing problems with large-scale drug operations. The numbers are staggering – The Mexican drug war has claimed the lives of over 100,000 men, women, and children. Furthermore, approximately 30,000 people have mysteriously vanished in connection to this violent epidemic.

The horrendous acts (corruption, assassination, kidnappings, etc.), while tragic, are symptomatic of a bigger problem – the Mexican government’s lack of control. But, it is believed that this new cannabis legalization may help curtail these events and bring about a more harmonious situation.

Nieto plans to provide more information about his plans in the very near future. And, based on information in a recent Reuter’s report, it may be sooner than we expect. In fact, the report stated that a Mexican senator from Nieto’s own party (Institutional Revolutionary Party) has said that they are expecting to approve the medical marijuana bill as soon as next month.

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New Research Shows that Cannabis May Be an Effective Treatment for PTSD

During marijuana’s controversial history, specifically its prohibition, many have considered it to be a “coping drug” used to self-medicate symptoms of anxiety disorders like PTSD i.e. post-traumatic stress disorder. Furthermore, studies funded by the government analyzing the link between PTSD and marijuana tend to use the term “marijuana abuse disorder,” a problem that they say can only be fixed through rehabilitation.

The evidence that cannabis and PTSD have a sort of symbiotic relationship is strong. But, while many studies only look at PTSD sufferers and the prevalence of marijuana abuse among this population, there’s some emerging research that dares to look at this conundrum from a different perspective – is it possible that marijuana may be an effective treatment for PTSD?

Life with PTSD

To get the answer to the above question, it’s important to first get a better understanding of what PTSD really is – essentially an anxiety problem caused by traumatic episodes, like a sexual assault or military combat.

There are three major symptoms of this panic-inducing ailment:

  • Avoidance
  • Re-experiencing
  • Hyperarousal, like insomnia, social isolation, and flashbacks

Additionally, if symptoms of PTSD persist for an extended period of time, it can lead to changes in brain chemistry.

Medical Cannabis and PTSD: A Patient’s Perspective

Many who use cannabis to treat their PTSD symptoms rave that about its anxiety-reducing capabilities, which include:

  • It helps calm down their racing minds
  • Normalizes their sleeping patterns
  • Seems to reduce the number of anxiety attacks

There are some PTSD sufferers who are lucky enough to live in states where it is legal to use medical cannabis as a treatment, but this is not an option for everyone. Those who have been to war especially tend to fall victim to PTSD – statistics show that about 20% of military personnel deployed in Afghanistan and Iraq have dealt with episodes. But, because cannabis is federally prohibited, veterans are being treated with antipsychotics and antidepressants instead, medications with low success rates when treating those who suffer from severe PTSD symptoms.

Marijuana and PTSD: The New Science Behind It

As of right now, there are no effective medications that are available specifically for those who suffer from PTSD. But, this doesn’t mean that there has been no progress in the field. For instance, researchers have made several discoveries about our bodies therapeutic hotspot, i.e. the endocannabinoid system, which helped them gain a new perspective on PTSD and its treatment.

This new research has found another common thread in all PTSD sufferers – lower levels of something called anandamide- in comparison to those who showed no symptoms. Anandamide is an endogenous cannabinoid compound (i.e. our inner marijuana, in a manner of speaking) that’s responsible for triggering the same receptors of THC and other cannabis compounds.

In other words, this information points to a link between PTSD and a deficiency in our endocannabinoids. Those who suffer from this disorder don’t produce enough of these compounds, but the cannabinoids in cannabis can replenish our stores. Furthermore, researchers believe that marijuana pharmaceuticals might help PTSD patients find relief from painful memories.

Important Considerations for PTSD Sufferers

Before using cannabis to treat symptoms of PTSD, it is important that patients consult with a licensed physician. Those who are not used to marijuana may find that the THC makes their anxiety symptoms worse. However, cannabidiol (also known as CBD) is a cannabinoid that minimizes some of the negative effects like anxiety and paranoia.

PTSD cannot be treated with medication alone, but marijuana has been shown to provide some relief when prescription medications have failed. Still, cannabis’ promising pharmaceutical possibilities are continuously being ignored by government-funded research organizations. But, there is some good news – as more people are getting educated about the healing properties of medical cannabis, momentum is building that promises a change to this country’s legalization policies.

