Man says he was fired for smoking medical marijuana
Category: Medical Marijuana | Posted on Wed, May, 18th 2011 by THCFinder
DENVER - Paul Curry says his seven years at MillerCoors came to an abrupt end with one simple conversation.
"They just told me to pack my bags. They brought in security, I emptied out my locker and they told me to go home," he said.
While MillerCoors cannot comment on the decision to let Curry go, Curry says he was told he was being fired because he had just tested positive for marijuana. Not a surprise, says Curry.
"I've been on the [medical marijuana registry] for about a year," he said.
"All he had was one single positive UA for THC which means that he had used marijuana in that last 30 days. That's all it means," Curry's attorney Rob Corry said.
Corry has made a living advocating on behalf of medical marijuana users over the last few years.
"He's a medical marijuana patient. He's trying to follow his doctor's orders, and he's trying to do everything he can to manage his [pain]," Corry said.
Corry and Curry insist that the one-time MillerCoors maintenance mechanic was not "high" in any way at the time of the test. They also say his usage was never a factor in his job performance.
As of Tuesday afternoon, MillerCoors had yet to respond to numerous inquiries from 9NEWS, but because the issue falls into the realm of "personnel matters," it was unlikely to say much about its decision to let Curry go regardless.
On Tuesday, Corry and Curry came to the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment in an effort to secure Curry unemployment benefits. Curry has previously been denied the benefits because of the nature of his dismissal.
Missoula man gets 2 years in prison for sharing medical marijuana
Category: Medical Marijuana | Posted on Wed, May, 18th 2011 by THCFinder
A Missoula man will spend two years in prison for the "Mickey Mouse" offense of sharing 3 grams - a 10th of an ounce - of his medical marijuana with friends last November.
District Judge Dusty Deschamps applied that description to Matthew Otto's most current offense.
But in sentencing Otto Tuesday, Deschamps took into account Otto's extensive criminal history as justification for the sentence.
Deschamps sentenced Otto, 27, to 20 years after a jury convicted him on one count of criminal distribution of dangerous drugs in March. Two years will be served at the Montana State Prison and will run concurrently with a previous sentence. Another 18 years are suspended and will be served under Department of Corrections supervision.
Those last 18 years will run consecutive with a sentence for a probation violation in a 2008 charge Otto is currently serving.
Among other conditions, Otto cannot use medical marijuana and must earn his GED within a year.
Otto had 3 grams of medical marijuana when he was arrested in November. Otto had a medical marijuana card, but was found guilty of passing the pipe filled with the drug to two passengers while driving down Reserve Street. An off-duty Missoula County sheriff's detective saw and reported the incident.
The maximum penalty for criminal distribution is life in prison and a $50,000 fine. However, the Montana Supreme Court ruled in 1983, in State v. Arbgast, that state law allows for deferred or suspended sentences in cases involving marijuana sales.
Otto's extensive criminal history was the focus of discussion on Tuesday.
Calling Otto a "persistent felony offender," Deputy County Attorney Andrew Paul recommended five years in prison.
Portsmouth marijuana grower handed 15-year term
A 30-year-old man will serve 15 years in prison for crimes related to a marijuana grow operation police found in the garage apartment of a Churchland residence.
David L. Patterson Jr. pleaded guilty in December to possession with intent to distribute marijuana, maintaining a fortified drug house, a related weapons charge and possession of a police scanner during the commission of a crime.
A detective said at Monday's sentencing that the estimated worth of the marijuana plants found in an apartment above a detached garage was about $87,000.
Police searched the garage and the house and confiscated six weapons, including three assault rifles - some loaded. Detective Tim McAndrew showed the judge those weapons Monday, as he had at a prior bond hearing.
He explained how officers are trained to take cover behind the engine block of their car to protect themselves if fired on by one of the rifles because
conviction, and state sentencing guidelines called for a five-year sentence. Prosecutor Ed Ferreira asked the judge to exceed that and said the case was anything but typical.
He said Patterson had an "elaborate and ongoing" grow operation in a fortified house that was run for pure profit.
Patterson's lawyer, Eric P. Korslund, asked the judge not to exceed five years, arguing that his client had accepted responsibility, had no prior felonies and that a co-defendant was just as culpable.
Mary Usry, 40, who lived in the residence, is scheduled to be tried May 23 on charges of possession with intent to distribute and possession of a firearm with drugs.
Patterson's lawyer questioned the value that detectives put on the marijuana plants - based on an estimated profit of $1,000 from each of the 87 plants.
Circuit Judge Johnny E. Morrison gave Patterson a total of 28 years, suspending all but 15 and running time on some of the charges concurrently. He will serve 10 years' supervised probation upon release.
Why I Still Give My 11-Year-Old Marijuana
(NEWSER) – Marie Myung-Ok Lee has been giving her autistic 11-year-old son medical marijuana for two years now, and judging from some of the responses she’s received from people who read her columns, “I will not be up for Mother of the Year any time soon,” she writes on Slate.
