Archive for November, 2011

Will All Medical Marijuana Dispensaries Close?

November 30th, 2011

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bangstyle.com Medicinal Marijuana Feds Dispensary Shut Down Dispensary D.E.A. Crack Down  today Will All Medical Marijuana Dispensaries Close?

The future of legal medicinal marijuana dispensaries faces much uncertainty as federal officials have been making efforts to shut them down since early October. On October 5th and October 7th, feds sent letters to medicinal marijuana dispensaries and property landlords stating that their businesses were in violation of federal law as the sale and distribution of marijuana products is illegal in the United States.

Medicinal marijuana has been legal in the state of California for fifteen years. In 1996, California voters passed Proposition 215, legalizing medical cannabis. The proposition outlined the following purposes for the act (via hr90.org/prop215):

(A) To ensure that seriously ill Californians have the right to obtain and use marijuana for medical purposes where that medical use is deemed appropriate and has been recommended by a physician who has determined that the persons health would benefit from the use of marijuana in the treatment of cancer, anorexia, AIDS, chronic pain, spasticity, glaucoma, arthritis, migraine or any other illness for which

Article source: http://www.bangstyle.com/2011/11/will-all-medical-marijuana-dispensaries-close/

Marijuana program leader resigns

November 29th, 2011

Posted: November 29
Updated: Today at 9:51 PM

Marijuana program leader resigns

By John Richardson jrichardson@mainetoday.com
Staff Writer

AUGUSTA — The head of the state office that oversees Maine’s medical marijuana program has resigned after being placed on administrative leave several weeks ago.

Catherine Cobb is stepping down as director of the Division of Licensing and Regulation for the Department of Health and Human Services effective Friday. Cobb was placed on paid leave Oct. 21, according to a memo to staff at the time.

Cobb and Assistant Director Anne Flanagan were placed on leave as part of “a managerial review” of the division, according to the memo from Bill Boeschenstein, chief operating officer of the department.

State officials, including DHHS Commissioner Mary Mayhew, had refused to discuss the reasons for Cobb’s leave in recent weeks and said the information is confidential under state law.

Spokesman John Martins said Cobb submitted her resignation on Nov. 18. Flanagan remains on leave and the review is ongoing, Martins said. He said he could provide no further information about the review or Cobb’s resignation.

“The leave was to accommodate the commissioner’s office wanting to take a look at the needs of the division that I ran,” Cobb said today.

Article source: http://www.onlinesentinel.com/news/marijuana-program-leader-resigns_2011-11-28.html

DHHS official who led medical pot program resigns

November 28th, 2011

Posted: 3:49 PM
Updated: 4:39 PM

DHHS official who led medical pot program resigns

John Richardson

AUGUSTA — The head of the state office that oversees Maine’s medical marijuana program has resigned after being placed on administrative leave several weeks ago.

Catherine Cobb is stepping down as director of the Division of Licensing and Regulation for the Department of Health and Human Services effective Friday. Cobb was placed on paid leave Oct. 21, according to a memo to staff at the time.

Cobb and Assistant Director Anne Flanagan were placed on leave as part of “a managerial review” of the division, according to the memo from Bill Boeschenstein, chief operating officer of the department.
State officials, including DHHS Commissioner Mary Mayhew, had refused to discuss the reasons for Cobb’s leave in recent weeks.

Spokesman John Martins said Cobb submitted her resignation on Nov. 18. Flanagan remains on leave and the review is ongoing, Martins said. He said he could provide no further information about the review or Cobb’s resignation.

“The leave was to accommodate the commissioner’s office wanting to take a look at the needs of the division that I ran,” Cobb said in an interview today. Cobb also would not elaborate, but said she was not disciplined

Article source: http://www.onlinesentinel.com/news/DHHS-manager-who-led-medical-marijuana-program-resigns.html

Vet to Feds: Enough Stonewalling, Give Us Pot for PTSD

November 16th, 2011

By the time Sgt. Ryan Begin obtained his medical marijuana card last March, he’d already hit rock bottom.

