The Stupidity of L.A.s Medical Marijuana Dispensary Ban

Category: Dispensaries | Posted on Thu, August, 23rd 2012 by THCFinder

In this video The Young Turks discuss the recent medical cannabis dispensary ban in the city of Los Angeles and how…well, stupid it is. They also tie the city council’s decision into the larger drug war as a whole, and how depressing it is to see what seems like regression on an issue we thought we had won.


But patients and advocates will continue to fight. In fact, on Friday a medical marijuana trade group and 11 patients sued the city of Los Angeles, looking to block enforcement of an ordinance that would shut down most of the city's storefront pot dispensaries in three weeks.


The lawsuit, which says users are protected by California's 1996 legalization of medical marijuana and the U.S. Constitution, seeks an immediate injunction to keep Los Angeles officials from closing down dispensaries beginning on Sept. 6.


Meanwhile, advocates are canvassing the city gathering signatures to get a repeal of the ban on the ballot. A lot of energy that should be directed at helping patients now has to be spent defending the very right of people to have a choice in what medicine they take.




Los Angeles Dispensary Owners Fight Ban

Category: Dispensaries | Posted on Fri, August, 17th 2012 by THCFinder
The Los Angeles City Council voted in July to ban prescription pot shops, but dispensary owners have decided to fight back, the L.A. Times reports.
As detailed by the Times, the City Attorney has threatened medical marijuana managers with "penalties of $2,500 a day and up to six months in jail" if they refuse to shut down by Sept. 6, sending them a warning letter this week.
Some potpreneurs, however, are working to get a measure on the ballot to overturn the ban, the paper reports.
Area medical marijuana backers have already started gathering signatures for such a referendum.
They need some 27,500 people to sign onto their proposal.
Right now, the prohibition bars L.A.'s some 1,000 storefront dispensaries.
However, the paper explains, patients and caregivers can still legally "grow and share marijuana in groups of three people or fewer."
Elsewhere in America's weed world....
Reports indicate that Arizona's medical marijuana database -- which contains info on program participants -- is being used frequently both by law enforcement and private employers.
Though "its primary use is to ensure that patients don't get arrested if caught with pot by police," Phoenix New Times' Ray Stern points out a problem associated with these kinds of things, writing: "We're just wondering how long before the state's database gets hacked."


Los Angeles Medical Marijuana Dispensaries Face Sept. 6th Deadline to Close

Category: Dispensaries | Posted on Thu, August, 16th 2012 by THCFinder

By some accounts there are over 1,000 medical marijuana dispensaries in the city of Los Angeles, and they have all been sent letters telling them they have until September 6th to close their doors or face legal action.


Instead of going through the “trouble” of regulating dispensaries in L.A., the city council has decided to take the easiest and most economically destructive path of approving a full ban. For example, if each dispensary in Los Angeles has an average of 3 employees, that’s about 3,000 jobs the city council feels are just not needed.


The council's vote allows primary caregivers and patients to grow and transport marijuana. Under the new ordinance, two or three patients are allowed to collectively grow and share marijuana in homes or apartments, but not storefronts. Those who have medical marijuana cards will still be able to grow and smoke marijuana, but they won't be able to go into a dispensary and buy it.


Meaning those who are not able to grow or don’t have someone who can grow for them must either do without or resort to the black market for their medication.


So the council doesn’t do their job, destroys thousands of real jobs and denies health care to tens of thousands of people. Is this what the citizens of Los Angeles voted for? How hard can it possibly be to set up some regulations governing dispensaries?


In fact, isn’t that one of the functions of city government, to regulate local businesses? What recourse do voters have when their government stops doing its job, other than to vote everyone out and try different people?


It is the height of lunacy to destroy jobs in a struggling economy. Every action by the council should be directed toward things like job growth and better quality healthcare.




AZ Governors Waiver Allows State Attorney General to go After Medical Marijuana

Category: Dispensaries | Posted on Fri, August, 10th 2012 by THCFinder

Arizona Governor Jan Brewer has signed a waiver that allows Attorney General Tom Horne to try to close down the marijuana dispensaries that her state health department is in the process of licensing.


