Delaware medical marijuana patients in limbo
In 2011, Delaware became the latest state to legalize medical marijuana through a prescription. Since then, the program has been halted while state leaders figure out how to cope with restrictions from the federal government.
Delaware's neighbors in New Jersey, and more recently Maryland, have approved medical marijuana. New Jersey opened one compassion center in Montclair, and is on its way to opening a second farther south. According to state law, Delaware was to have three centers opened, one in each county, by 2013.
The delay has frustrated medical marijuana patients like "Bob," who lives in New Castle County. Bob asked WHYY to withhold his real name because he's afraid of being arrested.
Pain all day
Bob suffers debilitating pain every day as the result of an accident a few years ago. "It's a whole lot of constant pain all day, everyday. The pain just doesn't stop."
Two years ago, he thought Delaware would finally make it legal for him to access the drug that he believes best helps him manage that pain. "If I have good medicinal cannabis, I wouldn't have to take any of the opiates, wouldn't have to take any of the Xanax."
Bob says the marijuana eases his pain, while still allowing him to feel like himself. "When I take all these [pills], I can't drive, can't really hold a conversation. I feel like a zombie. When I'm on pot I can actually be active and talk to people."
Read more: http://www.newsworks.org
U.S. Mayors Demand Change to Federal Policy, End to Crackdown on Medical Marijuana
A resolution calling for change to federal policy is on the agenda at this weekend's annual mayors meeting
LAS VEGAS, NV — As mayors from across the country gather today in Las Vegas for the 81st annual U.S. Conference of Mayors, the federal government’s crackdown on medical marijuana is expected to be discussed and debated over the weekend.
A resolution ”in support of states setting their own marijuana policies without federal interference” was introduced in advance of the conference by San Diego Mayor Bob Filner and co-sponsored by eight other mayors from across the country. Deliberation on the resolution comes days after medical marijuana advocates issued an alarming report detailing how the Obama Justice Department has spent nearly $300 million to undermine medical marijuana laws in the U.S.
San Diego Mayor Bob Filner
“Ultimately, this is about whether local and state governments can develop, adopt, and implement public health laws without heavy-handed interference by the federal government,” said Steph Sherer, Executive Director of Americans for Safe Access, which authored “What’s the Cost?”, an extensive report issued last week on the economic and social costs of the federal government’s war on medical marijuana.
“This resolution is emblematic of the frustration experienced by local and state officials, which will continue until the federal government ends its attacks on medical marijuana.” More than 100 million people, or 34 percent of Americans, currently live in states with medical marijuana laws.
Read more: http://www.thedailychronic.net
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Marijuana: What happens to medical shops whose towns have banned recreational pot?
So far, 24 Colorado cities have banned recreational marijuana sales since the passing of Amendment 64. This is not a surprise, since most already had an ordinance prohibiting medical marijuana stores. But what about those that have MMJ shops that now won't be able to switch to recreational -- like, for instance, Englewood, which briefly allowed dispensaries in 2009 but has since banned them. The three dispensaries that were grandfathered in have found it hard to stay open ever since.
"There is a strong push to get dispensaries out of the city," says Colby, manager for Mile High Dispensary; he asked that we not use his last name. "Basically, our plan right now is to open a recreational shop outside of the city, since you have to be a medical facility in Englewood."
Along with the ordinance banning recreational marijuana, which was passed last month, Colby says the city also doubled the distance marijuana operations must be from schools, from 1,000 feet to 2,000 feet.
This isn't an issue for the dispensary itself, but Mile High's cultivation facility is within the new limit -- and if it's forced to close, the business as a whole may be at risk. Colby says owners will be taking the city to court over the issue next month -- and the shop hopes to win the battle and remain open. To do so, though, it will have to remain a medical store, unlike Mile High Dispensary 2, a sister shop in Lakewood that hopes to open its doors to recreational as well as medical customers once it's legal to do so.
Read more: http://blogs.westword.com
Medical Marijuana patients in Michigan can't share
Two stories popped up today from the state of Michigan that remind me of the inevitable tragic absurdities we get by trying to separate patients from "criminals." Wrap your mind around these latest examples of legal bureaucracy facing sick people who just want to use marijuana under the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act (MMMA).
In Nashville, Michigan, there was this patient named Tony Allen Green. Tony had a valid patient registry card. Tony had less than 2.5 ounces of marijuana on him, as allowed by law.
Tony has a friend named Al Thornton. Al was a patient who just applied for a valid patient registry card. However, under Michigan law, after 20 days his application (along with his doctor's recommendation to use cannabis medically) becomes just as valid as a registry card.
Tony, a legal patient, gave some of his marijuana (less than 2.5 ounces) to Al, a legal patient. Somehow, police become involved. They do not arrest Al, for he is now holding less than 2.5 ounces of marijuana, but they do arrest Tony, for giving Al less than 2.5 ounces of marijuana.
Now, isn't that silly? Tony can sit around puffing joint after joint of his 2.5 ounces. Al could sit right next to him and do the same. But if either of them pass a joint to the other, it's a crime?
The Barry County Circuit Judge agreed that was silly. Section 4 of the MMMA clearly allows patients to have 2.5 ounces. They were both legal patients. The judge dismissed the marijuana delivery charge against Tony.
Prosecutors appealed the dismissal. As they read Section 4, they could only find protection for Tony's and Al's possession of marijuana. They didn't see anything protecting the delivery of marijuana. The Court of Appeals, however, upheld the Barry County judge's dismissal, writing, "the MMMA does not place any restrictions on the transfer or delivery of marijuana between adult patients, and we decline to read any such restriction into the act."
Read more: http://www.huffingtonpost.com
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