Judge Okays WalmartÃ¢s Firing of Medical Marijuana User
It has not been a good 24 hours for medical marijuana users.
Michigan federal judge Robert Jonker today ruled that Walmart had the right to fire an employee who was using marijuana to treat the side effects of an inoperable brain tumor. The state’s medical marijuana laws protect licensed users from arrest but do not trump employers’ policies banning the use of dope, the judge held.
Here’s a report from the Grand Rapids Press. (And click hereto read the opinion.) Finally, click here for a LB post from last August on the case; here for a story on the case from the WSJ’s Stephanie Simon.
The plaintiff, Joseph Casias, 30, who was the Associate of the Year at the Walmart in Battle Creek, Michigan, was fired by the retailer in 2008 after he tested positive for dope.
He claimed he only used marijuana after his work shift, the Press reports. Even so, state law does not require private employers to “accommodate the use of medical marijuana outside of the workplace,” Judge Jonker wrote.
Walmart’s attorneys contend that Michigan’s medical marijuana law wasn’t intended to regulate businesses, according to the Grand Rapids Press.
The American Civil Liberties Union, counsel to Casias, has said it will appeal. “Today’s ruling does not uphold the will of Michigan voters, who clearly wanted to protect medical marijuana and facilitate its use by very sick people like Joseph Casias,” the ACLU said in a statement. “A choice between adequate pain relief and gainful employment is an untenable one.”
In other dope news, the Montana House of Representatives yesterday voted to repeal the state’s medical marijuana law, the New York Times reports.
The sponsor of the repeal bill told the times that the state law legalizing medical marijuana had been a pretext for encouraging recreational use and he said he feared the law could lead to gang drug wars in Montana’s cities. “We were duped,” said Montana’s House speak Mike Milburn.
Rare Disease Or Not, Colorado Teen Can't Have Medical Pot At School, Not Even A Lozenge
The Colorado Independent reported that the teen, whose name was not released, has been prescribed marijuana lozenges to control attacks that come on without warning. The Colorado Springs school district says the student can attend school as long as he doesn't take the medication. As of Thursday, the paper reports, the district also said it must abide by a state law that forbids possession or use of medical marijuana on school grounds. Note too that Colorado is a state that allows the use of medical marijuana. So why does the student need the drug? The boy's dad, Shan Moore, described his son's condition as being "like hiccups on steroids," according to the paper. He said the marijuana lozenges help relieve spasms that can last up to 24 hours.
The National Institutes of Health describes myoclonus as a kind of hiccup or "sleep start" run amok. It says: "When more widespread, myoclonus may involve persistent, shock-like contractions in a group of muscles. Myoclonic jerking may develop in people with multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, or Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. Myoclonic jerks commonly occur in persons with epilepsy, a disorder in which the electrical activity in the brain becomes disordered and leads to seizures." The issue likely will get kicked up to the state level as activists and family members have been petitioning state legislators for help. And it likely will become a bigger media story too.
Surprise adopts less-strict medical-marijuana zoning rules
Surprise City Council has approved a new set of zoning rules for places to grow or dispense medical marijuana.
The zoning changes are less restrictive than an earlier proposal that would have medical-marijuana facilities to industrial and heavy commercial areas. Now, facilities will be allowed in some intermediate commercial zones.
Dispensaries must be separated by 3,000 feet to prevent clustering, and 1,500 feet from schools, day cares and parks. A 500-foot separation requirement would apply around homes and churches. Council members voted, 7-0, to accept the new rules.
Arizona voters narrowly approved a ballot initiative in November, making it legal for certain patients with debilitating illnesses to get marijuana with a doctor's support. Cities are allowed to create zoning rules to control dispensaries, cultivation sites and infusion facilities, which blend marijuana into foods such as brownies, drinks or lollipops.
Council members said they favored allowing dispensaries in more areas so patients suffering from debilitating diseases would not be forced to travel to less-desirable, outlying areas.
Councilman Mike Woodard had spoken out against the first zoning proposal, saying it was "offensive to those who will receive needed medical assistance by the use of medical marijuana" to put the dispensaries on the fringes of the city. He said it would create a stigma.
Although the council was united in its support of the rules, Councilwoman Sharon Wolcott questioned the timing.
Wolcott initially said the council should wait to adopt the proposal until the state finishes revising its rules for patients, doctors and dispensaries. The state Department of Services is set to release its final rules in March.
Chris Boyd, assistant community and economic development director, urged the council to take action. He said waiting too long might allow a dispensary to set up in an undesirable area.
Under the state's rules, Surprise could have as many as four dispensaries, though city staff said the zoning requirements would allow for only three. Dispensaries locations must be approved by the state. The first sites could open by early summer.
Representatives from the medical-marijuana industry welcomed the less-stringent zoning limits.
Cameron Carter, an attorney for Today's , a Colorado-based dispensary looking to expand to Surprise, told the council that the city's original proposal would have made it unviable to open a dispensary in the city.
Carter said Surprise's first proposal allowed for dispensaries only in locations that are occupied, on government-owned land or vacant. Because the state requires dispensaries to open within a few months of getting a permit, developing a vacant lot would be unrealistic, he said.
