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Medical Marijuana

Calif. braces for medical marijuana crackdown

Category: Medical Marijuana | Posted on Mon, October, 10th 2011 by THCFinder
CBS News)  Thousands of medical marijuana outlets in California are bracing for a federal crackdown. Prosecutors say the shops are doing more than just helping their patients.
 
CBS News correspondent John Blackstone reports that, for Justice Department officials, the photographs of marijuana being sold in lollipops and candy show the problem with California's medical marijuana law.
 
"Where there's marijuana there's money. And lots of it," said Melinda Haag, U.S. Attorney for Northern California. "People are using the cover of medical marijuana to make extraordinary amounts of money. In short, (they're) engaged in drug trafficking."
 
Medical marijuana has been legal in California since voters approved it in 1996. Fifteen other states now have similar laws, but marijuana remains illegal under federal law.
 
Now federal officials have sent warning letters to dozens of California dispensaries telling them to shut down or risk arrest and property seizure.
 
Lynnette Shaw has been given 45 days to close the dispensary she has run for 14 years.
 
"It's so mean, it's so inhumane that I'm broken hearted and I'm appalled and I'm shocked. And i'm righteously indignant," Shaw said.
 
Shaw, who operates in Fairfax, a northern California town of about 8,000, says she doesn't just help the sick, she pays taxes.
 
"We're the number three sales tax contributor to our town. We are a very good resource for the community," Shaw said.
 
But federal officials say California has become a source of marijuana that is now shipped across the country.
 

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Federal officials begin major crackdown on marijuana operations

Category: Medical Marijuana | Posted on Fri, October, 7th 2011 by THCFinder
Federal prosecutors on Friday launched a significant crackdown on commercial marijuana operations, announcing legal action against several marijuana operations as part of a new statewide enforcement effort.
 
According to a statement, the action focused in part on an Orange County building "that houses eight marijuana stores and a trafficking ring that sold marijuana at its San Fernando Valley storefront, and sent marijuana to customers as far away as New York state."
 
Additionally, six people were charged in alleged marijuana trafficking in a operation that authorities said generated $15 million in eight months.
 
Officials also issued warning letters to operators of 38 marijuana stores.
 
 It is important to note that for-profit, commercial marijuana operations are illegal not only under federal law, but also under California law,” said U.S. Atty. André Birotte Jr. in statement. “While California law permits collective cultivation of marijuana in limited circumstances, it does not allow commercial distribution through the store-front model we see across California.”
 
The announcement came after The Times reported Thursday that federal prosecutors are threatening to shut down medical marijuana dispensaries throughout California, sending letters that warn landlords to stop sales of the drug within 45 days or face the possibility that their property will be seized and they will be charged with a crime.
 
The stepped-up enforcement escalates the Obama administration's efforts to rein in the spread of pot stores, which accelerated after the attorney general announced in 2009 that federal prosecutors would not target people using medical marijuana in states that allow it.
 

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Appellate court voids Long Beach marijuana dispensary law

Category: Medical Marijuana | Posted on Thu, October, 6th 2011 by THCFinder

Even after cities try and regulate dispensaries as best as possible, the federal government steps in and creates more havoc for the cities.

The panel rules that the city authorized distribution of pot in violation of federal law. The decision could force Los Angeles to rewrite its medical marijuana ordinance.
 
In a decision that could upend the way California cities regulate medical marijuana, a state Court of Appeal has ruled that Long Beach's ordinance regulating dispensaries violates federal law.
 
The city held a lottery, issued permits to the winners and charged fees, which the three-judge panel said put it in the position of authorizing the distribution of marijuana in direct conflict with the federal Controlled Substances Act, which makes the possession and sale of the drug illegal. Marijuana use remains illegal under California law except for medical purposes.
 
The ruling, which was filed Tuesday, could require Long Beach and other cities, including Los Angeles, to rewrite their medical marijuana ordinances, a process that has been fraught with delay and chaos. Many cities that have long allowed dispensaries, such as San Francisco and Oakland, have permit-based ordinances that let officials decide who can sell the drug. Then they charge high fees and closely regulate them.
 
"Anything that a city tries to do that advances or authorizes a collective is federally preempted," said Usher, who said she would meet with the City Council to discuss the ruling. "Our provisions, which are registration and not a permit, are a step away from what Long Beach did, but it's a small step away."
 

