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Patient Advocates Sue Obama Administration Over Medical Marijuana Crackdown

 

PRESS RELEASE
Americans for Safe Access
For Immediate Release:
October 27, 2011
Contact: ASA Chief Counsel Joe Elford ASA Media Liaison Kris Hermes

Patient Advocates Sue Obama Justice Department Over Medical Marijuana Crackdown
Lawsuit uses 10th amendment to challenge federal overreaching and commandeering of state law

San Francisco, CA -- Americans for Safe Access (ASA), the country's largest medical marijuana advocacy organization, filed suit in federal court today challenging the Obama Administration's attempt to subvert local and state medical marijuana laws in California. ASA argues in its lawsuit that the Obama Justice Department (DOJ) has "instituted a policy to dismantle the medical marijuana laws of the State of California and to coerce its municipalities to pass bans on medical marijuana dispensaries." The DOJ policy has involved aggressive SWAT-style raids, criminal prosecutions of medical marijuana patients and providers and threats to local officials for merely implementing state law.

"Although the Obama Administration is entitled to enforce federal marijuana laws, the Tenth Amendment forbids it from using coercive tactics to commandeer the law-making functions of the State," said ASA Chief Counsel Joe Elford, who filed the lawsuit today in San Francisco's federal District Court. "This case is aimed at restoring California's sovereign and constitutional right to establish its own public health laws based on this country's federalist principles." The ASA lawsuit, which seeks declaratory and injunctive relief, was filed on behalf of its 20,000 members in California who are directly and adversely affected by the DOJ actions.

On October 7th, California's four U.S. Attorneys announced in a highly unusual joint press conference that the DOJ would be engaging in a multi-pronged attack on the State's medical marijuana laws involving enforcement action against State-compliant producers and distributors as well as threatening their landlords with criminal prosecution and civil asset forfeiture. In addition, the same U.S. Attorneys have been sending threatening letters to several municipalities across the state in an attempt to undermine the passage of local medical marijuana regulations.

  • On July 1st, the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of California sent a letter to Chico Mayor Ann Schwab stating that the city's proposed ordinance regulating medical marijuana dispensaries would violate federal law. U.S. Attorney Benjamin Wagner also warned Chico's City Attorney, City Manager, and Police Chief that council members and staff could face federal prosecution for its attempts to implement such a law. As a result, the Chico City Council voted on August 2nd to rescind its medical marijuana dispensary ordinance.
  • On August 15th, the Eureka City Council received a letter from the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of California threatening that its regulation of medical marijuana dispensaries violates federal law. Similar to the letter sent to Chico, the Eureka letter stated that the city's publicly vetted licensing scheme "threatens the federal government’s efforts to regulate, the possession, manufacturing, and trafficking of controlled substances." The letter added that, "If the City of Eureka were to proceed, this office would consider injunctive actions, civil fines, criminal prosecution, and the forfeiture of any property used to facilitate a violation of [federal law]." Because of these threats, the City of Eureka has suspended implementation of its local ordinance.

The federal actions announced on October 7th by U.S. Attorneys have also derailed the regulatory efforts of local governments in Arcata, El Centro, Sacramento and other municipalities across the state. Less than a week after the DOJ press conference, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) conducted an early morning raid on October 13th at Northstone Organics, a fully-licensed cultivation collective in Mendocino County. The DEA handcuffed the collective's founder and his wife and cut down all 99 plants, which were each zip-tied and registered with the Sheriff's Department. Mendocino has one of the most tightly controlled cultivation ordinances in the state.

Several local and state officials have publicly blasted the Obama Administration's tactics. In a recent statement, Mendocino County Supervisor Josh McCowen called the DEA raid on Northstone "outrageous," and said "The elimination of dispensaries that operate legally and openly will endanger patients and the public." Last week, the co-author of California's Medical Marijuana Program Act, State Senator Mark Leno "urge[d] the federal government to stand down in it massive attack on medical marijuana dispensaries." On October 21st, State Attorney General Kamala Harris issued a statement renouncing the federal government’s tactics, claiming that "an overly broad federal enforcement campaign will make it more difficult for legitimate patients to access physician-recommended medicine," and urging "federal authorities in the state to adhere to the [DOJ's] stated policy" of allowing California to implement its medical marijuana laws without federal interference.

