Archive for the ‘California Marijuana’ Category

Confusion reigns over medical marijuana as states and Feds clash – CSMonitor.com

Tuesday, December 13th, 2011

A “giant mess” is how Los Angeles City Councilman José Huizar sees the conundrum over the expansion of medical marijuana, which is seen across the city in the growing number of patients with prescriptions, dispensaries popping up faster than Starbucks shops, and neighborhood complaints about rising crime and traffic.

The root of the “mess”? The challenge of carrying out the will of Californians, who in 1996 voted to decriminalize marijuana sales and possession for medicinal use, even as the federal government still deems marijuana, “medical” or not, to be an illegal drug, he says.

Such is the case in 15 other states that allow medical marijuana, leaving their local governments to sort out for themselves whether to encourage an above-board marijuana industry, as Oakland, Calif., has done, to fight it tooth and nail on grounds it’s illegal under federal law, or to otherwise regulate it. Whatever they decide, it carries the risk of being in trouble with either state officials or federal authorities.

How much do you know about marijuana? Take the quiz.

via Confusion reigns over medical marijuana as states and Feds clash – CSMonitor.com.

Editorial: Compassion missing from medical pot alliance’s shutdown – Marin Independent Journal

Tuesday, December 13th, 2011

THE U.S. crackdown on medical marijuana dispensaries is closing one that has been a model for how Californians intended the voter-approved legalization to work.

The Marin Alliance for Medical Marijuana opened under the state Compassionate Use Act of 1996 and has shown that pot can be sold for medical needs without creating law-enforcement or other problems.

The Marin Alliance for Medical Marijuana dispensary has met Prop. 215′s goal of providing marijuana to those who need it for medical reasons, from nausea and wasting to glaucoma. In Marin, 73 percent of voters backed Prop. 215.

Last week, the 14-year-old operation announced it was being forced to close its doors on Dec. 17 because its landlord has been told by federal officials that he faces fines and confiscation of his property if doesn’t evict the dispensary.

For those who bought marijuana there — with a physician’s blessing — they now have to either go without or buy it on the streets.

There are significant problems with medical pot in California, but closing a clinic with a long track record of operating properly is the wrong approach.

Proposition 215 is far from perfect, but state voters sent a clear message in 1996 that marijuana should be treated differently than narcotics and other drugs.

If it were not for the federal designation, California’s measure could have specified that the medical sale of marijuana be controlled through pharmacies and prescriptions.

via Editorial: Compassion missing from medical pot alliance’s shutdown – Marin Independent Journal.

California pot growers shifting crop to private farmlands – Politics Wires – MiamiHerald.com

Friday, December 9th, 2011

WASHINGTON — California’s commercial pot growers are moving plots from national forests to Central Valley farmland, Fresno County Sheriff Margaret Mims told senators Wednesday.

Citing a “conspicuous shift” in drug cultivation tactics, Mims added that growers also are increasingly using the “guise” of medical marijuana in an effort to protect their work that, arrest records show, frequently relies on illegal immigrants.

“Rather than growing marijuana in the relative secrecy and anonymity afforded by remote public lands, many moved illicit operations onto private agricultural lands,” Mims advised the Senate Caucus on International Narcotics Control, which held a hearing Wednesday on marijuana cultivation on public lands.

Fresno County has seen a drop in marijuana plots on public lands. In 2009, for instance, law enforcement investigators identified 81 marijuana-growing sites on public lands in Fresno County. In 2010, the number fell to 19. This year, only eight have been found.

via California pot growers shifting crop to private farmlands – Politics Wires – MiamiHerald.com.

The Bay Area Reporter Online | Feds to meet with Ammiano on pot laws

Friday, December 9th, 2011

After more than two months of confusion amid a crackdown by the federal Department of Justice on medical cannabis dispensaries, Assemblyman Tom Ammiano is expected to meet soon with the U.S. attorney’s office, the Bay Area Reporter has learned.

The private meeting is expected to take place next week between Ammiano, the San Francisco Democrat, and Melinda Haag, the U.S. attorney for the Northern District of California. The decision by Haag to meet with Ammiano comes just one week after U.S. District Court Judge Saundra Brown Armstrong ruled against three Bay Area medical marijuana dispensaries, one of the dispensary’s patients, and another’s landlord.

“U.S. Attorney Haag’s office has responded to our request and Assemblyman Ammiano will be meeting with her sometime next week,” Quintin Mecke, Ammiano’s communications director, told the Bay Area Reporter .

via The Bay Area Reporter Online | Feds to meet with Ammiano on pot laws.

Marijuana, Narcotics Help Patients Reduce Chronic Pain, Study Finds

Friday, December 9th, 2011

WASHINGTON — A new study out of UC San Francisco has found that medical marijuana, combined with certain opiates, appears to be a safe and effective treatment for patients with chronic pain.

The study, published this month in Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics, found that patients who use cannabinoids inhaled through a vaporizer, combined with long-acting morphine or long-acting oxycodone, experienced a greater reduction of pain than those who used opiates alone.

