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Medical Marijuana

Michigan Court says MMJ Patients can be Arrested without their Paperwork

Category: Medical Marijuana | Posted on Wed, June, 27th 2012 by THCFinder

Things continue to evolve in Michigan, as they have since voters approved medical marijuana in the state in 2008.

 

A new Michigan Court of Appeals ruling says that legal medical marijuana patients can still be arrested for possession of cannabis, if they don’t have their state-issued medical marijuana registry card or application at a “reasonably accessible” location for law enforcement to see. Legal patients will still be able to produce their paperwork in court as their defense.

 

Last month the Michigan Supreme Court ruled that medical marijuana can be used as an affirmative defense by legal patients in the state (http://www.thcfinder.com/marijuana-blog/medical-marijuana/2012/06/michigan-supreme-court-says-states-mmj-law-shields-patients-from-prosecution).

 

"Defendant still has one more hurdle to overcome to be entitled to immunity from prosecution; he must also establish that at the time of his arrest he was engaged in the medical use of marijuana in accordance with the (Michigan Medical Marihuana Act)," the appeals judges wrote in the decision.

 

Things have been rough for some patients and caregivers in Michigan when dealing with local and state law enforcement, and hopefully these rulings will go a long way toward avoiding animosity-inducing interactions. In this way more patients can be helped and the medical cannabis industry in Michigan can grow faster, a win-win for everyone.

 

Michigan is a heavily-populated state, meaning there are many people who can benefit from medical cannabis. They should be able to choose a safer alternative to deadly and addictive prescription drugs.

 

The medical marijuana law in Michigan has the potential to become a model for states still discussing the possibility of medicinal marijuana legalization, and it may take the courts to decide exactly what’s legal at this point. While we don’t want courts making laws, many times they are vital in clearing up the finer points of existing law.

 

Source: http://www.detroitnews.com


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Behold, the Future of Marijuana

Category: Medical Marijuana | Posted on Mon, June, 25th 2012 by THCFinder

We all imagine the future at one time or another: jet packs, magic weight loss pills, microchips in our head that play music like an iPod. But what will marijuana be like in the future?

 

With the advances in breeding and growing, cannabis will likely be even more versatile than it is now. Strains with more THC, or more CBD, strains targeted to more and more specific ailments. And the way you get marijuana will be different as well.

 

Yes, there will still be a lot of human interaction given the complicated nature of cannabis and the lack of deep knowledge about it among the general public, and many will grow their own, especially when and where it is legal to do so. But for those who know what they want and don’t want to wait in a line or have somewhere they need to be, there will be the convenience of a vending machine.

 

A company that makes such a machine has already opened an office in Connecticut, where medical marijuana became legal earlier this month. It remains to be seen how popular the vending machines will become, and how many medical marijuana states will allow them in the beginning.

 

But one day in the future they will be available everywhere for medical and recreational users.

 

 


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Uruguays Plan to Sell Marijuana to Registered Users

Category: Medical Marijuana | Posted on Fri, June, 22nd 2012 by THCFinder

Under a plan being considered in the South American country of Uruguay, the country’s government would legalize marijuana and become the sole provider of cannabis to users who would register with the government.

 

If the plan is enacted, Uruguay would become the world’s only government provider of recreational marijuana, reaping the profits for themselves instead of allowing all that money to go to criminals and dealers.

 

As things stand now, personal drug use is not a crime in the country, but Uruguay’s government wants to take industry control one step beyond by selling marijuana itself.

 

By selling a relatively harmless “drug,” and increasing penalties for those who traffic in harder stuff, the Uruguay government hopes to steer its citizens away from more dangerous substances. Although the country currently enjoys little crime, the numbers are on the rise.

 

Defense Minister Eleuterio Fernandez Huidobro told reporters that Uruguayan farmers would grow the marijuana, although final details have not been hammered out.

 

It will be interesting to compare crime stats and usage rates (for all illicit substances) in Uruguay a few years down the road to see the success of their policy, if it becomes law. Drug use rates in Holland and Portugal – the two European countries with the most “liberal” drug laws – are below that of the U.S. There’s no reason to believe that marijuana use will rise in Uruguay, but much reason to expect a decrease in the crime associated with drug trafficking.

 

And the government will see a boon when it comes to money from marijuana sales; money that used to disappear into the hole that is the black market. And maybe huge amounts of cash will be what finally convinces politicians in other countries that money can be made from legality and freedom.

 

Source: http://dailycaller.com


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Medical marijuana legalization won't boost teen pot use, study finds

Category: Medical Marijuana | Posted on Wed, June, 20th 2012 by THCFinder
(CBS News) When it comes to legalizing medical marijuana, federal officials have argued recent increases in pot use among teens might be a result of better access to pot in states where it's legal.
A new study finds there is no evidence that legalization of medical marijuana increases teen drug use.
 
Marijuana use among teens has been on the rise since 2005, according to the researchers. A CDC study from the National Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YBRS) earlier this month found pot smoking increased among teens from 21 percent reported in 2009 to 23 percent in 2011, which suggests more teens currently smoke marijuana than they do cigarettes.
 
