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Mitt Romney's Horrible Encounter With a Medical Marijuana Patient

I thought it couldn't get any worse than McCain and Giuliani, but I was so wrong. Republican front-runners are literally competing to see who cares the least about medical marijuana patients. And the winner is…Mitt Romney.

Romney may be toeing the party line, but I don't doubt his handlers have had a word or two with him about not insulting people in wheelchairs on CNN. I mean, really, could he have handled this any worse?

Let's set one thing straight here: if you oppose medical marijuana, you support arresting patients. It is just that simple. If you leave patients under the jurisdiction of the DEA, you know what's going to happen. Mitt Romney's unqualified, "I'm not in favor of medical marijuana," is an endorsement of every atrocity – past, present and future – that patients inevitably suffer at the hands of the heavily armed cavalry that so clumsily and callously insists on its right to police their private medical decisions.

Stay tuned, folks. Rumor has it Fred Thompson plans on drop-kicking a paraplegic down a flight of stairs.

Americans for Safe Access Monthly Activist Newsletter

Win for Collective Cultivation Case in Butte

Superior Court Rules in Favor of ASA Suit Challenging Ban on Patient Collectives

The legal team for Americans for Safe Access won the first round this month in their fight to protect the right of California patients to organize as collectives for cultivation.

A strongly worded ruling from Superior Court Judge Barbara Roberts on September 6 found that that seriously ill patients cultivating collectively "should not be required to risk criminal penalties and the stress and expense of a criminal trial in order to assert their rights."

The ruling came in response to an attempt by Butte County to stop the lawsuit ASA filed in May 2006 on behalf of a seven-person private patient collective.

"The court has sent a clear message to local law enforcement in California that they must respect the rights of patients to cultivate collectively." said ASA Chief Counsel Joe Elford.

At issue is a September 2005 warrantless search of a patient's home by the Butte County Sheriff's Department, during which David Williams, 54, was forced to uproot and destroy more than two dozen plants or face arrest and prosecution.
"We were told that it was not lawful to grow collectively for multiple patients," said Williams.

Judge Roberts' ruling also rejected Butte County's policy of requiring all members to physically participate in the cultivation, thereby allowing collective members to "contribute financially."

"The next step is to show that Williams was running a valid collective," said Elford. "At that point, the court is expected to make a final determination consistent with yesterday's ruling, which strongly vindicates the right of medical marijuana patients to associate together to grow the medicine they need."

ASA's intervention came after repeated reports of unlawful behavior by Butte County sheriffs and other law enforcement agencies.

For more information:
Butte County Superior Court ruling from September 6, 2007
ASA's lawsuit challenging Butte County's ban on collective cultivation

Activists Persuade Congress to Intervene with DEA

45 Reps Sign Letter Urging Research Cultivation License

ASA lobbying was part of a successful, many-month effort by medical marijuana activists to get Congress to support research into cannabis therapeutics. On September 19, a letter signed by 45 members of the U.S. House of Representatives was delivered to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), urging the DEA to allow a UMass-Amherst professor to grow marijuana for approved research studies.

Over the past four months, ASA National Office staff, led by Governmental Affairs Director Caren Woodson, have been part of a campaign to get members of the House to sign the bi-partisan letter to DEA Adminstrator Karen Tandy. ASA members across the country contributed to a national grassroots campaign, contacting their representatives to ask them to sign on.

The letter, which was authored by U.S. Representatives John Olver (D-MA) and Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA), asks Tandy to accept DEA Administrative Law Judge Mary Ellen Bittner's February 2007 Opinion and Recommended Ruling in support of the UMass-Amherst Medical Marijuana Research Production Facility. The law judge's ruling is non-binding and DEA has no deadline to decide whether to accept or reject it. The ruling is the result of legal action sponsored by the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies and supported by the American Civil Liberties Union and other drug policy reform groups.

The DEA's handling of the UMass application to cultivate marijuana for research studies has already elicited congressional questioning. A DEA deputy administrator faced criticism on the subject during hearings this summer.

"The DEA is ignoring the vast scientific evidence that clearly shows medicinal use of marijuana benefits patients who are extremely ill," said Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), who sits on one of the committees charged with oversight. "When it comes to providing the best treatment options to sick Americans, we should trust doctors and medical researchers and not federal bureaucrats."

