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ASA’s Media Summary For 7/1-7/21

Jim Finnel

Fallen Cannabis Warrior & Ex News Moderator
MEDICAL MARIJUANA IN THE NEWS

ASA’s Media Summary for 7/1-7/21
ASA ACTION: Voter Rights Protected by Initiative Case
ASA ACTION: Fighting for the Truth about Medical Marijuana
COLORADO: ASA Action for Better Access
LOS ANGELES: City Trying to Regulate, Feds Trying to Intimidate
FEDERAL: Rosenthal to Appeal Medical Marijuana Conviction
CALIFORNIA: Orange County to Issue Medical Marijuana ID Cards
HAWAII: Expansion of Medical Marijuana Protections Sought
WASHINGTON: Program Expansion Sought There, Too
VIRGINIA: Medical Use of Marijuana - Criminal or Not?
ASA ACTION: Voter Rights Protected by Initiative Case

A local California medical marijuana initiative that election officials say was narrowly defeated has become a test case for electronic voting machines. When proponents of the measure asked for a recount, Alameda County election officials said they could not provide data to prove that the machines had accurately tallied votes. ASA sued to make sure elections remain accountable to the people. “We’re trying to be good stewards of democracy,” said ASA’s Don Duncan.

Medical marijuana election may head to revote
by Henry K. Lee,
San Francisco Chronicle
An Alameda County judge said Friday she may void election results for a failed 2004 Berkeley medical marijuana measure and order it returned to the ballot because county election officials failed to hand over data from voting machines.

Judge scolds officials for blocking vote recount
by Ian Hoffman,
The Argus (CA)
Faced with accusations of lying, destroying public records and other chicanery, Alameda County officials — facing a lawsuit over their handling of a hotly contested election recount — instead protested to a state judge on Friday that they were victims of misunderstandings, bad decisions and their own ignorance of the multimillion-dollar machines used to conduct elections.

Berkeley's Measure R Could Be Back In The Ballots
ABC7 KGO-TV (San Francisco)
A 2004 Berkeley ballot measure may be re-appearing on their 2008 ballot, that's according to an Alameda County superior court judge who found there was no way to accurately re-count votes because the registrar's office didn't back-up electronic data properly. Could it happen again?

Judge Calls For New Vote After Data Loss
by Bobby Carroll, Daily Californian
A re-vote on a 2004 medical marijuana initiative appears likely after a judge issued a tentative ruling Thursday stating that electronic election data lost by Alameda County were critical to discerning the legitimacy of the Measure R voting results.

New vote likely in California e-voting case
by Stephen Lawson,
IDG News Service
A California judge is likely to order a Berkeley city initiative back on the ballot because of local officials' mishandling of electronic voting machine data, a public-interest lawyer arguing the case said Friday.
ASA ACTION: Fighting for the Truth about Medical Marijuana

ASA’s petition to correct the government’s denial of medical marijuana has gone to federal court. ASA wants the Department of Health and Human Services to end two years of delay and respond to the petition, which outlines the substantial scientific research and government reports showing the therapeutic efficacy of marijuana and asks the government to stop saying there is no medical use. Arguing on behalf of patients was co-counsel Alan Morrison, the founder of Public Citizen’s Litigation Group and currently a senior lecturer at Stanford Law School. More info about the petition and the case is at ASA : Recognizing Science using the Data Quality Act.

Pot Group Sues to Make Feds Eat Words
by Matthew Hirsch, The Recorder
Medical marijuana advocates and federal prosecutors have never agreed on whether the drug has medical value. Now, an Oakland, Calif.-based advocacy group, Americans for Safe Access, is trying to use a little-known Clinton-era law to make federal agencies take back statements about marijuana -- for example, that pot has "no currently accepted medical use."
COLORADO: ASA Action for Better Access

Close on the heels of a victory in another Colorado caregiver test case, attorney Brian Vicente has convinced a state court to intervene on behalf of patient access and allow caregivers to help more patients. Vicente, who is director of the Colorado Campaign for Safe Access, a joint project of Sensible Colorado and ASA, also recently had an OpEd published in which he explained how medical marijuana dispensaries can both benefit the community and serve the most seriously ill and injured. Others in Colorado are hoping to help the patient collective model develop there.

