FEDERAL: Northern California Raids Spark Protests, Policy Talk
The DEA’s latest attempts at interfering with how California is implementing safe access to medical marijuana resulted this week in protests by patients and meetings of local officials. The raids on the San Francisco Bay Area community have created problems for the patients who relied on the three dispensaries. As in Los Angeles, many are challenging local law enforcement over their cooperation with federal agents. San Mateo ASA is launching a campaign to protect dispensaries; they testified at the city council meeting and will be doing the same at the County supervisors hearing next week.
Medical marijuana advocates protest shutdown of three San Mateo clubs
by Michael Manekin, MediaNews
Medical marijuana patients and advocates, upset over the federal raid and closing of three medical cannabis dispensaries in downtown San Mateo last week, are asking city officials for help. "We do not want to see our local tax revenues wasted on paying our local law enforcement to aid in federal raids when there has been no violation of state law," said Brent Saupe, a San Mateo resident and a volunteer with Americans for Safe Access (ASA), an Oakland-based medical marijuana advocacy group.
Officials to shape pot policy
by Dana Yates, San Mateo Daily Journal
Patients affected by the closure and recent raids of three San Mateo medical marijuana dispensaries have officials meeting to form a new countywide pot club policy, San Mateo City Manager Arne Croce told members of the City Council last night.
City calls for pot shop regulation
by Michael Manekin, San Mateo County Times
The many battles raging in California over medical marijuana are fueled by a basic disagreement between federal law, which prohibits the possession of cannabis altogether, and state law, which has allowed the selective use of medical marijuana for more than a decade.
OREGON: Federal Judge Says Patient Records Off Limits
A serious challenge to patients’ privacy was turned back by a U.S. District judge this week, who denied the federal government’s attempt to obtain patient records from Oregon’s state medical marijuana program. A chief criticism of programs that require patient registration – as most do – is that it leaves patients vulnerable to being target by the DEA and other federal agencies.
Ruling protects pot patients
by Anne Saker, The Oregonian
A federal judge has thrown out sweeping subpoenas for patient records kept by Oregon's medical marijuana program and a private clinic, saying privacy concerns overruled a grand jury's demand for information.
U.S. court won't allow subpoena of Ore. medical marijuana records
A U.S. District Court has decided the medical records of 17 Oregon medical marijuana patients do not have to be released.
NEW MEXICO: State Working to Implement New Program
Governor Bill Richardson personally assured the creation of the new medical marijuana program in his state, but now the real work of ensuring safe access for patients is underway. Already, federal agents have raided a paraplegic man authorized by New Mexico to grow and possess cannabis, causing the governor, who is also a former federal official and now a candidate for President, to vow a full scale battle.
Patient finds temporary relief with medical marijuana
by Sue Vorenberg, Albuquerque Tribune (NM)
There's no lie in her face, no subtlety in her responses - only a resigned acceptance and willingness to fight against her circumstances. At age 62, she has AIDS. She weighs 78 pounds. The side effects of her medications aren't as sickening as they used to be, but she's still constantly nauseated and in pain. What gets her through it all, she says, is marijuana.
Medical marijuana patients face difficult task of finding drug
by Sue Vorenberg, Albuquerque Tribune (NM)
At the center of the labyrinth of issues around medical marijuana is a snarled garden of Catch-22. Certified patients in New Mexico can use it - but they have no way to legally get it.
Commentary: Why fight medical marijuana?
by J. Michael Jones, Albuquerque Tribune (NM)
New Mexico is the most recent state to legalize medical marijuana - not the last. The feds' pursuit of those violating federal laws but not state laws is a waste of time, money and effort. But the tide is turning, and eventually this version of prohibition will come to an end, like the previous one, for much the same reason.
WASHINGTON: Officials Seek Input on Medical Marijuana Rules
For the past two years Washington state officials have been trying to improve their medical marijuana law. Currently they are engaged in a statewide process of consulting with stakeholders over reasonable limits for how much patients may cultivate and possess. Many state programs have limits far below what the most desperately ill or injured patients need. The federal government’s own medical marijuana program distributes more than six pounds a year to a handful of patients, more than most states currently allow.