Although the lawsuit accuses the Obama Administration of commandeering California's legislative function and interfering with local laws meant to distinguish between medical and non-medical use, it does not challenge the federal government's authority to adopt and enforce federal marijuana laws. The lawsuit states that, "It is, rather, the...misuse of the government's Commerce Clause powers, designed to deprive the State of its sovereign ability to chart a separate course, that forms the basis of plaintiffs' claims."

Further information:
ASA lawsuit filed today: http://AmericansForSafeAccess.org/downloads/ASA_v_Holder.pdf
U.S. Attorney letter threatening Chico officials: http://AmericansForSafeAccess.org/downloads/DOJ_Threat_Letter_CA_Chico.pdf
U.S. Attorney letter threatening Eureka officials: http://AmericansForSafeAccess.org/downloads/DOJ_Threat_Letter_CA_Eureka.pdf

# # #

With over 50,000 active members in all 50 states, Americans for Safe Access (ASA) is the largest national member-based organization of patients, medical professionals, scientists and concerned citizens promoting safe and legal access to cannabis for therapeutic use and research. ASA works to overcome political and legal barriers by creating policies that improve access to medical cannabis for patients and researchers through legislation, education, litigation, grassroots actions, advocacy and services for patients and the caregivers.

Location: 
CA
United States

Protest Planned for NJ Medical Marijuana Patient Who Faces Seven Years in Prison

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Protest planned for NJ medical marijuana patient who faces seven years in prison

WHO:      NJ medical marijuanapatient and activist Ed Forchion (AKA Njweedman) 

WHAT:    Demonstration to protest the prosecution for his use of marijuana       

WHEN:   October 18, 2011, 9 AM

WHERE: Superior Court of Burlington County, Mount Holly, New Jersey

WHY:      We must give full faith and credit to the laws of other states, as well as to the diagnoses and treatment plans of licensed physicians from other states

Supporters plan to protest the prosecution of medical marijuana patient Ed Forchion (AKA Njweedman), who faces seven years in a New Jersey prison for his use of marijuana here.  The protest is planned for 9 am on Tuesday, Oct. 18, 2011 outside Superior Court of Burlington County, 49 Rancocas Rd., Mount Holly, NJ.  Jury selection for Forchion’s trial is scheduled to begin on Thursday, October 20, 2011.  Forchion was arrested last year when he was found by a State Trooper to be driving a car that allegedly had a pound of marijuana in it. 

Forchion is a card-carrying medical marijuana patient from California.  He has the legal right to purchase, use, possess and even cultivate marijuana in California, due to his medical condition.  But New Jersey’s restrictive medical marijuana law does not recognize ID cards from out-of-state.  New Jersey’s Medicinal Marijuana Program is not even up and running despite going into effect one year ago this month.  Sixteen states and the District of Columbia have laws protecting medical marijuana patients. 

Forchion describes in his book, “Public Enemy 420—The Tale of an African American Marijuana Activist,” (available on his website, http://home.njweedman.com/) his painful tumor growing out of a bone near his knee, which is a medical condition similar to that of Irvin Rosenfeld.  The federal government has been supplying Rosenfeld with 300 marijuana joints every month for the past 25 years for this condition, as part of the Investigational New Drug (IND) study.  The IND study is not available to Forchion as it has been closed to new applicants since 1992, after it was flooded with applications.   The IND study was a victim of its own success.       

Ken Wolski, RN, Executive Director of the Coalition for Medical Marijuana--New Jersey (CMMNJ), urges demonstrators to tell the judge that Ed Forchion is not guilty.  “He is a patient, using his medicine from out-of-state.  We must give full faith and credit to the laws of other states, as well as to the diagnoses and treatment plans of licensed physicians from other states,” Wolski said.