Lyle Craker, who is the director of the Medicinal Plant Program in the Department of Plant, Insect and Soil Sciences at University of Massachusetts, Amherst, submitted his initial application to DEA in June 2001. Craker plans to cultivate marijuana that would be used in clinical trials to determine whether marijuana meets FDA standards for medical safety and efficacy.

Since 1968, the federal National Institute on Drug Abuse has maintained a monopoly on the supply of research marijuana. Judge Bittner found that NIDA has repeatedly refused to supply marijuana for FDA-approved studies that could develop marijuana as a prescription medicine. Federal law requires adequate competition in the production of such Schedule I drugs as marijuana, to ensure a supply for approved research.

ASA Staff Attend AARP Convention

Members of the leading organization for seniors, the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), had the opportunity to speak with ASA staff members during the group's convention in Boston from September 6-8. More than 25,000 people attended the AARP's annual event, with an average age of 62.

"Meeting so many older Americans who are interested in how medical cannabis can help them was a great experience," said Caren Woodson, ASA's Director of Governmental Affairs. "We know from the AARP's own polling in 2004 that the vast majority of their members believe in making access safe and legal. We had an overwhelmingly positive response, not just from baby-boomers, but from the "depression era" generation."

ASA sponsored a booth where AARP members could pick up information about medical marijuana, including condition-based booklets on aging, which can be seen at AmericansForSafeAccess.org/Aging_booklet. The booth also offered ASA gear and ways for seniors to plug in to medical marijuana activism. Last month's Retirement Living TV program on medical marijuana was featured, as well.

ASA at AARP Convention The ASA booth at the 2007 AARP Convention in Boston

"There was a lot of interest about ways to ingest marijuana without smoking it, and people were generally surprised by how much progress we have made in 10 years," said Woodson. "We also heard some heartbreaking stories about loved ones with cancer and how much they would have liked another option for pain and wasting."

The broad-spectrum therapeutic nature of cannabis makes it a good choice for many people with a variety of conditions, such as arthritis, chronic pain, gastro-intestinal problems, and movement disorders such as Parkinson's.

With cancer more prevalent with aging, the well-established benefits of cannabis for coping with the devastating side-effects of chemotherapy are also of interest to older Americans.

Cannabis Specialist Educates Kaiser Docs

ASA Coordinates Workshop for 200 Physicians

On September 19, a leading physician specializing in cannabis therapeutics gave a workshop for more than 200 doctors. The Continuing Medical Education (CME) workshop on medical marijuana was the first hosted by Kaiser Permanente in San Jose.

More than 200 physicians attended the workshop conducted by Dr. David Bearman and coordinated by Americans for Safe Access.

Dr. Bearman’s presentation covered the history of medical cannabis, an overview of its many benefits, and the legal rights of physicians.

Dr. Bearman examines a patient Dr. Bearman examines a patient

Dr. Bearman is a well-respected physician with extensive experience in public health. A graduate of the University of Washington School of Medicine, Dr Bearman was the Director of Medical Services for the Santa Barbara Regional Health Authority (SBRHA) since its inception in 1983 through June 1997, when he became Senior Health Care Advisor/Grants Development Director.

He has a long and illustrious background in the field of drug abuse treatment and prevention, including serving as Medical Director of Santa Barbara County Methadone Maintenance Clinic and Ventura County Opiate Detox Program; teaching courses on substance abuse at UCSF, UCSB, and SDSU; and authoring numerous articles on drug abuse treatment and prevention, as well as other medical topics. His articles have appeared in the Journal of Psychoactive Drugs, the Harvard Business Review, and other publications.

ASA plans to continue educating Kaiser physicians, as well as those across California and the rest of the country, in order to counter the misinformation spread by the federal government. Eventually, ASA hopes to have a CME available that can be downloaded by physicians online.

NATIONAL ACTION ALERT

Contact Candidates: Demand Action on Safe Access!

As the presidential primaries get closer and closer, we need to know where all the candidates stand on important medical marijuana issues. Call, write, and ask the candidates in person on their campaign trail where they stand on medical marijuana. Ask them the following questions:

Will you pledge to end the gridlock and lift the federal government's monopoly on the supply of marijuana available for research?