School Won't Allow Student With Seizures to Take Marijuana Pill
San Francisco Medical Marijuana Dispensary Further Elevates Patient Clients with Rewards Program
San Francisco medicinal marijuana dispensary Lifted Health and Wellness is making it even easier to obtain their products and relief. The medicinal marijuana company that delivers its products to their patients on electric scooters within the hour has introduced a reward program that allows their patient clients to earn and spend points on merchandise, marijuana, edibles, and hash.
In an economy where every dollar counts, the Lifted Loyalty Rewards program is an attractive way to save money. Patient clients earn points for every dollar spent, and with these points, patients can buy everything from medicinal marijuana to T-shirts.
Patient clients earn points for every dollar spent, every re-tweet, every "like" on Facebook, every friend referral, and more. When a patient client returns a container, they receive 5 points. Liking Lifted on Facebook or following them on Twitter earns a patient client ten points. For participating in an online survey, a patient client gets 50 points. Reviewing a product or service gives patient clients 125 points. Finally, if a patient client either refers a friend or blogs about Lifted, they receive 250 points.
There are other ways to earn points as well, such as posting pictures or retweeting about Lifted. The points that patient clients accumulate allow them to buy a variety of medicinal marijuana products and Lifted merchandise. For example, a debowler is 100 points, an edible is 225 points, and a hoodie is 400 points. Get a free gram of hash for 600 points or an eighth ounce of marijuana for 1000 points.
Lifted Health and Wellness is a San Francisco mobile medicinal marijuana dispensary that prides itself on consistent compassion, quality, and efficiency in all of its services. They deliver affordable goods to client patients via environmentally friendly electric scooters.
New rules released on Medical Marijuana in AZ
GLOBE — On Jan. 31, 2011 the Arizona Department of Health Services released revised rules for the regulation of the approved medical marijuana bill that passed in the November general election last year.
The revised rules place a substantial amount of responsibility on the prescribing physician, who must “identify the debilitating medical conditions” had by the qualifying patient as well as provide a statement that the physician agrees to assume responsibility for providing management and routine care of the qualifying patient’s debilitating medical conditions.
The physician must also submit a statement that he/she has established a medical record for the qualifying patient and is maintaining these records throughout the treatment. The physician is also required to review all medical records for the qualifying patient from all other treating physicians within the previous 12 months, and review the qualifying patient’s response to conventional medications and medical therapies.
An in-person exam is required to diagnose the debilitating condition that would qualify for the use of medical marijuana.
These precautions are hoping to prevent a lax system that may lose oversight and control of who receives a medical marijuana registry ID card.
Arizona is now the fifteenth state in the U.S. plus Washington, D.C. that has legalized the use of medical marijuana. Cities and towns in the state of Arizona will begin placing bids to locate a medical marijuana dispensary in their city limits on May 1, 2011. Applications will be accepted for 30 days. Globe is among the cities vying for a dispensary to be located within the city limits. According to City Manager, Kane Graves, the city is looking to have the dispensary located in the vicinity of the Globe Police Department. High security measures will also be in place. The dispensary would be professionally run by Globe Farmacy. The exact location has not been decided at this time, but a public hearing to discuss the matter is set to take place today Wednesday, Feb. 9, 2011 at 6 p.m. at City Hall.
According to the Department of Health and Safety rules, medical marijuana can be prescribed by a physician for the following conditions:
3. Human immunodeficiency virus;
4. Acquired immune deficiency syndrome;
5. Hepatitis C;
6. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis;
7. Crohn’s disease;
8. Agitation of Alzheimer’s disease;
9. A chronic or debilitating disease or medical condition or the treatment for a chronic or
debilitating disease or medical condition that causes cachexia or wasting syndrome;
10. A chronic or debilitating disease or medical condition or the treatment for a chronic or
debilitating disease or medical condition that causes severe and chronic pain;
11. A chronic or debilitating disease or medical condition or the treatment for a chronic or
debilitating disease or medical condition that causes severe nausea;
12. A chronic or debilitating disease or medical condition or the treatment for a chronic or
debilitating disease or medical condition that causes seizures, including those
characteristic of epilepsy;
13. A chronic or debilitating disease or medical condition or the treatment for a chronic or
debilitating disease or medical condition that causes severe or persistent muscle spasms,
including those characteristic of multiple sclerosis; or
14. A debilitating medical condition or treatment approved by the Department under A.R.S.
36-2801.01 and R9-17-106.
A qualifying patient registry ID card would cost $160. The Department also reserves the right to revoke an ID card or deny a card to a qualifying patient on grounds established in the rules, including the lack of evidence of a debilitating condition, or if evidence of misuse of the substance is found. Patients are not allowed to give marijuana to other patients, and can be prosecuted if they do so.
The Department of Health and Safety has established Community Health Analysis Areas, based on the number of chronic ill patients, which will be used to determine the location of the dispensaries throughout the state. The public is invited to provide their comments to the Department at the website: http://azdhs.gov/prop203/.
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