CMMNJ, a 501(c)(3) public charity, is a non-profit organization whose mission is to educate the public about the benefits of safe and legal access to medical marijuana.  For more info, contact:

Ken Wolski, RN, MPA
Executive Director
Coalition for Medical Marijuana--New Jersey, Inc.
www.cmmnj.org
[email protected]

Location: 
49 Rancocas Rd.
Mt. Holly, NJ 08060
United States

NYPD Officers Regularly Plant Drugs on Innocent People, Former Detective Testifies

Drug Policy Alliance

www.drugpolicy.org

For Immediate Release: October 13, 2011
Contact: Tony Newman or Anthony Papa

 

Former NYPD Detective Testifies that Police Regularly Plant Drugs on Innocent People to Meet Arrest Quota

DPA Statement: Drug War Corrupts Police, Ruins Lives, Destroys Trust Between Law Enforcement and Community

 

Stephen Anderson, a former NYPD narcotics detective, testified yesterday that he regularly saw police plant drugs on innocent people as a way to meet arrest quotas. Mr. Anderson is testifying under cooperation with prosecutors after he was busted for planting cocaine on four men in a bar in Queens. "It was something I was seeing a lot of, whether it was from supervisors or undercovers and even investigators," said Anderson.

"One of the consequences of the war on drugs is that police officers are pressured to make large numbers of arrests, and it's easy for some of the less honest cops to plant evidence on innocent people," said gabriel sayegh of the Drug Policy Alliance. "The drug war inevitably leads to crooked policing – and quotas further incentivize such practices."

The NYPD has also come under heat recently for arresting more than 50,000 people last year for low-level marijuana offenses – 86% of whom are black and Latino – making marijuana possession the number one offense in the City. Most of these arrests are the result of illegal searches by the NYPD, as part of its controversial stop-and-frisk practices. Marijuana was decriminalized in New York State in 1977 – and that law is still on the books. Smoking marijuana in public or having marijuana visible in public, however, remains a crime.  Most people arrested for marijuana possession are not smoking in public, but simply have a small amount in their pocket, purse or bag. Often when police stop and question a person, they say "empty your pockets" or "open your bag." Many people comply, even though they’re not legally required to do so. If a person pulls mari­juana from their pocket or bag, it is then "open to public view." The police then arrest the person.

Last month, in a rare admission of NYPD wrongdoing, Police Commissioner Ray Kelly ordered all officers to stop charging people with misdemeanor marijuana violations based on improper searches. The new policy directive comes on the heels of a 2011 report released by DPA highlighting the enormous costs of marijuana arrests in New York and a public pressure campaign by advocacy groups and elected officials.

"Whether the issue is planting drugs (like this instance) or falsely charging people for having marijuana in public view (as is the case with the majority of marijuana arrests in NYC) the drug war corrupts police, ruins lives, and destroys trust between law enforcement and the communities that they serve," said sayegh.

Location: 
New York, NY
United States

Patient Advocates Accuse Obama of Hypocritical, Aggressive Policy on Medical Marijuana

PRESS RELEASE

Americans for Safe Access
For Immediate Release: 
October 7, 2011
Contact: ASA Media Liaison Kris Hermes or ASA Chief Counsel Joe Elford

Patient Advocates Accuse Obama of Hypocritical, Aggressive Policy on Medical Marijuana
Millions of taxpayer dollars spent undermining state and local medical marijuana laws

Sacramento, CA -- The Obama Justice Department (DOJ) held a press conference in Sacramento today announcing an array of enforcement actions against medical marijuana producers and distributors as well as landlords throughout California. Patient advocates are calling President Obama's enforcement effort harmful and unnecessary, representing a stark contradiction to his pledge of disengagement in medical marijuana states. The DOJ claimed it was carrying out civil and criminal enforcement actions against medical marijuana providers and sending "warning" letters to property owners leasing to dispensary operators.

"Aggressive tactics like these are a completely inappropriate use of prosecutorial discretion by the Obama Administration," said Joe Elford, Chief Counsel with Americans for Safe Access (ASA), the country's largest medical marijuana advocacy group. "President Obama must answer for his contradictory policy on medical marijuana." On the campaign trial and in the White House, President Obama pledged that he was "not going to be using Justice Department resources to try to circumvent state [medical marijuana] laws."

