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Photo: The Grand Rapids Press
An anonymous caregiver who grows medical marijuana for patients checks his garden. He has 22 plants of three varieties growing in his Grand Rapids basement. 

​Grand Rapids, Michigan city commissioners have decided on a homegrown approach to regulating medical marijuana.

Commissioners Tuesday decided to go ahead with zoning regulations that will treat medical marijuana growers, also known as caregivers, as home-based businesses, reports Jim Harger of The Grand Rapids Press.
Planning director Suzanne Schulz said the rules will allow medical marijuana growers to operate in a manner similar to music teachers or tax preparers.

Graphic: salem-news.com

​Medical marijuana supporters say they are “outraged” over President Obama’s re-appointment of Bush Administration holdover Michele Leonhart as chief of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).

“The retention of this Bush-era holdover is a profound disappointment to all of us who hoped that Obama would bring meaningful change to Washington,” lamented Dale Gieringer, director of California NORML (National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws).

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Graphic: patients4medicalmarijuana.wordpress.com

​A bill to legalize medical marijuana in Maryland, with state-run production centers, is getting support from legislators in both parties.

“This bill will provide Maryland’s doctors and patients with another tool in the toolbox, to be used safely and responsibly like any other therapy,” said Delegate Dan Morhaim (D-Baltimore County), who is the bill’s co-sponsor and a medical doctor.
Marijuana dispensaries would be licensed by the state under the plan. The cultivation and distribution of cannabis would be monitored by Maryland’s agriculture department and health department.


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Photo: Emeraldeye
Eight grand a pound adds up.

​A California man is asking the city of Costa Mesa to pay for 12 medical marijuana plants seized by the police in 2007.

An attached appraisal form with the claim says that “Kush” strain plants like those seized are worth about $8,000 a pound.
Gregory Barnett, 55, said in his claim against the city that police officers destroyed his crop, which was ordered returned by the court, reports Ellyn Pak at The Orange County Register.

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Photo: longbeachmedicalmarijuana.org

​The Los Angeles City Council voted 9-3 today to pass an ordinance regulating the sale of medical marijuana by dispensaries. The measure, which the council first began debating more than four years ago, passed quickly, without debate.

Although medical marijuana advocates were able to improve parts of the ordinance, they say certain provisions in the final version will effectively shut down nearly all of the existing facilities and will make it almost impossible for dispensaries to locate anywhere in the city.

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Photo: bebo.com
It’s easier to get in than to get out… usually.

​A man climbed over a fence and tried to break into an Oregon jail after drinking alcohol and smoking marijuana, according to police.

Medford, Oregon Police Lt. Bob Hansen said that about 4:10 a.m. Monday, jail officials saw a man scaling the fence around an area where officers unload incoming prisoners and take them inside, reports Anita Burke at the Southern Oregon Mail Tribune.
The jail officials confronted the man on the grounds and called police, who cited the intruder, James Merrill DeVore, for disorderly conduct and trespassing. 

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Photo: Daniel Beaman Photography
Kush House dispensary in Venice Beach. Hundreds of pot shops, including all 14 in Venice, will be forced to shut down under L.A.’s new dispensary law.

​With the Los Angeles City Council expected this week to give final approval to a new law which would result in hundreds of medical marijuana dispensaries being forced to close, some are wondering exactly how the city will enforce the crackdown.

Last week, L.A. City Councilman Bill Rosendahl, who thinks the city is overreacting to the dispensaries, quizzed city officials on how they plan to shut down the pot shops that aren’t among the fortunate 140 allowed under the new law, reports Frank Stoltze of KPCC.

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Graphic: NORML.org

​A new television advertisement criticizing a Nevada district attorney’s anti-marijuana position will air for the first time on Wednesday, according to Nevadans for Sensible Marijuana Laws.

The ad, which asks Washoe County District Attorney Richard Gammick why he opposes ending Nevada’s prohibition of marijuana, will air Wednesday, January 27, on KRNV-TV in Reno, Nevada.
“The ad we are unveiling Tuesday addresses a serious subject — public safety,” said Dave Schwartz, campaign manager for Nevadans for Sensible Marijuana Laws.
“It does so by contrasting the fact that 25 to 30 percent of all violent crimes in the U.S. are alcohol related with District Attorney Gammick’s desire to focus law enforcement resources on adults who use marijuana, which is less harmful than alcohol and less likely to lead to acts of violence,” Schwartz said.

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Photo: Westword
The Western Slope Cannabis Crown competition could include 400 strains. Oh, to be a judge!

​A marijuana festival in Aspen, Colorado, this spring will be the first in the state where medical growers can put their strains in a contest.

The Western Slope Cannabis Crown expects about 50 growers to enter their strains of cannabis, reports Carolyn Sackariason at The Aspen Times.
The contest will be held April 17-18 at the Gant.
The Cannabis Crown is open to the public and will include speakers, live music, information booths, and, of course, the strain competition where growers will vie for the “Crown.”
“We want to get the best of the best in there,” said festival organizer Bobby Scurlock.
Whereas such contests (beginning with what may be the granddaddy of ’em all, the Cannabis Cup in Amsterdam) have traditionally been decided by human judges, the Western Slope Cannabis Crown will add a new wrinkle: The marijuana strains will be diagnostically tested for their THC levels by Denver-based Full Spectrum Laboratories (I hope they’re planning on testing CBD levels as well, since that affects the high).

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Photo: Madison NORML
Gary Storck has been using marijuana medically since 1972 — but 38 years later, it’s still illegal in Wisconsin. This newspaper clipping is from 2005.

​Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle, who supports the Jacki Rickert Medical Marijuana Act, will deliver his final State of the State address before a joint meeting of the Legislature on Tuesday night, January 26, at 7 p.m. local time.

Medical marijuana supporters will hold a patient vigil at Gov. Doyle’s last official speech. Supporters will gather outside the Assembly Chambers after 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, January 26, for the address, according to Gary Storck of Madison NORML.

Gov. Doyle has been on record throughout his two terms as willing to sign medical cannabis legislation if it reached his desk. Since the introduction of JMMA, he has gone further in his support, calling it “senseless” to block safe access for patients.
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