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Marijuana news from around the world

eric holder

After Months of Silence U.S. Government Responds to New Marijuana Laws

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After the historic vote by the people of both Colorado and Washington to legalize recreational marijuana, a swift response by the federal government was expected.  However, most federal officials have yet to utter a public response to Colorado and Washington taking legalization into their own hands.  United States Attorney General, Eric Holder, did meet with high ranking officials from Washington State but made no comment to the public regarding the discussions.

The people are finally being informed of the federal government’s position on marijuana since the November election.  Unfortunately, it seems only Canadian residents are being kept in the loop for the time being.  U.S. Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, Gil Kerlikowske, told the Canadian based Maclean’s magazine that the federal government will still target marijuana growers and providers.  He went on to say “I think a patchwork of policies would create real difficulties… “I don’t see the legalization of drugs and making them widely available as a good thing.”

Mr. Kerlikowske was also asked if he noticed any parallels between same-sex marriage and the current legal situation with marijuana.  He responded by saying “I don’t look at marijuana as a human right, or a civil right, or even in the same venue as gay marriage…this is a public health issue.”  Struggling patients seeking pain relief will likely disagree with the initial portion of the quote.  As traditional medical treatments have failed so many, medical marijuana is considered a right by millions of Americans.

Mason Tvert of the Marijuana Policy Project responded by saying “We are hopeful [federal officials] will see the benefits of regulating marijuana in a manner similar to alcohol, and we are pleased to see the progress these two states are making toward doing just that.”  There is validity to some of what Gil Kerlikowske stated.  Marijuana is a public health issue.  Providing pain relief without physically addictive opiate based medications is in the utmost interest of the people.  It will be interesting to see what is said when the federal government decides to finally address its own people.

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Medical Marijuana Industry News August 3, 2012

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Federal Crackdown on Dispensaries Continues in San Francisco…

There does not appear to be any end in sight for federal raids targeting marijuana dispensaries.  Attorney General Eric Holder has reiterated that they will not use federal resources to go after law abiding collectives, however that statement no longer appears true.  Without any evidence of wrongdoing, federal authorities announced their intention to shut down the iconic and world’s largest marijuana dispensary, Harborside Health Center.  This week we learned that two prominent San Francisco collectives, Vapor Room and Hope Net would also be forced to shut their doors.  HopeNet Co-founder Catherine Smith said, “The Justice Department sent our landlord one of those nasty letters.  So this is our D-Day, we have to leave.”  Ray Chico who operates the popular jar company Doob Tubes, said the dispensary closings are hurting more than just patients and collective employees.  He noticed his business also take a turn for the worse and has been forced to let go of staff.

 

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Michigan Court of Appeals Rules Cities Cannot Ban Marijuana Dispensaries…

Recently California’s 2nd Circuit of Appeals ruled that cities cannot outlaw marijuana dispensaries.  The Los Angeles City Council seemed undeterred by this and went forward with what may be considered an illegal ban on dispensaries.  Michigan courts have now issued a similar ruling.  In the city of Wyoming Michigan an ordinance was passed that outlawed collectives.   John Ter Beek of Wyoming Michigan filed a suit in 2010 challenging the ban, and the ACLU also joined the suit. Michigan’s appellate court ruled that a local ordinace does not overrule a state law.  In this case since medical marijuana is protected on a state level, local municipalities cannot enact laws that conflict with state laws and outlaw dispensaries.  Dan Korobkin of the ACLU was pleased with the ruling and said “In 2008, people across the state overwhelmingly voted to protect patients who use marijuana to treat their medical conditions from punishment and penalty.”