Judge: Colorado Medical-Marijuana Restriction Unfair
Associated Press
In response to a lawsuit brought by a man suffering from AIDS, a judge has temporarily blocked a state rule limiting the number of medical-marijuana patients that caregivers are allowed to oversee.

Marijuana pain relief
by Ted Holteen,
Durango Herald (CO)
Durango prides itself on being a "green" city, but two local men think it could be greener. Aamann Degarth and Eric Gay are spearheading an effort to open a local chapter of the Portland, Ore.-based The Hemp and Cannabis - or THC - Foundation, which advocates the use of medicinal marijuana in the 13 states that have legalized the practice.
LOS ANGELES: City Trying to Regulate, Feds Trying to Intimidate

Local officials in California’s most populace city had only just begun the process of developing regulations for their medical marijuana dispensaries when federal officials started to undermine the process. In January the DEA launched a day of coordinated raids followed by threatening “courtesy calls,” tactics clearly designed to intimidate, as an editorial in the Orange County Register noted. Last week the DEA threatened landlords who rent to state-sanctioned public health collectives, telling them the federal government may seize the landlords’ assets. That action was followed by raids on LA-area dispensaries and a flurry of federal charges. As the Los Angeles Times editorial on the subject notes, Congress can put a stop to these heavy-handed attempts at undermining state and city efforts by passing the Hinchey-Rohrabacher Amendment.

Regulating Reefer
by Daniel Harju,
LA City Beat
When a working group of city officials and medical marijuana advocates first met in February to decide how Los Angeles should regulate its medical marijuana market, they were surprised to learn that nobody could say how many dispensaries are in the city. No one was keeping track.

Crushing Your Local Cannibis Collectives
by Ron Garmon,
LA City Beat
White House drug czar John P. Walters isn’t a figure to command awe, so rhetoric had some considerable slack to transcend. Out in Redding last Thursday, July 12, to bestow federal benediction on a National Guard/Shasta County pot-eradication drive, the director of the Office of National Drug Policy called on America to overcome its “reefer blindness” and realize the marijuana plants destroyed by Operation Alesia were sewn on its own public land by “violent criminal terrorists.” The meme was the message as Walters gave the money quote another airing: “Don’t buy drugs,” he declared. “They fund violence and terror.”

DEA targets landlords of pot outlets
by Eric Bailey,
Los Angeles Times
Raising the stakes in the federal government's war against medical marijuana, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration has warned more than 150 Los Angeles landlords that they risk arrest and the loss of their properties if they continue renting to cannabis dispensaries.

Feds indict medical pot dispensary operators
by Eric Bailey,
Los Angeles Times
The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration announced a set of indictments Tuesday alleging that operators of nearly a dozen medical marijuana dispensaries — including two in West Hollywood — profiteered from the illegal distribution of pot.

Authorities allege medical marijuana stores profited from sales
Associated Press
Federal authorities have indicted the operators of nearly a dozen medical marijuana dispensaries in California alleging they illegally distributed pot for significant profit.

DEA shuts down dispensary
by Will Bigham, Ontario Daily Bulletin (CA)
The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration raided and closed down a medical-marijuana dispensary here as protesters rallied outside Tuesday morning.

Ex-pot dispensary owner indicted for sales at shop
by Leslie Parrilla,
San Luis Obispo Tribune
The former owner of a Morro Bay medical marijuana dispensary was indicted Tuesday on federal charges of selling the drug for profit and distributing it to minors.

Nature's Medicinal Cooperative raided a second time
by Brynn Galindo,
KGET NBC TV Bakersfield
An Oildale medical marijuana dispensary was raided Monday by federal agents for the second time in three months.
COMMENT/ANALYSIS

New challenges for medical marijuana
EDITORIAL,
Los Angeles Times
As they have for the last several years, Reps. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Huntington Beach) and Maurice D. Hinchey (D-N.Y.) are sponsoring an amendment that would kill funding for federal efforts to preempt state medical marijuana initiatives, and although Congress should in general avoid this kind of procedural finagling, it would at least halt the DEA's efforts to thwart the will of voters and legislatures in 12 states. And if the DEA refuses to listen, Congress should consider doing away with civil asset forfeiture altogether.

