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Washington Supreme Court OKs medical marijuana necessity

Category: News | Posted on Fri, September, 20th 2013 by THCFinder
wa-supreme-court-rules-for-mj-useSEATTLE – People busted for marijuana can argue they needed it for medical reasons, even if they failed to follow the requirements of the state’s medical marijuana law, the Washington Supreme Court said Thursday.
 
In a 5-4 opinion hailed by advocates of patients who use pot, the justices said voters did not get rid of the “medical necessity defense” when they passed the medical marijuana law in 1998.
 
The ruling means that people who don’t have the money or insurance to see a doctor to authorize them to use marijuana, or who don’t have a doctor in their community who will authorize them to use marijuana, will nevertheless be able to argue in court that they had a medical reason for using it, said Seattle lawyer Suzanne Lee Elliott, who handled the case.
 
The state medical marijuana law allows people to use pot for certain debilitating medical conditions, such as cancer, AIDS or intractable pain, and it allows them to have far more of the drug than the ounce adults are allowed to possess under Washington’s recreational marijuana law, approved last year. People are required to obtain an authorization to use marijuana from an appropriate health care professional before they can avail themselves of the medical law.
 
Chief Justice Barbara Madsen wrote for the majority that people who fail to follow the medical law can nevertheless argue in court that they needed the marijuana for medical reasons, but in order to do so, they must also show that complying with the medical marijuana law was not a viable alternative for them.
 
That is frequently the case with people who use pot to treat conditions that aren’t covered by the medical marijuana law, such as insomnia, Seattle marijuana defense attorney Douglas Hiatt said. If prosecuted, they’ll be able to make a case at trial that they needed the pot for their condition.
 

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FBI Study Shows Record High Marijuana Arrests Continue Despite Changing Attitudes

Category: News | Posted on Thu, September, 19th 2013 by THCFinder
arrests-for-mj-on-the-riseWASHINGTON, D.C. — Marijuana arrests continued at near record levels in 2012, and the vast majority of them were for simple possession. According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s annual Uniform Crime Report, an estimated 749,824 arrests were made nationwide for marijuana, more than 87% of which were for possession. This is a slight decrease from 2011. Marijuana arrests accounted for nearly half of all drug arrests last year.
 
The report also noted that 59.9% of rapes, 53.2% of all violent crimes, and 81% of property crimes reported in 2012 were unsolved or did not result in arrest.
 
These results show that one person is arrested for marijuana possession every 48 seconds on average in the United States. A Pew Research Poll released in April reported that a majority of Americans think marijuana should be taxed and regulated in a manner similar to alcohol.
 
“Instead of punishing and stigmatizing responsible adult marijuana users, we should be focusing on serious crime,” said Dan Riffle, director of federal policies for the Marijuana Policy Project in a statement released Tuesday.  ”As a former prosecuting attorney myself, I believe it is irresponsible to squander our limited law enforcement resources on this disastrous public policy failure. That is especially true when so many violent crimes remain unsolved. Every second spent arresting and prosecuting adults for marijuana is time that could have been spent preventing and solving real crimes.”
 
“There is no greater waste of valuable taxpayer dollars than branding hundreds of thousands of otherwise law-abiding citizens as criminals simply for choosing to use a substance less harmful than alcohol. Given the fact that most Americans support taxing and regulating marijuana like alcohol, I suggest our police and prosecutors find a better use of their time.”
 

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WA State Won't Give Father Custody Of Child Because He Is A Medical Marijuana Patient

Category: News | Posted on Thu, September, 19th 2013 by THCFinder
wa-wont-give-child-back-to-fatherIf you are in the area, please attend the press conference and rally below. It makes my heart ache to hear stories like this:
 
Serra Frank, the Founding Executive Director of Moms for Marijuana International, will be hosting a press conference with her partner, Billy Fisher, on October 3, 2013 in front of the Spokane County Court House.
 
This press conference is to bring awareness about the nationwide issue with CPS and Cannabis Consuming parents, and focus on the local issue regarding the fight for Billy’s daughter, Lilly Fisher, in Washington State.
 
Billy is currently fighting CPS for custody of his daughter after begging for help to save her from an extremely unsafe situation. CPS refuses to give custody to Billy and cite their primary concern to be his use of marijuana as medicine, and now are focusing upon his newly found Activism.
 
Billy has a Revision hearing at 1:30 pm on that day, to request the Superior Court to revise Spokane Family Law Commissioner Jolicoeur’s recent order that demands that Billy quit using Medical Marijuana for his Degenerative Disc Disease while submitting to inpatient treatment for Cannabis Dependency for 30 days, as well as random UAs during 2 years of after care.
 
Washington Law, RCW 69.51A.120, protects Billy Fisher’s parental rights as a medical marijuana patient in compliance with that chapter. Commissioner Jolicoeur is ignoring Washington State Law, and forcing Billy Fisher to forgo due process and his parental rights in order to obtain custody of his baby girl from State dependency.
 
Billy’s little girl was NEVER taken from him, and he has done NOTHING wrong that would justify the commissioner’s ruling, much less the threat of permanent adoption of his baby if he does not comply.
 
CPS policy regarding Marijuana use is illogically based on the assumption of harm, from a drug and a plant that cannot harm anyone. It is unethical, to force anyone to stop a medical treatment that is working, and go back to one that has already failed… just to be allowed to be a parent.
 
And it is irrational to insist that Billy be locked up for inpatient rehab for his MEDICINE, especially in a state where citizens just voted to STOP LOCKING PEOPLE UP FOR MARIJUANA.
 

