Alaskas MMJ Laws Unclear: Keeps State Safe From Feds
Recent federal crackdowns on the medical marijuana industry have been happening all over the continental United States. The threatening letters and late night raids on dispensaries have made many state law makers review their current medical marijuana regulations and wonder when the feds are showing up; but not Alaska.
The wording of Alaska’s MMJ bill leaves out one of the most essential parts of marijuana as a medicine; how you are supposed to actually get it. Though no state official will admit it, obtaining the herb for medical purposes almost always requires an illegal transaction because there is no approved method to purchase the medication, and the law doesn’t address the issue.
This is the main reason that Alaska isn’t taking any heat right now in the midst of a Federal crackdown. The Anchorage based US attorney says she has never dealt with a marijuana issue since she took the job two years ago, and doesn’t see that changing any time soon.
Arizona suit meant to dodge voters choice
Many believe the suit filed today by Arizona’s attorney general Tom Horne is the Governor’s round-about way of keeping marijuana illegal in the state. The Federal Controlled Substances Act will trump any state statute in a court of law; there for side stepping voter enacted Prop 203.
The suit stems from a letter from the U.S. Attorney General, David Ogden, threatening action against medical marijuana dispensaries. In the letter Ogden said, "…nor does clear and unambiguous compliance with state law or the absence of one or all of the above factors create a legal defense to a violation of the Controlled Substances Act."
It is uncertain if the federal judge will even hear the case and many believe it will be turned away by the court. Typically, they do not like to rule on purely academic issues. If it is chosen, the judge will have no choice to rule against the state of Arizona.
Marijuana dispensaries to be recognized by Small Business Tax Equity Act
A motivated, pro-cannabis group of republicans and democrats put forward series of three bills to congress that would ensure cannabis business owners would not be discrim
inated against under the tax and banking laws. This is one of the first actions of its kind, forcing the federal government to recognize the medical marijuana industry.
The Small Business Tax Equity Act, sponsored by Peter Stark (D-CA) would allow for dispensary owners to take full advantage of business tax deductions on Federal tax returns, just as any other business owner has the ability to do. Aaron Smith, executive director of the National Cannabis Industry Association, said “For the first time, we have members of Congress standing up for this industry. For the first time, we are seeing legislation pushed on behalf of these small business owners.”
To read more in depth about the three bills entered to congress, click here
Detroit Physician to lose medical license for underground sale of Marijuana Cards
A Detroit doctor’s medical license was suspended today when police uncovered the illegal sale of pre-signed medical marijuana cards. Lois Butler-Jackson, 50, allegedly sold the application packets out of a nearby appliance store in Warren.
Undercover police were able to purchase completed and pre-signed application packets for $250.00 at the appliance store with-out meeting Dr. Butler-Jackson, or ever even entering a clinic. Officers also report they were able to purchase marijuana from the appliance store.
Butler-Jackson’s license has been suspended pending a hearing held by the State of Michigan. The hearing in 10 days will determine whether or not her license will be permanently revoked.
To read the full story, click here
Marijuana Dispensary laws left unclear in Washington
Proposal vetoes by Washington’s governor combined with a lack of general support during the legislative session has left Washington medical marijuana dispensary owners wondering.
Democratic Senator Jeanne Kohl-Welles, Seattle, scrambled to push a series of proposals through the system before the end of the legislative session. One of which managed to make it all the way to Governor Chris Gregoire’s, but was struck down. This means that dispensary owners must wait for legislators to return to session before there is any clarity in the laws.
The haziness surrounding the medical marijuana laws in Washington has left dispensary owners and caregivers vulnerable to prosecution by the state. King County’s prosecutor Dan Satterberg believes the governor’s veto represents a huge step backward in medical marijuana legislation. "It put cops and prosecutors back in the position of trying to make this law work," he said. "That's not our role. If this has medical value, it should be dealt with by health care professionals."
To read the rest of the story, click here
Arizona set to sue Federal Government over recognition of medical marijuana initiative
Tom Horne, The Arizona Attorney General, will file a federal lawsuit Friday asking for federal recognition of Arizona’s new voter-approved medical marijuana laws.
A letter sent by U.S. Attorney Dennis Burke is what initially sparked the lawsuit into action. In the letter Burke said, “Compliance with Arizona laws and regulations does not provide a safe harbor, or immunity from federal prosecution”.
Horne filled the suit in hopes to get federal ruling in his favor as well as get the Federal Government to recognize state’s medical marijuana laws. You can’t have people subject to two competing sovereignties – the state sovereignty that says it’s OK [and] the federal sovereignty that says it’s not OK, we’ll prosecute it,” said Horne.
Some states have halted their medical marijuana program all together in fear of threats by the U.S. Government. Arizona has chosen to take a neutral stance; not wanting to undo the will of the voters. The Arizona Department of Health believes that Burke’s threat of prosecution may deter people from participating in the medical marijuana program.
To read more on the article, click here
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