Prosecutors waste resources on medipot cases
by Tom Elias, Columnist,
Daily Breeze (CA)
There's something almost idiotic about the obviously confused and misguided way in which federal authorities are trying to enforce anti-marijuana laws in California.

Feds digging deep in pot-dispensary blitz
by David Olson,
Press Enterprise (CA)
Tuesday's raid on a marijuana dispensary in Corona is part of broader law-enforcement efforts to shut down medical-pot outlets throughout Southern California.
FEDERAL: Rosenthal to Appeal Medical Marijuana Conviction

In the retrial of federal charges related to Ed Rosenthal’s role in Oakland’s medical marijuana program, the jury again was kept from learning anything about that role or program, or the state laws and local ordinances designed to protect him. The narrow evidence allowed again resulted in conviction, but Rosenthal says he should not have been prevented from calling the witnesses he wanted.

California's 'ganja guru' vows conviction appeal
Reuters
California's "ganja guru" will not have to go to jail but still plans to appeal felony marijuana convictions with the aim of renewing a courtroom fight over state and federal laws that are sharply at odds.
CALIFORNIA: Orange County to Issue Medical Marijuana ID Cards

Initial reluctance gave way to support as Orange County supervisors considered the implementation of state-mandated medical marijuana ID cards. The Orange County ASA chapter and Safe Access Now worked hard lobbying the board and convincing them to approve the program. The California Medical Marijuana Program Act of 2003 directs county health departments to issue the cards, which help law enforcement identify qualified patients.

O.C. to license medical marijuana
by Christian Berthelsen,
Los Angeles Times
Orange County will begin licensing medical marijuana use and issuing identification cards to patients who are entitled to it under a plan approved by county supervisors Tuesday.

OC Supervisors OK medical pot ID
by Peggy Lowe,
Orange County Register
Medical marijuana users will finally be able to get county-issued photo identification cards within four months even while their ability to buy cannabis at legal local dispensaries is growing increasingly difficult.

A charter member of O.C.'s cannabis club
by Dana Parsons, Columnist,
Los Angeles Times
I hadn't talked to Marvin Chavez since an Orange County jury convicted him in 1998 of selling marijuana. He was fuming about it then, and he's fuming now.
HAWAII: Expansion of Medical Marijuana Protections Sought

Many states that have enacted medical marijuana laws are discovering that they need to revisit restrictions they placed on what conditions may be legally treated with marijuana, not to mention how much patients and caregivers are allowed to possess. Hawaii is one such, and opinion-makers there are calling for the legislature to act to expand the state’s program.

Give protection to patients who need medical marijuana
EDITORIAL,
Honolulu Star-Bulletin
State laws allowing medical use of marijuana have been on the books for nearly a decade but have been hampered by federal attempts to undermine them. The number of patients has dwindled as they have become subject to arrest and physicians have grown reluctant to prescribe pot. Legislation that should have been enacted this year is needed to protect patients using marijuana and physicians prescribing it.
WASHINGTON: Program Expansion Sought There, Too

Patients and officials in Washington state agree that the program there is working but could do better. Easing of restrictions on quantities patients may possess is one of the likely outcomes of a legislative process begun there.

WA state’s medical marijuana rules soon to become less ambiguous
by Curt Woodward,
Associated Press
This fall, sober public servants will convene a series of meetings across Washington state to answer a pressing question: Just how much marijuana constitutes a two-month supply?
VIRGINIA: Medical Use of Marijuana - Criminal or Not?

Political and scientific issues around medical marijuana can be argued in the abstract, but it is the experience of patients and those who care for them that best highlights what is at stake. Virginia does not make exceptions to its marijuana prohibition for patients, but when a man there was busted for growing cannabis for his seriously ill wife, but no one thinks he should go to jail for it.

Pot Bust Brings Up Medicinal Use Issue
by Liz Nagy,
NBC29 (VA)
An Albemarle County drug case is relighting the conversation about medical marijuana. Gary Peck was on the receiving end of the biggest pot bust ever in the county, but won't go to jail for it. Some say the issue isn't what he did, but why he did it.

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MORE ABOUT AMERICANS FOR SAFE ACCESS
Find out more about ASA at ASA : Advancing Legal Medical Marijuana Therapeutics and Research. More medical marijuana news summaries can be seen at ASA : Medical Marijuana News Summaries.
 
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