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6-month-old taken from parents who grow, use medical marijuana

Category: News | Posted on Wed, September, 18th 2013 by THCFinder
daughter-taken-away-from-parents-for-mmjChanting "free Bree" a group of about a hundred protesters gathered outside state welfare offices in Lansing, Tuesday. They're upset over the state's decision to remove a 6-month-old baby from her parents' home because they grow and use medical marijuana. The parents claim they have a state sanctioned license to do so.
 
Maria and Gordon Steven Green use medical marijuana to treat Gordon's multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. A referee made the decision to have Michigan Child Protective Services remove baby Bree, saying the Green's home is unsafe. "They were worried about the possibility of a break in or armed robbery, that kind of thing," said Maria Green.
 
The baby is now in the care of Maria's mother. Mrs. Green says The Department of Human Services is "stealing" her baby. The Greens insist their home is a safe and loving environment.
 
Tim Skubick reports that the state of Michigan will not comment about details on cases like this because of privacy issues but the Director of Human Services said this: "The safety and the well being of the child is paramount for any of our investigators when they are doing their job," said DHS spokesman David Ackerly.
 
Now the family is fighting back with the help of a coalition of attorney, parents, students and legislators. They're calling on the state to recognize and adhere to the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act, and stop removing children from the homes of licensed medical marijuana caregivers and patients. "We're not going to take it anymore. This is our red line, you take away our kids and we'll revolt," said Detroit attorney Thomas Lavigne.
 

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Pro-Marijuana Commercial Could Make It To The Super Bowl

Category: News | Posted on Wed, September, 18th 2013 by THCFinder
mj-superbowl-commercialA pro-marijuana advertisement could be featured on America’s biggest stage after the software company Intuit launched its Small Business Big Game contest that will give its winner a free ad space in the 2014 NFL Super Bowl.
 
Although there are multiple phases of the competition that businesses have to complete before becoming eligible, the pot advocacy group NORML has come out as the front-runner after the contest’s online voting round.
 
“We’re hoping that, like other corporate-won contests in the past, we don’t fall victim of political correctness,” NORML Executive Director Allen St. Pierre told the Huffington Post. “But our goal is more about generating buzz and conversation. [In the marijuana industry], we acknowledge that one of our major failings over the years has been our marketing. So this was an easy contest to be attracted to.”
 
Intuit’s decision to allow NORML into the contest came as a bit of shock after the company canceled services with Oregon-based Alternative Medical Choices Inc. due to discovering the clinic’s backing of medical marijuana. Intuit said ties were severed due to “unacceptable business practices.”
 
“We have no stance on medical marijuana as a company,” read Intuit’s statement to the Huffington Post. “By design, we’ve had a diverse range of businesses entering Small Business Big Game and sharing their unique stories with the world.”
 

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D.C. Introduces Legislation To Tax And Regulate Marijuana

Category: News | Posted on Tue, September, 17th 2013 by THCFinder
dc-tax-regulate-mjLegislation Would Make Small Amounts of Marijuana Legal to Purchase and Possess
 
Historic Introduction Follows U.S. Department of Justice Decision to Allow Taxation and Regulation to Proceed in Colorado and Washington State
 
Councilmember David Grosso (I-At Large) will introduce legislation today before the Council of the District of Columbia that would eliminate all criminal and civil penalties for the possession of small amounts of marijuana by adults over the age of 21 and provide the District of Columbia Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration with the authority to license and regulate the production and taxable sale of marijuana in the District.
 
“Marijuana prohibition has disproportionately criminalized black and brown people and wasted scarce law enforcement resources,” said Grant Smith, policy manager with the Drug Policy Alliance’s Office of National Affairs. “Following the introduction of marijuana decriminalization legislation by Councilmember Tommy Wells, Councilmember David Grosso’s proposal to tax and regulate marijuana will enhance efforts to provide District residents with relief from prohibitionist policies that have failed to curb the availability of marijuana to young people. Our nation’s Capital would be wise to follow Colorado and Washington,” said Smith.
 
Introduction of this legislation comes after recent developments elevated marijuana law reform as a major issue in the District. Over the summer, both the American Civil Liberties Union and the Washington Lawyers’ Committee on Civil Rights and Urban Affairs released reports documenting enormous racial disparities in arrests for marijuana possession in D.C. In early July, D.C. Councilmember Tommy Wells (D-Ward 6) introduced legislation that would eliminate criminal penalties and impose a $100 civil fine for adult possession of up to one ounce of marijuana.
 
In late August, the Department of Justice announced that it would allow the states of Colorado and Washington State to implement ballot initiatives passed by the electorate last year that legalized the production, distribution, and sale of marijuana for adults. Additionally, a Department of Justice memorandum issued to U.S. Attorneys outlined priorities for federal prosecutors enforcing federal marijuana laws and noted that state regulation may further federal interests by reducing organized crime and making marijuana less available to youth. This Department of Justice guidance to federal prosecutors was the subject of an unprecedented hearing in the U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary earlier this month.
 
A poll conducted in April by Public Policy Polling, commissioned by the Drug Policy Alliance and Marijuana Policy Project, found that more than 60% of D.C. voters in the survey would support a ballot measure similar to those approved by voters in Colorado and Washington. A solid majority (54%) said that all drug use should be treated as a public health issue and that people should no longer be arrested and locked up for possession of a small amount of any drug for personal use.
 

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