Medical Marijuana

Federal crackdown leaves Calif. medical marijuana industry weighing risks

Category: Medical Marijuana | Posted on Fri, October, 14th 2011 by THCFinder

Investors and futures dispensary owners are now beginning to weigh out their options with the federal government continueing to make threats against the medical marijuana industry.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Venture capitalist Steve Berg figured he had an unassailable business model.
Berg's San Francisco firm, The ArcView Group, was pledging to find "angel investors" for start-ups offering products and services for California's $1.5 billion medical marijuana industry.
But last week, U.S. prosecutors in California announced criminal prosecutions against targeted marijuana dispensaries and threatened landlords with property seizures.
Suddenly, the state's burgeoning medical marijuana sector is dealing with fear and introspection. Industry advocates are calling for increased state regulation, thinking that could weed out bad actors in the trade - and ward off the feds.
The government's action has left politicians, medical marijuana businesses and would-be investors weighing the risks of operating in the industry.
Berg, whose firm is looking to fund companies that provide legal services, sales software, marijuana vaporizers and other items for dispensaries, was a panelist last weekend at a pre-scheduled San Francisco forum on "jobs in the legal cannabis industry."
The mood at the event was unexpectedly dour. The day before, California's four U.S. Attorneys declared that the state's medical marijuana law had been "hijacked by profiteers" and trumpeted charges against dispensaries and speculators allegedly raking in cash from purportedly nonprofit marijuana stores.
"Is this scaring the (expletive) out of investors?" Berg asked. "The answer is it's not making it any easier."


RAND Withdraws Medical Marijuana Study About Crime Stats

Category: Medical Marijuana | Posted on Wed, October, 12th 2011 by THCFinder

RAND forced to back track with it's study after harassment from the federal government.

RAND Corporation has withdrawn from its website a study that it released late last month about government regulation of medical marijuana facilities and its effect on crime.
Titled “Regulating Medical Marijuana Dispensaries: An Overview with Preliminary Evidence of Their Impact on Crime,” the study has been “withdrawn pending further review,” according to the RAND website. 
The study, released September 22, argued that crime increases in neighborhoods where medical marijuana dispensaries are shut down, compared to neighborhoods where the facilities are allowed to remain open.
A Los Angeles Times blog reported Tuesday that the decision by the Santa Monica-based think tank comes nearly three weeks after the Los Angeles City Attorney’s office criticized the study’s assumptions and counterintuitive conclusions, demanding its immediate retraction.
Describing its study as “the first systematic analysis of the claim that marijuana dispensaries are linked to crime,” the study examined crime statistics for a 10-day period before and after June 7, 2010, when Los Angeles ordered the closure of more than 70 percent of the 638 medical marijuana dispensaries in the city at the time, partly because of their presumed connection to crime.
The RAND study found that crime increased by an average of 59 percent within three-tenths of a mile of a medical pot dispensary that had been closed, compared to one that was open.


Feds wrongly attack medical marijuana users

Category: Medical Marijuana | Posted on Wed, October, 12th 2011 by THCFinder

Medical marijuana users are going through more bullshit every day because of the federal governments constant loosing battle against the war on drugs. 

The assault on the use of marijuana for medical purposes continues at all levels of government. The latest salvo comes from the federal government, which has issued a directive that says gun ownership is illegal by anyone who uses marijuana, even if for legally allowed medical purposes.
This is a slap in the face of the 63 percent of Michigan residents who clearly voted to allow fellow citizens to use marijuana for medical purposes. The government's actions also turn a blind eye to the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
The idiocy of this directive is well described in the following editorial, which is reprinted from the Detroit Free Press.
Regardless of what you think of guns or the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes, a new federal order barring users from possessing firearms is illogical and ridiculous, essentially treating law-abiding patients as though they were convicted drug dealers.
What are they smoking at the U.S. Department of Justice?


Judge sets Nevada medical marijuana law arguments for November

Category: Medical Marijuana | Posted on Tue, October, 11th 2011 by THCFinder

Will dispensaries finally get a green light to open up in Nevada and start helping medical marijuana patients or will this case shutter any chances of future dispensaries opening up anytime soon?