The 21 chronic pain patients involved in the study were split into two groups. Those who combined four consecutive days of exposure to vaporized cannabis with morphine experienced a 33 percent reduction in pain, while those who combined it with oxycodone saw a drop in pain of 20 percent. The study is the first to examine the combined effect of these drugs on humans.

via Marijuana, Narcotics Help Patients Reduce Chronic Pain, Study Finds.

California Marijuana Dispensary Trades Pot for Food to Feed the Hungry – ABC News

Friday, December 9th, 2011

Medical marijuana users are accustomed to the munchies sending them on a hunt for food. Now they have a place where giving their food away can score them some pot.

For the second year in a row, one California medical marijuana dispensary is doing its part to feed the hungry by offering their patients a trade: one free joint for every six cans of donated food.

“We’re in a really controversial industry, and we wanted to show that we’re here for good,” says Nancy Black, sales manager at the Granny Purps dispensary in Soquel, Calif.

The dispensary is running its unique food drive for the second year in a row, trading joints — Black calls them “pre-rolls”– for donated food.

There is no limit to the number of free joints a single customer can receive.

“We’ve given away 50, 60, pre-rolls at a time to one person for the amount of cans they’ve brought in,” Black said.

via California Marijuana Dispensary Trades Pot for Food to Feed the Hungry – ABC News.

Bay Area medical marijuana dispensaries face a federal crackdown | Local: In Oakland | an SFGate.com blog

Friday, December 9th, 2011

Fifteen years after the adoption of Proposition 215, the Compassionate Use Act, a great disparity between state and federal drug laws exists in California.

In October, the U.S. Department of Justice announced a crackdown on medical marijuana facilities. The four U.S. Attorneys for California began sending out eviction notices to various medical marijuana dispensaries throughout the state. Melinda Haag, U.S. Attorney for Northern California sent 45 day warning eviction notices to three dispensaries in San Francisco. Since then, three dispensaries in San Francisco have closed and many other dispensary owners and patients across the Bay Area are worried about what will happen to California’s medical marijuana laws.

via Bay Area medical marijuana dispensaries face a federal crackdown | Local: In Oakland | an SFGate.com blog.

Does Long Beach Really Have to Ban Marijuana Dispensaries? – Orange County News – Navel Gazing

Friday, December 9th, 2011

Ever since a pair of Long Beach medical-marijuana smokers won a Sept. 24 ruling that threw the city’s ordinance regulating cannabis clubs into doubt, rumors have abounded that Long Beach, whose 2010 ordinance allowed pot clubs to operate if they won a $14,000 permit, will soon ban all dispensaries. Cities throughout the state are watching to see what happens as they decide how to respond, and the Long Beach City Council is expected to hear an update on a proposed ban at its Dec. 12 meeting.

Not so fast, argues the Long Beach Collective Association, a group of local dispensaries that yesterday handed the council a document detailing how the city can change its ordinance to comply with state law.

According a story yesterday in Village Voice Media’s marijuana blog, Toke of the Town, the group believes that while the court ruling — known as the Pack decision and named after one of the plaintiffs, Ryan Pack — may not allow the city to issue permits requiring dispensaries to cultivate a plant that’s illegal under federal law (this is what Long Beach’s ordinance effectively did), the ruling doesn’t necessarily mean the city has to shut the clubs down.

via Does Long Beach Really Have to Ban Marijuana Dispensaries? – Orange County News – Navel Gazing.

DEA: Crackdown Pushing Pot Growers North | NBC San Diego

Friday, December 9th, 2011

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) believes a crackdown on illegal pot growers in the backcountry is pushing the farmers out of San Diego County and into larger counties, according to a spokesperson for the DEA.

Click here for photos of recent raids

Every year the DEA scours the backcountry, searching for outdoor plots of land where illegal marijuana is being grown. But this year they’re seeing a drop.

Special agents destroyed nearly 200,000 marijuana plants found in San Diego County this year, according to the DEA. That’s fewer than last year, which was already down from 2009.

“The traffickers have learned that if they see helicopters overhead, that’s a really bad thing for them and we have helicopters flying overhead every day so I think that’s what’s driving them north,” said Bill Sherman from the DEA San Diego Field Division.

Sherman says avocado farmers are often helpful because they notice when an illegal grower is still their area and then they notify the authorities.

The DEA arrested 107 illegal growers in 2011.

via DEA: Crackdown Pushing Pot Growers North | NBC San Diego.

Sacramento supervisors outlaw medicinal pot dispensaries in the county – Marijuana – sacbee.com

Friday, December 9th, 2011

Sacramento County supervisors said they wanted to make it unambiguous that they won’t permit medical marijuana dispensaries.

So board members passed a county zoning amendment that fails to include the words “medical” or “marijuana” or “dispensaries.”

Instead, supervisors are seeking to bring an end to the county’s once teeming medical marijuana trade by denying business permits to establishments that conflict with “either state or federal law, or both” under a new policy approved Tuesday.

The board’s action comes after aggressive code enforcement efforts – and threats of federal prosecution or property seizures – shuttered all but a handful of marijuana stores in the county’s unincorporated communities.

via Sacramento supervisors outlaw medicinal pot dispensaries in the county – Marijuana – sacbee.com.