Medical Marijuana

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Prosecutors take a tough line on cannabis supplied to ease pain (UK)

Location: 
United States
Publication/Source: 
The Guardian
URL: 
http://www.guardian.co.uk/medicine/story/0,,1822253,00.html

SF Commission Denies Permit for Fisherman's Wharf Pot Club

Location: 
United States
URL: 
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/n/a/2006/07/13/state/n230614D08.DTL&type=politics

New Jersey Medical Marijuana Legislation

Location: 
NJ
United States
Publication/Source: 
Atlantic City Weekly
URL: 
http://www.atlanticcityweekly.com/view.php?id=4714&issue_id=135_

Medical Marijuana: Five Arrested, 13 Dispensaries Raided by DEA in San Diego

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Feds Hit San Diego Medical Marijuana Co-ops Again
Just a week after the US House of Representatives voted to continue funding Justice Department raids on medical marijuana patients and providers in states where it is legal, the feds struck again. Five people have been arrested in a series of DEA and local police raids Thursday hitting 13 medical marijuana dispensaries in San Diego County. Some people are being charged under state marijuana distribution laws in the cooperative federal-local effort. More arrests are expected, local law enforcement officials said.

The raids and arrests came as federal officials unsealed two indictments, one charging the Purple Bud Room and Tender Holistics Care dispensaries with illegally distributing marijuana, the other laying similar charges against five people who owned and operated Co-op San Diego.

The feds also went after four doctors on suspicion of providing medical marijuana recommendations for people the officials claimed did not legitimately need marijuana. State and federal officials have filed complaints with the state Medical Board against the doctors.

The San Diego District Attorney's Office announced it was filing marijuana distribution charges against five dispensaries: Ocean Beach Dispensary and Utopia, both on Voltaire Street in Ocean Beach; Native Sun Dispensary on Rosecrans Street, in the Midway District; THC Dispensary, no longer in business, in Pacific Beach; and the California Medical Center, on La Jolla Boulevard in La Jolla.

In a statement announcing the busts, the DA's Office said it was not aiming at medical marijuana patients, but at retail pot outlets disguised as dispensaries. "Our office has no intention of stopping those who are chronically ill with AIDS, glaucoma and cancer from obtaining any legally prescribed drug, including medical marijuana, to help them ease their pain," said DA Bonnie Dumanis said. But the state's medical marijuana law is "being severely abused and it has led to the neighborhood pot dealer opening up storefronts from La Jolla to Ocean Beach to North Park," she said.

Americans for Safe Access (ASA), the medical marijuana defense group, announced in an e-mail Thursday afternoon it was holding an emergency meeting in San Diego that evening to craft a response.

San Diego Medical Marijuana Co-ops Raided Again!

Location: 
San Diego, CA
United States
URL: 
http://www.mercurynews.com/mld/mercurynews/news/breaking_news/14982395.htm

Five Arrested, Marijuana Dispensaries Raided (DEA, San Diego)

Location: 
United States
URL: 
http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/metro/20060706-1601-bn06potbust.html

Presbyterian Church Joins Other Major Denominations in Support of Medical Marijuana

Location: 
United States
URL: 
http://www.drugpolicy.org/news/062206presbmmj.cfm

Medical Marijuana: National Multiple Sclerosis Society to Fund Study

In what could be the first sign of a course reversal by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, which has scoffed at medical marijuana in the past, the group announced this week that it will fund a study on the effect of marijuana on spasticity in MS patients. While the Society acknowledges that up to 15% of MS patients use medical marijuana, funding the new study is the first time the group has indicated it is hearing what those patients are saying.

The society currently rejects the use of marijuana to relieve MS symptoms. As it notes on its web site, "Based on the studies to date, it is the opinion of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society's Medical Advisory Board that there are currently insufficient data to recommend marijuana or its derivatives as a treatment for MS. Long-term use of marijuana may be associated with significant serious side effects. In addition, other well-tested, FDA-approved drugs are available, such as baclofen and tizanidine, to reduce spasticity in MS."

The Society said it was moved by inconclusive earlier studies on the effect of marijuana on MS spasticity to fund a one using a new measure. The study is not a new one; the group is taking over funding for ongoing research at the University of California Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research, which lost funding when the investigation was only partially completed.

The study, by Dr. Mark Agius and fellow researchers at the University of California-Davis School of Medicine, is scheduled for completion in March 2008.

Alert: Major Medical Marijuana Vote in Congress Next Week!

Since medical marijuana initiatives were first passed ten years ago, the DEA has conducted raids against medical marijuana clinics in California, recently with increasing frequency, forcing hundreds if not thousands of patients to procure marijuana in the black market instead. In a ruling issued on June 6, 2005, the US Supreme Court upheld the government's power to do this.

While this doesn't change anything -- state laws protecting medical marijuana patients and their providers still are binding upon state and local law enforcement authorities -- it is a missed opportunity for the Court to rein in federal overreaching and help some of our society's most vulnerable members.

Next week (as soon as Monday, June 26), the US House of Representatives will vote again on the Hinchey-Rohrabacher medical marijuana amendment, which if passed will forbid the US Dept. of Justice from interfering with state medical marijuana laws. Your help is needed -- it is crucial that more members of Congress vote for medical marijuana this year than did last year. Please visit http://stopthedrugwar.org/medicalmarijuana/ to e-mail your member of Congress today!

When you're done, please call him or her on the phone to make additional impact -- use the talking points appearing below to prepare for your phone call. You can reach your Rep.'s office through the Congressional Switchboard at (202) 224-3121, or you can find the direct number using our lookup tool online.

Please also tell your friends about this important action alert -- we need for everyone who cares about this to take action, and sending them to our web site to do so will also help to grow our list for the next time. Again, please visit http://stopthedrugwar.org/medicalmarijuana/ to lobby Congress and help medical marijuana patients today!
Talking Points for Your Phone Call or Letters to the Editor:

The Hinchey-Rohrabacher Amendment, which will come up during debate on the House Science-State-Justice-Commerce Appropriations bill this July, would forbid the Dept. of Justice from using funds to undermine state medical marijuana laws.

* More than three out of four Americans think medical use of marijuana should be legal, according to polls, and eleven states -- Alaska, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Vermont, Rhode Island, and Washington -- have all enacted medical marijuana laws in recent years.
* Despite such strong support, the federal government continues to block even research to determine marijuana's medical benefits. Yet the 1999 Institute of Medicine report determined that marijuana does have medical benefit.
* Medical organizations such as the American Nurses Association and the American Academy of Family Physicians support legal access to medical marijuana with a doctor's recommendation.
* Blocking patients from receiving needed medicine -- threatening them with arrest, prosecution and incarceration -- is senseless and cruel.

Congress should respect state's rights and not used armed federal agents to threaten patients and providers who are in compliance with state law.

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