If elected, will you seek a comprehensive change in federal policy to resolve the differences between state and federal laws?

If elected, what specific actions will you take to ensure that the Department of Justice, the DEA, and other federal agencies are not working to undermine state medical marijuana laws on your watch?

If elected, will you consider granting Presidential pardons to medical marijuana patients and providers who have been sentenced to lengthy federal prison terms who were abiding by state law?

See AmericansforSafeAccess.org/08PresidentialCandidates for contact information on the candidates. For more help, contact Sonnet: Sonnet@AmericansforSafeAccess.org.

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Two New Features for ASA’s Online Community

Americans for Safe Access (ASA) is excited to announce that we have added two brand new features to our online community designed to allow patients and advocates to communicate more directly and effectively with each other. Please read on for more information on ASA’s new blog and our new discussion forums.

Sign Up for ASA's Discussion Forums
www.AmericansforSafeAccess.org/ASAForum

ASA is building an online community for activists and supporters to discuss the latest news, actions, and research around medical cannabis issues. More than 200 people have already signed up for the forums and have engaged in discussions in state, regional, media, legal, activist, and condition-based forums.

To check out our forums and sign-up to participate, visit www.AmericansforSafeAccess.org/ASAForum and get involved today!

Introducing ASA's New Blog -
Medical Cannabis: Voices from the Frontlines

www.AmericansForSafeAccess.org/blog

Last week, ASA launched our blog, Medical Cannabis: Voices from the Frontlines. ASA staff and guest bloggers will be posting here regularly with the latest news and analysis of medical cannabis issues.

Here is a sampling of what we have blogged about so far:

Visit www.AmericansForSafeAccess.org/blog today to read our posts and to share your comments.

Thanks for your continued support for safe access. We look forward to meeting you online!

Sincerely,

Rebecca Saltzman
Chief of Staff
Americans for Safe Access

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McCain and Giuliani Say Terrible Things to a Medical Marijuana Patient

Via MPP, battle lines are being drawn on the campaign trail over medical marijuana. Linda Macia of Granite Staters for Medical Marijuana suffers from nerve damage, fibromyalgia, reflex sympathetic dystrophy and degenerative arthritis. She's allergic to other medications and has only found relief through medical marijuana.

You'd think that anyone hoping to become president would show some compassion for this unfortunate woman, but alas…

Notice how McCain turns his back to her the moment she utters the phrase "medical marijuana." Words could not better describe his position. McCain goes on to claim he's seen no documentation of medical marijuana's effectiveness, even though Granite Staters' Stuart Cooper had personally presented him with sound scientific evidence.

Will she have better luck with Rudy Giuliani? Let's see…

Ouch. Giuliani struggles when she explains that she's allergic to the "other medications" he recommends. He also claims not to have lobbied on behalf of OxyContin, which I guess depends on your definition of "lobbying."

Sometimes we don't get the answers we want. That's what happens when you look to the drug war for answers. But at least we're asking the right questions, and asking them often. Perhaps next time we should ask if they've seen the polling on medical marijuana. Maybe that will get their attention.

PS: Also watch McCain insult a New Hampshire student who asks him about medical marijuana, then apologize to him.
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Europe: Dutch Marijuana Trade Under Pressure

An increase in police raids on Dutch marijuana grows has caused prices to increase and potency to decline, the Netherlands Institute of Mental Health and Addiction (Trimbos Institute) reported Tuesday. Meanwhile, the city of Rotterdam announced this week it has ordered nearly a third of the city's cannabis coffee shops to close because they are too close to schools. Other locales could follow as concern rises over youth drug use.

http://stopthedrugwar.org/files/maastricht-coffee-shop.jpg
downstairs of a coffee shop, Maastricht (courtesy Wikimedia)
According to the Trimbos report [sorry, Dutch only], Dutch marijuana, or nedervviet, had an average THC level of 16%, down from 17.5% last year. At the same time, it now costs 20% more than last year, going for a little over $10 per gram. The price increase is the first one since Trimbos started monitoring pot prices in 1999.

