Medical Marijuana License Fees That Saved Cops' Jobs at Risk in Mendocino
Category: Medical Marijuana | Posted on Fri, January, 6th 2012 by THCFinder
The one-of-a-kind cooperation between medical marijuana growers and the Mendocino County Sheriff's Department -- which legitimized cannabis cultivation in the eyes of the law and saved the jobs of deputies facing layoffs -- is at risk, pending the outcome of a court case.
Since 2010, Mendocino County marijuana growers with a doctor's recommendation have been permitted to license plants with Sheriff Tom Allman's department, under chapter 9.31 of the Mendocino County Code. Growers wishing to cultivate up to 99 plants must pay the Sheriff's Department an inspection fee and a $50 per-plant permit fee. In return, growers receive zip-ties that mark each of their 99 plants as certified legal, and the promise that the inspected medical marijuana crop won't be raided by local law enforcement.
But a court case out of Southern California could invalidate the program -- the first and only of its kind in California, according to Mendocinco County Counsel Jeanine B. Nadel.
In its opinion on Pack v. Long Beach, the state Court of Appeals ruled that state and local governments cannot issue permits for medical marijuana dispensaries or grows because in doing so, the government would violate the federal Controlled Substances Act.
"If the Pack decision stands, I think we would have issue with our permitting procedure," Nadel told SF Weekly shortly before the new year. "Our permit for 99 plants might be in jeopardy."
The state Supreme Court is expected to decide if it will hear an appeal from the city of Long Beach on the Pack decision sometime in February. If an appeal is heard, the 9.31 program can continue as normal while the case is in the courts, Nadel said.
Cops Who Support Legalizing Marijuana to Question Presidential Candidates in NH
Category: Medical Marijuana | Posted on Thu, January, 5th 2012 by THCFinder
CONCORD, NH -- Several active duty and retired members of law enforcement will question presidential candidates on the campaign trail in New Hampshire today and tomorrow about the failed war on drugs they've been asked to waged.
"As an active duty jail superintendent, I've seen how the drug war doesn't do anything to reduce drug abuse but does cause a host of other problems, from prison overcrowding to a violent black market controlled by gangs and cartels," said Richard Van Wickler, the serving corrections superintendent in Cheshire County, NH and a board member of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP). "For a long time this issue has been treated like a third rail by politicians, but polls now show that voters overwhelmingly agree that the drug war is a failure and that a new direction is sorely needed."
WHO: Cheshire County, NH Corrections Superintendent Richard Van Wickler; Plainfield, CT Chief of Police Robert Hoffman and other law enforcement officials
WHAT: Panel discussion and questioning of presidential candidates on ending the war on drugs
WHEN: All day Thursday and Friday, January 5-6; Panel discussion at 1:00 PM Thursday
WHERE: 2012 College Convention; Grappone Conference Center; 70 Constitution Ave.; Concord, NH (1:00 PM Thurs discussion panel in Merrimack Room).
Gallup has been asking Americans about marijuana legalization for more than 40 years. This October, for the first time ever, the firm found that more Americans support legalizing marijuana than oppose it (50%-46%). The support for legalization is up from 36% five years ago and just 25% in the late nineties. According to Zogby, three out of four Americans believe the overall war on drugs has been a failure.
Among the Republican candidates, only Ron Paul has forcefully called for an end to the drug war. Gov. Rick Perry and Gov. Jon Hunstman have said that states should be allowed to legalize medical marijuana without federal interference. Newt Gingrich, when asked by a woman in New Hampshire this week whether she should be arrested for her drug use, said, "No, you shouldn't be arrested for recreational drug use but you also shouldn't do it." President Obama, while opposing legalization, has said that it is "an entirely legitimate topic for debate."
Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Act aims 160,000 signatures at 2012 ballot
Category: Medical Marijuana | Posted on Wed, January, 4th 2012 by THCFinder
Colorado continues to push for legalization showing they are the front runners of the big show!
In July, the folks behind the Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Act of 2012 launched a petition drive to land the measure on the November 2012 ballot -- and at 11:30 p.m. today, they'll celebrate the effort at a press event before formally submitting nearly 160,000 signatures. Proponent Mason Tvert notes that backers overshot their original goal.
"We need 86,105 valid signatures to qualify for next year's ballot, and initially, we were aiming for 145,000," he says. "But we came to find there was so much support for Colorado putting it on the ballot that we kept going."
Tvert adds that signatures are continuing to trickle in from volunteers -- and that's probably a good thing, since the Colorado Secretary of State's office, which approves measures for the ballot, typically disallows a hefty chunk of them. "One of the general rules of thumb you often hear when it comes to initiatives is that you should get 150 percent of what's required," he points out. "And we surpassed that, collecting nearly twice as many as we need. So we're confident we're going to have more than enough valid signatures."
Secretary of State personnel are expected to start verifying signatures shortly, and given Tvert's belief that "they don't have any other significant election issues going on right now," he expects to get confirmation of the act's place on the ballot within the next few weeks. Not that supporters plan to wait around for the high sign.
"This campaign has already grown to include more than 500 volunteers and 150-plus businesses throughout the state, and we're ready to hit the ground running," he says. "We're going to begin reaching out to Coloradans to talk about the fact that marijuana is safer than alcohol and the need for a more sensible approach. The current situation with medical marijuana demonstrates that this is something that can be done, and if it passes, there will no longer be penalties for adult possession of small amounts of marijuana."
