Vermont Signs Dispensary Bill
Vermont's governor signed a bill this morning that would allow state licensed dispensaries. The previous law required patients to grow their own medicine, or facilitate an illegal underground transaction to get relief from their illness. The new bill will allow up to four licensed dispensaries within the state of Vermont.
American Express Bans Purchase of Medical Marijuana
The credit card company has banned the purchase of medical marijuana in the 16 states that have legalized it. American Express claims it is just abiding by Federal Law. This move makes them the most conservative of credit card companies.
Visa, MasterCard, and AmEx have already prevented their customers from purchasing casino chips (even though cash withdrawals on the casino floor are still allowed), online pornography, and donations to Wiki Leaks. "It seems to me that credit card companies are imposing their moral values on the world. You ought to be able to use a credit card for any legal purchase," says John Simpson, a consumer watchdog.
DC Avoids Federal Threats
All over the country medical marijuana programs and their supporters are nervous. In recent weeks, A number of states have received threatening letters from the U.S. District Attorneys. These letters were sent to remind states that the federal government still considers marijuana illegal, regardless of what their voters want.
The District of Columbia has been one of the few to not receive a letter. Ron Machen, the U.S. Attorney that presides over D.C refused to comment on why D.C has not received a letter yet, but he states that the program remains “under review.” Machen might feel resources would be wasted on such a small and restrictive program, but only time will tell.
Carl Olsen Files Motion to Intervene in Cannabis Coalitions Rescheduling Petition
Recently, Medical Marijuana advocates have filed suit over the delay of response to rescheduling petition. This would force the Obama Administration to respond to a petition to reclassify medical marijuana. The petition by the Coalition for Rescheduling Cannabis, which has been pending since 2002 and received a formal recommendation by the Department of Health and Human Services to the DEA in 2006, seeks to remove marijuana from Schedule I.
Yesterday, Carl Olsen of Iowans for Medical Marijuana told me he planned to intervene in the petition. Olsen, the Executive Director of Iowans for Medical Marijuana, told me he planned to intervene in resistance to the Coalition’s suit. I was surprised, to say the least.
Today, Olsen sent a copy of his motion to intervene to his email list. In the motion, he states:
OLSEN DISAGREES WITH THE PETITIONERS
All of the coalition members have either failed to seek state reclassification of marijuana under their own state’s Uniform Controlled Substances Act and/or file civil actions in state courts complaining of the failure of their own states to apply for federal rescheduling. Because of this failure on the part of the coalition members there is a difference of opinion between Olsen and the other coalition members which requires Olsen to withdraw and separate from the coalition members.
Olsen has successfully petitioned the Iowa Board of Pharmacy to remove marijuana from Schedule I. On February 17th, 2009, after the Board held a series of hearings, they recommended that the Iowa Legislature remove marijuana from Schedule I. Once the state of Iowa removes marijuana from Schedule I, argues Olsen, the state of Iowa will be obligated to petition the federal government to remove marijuana from Schedule I as a matter of law.
Olsen is resisting the Coalition for Rescheduling Cannabis’s petition for writ of mandamus and is asking for a declaratory ruling on the petition. Olsen argues “the current petition to reschedule cannabis is defective because no state government has joined it and to further give the states a certain time in which to join the petition to reschedule cannabis in order to cure the defect.”
It remains to be seen what becomes of this case.
Written By: Jason Karimi
To Read more by Jason and the entire text of the motion to intervene, click here.
Two Thousand Pounds of Marijuana Seized By Boarder Patrol
Boarder Patrol in Tuscon, Arizona was very busy over the holiday weekend. On Saturday Afternoon, agents attempted to stop a driver who avoided a vehicle checkpoint on Interstate 19 in Arizona. The vehicle evaded the agents, but was recovered hours later abandoned in the middle of the desert. The vehicle was loaded with over 360 lbs of marijuana, valued at an estimated 180,000 dollars.
On Sunday evening agents detected a vehicle driving through the desert with its headlights off. Agents showed up to the scene to find an abandoned truck weighed down with 1,773lbs of marijuana worth nearly a million dollars on the street. Two illegal aliens were found in the area and transported to Ajo Station for further questioning.
Hydroponics Superstore Opens Franchise In Arizona
WeGrow, the first and only hydroponics franchise that openly talks about marijuana, will be opening a 21,000 suare-foot store in Phoenix. WeGrow will open to teach over 100,000 new patients the art of growing medical marijuana.
WeGrow will also be holding a grand opening festival cleverly named "The Green Rush." This is the francises third U.S. location. Medical Marijuana may be put on hold in Arizona due to Gov. Jan Brewer's recent lawsuit against the federal government. "Suspending the state's medical marijuana program will transition Arizona from a state-licensed cannabis distribution model to a patient-cultivator distribution model like California. Now in order to get their cannabis, patients will have to grow it themselves, and most of them will have no idea how to do that. weGrow was created to assist exactly this type of customer," said Dhar Mann, founder of WeGrow.
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