 

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Arizona Asked to Expand Medical Marijuana Program…

Arizona’s medical marijuana program got off to a rocky start and was delayed by two years after being passed by a vote of the people.  There are still calls by opponents of medical marijuana for Governor Jan Brewer to end the program.  Ms. Brewer did not have her most triumphant political moment in court and was chided by a federal judge for the way they handled the situation.  However, as the Governor has received a great deal of criticism by marijuana advocates, they may be praising her today.  Thirteen county attorney’s in Arizona drafted a letter formally requesting that Governor Brewer halt the medical marijuana program.  She has rejected the request and wrote a response letter where she said “I am duty-bound to implement the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act, and my agency will do so unless and until I am instructed otherwise.”  Patients will be pleased to hear this as the it ultimately is the responsibility of elected officials to carry out the will of the people, even if they do not agree with a situation on a personal level.

 

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Activists Urging Costa Mesa Voters to Lift Medical Marijuana Ban…

Advocates of medical marijuana submitted close to 6,800 signatures in an effort to get an initiative on the ballot to legalize non-profit medical marijuana collectives.  Dispensary owner Robert Martinez said “It’s imperative to provide safe access for veterans and cancer patients.  I’m super stoked to bring these signatures.”  The number of signatures is 1,000 more than the 5,812 required signatures which represents 10% of the Costa Mesa population.  However, often many signatures are invalidated during ballot initiatives and if the effort requires more signatures activists will only have until August 10 if they wish to have the issue placed before voters this November.

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Colorado Collectives Warned by US Attorney

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The early part of this week has delivered mixed news for medical marijuana patients.  Those who attended the Cypress Hill Smokeout were treated to an excellent day long music festival and community gathering.  There was one unfortunate development regarding Colorado, where the federal government has put their collectives on alert however.

Colorado has taken extraordinary steps to ensure patient access including a state wide licensing system for patients (which is what many advocates are hoping to see in California after the state Supreme Court takes on the issue later this year) and a tighter grip on dispensaries operating under state law.  Additionally, a ballot initiative was successful and voters will get the chance to legalize marijuana for recreational use this November.  As we mentioned last week, 23 of the over 700 collectives in Colorado were closed down, which only represented approximately 3% of all dispensaries.

A U.S. attorney in Colorado, John Walsh, does not want anyone to feel comfortable as they seek medical relief.  The 23 collectives were shut down because they were not in compliance with state law.  In most cases it involved collectives being too close to schools.  President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder (who may have his hands full explaining his position on the US government’s right to target and kill US citizens overseas in the name of anti-terrorism)  have said several times since their time on the 2008 campaign trail that they are not seeking to interfere with collectives and patients abiding by state law.  Eric Holder even reiterated this idea as recently as December.  However, John Walsh is saying that no collective should feel safe and that it is in his office’s discretion to go after any and all collectives in Colorado.  Of course his office has to answer to the White House so we can wait and see if team Obama plans on keeping their word during an election year.

While we do not want to see patient access restricted,  we should all take into consideration that a U.S. attorney may not want to describe a scenario where they basically green light a medical marijuana program that follows state laws, but is still under violation on a federal level.  While John Walsh says everyone is on notice, they did only carefully select 23 to shut down.  A spokesman for the U.S. attorney’s office mentioned that dispensaries can be shut down for other non cannabis related violations such as possession of firearms and possessing marijuana when they are not in compliance with state laws.  It sounds as if the U.S. attorneys are letting everyone know that they will go after any violation they can uncover.  This should not be news as we know the feds are salivating to flex their muscle.  However, with a vast majority of the country supporting medical marijuana, voters will have quite a bit to say in only a matter of months.  It is important that advocates take action and make it out to the voting polls this November and support patient compassion and relief.

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Whitened House again Flooded with Marijuana Questions in Online Q & A Session

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Because the 2012 election inches closer the candidates is going to be confronted with many tough questions.  While Leader Obama and the staff attempt to present him as tech savvy, they might live to regret the process.  For that second amount of time in nearly as many several weeks, the Whitened House finds itself in  the awkward position of squirming over questions about marijuana reform, an problem they clearly appear to become uncomfortable with.  Merely a couple of years back, Leader Obama and current Attorney General Eric Holder appeared to inform advocates precisely what they desired to hear.  Although Eric Holder claims the administration hasn’t transformed course, the current federal raids don’t appear to stay in step using the 2009 claims.

