Browsing: Medical

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Artwork: Jim Wheeler
Safe access to marijuana remains a distant dream to many patients — even in states which have legalized medical use

​One by one, the lights are winking out. In city after city, town after town, in states where medical marijuana is now legal, patients who had dared hope they would at last have safe access to the medicine recommended by their doctors are having those hopes dashed.
The problem? Political cowardice and the panicked reaction of the status quo.
Every week brings more news of freaked out city councils and county boards of supervisors who desperately want to appear to be “doing something” — anything — about the proliferation of marijuana dispensaries.
This phenomenon is so far mostly confined to California and to a lesser extent Colorado, but it’s unfortunately also starting to happen in Michigan, Montana and even Maine — where voters specifically approved dispensaries in November.
Rather than showing true leadership by showing genuine concern for patients and communities, too many local government officials are going for the easy, knee-jerk reaction. The level of disregard for the intentions of the voters — who clearly expressed their will by legalizing medical marijuana — is breathtaking.

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MediLeaf
The little dispensary that could: MediLeaf is still open, despite the efforts of the Gilroy, Calif., City Council

​​A Superior Court judge handed down a ruling Tuesday keeping Gilroy, California’s new medical marijuana dispensary open for now, prompting a city councilman to call for a refund from the city’s legal firm.

MediLeaf owners embraced and sighed with relief in San Jose when Judge Kevin Murphy denied the City of Gilroy’s legal request for an injunction to shut the dispensary down immediately until after a trial ended, reports Jonathan Partridge of the Gilroy Dispatch.
The dispensary could open remain for a year or longer as the case winds its way through the labyrinthine legal process.
If that sounds expensive for the city, yes, it is. Councilman Craig Gartman said this week the he’d heard litigation could cost the city at least $250,000, and maybe up to half a million dollars.

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Photo: stopthedrugwar.org
San Diegans protest Operation Green Rx, District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis’ dispensary crackdown

​The San Diego City Council is considering adopting dispensary regulations that were developed recently by the city’s Medical Marijuana Task Force, with substantial public input.

The task force held public meetings, studied ordinances from other cities and counties around the state, and considered comments from San Diego residents over a period of five weeks before making the recommendations.
“The San Diego City Council is doing a difficult and brave thing,” said Margaret Dooley-Sammuli, deputy state director in Southern California for the Drug Policy Alliance Network. “It’s putting safe access for medical marijuana patients and the needs of San Diegans above the political opposition of the County Board of Supervisors and the District Attorney.”

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Photo: CMMNJ

​Jurors have found a Somerset County, N.J., medical marijuana patient not guilty of the most serious charge against him — operating a drug facility out of his home — reports Jennifer Golson of The Star-Ledger.

John Ray Wilson, 37, was growing 17 marijuana plants, which he said he used to treat his multiple sclerosis.
Wilson was found guilty of second-degree manufacturing and third-degree drug possession for the dried marijuana and psilocybin mushrooms New Jersey State Police seized at his rented home on Aug. 18, 2008.
Testimony in the case started Tuesday before Superior Court Judge Robert Reed, and attorneys delivered closing arguments this morning. The jury deliberated just before lunch and came to a decision about 4 p.m. Eastern time today.

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U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Despite a moratorium on the opening of any new dispensaries, beautiful Richmond, California still has safe access for medical marijuana patients — for now.

​East Bay city Richmond, Calif., will hold off on an outright ban of medical marijuana dispensaries, Katherine Tam reports in The Oakland Tribune.

City leaders in Richmond, an residential inner suburb of San Francisco, say they are still looking for a way to regulate dispensaries without exhausting police resources, “which should be focused on homicides and more serious violent crimes.”
Richmond officials plan to study other cities’ tactics as they weigh their options.
“See if there is a way to try to accomplish the goal of getting a convenient way for people to have access to medical marijuana in a way that doesn’t lead to constant drains of police resources,” said Councilman Jim Rogers.

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MediLeaf
The little dispensary that could: MediLeaf is still open in Gilroy, Calif.

​Gilroy, Calif., Councilman Perry Woodward has called for a “full refund” of legal fees from the city’s contracted law firm after learning that Gilroy’s assistant city attorney advised the neighboring City of Los Altos to take a “diametrically opposed” stance on banning marijuana dispensaries, reports Jonathan Partridge at the Gilroy Dispatch.

Woodward urged the council to demand restitution for all legal fees paid to hired attorney Linda Callon of San Jose-based law firm Berliner-Cohen in connection with regulating medical marijuana dispensaries. According to the Dispatch, the councilman has sent emails to fellow council members, city administrators and Callon herself.

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Photo: CMMNJ
MS patient John Ray Wilson, left, and a supporter

​In a move that could be huge for the medical marijuana movement, a New Jersey judge reversed course today, allowing a multiple sclerosis patient on trial for growing 17 marijuana plants to testify about his medical condition, Brian Thompson of NBC New York reports.

Although Judge Robert Reed had earlier ruled defendant John Ray Wilson couldn’t present a defense based on medical necessity, Wilson was allowed to mention his MS after multiple conferences among lawyers and the judge.
“I told them [the arresting officers]I was not a drug dealer and I was using the marijuana for my MS,” Wilson was allowed to tell the jury.
“I think it carried weight, even though it was one sentence,” said Chris Goldstein of the Coalition for Medical Marijuana in New Jersey.
No follow up on Wilson’s MS was allowed.
He faces up to 20 years in prison on the “drug manufacturing” charge.

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Photo: Laurie Avocado

​The Los Angeles City Council’s proposed restrictions on where medical marijuana dispensaries can locate in the city would eliminate most sites, according to maps drawn by city planners, John Hoeffel of the L.A. Times reports.

City Councilman Ed Reyes said Tuesday that the current proposal — a 1,000-foot buffer between dispensaries and residences or other “sensitive” areas, including schools and parks — “will go out the window right away” when the council returns to the issue today.

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CMMR

​Coloradans for Medical Marijuana Regulation (CMMR), a coalition of medical marijuana patients, providers and growers supporting responsible regulation of medical marijuana, today released proposed guidelines for regulating medical marijuana dispensaries.
According to CMMR, the guidelines would protect the businesses and their patients, as well as promote public safety.

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Photo: www.legis.state.wi.us
Dope of the Day Leah Vukmir: Just take your pharmaceuticals, and forget about that silly marijuana.

​A Republican legislator’s accusation that medical marijuana supporters have a secret agenda of legalizing pot for everyone drew boos from many in a room packed with sick people in wheelchairs or walking with canes, AP reports.

Rep. Leah Vukmir claimed there are no medical reasons to use marijuana and that suffering patients should do things that “do not require individuals to light a joint.”
For her complete lack of empathy for her fellow human beings, along with an obnoxious dose of hubristic arrogance combined with insufferable ignorance, Toke of the Town enthusiastically awards Rep. Vukmir our ignoble Dope Of The Day award.
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