Marijuana bill survives challenge in Vermont Senate
The medical marijuana dispensary bill survived a close call in the Senate Rules Committee today.
The bill to allow up to four medical marijuana dispensaries in Vermont – S. 17 – was expected to be debated on the Senate floor this week. First, it had to take a trip to the Senate Rules Committee because it didn’t meet the deadline for bills coming out of Senate committees. The Senate is being a little stricter with that rule this year.
It looked this morning like the bill might be killed by the rules committee. Sen. Dick Mazza, D-Grand Isle/Chitttenden, a member of the committee is among those who doesn’t like the idea of legalizing dispensaries.
A Senate Rules Committee meeting was called for Thursday afternoon to allow senators involved with the bill to make their case. Senate Government Operations Committee Chairwoman Jeanette White, D-Windham, said the bill made it out of her committee by the first deadline, but was delayed in the Finance Committee to give the Public Safety commissioner time to figure out what the fees needed to be to cover his costs.
The committee bought the argument, with a 5-0 vote. Mazza said the Rules Committee’s job is not to consider the merits of the bill but the process.
The bill is expected to be on the Senate floor Tuesday, after a wide-ranging telecommunications bill that could take some time.
Drug enforcement chief discusses enforcing medical marijuana regs
LONGMONT — Boulder County’s communities have either adopted or are still considering what’s likely to be a patchwork of approaches to regulating medical marijuana centers.
“It kind of makes it a real mixed bag for us,” Boulder County Drug Task Force Cmdr. Tom Sloan told Twin Peaks Rotary Club members on Thursday.
Sloan added, however, that state and local governments’ inspection staffs eventually will bear most of the burden of enforcing state and local rules for businesses that dispense or grow medical marijuana in Boulder County.
The Boulder County Drug Task Force will focus its efforts on complaints alleging criminal wrongdoing by the owners or employees of medical marijuana centers, Sloan said.
Despite the rapid growth of medical marijuana businesses in Boulder County over the past three years, “we’ve not had any issues with any of our dispensaries on a criminal level,” Sloan told his Rotary Club audience.
There have been some problems with marijuana growing operations that exceed the limits and restrictions set by state and local laws, Sloan said.
He noted last August’s discovery of growing sites that covered 6 acres and included about 7,500 plants near Miller Rock, southeast of Colo. Highway 7 and Colo. Highway 72.
Authorities said last year it was unclear if that crop was even destined for sale in Boulder County, but it was the largest illegal marijuana growing operation in the county’s history.
Sloan said that, when it comes to the medical marijuana that’s allowed to be grown and distributed under what he called a poorly written state constitutional amendment adopted by Colorado voters in 2000, “I have to deal with it,” even if he has “very little interest in it.”
Providing medical marijuana to other caregivers ruled illegal
Caregiver-to-caregiver transfers of medical marijuana - a practice widely used by some providers - is illegal under Montana's medical marijuana law" a judge in Missoula ruled this week.
The Medical Marijuana Act, passed by voter initiative in 2004, "particularly prohibits a caregiver from providing marijuana to anyone other than a qualifying patient who has registered that specific caregiver," District Judge John Larson wrote in an opinion issued Wednesday.
Larson's opinion backs up the Missoula County Attorney's Office, which issued a memo in August that such transactions run afoul of the law.
"We were hoping to stop them from doing that," said Chris Lindsey of Missoula, the attorney who pursued the case against Missoula County Attorney Fred Van Valkenburg on behalf of Missoula caregiver Kevin Kerr. Lindsey also is part of a similar suit filed two weeks ago in Flathead County.
The suits, said Lindsey, aimed to clarify what he called "a gray area" in the law, which specifies that a caregiver "signs a statement agreeing to provide marijuana only to qualifying patients who have named the applicant as caregiver."
The county attorney's stance that the provision outlaws all caregiver-to-caregivers sales or exchanges "creates an impossibility," according to Kerr's complaint.
Caregivers have to get plants from someplace, it said.
"Quite simply, a caregiver can never meet his duty in providing marijuana to his patient(s) if he is never able to come in possession of it," it said.