According to Bloomberg News, Dutch police have stepped up raids on the estimated 40,000 home grows in the Netherlands. Police in Rotterdam reported earlier this year they had shut down 600 of the estimated 6,000 home grows there since 2005.

Growing more than five marijuana plants remains illegal in the Netherlands, even though authorities turn an official blind eye to regulated marijuana sales in the coffee shops, leading to a state of affairs known as the "back door problem." Marijuana is bought and leaves the coffee shops openly through the front door, but to supply themselves, coffee shop owners must deal with illicit growers who come in through the back door.

Rotterdam is also taking the lead on shutting down coffee shops near schools. "The sale of soft drugs will have to end by June 1, 2009, in a total of 18 coffee shops within 200 to 250 meters (yards) of schools," said the city council in a statement early this week. It said it was worried about soft drug use among vulnerable young people.

With a national government that would like to shut down the coffee shops, the Dutch marijuana business is under increasing pressure. At the back door, police are squeezing supply, and at the front door, local officials are pulling out the pad-locks. Don't expect the Dutch marijuana community to just roll over and take it, however.

Marijuana: Hawaii Supreme Court Rejects Religious Use Defense

In a split decision, the Hawaii Supreme Court has ruled against a Big Island man who claimed he smoked marijuana as part of his religion and thus should not be prosecuted. In its September 21 decision in State v. Sunderland, the Court rejected Joseph Sunderland's argument that the Religious Freedom Restoration Act protected him from prosecution, but failed to address his contention that privacy provisions of the Hawaii state constitution also protected him from arrest for using marijuana in his home.

http://stopthedrugwar.org/files/volcano-national-park.jpg
Volcano National Park, Hawaii Island
The case started in 2003, when a Big Island police officer searching for a missing child spotted a marijuana pipe on Sunderland's kitchen table. Sunderland admitted the pipe was his, said he had used it to smoke marijuana that morning, and told the officer he had a right to use it for religious purposes. Sunderland presented a membership card in The Cannabis Ministry, a religious organization headed by Roger Christie that uses marijuana as a sacrament.

Sunderland was subsequently charged with promoting a detrimental drug in the third degree, the Hawaiian version of a paraphernalia law violation. Before trial, Sunderland filed a motion to dismiss, arguing that his constitutional right to the free exercise of religion precluded his prosecution for using marijuana.

"I believe that God put the holy herb onto this earth to help mankind to better understand Him," Sunderland told the trial court.

The trial court disagreed with Sunderland's legal argument, and Sunderland was found guilty and fined $175. He appealed, and now the state Supreme Court has shot him down.

Citing precedent to reject the applicability of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act to the states, the court held that under controlling law, the state has a legitimate "compelling interest" in regulating marijuana use, and thus, "the free exercise clause of the First Amendment is not a viable defense."

But there may still be a glimmer of hope for both Sunderland and the rest of Hawaii's pot smokers. The Supreme Court did not address Sunderland's contention that Hawaii privacy protections should immunize his in-house marijuana use, arguing that he had failed to present it in a timely fashion. But in his dissenting opinion Justice Levinson suggested that such a right indeed exists.

The framers of Hawaii's constitution meant to limit criminal sanctions to cases where people are harmed, Levinson argued. "The issue is whether... a fundamental right to privacy... constrains the state from criminalizing mere possession of marijuana for personal use. My thesis is that it does," Levinson wrote.

Sunderland's attorney, public defender Deborah Kim, said she planned to ask the high court to address the privacy issue. "The court has ducked the question of whether the right to privacy prevents the police from enforcing marijuana laws when someone is using marijuana in their home for religious purposes," Kim said. "The question is still very much open."

Marijuana: Pot Prohibition Costs $41 Billion a Year in Enforcement Costs, Lost Tax Revenues, Study Finds

Last week, the Chronicle reported on yet another record high number of marijuana arrests, with more than 800,000 people busted for pot last year. This week, a leading researcher put a price tag on marijuana prohibition: $41.8 million a year in law enforcement spending and lost tax revenues.

