Alcohol, Not Marijuana, A Gateway Drug
Voters in Kalamazoo, Michigan to Decide This Fall on Medical Marijuana Dispensaries
In November voters in Kalamazoo, Michigan will have the chance to decide whether or not 3 medical cannabis dispensaries open in their city. This is according to City Attorney Clyde Robinson, who said a measure filed last August by the Kalamazoo Coalition for Compassionate Care will be decided on by voters this fall.
"At this point there's a significant legal cloud over medical marijuana," Robinson said.
While the proposal was filed last year, an error in the City Clerk’s office caused some of the signatures to be counted. By the time the error was found and rectified, it was too late for the measure to be on the 2011 ballot. The measure needed to get 2,567 signatures to qualify.
The question the voters in the city will see this fall will say, "Shall the Kalamazoo City Charter be amended such that three (3) medical cannabis dispensaries are permitted within the city limits?"
"Simply put,” said City Attorney Robinson, “the proposed charter language violates existing federal law which outlaws marijuana/cannabis as a Schedule I controlled substance and violates the provisions of the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act and Michigan Public Health Code regarding the sale, possession, transfer, use, or cultivation of marijuana." But, he added, "the legal requirements of getting on the ballot were satisfied."
So one has to wonder if the measure does pass, will it will be enforced or challenged by the City Attorney? And where will that leave patients in Kalamazoo who have restricted access to their medicine?
But, as they say, first things first. Voters in Kalamazoo will have a chance to allow these dispensaries, then it will be up to the City Attorney to challenge a voter-approved law. Will he really go out of his way to challenge three new businesses in his city and the jobs that come with them?
Americans for Safe Access File Brief in Federal Court in Support of Charlie Lynch
The medical marijuana advocacy group Americans for Safe Access (ASA) filed an amicus 'friend of the court' brief in federal court on Monday on behalf of former medical marijuana dispensary operator Charles C. Lynch, who gained notoriety in the cannabis community due to his battles with the federal government; his trial in 2008 and sentencing in 2009 for violating federal marijuana laws.
"We feel strongly that the federal government is abusing its prosecutorial discretion on medical marijuana cases like Lynch's," said ASA Chief Counsel Joe Elford, who filed the brief in support of Lynch. "These types of prosecutions against medical marijuana providers continue unabated under the Obama Administration based on more than 70 such indictments since the president took office," Elford continued. "We must stem the tide of federal prosecutions and instead defer to state courts to deliberate violations of state law."
Even though the Obama Administration wanted a 5-year sentence for Lynch, federal District Judge George H. Wu considered Obama's declarations of tolerance toward medical marijuana and in 2009 sentenced Lynch to a year and a day.
Since 2009 the federal stance toward medical marijuana has got much worse, to the point where hundreds of dispensaries have been closed in California alone. The Obama Administration says it is only targeting medical marijuana operators not complying with state law, but there are several instances that contradict that, including the recent raid at El Camino Wellness in Sacramento, CA.
"Attorney General Holder and President Obama must be held accountable for their aggressive over-reaction in medical marijuana states," said ASA Executive Director Steph Sherer. "They're either ill-advised about what the Justice Department and other other federal agencies are doing in medical marijuana states, or they're lying to American public."
What the American public does about it remains to be seen.
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