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ASA's Summary of Medical Marijuana Media

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ASA's Summary of Medical Marijuana Media ASA ACTION: State Medical Cannabis Laws Upheld FEDERAL: Patient on Trial for Group Grow CALIFORNIA: ID Cards Issuing in SLO CALIFORNIA: Dispensary Regulations Being Hashed Out WASHINGTON: Implementation Problems NEVADA: Plea Deal Yields Probation for Patient-Advocate ______________________________________________ ASA ACTION: State Medical Cannabis Laws Upheld Patients and voters around the country can breathe easier now that a California Superior Court judge has indicated that he will reject the bid by three counties to overturn the state’s Compassionate Use Act. County officials had claimed that the federal marijuana prohibition preempted California’s medical exemption. ASA Chief Counsel Joe Elford successfully argued on behalf of patients, doctors and caregivers that states are free to remove criminal penalties for medical use. Judge rejects San Diego challenge to medical marijuana law by Allison Hoffman, Associated Press A state judge on Thursday rejected San Diego County's challenge of California's decade-old law permitting marijuana use for medical purposes. Judge hears San Diego County challenge to medical marijuana law by Allison Hoffman, Associated Press Attorneys for San Diego County argued Thursday before a state court judge that the blanket federal ban on marijuana use precludes states from passing statutes exempting people who use the drug for medical purposes. Judge turns down county challenge to medical pot by Jeff McDonald, San Diego Union-Tribune A Superior Court judge yesterday rejected a claim by San Diego County that California's medical-marijuana laws directly conflict with federal drug statutes. Judge rejects county pot suit by Gig Conaughton, North County Times A Superior Court judge issued a tentative ruling Thursday rejecting San Diego County's challenge to overturn California's 10-year old, voter-approved "Compassionate Use Act" -- the law that says seriously ill people can use marijuana legally to ease their pain and suffering. Judge Issues Ruling Upholding Medical Marijuana Law by James Riffle, City Wire News (San Diego) A San Diego judge Thursday issued a tentative ruling upholding California's medical marijuana law, finding against San Diego and two other counties that challenged voter-passed Proposition 215. Tentative ruling nixes challenge to medical marijuana by Bob Egelko, San Francisco Chronicle A judge in San Diego indicated Thursday that he would reject three counties' challenge to California's medical marijuana law, saying the state could enforce a law allowing people to use the drug even if the federal government bans it. Medical pot law may be upheld soon by a Times Staff Writer, Los Angeles Times A San Diego County Superior Court judge appears poised to uphold the state's medical marijuana law, issuing a preliminary ruling Thursday that rejects a bid by three counties attempting to skirt the decade-old act. ____________________________________________ FEDERAL: Patient on Trial for Group Grow The first federal medical marijuana trial since the conviction of Ed Rosenthal in 2003 is underway in Fresno. Dustin Costa, a 60-year-old Marine veteran, had maintained a greenhouse for a group of local patients. Local prosecutors spent 18 months pursuing him, but when it became clear that state law protected Costa, they dropped state charges and turned him over to federal prosecutors. He is barred from presenting any medical evidence. Trial Begins for Pot Activist by John Ellis, Fresno Bee Testimony began Wednesday in Dustin Costa's trial, with prosecutors portraying the Merced marijuana activist as a drug dealer who violated federal law. ______________________________________________ CALIFORNIA: ID Cards Issuing in SLO More than two dozen counties have started the process of issuing the medical cannabis ID cards that the state mandated in 2003. The cards, which are voluntary for patients and caregivers, help law enforcement identify those qualified under the law, but lack of state funding for the program has made the roll out slow. Marijuana ID cards to cost $78 by April Charlton, Santa Maria Times San Luis Obispo County's qualified medical marijuana patients and caregivers will pay $78 for a medical marijuana identification card if they choose to sign up for the state-mandated program. ______________________________________________ CALIFORNIA: Dispensary Regulations Being Hashed Out Since a state appellate court ruled that dispensaries may legally operate, many communities have been faced with decisions about zoning and business permits. ASA’s study of how regulations are working around the state found that cities with ordinances report things are going smoothly, with benefits for both patients and the larger community. Cities take sides on medical marijuana by Lori Consalvo, Daily Bulletin (Ontario, CA) If it were up to Darrell Kruse, anyone who wanted to consume or cultivate marijuana should be able to - for medical reasons, of course. Gardena joins bans on medical marijuana outlets by Gene Maddaus , Daily Breeze (CA) Weeks after ordering two medical marijuana dispensaries to close, the Gardena City Council imposed a moratorium on such facilities Tuesday night. Medical marijuana battle rages in Susanville by Sam Williams, Lassen County Times Local medical marijuana grower Timothy Ziegler, 47, insists he’s doing nothing wrong by asserting his right to grow and distribute medical marijuana — despite firm resistance from Lassen County’s law enforcement and government communities. Pot club is driven to keep its doors open by Angela Woodall, ANG Newspapers As it turns out, just saying no isn't so easy when it comes to medical marijuana. It's a lesson Newark officials are learning in their attempt to oust a medical marijuana dispensary on Central Avenue, exposing in the process the gap between state and federal law that some cities are struggling to navigate. ______________________________________________ WASHINGTON: Implementation Problems Many states with medical cannabis laws protect patients from the criminal penalties associated with possession but make no provision for how they should obtain it in the first place. Washington is one such state, and patients and caregivers there are navigating a precarious legal predicament. Medical marijuana law leave patients, police in a fog by Claudia Rowe, Seattle Post-Intelligencer In her spacious suburban home, Robin DeBow cleans countertops until they gleam, vacuums the carpets to plush perfection and then turns toward her most pressing chore -- tending the large pot plant budding in her sunny front room. ______________________________________________ NEVADA: Plea Deal Yields Probation for Patient-Advocate How much a patient or caregiver may cultivate is also an issue in many states. Some patients have conditions that require up to six pounds a year – the amount the federal government’s Investigational New Drug program still provides to a handful of patients – but most states allow for cultivation or possession of only a fraction of that. A Nevada patient-activist was facing trial for cultivating more than the state limit, but opted for a lenient plea deal rather than risk jail time. Medical marijuana advocate gets 3 years probation in Las Vegas Associated Press A medical marijuana advocate was sentenced to three years probation in a case that had been seen as a test of Nevada's medical marijuana program. ______________________________________________ For more news summaries or information about Americans for Safe Access, see our website at
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