Medical Marijuana Case Dismissed
Category: Medical Marijuana | Posted on Tue, May, 24th 2011 by THCFinder
BAKERSFIELD, Calif. -- A medical marijuana co-op won a huge battle in court after two years of claiming its innocence.
The California Compassionate Co-Op on north Chester Avenue was shut down in May 2009 by authorities.
The defendant's attorney said the judge ruled that the Kern County Sheriff's Office suppressed evidence in the case.
The judge dismissed the case after attorney H. A. Sala showed evidence that the Sheriff's Office held back.
The department obtained a search warrant two years ago, claiming the co-op was operating illegally.
The judge ruled on Friday that the information provided by the sheriff's department to obtain that warrant was misleading and contained omissions.
That search warrant was used to seize evidence based on the belief the co-op was not registered, making a profit and selling pot to non-members.
"They would have never been able to shut them down; they never would have sized the medical cannabis; they never would have seized their bank accounts. The judge said 'If I had all the evidence, I would have never authorized the search warrant,' "said Sala.
Sala also said the judge's decision stems from a tape recording made by deputies prior to obtaining that search warrant. The tape, Sala added, contained information showing the cooperative was innocent.
The owners of the co-op have filled a civil case claiming that their rights were violated.
Growing Pot Could Become A Misdemeanor
CALIFORNIA — Growing marijuana in any quantity for recreational use is a felony in California. But it could be charged as a misdemeanor if a bill moving through the state Assembly becomes law.
The measure would change marijuana growing from a mandatory felony to a so-called "wobbler" offense. That would give district attorneys the discretion to charge it as either a felony or a misdemeanor.
Joe Elford is chief counsel for the advocacy group Americans for Safe Access. He said the bill would not affect medical marijuana patients who grow pot.
"Whether they're charged with a felony or charged with a misdemeanor," Elford said, "they shouldn't end up being convicted in either case, because they are medical marijuana patients, and that is already legal under state law."
Supporters argue it's a waste of money to send people to state prison for growing marijuana. Opponents point out it's still illegal under federal law.
Possession of an ounce or less of marijuana is now an infraction in California, subject to a $100 fine.
Medical Marijuana Advocates Sue Federal Government Over Rescheduling Delay
WASHINGTON--(ENEWSPF)--May 23 - A Coalition of advocacy groups and patients filed suit in the DC Circuit Court today to compel the Obama administration to answer a 9-year-old petition to reclassify medical marijuana. The Coalition for Rescheduling Cannabis (CRC) has never received an answer to its 2002 petition, despite a formal recommendation in 2006 from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the final arbiter in the rescheduling process. As recently as July 2010, the DEA issued a 54-page "Position on Marijuana," but failed to even mention the pending CRC petition. Plaintiffs in the case include the CRC, Americans for Safe Access (ASA), Patients Out of Time, as well as individually named patients, one of whom is listed on the CRC petition but died in 2005.
"The federal government's strategy has been delay, delay, delay," said Joe Elford, Chief Counsel of ASA and lead counsel on the writ. "It is far past time for the government to answer our rescheduling petition, but unfortunately we've been forced to go to court in order to get resolution." The writ of mandamus filed today accuses the government of unreasonable delay in violation of the Administrative Procedures Act. A previous cannabis (marijuana) rescheduling petition filed in 1972 went unanswered for 22 years before being denied.
The writ argues that cannabis is not a dangerous drug and that ample evidence of its therapeutic value exists based on scientific studies in the US and around the world. "Despite numerous peer-reviewed scientific studies establishing that marijuana is effective" in treating numerous medical conditions, the government "continues to deprive seriously ill persons of this needed, and often life-saving therapy by maintaining marijuana as a Schedule I substance." The writ calls out the government for unlawfully failing to answer the petition despite an Inter-Agency Advisory issued by the Food and Drug Administration in 2006 and "almost five years after receiving a 41-page memorandum from HHS stating its scientific evaluation and recommendations."
The two largest physician groups in the country -- the American Medical Association and the American College of Physicians -- have both called on the federal government to review marijuana's status as a Schedule I substance with no accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse. The National Cancer Institute, a part of the National Institutes of Health, added cannabis to its website earlier this year as a Complementary Alternative Medicine (CAM) and recognized that, "Cannabis has been used for medicinal purposes for thousands of years prior to its current status as an illegal substance."