This attack is the latest in a long line of federal intimidation tactics employed over the past few months by such agencies as Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the Department of Justice (DOJ). President Obama's DOJ has conducted well over 150 federal raids in at least 7 states since taking office and his U.S. Attorneys sent letters earlier this year threatening local and state officials in 10 states with criminal prosecution if they adopted proposed medical marijuana laws.

By sending threatening letters to landlords, President Obama is taking a cue from his predecessor George W. Bush, whose Justice Department sent similar letters to more than 300 property owners throughout California in 2007. Despite the seriousness of letters sent by the DOJ under Bush, no criminal or forfeiture enforcement actions were ever pursued. It's unclear if the federal government has the resources or inclination to act on these new threats in a significant way, but for the price of postage they have engaged in wholesale intimidation of the medical marijuana community.

Advocates argue that states should be allowed to enforce their own public health laws, including those concerning medical marijuana. "It is unconscionable that the federal government would override local and state laws to enforce its will over the will of the people," said ASA spokesperson Kris Hermes. "States must be allowed to enforce their own laws without harmful interference from the Obama Administration." California Attorney General Kamala Harris was apparently not warned by the DOJ about the heightened federal enforcement effort before today.

The DOJ enforcement effort comes as hundreds of demonstrations against Wall Street are continuing to occur across the country. These protests are, at least in part, questioning the federal government's allocation of limited resources. Meanwhile, President Obama has chosen to expend federal resources to crack down on medical marijuana in states that have legalized its use. "By shutting down dispensaries, the Obama Administration is not only pushing legal patients into the illicit market," continued Hermes, "it's also wasting taxpayer dollars at a time of fiscal crisis."

Further information:
Redacted example of U.S. Attorney letter to landlords of California medical marijuana dispensaries: http://AmericansForSafeAccess.org/downloads/US_Attorney_Landlord_Letter.pdf

# # #

With over 50,000 active members in all 50 states, Americans for Safe Access (ASA) is the largest national member-based organization of patients, medical professionals, scientists and concerned citizens promoting safe and legal access to cannabis for therapeutic use and research. ASA works to overcome political and legal barriers by creating policies that improve access to medical cannabis for patients and researchers through legislation, education, litigation, grassroots actions, advocacy and services for patients and the caregivers.

Location: 
CA
United States

Press Release: Obama Administration Escalates War on Medical Marijuana Patients

 

Drug Policy Alliance

www.drugpolicy.org

For Immediate Release: October 7, 2011
Contact: Tony Newman, Stephen Gutwillig                                                          

Obama Administration Escalates War on Medical Marijuana Patients

US Attorneys in California Say They Will Shut Down Dispensaries, Prosecute Landlords and Seize Properties Notwithstanding State Law

Obama Administration's Medical Marijuana Policies Now Worse Than Bush and Clinton Policies

Despite the Obama Administration's promise to respect state law and leave medical marijuana patients alone, its attack on patients and providers operating legally under state law is rapidly escalating. At least 16 landlords in California this week received letters stating that they are violating federal drugs laws and that state law will not protect them. The four US Attorneys in California are holding a press conference in Sacramento today in which they are expected to announce a broad crackdown on medical marijuana.

A series of administration actions in the past month makes it clear that they are engaged in a full scale assault on medical marijuana patients' rights and their ability to access medicine and that they have reconsidered their willingness to allow states with medical marijuana laws to implement those policies without federal interference. The Treasury Dept. is forcing banks in Colorado to close accounts of medical marijuana businesses operating legally under state law. The IRS now says it will not recognize legitimate business expenses of dispensaries and is requiring owners to pay taxes required of no other businesses; the result will be closure of the most well regulated dispensaries and loss of millions of dollars in tax revenue for local governments. And the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives last week ruled that state-sanctioned medical marijuana patients cannot legally possess firearms.

"The Obama administration’s latest moves strongly suggest that their medical marijuana policies are now being driven by over-zealous prosecutors and the anti-marijuana ideologues who dominated policymaking in past administrations," said Ethan Nadelmann, executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance. "Barack Obama is betraying promises made when he ran for president and turning his back on the sensible policies announced during his first year in office. Instead of encouraging state and local authorities to regulate medical marijuana distribution in the interests of public safety and health, his administration seems determined to re-criminalize as much as possible. It all adds up to bad policy, bad politics and bad faith."

