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ASA’s Media Summary For The Week Ending 8/10/07

Jim Finnel

Fallen Cannabis Warrior & Ex News Moderator
ASA’s Media Summary for the Week ending 8/10/07
FEDERAL : Operators Charged after DEA Dispensary Raids
FEDERAL : Hypocrisy on Federalist Principles Glaring
KANSAS : State Measure to Protect Patients Urged
NEW MEXICO : Scare Tactics from State Law Enforcement Chief
CALIFORNIA : Officials Sorting Out Implementation
DISPENSARIES : Patient Demand Clear, Official Responses Mixed
FEDERAL: Operators Charged after DEA Dispensary Raids

Interference in California’s regulation of medical marijuana dispensaries has entailed threatening letters to landlords and the seizure of medicine and patient records. Now federal charges are being brought against some of the operators. This despite state law, local efforts at regulation, and the crucial services dispensaries offer the community’s most seriously ill and injured. The escalation has the earmarks of a failed policy in its final, desperate throes.

Medical marijuana dispenser pleads not guilty to charges of selling drug illegally
by Stephen Curran,
San Luis Obispo Tribune (CA)
The former owner of a Morro Bay medical marijuana dispensary pleaded not guilty today on charges he used his controversial co-op as a front for illegally selling the drug.

Not guilty plea in medical marijuana case
by City News Service,
Los Angeles Daily News
A Valencia man who ran a West Hollywood medical marijuana storefront pleaded not guilty Monday to federal drug charges.

Drug raids add up to federal intimidation
Freedom Newspapers
The federal Drug Enforcement Administration has started playing hardball with medical marijuana dispensaries in Los Angeles, but it’s unclear how far it will move beyond symbolic intimidation.
FEDERAL: Hypocrisy on Federalist Principles Glaring

This columnist is not the first to point out that if the present Administration were serious about its avowed principles it would not be interfering with state-level attempts to regulate medical use of marijuana. Likewise with the action of the US Supreme Court, which has taken federalist positions on guns near schools and child pornography. But in the case of both the Court and the Administration, politics and prejudice have overwhelmed principle.

Feds Bust Former Portland Police Detective for Medical Marijuana
by Tim King, Columnist,
Salem-News (OR)
The Portland Tribune's article Monday on the federal government's persistent hassling of a medical marijuana patient in Oregon, underscores the Bush administration's failure to value state's rights, and shows how they in fact do everything possible in some cases to eliminate them.
KANSAS: State Measure to Protect Patients Urged

The vast majority of Americans agree that no one should be prosecuted or imprisoned for following their doctor’s advice about medical treatment, or for helping a loved one ease their suffering. Each legislative session sees more state lawmakers considering measures to remove criminal penalties for medical use of marijuana, and Kansas may soon join the thirteen states with such exemptions.

Group Advocates for Medical Marijuana Patients in Kansas

A new, grassroots organization has been created in Kansas to advocate for legal protection of patients who use medical marijuana and for physicians who recommend the drug as part of a treatment program.

Coalition seeks marijuana legalization
by Scott Rothschild,
Lawrence Journal-World (KS)
A Lawrence woman who helped change the way marijuana cases are handled in Lawrence is leading a group that will seek a state law to legalize the use of marijuana for medical reasons.
NEW MEXICO: Scare Tactics from State Law Enforcement Chief

Federal refusal to acknowledge the medical uses of cannabis has created problems for state and local officials who want to ensure that patients can safely access the medicine their doctors recommend. New Mexico lawmakers mandated a state system of distribution, but the attorney general there is warning that federal charges against state employees could result. That seems unlikely at best, since the federal government has yet to challenge any state medical marijuana laws.

AG: NM State workers could face charges for marijuana law
by Deborah Baker,
Associated Press
The state Department of Health and its employees could face federal prosecution for implementing New Mexico’s new medical-marijuana law, the attorney general has cautioned.
CALIFORNIA: Officials Sorting Out Implementation

California local officials are starting to take seriously their charge under state law to implement safe access for qualified patients. The Mendocino ASA chapter and other local advocates worked closely with county officials to preserve a plant guideline quantity more than twice the state minimum. Pleasanton officials are also assessing patient needs in their community. Many cities and counties have established regulations for patient-run dispensing cooperatives, and others are studying the issue.

Mendocino County medical pot: 25 plants
by Ben Brown,
Ukiah Daily Journal
After eight months of discussion in the Criminal Justice Committee and nearly three hours of public comment from community members, including attorneys, doctors and medical marijuana advocates, the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors voted to uphold county medical marijuana plant limits at the number established in 2000 by Measure G.

Pleasanton looks to join medical pot needs survey
by Meera Pal,
Contra Costa Times (CA)
Tasked with determining the community's need for medical marijuana, and whether that need is being met, the Pleasanton Human Services Commission has asked city staff to approach Alameda County about being part of a blind survey of medical marijuana ID card holders.
DISPENSARIES: Patient Demand Clear, Official Responses Mixed

Patient collectives for dispensing medical cannabis have been appearing in many areas of California, particularly urban centers, because they provide not just a more efficient means of access but also support networks for the most seriously ill. Local officials are finding that sound regulatory ordinances for the operation of dispensaries can ensure patient needs are met and community concerns addressed. ASA's report on the issues involved is at ASA : Medical Cannabis Dispensing Collectives and Local Regulation.

City Hall Grapples with Medicinal Marijuana Dispensaries
by Nick Welsh,
Santa Barbara Independent
Next week, Santa Barbara city councilmembers Grant House, Helene Schneider, and Mayor Marty Blum will ask their colleagues whether the council should try to regulate the conduct of medical marijuana clinics within Santa Barbara city limits.

City firm on pot lawsuit
by Will Bigham,
Daily Bulletin (Ontario, CA)
Despite its vote last week to welcome a medical-marijuana dispensary to town, the City Council has shown no willingness to back down from its lawsuit against former dispensary operator Darrell Kruse.

Bad flashback: Pot shop re-opens, Sheriff threatens to call feds

KGET NBC TV (Bakersfield)
Hours after a local medical marijuana dispensary re-opened its doors, crowds of people lined up to get inside.

Last Pot Shop Shuts Down

KERO -TV23 (Bakersfield)
The owner of a medicinal marijuana shop in Bakersfield is closing his doors for good, after briefly re-opening Tuesday to help those he said were in need.

Pot shop owner closes business
by Jawson Kotowski,
Bakersfield Californian
Elation at reopening was replaced with resignation at closing up shop forever for the owner of the last operational medical marijuana dispensary in Kern County.

Rialto considers banning medical-marijuana shops
by Jason Pesick,
Daily Bulletin
The City Council will consider banning medical- marijuana facilities from the city on Wednesday.

Find out more about ASA at our website AmericansForSafeAccess.org
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