Medical Marijuana Update

Discussion in 'Medicinal Marijuana' started by Monterey Bud, Jan 7, 2013.

  1. Monterey Bud

    Monterey Bud Administrator Staff Member

    The medical marijuana front was fairly quiet over the holidays, but mmj is legal in Massachusetts now! Let's get to it:

    On December 19, the Berkeley Patients Group dispensary reopened for business. The longtime community stalwart was forced to shut down at its former location after asset forfeiture threats to its landlord by federal prosecutors. Ever since it was forced to close its doors last spring, it operated as a delivery service, but now it is a storefront dispensary again, and it's just a block and a half down San Pablo Avenue from its former location.

    On December 20, there was a hearing in the Harborside Health Center case. Federal prosecutors are seeking to seize properties it leases in Oakland and San Jose, and the hearing featured two landlords, the city of Oakland, Harborside and the federal government arguing about whether the nation's largest dispensary can stay open while it fights the federal forfeiture action. The landlords, who stand to lose their properties, sought an order to force Harborside to close immediately. But Harborside and the city of Oakland argued there was no need to act immediately and the court could wait to hear arguments. There was no ruling, but one is expected shortly.

    On December 20, a Solano County Superior Court judge threw out cases against two Vallejo dispensary operators. The two men, Jorge Espinoza, 25, and Jonathan Linares, 22, had been charged with marijuana possession and sale, and operating an illegal dispensary. Their dispensary, the Better Health Group collective, had been raided by Vallejo police three times and closed down after the third raid in June. Judge William Harrison dismissed the charges, saying after the ruling that dispensaries that comply with the Compassionate Use Act and the Medical Marijuana Program Act are allowed to operate. This was the first in a number of Vallejo dispensary cases resulting from a police crackdown last year. The police crackdown came months after Vallejo voters approved an initiative to tax dispensaries.

    On December 21, attorneys for Mendocino County filed a motion to quash federal subpoenas seeking "records, letters and any other communications on the Mendocino County Medical Marijuana Cultivation Regulation to include third-party inspectors and the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors" since January 1, 2010. The request was expanded to include all "memoranda, notes, files, or records relating to meetings or conversations concerning" the Zip Tie program or Medical Marijuana Cultivation Regulation. The county argues that "the scope of the subpoenas is overbroad and burdensome, oppressive, and constitutes an improper intrusion into the ability of state and local government to administer programs for the health and welfare of their residents." No court date has been set to hear the motion. The county has until January 8 to comply with the subpoena.

    Last Tuesday, the Oroville Planning Commission approved a new medical marijuana growing ordinance that will go before the city council for final approval. The ordinance would require that crops be grown indoors in secured structures and that anyone growing get a permit from the city. To legally grow medical marijuana inside the city, a qualified person must apply for a permit, meet all the requirements and have the growing facilities inspected by the police chief or a person designated by the police chief. The permit will be issued by the police chief or his or her designee.


    On December 22, state Sen. John Keenan called for a delay in implementing the state's new medical marijuana law. Keenan also said he would introduce legislation that would "close loopholes" by imposing controls beyond those approved by the voters, including eliminating home cultivation, requiring marijuana "prescriptions" to be entered in the state's Prescription Monitoring Program to avoid "doctor shopping."

    On Tuesday, medical marijuana became legal in Massachusetts as voter-approved Question 3 went into effect. But it will be months before any dispensaries open. The Department of Public Health has until May 1 to develop regulations.


    On December 19, the state Supreme Court ruled that collective grows are not allowed under the state's medical marijuana law. The ruling came in the case of Ryan Bylsma, a Grand Rapids man who gave others warehouse space to grow. Bylsma is a state-approved caregiver who could grow 24 plants for two people, but he also allowed other caregivers and patients to grow in the same space. When he was raided, there were 88 plants in the warehouse. Kent County authorities said that arrangement was illegal and charged him with manufacturing marijuana. The court agreed, arguing he "exercised dominion and control over all the plants in the warehouse space that he leased, not merely the plants in which he claimed an ownership interest." The Supreme Court sent the case back to Kent County to allow Bylsma to offer an alternative defense.


    On Monday, the select board in Rutland decided not to prohibit dispensaries. No one has applied to open one, but board members agreed they shouldn't be banned.


    On December 19, the Everett city council banned collective gardens. It declared medical marijuana a nuisance with an order that will expire in 18 months. The vote came ahead of the expiration of the city's moratorium on collective gardens and effectively continues it. Medical marijuana patients set the ban could lead to legal action against the city.

    Source - Stop The Drug War
  2. ScrogBetty

    ScrogBetty Guest

    By Phillip Smith | 5.23.2013

    Medical Marijuana Update

    From the US Supreme Court to the local city council chambers, medical marijuana continues to be a contentious issue. Here's the latest.