 

 

 

 

Advocates Hope Ken Burns/ PBS Prohibition Doc Provokes Debate

Drug Policy Alliance

www.drugpolicy.org

For Immediate Release: September 30, 2011
Contact: Tony Newman

New Ken Burns PBS Documentary “Prohibition” to Air October 2nd– 5th

Advocates Hope Spotlight on Failed Alcohol Prohibition Will Provoke Debate on Drug Prohibition, Black Market Violence and the Criminalization of More Than a Hundred Million Americans

The history of our country’s disastrous period of alcohol prohibition will be  broadcast into homes across America this weekend when PBS airs Ken Burns and Lynn Novick’s Prohibition, a three part series on America’s failed “noble experiment” of banning alcohol.

Drug policy advocates are thrilled that filmmakers of the stature of Ken Burns and Lynn Novick have taken on this topic – and hope that the series reminds Americans about the futility of prohibition and its devastating collateral consequences.

“Alcohol prohibition didn’t stop people from drinking any more than drug prohibition stops people from using drugs,” said Tony Newman, director of media relations at the Drug Policy Alliance. “But prohibition did lead to Al Capone and shoot-outs in the streets. It is the same today. It is not the marijuana or coca plants that have caused 50,000 deaths in Mexico over the last 5 years – but because they plants are illegal and thus unregulated, people are willing to kill each other over the profit that can be made from them.”

"Making drugs illegal has created a violent criminal market where cartels battle it out to control territory in much the same way gangsters did during alcohol prohibition," said Neil Franklin, a retired Baltimore narcotics cop and executive director of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition. "The one major difference between the two prohibitions is that we came to grips with the failure of our experiment to ban alcohol after just 13 years, while the 'drug war' that President Nixon declared 40 years ago is still being prosecuted, more harshly and expensively than ever."

“My two sons have struggled with addiction. My family has experienced not only the devastation of this life-threatening disease, but also the destructive effects of punitive prohibitionist policies and incarceration,” said Gretchen Burns Bergman, lead organizer of Moms United to End the War on Drugs. “Mothers were instrumental in ending alcohol prohibition in the 30s, not because they wanted to encourage alcohol use, but because they wanted to end the gangland violence and loss of lives caused by organized crime, fueled by prohibition. Moms are needed to join the movement to end the violence, mass incarceration and overdose deaths that have resulted from prohibition and the failed war on drugs.”

New Ken Burns PBS Documentary Brings "Prohibition" Lesson to Modern America

New Ken Burns PBS Documentary Brings "Prohibition" Lesson to Modern America

More Politicians Joining the Call to End "War on Drugs"

Cops Who Fought "Drug War" Say It's Time for Legalization

WASHINGTON, DC -- As more politicians and world leaders declare willingness to consider ending the "war on drugs," a group of law enforcers who fought that war says a new Ken Burns PBS documentary about alcohol prohibition premiering Sunday provides an important lesson for today's prohibition on marijuana and other illegal drugs. 

"Does anyone think making the dangerous drug alcohol illegal actually decreased the harm associated with its use, abuse and distribution?" asked Neill Franklin, a retired Baltimore narcotics cop who now heads up Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP). "Just as then, today's prohibition on drugs doesn't accomplish much to reduce harmful use and only serves to create gruesome violence in the market where none would exist under noncriminal regulation. Legalizing these drugs will make our streets safer by reducing the crime and violence associated with their trade, just as when we re-legalized alcohol."

Many current and former elected officials are calling for a re-evaluation of the "war on drugs" and a growing number are even suggesting that marijuana and other drugs should be legalized. For example, last month, Mexican President Felipe Calderon made headlines by saying - in light of an uptick in cartel attacks - that the U.S. should look at "market alternatives" for drug supply if demand can't be reduced.

Advocates are pointing out the parallels between the repeal of alcohol prohibition and today's debate about ending the "war on drugs." For example, one factor that led to the demise of alcohol prohibition was its enormous pricetag for taxpayers during the Great Depression. Today's rough economic climate is leading more politicians to criticize the growing cost of the "war on drugs."