If you’re keeping track of what’s happening in the legal battles over the validity of Nevada’s marijuana laws, mark your calendar for Nov. 9.
“That’s going to be the showdown at the O.K. Corral,” said John Turco, an attorney who hopes to shoot down attempts by Nevada law enforcement to bring his clients, and several others, to trial for running medical marijuana dispensaries in Las Vegas.
Specifically, Clark County District Judge Donald Mosley today set Nov. 9 as the date he will hear arguments from the district attorney and from Turco and his law partner, Robert Draskovitch, concerning their motions that the state’s law is vague and the grand jury charges against their clients should be thrown out.
Leonard Schwingdorf and Nathan Hamilton operated Sin City Co-op, a medical marijuana dispensary that was raided by state authorities in July as a drug-trafficking organization.
The pair were among several people who have been indicted in the last year as a result of law enforcement crackdowns on co-ops that have been formed to provide marijuana for those who have medical cards that say they can possess it.
The co-ops, based on similar ones in California, were set up as a way to deal with a constitutional amendment approved by voters in 2000, which allows those who need pot for medical purposes, such as to alleviate pain, to possess it and grow their own in small amounts. However, the law does not provide a way for them to legally obtain it otherwise.


Regulation Confusion Over Medical Marijuana

Category: Medical Marijuana | Posted on Tue, October, 11th 2011 by THCFinder
GOLD HILL, Ore. -- Two Southern Oregon medical marijuana grows are raided by federal agents in a week's time, hauling away hundreds of plants. The raids are raising the issue of how the medical marijuana program is regulated.
The Oregon Medical Marijuana Program screens growers and patients to make sure they do not have a criminal background. Growers are allowed to grow six plants per patient, up to four patients. The OMMP registers growers, but does not have agents to see if growers are in compliance.
That responsibility falls to law enforcement, but police say without a complaint or suspicion, they don't know where to start looking. Local police can conduct consensual compliance checks if the landowner agrees, but usually can only do this if there is suspicion of illegal activity.
James Anderson, whose Gold Hill medical marijuana grow was raided by the DEA two weeks ago, says he has still not been charged with anything and has not been arrested. He says the grow was legal under state law, but says in six years of growing, no one ever knocked on his door to check.
In his copy of the federal search warrant, he was given aerial pictures of the grow site, which showed hundreds of plants. Anderson and medical marijuana advocates think federal agents target co-ops of 100 plants or more
Drug Enforcement Agents and the U.S. Attorney's office are still giving no information about the raids in Gold Hill and Central Point, only saying they were serving a federal search warrant.


Calif. braces for medical marijuana crackdown

Category: Medical Marijuana | Posted on Mon, October, 10th 2011 by THCFinder
CBS News)  Thousands of medical marijuana outlets in California are bracing for a federal crackdown. Prosecutors say the shops are doing more than just helping their patients.
CBS News correspondent John Blackstone reports that, for Justice Department officials, the photographs of marijuana being sold in lollipops and candy show the problem with California's medical marijuana law.
"Where there's marijuana there's money. And lots of it," said Melinda Haag, U.S. Attorney for Northern California. "People are using the cover of medical marijuana to make extraordinary amounts of money. In short, (they're) engaged in drug trafficking."
Medical marijuana has been legal in California since voters approved it in 1996. Fifteen other states now have similar laws, but marijuana remains illegal under federal law.
Now federal officials have sent warning letters to dozens of California dispensaries telling them to shut down or risk arrest and property seizure.
Lynnette Shaw has been given 45 days to close the dispensary she has run for 14 years.
"It's so mean, it's so inhumane that I'm broken hearted and I'm appalled and I'm shocked. And i'm righteously indignant," Shaw said.
Shaw, who operates in Fairfax, a northern California town of about 8,000, says she doesn't just help the sick, she pays taxes.
"We're the number three sales tax contributor to our town. We are a very good resource for the community," Shaw said.
But federal officials say California has become a source of marijuana that is now shipped across the country.



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