Former Medical Marijuana Caregiver Dies in Custody
68-year-old Richard Flor, a Vietnam veteran who was sentenced to five years in prison earlier this year on drug related charges stemming from medical marijuana raids In Montana, has died during a transfer to federal custody. The transfer was precipitated by Richard’s worsening health.
Richard was finally being transferred after months of delays during which his health deteriorated. He had been diagnosed with dementia and depression, and he had recently suffered two heart attacks.
Montana Cannabis Industry Association President Chris Lindsey was quoted as saying, “It’s sad that Richard was in prison at all for being a caregiver, especially when such a large number of people think marijuana should be available as an option for sick patients. In affect he got a life sentence which is tragic and really kind of hard to imagine. My heart goes out to his family and I can only hope that our government will end the war on marijuana and come up with a better solution than throwing people like Richard into prison.”
So federal prohibition laws kill another person in a long line of death in misery going back decades; how long must this madness continue? How many people need to die for no reason?
How many must die to keep the profits flowing for Big Pharma?
The scariest thing about it all is that there are many powerful people who sleep perfectly well at night while millions suffer. It is chilling to say the least. These people cannot be allowed to keep their power. They have to be replaced by people with souls who actually care about what happens to their fellow human beings.
It is up to all of you to register and vote against those who don’t fight for your interests.
Delays Continue for Medical Marijuana Patients in New Jersey
Medical marijuana patients in New Jersey continue to wait for the state’s medical marijuana program to get off the ground. Then-Gov. John Corzine first signed the New Jersey Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act in January 2010, but since then, progress has been slow. Although the state originally planned to have the necessary alternative treatment centers open in July 2011, the state’s first licensee, Greenleaf Compassion Center, is not scheduled to open until September of this year.
Five planned facilities have been approved in NJ, but 4 do not yet have approved locations. Assemblyman Reed Gusciora (D-Mercer) has even called for a hearing into the cause of the delays, saying that there is “no adequate explanation” for the current situation. Difficulties with organization, vetting the necessary officials, and objections by locals have been some of the reasons cited for the delay.
Furthermore advocates say the regulations surrounding the program are too strict, and there have been very few patients approved in the state so far. Under the current system, patients must have an existing “bona fide” relationship with one of the limited number of participating physicians. The doctor must then submit an official statement recommending the patient.
The physician must then transfer a unique reference code to the patient, who can then use it to register themselves. The registration of a patient is only valid for 90 days, after which the doctor and the patient must repeat the process, a cumbersome process to say the least.
So far only about 50 patients have been registered in the state, and only 150 doctors are participating, out of 30,000 total doctors in New Jersey.
Relief seems to be on the way for some medical marijuana patients in NJ, albeit slowly. Hopefully the legislature or voters can relax the strict regulations currently in place and allow more people the choice of medical cannabis.
Medical Marijuana Industry Group says Denver Outdoor Advertising Ban is "Appropriate"
The Denver City Council voted last week to ban outdoor medical marijuana advertising, and a medical marijuana advocacy group say that’s a good thing.
Michael Elliott, the executive director of the Medical Marijuana Industry Group (MMIG) says, “Under the new ordinance, medical marijuana businesses will still have access to a comprehensive range of affordable venues in which to advertise. These include but are not limited to: the print media, merchandising, and web-based solutions including social media. In addition, business signage will still be allowed. But most importantly, patients can be assured that they will have the necessary tools to easily locate and procure their medication.
“Put simply, this ordinance addresses those concerns most often voiced by Denver’s citizenry, while maintaining the rights of industry participants to market their businesses in an efficient, fair, and cost-effective manner.
“While we remain sympathetic to critics who question the need for additional regulations, MMIG is committed to pushing for a comprehensive regulatory framework. Some may argue that when compared to other industries, medical marijuana has been overregulated. However, for better or worse, we are participants in a young, dynamic, and scrutinized industry. If we are to survive the attacks from without, oversight and regulation must be promulgated and supported from within.”
But one has to wonder: where do you draw the line when it comes to regulations on medical marijuana?
“To prove to our communities that this industry can be the good neighbor, employer, and healthcare provider they desire, we must be willing to compromise and make concessions,” Mr. Elliot said.
Advocates must be careful about how much they give in an effort to appease others. Acting like marijuana is a bad thing that needs to be hidden sets what could be a dangerous precedent.
Court Commissioner in AZ Wants Deputies to Return Medical Marijuana to Woman in CA
A court commissioner in Yuma County, Arizona - Lisa Bleich – wants sheriff’s deputies in her county to return medical marijuana they confiscated from a legal California medical marijuana patient.
Valerie Okun has a valid CA medical marijuana card, and the medical marijuana law in Arizona specifically provides for honoring valid cards from other states. Deputies confiscated 3/4ths of an ounce from her at an interstate checkpoint last year, citing Arizona drug laws.
Five months later, Okun’s case was dismissed. Okun then filed for return of her property, with a judge ordering its release.
When Yuma County Sheriff Ralph Ogden refused, the judge ordered both sides to submit legal arguments to Bleich. And Bleich has ordered the return of Okun’s property.
"Congress did not intend to trample on the rights of the state to make their own laws pertaining to illegal drugs and medical marijuana use,” she wrote earlier this year, rejecting arguments by prosecutors that federal laws making possession and distribution of marijuana a crime override the 2010 voter-approved law in AZ. "It further implies that state laws pertaining to medical marijuana use can co-exist with federal law without conflict.”
Sheriff Deputies say returning the medical marijuana would violate federal law. "It doesn't resolve the fact that people shouldn't be forced to do things that are otherwise illegal under our state and/or federal law,” said Yuma County Attorney Jon Smith.
Deputy Yuma County Attorney Edward Feheley makes a similar argument in in trying to get relief from the Arizona Court of Appeals.
"The sheriff is prohibited from delivering marijuana to a person he knows has no right to possess marijuana -- even for medical purposes,” Feheley wrote, pointing out the federal law says there is no legitimate medical use for marijuana.
And the battle over medical marijuana in Arizona continues.
Medical Marijuana Chamber of Commerce Endorses Obama: Huh?
The United States Medical Marijuana Chamber of Commerce – a group 10,000 members strong – has endorsed President Barack Obama for reelection.
"Let’s not get distracted by the myriad of issues that will be brought to the forefront at the upcoming political conventions, the single most important election issue is getting our economy back on track,” said Thomas L. Leto III, president and founder of the U.S. Medical Marijuana Chamber of Commerce. “The economic potential of the cannabis business in the U.S. is limitless and President Obama understands this. It is our impression that Mr. Romney just doesn’t get it.”
No one can deny that Mitt Romney “just doesn’t get it,” but to claim the President does get it, in the midst of the biggest crackdown in medical marijuana’s short history, is ludicrous.
According to Leto, legalized cannabis would become a $100 billion annual industry and would bring with it 5 million new jobs within the first year of changing federal strictures. These stats may or may not be accurate; there is no way to tell the future, but we do know some tax revenue and some jobs will be created. But what has Obama done to indicate he wants to foster this future industry, besides some lies he coughed up as a candidate for President?
Like any good politician, Obama tries to claim he didn’t change his position, but his previous quotes are on video and his actions are in plain view for all to see.
One has to wonder why the Chamber didn’t endorse the obvious choice for President, Gary Johnson. He is the only who understands what legalization can do and he is the only one who continually advocates for it. He is also the only candidate on the ballot in all 50 states who will fight for the rights of medical marijuana patients and end the crackdown.
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