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Medical Marijuana Update: February 16, 2012


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#1 Ivy

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Posted 16 February 2012 - 09:13 AM

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Medical marijuana patients are taking to the streets Thursday, Feb.  16, to protest the Obama administration’s clampdown on medical marijuana  across the country. And then, there’s the action at the state and local  level. Here’s the latest: National

Americans for Safe Access is calling for a coordinated day of action Thursday to  protest the Department of Justice crackdown on medical marijuana  providers. Rallies will go on in nine cities in six states. Rallies are  planned to take place at an Obama fundraiser in San Francisco, as well  as at the president’s campaign headquarters in Sacramento (CA) and San  Diego (CA), and at federal buildings in several cities, including  Trenton (NJ), Phoenix (AZ), Seattle (WA), Eugene (OR), and Portland  (ME). For more detailed rally information, go here.

Arizona

Potential Arizona dispensary operators are chomping at the bit in  the Phoenix metro area’s East Valley. Now that a lawsuit filed by Gov.  Jan Brewer ® has been dismissed and the state has announced it will go  ahead with licensing and regulating, there are more than 80 active  applications for dispensaries in the East Valley. But under Arizona law,  there can only be 12 in the area.

California

Last Wednesday, the Elk Grove City Council approved an ordinance restricting  medical marijuana grows in the community to inside homes or detached  backyard buildings. The 3-2 vote will allow patients or their primary  caregivers to grow pot only on limited space indoors. The ordinance will  take effect 30 days after a second reading. Other restrictions in the  ordinance include a ban on growing within 1,000 feet of school or public  park, an upper limit on grow lights of 1,200 watts, city-approved  ventilation and security systems must be installed, and a cultivation  permit is required.

Last Thursday, the San Francisco Examiner reported that  the DEA had asked the city’s Department of Public Health to turn over  records for 12 of the city’s remaining 21 dispensaries. Last year, the  DEA asked for information on five dispensaries, whose landlords then  received threat letters from federal prosecutors.  All five dispensaries  closed. San Francisco was the first city in California to license and  regulate medical marijuana dispensaries under its Medical Cannabis Act,  which became law in 2005.

On Monday, the Atwater City Council voted to continue a now year-long temporary dispensary ban.  The Merced County town first approved the moratorium for 45 days on  February 14, 2011, then extended it for another 10 ½ months. It would  have expired Wednesday had the council not acted. The new extension is  for 45 days, which can also be extended for 10 ½ more months. The city  said it is looking into drafting an ordinance.

On Tuesday, the San Jose City Council repealed its dispensary regulation ordinance.  Council members had voted to limit dispensaries in September, which  prompted a municipal initiative campaign to overturn the ordinance.

Also on Tuesday, the Long Beach City Council voted to ban dispensaries,  although it gave 18 existing dispensaries that had played by the rules a  six-month exemption. The council was pressed to act after an appeals  court threw out its regulatory ordinance last year. The council can  revisit the exemption for the existing dispensaries in four months, and  it could increase the extension, shorten the extension, or do nothing.

Colorado

On Tuesday, the last dispensaries in Fort Collins closed their doors.  That was the end result of a November election where voters approved an  ordinance that banned the 20 or so dispensaries operating in the city.

Also on Tuesday, a bill in the state Senate that would have helped dispensaries with banking problems died in committee.  Under federal pressure, banks and other financial institutions refuse  to do business with Colorado medical marijuana enterprises. Senate Bill 75 would  have allowed patients and dispensaries to join financial co-ops, but  failed on a 5-2 vote in the Senate Finance Committee after being opposed  by the banking industry.

Delaware

Last Friday, Gov. Jack Markell suspended the regulatory and licensing process for  his state’s dispensaries. He acted after federal prosecutors responded  threateningly to a request for clarification Markell’s office had made.  Now, Delaware has a medical marijuana law with no dispensaries and no  provision for patients to grow their own.

Hawaii

Last Friday, House Bill 1973,  which is opposed by medical marijuana supporters, advanced on a  committee vote and is now before the House Judiciary Committee. Among  other provisions, the bill would remove severe pain as a qualifying  condition, making about half of existing patients ineligible for the  program.

Maryland

Last Thursday, Del. Dan Morhaim (D-Baltimore County) filed two bills  based on working group approved by the legislature last year. House Bill 1024 would allow medical marijuana distribution only through university-affiliated hospitals, while House Bill 1158 would  allow distribution through registered dispensaries. Maryland has a  medical marijuana law, but it does not allow for access to medical  marijuana and it only provides for a defense in court — not protection  from arrest. A broader bill was introduced last month as well.

Michigan

On Monday, a Chesterfield Township dispensary avoided being shut down by  performing a legal end-run on Attorney General Bill Schuette. Big  Daddy’s Hydroponics and Compassion Center got a judge to agree that  Schuette improperly attempted to have the judge find the facility in  civil contempt and potentially shut it down and/or jail the owners.  Because the claim sought punitive, not coercive, action, the case should  be treated as criminal contempt, Big Daddy’s attorney successfully  argued. They now face criminal contempt charges, though, but at least  they’re still open for business.

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#2 budluva

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Posted 16 February 2012 - 04:48 PM

Just read the article about the ordinance in Elk Grove, what a bunch of shite! at least it's not an outright ban, but damn it's close. completely outrageous requirements that makes growing your medicine a huge expense!

#3 CONWAYTWITTY

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Posted 16 February 2012 - 04:57 PM

we've had a outdoor ban in unincorporated san bernardino county for the last year as well.. its bs!I didnt get to grow outside last year :(   I think has more to do with leo and their lobbyist than the prez but still

#4 budluva

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Posted 16 February 2012 - 08:29 PM

Same in my town too. they banned collectives and outdoor growing. it's ridiculous when you try to grow your own medicine to make it more affordable than being gouged by the profiteering collectives (not all of them are crooks obviously, just mostly) and then you have a bunch of legal hoops to jump through thanks to the local government. I thought we were all trying to do the right thing why must we be punished for it?




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