Medical Marijuana

California's medical marijuana wars spark up again

Category: Medical Marijuana | Posted on Mon, February, 4th 2013 by THCFinder
California's experiment with medical marijuana has sparked a hazy version of the old Not-in-My-Backyard syndrome.
From Hollister to Antioch, from Scotts Valley to Petaluma, from Seaside to Moraga, city after city has banned medical marijuana dispensaries, sending a message that even the sickest of patients must go elsewhere for that state-permitted dose of prescribed medical weed.
But on Tuesday, this fear-and-loathing approach to outlawing medical pot providers will face an unprecedented test in the California Supreme Court. The seven justices are to hear arguments on whether local governments can ban the dispensaries in view of the state's 1996 voter-approved law legalizing pot for medical use.
The case involves the Inland Empire Patients Health and Wellness Center, which more than two years ago sued to block Riverside's dispensary ban, arguing that cities and counties cannot bar activities legal in California. A state appeals court sided with Riverside, and now the Supreme Court, faced with similar legal tangles across the state, has jumped into the fray.
The stakes are high in California's ongoing struggle pitting medical marijuana advocates against cities worried about problems associated with some of the dispensaries, such as lax control over the distribution of a drug that remains illegal under federal law.
"The Riverside case is a fascinating example of our 'laboratories of democracy' in action," said Julie Nice, a
law professor at the University of San Francisco, where the Supreme Court will hear the arguments. "It illustrates the difficulties created when each level of government ... stakes out a different regulatory position on a controversial subject."
The Bay Area, like the rest of California, is divided on the issue. San Francisco, San Jose, Oakland and Richmond have allowed certain numbers of dispensaries, even taxing their revenues, while large swaths of the region are dispensary-free zones.
Overall, there are at least 180 local government bans on medical marijuana dispensaries in California, about three dozen of them in the Bay Area, according to the marijuana advocacy group Americans for Safe Access. And that does not include moratoriums and regulations such as zoning limits, which medical marijuana supporters agree can be enforced.


Lawmakers mull marijuana limit for drivers

Category: Medical Marijuana | Posted on Mon, February, 4th 2013 by THCFinder
DENVER • After three consecutive attempts to get a legal limit on the books for driving stoned, House Republican Leader Mark Waller says this is the year for a small compromise and legislative success.
“We needed it before with the proliferation of medical marijuana,” Waller, of Colorado Springs said. “We’re seeing traffic accidents and fatalities go up as it relates to marijuana being a factor. We need this legislation with the passage of Amendment 64, and we absolutely need to protect our citizens on Colorado roads.”
The bill faces two important hurdles Tuesday when it is heard in the House Judiciary Committee and the governor’s Amendment 64 task force will consider endorsing the legislation. The task force is responsible for recommending regulations to lawmakers for voter approved recreational marijuana use.
HB114 measure would define driving under the influence of marijuana as a driver’s blood containing 5 nanograms or more of the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, delta 9-tetrahydrocannabinol, better known as THC.
Blood tests given after a DUI arrest can determine the level of active THC similar to a blood tests used to determine whether a driver’s blood exceeds the .08 blood alcohol limit for drunken driving.
Opponents of past marijuana-driving measures have said the THC limit can be erroneous. A person could be over the threshold, but not actually be high because of varying tolerance levels and effects of the drug.
Waller says this year he has a compromise that could draw enough support from Democrats to pass both the House and the Senate.
The compromise is a variance in how the law is written.
Now, if a driver tests over the .08 limit for alcohol in 100 milliliters of blood, they are presumed to be under the influence of alcohol. That presumption means in the court of law, the driver can only argue the test was inaccurate as a defense. Drivers cannot say they have a high tolerance and are not drunk at that threshold. Past laws have mirrored that for the DUI pot law.


