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Marijuana Activists Fight DEA Efforts to Eviscerate Medical Privacy

Location: 
MI
United States
If the State of Michigan won't protect the people, activists will. So went the cry of medical marijuana groups in Michigan, concerned that the privacy of medical marijuana patients there is at grave risk. The Michigan Association of Compassion Clubs filed an emergency motion this week to halt efforts by the federal government to gain access to the records of several Michigan medical marijuana patients.
Publication/Source: 
Change.org (DC)
URL: 
http://criminaljustice.change.org/blog/view/marijuana_activists_fight_dea_efforts_to_eviscerate_medical_privacy

Patient Privacy Should Be at the Heart of Medical Marijuana Regulations (Opinion)

Steph Sherer, a medical marijuana patient and Executive Director of Americans for Safe Access, opines on medical marijuana patient privacy.
Publication/Source: 
The Huffington Post (CA)
URL: 
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/steph-sherer/patient-privacy-should-be_b_814793.html

Did You Know? Drug Testing Research Results, on DrugWarFacts.org

DrugWarFacts.org, a publication of Common Sense for Drug Policy (CSDP), is an in-depth compilation of key facts, stats and quotes on the full range of drug policy issues, excerpted from expert publications on the subjects. The Chronicle is running a series of info items from DrugWarFacts.org, and we encourage you to check it out.

Did you know that drug testing doesn't help tech businesses' productivity?

"In a study of high tech industries, researchers found that 'drug testing programs do not succeed in improving productivity. Surprisingly, companies adopting drug testing programs are found to exhibit lower levels of productivity than their counterparts that do not... Both pre-employment and random testing of workers are found to be associated with lower levels of productivity.'"

Source: Shepard, Edward M., and Thomas J. Clifton, Drug Testing and Labor Productivity: Estimates Applying a Production Function Model, Institute of Industrial Relations, Research Paper No. 18, Le Moyne University, Syracuse, NY (1998), p. 1, http://www.drugpolicy.org/library/shepard2.cfm (via theDrugWarFacts.org Drug Testing chapter.)

Follow Drug War Chronicle for more important facts from DrugWarFacts.org over the next several weeks, or sign up for the DWF new facts RSS feed. To see last week's DWF Drug War Chronicle blurb, click here.

Common Sense for Drug Policy is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to reforming drug policy and expanding harm reduction. CSDP disseminates factual information and comments on existing laws, policies and practices.

If You Have Drugs, Don't Agree to a Police Search

It seems like such a simple concept, but for some irrational reason, a lot of people still don't get it. Here's another example of what happens when you give police permission to search your house for drugs:

After being told the deputies were looking for evidence of illegal activity, Cantres-Soto said, "You can search my whole room. I go to college and I don't have anything to worry about. You can search everything."
 

That's exactly what they did and it didn’t work out so well for this guy:

He remains held in the Osceola County Jail in lieu of $8,000 bail on charges of Possession with Intent to Sell Crack Cocaine and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.

Did he think that agreeing to the search would somehow stop them from searching? A lot of people worry that refusing the search will make police suspicious, but so what? Which is worse: making police suspicious or just giving up and going straight to jail?

Remember that there's more to the matter than just what takes place at your doorstep. Unless they have a search warrant or probable cause, police need your permission to make the search hold up in court. It's true that police sometimes search despite your refusal, but if you end up in front of a judge, the question of whether you agreed or not is a big issue. You've got no case if you gave permission, but your lawyer can often get the charges dropped if you said no to the search. Our prisons are filled with people who didn't understand this distinction.

If you're not convinced yet, maybe this will help:

Connecticut Man Sues Town Over Drug Test Requirement to 'Urinate on Demand'

Location: 
North Branford, CT
United States
A former public works employee is suing the town of North Branford for terminating his job after he was unable to take drug tests due to a medical condition that prevents him from being able to "urinate on demand." The suit he filed this month says that he has never had "any sort of problem" with alcohol or drugs and that his medical issues came into play in February 2008 when he was required to take a drug test by urinating into a container. He asked instead for a blood test because of his medical disability and informed the town of the issue, but his request was refused.
Publication/Source: 
New Haven Register (CT)
URL: 
http://www.nhregister.com/articles/2011/01/25/news/shoreline/doc4d3e15644bf2c620555872.txt

Medical Marijuana in the Workplace

Location: 
MT
United States
Montana's House Human Services Committee today hears a bill tackling medical marijuana in the workplace. This the third bill to come from an interim committee that spent six months working on medical marijuana legislation, Republican Representative Gary MacLaren’s (House District 89,) House Bill 43 gives guidelines and restrictions to employers on how to handle employees who use medical marijuana. Medical cannabis supporters say they interpret the bill to mean that an employer could terminate an employee simply for having a medical marijuana card, at the same time subjecting them to drug testing that violates privacy.
Publication/Source: 
KFBB (MT)
URL: 
http://www.kfbb.com/news/local/Medical-Marijuana-in-the-Workplace-114533229.html