    On Monday, the US Supreme Court declined to hear a case brought by medical marijuana patients. The four California plaintiffs had argued that local bans on dispensaries denied their right to equal treatment under the Americans With Disabilities Act. But the high court refused to hear their appeal.

    Last Wednesday, Garden Grove officials reported that 62 dispensaries had closed by the city's midnight deadline. The previous week, Garden Grove police sent out letters ordering them to close. The previous night, the city council got an earful from aggrieved medical marijuana patients, more than a hundred of whom packed the council chambers and adjoining rooms. At the end of the meeting, Mayor Bruce Broadwater essentially told them to get lost. "If you want to smoke marijuana, do it in another city," he said. "Don't do it in Garden Grove."

    Last Thursday, medical marijuana backers sued the city of Long Beach over its decision that a petition to overturn the city's ban on dispensaries was insufficient. According to the city clerk, petitioners came up short, but petitioners dispute that finding and are seeking to have signatures removed as invalid added back to the petitions. Alternately, they are asking for the city to hold a special election on whether to ban or regulate dispensaries.

    On Monday,the California Senate passed a bill aimed at allowing dispensaries to operate. The bill, Senate Bill 439, says that collectives, cooperatives and other business entities can receive reasonable compensation for the services they provide, and will not be prosecuted as long as they comply with security and reporting guidelines drafted by the state Attorney General. The bill now moves to the Assembly.

    Also on Monday, San Diego Mayor Filner called for jury nullification in a local dispensary case. Filner was addressing the prosecution of Ronnie Chang, a dispensary operator arrested during a 2009 crackdown. "This is way overdoing it when local laws, state laws allow compassionate use of medical marijuana," Filner told reporters at the downtown US District Court complex. "Someone should not be going through this stage of prosecution for trying to help people to have access to medical marijuana."

    On Tuesday, Los Angeles voters approved a measure to regulate and cap the number of dispensaries. Proposition D would tax and regulate dispensaries and cap their number at about 135 -- the number of dispensaries operating when the city council enacted a moratorium in 2007. A measure that would have allowed an unlimited number of taxed and regulated dispensaries failed. The council had previously voted unanimously to ban dispensaries entirely, allowing on patient growing coops, but reversed itself after Prop D was filed.

    Also on Tuesday, the San Jose city council voted to raise the tax on dispensaries to 10%.San Jose voters in 2010 approved a tax on medical marijuana providers of up to 10% of gross receipts. The council later that year set the rate at 7%, with collection beginning in March 2011. The current 7% tax rate generates $3.9 million annually for the cash-strapped city, and hiking the tax should raise another $1.5 million, city officials said.

    On Monday, the Michigan Supreme Court held that medical marijuana patients are not covered by the state's zero-tolerance drugged driving law when the charge is based merely on the presence of THC in the bloodstream. The ruling will protect thousands of state medical marijuana patients. The ruling came in the case of Rodney Koon, a patient who was charged with DUI because of the presence of THC despite not having used it within the last six hours.

    New York
    On Monday, a new poll showed that 82% of New Yorkers support medical marijuana. The poll comes as there are bills pending in both the Assembly (A06357) and Senate (S04406) to adopt medical marijuana.

    Last Friday, the Ohio attorney general certified a medical marijuana initiative. The Ohio Cannabis Rights Amendment was certified for signature-gathering after supporters turned in 1,000 initial signatures. It would protect Ohioans rights to "medical, therapeutic, and industrial cannabis." To qualify for the ballot, supporters must now gather more than 300,000 additional signatures.

    Last Friday, a bill to add PTSD to the list of ailments that can be treated by marijuana passed the House Health Committeeand is headed for the House floor. Senate Bill 281 would expand the state's medical marijuana program to allow prescriptions to alleviate post-traumatic stress disorder. Another bill, House Bill 3460, which would allow dispensaries, is also moving in the House.

    Last Friday, a Spokane medical marijuana farmers market said it would not open after the operators received a cease and desist letter from US Attorney Michael Ormbsy. The market would have brought growers and patients together just like they were selling fresh vegetables except it would have been marijuana to card holding patients. The owners of the market say they don't have any plans of re-opening until their attorney formulates a plan of action.

  3. ScrogBetty

    ScrogBetty Guest


    Medical Marijuana Update:
    As the ranks of medical marijuana supporters was joined by none other than Dr. Sanjay Gupta, both New Hampshire and Illinois piled on the medicinal cannabis bus...destination common sense. Meanwhile on the Eastern front; New Jersey, Connecticut and Massachusetts have begun to roll out their proposed guidelines for implementing state sanctioned medical marijuana programs. That's the Reader's Digest version...​
    Here's the rest of the story:​
    Last Tuesday, Arizona nurses petitioned to add PTSD to the list of approved conditions for the use of medical marijuana. The Arizona Cannabis Nurses Association petitioned the state Department of Health Services to make the addition, citing the more than 240,000 new veterans nationwide who have been diagnosed with the condition by the Department of Veterans Affairs.

