Medical Marijuana Dispensaries on the Ballot in Four Cities in CA
Patients in San Diego, California are having a tough time getting their hands on their medicine, even though medical marijuana has been legal in CA since 1996.
That’s because all of the openly operating storefronts that sell marijuana have been shut down.
In response, activists in four local cities have placed measures to authorize medical marijuana dispensaries on the November ballot.
"It’s immoral to make me choose between suffocating and doing business with a drug dealer," says Vey Linville, a medical marijuana patient who uses tinctures to treat his severe emphysema. "This is not a choice that the patient should be faced with. It’s wrong."
This November voters in Imperial Beach, Solana Beach, Del Mar and Lemon Grove will have the chance to approve medical marijuana dispensaries and bring some relief to patients in the area.
But even if these measures pass, there are no guarantees that any medical marijuana dispensaries will be allowed to operate.
That’s because U.S. Attorney Laura Duffy has been aggressive in enforcing the federal ban on marijuana. Working with the DEA and local law enforcement, she’s led the way in forcing local dispensaries to shut down.
Duffy has even gone so far as to threaten city officials in Del Mar with federal prosecution if they go through with setting up dispensaries, if the measure there passes.
Legal Michigan Medical Marijuana Growers Face Years in Federal Prison
Four medical marijuana patients and caregivers will be sentenced federal courts in Michigan this week, highlighting the human cost of the federal government’s stance toward state medical marijuana laws. The sentencing hearings come less than a week after another Montana medical marijuana provider, Chris Williams, was similarly denied a defense and found guilty at trial. In August, Montana medical marijuana provider Richard Flor, who was 68, died in custody after being sentenced to 5 years in prison despite a lack of evidence that he was in violation of any state laws.
Two medical marijuana caregivers from Monroe County, Michigan, Gerald Lee Duval Jr., 52, and his son, Jeremy Duval, 30, were raided by Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agents in 2011 and charged with felony cultivation, maintaining a place to cultivate marijuana, and conspiracy to distribute. In April, the Duvals were convicted at trial, the expected result of federal laws that prohibit any medical defense or reference to state law in front of juries.
"The Duvals' case is another tragedy from President Obama's war on medical marijuana," said Steph Sherer, Executive Director of Americans for Safe Access (ASA), the country’s leading medical marijuana advocacy group. "This type of enforcement is completely discretionary, unnecessary and far from the public health approach that medical marijuana patients deserve."
With all the things officials in the federal government need to worry about, it is inexplicable that they would waste so many resources on medical marijuana caregivers and patients.
Two other medical marijuana caregivers are due to be sentenced this week as well, John Marcinkewciz and Shelley Waldron, were originally charged under state law with cultivation and conspiracy to cultivate, but prosecutors soon turned their cases over to the federal Justice Department, where the three had no chance of defending themselves against federal law. Marcinkewciz, Waldron and Montague all ended up taking plea bargains in May.
After all, what chance do caregivers have against the feds, especially when they are not allowed to even mention state medical marijuana laws in their defense?
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