ASA ACTION: Defending Patients’ Right to Work
The California Supreme Court heard oral arguments this week from ASA Chief Counsel Joe Elford on behalf of patients’ right to use medical marijuana without fear of termination. ASA contends that the voters intended for a patient using medical marijuana should be accorded the same workplace protections as those using other prescription drugs. This case is being closely watched, as it will affect how the state’s employers handle employee drug testing. For a video of the hearing, see www.calchannel.com/MEDIA/1106D.asx
Calif high court considers whether medical pot users can be fired
by Paul Elias, Associated Press
When his new boss at Ragingwire Inc. ordered Gary Ross to take a drug test, the recently hired computer tech had no doubt the results would come back positive for marijuana. But along with his urine sample, Ross submitted a doctor's recommendation that he smoke pot to alleviate back pain—a document he figured would save him from being fired.
Calif. Supreme Court May Need Tiebreaker for Pot Dispute
by Mike McKee, The Recorder (CA)
Pity Justice Carol Corrigan. Not only was she sick with the flu on Tuesday, but she might turn out to be the deciding vote in a major case that could determine whether employers have the right to fire employees who use marijuana as medicine.
Local Man's Firing for Medical Pot Goes to State's High Court
by George Warren, KXTV News 10
California's medical marijuana law is facing a critical test Tuesday morning. The state Supreme Court will decide if an employee can be fired for off-duty marijuana use.
The Clash Between Federal Drug Law and California's "Medical Marijuana" Law
by Vikram David Amar, FindLaw
Two news items during the past couple of weeks in California highlight the complicated legal and political tangle that is American federalism - the relationship between federal and state governments -- today. Both incidents involve the interplay between, on one hand, California's (now decade-old) decision to decriminalize marijuana use for medicinal purposes, and, on the other hand, the continuing illegality under federal law of all marijuana cultivation, possession, distribution and use, for any purpose.
NETHERLANDS: Health Minister Defends Medical Marijuana
Cannabis is available by prescription from Dutch pharmacies, but the Health Ministry would like to see more progress on research into targeted cannabis derivatives. A five-year extension to the government-funded program will ensure patient needs are met while drug development process goes forward.
More research into medical marijuana
Research into the medicinal effects of cannabis should be continued for a further five years, health minister Ab Klink said on Wednesday. The extension means there is a serious chance a medicine with cannabis as a raw material can be developed, a ministry spokesman said.
Dutch health minister extends medical marijuana program for five years
The Dutch Health Ministry announced plans Wednesday to extend its experimental medical marijuana program for five years, despite setbacks. Under the program, launched in 2003, standardized marijuana is grown by government-licensed growers under controlled conditions and sold by prescription in pharmacies.
Dutch want cannabis registered as regular medicine
by Emma Thomasson, Reuters UK
The Dutch government said on Wednesday it wants to promote the development of cannabis-based medicine and will extend the drug's availability in pharmacies by five years to allow more scientific research.
OREGON: Grand Jury OK with Medical Hash-Making
Claims that hash processed from legal medical marijuana is no longer a protected substance were rejected by a grand jury in Oregon. While many patients use the whole plant, separating the active ingredients from the fibrous material reduces the amount of other chemicals ingested, without altering the therapeutic efficacy.
Grand jury says no to prosecuting medical pot user on hash charge
A grand jury has refused to indict a man police suspected was making hashish or hash oil from his medical marijuana.
CALIFORNIA: Not All State and Local Officials Adhere to Law
Since voters removed criminal penalties for medical use and the legislature expanded protections, many California law enforcement officers have diligently applied the law. But others have hidden behind federal prohibition, despite a constitutional obligation to uphold state law first. Some have even actively undermined state law by turning medical marijuana patients and providers over to federal prosecution, where they face harsh sentences and no opportunity to present a defense.
The War on Medical Marijuana
by Patrick McCartney and Martin A. Lee , Consortium News
Eleven years ago, California voters passed Prop 215, the Compassionate Use Act, permitting the use of marijuana to treat medical conditions. But state and local officials are still collaborating with federal law enforcement in a war on medical marijuana.
CALIFORNIA: Northern Town Debates Growing Rules
A tradition of self-sufficiency and alternative choices may have contributed to the acceptance the medical use of marijuana has received in some communities. Northern California has historically been an area that appreciated the potential of cannabis, and the proliferation of personal and collective gardens reflects that. Officials are currently working to ensure that safety measures are being observed.
Gold From Green In A Gray Area
by Bob Doran, North Coast Journal (CA)
A billowing cloud of controversy surrounding medical marijuana has made it the hot topic du jour in Arcata. Last month, after an indoor medical marijuana growing operation burned in a rental house, the subject jumped from the front pages of local newspapers to the City Council chambers. City staff from the planning, fire and police departments had been chewing on the perceived problem at weekly confabs for over a year, but the house fire moved the issue to the forefront of public debate.
ID CARDS: Voluntary State Program Expands to Glenn Co.