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'Medibles' an option for patients who don't want to smoke

Category: Medical Marijuana | Posted on Wed, October, 5th 2011 by THCFinder

For the unforunate medical marijuana patients that cannot smoke their medication, medibles were the solution to help ease their pain and suffering. In roughly 21 days that solution will be gone and and untold amount of medical marijuana patients will have no way to take their medication as needed.

Matt Taylor is worried about Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette's "overly narrow" interpretation of the state's medical marijuana law.
 
Taylor, co-owner of Compassionate Apothecary in Mt. Pleasant, which was shut down after the Michigan Court of Appeals overturned an Isabella County judge's opinion on medical marijuana dispensaries, is concerned that terminal cancer patients will die before being able to get relief from the drug.
 
Referring to Compassionate Apothecary and similar businesses in Michigan as a "safe third option" for patients to get cannabis, Taylor went out of his way to stock non-smokable marijuana, called "medibles," for patients who don't want to smoke the drug.
 
Before closing the three locations of Compassionate Apothecary, Taylor said, he followed the law and was able to help patients get medical marijuana 21 days after filing paperwork for their cards by using certified mail receipts and the proper paperwork.
 
Under Schuette's interpretation of the voter-approved law, a certified patient can't get medibles in 21 days, but can obtain seeds to begin growing plants, Taylor said.
 
Those patients who are in the last stages of cancer have neither the energy nor the time to grow a crop, Taylor said.
 
"Now that that safe third option is gone, a lot of people could die (before getting medical marijuana)," Taylor said.
 
That's one reason he stocked medibles at Compassionate Apothecary.
 

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Judge Grants Rastafarian Exemption From Probation Drug Testing

Category: Medical Marijuana | Posted on Wed, October, 5th 2011 by THCFinder
For the past 18 months, Minnesotan Jamison Arend has been openly smoking cannabis daily — with a judge’s approval.
 
Jamison, a licensed Rastafarian Minister, was sentenced to five years probation in March of 2010 after an altercation at his home. During sentencing, Judge Judith Tilsen handed down a groundbreaking exemption to the State’s probation drug testing laws:
 
“[T]he defense has proven a colorable claim of religious right to ceremonial use of cannibus, otherwise known as marijuana. Ceremonial use is intermittent use, but because of our chemistry and how we do UAs, it would seem to me that even with limited ceremonial use that a UA would come up dirty on a regular basis. I’m specifically not ordering that Mr. Arend abstain from the use of marijuana and I’m specifically not authorizing UAs to defendant for marijuana. If probation is concerned about use of other illegal substances, probation may then perform UAs for other illegal substances.” –Judge Tilsen’s ruling (see the full ruling here on WeedPress)
 

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Michigan Court Narrows State's Medical Marijuana Law

Category: Medical Marijuana | Posted on Tue, October, 4th 2011 by THCFinder
Michigan is trying to make it even more difficult for medical marijuana patients by limiting the law once again. Instead of trying to ease the pain and suffering of those with serious ailments this game continues to make these poor peoples lives more difficult.
 
The Michigan Court of Appeals has issued a decision that further limits the state's medical marijuana law.
 
The justices ruled that a caregiver's decision to supervise the growth of 88 medical marijuana plants in a single facility on behalf of other registered caregivers and patients, other than his own, violates the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act (MMMA).
 
The case arose from Kent County, Mich., prosecutor William Forsyth's filing of drug charges against caregiver Ryan Bylsma. The decision will stand as precedent for all other lower court cases, according to Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette, who praised the decision.
 
"This law is narrowly tailored to help those with serious debilitating illnesses, but criminals are exploiting it to construct massive grow operations," said Schuette. "I applaud the Court's decision in this case because it echoes the concerns of the public and law enforcement by protecting public safety. Limits on possession are not optional."
 
A three judge panel of the Michigan Court of Appeals held Bylsma can be charged with manufacturing marijuana because he possessed 88 plants in one growing facility, in violation of the 12 plant per patient limit enshrined in the MMMA.
 
The Court concluded that:
 
Caregivers may not possess plants grown for registered qualifying patients who are not officially connected to the caregiver through the State's registration process, or for other registered caregivers;
Caregivers who do not comply with the 12 plant per patient limit are not entitled to assert an affirmative defense in Court; and,
The State may file drug possession and manufacturing charges against registered patients and caregivers who do not adhere to the 12 plant per patient limit.
 
 

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