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ASA's Media Summary for the Week of 5/11

Jim Finnel

Fallen Cannabis Warrior & Ex News Moderator
ASA IN THE NEWS: Fighting Federal Sneak Attacks

On May 9th, the U.S Senate passed the bill to require the FDA to use greater care in regulating some pharmaceuticals. A senator from Oklahoma took the opportunity to slip in an amendment that would create additional penalties for distributing medical marijuana. If it becomes law, this amendment has the potential to undermine state medical marijuana laws.

FDA dubious over medical marijuana
by Jean Chemnick ,
The Politico
An amendment by Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) was adopted that required marijuana to undergo the same Food and Drug Administration approval process that other prescription drugs do. Steph Sherer, founder and executive director of Americans for Safe Access, which advocates for medical marijuana only, said her group learned of Coburn's amendment the night before the markup. The activists say the conservative senator clearly intended to shut down medical marijuana cooperatives.

FEDERAL: Rosenthal Re-Trial Begins Despite Rulings

Even though ASA’s chief counsel Joe Elford convinced the judge to throw out new charges against outspoken author Ed Rosenthal, prosecutors are pressing ahead with a retrial of the original counts, even though Rosenthal can get no additional jail time or fine. The first trial was the most widely publicized medical marijuana prosecution in history, but the evidence allowed at trial was so limited, jurors were stunned to discover later that the man they convicted was a deputized officer in a City of Oakland program. Jury selection begins Monday.

Ganja guru's retrial set for next week
by Josh Richman ,
ANG Newspapers (CA)
Denying a slew of defense motions, a federal judge set the stage Thursday for the marijuana-cultivation retrial of Oakland's "Guru of Ganja" Ed Rosenthal to begin next week.

FEDERAL: Raich Drops Suit Against Government

Increasing health problems have compelled a patient to drop her latest bid to win protection from federal prosecution. Angel Raich made history when she convinced a federal appeals court that the US government should not have jurisdiction over medical marijuana she was using in compliance with state law; the US Supreme Court overturned that ruling.

Oakland activist drops medical marijuana case
by Josh Richman ,
ANG Newspapers
Oakland medical marijuana patient and activist Angel Raich dropped her lawsuit against the federal government Thursday, ending a five-year legal odyssey which had taken her all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Medical Marijuana Activist Raich Drops Federal Lawsuit
KTVU (San Francisco)
An Oakland mother of two who smokes or eats marijuana every few hours to ease chronic pain said Thursday she would quit her losing legal battle in federal court to legally take the drug.

FEDERAL: Medical Marijuana Provider Going to Prison

While Ed Rosenthal may face no time in his current trial, other providers of medical marijuana rarely fare as well. More than 90 Californians are currently facing federal prosecution for helping patients obtain the medicine their doctors recommend, in compliance with state law.

Restaurateur sentenced in pot warehouse case
by Henry K. Lee ,
San Francisco Chronicle
A restaurateur from Alameda was sentenced today to a year and a day in federal prison for his role in growing nearly 3,000 marijuana plants found in a West Oakland warehouse that supporters say was a legitimate supplier of medical cannabis.

NEVADA: First Return of Property for State Patient

ASA has helped many California patients retrieve their medical marijuana from law enforcement after erroneous seizures, but the case of a Nevada woman who reclaimed her medicine from Las Vegas Police appears to be a first in that state.

Las Vegas police give woman back her drugs
United Press International
A Nevada woman got her marijuana and pipe back from police Wednesday after her drug possession case was dismissed in Municipal Court.

ILLINOIS: Senate Narrowly Rejects Medical Marijuana Bill

Despite considerable pressure from health organizations and public opinion, Illinois state senators rejected a bill that would have removed criminal penalties for patients there. But with a change of only four votes need for passage, supporters are hopeful that protections will be enacted in the next session.

Illinois Senate votes down medical marijuana bill
by Erik Potter ,
St. Louis Post Dispatch
Hopes of legalizing medical marijuana in Illinois have gone up in smoke — for now. The Illinois Senate, by a narrow 22-29 vote, turned down a bill that would have allowed doctors to prescribe the drug to patients suffering from painful, debilitating conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis or epilepsy.

Medical marijuana measure fails in Illinois Senate
by Stephanie Sievers ,
Quad Cities Online (IL)
A measure that would have allowed seriously ill people to legally use marijuana failed in the Illinois Senate Thursday.

Medical marijuana bill fails state Senate
by Amber Ellis ,
Daily Herald (IL)
Illinois lawmakers rejected a proposal Thursday that would have legalized medical marijuana, snuffing the first attempt in nearly 30 years to allow a drug some say is their only relief from the painful symptoms of debilitating diseases.

MINNESOTA: Opinionmakers Press for Medical Marijuana Bill

The debate over medical marijuana in Minnesota has heated up this week, in the wake of senate action approving a state bill. Editorial writers, law enforcement officers, and others are voicing their support for the measure, in hopes of convincing the governor to sign it.

OUR VIEW: It’s time to pass medical marijuana
EDITORIAL , Winona Daily News (MN)
To hear some Republican legislators talk, Minnesota might as well start putting heroin in milk and open a methadone clinic on every street corner. A new law in the Legislature has created quite a little rhetoric by some politicians who worry that legalizing marijuana for medical use would throw open the door to drugs.

Governor Buzzkill
by Mike Mosedale , Columnist,
City Pages (Minneapolis)
After a medical marijuana bill squeaked through the state Senate last week, supporters were quick to herald its passage as a historic moment. In the past, similar legislation had never even gotten a floor vote.

Effects of allowing medical use of marijuana overstated
by Steve Murphy , OP/ED,
Rochester Post Bulletin (MN)
The Chatfield chief of police has expressed his opposition to legislation that would allow seriously ill people to use medical marijuana. While I appreciate his interest in protecting the public, I believe his concerns surrounding medical marijuana are unfounded.

Officers don’t have a problem with medical marijuana
by Howard J. Wooldridge, OP/ED ,
Winona Daily News (MN)
As a retired police officer with 18 years of experience, I can assure you that my profession will have no problem enforcing a medical marijuana law in Minnesota.

Ortman not dealing with reality
by Jacob Mahan , OP/ED,
Winona Daily News (MN)
I just finished reading Sen. Julianne Ortman’s column titled “Why medical marijuana is wrong for Minnesota” and was left terribly confused.

CANADA: Private Growers Challenge Medical Monopoly

Health Canada provides medical marijuana to patients there, but many have criticized the quality of what they distribute, and private “compassion clubs” continue to supply many patients with different varieties of marijuana. A case involving two growers will test the current restrictions in Canada, where courts have said access to medical marijuana is a constitutional right.

Grow-op bust brings out pot advocates
by Brennan Clarke ,
Goldstream News-Gazette (Canada)
To the prosecution, it’s a simple case of production for the purposes of trafficking, involving two local men caught red-handed growing a crop of 900 marijuana plants. To Vancouver Island Compassion Society founder Philippe Lucas, it’s a constitutional challenge to Canada’s medical marijuana laws.

Medical pot court challenge begins
by Richard Watts ,
Times Colonist (Canada)
A constitutional challenge to Canada's medical marijuana regulations began yesterday, part of the B.C. Supreme Court trial of two Victorians charged after a police raid of a compassion club grow-op.

Find out more about ASA at AmericansForSafeAccess.org . More medical marijuana news summaries can be seen at ASA*:*Medical Marijuana News Summaries .
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