Legal consultant and cannabis expert witness Chris Conrad, author of Cannabis Yields and Dosage, offers advice and professional services for court cases, sometimes paid by a county’s indigent defense fund. Info at chrisconrad.com.
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By Ken Wolski, RN, MPA
Coalition for Medical Marijuana, New Jersey
The New Jersey Dept. of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) issued permits March 21, 2011 to allow six non-profit organizations to open medical marijuana dispensaries, called Alternative Treatment Centers (ATCs).
The DHSS said that patients can expect cannabis to be dispensed from these ATCs by late summer. New Jersey’s Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act, signed into law January 2010, does not allow home cultivation. Qualified patients who obtain an ID card from the DHSS will be eligible to purchase up to two ounces a month from one of these ATCs.
However, there are still many concerns about the Medicinal Marijuana Program (MMP). The entire state legislature agreed that regulations DHSS proposed in December to enact the MMP were inconsistent with the legislative intent of the law. A resolution in the legislature would invalidate significant parts of those
By Nate Bradley, Law Enforcement Against Prohibition
Yes, I know it sounds scary, but take it from me, a former cop: Talking to police officers about marijuana legalization is easy, fun and rewarding.
Believe it or not, a large portion of law enforcement either supports marijuana legalization or hasn’t made up its mind yet. Look at how few law enforcement unions came out and opposed Prop 19. Only three of California’s 58 Sheriff Department associations and four of more than 200 city police associations actually took positions officially opposing Prop 19.
The Yes on Prop 19 campaign featured many cops, judges and prosecutors who, based on their law enforcement experiences, absolutely and very publicly support legalizing marijuana.
So how do we talk to the police about marijuana legalization? First, here is what not to say. Don’t focus on tax revenues, racial disparities in arrest rates, how marijuana is ‘safer’
Joey Perez, front,with his mother, Mieko, their attorney Jeremy Joseph, and Joshua Shelton, a lawyer for HOPE Wellness Collective in Westminter CA, spoke at a press conference where Mieko explained how Joey barely survived almost a decade of phar- maceutical drugs that left his body at a mere 46 pounds. Joey, now 11 years old, is being treated with medical marijuana and has more than doubled his body weight. The collective has been providing medicine and other crucial services for special needs children, but was told to shut down immediately. Mieko and other families of special needs children fear there will be no safe location for them to obtain cannabis if the city closes the collective. The city later softened its posi- tion and said it will provide HOPE with the framework for discussions with the city about how to move forward.
Photo and report by Sam Sabzehzar,
Read More: SPECIAL NEEDS
Josh Howard uses chopsticks to weigh medicine at Apothecary Assistant’s Collective in Long Beach, where roughly half of the estimated 90 collectives currently open are scheduled to close when the new municipal code takes effect Aug. 29. As part of the new code, collectives are no longer allowed to offer medicine not cultivated within the city of Long Beach, and consumables other than plant matter are to be made in a licensed facility within city limits as well. Photo courtesy of Sam Sabzehzar from MedicalMarijuana411.com.
By Victor Michel
A patient support group has been formed in Riverside to help AIDS/HIV patients who use or are interested in using cannabis to treat their symptoms.
Sponsored by the THCF Medical Clinic, the group meets weekly and provides patients with information on cannabis’ health benefits, getting a doctor’s approval, methods of ingestion, obtaining medicine, and how to navigate the torturous and potentially life-threatening briar patch of laws, regulations and licensing requirements.
The Inland Empire AIDS Medical Marijuana Patient Group was formed by AIDS patient Tom Place, whose health was restored by using cannabis in conjunction with other medications. Place said, “Marijuana use is still controversial and patients find its use problematic due to a society that still does not understand its immense benefits. Many patients find that cannabis use can cause friction with family members, doctors and social workers and this
By Dave Hodges, SJCBC
Since San Jose Councilman Pierluigi Oliverio submitted his Oct. 27, 2009 memo to the rules committee calling for an ordinance regulating medical marijuana, San Jose has exploded with collectives—more than 75 are within city limits. The Council has yet to adopt an ordinance regulating collectives, but it is moving forward with both an ordinance and a tax initiative.
City staff separated the ordinance into two parts. As presented in June, both the “Land Use Urgency Ordinance” and the “Title 6 Urgency Ordinance” drew heavy opposition from the patient community. “Title 6” was called one of the most draconian ordinances in the state. Fortunately the Council did not approve either ordinance and decided to table both until after November. One stated reason for delay was to see the fate of Prop.19. The Council approved a memo by Mayor Chuck Reed and Oliverio
Evergreen State update
By Martin Martinez Lifevine Foundation
Even though Washington’s medical marijuana law allows patients to possess up to 15 plants and 24 ounces of processed medicine, there is as yet no allowance for group cultivation.
But group gardens may soon become legitimate, based on the ‘Lifevine collective model.’ Some patient advocates already are drafting proposed dispensary rules for the fall legislative session.
While multiple-patient gardens have been frequently and willfully ignored in Seattle, that tolerance is not secure under law. Roughly half the state’s population resides in other counties, and Seattle’s progressive attitude is not shared in even its closest neighboring cities.
Tacoma followed the example of Spokane in May, going after cannabis patient groups. Westnet officers served warrants at the North End 420 Club and at the home of club owner Guy Casey. Forty mature plants were seized.
Read More: Washington moves closer to collective model
Prosecutor Cooley’s bid for attorney general worries patients
By Jessica Gwyn Gelay, CannAssist.com
The glory days of dispensing medical cannabis in Los Angeles are over. That’s a get-tough theme that GOP candidate Steve Cooley is running on in his bid for California state attorney general.
The streets of LA tell a different story. In one central-city neighborhood patients say 18 of 23 collectives are still open, in defiance of city law. These clubs began operating after the city declared a moratorium, and are dubbed the “post-ICO” clubs. Some of the post-ICO groups have filed suit against the city. A first move failed when a District Court judge denied an injunction preventing the law from taking effect. This decision has been appealed.
The day after the ruling, June 7, LA Municipal Code Ch. IV, Art. 5.1 governing cannabis collectives went into effect; since then
Directive protects vets’ use
By Eugene Davidovich San Diego ASA
Undersecretary of Health for the Dept. of Veterans Affairs (VA) Robert E. Petzel, MD, issued a July 27, 2010 directive to provide clarification and guidance on the use of and access to cannabis by veteran patients. It states, “Patients participating in state medical marijuana programs must not be denied VA services.” Although Directive 2010-035 prohibits VA doctors from actually prescribing or recommending cannabis, veterans who use cannabis can now participate in VA substance-abuse, pain-control, and other clinical programs where cannabis might otherwise be considered inconsistent with treatment goals, without being denied services. The directive follows a letter sent to Michael Kravitz, executive director of Veterans for Medical Marijuana Access (VMMA), in which Dr. Petzel wrote, “lf a veteran obtains and uses medical marijuana in a manner consistent with state law, testing positive for marijuana would not preclude the veteran
Read More: VA shifts course on cannabis use