In November, the Whitened House mentioned they would react to any problems that received enough online votes.  They stored their word but didn’t engage the problem completely that received probably the most votes, marijuana reform.  They just responded by saying they’d no aim of legalizing marijuana and wouldn’t elaborate further.  Following a president’s condition from the union speech a week ago, Team Obama was wishing to speak online with potential voters about issues presented within the speech.  Regrettably for that Whitened House, Youtube is confirming that 18 from the 20 most widely used questions pertained to marijuana policy.  The leader was likely to a minimum of discuss the problem, however neither Obama nor google’s other staff introduced the issue up.  Many advocates were clearly disappointed and requested themselves why the leader retains supposed “open” Q &amplifier A periods but doesn’t even provide a discuss charge problem.

Certainly one of individuals frustrated advocates is Stephen Downing, a board person in the audience Police Force Against Prohibition (LEAP).  Mr. Downing taken care of immediately Leader Obama’s online session by saying “From my 20 experience I have started to see our country’s drug guidelines like a failure along with a complete waste of criminal justice assets.”  Also, he added “It’s worse than silly that YouTube and Google would waste time from the leader as well as the United states citizens talking about such things as night time snacks and playing tennis when there’s an infinitely more pressing question point of interest of those who required time to sign up in voting on distribution.” The Previous LAPD Deputy Chief also reported financial and issues of safety too by saying “Most People in america now support legalizing marijuana to p-fund cartels and gangs, lower incarceration and arrest rates and save scarce public assets, all while producing new much-needed tax revenue.”

Even while the folks from the U . s . States are trying to find marijuana reform, people are being overlooked in groups.  Polls show that more than 75% of the nation supports marijuana use for medical patients.  Although marijuana.internet makes this situation before, we’re still baffled that political figures still run from the political problem with your a powerful consensus.  It almost appears to become a knee jerk reaction because political figures happen to be familiar with running out of this conversation for many years.  Other hot button issues divide the nation however with medicinal marijuana 3 from 4 people share exactly the same opinion.  Advocates have become fed up with their questions being sidestepped.  What’s the reason for posting online subjects when they will just finish in a web-based abyss?

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Medicinal Marijuana Industry News The month of january 13, 2012

federal raids

Feds Change Focus to Colorado Attack

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As numerous expected, federal government bodies have moved assets toward Colorado and also have cautioned 23 shops of violations against condition law.  The shops received letters in the U.S. government warning them they unlawfully operating within 1,000 ft of colleges.  The letters were sent by U.S. attorney John Walsh, who mentioned “When the voters of Colorado passed the limited medicinal marijuana amendment in 2000, they couldn’t have anticipated their election would be employed to justify large marijuana stores situated within blocks in our schools.” Many experts happen to be baffled regarding how the us government goes concerning the raids.  Federal government bodies appear to become only pursuing shops that aren’t consistent with condition law even while every one is repel federal law.  The problem of condition privileges has witnessed its appeal grow lately also it seems the us government doesn’t desire to be charged with walking in it.  The amount of shops in danger of Colorado is gloomier than we had in California last fall.  This really is likely because of Colorado getting an even more controlled program which involves condition licenses, screening and approval.  Recent estimations indicate that Colorado has roughly 735 shops.

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New You are able to Attorney General Expresses Deep Concern over Prescription Medicine Abuse

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News from the growing epidemic that’s prescription medicine abuse has gotten a lot of media attention recently.  Lately, marijuana.internet reported on the the introduction of a pure hydrocodone pill that’s 10 x more effective than vicodin.  Now, New You are able to Condition Attorney General Eric Schneiderman stated that “Prescription medicine is permeating society.”  The statement was at reaction to reviews that demonstrate that medications for oxycodone are up 82% within the Empire Condition.  The Brand New You are able to health system continues to be overburdened with er visits.  Particularly Nassau County saw a 57% rise in er visits associated with prescription overdoses.  Attorney General Schneiderman is asking to have an online monitoring system that will pressure doctors to report patient history just before prescribing a controlled substance.

