Michigan medical marijuana law requires patient to be a resident
Category: Medical Marijuana | Posted on Thu, July, 11th 2013 by THCFinder
LANSING -- A Michigan appeals court ruled this week that the state's medical marijuana law requires cardholders to be Michigan residents, and held that immunity from prosecution under the law is a question for a judge, not a jury, to decide.
The ruling came in a 2011 Berrien County case where police stopped a woman, Cynthia Cherelle Jones, who was weaving in and out of traffic. While conducting the traffic stop, police received permission to search Jones' vehicle and found eight bags of marijuana totaling five ounces as well as medical marijuana registry cards belonging to Jones and others.
Jones sought to claim immunity under the state's medical marijuana act, which protects registered patients from prosecution, while prosecutors argued Jones was not entitled to the immunity because she was not a Michigan resident when she applied for her card or when she was arrested.
The trial court determined that questions of fact existed about the immunity defense which a jury would have to decide. A panel of Michigan Court of Appeals judges ruled that because the immunity in the medical marijuana law protects patients from arrest and prosecution, the decision of whether or not immunity applies to a defendant should be made before the case ever goes to a jury.
"For this protection to have meaningful effect, the immunity must be afforded at the earliest possible stages of any investigation or subsequent court proceedings," the opinion states.
The court held that residency is a key component of the immunity, however, because the statute contains explicit provisions which protect visiting patients from out of state as well as make reference to "the health and welfare of its (Michigan's) citizens."
Read more: http://www.mlive.com
Aussie expert: Legalize marijuana to protect teens from binge drinking
Category: Legalization | Posted on Wed, July, 10th 2013 by THCFinder
The director of Australia’s alcohol policy research body said Tuesday that he believes marijuana should be legalized and tightly controlled by the government in order to reduce binge drinking, which he said has a much stronger association with violence than any other drug of abuse, particularly among teens.
Robin Room told The Herald Sun on Tuesday that it “makes sense to legalize marijuana in a controlled market.”
Room is director of Australia’s Centre for Alcohol Policy Research, and earlier this week he presented a bunch of new ideas on how to curb binge drinking across the country.
Some of his proposals to attack alcoholism are stout enough to make drinkers blush, and range from raising the legal drinking age, limiting sales to certain hours, creating a government monopoly to control all sales, lowering blood-alcohol limits for drivers, limiting the number of liquor stores in a given area, and even crafting tax policies that make cheap wine all but impossible to find.
But when he was speaking to The Herald Sun this week, he also threw his support to legalizing marijuana, saying it would particularly affect teens who are most prone to injury from binge drinking. “We are in a situation where we need to look ahead,” he reportedly said. “I think we need to have the discussion and it makes a lot of sense in terms of, among others, cutting down government costs to have a fairly highly controlled legal (cannabis) market and, while we are at it, tighten up the legal market of alcohol in the same way we tightened up the market of tobacco.”
He went on to recommend that the government create a monopoly for marijuana sales as well, saying the drug should not be available in supermarkets and must not be advertised at all. “Cannabis is not without harm but it’s substantially less than alcohol and tobacco in terms of social harm,” Room reportedly added.
Read more: http://www.rawstory.com
D.C. Council Bill Seeks To Decriminalize Marijuana In Nation's Capital
Category: News | Posted on Wed, July, 10th 2013 by THCFinder
WASHINGTON -- Marijuana advocates in the District have a friend on the D.C. Council.
D.C. Councilmember Tommy Wells (D-Ward 6) unveiled a bill Wednesday morning that would decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana, according to WUSA9.
Under the bill, anyone caught with less than one ounce of marijuana would face a civil penalty of a $100 fine. Under current law, possession of marijuana is a misdemeanor offense; first-time offenders face up to six months in prison and a $1,000 fine.
At a press conference, Wells said that the purpose of decriminalization is to save youths caught with marijuana from losing employment opportunities in the future.
"Once you have a marijuana charge on your record, you cannot participate in certainly the construction boom that is happening all over the city, and it works to stigmatize people ... and it disadvantages them from jobs," Wells said, according to The Washington Post.
A report by the American Civil Liberties Union in June found that D.C. leads the nation in marijuana possession arrests per capita, with a rate more than three times higher than the national average. The ACLU also found that nationally African Americans are 3.73 times more likely to be arrested for marijuana possession than whites, even though the two groups use marijuana at a nearly equal rate.
Read more: http://www.huffingtonpost.com
Blue Dragon Medical Marijuana
Category: Nugs | Posted on Wed, July, 10th 2013 by THCFinder
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