But she doesn’t care about that as much as she cares about the fact that her son woke up the other day “and wanted a hug—the boy who formerly woke us with a scream of pain. The boy who, since he was 3 years old, never gave us hugs or let himself be hugged, because he couldn't bear to be touched.”
In addition to allowing him to avoid the powerful psychotropic drugs—and their serious side effects—normally prescribed in similar circumstances, her son’s medical cannabis regimen has allowed Lee and her family to enjoy trips to the beach, the farmers’ market, and the zoo.
“[We] can actually enjoy each other, rather than being held hostage by his autism in a house full of screams, destruction, and three very unhappy people,” she writes. Of course, there have been setbacks, but there have also been triumphs—like when her son finally learned to ride a bike—and she’s ready to call the marijuana treatment “a qualified success.”
MT judge issues order against medical marijuana overhaul
On Friday, shortly after legislation essentially banning medical marijuana in Montana took effect, a judge said ‘not so fast’ and signed an order temporarily stopping some parts of the law from being enacted.
Medical marijuana proponents have vowed a fight in a state where well over 60 percent of voters approved legalizing medical marijuana. They were able to raise $50,000 in just a few days, using the money to hire one of Montana’s top constitutional lawyers.
The judge’s ruling only suspends the new law’s ban on advertising medical marijuana products, most of which are set to become illegal in July.
Marijuana proponents say the new restrictions, passed recently by the legislature, would effectively ban medical marijuana in the state, in spite of voters’ wishes.
Medical marijuana proponents in Montana say one of the biggest problems with the new rules is that restricts caregivers to providing marijuana to only three patients, and prohibits them from charging the patients for the marijuana. Patients can also grow their own, but for many that is impractical.
People who were using the law as cover for recreational use will likely go back to buying on the street, but many who do have medical conditions which are alleviated through the use of medical marijuana will be out of luck.
R.I. judge upholds gun rights of medical-pot growers
Category: Medical Marijuana | Posted on Mon, May, 16th 2011 by THCFinder
PROVIDENCE — A recent Cranston case that tested the state’s medical-marijuana law raises a question about whether people with the right to grow or possess marijuana to treat illnesses risk being jailed for owning a gun, even if they own it lawfully.
The issue grew from Dean Derobbio’s arrest in January 2010 for allegedly conspiring with his roommate to possess marijuana with the intent to sell it. He was also charged with carrying a dangerous weapon while committing a crime of violence. The crime of violence was growing marijuana, according to prosecutors and the police, and the charge carries a mandatory three years in prison for a defendant convicted of a first offense.
The police charged Derobbio’s roommate, Joseph Joubert, with conspiracy and possessing marijuana with the intent to deliver.
Derobbio held a patient card issued by the state Department of Health to use marijuana to treat severe pain caused by ruptured disks in his back, and he legally owned a 9mm pistol he kept in his nightstand, according to his lawyer, Michael F. Campopiano. Joubert had a primary-caregiver card, allowing him under the state’s medical-marijuana act passed by lawmakers in 2006 to grow marijuana for Derobbio.
The law spells out how much marijuana a person can grow and possess, but says nothing about guns. It, too, does not specify whether a patient can have two caregivers growing marijuana for him, as Derobbio did.
Superior Court Judge Robert D. Krause seized upon those omissions in tossing out the charges earlier in May.
“In my opinion,” Krause said, “this is a poorly drafted statute, and I don’t think ... a defendant ought to be criminally liable for inartful draftsmanship.”
He rejected the state’s argument that Derobbio could be pursued on the gun charge even if the court found he had the right to possess the marijuana and the pistol.
“If I were to find that there was nothing unlawful about what these defendants had done by way of the medical-marijuana statute, and that they were within the framework of the statute, and did not exceed the amount of plants that are authorized, would you still pursue the prosecution [of the gun charge]?” Krause asked Special Assistant Attorney General Michael McCarthy at the May 4 hearing.
“With all due respect, your honor, I would,” McCarthy said. He explained that he would prosecute it under a law that says you cannot legally grow marijuana while being in possession of a firearm.
“And, your honor, if you are cultivating marijuana, and if you are in possession of a firearm, even though [the medical-marijuana act] has stated you can grow marijuana, it is silent as to whether or not you can possess a firearm,” McCarthy said, according to a transcript of the hearing.
Krause continued, “If you meet the requirements, if you have possession of plants that are within the legal limit under this marijuana act, and if you have a firearm at home, and you’re not a convicted felon, both of these are legal, yes?”
“Yes,” McCarthy said.
“But, nonetheless, you claim it’s criminal conduct.” Krause said.
“As is being intoxicated in possession of a firearm,” McCarthy said.
In the end, Krause found that the 33 mature plants being grown at the 101 Marlow St. house by Joubert and his mother, Marie Joubert, fell within the legal limits of the medical-marijuana law since caregivers can have 24 plants apiece.
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