For the new study, economists at three universities analyzed data from the youth risk survey that were collected from 1993 to 2009, and compared those results with when medical marijuana laws were passed. Over the 16-year-period included for analysis, medical marijuana was legalized in 13 states, including Alaska, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, Nevada, Oregon and Washington. Currently 17 states legalize medical marijuana.
 
Researchers specifically examined the relationship between legalization and marijuana use at school, whether the teen was offered drugs on school property, and alcohol and cocaine use. Their results provided no evidence that medical marijuana legalization led to increases in pot use at school, the likelihood of being offered drugs at school, or the use of other harmful substances. The researchers also looked closely at state surveys of youth risk behavior and didn't find such evidence.
 
"There is anecdotal evidence that medical marijuana is finding its way into the hands of teenagers, but there's no statistical evidence that legalization increases the probability of use," Daniel I. Rees, a professor of economics at the University of Colorado Denver, said in a written statement.
 
The study has been made available by the nonprofit Institute for the Study of Labor based on Bonn, Germany. The research is not peer-reviewed.
 
Last December, Gil Kerlikowske, Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, said teen marijuana use was on the rise in part because medical marijuana had been legalized.
 
"We know that any substance that is legally available is more widely used," he told the Los Angeles Times.
 
Regardless of teen drug use rates, federal officials have contended marijuana is not a safe or effective medicine and therefore won't legalize it nationwide.
 
"Simply put, it is not a benign drug," Kerlikowske said in response to a 2011 petition to legalize and regulate marijuana like alcohol. "Like many, we are interested in the potential marijuana may have in providing relief to individuals diagnosed with certain serious illnesses," he said. "To date, however, the FDA nor the Institute of Medicine have found smoked marijuana to meet the modern standard for safe or effective medicine for any condition."
 

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No Evidence That Medical Marijuana Leads To Increased Teen Use Says Study

Category: Medical Marijuana | Posted on Mon, June, 18th 2012 by THCFinder

According to a new study of the relationship between medical marijuana and teen marijuana use shows no evidence that the former increases the latter.

 

Using the government’s own Youth Risky Behavior Survey (YRBS) for the years 1993 through 2009, the study saw no correlation between states legalizing medical marijuana and teens using the plant.

 

"There is anecdotal evidence that medical marijuana is finding its way into the hands of teenagers, but there's no statistical evidence that legalization increases the probability of use," said Daniel I. Rees, a professor of economics at the University of Colorado Denver, who co-authored the study along with Benjamin Hansen, assistant professor of economics at the University of Oregon and D. Mark Anderson, assistant professor of economics at Montana State University.

 

While many studies show that marijuana use is on the rise among teens, there are many things more likely to attribute to that than taking some marijuana out of the hands of drug dealers and into the hands of registered businesses and caregivers. In fact, even in states where medical marijuana is legal, a large black market still thrives because most marijuana users don’t qualify medically.

 

Common sense tells you that the more you regulate a product, the less likely teens are to get it. Alcohol and tobacco are prime examples. The government has no control over the black market - as much as they like to pretend they do – and drug dealers have no incentive to check I.D. because they are already breaking the law. But a liquor store will check I.D. because they want to keep their liquor license and keep making money legally.

 

Another contributing factor to a rise in teen use could be education about how much safer marijuana is than any other recreational substance. Maybe teens have more information because anything can be looked up on the internet.

 

Source: http://medicalxpress.com


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Michigan Medical Marijuana Grower Withdraws Guilty Plea

Category: Medical Marijuana | Posted on Sat, June, 16th 2012 by THCFinder
In light of a recent Michigan Supreme Court ruling that says the state’s MMJ law can be used as an
affirmative defense in criminal cases (http://www.thcfinder.com/marijuana-blog/medical-marijuana/
2012/06/michigan-supreme-court-says-states-mmj-law-shields-patients-from-prosecution), a 45-year-
old medical marijuana grower is withdrawing his guilty plea in a drug manufacturing case.
 
 
Mark Rowe initially entered the guilty plea after a judge ruled he could not bring up Michigan’s medical
marijuana law in the case. He was charged with marijuana manufacturing after police found 12 plants
growing in a garden outside his home. This is within the legal limit under Michigan law, but police say he
violated the law because his plants were not secured, something Mark denies.
 
 
This led the judge to rule out a medical marijuana defense because Mark was supposedly violating the
medical marijuana law, but that hasn’t been proven in court. Mark was denied the ability to even bring
up the fact that he was a legal grower under state law, making him just some guy growing weed in his
garden in the eyes of a jury.
 
 
The judge in Mark’s case has now allowed him to withdraw the guilty plea he entered last fall.
 
 
Rowe’s case is similar to the one involving an Owosso, Michigan resident named Larry King, the case that
led to the recent state Supreme Court decision.
 
 
To observers of the national marijuana scene in the U.S., it may seem like Michigan state and local
authorities are more hostile to medical cannabis patients than authorities in other MMJ states. But
things may changing now with this new state Supreme Court ruling. Courts have a way of chastening
law enforcement, and hopefully authorities will begin to back off of patients and caregivers and let the
state’s medical marijuana law do what it was intended to do.
 
 
That’s the best Michigan patients can hope for at this point.
 
 

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