Medical Marijuana

Protestors Picket Arraignment of Medical Marijuana Dispensary Owners

Category: Medical Marijuana | Posted on Fri, June, 24th 2011 by THCFinder
Protestors congregated outside the Livingston County 53rd District Courthouse in downtown Brighton Thursday morning to protest the arraignment of Alan and Christi Marshall.
The Marshalls, who own and operate Marshall Alternatives, a medical marijuana dispensary near Fowlerville, and Stephanie Lynn Baxter, an employee, are charged with delivery of marijuana. The felony offense carries up to four years in prison.
Baxter, charged with two counts of delivery of marijuana, and Alan Marshal, charged as a habitual offender, could each see up to eight years in prison.
The charges come after the Marshalls and Baxter allegedly sold medical marijuana to an undercover agent on several occasions over the last several months.
Court documents state that the undercover officer presented an invalid medical marijuana card when purchasing products at Marshall Alternatives.
The Marshalls’ attorneys call the agent’s tactics entrapment.
Released on bond, all three defendants will return to court on July 13.
Protestors, who held signs that read “I’m a Patient” and “Patients are not criminals,” also gathered at the corner of Main and 1st streets. The demonstration elicited the response of several passersby. Motorists honked their horns and pedestrians stopped to talk with the protestors.
One middle-aged woman slowed her minivan and shouted “You’re right! They’re wrong!” as she passed.


Medical Marijuana Patient taken to jail

Category: Medical Marijuana | Posted on Tue, June, 21st 2011 by THCFinder
‚ÄčIn the latest sign that Gilbert police have gone rogue, a medical marijuana patient tells New Times that he was taken to jail two nights ago for possessing a half-ounce of weed.
This is the third case we've heard about in the past week in which Gilbert officers allegedly told patients that the voter-approved medical marijuana law provides no meaningful protection.
Not only did the officers write up the man for possible possession charge -- he says they're accusing him of DUI because he admitted he'd smoked pot that morning. If true, that seems like one DUI case that'll never stick.
On Sunday at about midnight, Steven P., who lives in Gilbert, tells us that he was pulled over near Val Vista and Baseline roads for failing to make a complete stop as he left a strip mall lot. 
The bloodhound cop smelled the high-quality weed in the car and asked him about it. Steven 'fessed up right away, he says, and showed the cop his state-issued medical marijuana registration card.
Steven says he had about half an ounce of weed in four separate, labeled baggies.
"For a second, I thought I was going to be able to drive away," Steven says.
Instead, the officer called his supervisor, who soon arrived at the scene. They interrogated him about where he purchased the marijuana, saying that if he couldn't provide the name and number of the person who sold it, he was going to be arrested.
He says the officers also told him that the pot wouldn't be legal unless he bought it in a dispensary, (there are none yet) or grew it himself. As to the latter option, however, Steven says the officers implied that even if he'd admitted to growing, he could still be in trouble because there's no legal way to obtain seeds.
In our non-expert, non-lawyerly opinion, Arizona law seems clear when it states that if a valid card-holder possesses less than 2 1/2 ounces, a presumption exists of medical use.
Police booked Steven into jail and impounded his truck, but didn't bother with his bong and pipe, which were still in the vehicle when he picked it up the next day.


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.



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