Key West Medical Marijuana Club Founder Freed 12/12/97

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(The following is reprinted with permission, from the weekly bulletin of the NORML Foundation, http://www.norml.org. To subscribe to the NORML News, e-mail [email protected]).

December 11, 1997, Key West, FL: Local prosecutors dropped felony marijuana charges against the founder of a club that distributed medical marijuana to seriously ill patients, after a judge agreed to allow testimony that the defendant's marijuana sales were motivated by the "medical necessity" of his customers. Zvi Baranoff, who ran the medical marijuana club for over one year, called the outcome a major victory.

"We have set something of a precedent," he said, referring to Judge Richard Payne's unique ruling last September allowing Baranoff's attorney -- NORML Legal Committee Member Norm Kent -- to argue a defense of "medical necessity distribution." Payne also agreed that Baranoff did not have "criminal intent" in distributing marijuana to seriously ill patients. Last week, the State Attorney's Office decided to settle Baranoff's case out of court. Baranoff agreed to serve 18 months probation. "It has been clearly recognized that marijuana is a medicine, and that people who need it should have it," Baranoff said. "[My case] is on the public record so that others can use it."

Legal analysts claim that Judge Payne's decision was the first time a court acknowledged that marijuana sales could be a "medical necessity" for the ill. For more info, please contact Medical Cannabis Advocates at (305) 293-0190.

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Issue #22, 12/12/97 Point and Click for Drug Policy Reform: Innovative web site lets you raise money for DRCNet | The Week Online Welcomes Tim Devlin: Veteran Canadian journalist and broadcaster adds his voice to the international beat | Canadian Court Declares Medical Marijuana Prohibition Unconstitutional | President's Advisory Council on AIDS Issues Tough Report: Sets Deadline for Lifting Ban on Needle Exchange Funding | American Medical Association: "Let Doctors, Patients Discuss Medical Marijuana" | Denver City Council Approves Needle Exchange... but state must act first to change law | George Soros Signs on to Indepent on Sunday's Cannabis Campaign... On the eve of an historic conference on the issue | Key West Medical Marijuana Club Founder Freed | Poll: Americans consider drug abuse "greatest threat facing kids | 022/france French Minister of Health Calls Medical Marijuana Legalization Obvious""" | Australian Mayors: Enforcement "Will Not Work:" A call to the national government to change strategy | Columbian President Press Secretary and a Reporter Kidnapped by Cartels: American Prohibition continues to undermine order | Link of the Week: Cast your vote and state your case in National Review's on-line medical marijuana survey | Editorial: The drums of reform are getting louder
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