Medical Marijuana

Bill would help employers deal with medical-pot law

Category: Medical Marijuana | Posted on Sat, February, 19th 2011 by THCFinder

PHOENIX - Now that Arizona voters have approved the use of medical marijuana, employers need new ways to deal with employees who are impaired for any reason, a state lawmaker says.

"Employers were left with their hands tied because they didn't know what to do when it came to dealing with impaired workers who came to the workplace," Rep. Kimberly Yee, R-Phoenix, told the House Committee on Employment and Regulatory Affairs this week.

Yee authored a bill, HB 2541, that would give employers the right to reassign or put on leave someone who works in a "safety-sensitive" position if they have a "good-faith belief" that person has used or intends to use a legal or illegal drug that causes impairment.

This judgment could be based on a drug test, though the bill's definitions of good faith include observed conduct, lawful video surveillance or "information reported by a person believed to be reliable."

Businesses would have immunity from litigation when taking any action covered by the measure.

The committee endorsed the bill on a 6-2 vote despite concerns raised by dissenters, and even some who voted in favor, that the bill could grant employers too much power at the expense of employees' rights.

Rep. Sally Gonzales, D-Tucson, who dissented, called the measure overly broad. "I believe it gives too much power to employers and not enough to the employee," she said.

Rep. Daniel Patterson, D-Tucson, who also dissented, objected to the language shielding employers from litigation. "I think we should only be doing that in very limited circumstances," he said.

David A. Seldon, an attorney who crafted the bill on behalf of the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said the measure is necessary for employers who want to make sure workplaces are safe and also comply with the medical marijuana law.

"Before, most employers who had a drug policy would have a no-tolerance policy, so if someone tested positive, that was all they needed," Seldon said. "Now, with the medical marijuana act, there's a new increase in terms of impairment, so we needed some tools to look at employees who were on the job who were behaving in a manner that would suggest impairment."

The committee's chairman, Rep. Bob Robson, R-Chandler, said he's worried about the bill's immunity guarantees for employers, but that it's important to help employers deal with a complicated situation.

"I think, with all things said, this creates an understanding between employer and employee of what is right and wrong," he said.



Augusta Man Facing Jail Time After Medical Marijuana Rule Change

Category: Medical Marijuana | Posted on Sat, February, 19th 2011 by THCFinder

Augusta - An Augusta man could be headed to jail because he didn't have the proper paperwork from the state in order to have medical marijuana.

The problem stems from a change in the law that took effect January 1st.

Last November, Beau Cornish was diagnosed with debilitating diseases that brought him to Maine Integrative Healthcare in Hallowell.

A doctor told him his conditions made him eligible, under Maine law, to use medical marijuana to treat his chronic back pain and hepatitis C. "He told me I was legal to grow 99 plants, 6 budding, 2 1/2 ounces on my person at any one time and I went home," Cornish says.

Cornish is also on probation in Kennebec County. He told his probation officer about the marijuana he had growing in his home and showed him the note from his doctor. But in January, the law changed. Cornish needed a registry identification card from the Department of Health and Human Services. He says his doctor told him something different. "They informed me that I was still under the Maine law and the state police were still recognizing these forms until I got my medical marijuana card."

DHHS officials say that's not true. "Law enforcement officers were advised to go with soft gloves if they found someone with medical marijuana who claimed they had submitted their application to us," says Cynthia Cobb, Director of Licensing and Regulatory Services at DHHS.

Cornish had not submitted his application before January 7th, the day Kennebec County Sheriff's deputies came knocking. "They searched my whole place, tore everything apart," Cornish says. "I showed them the grow room. They went into the room. I heard some plastic ripping and thrashing around in there."

Cornish was charged with numerous drug offenses. Cynthia Cobb says without having even applied for his registry identification card from the state of Maine the law is simple. "Your breaking the law," Cobb says. "And one of the things I keep emphasizing is the letter from the physician is not a prescription. The letter from the physician is an authorization to use medical marijuana."

Cornish's lawyer advised him to plead guilty and enter a program that would most likely spare him jail time, but he wants a jury to decide his fate. "If they feel that I was growing it without the correct medical ailments or if I was illegally growing it without the correct medical ailments or if I was illegally growing it altogether then find me guilty. I'm willing to take that risk."

Cornish is due in court next month



Montana Repeals Medical Marijuana Law

Category: Medical Marijuana | Posted on Fri, February, 18th 2011 by THCFinder
It appears that not everyone is utterly enamored with the idea of medical marijuana. Take for example, the state of Montana, where the House of Representatives voted torepeal the state's medical marijuana law.
The law, which was six years old, was voted against 63-37. Under the law, overwhelmingly passed by voters in 2004, those with a debilitating or terminal illnesses can use medical marijuana to treat pain and other chronic symptoms
The reason for the attempted repeal of the Montana medical marijuana law is a belief held by many that medical marijuana was not being used for the reason the law was passed. In fact, house speaker Mike Milburn said the state was originally "duped" into passing the act, CNN reports. Milburn said that many of the people who receive medical marijuana are not terminally ill.
State Democrats have said that the legislature is not the appropriate place to repeal the Montana medical marijuana law passed by a voter initiative, KTVH reports."A great majority of these people are honest people and they are using it because they're in a great deal of pain, they need medical cannabis," said Democratic Rep. Tim Furey, CNN reports.
If the measure passes the house, it will be sent to the Senate. The state is also considering two alternative measures, one that would tighten the law, and another that would establish a licensing and regulator system for medical marijuana in Montana. A number of states, including California, have legalized medical marijuana for sick patients. The laws remain controversial and part of a legal gray area, as marijuana remains illegal under federal law.


