MARIJUANA NEWS, ROOTS, AND CULTURE FROM HUMBOLDT AND MENDOCINO COUNTIES……….. ~EMERALD TRIANGLE NEWS AGENCY 2011~ EMERALD TRIANGLE, CALIFORNIA
Chaotic and Contradictory Marijuana Laws for Medical Marijuana Patients
The local, state and federal laws regulating medical marijuana in California grew even hazier with the Obama administration’s recent memo that threatened to prosecute anyone in the business of growing or supplying pot to patients.
The memo represented a significant departure from its sensible October 2009 guidelines that essentially assured dispensaries and patients that the federal government was not interested in going after operations that complied with state law.
Now the clinics are put in the untenable position of wondering whether the next knock on the door might be from federal agents.
The state of the law could not be more chaotic and contradictory. Marijuana remains classified as an illegal drug under federal law, period. California voters sanctioned the use of marijuana for medical purposes in 1996, but the state has all but looked the other way about where and how those dispensaries have been obtaining bulk quantities of the drug. The voter-approved initiative offered little guidance – other than expressly allowing cultivation for personal use – and elected leaders in Sacramento have largely avoided the supply question.
Some cities, notably Oakland, have tried to fill the void by legalizing large-scale indoor growing operations – but backed off when the U.S. attorney warned that it would be in violation of state and federal law.
Meanwhile, dispensaries have proliferated in many cities, classified ads for friendly doctors are abundant, and patient ID cards are not much more difficult to obtain than a box of Sudafed. Personal possession of less than an ounce of marijuana without a doctor’s recommendation has been reduced to an infraction, with a $100 fine.
California voters wisely rejected Prop. 19 last year, which would have legalized marijuana without sufficient controls and restraints. It would have made no sense to replace one form of chaos with another – and almost certainly would have attracted an aggressive federal response.
The feds are raising fair questions about whether a see-no-evil approach to the growing and supply chain has allowed cartels and other crime operations to exploit the lax oversight.
Perhaps the feds might be more willing to defer to state laws if they were more structured and realistic. But that would require a level of leadership that has been missing on this issue at the state level over the past 15 years.
"The prestige of government has undoubtedly been lowered considerably by the prohibition law. For nothing is more destructive of respect for the government and the law of the land than passing laws which cannot be enforced. It is an open secret that the dangerous increase of crime in this country is closely connected with this." Albert Einstein, "My First Impression of the USA," 1921
Ngaio Bealum joins us to discuss the effects of the West Coast medical marijuana crackdown, promoting May 20 Portland Mt. Tabor Theater show; Dave Bienenstock from HIGH TIMES with a preview of the newsstand issue and San Francisco's Medical Cannabis Cup; music by The Effinays
Live report from attorneys Lance Rogers and Michael Cindrich at the San Diego NORML protest of DEA abuse of Daniel Chong; highlights from the DFW NORML Cinco de Mota march; Rant: Debunking No on I-502 Misinformation, Again.
Sacramento News & Review, 23 May 2013 - Can you update us on some of the latest developments in the world of medical-cannabis research? - -Wanda Wellness Yes, I can! A new study by Israel's Meir Medical Center has found that inhaled cannabis is very effective for people with Crohn's disease. The study, which will be published in an upcoming iss […]
Sacramento News & Review, 23 May 2013 - Eastern District Head Benjamin Wagner Explains That Colorado, Washington Faces Less Fed Intervention Because Laws Are Better Weed 'Free-For-All' Sacramento-based U.S. Attorney Benjamin Wagner drives a minivan.
East Bay Express, 22 May 2013 - New research suggests that the main ingredient in marijuana may help alleviate the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder. It is believed that some 7.7 million Americans suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD. Yet current treatments for the sometimes devastating anxiety disorder have limited efficacy. Now, a Y […]
Los Angeles Times, 23 May 2013 - Lawsuits and Other Challenges Await Measure Reducing Number of Shops. Los Angeles voters took regulation of the city's medical marijuana shops into their own hands Tuesday, embracing a ballot measure to sharply reduce the number of dispensaries in the city.
Los Angeles Times, 22 May 2013 - Proposition D, Which Would Cut the Number of Dispensaries to About 130, Was Leading. After years of futile attempts by lawmakers to regulate the medical marijuana industry in Los Angeles, a ballot measure to sharply limit the number of pot dispensaries in the city was leading in early returns Tuesday.
Los Angeles Times, 18 May 2013 - Re "The marijuana measures," Editorial, May 10 Your editorial supporting Measure D mentions medical marijuana as a treatment for glaucoma patients. In my 25 years as a glaucoma sufferer, I have never been prescribed marijuana.
Times-Press-Recorder, 17 May 2013 - To the Editor: The legalization of marijuana is a huge issue. It should be legalized for many reasons. Clearly, this is a controversial issue, but if we legalized marijuana there would be a lot of good that will come out of it. It will also solve a lot of the huge problems.
The Bakersfield Californian, 16 May 2013 - Bakersfield City Council member Terry Maxwell on Wednesday called for City Attorney Ginny Gennaro to draft an ordinance banning medical marijuana shops in the city. Medical marijuana advocates and opponents made conflicting appeals to the Bakersfield City Council Wednesday night.
Sacramento News & Review, 16 May 2013 - So, there will never be pot clubs in Sacramento County after last week's California Supreme Court ruling, right? - -Despondent Dave Nil desperandum, Dave! It's not as bad as you may think. Yes, the California Supreme Court ruled that cities and counties are allowed to ban medical-marijuana dispensaries, s […]