Medical Marijuana Rules in Colorado -- Your Chance to Speak Out

 

Public Hearing on Medical Marijuana Rules This Thursday and Friday

Attn: Medical Marijuana Community Members

Please join Sensible Colorado in speaking out for patient privacy on January 27 and 28 at the Colorado Dept. of Revenue hearing.  While the Dept. of Revenue considers the most comprehensive medical marijuana distribution system in history, it is crucial that Department officials hear from patients and advocates about the importance of maintaining patient privacy and closely guarding patient health records. That's where we need YOU!  (Note suggested "talking points" below).

When:  Thursday, Jan. 27, 2011 and Friday, Jan. 28, 2011at 9:00am

Where: Jefferson County Justice Center, Administration and Court Facility, Hearing Room 1, 100 Jefferson County Parkway, Golden, CO 80419

Talking Points on Patient Privacy

  • “My patient status, including any diagnosis, is private. The state legislature should take as many steps possible to keep these records confidential. I suggest extending the privacy requirements and fines that the constitutional amendment created for the Dept. of Health to the Dept of Revenue.”
  • “To protect patient privacy, the Dept. of Revenue should minimize the number of individuals that have access to medical files and should take steps to instruct employees not to cooperate with federal authorities. “
  • “Many patients need dispensing centers for safe and legal access to their medicine. State law already requires that the only people utilizing these centers are qualifying patients and caregivers. Video surveillance of patients as they enter these centers will have a chilling effect on patient acccess.”

**Please support Sensible Colorado my becoming a monthly donor today.  See you at the hearing!

Location: 
100 Jefferson County Parkway Jefferson County Justice Center, Administration and Court Facility
Golden, CO 80419
United States

Welfare Drug Testing Bills Filed in Virginia

Add Virginia to the list of states where lawmakers are seeking to impose drug testing requirements on recipients of public assistance. One bill would direct state officials to assess the cost and benefits of drug testing welfare recipients, while another would require drug screening of participants in the Virginia Initiative for Employment not Welfare (VIEW), the commonwealth's welfare-to-work program.

Virginia Capitol
A bill filed by Del. Danny Marshall (R-Danville), HJ 616, calls on the state's Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission (JLARC) to review the cost and benefits of drug testing people on the state's Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program.

A bill filed by state Sen. Roscoe Reynolds (D-Ridgeway), SB 781, would require local social service departments to screen each participant in the state's welfare-to-work program to determine if there is probable cause to believe the participants is using illegal drugs. If there is probable cause to suspect drug use, the participant would be subject to a formal substance abuse assessment, which could include drug testing. People who test positive or who refuse to participate in the screening or assessment would be ineligible for TANF payments for a year.

Marshall told the Martinsville Bulletin area employers complained that "they can't find people who are drug-free to hire" and that his bill is intended to be a first step toward his goal of a "drug-free Virginia." Under his bill, he said, TANF recipients who fail drug tests "would go through the process to get them clean... so they can become productive members of society."

Welfare or unemployment drug testing bills, a perennial favorite of posturing politicians, have been introduced in at least five states this year. But that's really nothing new. They are introduced in a handful of states each year, but no state has passed such a bill since Michigan did so in 1998. That bill was found unconstitutional by the US 6th Circuit Court of Appeals in 2003.

Richmond, VA
United States

Family Home Stormed in Another Botched Drug Prohibition SWAT Raid

Location: 
36 Sharon Drive
Spring Valley, NY 10977
United States
Another police raid and yet another innocent family caught up in a failed drug prohibition war that sends heavily armed, masked and hyped up cops in search of largely nonviolent offenders. This time the raid happened in Spring Valley, New York, and left a 13-year-old child vomiting and gasping for air in an asthma attack triggered by the over-the-top and misdirected actions of police and DEA agents.
Publication/Source: 
Change.org (DC)
URL: 
http://criminaljustice.change.org/blog/view/family_home_stormed_in_another_botched_swat_raid

Michigan's Top Court to Settle Dispute Over Marijuana Bust

Location: 
MI
United States
The Michigan Supreme Court is considering whether marijuana found by a firefighter during an emergency call can be used to prosecute a man in the state's Oakland County. A judge and the state appeals court so far have thrown out evidence against Mark Slaughter.
Publication/Source: 
Detroit Free Press (MI)
URL: 
http://www.freep.com/article/20110120/NEWS06/110120016/1322/States-top-court-to-settle-dispute-over-pot-bust

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