According to public policy and economic development analyst Jon Gettman of Drug Science, author of the report, Lost Revenues and Other Costs of Marijuana Laws, governments at all levels spend $10.7 billion on arresting, prosecuting, and punishing marijuana offenders. At the same time, by maintaining the policy of marijuana prohibition, those governments are forgoing an estimated $31.1 billion a year in lost tax revenues by keeping the $113 billion a year marijuana industry in the underground economy.

Gettman's analysis is based primarily on official government figures on US marijuana supply, prices, and arrests. Perhaps even more surprising than the costs associated with pot prohibition is the huge size of the domestic marijuana market, which Gettman pegs at more than 31 million pounds.

"This report documents a massive waste of taxpayer dollars in pursuit of eradicating a government-forbidden plant, and the financial waste hit all-time high levels last year, as the FBI just reported there were a record 829,627 marijuana arrests in 2006," said Rob Kampia, executive director of the Marijuana Policy Project. "Prohibition has done nothing to reduce marijuana use, which remains at about the level it's been for decades, but prohibition has created a massive underground economy that's completely unregulated and untaxed. The parallels with Alcohol Prohibition in the 1920s, including the needless violence and a huge underground economy, are eerie."

John McCain is Sick of Being Asked About Medical Marijuana

SSDP activist Jon Perri just nailed John McCain over his opposition to medical marijuana. McCain is noticably frustrated about being forced to repeatedly explain his lack of compassion for patients. He belittles Perri, only to subsequently apologize for doing so.


Note how McCain emphasizes his opposition to medical marijuana, but still claims he would not arrest patients. That's sort of the point of the question, Senator.

Cheers to Jon Perri for asking the question smartly and maintaining his composure despite McCain's interruptions. At this pace, one wonders if the Senator will have a complete meltdown the next time this question is asked of him.

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Record Marijuana Seizures Mean There's More Pot, Not Less

The Drug Czar's blog once again demonstrates a remarkable misunderstanding of how drug enforcement works. Or they're just pretending not to understand:

Pot Seizures Way Up in Oregon

More bad news for Mexican drug cartels:

"Harvest season this year has law enforcement scrambling to deal with the largest crop of marijuana in Oregon history.

From counties long known for illegal foliage to those where marijuana is rare, narcotics agents say they are tracking and hacking an unprecedented number of plants in remote and rugged rural areas.

By mid-September, they had seized about 220,000 plants statewide, nearly a 100 percent jump from last year's haul of about 120,000 plants. Almost all of the crops, DEA officials say, are grown by Mexican drug cartels expanding their California operations." [Oregonian]

Government anti-drug officials, of all people, should understand that high seizures mean there's just lots of marijuana to be found. The article even says it's "the largest crop of marijuana in Oregon history." This isn't bad news for Mexican drug cartels, it's bad news for the 20-year-old federally-funded marijuana eradication effort that hasn't accomplished anything. The problem is just getting worse.

What could be more dishonest than pretending that a record crop is good news for marijuana eradication? That is just like saying that record forest fires are good news because we're putting out more fires than ever before.

As usual, the DEA eagerly claims that "almost all of the crops" are grown by Mexican drug cartels, as though white people in Oregon want nothing to do with marijuana cultivation. Um, have you seen those people? Seriously, I've met lots of white people from Oregon, and I swear half of them were just waiting for me to stop talking so they could go water their pot plants in the woods.

And, as I've explained previously, no one ever gets caught planting pot in the woods anyway, so how could police possibly know who's doing it? They have no clue, and it's precisely because no one ever gets caught growing pot in the woods that more and more people are planting more and more pot in the woods. How long must all of this go on before the Drug Czar's office stops citing it as evidence of the effectiveness of marijuana eradication?

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ASA’s Media Summary for the Week Ending 9/28/07

ASA ACTION: New Election for Medical Marijuana Measure

Three years after election officials said a local medical marijuana measure narrowly failed, a judge has ordered a new election. At issue are electronic voting machines that election officials did not properly maintain to ensure data was available for the recount requested by Americans for Safe Access. Whatever the outcome of the new election, ASA has won a victory for the democratic process.

Judge voids results of Berkeley measure on medical pot
by Henry K. Lee, San Francisco Chronicle
An Alameda County judge has voided election results for a failed 2004 Berkeley medical marijuana measure, ordering it returned to the ballot next year because county election officials failed to hand over data from voting machines, attorneys in the case said Thursday.