    Last Wednesday, the Justice Department seized $180,000 in cash belonging to Richard Lee. Lee was the man behind Oaksterdam University and the primary bankroller for Proposition 19, the 2010 California legalization initiative.
    Last Monday, foes of a new Bakersfield ban on dispensaries challenged it with a lawsuit. The lawsuit asserts that the city's ordinance violates state environmental laws. The ordinance says dispensaries are "specifically prohibited" in the city, and the lawsuit says the city "erroneously" determined the ordinance was "exempt" under the California Environmental Quality Act, and didn't do a study of possible impacts.

    Last Thursday, the latest Denver crime figures showed no evidence dispensaries have led to increased crime rates. While nearly a third of crimes committed in the city occurred within 1,000 feet of a dispensary, there is no evidence the presence of the dispensaries is to blame for any increases. [Ed: Much of Denver is within 1,000 feet of a dispensary.]

    On Monday, the Middletown Common Council approved the use of a city-owned building for a medical marijuana grow. Greenbelt Management won approval to lease the space. The plan still needs state approval. Two weeks ago, West Haven's planning and zoning commission approved plans for a similar facility with a different grower in that town. The state has said it plans to license between three and 10 grow operations.

    Last Thursday, Gov. Pat Quinn (D) signed a medical marijuana bill into law. The bill is tightly written and highly restrictive. Patients and caregivers will not be allowed to grow their own; instead they must rely on a system of 22 cultivation centers, which will be subject to 24-hour surveillance and inventory control, and no more than 60 licensed dispensaries statewide. Patients will be able to purchase up to 2 ½ ounces of medical marijuana every two weeks. The law specifies 35 medical conditions for eligibility, such as muscular dystrophy, cancer, multiple sclerosis and HIV/AIDS.

    On Wednesday, Chicago's first medical marijuana clinic opened for business. Good Intentions opened in Wicker Park, where it will help potential patients establish a relationship with a physician, as required by state law, but will not sell or produce medical marijuana. The state's new medical marijuana law doesn't take effect until January 1, but Good Intentions does not need to wait because it isn't dealing with (or in) medical marijuana, just patient-doctor relationships.

    Last Friday, the state launched the application process for dispensaries and medical marijuana grows. The state Department of Public Health is in charge of the process, and says applications for the first phase of bidding for dispensaries must be handed in by August 22. Backers of the law expect dozens of applicants for dispensaries and the first dispensary to open sometime next year. Each dispensary is expected to have a retail store and growing operation with security. The program allows up to 35 non-profit dispensaries across the state, with at least one but no more than five in each county.

    On Tuesday, the Michigan Medical Marijuana Review Panel declined to add autism and asthma to the list of approved conditions. The newly reconstituted panel also took preliminary votes on PTSD, which it approved, and insomnia, which it narrowly rejected. Now, the panel must hold public hearings on PTSD and insomnia.

    New Jersey
    Last Thursday, activists handed in thousands of letters asking Gov. Christie (R) to legalize medical marijuana for children. A bill that would do that has passed the legislature and sits on Christie's desk. Christie has hemmed and hawed on the issue saying it "isn't black and white" and warning that he doesn't want New Jersey to become like California or Colorado.

    On Wednesday, a third dispensary operation won permission to plant its first crop. Compassionate Care Centers of America Foundation in Woodbridge can start growing, the state Health Department said. The state legalized medical marijuana in 2010, but the program has been slow to get started. Only one dispensary, Greenleaf Compassion Center in Montclair, has opened so far.

    New Mexico
    Last Friday, the New Mexico Medical Board proposed changes in the state's medical marijuana program that could make it more difficult for patients to access the plant. They include "development of a treatment plan with objectives" as well as required regular follow-ups for all medical marijuana patients.

    On Monday, the Arlington city council voted to prohibit medical marijuana dispensaries. The vote also bans collective gardens. The meeting was the last one before the city's moratorium on dispensaries and gardens was set to expire August 14. The Arlington City Council’s initial six-month moratorium on medical marijuana dispensaries and collective gardens was approved on Aug. 15, 2011, before being extended by a full year on Oct. 3, 2011, with additional six-month extensions following on July 2, 2012, and February 4 of this year. Under the ordinance, the city of Arlington acknowledges the right of qualified health care professionals to prescribe the medical use of marijuana, as well as the right of patients to designate a "designated provider" for only one patient at any one time.

Share This Page