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ASA’s Media Summary for the Week Ending 5/25

Jim Finnel

Fallen Cannabis Warrior & Ex News Moderator
ASA’s Media Summary for the Week Ending 5/25
IN MEMORIAM: Doctor Who Uncovered Much About Cannabis
CONNECTICUT: State House Approves Medical Marijuana Bill
NEW JERSEY: State Preparing for Medical Marijuana Debate
MICHIGAN: Statewide Measure May Go Before Voters
RHODE ISLAND: Huge Margin for Medical Marijuana Bill
ALABAMA: Lawmakers Begin Consideration of Medical Marijuana
RESEARCH: Scientist Asks DEA to Heed Judge on Medical Marijuana
CANADA: Private vs Public Cannabis Cultivation before Court
DISPENSARIES: Many Cities Regulate But Some Resist

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IN MEMORIAM: Doctor Who Uncovered Much About Cannabis

As a government expert on drug abuse, Dr. Mikuriya seemed a good choice to lead some of the first federal inquiries into marijuana, but his research quickly uncovered a long history of medical uses that changes his opinion and put him at odds with the federal government. Over the decades that followed, he published extensive papers chronicling that history, and was one of the first doctors to champion marijuana as a drug that can safely treat a remarkably broad spectrum of conditions. He is credited with helping draft California’s medical marijuana initiative, the first in the country.

Tod H. Mikuriya, 73; psychiatrist who championed legal medical marijuana
by Valerie J. Nelson,
Los Angeles Times
Dr. Tod H. Mikuriya, a psychiatrist who was a leading figure in California's medical marijuana movement, died from complications of cancer Sunday at his Berkeley home, his family said. He was 73.

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CONNECTICUT: State House Approves Medical Marijuana Bill

Lawmakers in the “Constitution State” this week approved a measure to remove criminal penalties for their constituents who are following a doctor’s advice on using medical marijuana. The state nickname is particularly apt in this case, since the Constitution leaves to states the responsibility of looking after the health and safety of their citizens.

Compassion: Connecticut should allow medical marijuana
EDITORIAL,
Danbury News-Times (CT)
It is heartbreaking to hear patients and their loved ones begging for the legal right to the relief that marijuana provides to some patients. A carefully regulated program will allow them to get the help, the freedom, they request in a compassionate and legal manner.

House votes to legalize medical marijuana
by Mark Davis, WTNH News Channel 8 (CT)
A bill that would allow the use of medical marijuana for certain patients has been approved by the state House of Representatives.

Connecticut House OKs medical marijuana use
by Ken Dixon, Connecticut Post
After a wide-ranging, six-hour debate and several failed efforts to kill or weaken the controversial legislation, the House voted Wednesday to approve the use of marijuana by the seriously ill.

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NEW JERSEY: State Preparing for Medical Marijuana Debate

The Garden State may soon approve gardens of a medicinal nature, as lawmakers are preparing to introduce bi-partisan bills in both houses. Governor Corzine stated his support for such a bill during his campaign, and a recent opinion poll shows 86% of the state’s voters support the idea.

Walk's aim is to legalize use of medical marijuana
by Nirmal Mitra,
Asbury Park Press (NJ)
A group of Libertarian Party members plans to set out today on a "Walk Across New Jersey" with a message for lawmakers: Legalize medical marijuana.

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MICHIGAN: Statewide Measure May Go Before Voters

To date, five cities in Michigan – Ann Arbor, Detroit, Flint, Ferndale, and Traverse City – have passed voter initiatives supporting medical marijuana. The initiatives have not changed state law, but they send a message to the state’s lawmakers that it is time to act. A bill is currently stalled in committee. Enough signatures will send the initiative to the legislature for action; if they fail to pass it, the voters will decide the matter. Each of the city initiatives have passed by between 60-74%.

Group launches medical-marijuana petition in Michigan
Associated Press
A group says it plans to collect 550,000 signatures within six months to get a medical marijuana initiative on next year's statewide ballot.

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RHODE ISLAND: Huge Margin for Medical Marijuana Bill

The measure to make permanent Rhode Island’s one-year medical marijuana program passed the state House by a margin of 51-12, substantially more than necessary to override a veto, should the governor not support it. The Senate version passed out of committee 7-1.

R.I. House approves medical marijuana law
Associated Press
House lawmakers voted Wednesday to make the state's medical marijuana program permanent, setting up a conflict with Gov. Don Carcieri who previously vetoed the measure.

Medical marijuana bill passed
by Steve Peoples,
Providence Journal (RI)
Pamela Bailey sat quietly on the wooden bench inside State House Room 212 as the politicians approved the bill named for her son.

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ALABAMA: Lawmakers Begin Consideration of Medical Marijuana

It’s late in the session, but the Alabama legislature has begun hearings on a state medical marijuana bill. It may be next session before action is taken, but patients and doctors have started the process of educating lawmakers on the benefits and safety of cannabis.