Berkeley Election Nullified Based on Misconduct by Officials
Bay City News Service
A judge has nullified the results of a Berkeley medical marijuana ballot measure in 2004 because of what she said was misconduct by Alameda County election officials. Smith also ordered that the county refund $22,000 that Americans for Safe Access had to pay for a recount of the election results as well as some legal fees for the group's lawyers.

FEDERAL: Raid on Maker of Medicinal Edibles

DEA agents staged another paramilitary-style raid in Northern California, kicking down doors at locations allegedly related to a maker of medicinal edibles, arresting three people, and even killing an employee’s dog. Despite hysterical language from the DEA about mistaking the edibles for regular candy, all the products in question are clearly labeled as medicinal and are available only to qualified patients in dispensary settings. Like the other raids around the state, the DEA appears intent on disrupting patient access as much as possible before the next election cycle. See ASA’s press release on this situation at http://safeaccessnow.org/article.php?id=5084

Feds Raid Pot-Laced-Candy Factory
by Paul Elias, Associated Press
Federal agents said Thursday they shut down a factory that made marijuana-laced barbecue sauce, chocolate-covered pretzels and other "enhanced" snacks intended for medical users of the drug.

Oakland company raided for allegedly selling pot-laced foods
by Leslie Griffy, Mercury News (CA)
Federal drug agents busted an Oakland company that allegedly distributed pot-laced treats to medical marijuana clubs across the state, officials said today.

NEW MEXICO: New State Law Close to Implementation

Thanks to the intervention of Governor and Presidential-candidate Bill Richardson, patients in New Mexico are now being afforded a measure of protection. The state may be the first to provide medical marijuana directly to patients, though the state attorney general has expressed concerns about the federal government going after state employees who are implementing the law.

Medical Marijuana Rules Close To Final
by Vanessa Reyes, KFOX TV - Las Cruces
The rules of the medicinal marijuana law in New Mexico are close to becoming final after a public hearing with the New Mexico Department of Health and a medical board.

FEDERAL: Dispensary Landlords Threatened in Santa Barbara

One of the latest tactics being used by the DEA to thwart patient access in California is the intimidation of the landlords whose buildings dispensaries are renting. The DEA has been sending letters to the landlords, telling them that the government may seize their buildings, even if they have nothing to do with the operation of the dispensaries. After the DEA raided the Los Angeles Cannabis Resource Center in West Hollywood several years ago, they even used asset forfeiture to seize the building the city had provided for the collective’s use.

Medical Marijuana Dispensaries Risk Eviction
KEYT TV Santa Barbara
Federal Drug Enforcement agents are pressuring Santa Barbara Medical Marijuana Dispensaries to close their doors for good. The owner of one shop on Victoria Street says his landlord received a strongly worded letter from the DEA threatening to take their property if they don't comply.

Feds Target S.B. Medical Marijuana Shops
Santa Barbara Independent
After enjoying years of relatively hassle-free business, Santa Barbara’s medical marijuana scene is feeling the heat this week, with a distinctly ganja-scented cloud of uncertainty hanging over its future in the wake of a federal Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) letter-writing campaign.

FEDERAL: Sacramento Dispensary Raided

DEA Agents raided one of the leading dispensaries in California’s capital this week, leading to patient protests. The operators were among a group who have been working to establish “best practice” guidelines for patient care. ASA’s emergency response meant activists were immediately calling the media and organizing 100 patients to turn out at the dispensary. The Sacramento ASA chapter leader was interviewed by the local media, which filmed the raid in progress. For more on ASA’s raid response, see http://safeaccessnow.org/blog/?p=7.

Medical pot dispensary raided by DEA agents
by Niesha Lofing, Sacramento Bee
Federal authorities raided a medical marijuana dispensary Wednesday in Sacramento as employees, customers and medical marijuana advocates protested out front. Kris Hermes, legal campaign director of Americans for Safe Access, said River City Patient Center is part of an association of medical marijuana collectives in the Sacramento region, established to "spread and protect good business practices around medical marijuana dispensing."