When the state legislature told California’s county health departments that they are required to provide ID cards to qualified medical marijuana patients who want them, they neglected to say when. As a result, four years later the cards are still not available in all counties. Chief among the benefits of the card program is that it provides verification of patient status for law enforcement, protecting the patient from arrest and freeing up public safety resources.
Glenn Health Services to issue medical-marijuana IDs
by Barbara Arrigoni, Chico Enterprise-Record
Glenn County joined 35 other California counties Tuesday with a decision by the Board of Supervisors to approve a fee for dispersing medical-marijuana identification cards to people who have prescriptions.
CELEBRITY: Drew Carey Medical Marijuana Video Gets Attention
The media buzz about Drew Carey’s medical marijuana video continued this week. The veteran comedian, actor and now game-show-host includes many perspectives, but comes down strongly on the side of safe access. Among the interviewees is ASA Executive Director Steph Sherer, who tells how federal raids on patients led to the founding of Americans for Safe Access. To view this episode of the Drew Carey Project, please visit www.AmericansForSafeAccess.org/DrewCarey.
Carey Supports Prescription Pot
by The Early Show, CBS News
Bob Barker had his cause. He signed off every "Price is Right" by saying: "help control the pet population, have your pet spayed or neutered." Now the new host of "The Price is Right," Drew Carey, has found a cause to call his own and it's a little more controversial than fixing your pets.
Drew Carey Shares His Pipe Dreams
by Natalie Finn, E! Online
Drew Carey has his issues—with the federal government, that is. The latest of which is Congress' refusal to legalize medical marijuana across the board, an issue near and dear to Carey's heart according to his latest video for the nonprofit Reason Foundation.
DOCUMENTARY: Getting the Patient Perspective Out
One of the barriers to safe access has been a lack of concrete information. Many patients have been afraid to speak about their experiences with the relief they’ve gotten from cannabis for fear of criminal prosecution or loss of their jobs or community standing. Documentaries such as “Waiting to Inhale” help show the human cost of the federal government’s rejection of medical marijuana.
Local screening of film on medical marijuana
WJBC AM 1230 (IL)
There will be a screening of a documentary on medical marijuana at Illinois State University this weekend. The film called "Waiting to Inhale" examines the debate over the use of pot for medical reasons. It includes interviews with researchers and patients like Jamie Clayton. He's an AIDS patient from Grafton, Illinois who participated in a study at the University of California.
DISPENSARIES: Threatening Letter Leads to Closing
One of the DEA’s latest tactics in California is to threaten the law-abiding landlords who rent building space to patient collectives. Hundreds of landlords throughout the state have received letters “explaining” that their buildings could be subject to federal asset forfeiture because of the criminal drug enterprises (i.e. state-legal patient collectives) operating in them. Because the rules for asset forfeiture are much easier for the government than a criminal trial, it has become a favorite intimidation tactic.
Marijuana dispensary to close
by Mike Sprague, Whittier Daily News (CA)
There will be no more medical marijuana dispensed from the city's only clinic after Dec. 31, the planning commission ruled Monday night. Additionally, the Whittier Collective has reached agreement with its landlord to vacate the site by that date.
TENNESSEE: Patient Loses Child on Paraphernalia Charge
Among the hardships faced by patients in states without medical marijuana protections is the threat to their families. Despite the compelling medical need of this mother – she has a rare but well-documented form of glaucoma – the possession of just a marijuana pipe led to the loss of her son.
Mother vows to fight abuse, drug charges
by Brad Williams, Knoxville News Sentinel (TN)
If Suzette Evans lived in North Carolina, where marijuana possession is decriminalized, it's unlikely she'd have gotten more than a $50 citation when police found a pipe in her home. In Grainger County, however, like most of Tennessee, possession of a marijuana pipe can cost nearly $1,000 - and your children. Evans' 15-year-old son was taken away from her the night of Aug. 10, to remain in protective custody for 34 days. Evans uses marijuana to treat a rare form of glaucoma.
ASA BLOG: Comments from ASA Staff and Guests
ASA's blog is helping keep activists informed on the issues and events affecting medical marijuana patients and providers.
California Weekly Round Up
by Rebecca Saltzman
ASA Fights in the California Supreme Court to Protect Patients’ Rights to Work; Federal Defendant Bryan Epis Remains Free
A Medical Marijuana Patient’s Long Road to Victory
By Nate R.
I wanted to write this post to let others who are qualified patients know that the law is here to work for us.
Advocacy in a Hurry
by Don Duncan
Sometimes, medical cannabis advocates have plenty of time to prepare in advance for an important vote at their City Council or County Board of Supervisors. In other cases, however, you may have to jump and run when you learn about a challenge or opportunity in your community. That is exactly what happened last week in Orange County.
MORE ABOUT AMERICANS FOR SAFE ACCESS
Find out about ASA at AmericansForSafeAccess.org. More medical marijuana news summaries can be seen at www.AmericansForSafeAccess.org/News.