Browsing: Legislation

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Photo: Westword
Attorneys Bob Hoban (left) and Rob Corry, joined by patients, speak at a news conference today about the CannaMart lawsuit.

​Four medical marijuana patients and two caregivers in Centennial, Colo., have announced a lawsuit against the city for forcing the closure of CannaMart, a pot dispensary, Westword reports.

The plaintiffs will argue that cities like Centennial “are prohibited from imposing land use restrictions on local businesses when such restrictions infringe upon the rights upheld by the state Constitution as ‘matters of statewide concern’.”
The group says it’s the first time in Colorado history that a coalition of patients and caregivers will sue a municipal government to reopen a dispensary.
According to Bob Hoban, one of the attorneys representing the patients and caregivers bringing the suit, a ruling in the case could turn out to be precedent-setting. “This isn’t something we’re looking at as a test case, something to throw against the wall to see if it sticks,” he told Westword. “It’s something where we believe the court is almost compelled to come down on our side because of the Constitutional issues at stake.”

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Photo: Coaster420, Wikimedia Commons
Wisconsin medical marijuana users are closer than they’ve ever been to that first legal bowl.

​​Lawmakers and marijuana advocacy groups are pushing for Wisconsin to join the 13 other states where medical marijuana is legal. Bills to do so were introduced last week in the Senate and Assembly.

“The time for Wisconsin to become the 15th state to allow patients to use pot to make their lives a bit more comfortable is long past due,” Dave Zweifel, editor emeritus of The Capital Times, editorializes.

Gary Storck of Madison, a prominent leader in the movement to legalize medical marijuana and co-founder (along with Jacki Rickert) of Is My Medicine Legal Yet?, told the Wisconsin Rapids Tribune he vaporizes pot to treat glaucoma and a heart condition. Storck said there is a groundswell of public support and Democrats, who control the Legislature, have been friendlier to past efforts to legalize the herb.
Storck has been pushing for decades to get the Wisconsin Legislature to legalize marijuana for medical purposes, according to the Capital Times. “We’re not criminals; we’re just trying to get on with our lives,” Storck said.

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Graphic: Reality Catcher
Mendocino County’s regulations on collective medical marijuana grow-ops and dispensaries are being hammered out Monday.

​Historically weed-friendly Mendocino County’s debate over regulating medical marijuana dispensaries continues Monday at 3 p.m., when the Human Services Advisory Committee of the County Board of Supervisors meets. The committee has been working since spring to hash out the county’s marijuana cultivation rules.

Supervisor John McCowen, who along with Supervisor Kendall Smith sits on the committee for monthly meetings, said the process has been delayed by numerous speakers opposed to the county regulating dispensaries.
“People are opposed to what the committee is doing, and they’re doing everything they can to impede our work,” McCowen told the Ukiah Daily Journal. “I suspect the real intent is that they are not in favor of any regulation that might actually apply to them,” he said.
“Interfering with the ability of the committee to make a decision would prevent regulation,” he said.

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Photo: Laurie Avocado, Wikimedia Commons

​A San Diego task force has released its recommendations for the city council regarding medical marijuana dispensaries.

The task force said, among other things, that dispensaries should go through a permitting process, limit hours of operation, abide by zoning restrictions, and should be more than 1,000 feet from schools, libraries, or playgrounds. Dispensaries would also be restricted from bring less than 500 feet away from each other.
Some local marijuana supporters are on board with the proposed regulations. “I think it’s balanced and pretty fair,” Craig Beresh told the local NBC affiliate. “I think it’s going to work for both the medical marijuana community and the city of San Diego.”

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Courtesy Mason Tvert
Marijuana’s momentum in Colorado is giving Mason Tvert plenty to smile about.

​If Mason Tvert and Brian Vicente — along all the marijuana users in Colorado — get their way, weed could become legal in the Rocky Mountain state in 2012.

Tvert and Vicente unveiled their plan Monday for a statewide initiative that will legalize pot for all Coloradans over 21.
If California’s 2010 ballot initiative to legalize fails, Colorado could become the national leader in the marijuana legalization movement. 
It’s going to be a challenge. Just three years ago, 60 percent of Colorado voters rejected a much less ambitious initiative that would have decriminalized an ounce or less of weed. But the political winds are shifting so rapidly, the legalization initiative’s chances are looking less like a long shot and more like a dogfight.

In a bitter disappointment to supporters of regulated sales of medical marijuana, California Attorney General Jerry Brown has said in a radio interview that all sales of marijuana are illegal, “no matter what.”

Brown told KFI News that he supports the efforts of Los Angeles County District Attorney Steve Cooley (who’s grabbed a lot of headlines recently with his hardline anti-dispensary stance, infamously saying “approximately zero” of the dispensaries were legal) and L.A. City Attorney Carmen Trutanich (ditto) in going after marijuana dispensaries selling pot to patients.

Photo: Scott Clarkson
AG Jerry Brown: “The dope business”

​”Unfortunately in some communities, Los Angeles in particular, there’s a lot of exploitation and just getting into the, er, drug business, the dope business,” Brown told KFI.
The L.A. City Council, which has seemed disinclined to take the advice of Cooley and Trutanich (much to Cooley’s public chagrin) spent about five hours today hammering out guidelines for their long-awaited, much-amended medical marijuana ordinance.

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Image by Cooljuno411, Wikimedia Commons
Will California be the first state to legalize?

​Richard Lee, founder of an effort to qualify a marijuana legalization initiative for the November 2010 election in California, says the campaign is on track to make the ballot.

Lee, who runs cannabis training institute Oaksterdam University in Oakland, said more than half a million signatures have already been collected. According to Lee, the target of 650,000 signatures will be met by early December.
Ken Masterson, partner in a petition management firm in San Francisco, confirmed Monday that the original plan to complete signature-gathering for “Tax Cannabis 2010” by Christmas is ahead of schedule, according to the Ventura County Star.
To qualify for the ballot, 433,971 valid signatures will be required. Masterson said he checked a random sample of 50,000 signatures and discovered a validity rate of more than 70 percent. At that rate, the goal of 650,000 total signatures would be enough to qualify.
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