AG Horne recently released a formal legal opinion which stated that the voter-approved medical marijuana in AZ violated federal law. Why would he bother stating this obvious fact formally unless he was planning on doing something about it?


For her part, the Governor said Thursday that she does not intend to block Health Director Will Humble from continuing the process of issuing state permits. And Humble, who conducted a lottery Tuesday to see who gets to serve each of the 126 health districts in the state, said the first of those shops could be open by the end of this month.


"I gave him a waiver and put kind of a wall between Mr. Horne and myself so that he could represent this position and he could still represent me with other attorneys on the other side,' Brewer said.


AG Horne said this arrangement will allow one of his deputies to continue to provide legal advice to Humble even as he personally pursues a court order declaring the dispensaries preempted by federal law.


As many may remember, Governor Brewer initially tried to halt the medical marijuana program. "I took it to court and I was ruled against, (with a judge) saying that I had to implement the law,” Brewer recalled Thursday ."So we moved forward under the direction of the court.”


But the governor said Horne and Montgomery remain free to try to shut down the dispensaries anyway.


"If they believe they have a reason to think they can get that overturned, they have that right and privilege to do that,” Brewer said. "But in the meantime we have and will continue to move forward until we hear differently.”


In other words, the battle over medical marijuana in AZ is far from over.




NJ's Medical Marijuana Program Finally Takes Off

Category: Dispensaries | Posted on Fri, August, 10th 2012 by THCFinder
New Jersey approved a medical marijuana program more than two years ago but the program will finally begin to go into effect on Thursday.
That's the day when qualified patients can first register to receive an ID card for purchasing medical marijuana. That doesn't mark the start of any drug availability which is likely to come sometime next month.
Creating a patient registry is an important first step in allowing patients to use medical marijuana. But that doesn't mean people who participate in the system are safe from legal consequences.
New Jersey is the 17th state to permit medical marijuana but possession and use of the drug is still a violation of federal law, medical use or no.
The fact that a patient is allowed to purchase and use marijuana under state law does not protect them from federal prosecution, according to a Supreme Court case from 2005. Obama has said that it's not his priority to bust medical marijuana users, but that doesn't mean the government is ignoring dispensaries, reports LA Weekly.
The legal murkiness doesn't seem to be stopping New Jersey from going through with plans to allow medical marijuana. The state already has about 150 doctors registered to prescribe the drug and six nonprofit dispensaries with a license to sell.
Only one of those dispensaries currently has a site but it plans to begin selling soon, reports the Philadelphia Inquirer.
The Greenleaf Compassion Center of Montclair, New Jersey hopes to open its doors in September pending final permits. Until other dispensaries open it will be the sole provider of medical marijuana in the state.


Medical Marijuana: Arizona's Dispensary Lottery Results in Legal Confusion

Category: Dispensaries | Posted on Wed, August, 8th 2012 by THCFinder
Well, we really don't know what to make of all this...
As we have been attentively tracking any and all U.S. drug policy developments, a common motif is the legal confusion surrounding medical marijuana.
In California, for example, some municipalities have held back on clearly defining dispensary policies, as they are not sure about the relationship between federal statute -- which bars bud -- and state statute -- which welcomes weed. Officials in other cities, such as Oakland, have banded behind dispensaries, outright criticizing federal crackdowns as harmful to patients.
In Colorado, on the other hand, much of the state is vehemently pro-prescription pot and plan on protesting Barack Obama's anti-drug policies when he makes a campaign stop in the swing state.
Things get really weird, though, when we talk about Arizona.
Remember that the state's health officials planned on holding a lottery to dole out dispensary permits for prescription pot?
The contest did take place yesterday, awarding 97 licenses in a "four-hour, bingo-style drawing," according to the Arizona Republic.
However, Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne believes that the dispensaries break federal drug laws.
And Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery promised to prosecute any and all pot shops.
All of this, of course, comes after Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer and Horne tried to put the kibosh on kush with a federal law suit last year.
However, the judge junked their lawsuit, and a lower-court judge also determined that the dispensary process must continue.
And so the U.S. cannabis circus continues -- nobody really knows WTF is up, and it's unclear whether that will be resolved anytime soon.



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