Oakland tries to stay in legal fight with feds over medical marijuana

Category: Medical Marijuana | Posted on Fri, February, 1st 2013 by THCFinder
SAN FRANCISCO -- The city of Oakland's arguments for why it should be allowed to challenge a federal attempt to shut down the nation's largest medical marijuana dispensary are simply "window dressing" that ignores the law, a federal prosecutor said in court Thursday.
U.S. Department of Justice attorney Kathryn Wyer argued that attorneys representing the city are attempting to sidestep federal drug and forfeiture laws by suing the government over its decision to seek to confiscate a building operated by Harborside Medical Center.
Wyer's comments came in the courtroom of Magistrate Judge Maria-Elena James who will decide if Oakland has the right to continue its lawsuit against U.S. Attorney General Eric
Clone marijuana plants that are for sale are photographed at Harborside Health Center on Thursday, July 12, 2012 in Oakland, Calif. (Aric Crabb/Staff Archives)
Oakland attorneys, led by Cedric Chao, an outside hired attorney, have claimed that the city has the right to argue against the federal actions because closing Harborside would cause great harm to the city residents' public safety and health.
In addition, the city has said the federal government's decision to close down Harborside after allowing it to operate for about six years violates federal statute of limitations.
Oakland sued the federal government three months after the office of U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag filed a civil forfeiture action against Harborside's landlord citing the federal Controlled Substance Act, a law that allows governments to take properties used in the sale of illegal drugs.
Since the federal government has refused to recognize marijuana's medical purposes, all sales of the drug, even if allowed under state law, are illegal under federal law.
In it's lawsuit against the federal government, Oakland argued that it had no other legal recourse but to file a suit in an attempt to stop the forfeiture. The city also said it had a right to sue because the federal government's action would severely harm the city socially, criminally and financially.


Alabama is considering a bill to legalize medical marijuana

Category: Medical Marijuana | Posted on Thu, January, 31st 2013 by THCFinder

A bill has been filed with the Alabama House that would legalize marijuana for medical purposes for patients who have serious ailments. Altho many attempts have been made in the past to approve medical marijuana it has yet to be approved and with 18 other states who have already approved medical marijuana there is hope that this could go through.


Approving Medical Marijuana would help patients with Cancer, MS, and many others who are suffering from severe pain. It's only a matter of time before other states follow through like the 18 others so here is hoping that Alabama gets added to that list.



Michigan Court of Appeals says no crime in sharing medical marijuana

Category: Medical Marijuana | Posted on Wed, January, 30th 2013 by THCFinder
HASTINGS — The Michigan appeals court says there’s nothing illegal about a medical marijuana user providing a small amount of pot to another registered user at no cost. 
The court agreed Wednesday with a Barry County judge who had dismissed charges against Tony Green. It’s the first decision by the appeals court in a case involving marijuana that changed hands without money. 
There is no dispute that Green provided less than 2 1/2 ounces of marijuana to Al Thornton in Nashville, in September 2011. Both were qualified to use medical marijuana. 
The Supreme Court heard arguments last fall in a case involving cash sales of marijuana. A decision is pending. The appeals court in 2011 said such sales are illegal.


Czech Parliament Backs Medical Marijuana, With a Catch

Category: Medical Marijuana | Posted on Wed, January, 30th 2013 by THCFinder
The Czech Senate Wednesday approved a bill allowing for the legal sale of cannabis for medical purposes, affirming a decision of the country’s lower house of parliament.
The proposal, which enjoys very strong support from all political parties in both houses of parliament, should become law later this year, pending an expected presidential signature.
But there’s a catch: the text of the bill says that only imported cannabis will be allowed for sale in the first year “to ensure standards.” After that, sales may expand to include registered, domestic production that is strictly monitored.
This is a one-two punch that advocates of medical marijuana say will simply make cannabis prohibitively expensive, putting the herb out of reach of most patients while enriching the black market and a few select firms that will be official traders in the goods.
“It’s legal, pharmaceutical and economic corruption,” said Dusan Dvorak, a medical-cannabis activist who leads the nonprofit organization Konopi je Lek, or Marijuana is Medicine.
“The result of the law should be access to cannabis for research and medical uses. But the real result is that it won’t be made available, it’ll be more expensive, it’ll bolster the black market and the mafia.”
The simplest solution, said Alena Gajduskova, the first-deputy Chairwoman of the Senate who voted in favor of the bill despite reservations, would be to allow the country’s many “grandmother growers” who already have cannabis plants in pots on their balconies and in their herb gardens to legally grow their own cannabis, or to at least remove all threats of criminal prosecution.
“These medicines are proven; they’re very efficient but shouldn’t be a luxury good. That is completely unacceptable,” Ms. Gajduskova said after the Senate approved the bill with 67 votes for and only two against.



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