Medical Marijuana

Feds Threaten to Extinguish California's Pot Boom

Category: Medical Marijuana | Posted on Tue, June, 21st 2011 by THCFinder
Local officials say that regulating the commercial pot industry could protect public safety, and would be a good source of tax revenue. But the Obama administration is pushing back.
With demand for medical marijuana surging around the country, some cities and states are looking to license commercial growing, including in California. Local officials say regulating the industry protects public safety and is a good source of tax revenue. But now the Obama administration is pushing back.
LaNier says the tripwire for the Feds' tough new posture came last year after Californians narrowly rejected Proposition 19, a measure to legalize recreational pot use. He says officials then zeroed in on local medical marijuana schemes like Oakland's, and decided to threaten prosecution.
"They're not going to go after someone who's standing on the corner or in their home using marijuana. This is going to be targeting those individuals who are facilitating production, trafficking, engaged in the distribution," La Nier said.
LaNier says the Justice Department letters state pointedly that even local officials could face criminal charges. But Jay Rorty, an ACLU attorney, says those warnings violate previous assurances from the Feds.
"It's important that the DOJ makes clear that people who are complying with valid state law do not fear federal prosecution," Rorty said.
Rorty and others insist that was the promise made in a 2009 Justice Department memo, which essentially stated: comply with state law and the feds won't prosecute you. But Justice Department officials are saying the exemption only applies to seriously-ill people, not commercial growers and not medical marijuana distribution outlets.
Benjamin Wagner, the US Attorney for California's Eastern District, says the Justice Department will enforce federal law.
"We've met with the DEA in this regard. People from Washington have been out to California to coordinate a statewide enforcement strategy," Wagner said.
It's unclear whether the Feds will target the state's most established medical marijuana operators, like Harborside Health Center in Oakland.
On a recent afternoon at Harborside, dozens of customers were eagerly inspecting gleaming glass cases displaying well-manicured marijuana buds. Despite a grueling audit battle with the IRS, owner Steve Deangelo says Harborside is turning over millions of dollars in sales each month. Still, he says, medical marijuana remains a risky business.
"Until federal law changes, this is not an industry, it's a movement. And anybody who gets involved in distributing medical cannabis has to be prepared to be arrested and have a monumental challenge on your hands," said Deangelo.


Attitudes shifting about marijuana as medical uses gain legitimacy

Category: Medical Marijuana | Posted on Mon, June, 20th 2011 by THCFinder
Earlier this month, sheriff's deputies were called to a West Longview apartment where people were smoking marijuana. A woman presented a deputy with a medical marijuana card, according to a report, and the deputy left. No citations. No arrests.
The deputy later explained to the person who called in the complaint that "there was nothing to be done."
Marijuana, once reviled as a dangerous narcotic, lumped with heroin and cocaine, has become more widely accepted in recent years than many thought possible.
A clinic opened in Castle Rock this spring to provide medical marijuana certificates and advice about the drug. Castle Rock also is debating whether to allow residents to collectively cultivate their own marijuana gardens for medical use. A marijuana dispensary has opened in Rainier.
Meanwhile, more than a dozen states, including Washington, have passed medical marijuana laws. A bill legalizing and licensing marijuana dispensaries was approved by the Washington Legislature, but Gov. Chris Gregoire vetoed that part of the bill, citing federal laws against marijuana use.
But Melissa Robinson, the owner of Castle Rock's Healing Hand of God marijuana clinic, said it's only a matter of time before marijuana is legal for any adult to grow and consume.
"There's no stopping it," Robinson said. "The force behind it is so grand. If we are not legalized in the next five years I will be blown away."
Marijuana advocates say the public is starting to realize that pot can provide more benefits to patients with fewer side effects than highly addictive and legally available opiate pain killers. The drug has also become destigmatized, they said, because many American voters have smoked pot and suffered few if any ill effects.
"You're starting to see a generation or two of folks who may have at one point in their lives experimented with marijuana and so they have direct experience with it," said 19th District Rep. Brian Blake, D-Raymond, who voted for the Legislature's medical marijuana dispensary bill. "It's almost become mainstream."
Blake said he doesn't believe Washingtonians are quite ready to legalize pot for everyone, but he said, "I think the public is getting there."


Medical marijuana group asks judge to block Mont. law before it takes effect next month

Category: Medical Marijuana | Posted on Mon, June, 20th 2011 by THCFinder


HELENA, Mont. — A new Montana law eliminating medical marijuana sales and implementing strict checks to verify a patient's condition is unconstitutional and must be blocked before it takes effect next month, an attorney for an industry group suing the state argued Monday.
The law passed by state lawmakers earlier this year will effectively put commercial growers in Montana out of business by barring pot providers from making a profit and limiting them to a maximum of three patients.
It also places additional checks on conditions for qualifying for the drug and on the doctors who certify medical marijuana patients.
Montana Cannabis Industry Association attorney James Goetz asked Helena District Judge James Reynolds to approve a preliminary injunction that would keep the law from taking effect on July 1.
Problems with the law range from denying patients access to medical marijuana to intruding upon the doctor-patient relationship and allowing warrantless searches of patients and providers, Goetz told the judge.
"Marijuana, while not completely harmless, is remarkably safe. It has proven medicinal qualities. If a Montana citizen, in consultation with his or her doctor, wishes to have access to medical marijuana, that person should have access without undue governmental restraint," Goetz said.