LEAP's Franklin said, "The one major difference between the two prohibitions is that our wise grandparents came to grips with the failure of their experiment to ban alcohol after just 13 years, while the 'drug war' that President Nixon declared 40 years ago is still being prosecuted, more harshly and expensively than ever. It's about time more of our political leaders start to think about an exit strategy."

Other influential leaders and groups recently issuing calls to move away from prohibitionist drug policies include the NAACP, former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, former U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan, former U.S. Secretary of State George Shultz, former U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker, the Washington State Democratic Central Committee and the UK's Liberal Democrat Party.

Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP) represents police, prosecutors, judges, FBI/DEA agents and others who want to legalize and regulate drugs after fighting on the front lines of the "war on drugs" and learning firsthand that prohibition only serves to worsen addiction and violence. More info at http://www.CopsSayLegalizeDrugs.com.

#        #        #

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 29, 2011

CONTACT: Tom Angell - [email protected]

How Accurate is Cannabis Testing? Ring Test Assesses the Labs

How Accurate is Cannabis Testing? Ring Test Assesses the Labs

California NORML Release - Sep. 26, 2011

How Accurate Is Cannabis Potency Testing? California NORML and Project CBD release the results of the first "Ring Test" to assess the accuracy of analytical laboratories

Mixed findings show strengths and problems among analytic testing services

In the winter of 2010/11, California NORML and Project CBD initiated a "Ring Test" to assess the accuracy of the numerous analytical cannabis testing laboratories that have recently emerged to serve medical marijuana collectives, breeders, growers and patients.

Results of the study, which was coauthored by California NORML director Dale Gieringer and Dutch scientist Dr. Arno Hazekamp, are reported in the Autumn 2011 issue of O'Shaughnessy's, the Journal of Cannabis in Clinical practice on pages 17-18, posted at:

http://www.canorml.org/RingTestOShaughnessys_Aut11.pdf

"We embarked on a parallel study of cannabis testing labs to shed light on a significant, unresolved issue within the fledgling medical marijuana industry in California and other states," says Gieringer, "We wanted to know how reliable is the information provided by analytical cannabis labs? Are they adequately serving the needs of medical marijuana patients and providers?"

Ten cannabis labs in two states agreed to participate in an anonymous, side-by-side study to assess the accuracy and precision of their collective work. The participating labs employed a variety of analytical techniques and instrumentation to conduct their analysis.

Six samples drawn from the same sources were tested by each lab: four herbal samples, including one CBD-rich strain, and two tinctures (alcohol extracts).

Results of the Ring Test

- In most cases, lab results were consistent to within plus or minus 20% on replicate samples (and often within 10%). For example, a sample with 10% average THC content might range from 8% to 12% in different tests.  This is similar to the accuracy of the government's potency testing program run by NIDA's lab in Mississippi, as well as comparable government-regulated industries such as environmental testing. Conclusion: The precision and proficiency of a majority of cannabis testing labs compared favorably to other analytical testing industries.

- While a majority of labs performed within acceptable limits, some reported results that deviated substantially from the average, with unacceptable deviations of more than 25% from the mean. Three of the ten labs performed unacceptably on half of the tests. Conclusion: Not all cannabis testing labs are performing up to par; consumers are well advised to check the reputations and professional experience of labs they work with, and to arrange backup tests from more than one lab where accuracy is essential.

- Both gas chromatography (GC) and liquid chromatography (LC) instrumentation yielded accurate results in testing of raw cannabis samples, with comparable and acceptable repeatability for identical samples. Conclusion: Both GC and LC instrumentation should be considered reliable for cannabis potency analysis.

- In the case of the tinctures (alcohol extracts), there were significant discrepancies in the results found by different labs, with GC generally reporting significantly higher potencies than LC. This made it impossible to reliably estimate the actual potency of the original samples. Conclusion: More work is required to assess the accuracy of current methods for testing cannabis tinctures, edibles and other extracts.

