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Gov. Rick Snyder and Attorney General say no to Lansing marijuana proposal

Category: News | Posted on Sat, September, 21st 2013 by THCFinder
lansing-gets-noLANSING – The marijuana legalization proposal that was approved by the city of Lansing on August 27 will remain on the November ballot despite a notice from the state Attorney General saying the amendment would violate state law.
 
The Lansing City Pulse is reporting that Attorney General Bill Shuette notified Gov. Rick Snyder on Sept. 10 that Lansing's the amendment "is not consistent" with Michigan's Home Rule Cities Act. The rule says that the state must review local ballot proposals.
 
"Regardless of whether the proposed amendment is approved by the voters, marijuana will remain a controlled substance under state and federal law," Matthew Schneider, the Attorney General's chief legal counsel, wrote. "City law enforcement will retain the authority to enforce criminal laws, without regard to any provision in the charter.
 
The letter adds: "No city charter provision 'shall conflict with or contravene the provisions of any general law of the state.'"  The letter also said that the ballot proposal also "does not inform the voters that the proposed amendment conflicts with state law" and that it does "not inform the voters that state law will control regardless of whether the proposed amendment is adopted."
 
City Clerk Chris Swope said that Snyder responded on Monday and said that he agreed with the attorney general's decision.
 
"Because of the inconsistency with state law identified in the attached letter from the Attorney General's Office, I do not approve the proposed revised charter amendment," Snyder said in the letter. Swope said that City Attorney Janene McIntyre has reviewed the matter and told him that the proposal will stay on the ballot.
 

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Judge rules against Lansing couple in child-welfare case involving medical marijuana

Category: News | Posted on Sat, September, 21st 2013 by THCFinder
judge-rules-against-lansing-coupleA judge on Friday ruled against a Lansing couple who claimed their child was improperly removed from their care in a case involving medical marijuana.
 
Ingham County Probate Judge Richard Garcia said a referee had probable cause to place 6-month-old Brielle “Bree” Green in the care of the state Department of Human Services.
 
But Garcia said parents Gordon and Maria Green can have unlimited visitation with the child, who has been placed with her maternal grandmother.
 
Acting on a petition by state caseworkers, a family court referee on Sept. 13 placed the child in the care of DHS pending a trial next month.
 
The Greens and other medical marijuana advocates said the state’s actions violated protections in the state’s medical marijuana law. Maria Green is a registered medical marijuana caregiver and was legally growing the drug in her home, they said.
 
Caseworkers said there were allegations marijuana was being used in the presence of children. The Greens deny those assertions.
 
A jury trial is set for Oct. 7 on whether the state should have jurisdiction over the child.
 

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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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