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California and Colorado try New Approach toward Marijuana Law

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As increasing numbers of details are revealed concerning the fall’s federal raids of medicinal marijuana shops, it’s becoming obvious that advocates have to take with an alternate approach.  Although supporters of medicinal marijuana are equipped with solid details, the effective minority within our government isn’t prepared to admit defeat.  U.S. Attorney General  Eric Holder lately stated that recent raids were targeted at shops who weren’t in compliance with condition law.  This could explain why there has been states going for a more organized approach toward safeguarding medicinal marijuana patients from the us government.

Based on a current article from MercuryNews.com, advocates in California are trying to find to institute a state-wide certification system for controlling the medicinal marijuana program.  This could setup uniform screening systems for shops and patients.  It might also create a far more structured tax code.  People in america For Safe Access are leading the ballot initiative and believe that California often see less federal intervention when the condition implements these new rules.  When the process goes well, California would create “The Board of Medicinal Marijuana Enforcement” which may oversee the non-profit companies creating, selling and lab testing the strains.

California isn’t alone within their new method for 2012.  Colorado has implemented a state-wide license system.  Additionally, Colorado makes a proper request towards the DEA to re-classify marijuana.  When the DEA finally relented and accomplished it, states will not have to choose from following federal law and supplying relief to the citizens.  Two governors from Rhode Island and Washington Condition have previously made such formal demands.  Barbara Brohl, mind of The Colorado Department of Revenue authored the request which incorporated the next statement “As lengthy as there’s divergence in condition and federal law, there’s deficiencies in certainty essential to provide safe access for patients with serious health conditions.Inch

Even though the DEA hasn’t behaved on such demands previously there appears to become momentum as states have finished the legislative conflict between condition and federal law.  Civil privileges issues previously have proven that it takes only a couple of brave pioneers to stimulate massive change.  We’re now seeing more states setup systems that goal to safeguard their sufferers.  Colorado’s program will probably function as a model for most of the already established states with medicinal marijuana, along with the 6 others with pending legislation.  Since there three states presently asking for reclassification of cannabis, more are certain to join.

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Medicinal Marijuana Industry News December 23, 2011

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Fresno Enacts Growing Prohibit

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Farmers in Fresno weren’t treated towards the news these were seeking.  The Fresno City Council has banned the outside cultivation of marijuana.  Police Lieutenant David Newton mentioned “there has been numerous reviews of violent occurrences connected using the cultivation of marijuana. We have had five shootings within the last 2 yrs.Inch The prohibit is temporary for the time being and can stay in effect for 45 days.  Councilman Ray Westerlund seeming frustrated mentioned “The potheads have run your day here and we have got doctors who are prepared to give these medical use cards for head aches.”  Councilman Clint Olivier required a much deeper breathe when talking and stated “I believe that democracy is most effective and also the process is most effective when we have a very long time to weigh things and focus things and understand things.”

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Historic Marin Alliance For Medicinal Marijuana Shuts

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California’s earliest medicinal marijuana dispensary was instructed to shut its doorways a week ago.  The us government appears wanting to shut lower any dispensary possible in breach of condition law.  Marin Alliance for Medicinal Marijuana is among a little number of shops shutting lower within this wave the government attack.  However, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder lately introduced the us government wasn’t focusing on shops which were operating in compliance with condition law.  If Federal authorities hold for this statement, then your assault around the industry may relent.  The Marin dispensary was stated to become too near to Bolinas Park.  Lynette Shaw, Marin Alliance owner and director stated she was careful to follow along with all local and condition laws and regulations.  She continued to state the community is “up in arms” within the closing.  The web page for Marin Alliance reviews that Lynette Shaw has walked lower from her position as director.