 

- No analytical testing lab demonstrated precision that supports reporting cannabinoid results to two decimal places. By unnecessarily reporting results to the one-hundredth percentile, some labs created an unrealistic illusion of precision that raises false expectations regarding the degree to which accuracy is possible, given the 20% variation observed. Conclusion: Labs should re-evaluate the precision level at which results are reported.

The Project CBD / CA NORML Ring Test report is accompanied by a list of ten questions that patients and providers might want to ask when choosing to work with an analytical testing lab.

"Analytical labs provide an important service for the medical marijuana community," says Sarah Russo, Project CBD's outreach coordinator. "We hope that cannabis labs, while competing for market share, will cooperate to improve their methods and maintain a high performance standard. Medical marijuana patients and providers would be well served by labs that share information and assist each other in a collegial manner."

For more information contact: Dale Gieringer at California NORML, [email protected] or Project CBD,[email protected]

Location: 
CA
United States

Medical Marijuana Patient John Wilson Faces Bail Hearing Thursday

MEDIA ALERT: Medical Marijuana Patient John Wilson Faces Bail Hearing Thursday, September 29, 2011

WHO: Multiple sclerosis (MS) Patient John Ray Wilson

WHAT: Faces bail hearing

WHEN: 1:30 PM, Thursday, September 29, 2011

WHERE: Somerset County Courthouse – Somerville, NJ—with Judge Marino

WHY: Pending appeal to New Jersey Supreme Court

CONTACT: Ken Wolski, Chris Goldstein, William Buckman www.cmmnj.org

Multiple sclerosis (MS) patient and medical marijuana user John Ray Wilson will appear in the Somerset County Courthouse before Judge Marino for a bail hearing tomorrow, Thursday, September 29, 2011 at 1:30 PM. Wilson is currently imprisoned at CRAF, the Central Reception and Assignment Facility for the New Jersey State Prison system, located in Trenton, NJ.  Wilson had been free on bond pending an appeal of his conviction and sentence of five years, but an Appellate Court upheld his conviction of “manufacturing” marijuana in late July.  He was incarcerated on August 24, 2011.  Attorney William Buckman has filed a petition to the State Supreme Court.  The bail hearing tomorrow will determine if Wilson can remain with his family as the Supreme Court appeal is considered.  Mr. Buckman’s office reports that the State intends to vigorously oppose the release of Wilson. 

“New Jersey already has some of the most draconian laws in the nation with respect to marijuana, costing taxpayers outrageous sums to incarcerate nonviolent, otherwise responsible individuals-- as well as in this case -- the sick and infirm,” said Buckman. “As it stands, the case now allows a person who grows marijuana to be exposed to up to 20 years in jail, even if that marijuana is strictly for his or her own medical use. No fair reading of the law would ever sanction this result.”

Wilson’s conviction in January 2010 came just as New Jersey’s Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act passed into law. The state now recognizes MS as a qualifying condition for marijuana therapy; however, the state’s Medicinal Marijuana Program is not operational yet.

Depending on the outcome of the hearing, Wilson may be freed pending his appeal or must continue serving his sentence.  Wilson’s father, Ray, reports that John is scheduled to be transferred from CRAF to maximum security Northern State Prison in Newark, NJ to serve the rest of his sentence.

CONTACT: Ken WolskiChris GoldsteinWilliam Buckman www.cmmnj.org

Location: 
Somerville, NJ
United States

Veterans For Medical Cannabis Access Kicks Off Petition on White House "We The People" Site

For Immediate Release:

Veterans For Medical Cannabis Access Kicks Off Petition on White House "We The People" Site

The national Veterans service organization, Veterans for Medical Cannabis Access (VMCA), veteransformedicalcannabis.org on behalf of the Veterans across the United States has drawn up a petition to ask President Obama's administration to "Allow United States Disabled Military Veterans access to medical marijuana to treat their PTSD."

The petition may be viewed at the White House website:

http://wh.gov/4xd


Medicinal cannabis is recognized in DC and 16 states such as MD, OR and NM as having medical value including treatment for PTS(d) and TBI. Allies of the US in Iraq and Afghanistan - Canada, Czechoslovakia and Israel allow the use of cannabis to treat these injuries sustained in military service alongside US troops.

