The pros and cons of medical marijuana
Nevada's Wild West spirit snubs legal marijuana
Food-for-pot program has high success rate
Get it? High? Sorry. Anyway, a medical marijuana dispensary in California offered a complimentary marijuana cigarette for every four cans of food a patient brought in this holiday season, and guess what?
The food came flooding in.
The Granny Purps dispensary in Soquel, about 60 miles southeast of San Francisco, took in 11,000 pounds of food and handed out 2,000 joints between November and Christmas Eve. The food was donated to the Second Harvest Food Bank, which said Granny Purps (what’s with that name, anyway?) contributed the amount of food that would normally come from a business five times its size. And who knows how big it could have been — each patient was limited to a maximum of three cigarettes a day.
Phoenix seeks balance in governing medical marijuana
Medical marijuana collective opens Federal Way branch; owner welcomes state taxation
Green Piece Alternative Medicine and Education (GAME) Collective may be Federal Way's first storefront medical marijuana dispensary.
In a strip mall off South 333rd Street and Pacific Highway South, most storefronts bear Korean names except for one newbie. A sign on the plain glass door gives a phone number, hours of operation and a list of medicated edibles like cookies. Qualified clients can buy medical-grade cannabis inside the studio-like room, where mirrors line one wall, legal documents hang on another wall, a TV hums in the ceiling corner and lounge chairs sit on the floor. On a desk is a pipe shaped like a Seahawks helmet, with a short length of hose and a handwritten note granting permission to try it.
Brionne Corbray opened the third branch of his collective Oct. 1 in Federal Way. The collective, with two branches in Seattle, advertises openly online and in alternative publications.
In mid-December, the Washington State Department of Revenue announced plans to collect a sales tax from marijuana dispensaries. Corbray welcomes a sales tax because he can make more money. In fact, he would rather be a retail outlet store than a non-profit, he said.
"It's the new gold rush," said Corbray, 46, of Seattle. "We should be paying taxes. That means they're acknowledging we're legal businesses."
His clientele ranges in age from 19 to 87, he said, and all must have a verified recommendation from a qualified health care provider to do business. The collective often donates to low-income or gravely ill clients, he said.
"Collectives keep the crime rate down — keeps it off the street," he said. "I don't think it should be legal like cigarettes."
State laws for possession and gardening offer a defense for medical marijuana providers, and according to Corbray, there is no shortage of supplies.
"I make sure I stay within the guidelines of the law," he said.
Feds want Michigan records in medical-marijuana probe, challenging federal versus state laws
Federal agents want Michigan to turn over medical marijuana records as part of an investigation in the Lansing area, a sign that voter approval won't stop federal authorities from enforcing their drug laws.
Michigan voters agreed in 2008 to legalize the use of marijuana in treating some health problems.
But "the cultivation, possession and distribution of marijuana remains illegal under federal law," Assistant U.S. Attorney John Bruha said in a court filing last week.
The U.S. attorney's office has asked a judge to order the Department of Community Health to comply with a subpoena for records of seven people with medical marijuana or marijuana caregiver cards. The state has been resisting turning over the information because of a privacy provision in Michigan law, Bruha said. No names or identifying information about the seven are included in court documents, nor are details about the Drug Enforcement Administration's investigation.
DEA spokesman Rich Isaacson in Detroit wouldn't comment about the case Monday but said agents generally are "not targeting people that are unambiguously following the state medical marijuana law."
"The DEA targets large scale drug trafficking organizations and does not expend its resources on individuals possessing 'user amount' quantities of illegal drugs," he said.
The federal government apparently hasn't been in a rush to get the information: The subpoena was given to the Department of Community Health in June.
More than 45,000 people in Michigan are registered to use marijuana to ease the symptoms of cancer and other health problems. They can have up to 2 1/2 ounces of ready-to-use pot and up to 12 plants kept in an enclosed, locked facility. They could also choose to have a registered caregiver grow the drug for them.
Law enforcement officials have panned the law as poorly written, and an appeals court judge has called it a "maze." The American Civil Liberties Union is suing cities over anti-marijuana policies.
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