Movement to to Make California Medical Marijuana For-Profit

Category: Medical Marijuana | Posted on Fri, February, 18th 2011 by THCFinder

‚ÄčOne of the more farcical aspects of medical marijuana in Los Angeles is the flouting of state law, which says pot shops must be nonprofit.

A recent SoCal Connected report estimated that one Eagle Rock pot shop (American Eagle Collective) saw one customer a minute as its cameras rolled during a daylong time-lapse shoot.

It's open on weekdays from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. SoCal Connected described its busy parking lot scene as looking "like McDonald's at lunchtime."So let's assume that each one of those 600 customers that day was getting an average "dose," let's say a $50 "eighth" of weed (we checked pot shop prices by flipping through our handy-dandy hardcopy of LA Weekly) and not a three-figure ounce or $30 bucks worth of "shake."

That's could be $30,000 day for AEC, conservatively. We're sure the local nuns are enjoying their cut.

So, getting back to state law: This is a nonprofit collective distributing homegrown cannabis among members who are "seriously ill?" Yeah, right.

So, here's the deal. San Francisco Assemblyman Tom Ammiano wants to propose an "omnibus cannabis bill" to better oversee the medical pot industry.

Don't worry, L.A. pot-shop owners. It sounds like what he wants to do is regulate it as-is -- codify its status as a business and forget this nonprofit b.s. Maybe.

In any case, Sacramento marijuana dispensary lawyer George Mull is proposing that yes, the state should just get rid of the nonprofit clause. It's not working.



Maui Cops Campaign Against Medical Marijuana

Category: Medical Marijuana | Posted on Thu, February, 17th 2011 by THCFinder

“We don’t make the laws, we just enforce ‘em” – Every cop ever.

If I had a dime every time some cop said that, I could afford a dimebag. Yet time after time when legislatures come into session, there are the cops, in uniform, testifying against medical marijuana and decriminalization or re-legalization of cannabis.


(Maui News) After seeing more and more bills in the Legislature intended to liberalize marijuana use, Maui Police Chief Gary Yabuta said the department is taking a more “proactive stance” to show the public its opposition to marijuana by reaching out to Maui residents at public places.

On Monday, officers went to Walmart to pass out pamphlets on what experts say about marijuana asmedicine and related health risks, a news release said. They will be there again today.

Yabuta did not know the cost of the brochures that are being passed out but said they were nothing fancy. Funding came partly from a grant that initiated the brochure, as well as county funds.


Chief Gary Yabuda thinks medical marijuana sends "the wrong message to the youth that it's socially OK to use marijuana." Click Gary to tell him otherwise.

Nice to know that the taxpayers of Maui County are buying brochures to convince themselves that medical marijuana is bad.

“It’s something that we feel is an important message for the public to know from what we believe is the reality of marijuana, that if we continue to have an attempt to lax the marijuana law, we are going to be advocating the wrong message to the youth that it’s socially OK to use marijuana. We feel that it will be contradictory to character building, job skills, academics, all the skills necessary to become a productive citizen,” Yabuta said Monday.

Like, say, a 17-year-old kid named Barry who grew up in Hawaii using marijuana and cocaine with his friends… that guy never amounted to anything!

The police department also is voicing its opposition to two Senate bills, one (SB 58) that would increase the amount of medical marijuana that one could possess; and the other (SB 175) that would transfer the jurisdiction of the medical marijuana laws from the Department of Public Safety to theDepartment of Health.

Now, why would we want to have something called medical marijuana run by something called a Department of Health? In Yabuda’s mind, the medical marijuana should continue to be run by the Department of Public Safety.

The police pamphlet quotes agencies such as the Food and Drug Administration saying that “smoked marijuana has no currently accepted or proven medical use in the United States and is not an approved medical treatment.”

It also says the American Medical Association discourages medical marijuana use and that cannabis is a dangerous drug and is a public health concern.

Could that be the same AMA that said, “short term controlled trials indicate that smoked cannabis reduces neuropathic pain, improves appetite and caloric intake especially in patients with reduced muscle mass, and may relieve spasticity and pain in patients with multiple sclerosis,” and “the Schedule I status of marijuana be reviewed with the goal of facilitating clinical research and development of cannabinoid-based medicines, and alternate delivery methods”?




Arizona Conducts Last Medical Marijuana Forum

Category: Medical Marijuana | Posted on Thu, February, 17th 2011 by THCFinder

The public gets one last chance Thursday to discuss with state health officials rules for establishingmedical marijuana shops.


Thursday's forum is scheduled to take place on the main campus of Arizona State University's law college.


The Arizona Department of Health Services has conducted three forums around the state this week.


State rules for running medical pot shops should be released by the end of March, according to the ADHS website.


The state has said medical marijuana dispensaries could be operating by late summer or early fall, after dispensaries have had time to grow marijuana plants.


Voters last November approved a proposition allowing patients with special medical needs to receive medical marijuana.




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