Marijuana Use Associated With 'Superior' Cognitive Performance In Schizophrenic Patients, Study Says
Toronto, Ontario--(ENEWSPF)--April 8, 2011. Schizophrenic patients with a history of cannabis use demonstrate "superior neurocognitive performance" compared to non-users, according to the findings of a meta-analysis to be published in the journal Schizophrenia Research.
Investigators at the University of Toronto, Institute of Medical Sciences, performed a meta-analysis to determine the magnitude of the effect of cannabis consumption on cognition in subjects with schizophrenia. Eight studies met inclusion criteria, yielding a total sample of 942 subjects. Three hundred and fifty six of these participants were cannabis users with schizophrenia, and 586 were patients with no history of cannabis use. Neuropsychological tests were grouped into seven domains: general cognitive ability and intelligence; selective, sustained and divided attention; executive abilities; working memory and learning; retrieval and recognition; receptive and expressive language abilities and visuo-spatial and construction abilities.
Authors determined, "[R]elated statistics of differences in performance ... all suggest superior cognitive functioning in cannabis-using patients as compared to non-using patient."
Researchers stopped short of attributing subjects' cannabis use to the improved outcome, noting that patients with superior cognitive skills may simply be more likely to acquire cannabis than subjects with lesser abilities.
Medical marijuana users fight for gun rights
Category: Medical Marijuana | Posted on Thu, April, 7th 2011 by THCFinder
Cynthia Willis calls up and down the firing range to be sure everyone knows she is shooting, squares up in a two-handed stance with her Walther P-22 automatic pistol and fires off a clip in rapid succession.
Willis is not only packing a concealed handgun permit in her wallet, she also has a medical marijuana card. That combination has led the local sheriff to try to take her gun permit away.
She is part of what is considered the first major court case in the country to consider whether guns and marijuana can legally mix. The sheriffs of Washington and Jackson counties say no. But Willis and three co-plaintiffs have won in state court twice, with the state's rights to regulate concealed weapons trumping federal gun control law in each decision.
With briefs filed and arguments made, they are now waiting for the Oregon Supreme Court to rule.
When it's over, the diminutive 54-year-old plans to still be eating marijuana cookies to deal with her arthritis pain and muscle spasms, and carrying her pistol.
"Under the medical marijuana law, I am supposed to be treated as any other citizen in this state," she said. "If people don't stand up for their little rights, all their big rights will be gone."
A retired school bus driver, Willis volunteers at a Medford smoke shop that helps medical marijuana patients find growers, and teaches how to get the most medical benefit out of the pound-and-a-half of pot that card carriers are allowed to possess. She believes that her marijuana oils, cookies and joints should be treated no differently than any other prescribed medicines. She said she doesn't use them when she plans to drive, or carry her gun.
"That's as stupid as mixing alcohol and weapons,"' she said.
Oregon sheriffs are not happy about the state's medical marijuana law.
Medical Marijuana Users: How Much Longer Until Your Boss Can't Fire You?
Category: Medical Marijuana | Posted on Thu, April, 7th 2011 by THCFinder
Just like the industrious Walmart worker in Michigan, YOU, too, can get fired from your job for using medical marijuana -- even if you are employee of the month.
Which clearly makes no sense, considering medical marijuana is legal. That's why Sen. Mark Leno is pushing through a bill that would bar your boss from canning you over medical cannabis (smoking it when you aren't at work, of course).
The State Senate Judiciary Committee just signed off on the bill, bringing it one step closer to becoming law. Leno, a San Francisco Democrat, was pleased.
"When Californians approved the compassionate use of cannabis, they never intended for it to apply only to unemployed people," he was quoted saying in our sister paper, the LA Weekly. "With unemployment at record-high rates, we should be doing everything we can to keep productive and responsible members of the workforce in their jobs."
And part of maintaining them as productive workers, ironically, is to let them smoke weed, the feel-good crop that is proven to help alleviate medical ailments, big and small.
Leno's bill would reverse a 2008 court decision that granted employers the right to chose to not hire or even fire workers who were permitted by doctors to use medical marijuana.
(Source) by: Erin Sherbert
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