Oregons MMJ Patients Increase While Workplace Injuries Decrease
The Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Affairs released the 2009 summary of workplace injuries and illnesses at the beginning of the year. The report shows a continuing trend of decline from from 1999 to 2009, despite the exponential growth of the medical cannabis program.
In 2009, members of the business lobby for Associated Oregon Industries fought against a bill to give medical marijuana patients rights in the work place. They argued it was irresponsible to allow employed medical marijuana patients to have it in their systems because it would put the safety of everyone around them in jeopardy. According to the information just released, this argument is unfounded.
"While correlation does not equal causation - we can't say medical marijuana laws made the workplaces safer - we certainly do not see any correlation between Oregon workplace safety statistics and Associated Oregon Industries' scaremongering about the threat of patients in the workplace,” said NORML Outreach Coordinator Russ Belville.
Below is a graph by NORML illustrating Oregon's Workplace Safety and Medical Marijuana
Marijuana Dispensary Gives Back To Community
A Colorado Dispensary has been taking the time to do small projects to give back to the city of Palisade. Alternative Health Care has been planting flowers in the city park as well as painting buildings to make their town more welcoming and pleasant.
A petition is circling around the area in an effort to close the dispensary doors. If it gets enough signatures, it will be placed on the city ballot. "We shouldn't be judged on what our business doe. We should be judged on the fact that we are a business that helps out the community,” says co-owner of CAHC Desa Loughman.
California Works On Marijuana Tax
Legislators are studying the sale of marijuana from start to finish in an attempt to narrow down where taxes should be applied, and exactly who should be taxed. The first rough draft of the bill favored a tax-stamp system similar to that of tobacco, which received little backing by NORML and American's for Safe Access.
Many feared the Stamp-Tax Model will raise issues with discretion in the medical marijuana industry. People who complied with the state laws would be making themselves easy targets for federal prosecution. Also, the Stamp-Tax Model could place the tax burden on the end users. Serious re-shaping of the bill has occurred since the original draft, and since has received backing from both groups.
San Jose has already started excising a city level tax on medical marijuana. They received over $300,000 in tax money from the cities collectives, and predicts the tax could bring in over $3 million a year from now.
Michigan Marijuana Records Turned Over to DEA
A federal judge has ordered the Michigan Department of Community Health to comply with a subpoena issued by the DEA. The judge said state law allowing medical use has no impact on federal use that is still considered illegal.
The subpoena requested patient and caregiver registration cards for seven people residing in the Lansing area. The Cannabis Patients United and several other similar groups argued that the state is violating patients privacy rights by complying with the subpoena.
Under Michigan's medical marijuana law, all applications and information are considered confidential, with criminal penalties outlined for those who disclose the information. The only thing the state is supposed to do is verify a cards validity to law enforcement. The Michigan Attorney General, who is an opponent of medical marijuana, said the state would comply if ordered to do so by a federal judge.
Connecticut Close To Decriminalization
Legislation was passed over the weekend to decriminalize marijuana possession. The Connecticut Senate passed the bill after an 18-18 tie vote the was broken by the president of the state Senate. The bill now moves to the House of Representatives for final legislative actions.
The bill would make first time possession of under ½ ounce a $150.00 fine instead of a misdemeanor, like the current law. Fines will range from $200-$500 for a second offense. Supporters of the bill believe it will help young people arrested for possession avoid a criminal record. “We are not enforcing the use of illegal drugs. We strongly disapprove of their use, but we're trying to realign their punishment that is more appropriate," says Senate Majority Leader Martin Looney (D).
$1 Million Marijuana Bust in El Monte
Los Angeles police accidentally uncovered a warehouse full of marijuana plants after responding to an attempted burglary call. Four men and a teenager were attempting to break into a warehouse, with a U-haul as the get away vehicle.
During questioning, one of the suspects admitted to what they were after; over 3,000 marijuana plants only 3 weeks from harvest. Growers had been hiding the massive operation by sourcing their electricity directly from the underground wires. One of the suspects claims the grow operation belonged to his family, who was trying to cut him out of the profits, so he came to get his share.
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