Medical Marijuana Dispensary Raided By DEA
KCRA TV - Sacramento
A medical marijuana dispensary was raided Wednesday by officials from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency.

DISPENSARIES: Patient Demand Driving Debate

California patients have come to rely on medical marijuana dispensing collectives for several reasons: safe, reliable access; selection of different varieties of marijuana; and staff who can help choose the right one for a particular patient or condition. In addition, most patients are like most Californians, they live in densely populated urban areas that make cultivating difficult. Local officials are also realizing the benefits of regulated dispensaries: reduced crime, better oversight, and accountability. Read more about it at www.AmericansForSafeAccess.org/DispensaryReport.

Mayor sees complexities of pot
by Wendy Leung, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin
When it comes to questions about marijuana, Don Kurth rarely has yes or no answers.

Cannahelp Owner Due in Court Wednesday
KESQ ABC TV (Palms Springs)
The owner of a former El Paseo medical marijuana dispensary that recently reopened on Highway 111 and then closed again -- is due in court Wednesday morning along with his two managers for their preliminary hearing on drug charges.

Norco City Council likely to ratify marijuana dispensary ban
by Sarah Gordon, Press-Enterprise (CA)
Norco is poised to join several other Inland cities in prohibiting medical marijuana dispensaries within its borders. Medical-marijuana advocates are awaiting the outcome of a court challenge to the city of Fresno's ban on medical marijuana dispensaries, but they plan to keep pushing for access, city by city, said Kris Hermes, spokesman for the Oakland-based Americans for Safe Access.

Livermore joins other cities in banning pot clubs
by Eric Kurhi, Mercury News (CA)
Livermore joined neighbors Dublin and Pleasanton in banning medical cannabis dispensaries within city limits by passing a similar ordinance Monday night.

FLORIDA: Patient Needs Inform Plea for Protection

This OpEd describes the patient need that drives the demand for legal access to medical marijuana. With an unusually large number of senior citizens whose age-related conditions are frequently treatable with medical cannabis, Florida is a state that should be providing protection to those whose doctors are recommending it.

Medical marijuana could relieve many in pain, if we'll let it
by Robyn Chaky, OpEd, Ocala Star-Banner (FL)
Imagine you are forced to put on a pair of short shorts every morning when you wake up because if long pants were to lightly brush your skin during the day, the sensation would be similar to a thousand spiders crawling up your legs.

WISCONSIN: Passage of Medical Bill Urged

The state legislature in Wisconsin is again considering removing criminal penalties for medical marijuana patients. Three out of four voters think it’s a good idea, and this editorial board agrees.

A higher tolerance
EDITORIAL, Badger-Herald
Reps. Mark Pocan, D-Madison, and Frank Boyle, D-Superior, recently introduced legislation that would legalize medicinal marijuana in Wisconsin. We urge the state to lift its ban and pass the bill.

VETERANS: Medical Marijuana May Help PTSD

Using cannabis in the treatment of psychological disorders remains controversial, but many of those suffering from Post Traumatic Stress report that cannabis eases their symptoms, and more doctors are now recommending it for those patients.

Medical Pot and the Iraq Veteran
by Colby Buzzell, Esquire Magazine
We're back from the war. We can't sleep. We're getting divorced. If marijuana is good for post-traumatic stress, who are we to deny its medicinal properties?

WASHINGTON: Revising Patient Guidelines for Amounts

State officials are grappling with the problem created by setting arbitrary limits on the amount of medical marijuana patients may possess. Unlike other drugs where dosage is decided by doctors working with patients, many medical marijuana laws set one amount for all patients. Washington officials are discovering that what constitutes a 60-day supply varies considerably, depending on the individual and the condition being treated.

Standard dosage sought for medical marijuana
by Lynn Marshall, Los Angeles Times
Patients using marijuana for ailments such as chronic back pain and cancer are allowed by Washington state law to possess a two-month supply of the drug. But medical marijuana doesn't come with a standard dose or even a standard method of taking the drug.

MORE ABOUT AMERICANS FOR SAFE ACCESS

Find out more about ASA at AmericansForSafeAccess.org. More medical marijuana news summaries can be seen at AmericansForSafeAccess.org/News

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