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Nevada’s Medical Marijuana Program Is Growing By Leaps and Bounds

If you are a proponent of medical marijuana, you may want to consider heading to Nevada – their medical marijuana program has grown, and continues to grow, substantially. In fact, based on information from the Division of Public and Behavioral Health, the program currently serves approximately 14,000 – 4,000 more than last year when licensed dispensaries began opening in the state. The report also states that the Department sees approximately 300 new patients every month and they estimate that they may soon serve as many as 60,000 patients.

While all this is going on, a campaign (Initiative Petition 1) has been launched that aims to make cannabis legal for adults 21 and over. In the documents, proponents are calling for the government to tax and regulate cannabis as if it were alcohol.

This campaign has gained some traction and has already been certified for this year’s ballot, which gives voters a chance to consider the initiative. However, since Nevada legislators did not adopt the measure last year (and are not planning to congregate this year), proponents will have to wait until next year to know if their campaign was truly successful.

Non-Resident Medical Marijuana Patients Can Access Their Treatment in Nevada

One of the biggest benefits of Nevada’s medical marijuana law is that it recognizes the patient status of out-of-state residents, providing that their home state has a cannabis law on the books. But, before you get too excited, it may interest you to know there are certain requirements that must be met before you are given the all-clear. For instance:

  • Patients must sign an affidavit
  • Patient must consult with the staff to receive instructions to stay protected.

After this is completed, you will be protected by state law and can purchase your treatment at any licensed dispensary.

Nevada’s Possession Laws: What You Need to Know

Did you know that Nevada is one of 20 states where possession of cannabis has been decriminalized for personal use? In addition, four of those states (Oregon, Alaska, Colorado, and Washington) have also adopted laws that tax, legalize, and regulate marijuana for those 21 years of age and older.

Still, it’s important to know that although Nevada has laxer laws than other states, in terms of marijuana possession, you can still be charged harshly if caught carrying an excessive amount. The penalties are as follows:

  • If this is your first charge, instead of jail time you may be charged with a misdemeanor and might have to pay a $600 fine. You may also be subject to arrest and drug addiction screening, which may lead to mandatory rehabilitation and treatment. A criminal conviction can have far-reaching consequences, such as a lifetime of discrimination that severely limits housing options and job opportunities.
  • A second offense will get you a $1,000 fine and you will have to undergo drug addiction screening.

The penalties get worse as the number of times you are arrested increase. Also, it may surprise you to know that if you get caught with 2 ounces of marijuana in Nevada, you can go to jail for 4 years.

In 2012, almost 10,000 people were arrested for either cited or arrested or cited for a cannabis-related crime, roughly 80% of these events involved possession. That same year, almost 90% of reported burglaries (including home invasions) and motor vehicle thefts went unsolved. It’s time for lawmakers to face the facts – especially since the majority of Americans now agree that alcohol is more harmful than marijuana. Thus, if fewer resources were spent on antiquated marijuanna prohibition laws, the police could focus on the crimes that are really harming our communities.

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Suffering From Insomnia? Marijuana Might Be Your Answer

It is not at all uncommon for people to have a hard time going to sleep. In fact, insomnia is becoming more and more prevalent as people try to pack more tasks into their daily lives and become more stressed out as a result of it all. For anyone who has ever suffered from insomnia, it is obvious how debilitating this particular condition can really be.

If you suffer from it yourself, you already know that it can have an adverse impact on virtually everything that you do, even the relationships that you have. It can be detrimental on all levels – on a physical, mental and emotional level.

What you might not have considered is that in some cases, marijuana might actually be able to help treat your insomnia. There are several reasons why the use of medical marijuana can help you if you chronically have problems falling asleep or staying asleep. Of course, it is important to understand which particular strain of marijuana can help you sleep and which ones will actually contribute to the condition that you are trying so hard to combat.

The Right Strain

There are many different strains of medical marijuana. For example, sativa produces a high that makes it difficult to sleep. Conversely, indica usually makes you drowsy. It works especially well for insomnia sufferers when you use a strain of indica that has high CBD and low THC levels. Cannabis that has been aged for several years actually works better for combating insomnia than cannabis that is newer.