Medical marijuana has now been decriminalized in 16 states and the District of Columbia, and has an 80% approval rating among Americans according to several polls. In a 1988 ruling on a prior rescheduling petition, the DEA's own Administrative Law Judge Francis Young recommended in favor of reclassification stating that, "Marijuana, in its natural form, is one of the safest
therapeutically active substances known to man."
Shuttered marijuana dispensaries reopened in Costa Mesa
A group of shuttered marijuana dispensaries in Costa Mesa were allowed to reopen over the weekend after being deemed public nuisances.
Sue Lester, a former City Council candidate and owner of Herban Elements on Fair Drive, said an Orange County Superior Court judge's order Friday allowing her business to reopen was the "right thing to do" pending a court hearing next month.
Costa Mesa city officials took aim at the Fair Drive property and several marijuana dispensary and massage parlors in April, declaring them all public nuisances. Police said some of the massage parlors were fronts for prostitution.
Lester's business was among those ordered to shut down earlier this month under a temporary injunction until the businesses had a chance to appeal Friday.
Inhaled Cannabis Beneficial For Fibromyalgia Patients, Study Says
Category: Medical Marijuana | Posted on Fri, May, 20th 2011 by THCFinder
Barcelona, Spain--(ENEWSPF)--May 20, 2011. The use of cannabis is associated with beneficial effects on various symptoms of fibromyalgia, including the relief of pain and muscle stiffness, according to the results of an observational case-control study published online in the journal PLoS (Public Library of Science) ONE. Fibromyalgia is a chronic pain syndrome associated with musculoskeletal pain and fatigue. Symptoms of fibromyalgia are poorly controlled by conventional medications.
Investigators at the Institut de Recerca Hospital del Mar in Barcelona, Spain, assessed the associated benefits of cannabis in patients with fibromyalgia (FM) compared with FM patients who did not use the substance. Twenty-eight users and non-users participated in the study.
Authors reported: "Patients used cannabis not only to alleviate pain but for almost all symptoms associated to FM, and no one reported worsening of symptoms following cannabis use. ... Significant relief of pain, stiffness, relaxation, somnolence, and perception of well-being, evaluated by VAS (visual analogue scales) before and two hours after cannabis self-administration was observed."
Cannabis users in the study also reported higher overall mental health summary scores than did non-users.
Investigators concluded: "The present results together with previous evidence seem to confirm the beneficial effects of cannabinoids on FM symptoms. Further studies regarding efficacy of cannabinoids in FM as well as cannabinoid and stress response system involvement in their pathophysiology are warranted."
The Cannabis Cafe: Medical marijuana patients gather at 'Cheers'-like bar in Portland to ease their pain
Category: Medical Marijuana | Posted on Fri, May, 20th 2011 by THCFinder
Lights dim. A white-haired man of perhaps 50 approaches the stage. He's wearing a blue suit jacket, open-neck shirt, black leather loafers and sunglasses, indoors, at night. He's got the Sinatra panache down.
Then, the voice, a rich baritone, sweeps over the audience of a couple dozen glazed and grinning pot smokers.
"Day and night, night and daaaaay," he croons the Sinatra standard into a mic in his right hand. "Only you beneath the moon or under the sun, whether near to me or far, it's no matter darling where you are.
"Dum dum, dum dum de-doo-dee-dum."
The audience yelps and coos in appreciation.
This is karaoke night at Portland's Cannabis Cafe, a combination of the bar from Cheers and a street-side pot palace in Amsterdam. It is perfectly legal in this smoky room for medical marijuana patients to burn, eat, rub, filter and roll marijuana.
There are cancer patients, AIDS patients and sufferers of smashed vertebrae and pinched nerves. There are also those who find refuge under Oregon's "severe pain" allowance — tell a marijuana-friendly doctor you've got pain, and you've pretty much got weed.
Since the medical marijuana law's passage in 1998, nearly 40,000 patients have gotten access.
The pot in the cafe is brought in by patients or donated by growers. Money doesn't change hands unless it's to buy a sandwich or coffee. The price of admission: a $20 monthly charge and a $5 door fee.
The cafe has farmer's markets of donated weed-laden goodies, a weekly comedy show and even an employees' night. On Thursdays, it's karaoke. An ill-lit stage catches an occasional cloud of puffy white smoke blown from a pipe or a bong or a vaporizer.
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