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Photo: Chmee2, Wikimedia Commons

​According to an assistant prosecutor in Michigan, the new medical marijuana laws there, passed by voters last year, are starting to create some unforeseen problems.

I know what you’re thinking. “Just another cop speaking fluent whinese.” There’s undeniably a little of that going on, but the talk that the prosecutor gave before the Northwest Zero Tolerance Coalition (that’s a forbidding name for an anti-drug group, if there ever was one!) took an unexpected turn towards the end.
Assistant Prosecutor Bill Dailey, chief of Macomb County’s drug unit, said that the medical marijuana laws are causing a “strain on my personnel because they are out there now, they are recovering marijuana on their traffic stops … It is very, very difficult for them or for us to find out if these folks have a medical marijuana card.”

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Photo: Pablo-flores, Wikimedia Commons
Washington judge gives the green light to medical pot patient

​An interesting thing is happening in states which have legalized medical marijuana. There’s an ongoing culture war between cops who hate all marijuana, period, and patients who take the law at its word when it says they can use pot legally. From time to time, the patients win big.

Such is the case in Kent, Washington, where King County Judge Mary Roberts ordered the police department to give 11 pounds of seized marijuana back to Matthew Zugsberger, who holds a valid California medical marijuana card.
After police (with the aid of a trusty drug dog) found the stash in the trunk of Zugsberger’s car last February in the parking lot of a pharmacy in Kent, they arrested the Californian and his girlfriend and seized the weed.
Zugsberger says the cops accused him of importing marijuana from Canada (which does happen a lot in this area, being not far from the B.C. border). “Why the hell would I buy pot from Canada if I have a field of it in my back yard?”, Zugsberger reasonably asked, according to the Seattle P.I.

The California man said he began using marijuana medicinally in 2007 to manage nausea caused by a severe injury sustained while working as a underwater welder in the Gulf of Mexico. After the accident, he was prescribed opiate painkillers; Zugsberger said the drugs gave him liver problems, and he was concerned about becoming addicted to them.

Zugsberger pleaded guilty to misdemeanor possession and was sentenced to three months’ probation. But defense attorney Aaron Pelley wasn’t done with the case. Pelley, who is active with Seattle-based medical marijuana advocacy organization Cannabis Defense Coalition,  filed a petition in August seeking the return of the marijuana to his client, since Zugsberger is a legal medical pot patient.

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Photo: Horsma / Hamppuforum, Wikimedia Commons
Sweet Tooth #3 cannabis bud, grown in Finland

​For all the progress toward a European Union, there is still no unified approach to medical marijuana in Europe, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal.

Cannabis is legal for treating certain illnesses in the Netherlands, but Sweden, for example, doesn’t recognize any medical use for the herb at all.
Legal expert Catherine Sandvos of the Dutch Cannabis Bureau (a government agency providing high-quality medical marijuana) told the Journal that cannabis is just “too controversial and too political” to even be on the European agenda.
The Dutch have led the continent in legalizing medical marijuana, which is treated separately from the recreational cannabis available at Amsterdam’s coffee shops.

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Canna Care
Canna Care employees were featured on the cover of Health & Fitness magazine last year.

​A Sacramento radio station is currently airing an ad, one of the first of its kind, for local marijuana dispensary Canna Care.

Station K-HITS 921.1 FM is running the ads, which according to News 10 KXTV are the first marijuana ads to run in the Sacramento market.
The ad soft-pedals the message, never mentioning the words “marijuana” or “cannabis,” relying instead on the ability of listeners to decode the following message:
“There’s no need to suffer in silence. Canna Care is here to help. If you’re coping with chronic pain, arthritis, nausea, glaucoma or side effects from chemo, there are reliable alternatives.”
It was the radio station’s decision to keep any specific mentions of pot out of the radio ad, according to Canna Care co-owner Bryan Davies.

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Photo: Antoinel, Wikimedia Commons
Could marijuana brownies be the key to treating autism?

​Should parents be allowed to use medical marijuana to treat autistic children if they believe it is more effective than the chemicals offered by pharmaceutical corporations? More and more doctors, and members of the general public, are saying “Yes.”

After Mieko Hester-Perez appeared on ABC’s Good Morning America this week, telling how she believes doctor-recommended medical marijuana brownies saved her son’s life, she received an outpouring of support from TV viewers and commenters on ABC News’ website.
Mieko’s 10-year-old son, Joey, weighed only 46 pounds due to his unwillingness to eat. “You could see the bones in his chest,” she said. “He was going to die.”

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Will Foster, victim of the war on medical marijuana patients

​Medical marijuana patient Will Foster, who once faced 93 years in prison for growing pot in his closet, is now a free man, according to the Drug War Chronicle.

Foster was released on parole from an Oklahoma prison today, adding a happy note to a saga that stretches back to his bust in the 1990s.
Foster was in the unfortunate position of being a public example of the mindless cruelties of the war on marijuana. The 36-year-old father of two, a computer programmer, had his life changed forever when Tulsa, Okla., officers showed up at his door with a “John Doe” warrant to search for methamphetamines. No meth was found — even after officers tore apart his 5-year-old daughter’s teddy bear.
But behind a locked steel door in his basement, the cops found a 25-square-foot marijuana garden. Foster said he grew the plants to treat the chronic pain of acute rheumatoid arthritis.

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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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Photo: Michael W. deBenutzer, Wikimedia Commons
Hitting all the high notes?

​A New Zealand woman who played classical musical to her 20 cannabis plants “to encourage them to grow” has been sentenced to community work, according to Kiwi website TVNZ.

Zarah Murphy of New Plymouth, N.Z. cultivated the plants in a room with photos on the wall of healthy palnts as “role models” and played them “nice classical music,” her lawyer told New Plymouth District Court on Monday.
The lawyer, Pamela Jensen, said Murphy was growing the plants for her own medical use, to treat her post-traumatic stress disorder, the Taranaki Daily News reported.
She was undergoing psychotherapy for her condition and could possibly attend drug counseling in the future, according to Jensen.
Judge Allan Roberts, while granting the elaborate grow room was a “pretty good effort,” still sentenced music lover Murphy to 250 hours of community work and $1,235 in unpaid fines.
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