Police raid Home, Seize 2 oz of Marijuana from a Legal Medical Marijuana Patient

Category: Medical Marijuana | Posted on Fri, June, 17th 2011 by THCFinder
Twenty Gilbert police officers, some in masks and riot gear, stormed a home last week after receiving a tip that the owner was in possession of an ounce of marijuana.
The homeowner, Ross Taylor, is a card-carrying patient under Arizona's new medical-marijuana law, which allows people to qualify to possess up to 2 1/2 ounces of pot legally. He's also the owner of Cannabis Patient Screening Centers, a new company that hooks up patients with doctors for medical pot recommendations.
After handcuffing Taylor and his wife, the cops served a search warrant on the home and found two ounces of marijuana a small amount of hashish, which is just concentrated marijuana. Police seized the "medicine" and some paraphernalia from an upstairs closet, even though the total weight of the weed was under the legal threshhold, then told Taylor he'll probably be hearing from the prosecutor's office about criminal charges.
Sergeant Bill Balafas, Gilbert PD spokesman, tells New Times that because Taylor bought the pot from another person, as opposed to growing it himself, the possession wasn't legal despite his status as a patient.
"People are being harassed," says Taylor, who called New Times this week to report the tale of law enforcement overkill. "They want political control."
We're still waiting for the release of the police report, but for now, Balafas confirms many of Taylor's details.
Besides the waste of resources for a pot-possession bust, the incident also reveals the state of confusion that reigns following November's passage of Proposition 203 by Arizona voters.
According to Balafas, Gilbert's drug-enforcement squad received information that Taylor had an ounce of pot in his home. Police had no idea Taylor owned a medical-marijuana company or that he had a valid registration card, Balafas says.


Arizona Medical Marijuana Doctors Coming to Kingman, AZ

Category: Medical Marijuana | Posted on Tue, June, 14th 2011 by THCFinder
Arizona Medical Marijuana Certifications (Arizona MMC), the state's premier AZ Medical Marijuana center, will be seeing patients in Kingman, AZ June 17-18 at the Holiday Inn Express.
Hours for the evaluations are Friday from 3pm to 8pm and Saturday from 8am to 8pm in the meeting room. The address for the Holiday Inn Express is 3031 E Andy Devine Ave, Kingman, AZ 86401.
The Kingman visit will serve qualified patients in Kingman, Lake Havasu City, and Bullhead City. As a requirement in Arizona, patients need to have an in-person examination from a licensed doctor and a review of the past 12 months of medical records for the qualifying condition.
With the passing of Prop 203, medical marijuana is now legal in Arizona for qualified patients with debilitating medical conditions. Patients with Cancer, Severe Nausea and Vomiting, Chronic Pain, Severe Muscle Spasms, Glaucoma, Hepatitis, HIV or AIDS, Crohn's Disease, MS or ALS, Cachexia or Wasting Syndrome, or Alzheimer's Agitation may qualify for an Arizona Medical Marijuana Card.
Arizona MMC is the only center to offer a comprehensive E-Book, which is over 40 pages and contains chapters on The Basics of Cannabis, Arizona's Path to Legalizing Medical Marijuana, the Basics of Obtaining an AZ Medical Marijuana Card, and the latest medical information on how marijuana benefits debilitating conditions.
Arizona MMC has instituted a discounted pricing structure for patients who partially pre-pay for their visit. Normally the on-site price is $199, however, if patients pre-pay $75, the total visit price is discounted 25% to $149.
Appointments are being scheduled and time slots are filling up fast. There will also be a limited number of walk-in appointments allowed as well. Signing up early will also allow the Center time to obtain, for Free, patients' medical records.
For patients in the Phoenix and Scottsdale areas, the regular Arizona MMC office is located in central Phoenix area, conveniently located off of the Highway 51 at Bethany Home Road.


MJ patients not safe from being fired!

Category: Medical Marijuana | Posted on Tue, June, 14th 2011 by THCFinder

The courts have ruled in WA that regardless of your medical condition and status, if you use medical marijuana you can and most likely will be fired from any company who chooses to enforce their drug policies. The private life we once had is no gone, apparently what we do on our own free time can get us fired at the workplace. 


The Washington State Supreme Court concluded that an employer’s drug policy trumps the state medical marijuana law. The court ruled that Washington employers can terminate an employee who fails a drug test, even if it’s due to medical marijuana use.


What Happened.“Roe” was offered a position as a customer service representative for TeleTech. Roe was given a copy of the company’s drug policy, which stated that all employees must pass a drug test. Roe informed TeleTech that she used medical marijuana, offered a copy of her doctor’s authorization form—which the company declined—and took the drug test.
Roe began training on October 10, 2006, the same day her drug test came back positive. Her supervisor notified corporate headquarters, who confirmed that there are no exceptions for medical marijuana. On October 18, 2006, Roe was terminated.
Roe took TeleTech to court claiming wrongful termination. Roe argued that her termination was in violation of the state Medical Use of Marijuana Act (MUMA) and was in violation of a clear public policy allowing medical marijuana use in compliance with MUMA. TeleTech argued that MUMA’s purpose is to protect users and physicians from criminal prosecution under state drug laws, not to entitle users to employment protections.
What the Court Said. The Washington State Supreme Court agreed with the lower courts, ruling that MUMA does not provide a private cause of action for discharge of an employee who uses medical marijuana, nor does the law create a clear public policy that would support a claim for wrongful discharge in violation of such a policy. Instead, the court noted, MUMA was created to provide an affirmative defense to state criminal prosecutions of qualified medical marijuana users. The Court's holding applies regardless of whether the employee's marijuana use was while working or while off-site during non-work time. Roe v. TeleTech Customer Care Mgmt. S. Ct. WA, No. 83768-6 (2011).



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