Co-founder of VMCA, Al Byrne, Lcdr. USN, ret. said, "I am a Virginia Veteran who uses cannabis for PTS. If I seek treatment in a VHA facility in Virginia the MD's and RN's can not even discuss this treatment option BECAUSE VIRGINIA LAW STILL DOESN'T ALLOW USE OF THIS IMPORTANT MEDICINE FOR PTS(d)  . If I seek the same treatment say, as a Veteran resident of Maine (where cannabis is legal medicine) they say welcome and thank you for your service."

VHA Directive 2010-035 of July 2010 states clearly that if a Veteran gets a recommendation for cannabis from a civilian health care provider in a state that allows the medicinal use of cannabis, then the VA health care providers must treat cannabis as a medicine and the Vet as a valued patient. In Virginia the Vet is not so valued and the medicine for their needs is banned.

Veteran care based on geography is wrong.  It is illogical.  It is not the practice of medicine it is the practice of politics on the wounded and it is shameful.

Contact:

Mike Krawitz
Disabled United States Air Force Sergeant
Executive Director Veterans For Medical Cannabis Access
[email protected]
www.veteransformedicalmarijuana.org

Al Byrne
COO and Co-founder
Patients Out of Time
[email protected]
www.medicalcannabis.com

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Drug War Issues

Criminal JusticeAsset Forfeiture, Collateral Sanctions (College Aid, Drug Taxes, Housing, Welfare), Court Rulings, Drug Courts, Due Process, Felony Disenfranchisement, Incarceration, Policing (2011 Drug War Killings, 2012 Drug War Killings, 2013 Drug War Killings, 2014 Drug War Killings, 2015 Drug War Killings, 2016 Drug War Killings, 2017 Drug War Killings, Arrests, Eradication, Informants, Interdiction, Lowest Priority Policies, Police Corruption, Police Raids, Profiling, Search and Seizure, SWAT/Paramilitarization, Task Forces, Undercover Work), Probation or Parole, Prosecution, Reentry/Rehabilitation, Sentencing (Alternatives to Incarceration, Clemency and Pardon, Crack/Powder Cocaine Disparity, Death Penalty, Decriminalization, Defelonization, Drug Free Zones, Mandatory Minimums, Rockefeller Drug Laws, Sentencing Guidelines)CultureArt, Celebrities, Counter-Culture, Music, Poetry/Literature, Television, TheaterDrug UseParaphernalia, ViolenceIntersecting IssuesCollateral Sanctions (College Aid, Drug Taxes, Housing, Welfare), Violence, Border, Budgets/Taxes/Economics, Business, Civil Rights, Driving, Economics, Education (College Aid), Employment, Environment, Families, Free Speech, Gun Policy, Human Rights, Immigration, Militarization, Money Laundering, Pregnancy, Privacy (Search and Seizure, Drug Testing), Race, Religion, Science, Sports, Women's IssuesMarijuana PolicyGateway Theory, Hemp, Marijuana -- Personal Use, Marijuana Industry, Medical MarijuanaMedicineMedical Marijuana, Science of Drugs, Under-treatment of PainPublic HealthAddiction, Addiction Treatment (Science of Drugs), Drug Education, Drug Prevention, Drug-Related AIDS/HIV or Hepatitis C, Harm Reduction (Methadone & Other Opiate Maintenance, Needle Exchange, Overdose Prevention, Pill Testing, Safer Injection Sites)Source and Transit CountriesAndean Drug War, Coca, Hashish, Mexican Drug War, Opium ProductionSpecific DrugsAlcohol, Ayahuasca, Cocaine (Crack Cocaine), Ecstasy, Heroin, Ibogaine, ketamine, Khat, Kratom, Marijuana (Gateway Theory, Marijuana -- Personal Use, Medical Marijuana, Hashish), Methamphetamine, New Synthetic Drugs (Synthetic Cannabinoids, Synthetic Stimulants), Nicotine, Prescription Opiates (Fentanyl, Oxycontin), Psilocybin / Magic Mushrooms, Psychedelics (LSD, Mescaline, Peyote, Salvia Divinorum)YouthGrade School, Post-Secondary School, Raves, Secondary School