Medical marijuana gets panel hearing
by Jamie Kizzire,
Montgomery Advertiser (AL)
Michael Phillips, 37, of Millbrook has sought surgery and medical treatments to curb the seizures caused by an inoperable brain tumor. The only thing that has helped has been marijuana. On Wednesday, Phillips and his mother joined four others to urge the House Civil Justice subcommittee to support a bill that would allow medical use of marijuana in Alabama.

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RESEARCH: Scientist Asks DEA to Heed Judge on Medical Marijuana

The recent ruling by a DEA administrative law judge that a university researcher should be allowed access to privately grown marijuana is not the first time the DEA has been told to change its policies. In 1988 Administrative Law Judge Francis Young ordered the agency to reschedule marijuana to allow it to be prescribed by doctors, saying its been proven to be safe and effective. The DEA refused then, and may refuse now – pointing out the need for Congress to intervene.

Medical marijuana research should not be hampered
EDITORIAL,
Honolulu Star-Bulletin
Federal agencies that oppose the medical use of marijuana are in a position to hamper scientific studies by controlling the supply of marijuana to scientists, but an administrative judge had recommended that it allow a Massachusetts researcher to grow his own. The Drug Enforcement Administration should heed the advice.

Researchers Press DEA to Let Them Grow Marijuana
by Marc Kaufman,
Washington Post
Armed with a legal decision in their favor, scientists and advocates of medical research on marijuana pressed the Drug Enforcement Administration yesterday to allow them to grow their own, saying that pot supplied by the government is too hard to get and that its poor quality limits their research.

UMass professor seeks to grow medical marijuana
by Andrew Miga,
Associated Press
May 24th, 2007
A University of Massachusetts-Amherst professor who has waged a nearly six-year fight to convince the government to let him grow marijuana for medical research pressed his case Wednesday outside U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration offices.

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CANADA: Private vs Public Cannabis Cultivation before Court

Health Canada’s program for growing and distributing medical marijuana took a blow when chemical analysis revealed that their cannabis was laced with heavy metals, a byproduct of the abandon mine that is used as a cultivation site. Patient advocates are insisting that the government allow private individuals to provide the better quality medicine that patients need, and a court case involving one of those private grows may soon decide the matter.

Cannabis court rolls on
BC News Group
Eight days of hearings on a medical marijuana case in the B.C. Supreme Court ended May 18 with plans for several more days in court in June and August.

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DISPENSARIES: Many Cities Regulate But Some Resist

Riverside, Santa Cruz, Templeton, Palm Desert are among the cities where dispensaries were in the news this week. While the experience of cities and counties that have established regulations for dispensary operations has been good, many continue to be fearful of what they will mean for their community, not realizing that it is the most seriously ill and injured who are most reliant on dispensaries for safe, consistent access. ASA’s report has the details; download it at
ASA*:*Medical Cannabis Dispensing Collectives and Local Regulation .

Burglary, raid, mezuzah underscore pot law issue
by Brad A. Greenberg,
Jewish Journal
Alex Grabiner was not a particularly religious Jew, but when he and a few friends opened a medical marijuana pharmacy last year in the San Fernando Valley, they invited an Orthodox rabbi to install three mezuzot in hopes that God would bless their business.

Riverside police raid pot dispensary
by onja Bjelland,
Press-Enterprise (CA)
Riverside police raided a medical-marijuana dispensary Tuesday that was filled with prepackaged pot stored in a 6-foot-high safe with humidity control.

Oldest pot club in Santa Cruz facing financial problems
Associated Press
The city's oldest medical marijuana club could close within months because of a severe drop in donations. Wo/Men's Alliance for Medical Marijuana, most of its 175 members seriously ill with cancer or AIDS, has reduced the amount of pot it gives away as it struggles financially. It costs $150,000 a year to operate the pot club and donations are down 60 percent.

Pot club struggles for financial survival
by Shanna McCord ,
Santa Cruz Sentinel
Santa Cruz's oldest marijuana club has seen a precipitous drop in donations that sustain the organization since the federal government raided its gardens five years ago, and organizers are worried they will have to scale back their operations or even close.

Proposed Medical Marijuana Dispensary in Templeton
KSBY - NBC TV 6 (San Luis Obispo)
The fate of another marijuana dispensary planned for Templeton could be decided next Friday.

Council votes to ban pot shops
by K. Kaufmann,
The Desert Sun
By mid-September, Palm Desert will be a dispensary-free zone. The City Council voted unanimously Thursday to permanently ban medical marijuana dispensaries in the city, while allowing CannaHelp, a dispensary on El Paseo, until Sept. 15 to make a graceful exit.

Palm Desert council to consider ban on medical marijuana dispensaries
by K. Kaufmann,
The Desert Sun (CA)
Medical marijuana dispensaries and collectives could be banned in Palm Desert come Thursday. But CannaHelp, a dispensary on El Paseo, may still be allowed to stay open for a few months.

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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 here.
 
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