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Attorney General Eric Holder provides Update and further Confusion on Medical Marijuana

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In the wake of the recent federal raids that have shaken the medical marijuana industry, many have been expecting legal answers.  Will the raids continue in California?  Does this signal a shift in President Obama’s medical marijuana policy?  Analysts were sure that either the president or attorney general would be engaging America directly and explaining what can be construed as a change in policy.

Unfortunately, Attorney General Eric Holder only added to the confusion in a recent session of the House Judiciary Committee.  Representative Jared Polis (D-CO), concerned over rumors of upcoming raids in his state, tried to get Mr. Holder to clarify the White House’s stance on medical cannabis.  Holder stated that those who comply with state marijuana laws “should not be an enforcement priority.”  He also went on to say “If in fact people are not using the policy decision that we have made to use marijuana in a way that’s not consistent with the state statute, we will not use our limited resources in that way.”  For advocates this may sound like the worst is behind them but these statements do not seem very different than Mr. Holder’s 2009 statements, which certainly did not protect against federal raids.

While there is no legal clarity presented to the public with Holder’s statements, like most legally savvy individuals who appear regularly in the media, all statements seem to have an escape clause.  The attorney general makes sure to use terms like “priority” and “limited resources”.  Both of these terms seem flexible and subject to change.  Additionally, previous statements of this nature did nothing in preventing California federal raids.  The White House seems to want everyone to know that they do not want to step on state law.  Such an accusation during an election year may not serve the Obama administration well.  Of course, it only makes the water more murky as we ask why are federal agents raiding establishments who are in compliance with state law, especially a state law that does not agree with federal law?  Is it not true that this whole issue stems from Federal law outweighing state law?  But November 2012 is not far away so such double speak is to be expected.

The recent session of the House Judiciary Committee could have provided answers, but this administration seems to thrive under a confused legal situation.  With a chance to reclassify marijuana as a schedule II drug and put an end to the guessing game, our government instead opted to sit on the fence and keep everyone on their toes.  Mr. Holder may get his chance to see his statements at work.  If they respect state law so much we will see if they move forward with the proposed raids in Colorado.  Colorado has the tightest and most regulated medical marijuana program, so respecting state law in this case may be to just simply walk away.

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Federal Attack on Marijuana has Market Impact

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In another shocking development, the us government has proven that they’re novice at predicting how their actions will modify the economy.  Although this might be a tale with a, medicinal marijuana costs are increasing as a direct consequence from the recent Federal raids.  For a lot of patients, it is really an unfortunate development.  Most People in america happen to be feeling the economical crunch, and already cash strapped patients trying to alleviate discomfort may have to find away out to stretch the dollar further.

Reviews indicate that the us government was lately focusing on shops in breach of Proposition 215 and California condition law.  Since California made medicinal marijuana legal under condition law in 1996, patients happen to be treated to some steady reduction in prices.  Large growing procedures were now allowed and didn’t require secrecy.  The quantity of cannabis available clearly has jumped, so far.  Tommy LaNier, director from the National Marijuana Initiative, place it very candidly and mentioned “Supply is lower, so costs are up.”

The Us Government has every to enforce its laws and regulations nevertheless its conflicting message makes existence hard for patients.  Leader Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder have mentioned that they don’t aim to target legitimate medicinal marijuana patients.  This might actually be true, however the recent raids appear to contradict this.  Everyone knows that particular shops aren’t putting patient concerns first and possibly they must be shut lower.  However, rather than a business shakeup they might used less dramatic techniques from the companies.  An extended phase out process might have saved stress and cash for battling patients.  Farmers indicate that lots of strains will rise around $2,000-$2500 per lb.

Because the year in politics has proven, our government is effective in disregarding long-term economic factors.  Many sick patients discovered hard method in which their supply of medication was shut lower, as well as once they situated another facility it might be costing them more income.  If the us government made the decision to acknowledge medical marijuana’s value and controlled it, they might get rid of the speculating game making existence simpler on already battling patients.

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