Marijuana: Pot will be rescheduled if Barack Obama or Ron Paul win, advocate says
Category: Medical Marijuana | Posted on Tue, January, 3rd 2012 by THCFinder
Last week, the Department of Revenue sent a letter formally petitioning the federal government to reschedule marijuana; read it below. Sensible Colorado's Brian Vicente sees the move as a sign of the times, and predicts such rescheduling will happen within five years -- if Barack Obama or Ron Paul win the 2012 election.
"I think it was actually fairly meaningful," says Vicente about the letter, penned by DOR head Barbara Brohl. "Colorado was the fourth state just last year to send a request to the federal government to reconsider marijuana's schedule in the Controlled Substances Act" -- Schedule 1, meaning it has no officially recognized medical value on the federal level. "That shows the groundswell of support is growing."
Perhaps, but Brohl's letter is not exactly enthusiastic, perhaps because she was compelled to pen it rather than doing so on her own initiative, as Vicente explains.
"The way this worked was that the legislature passed a law, HB 1284, in which the legislators told the Department of Revenue to send a letter to the federal government about rescheduling. And the fact that our state legislature supported doing this is meaningful in and of itself."
Even so, Vicente acknowledges that similar letters sent a few weeks back by the governors of Rhode Island and Washington exuded more passion for such a policy shift than did Brohl's missive.
"I wish ours had been stronger," he notes. "The letter from the other governors made a very strong case for taking the common sense step of rescheduling marijuana. I think our letter was a little more perfunctory and could have been more persuasively written. But I really think the act itself is the most important piece."
Vicente doesn't expect the feds to move forward with rescheduling in the immediate future. "I think it's a ways off -- and when I say that, I'm thinking five years, not ten, twenty, thirty or forty." As for what will finally push the national government to take the leap, he believes "a larger critical mass of states" must follow Colorado's path. "Whether that's a half-dozen or a dozen, I don't know. But I think that's reasonable, and the momentum is clearly on our side. There are sixteen medical marijuana states right now, and the federal government can read the writing on the wall."
The 2012 election will play a role in determining the delay's length, he believes. While many marijuana activists have decried what they see as the current administration's war on weed, Vicente feels that "a second-term Obama presidency would give us a pretty strong chance of seeing marijuana rescheduled."
Not so if there's a Republican elected president, "with the exception of Ron Paul," he continues, noting that in today's Iowa caucuses, "he's a frontrunner."
Medical Marijuana boosts appetite in HIV and AIDS patients
Category: Medical Marijuana | Posted on Mon, January, 2nd 2012 by THCFinder
A recent study by the University of California in San Diego, California and the Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research about medical cannabis found that inhaled marijuana stimulated appetite hormones in adult HIV and AIDS patients.
A San Jose medical cannabis doctor’s office (420 Cannabis Evaluations Clinic), says it adds to the growing number of studies showing cannabis can help relieve the suffering of HIV and AIDS patients. Medical marijuana is allowed in California.
The double-blind cross-over study compared the effect of inhaled cannabis with that of a placebo on the appetite hormones ghrelin, leptin and PYY, and on insulin levels.
Previous studies have noted the connection between Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and increased appetite, but this was the first study to directly examine the link between THC administration and appetite hormones.
Many studies by the Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research show that medicinal cannabis is an effective treatment for a number of symptoms of HIV and AIDS.
A 2007 study found smoking marijuana had less symptoms of HIV-related peripheral neuropathy (injury to the nerves supplying hands and feet) by 34%, and a 2008 study found participants who smoked cannabis reported a 3.3 point improvement on the DDS pain scale for their painful HIV neuropathy.
The San Jose marijuana physician says cannabis offers HIV and AIDS patients a natural alternative to over the counter medicine, it helps increase appetite and relieve pain without making you weak.
People suffering from a wide range of illness including HIV and AIDS can get a recommendation for medical cannabis from a medical marijuana physician, under the law of California. First you undergo a medical marijuana evaluation.
Patients can then grow their own medicine, or obtain it from licensed cannabis clubs.
Medical marijuana dispensaries get the boot
Category: Medical Marijuana | Posted on Wed, December, 28th 2011 by THCFinder
Medical marijuana has made it onto the Windsor Beacon's annual top ten stories of the year countdown for the third consecutive year.
This time, the news was the closure of the town's two dispensaries on May 15 following a 2010 vote to ban medical marijuana in the town limits.
Medical marijuana first became an issue in December 2009 when the town board learned that in addition to In Harmony Wellness Center, which had opened in June 2009, and A New Dawn Wellness Clinic, which opened earlier that December, there were six other dispensaries in the process of opening in Windsor.
The town board put a moratorium into place to prevent the opening of other dispensaries while it began work on an ordinance. Work was halted after a couple of work sessions until after three new board members, Mike Carrigan, Kristie Melendez and Don Thompson, were seated in April 2010.
The town board unanimously passed on July 27 an ordinance that would regulate and restrict the number of medical marijuana dispensaries that are allowed to locate in the town.
Less than a month later, a citizen-initiated petition put a question on the November 2010 ballot asking whether all dispensaries in town should be banned. Former town board members Michael Kelly and Nancy Weber helped to circulate the petition.
In November of that year, Windsor residents voted overwhelmingly (66 percent) to ban all dispensaries in town.
The vote required the town board to create an ordinance to ban any and all dispensaries, which it did in January.
One of the former dispensaries, In Harmony Wellness, returned in September as a patient resource organization offering physician services, classes and education, select retail products, community events and cannabis advocacy initiatives.
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