Medical Marijuana Laws Under Scrutiny
by Evan McLean, Sequim Gazette (WA)
Marijuana growers and law enforcement in Clallam County are watching the state cultivate rules to better define the legal medical use of the drug.
COLORADO: Registration Requirement Enforced, But No Jail
Like most medical marijuana states, Colorado requires medical marijuana patients to register with the state to enjoy full immunity from prosecution. But many patients who use marijuana on their doctor’s advice do not register, either out of fear of giving their name to the government (see Oregon) or for other reasons. A Colorado man challenged the registration requirement at trial, arguing that his doctor’s recommendation should be enough to acquit him of criminal charges. A jury disagreed, but even the prosecutor urged the judge to impose no jail time.
Jury finds ill man guilty in pot case
by Bill Scanlon, Rocky Mountain News
A Thornton man with several debilitating conditions didn't get the verdict he wanted when an Adams County jury found him guilty of cultivating marijuana - but not guilty of possessing more than 8 ounces of the drug. Jack Branson, 39, and his attorney, Rob Corry, argued that because Branson, who is HIV- positive and has hepatitis B, needs marijuana to help him with his pain - and had gotten a verbal recommendation from a doctor - it was irrelevant that he hadn't filed the proper medical marijuana forms with the state.
DISPENSARIES: Officials Balancing Community Concerns and Patient Needs
California officials are finding that careful regulation of medical marijuana dispensaries helps them monitor distribution while ensuring that their neediest constituents get the services they need. ASA’s report on the experience of communities with regulations shows that fears about dispensaries are misplaced, as they tend to reduce crime in the neighborhoods where they operate. For more info, see www.AmericansForSafeAccess.org/DispensaryReport.
AG resident in medical marijuana battle
by Hector Trujillo, Santa Maria Times (CA)
Arroyo Grande resident Charles Lynch is embroiled in a legal battle with federal prosecutors over his medical marijuana dispensary.
Cities racing to set rules
by Harrison Sheppard, Daily Bulletin (Inland Valley, CA)
More than a decade after California voters passed legalization of medical marijuana, an explosion of dispensaries and patients has cities and counties scrambling to regulate the operations.
Dealing a harsh blow
by Raheem Hosseini, Ledger Dispatch
When the Jackson City Council voted unanimously to repeal an ordinance that would allow medical marijuana dispensaries to operate, I was disappointed, but not surprised.
FEDERAL: Denial of Medical Efficacy Disproven by Patients
Much science and medical experience demonstrates the absurdity of the federal government’s continued insistence that there is no medical use for marijuana. But nothing shows the folly of their position like the testimony of patients for whom it is a life-transforming treatment.
Why Do People the Government Says Don't Exist Keep Writing Us?
by David Borden and Paul Armentano, Huffington Post
According to the federal government, 53-year-old Deborah Palmer (not her real name) doesn't exist. A grandmother and former California corrections officer, Ms. Palmer suffers from chronic spinal pain (the result of a pair of botched back surgeries) and fibromyalgia. Because her body is allergic to opioid medications, she recently began using medical marijuana to obtain relief from her daily suffering. That is until federal and state law enforcement officials raided the California dispensary that provided her medicine.
FEDERAL: Patient Collective Cannot Block Future Raids
When the DEA descended on the Wo/Mens’ Alliance for Medical Marijuana in Santa Cruz, a patient cooperative that provided marijuana free to seriously ill members, they created a lasting controversy. The mayor and City Council responded by giving away marijuana to patients at City Hall, and then joined the collective in suing the federal government. In a ruling that echoed the US Supreme Court Decision in the case of Angel Raich, a federal judge this week said that WAMM cannot get an injunction against future raids.
U.S. Court hands setback to WAMM's fight for legal medical pot
by Kurtis Alexander, Santa Cruz Sentinel (CA)
A federal court ruling Thursday dashed hopes of local medical marijuana advocates seeking to keep the government out of their pot gardens. In the case of Santa Cruz County v. Alberto Gonzales, U.S. District Court Judge Jeremy Fogel granted the attorney general's motion to prevent a Santa Cruz marijuana cooperative and its supporters from suing the office to stop federal marijuana raids.
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.