This is because when marijuana is stored, especially in a warm, dry place, the THC levels that tend to keep you awake slowly convert into CBD, resulting in a strain that has even higher levels. This in turn can help you feel drowsy and it makes it easier to fall asleep.

By the same token, better sleep can be produced when using low THC indica cannabis in conjunction with other natural remedies like lavender, chamomile and hops, as well as valerian root and melatonin.

Combining aromatherapy or natural supplements with the use of this particular strain of cannabis can make it much easier to relax, both mentally and physically. The end result is that it typically becomes much easier to let go of the day’s worries and relax comfortably so that you can fall asleep and get the restful sleep that you need.

Other Benefits

Another reason that this strain of cannabis can be so helpful is that it works exceptionally well for alleviating pain. It not only helps you relax, but it can also get rid of those nagging aches and pains that would otherwise keep you awake.

Since medical marijuana is used to treat anxiety and PTSD, it can also help you if you simply can’t turn off your mind long enough to go to sleep. All of this helps you fall asleep more quickly and more often than not, it helps you get a much more restful sleep on a regular basis.

Another way that medical marijuana can help individuals with sleep issues is for use on patients who are suffering from sleep apnea. In this case, you want cannabis that is high in THC because it has a tendency to level out breathing. When breathing is better regulated, patients are less likely to suffer from bouts of sleep apnea that can wake them up and have a negative impact on their health.

As you can see, medical marijuana can be a huge help for anyone who is suffering from a condition that keeps them up at night. Sleep is one of the most important things for maintaining your health. Without it, it becomes impossible to maintain physical health or to be mentally alert.

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What Should You Know About DUI and Medical Marijuana in Nevada?

While medical marijuana is becoming more and more common in various states across the country. Nevada was one of the first states to make it legal to possess and use medical marijuana in the case of certain health conditions.

However, that does not change the fact that it is still highly illegal to drive a vehicle while under the influence of medical marijuana. In fact, anyone that is caught doing so is likely to face some stiff penalties.

In order to prevent that from happening, it is absolutely vital that you know the law and that you are made fully aware of the potential penalties that you could face if you are caught operating your car while under the influence of medical marijuana.

Know the Law

Within the state of Nevada, a person can be pulled over while operating a motor vehicle if it appears that they are impaired for any reason whatsoever. This is not at all uncommon and is similar to the laws in virtually every other state.

However, the state of Nevada can test for the presence of marijuana in both blood and urine, just like they can test for the presence of alcohol. If you are pulled over and it is suspected that you might be under the influence of marijuana, it is likely that these tests will be administered. You might be asked to take one or both.

If you test for these parameters, you will be considered to be under the influence of marijuana:

• 2 nanograms per milliliter for blood or
• 10 nanograms per milliliter for urine

It is equally important to note that you can still be prosecuted for operating a vehicle while under the influence of marijuana even if neither one of these tests are administered, merely on the suspicion of the individual that pulls you over and the way you were operating the vehicle.

If in addition, alcohol comes into play, it is highly likely that stiffer penalties will be imposed.

Penalties

For the most part, penalties are dependent on the number of offences that have been committed. As a result, it is not uncommon to see different penalties for first-time offenders, as well as for those that are on their second or third offense. It is vitally important to understand the difference in these penalties in order to fully grasp what you might be up against if you are caught operating your car under the influence.

• First Offense: $400 – $1000 fine; 2 days in jail; 48 – 96 hours of community service.
• Second Offense: $750 – $1000 fine; 10 days in jail; community service; substance abuse counseling.
• Third Offense: $2000 – $5000 fine; 1 – 6 years in prison

Summary

Obviously, no one wants to deal with any of these problems, not even under the basis of a first offense. However, if you do find yourself in this situation it is absolutely vital that the first thing you do is contact a criminal defense attorney that can help walk you through the process.

As the laws change from one state to the next, it is difficult to fully understand what laws affect a particular area with regard to medical marijuana. That is why it is so important that you fully investigate these laws, in Nevada or any other state that you choose to live in, so that you understand exactly what you are up against if you find yourself in trouble.

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