For the last three years, staffers at the Clinic have raised money for theNational Multiple Sclerosis Society -- outreach that emphasizes a growing public acceptance and interest in using medical marijuana to treat the disease. This Saturday at the annual MS Walk Denver in City Park, the dispensary will present this year's bounty: more than $12,000.
Although thousands of MS patients are using medical cannabis to help manage their condition, the charity has personal meaning for Clinic grower Jay Price. After losing his father to the disease at an early age, Price has devoted his professional life to helping patients battle MS and other diseases with a more natural, herbal approach. "This is very near and dear to my heart," he told us last year before the Clinic's annual golf tournament. "I'm glad we're able to make a difference in this way."
Since The Clinic first opened in 2009, the crew has raised $35,740 for MS research -- including the most current donation.
This year, the shop has rounded up about forty people to walk in this weekend's event. The goal: to raise awareness for MS and show that medical marijuana can be an acceptable part of a health regimen for patients and caregivers. For example, TV host Montel Williams has been very open in recent years about the use of cannabis to control his MS and has even helped open a medical marijuana center in northern California.
The National MS Society doesn't necessarily agree with that position, however. On its website, the organization gives some acknowledgement to patients who have reported using cannabis with some success, but err on the side of caution by noting that no clinical trials have been conducted. However, the society is currently recruiting participants for a study at the University of California-Davis on reducing tremors and muscle spasms using marijuana.
Likewise, the organization is clearly open to a medical marijuana center helping raise funds to battle MS.
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The Clinic has also established a "round up" donation system at its six locations, where patients can round up their change to give to the MS Society. The shops are also planning their third annual charity golf tournament, scheduled to take place at City Park on August 11, to benefit the MS Society. For more information on the team or to donate, visit the National MS Society website.
By the way, Westword has put together our own team for the upcoming MuckRuckus MS benefit this August in Winter Park. For more information on how to donate or get involved yourself, check out the MuckRuckus website.
More from our Marijuana archive: "Marijuana: HB 1358 would fund police computer access to patient database."