During his second deployment to Iraq in 2004, Sgt. Begin was evacuated to Maryland’s Bethesda Naval Hospital after enduring an IED attack that left him with a stump for a right arm. The years that followed were a haze of prescription drugs, arrests, overdoses and stints in several mental institutions.

“My life went downhill from the moment I came back from Iraq,” Begin, now a 31-year-old veteran, tells Danger Room. “Doctors at Bethesda had me on so much, and on such high doses of everything, that I didn’t even know what was a symptom and what was a side effect.”

At one point, Begin, diagnosed with PTSD shortly after coming home, was taking more than 100 pills a day. So many that he would stuff dozens of bottles into a backpack to lug everywhere he went. Now, he’s cut his dependency on prescriptions to zero. Their replacement? Five joints a day.

“Using marijuana balances me out,” he says. “It takes those peaks and valleys of PTSD and it softens them. It makes my life manageable.”

Begin’s now launched an online petition asking the feds to change their course on marijuana as a treatment for PTSD. In September, the first-ever study proposed to evaluate marijuana as a potential treatment for PTSD was blocked by officials at the National Institutes on Drug Abuse

Article source: http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2011/11/pot-for-ptsd/

Rally to End Marijuana Prohibition Held at Georgia Capitol

November 15th, 2011

Rally to End Marijuana Prohibition Held at Georgia
Capitol


By Gloria Tatum, Senior Staff
Writer, The Atlanta Progressive News (November 14, 2011)

View this full article on APN’s website
and comment HERE

(APN) ATLANTA —
About one hundred opponents of marijuana prohibition rallied
at the State Capitol on Saturday, November 12, 2011, to help
educate the public and to dispel old, worn out myths and
misinformation about marijuana.

Organizations
represented at the rally included Georgia For Cannabis,
Coalition for Abolition of Marijuana Prohibition (CAMP),
Cannabis Reformers, National Organization for the Reform of
Marijuana Laws (NORML) Georgia Chapter, and Group-Civil
Disobedience. The rally is the second annual November rally
at the Capitol organized by Jonathon Weaver; the first took
place in 2010.

Activists circulated a petition to
ask US Representatives and Senators from Georgia to support
HB 2306, the Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act of
2011. Currently, the bill, introduced by US Rep. Barney
Frank (D-MA), has sixteen co-sponsors, none from
Georgia.

When running for reelection in 2010, US
Rep. Hank Johnson (D-GA) said he would support legalizing
marijuana in an interview with Atlanta Progressive News. In
a September 23, 2011, email, APN asked Johnson’s office
whether the Congressman would join as a co-sponsor;
spokesman Andy Phelan said he would find out, but a response
has not yet been received.

Activists said the war on
marijuana is a failure and the government wastes billions of
dollars fighting drug cartels who thrive on marijuana
prohibition each

Article source: http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/WO1111/S00451/rally-to-end-marijuana-prohibition-held-at-georgia-capitol.htm

California’s medical marijuana outlets threatened with government crackdown

November 8th, 2011

The Obama administration is heading towards an ugly confrontation with California‘s medical marijuana dispensaries after the federal government ordered dozens of outlets to close by Saturday or face an immediate crackdown.

Growers and sellers of marijuana for medicinal use say the threats amount to a betrayal of campaign promises made by Obama in 2008, and that they fear a nationwide attempt to destroy the burgeoning industry. Partly encouraged by Obama’s campaign messages that he would not use federal force against practitioners complying with state laws, dispensaries have spread over the past two years across 16 states, including Arizona, New Jersey, Delaware and Maine as well as Washington DC, with a combined annual turnover of up to $100bn.

California, which permitted medical marijuana in a referendum in 1996, is by far the leader in the field, with some reports suggesting it has more dispensaries than Starbucks coffee houses. Nobody knows precise figures, given the still murky nature of the business, but there are thought to be more than a million Californians who are registered with doctors for growing and consuming cannabis, and hundreds of thousands more across the country.

The Obama administration has steadily toughened its approach over the past two years, arguing that medical marijuana has become a front for illegal distribution of the drug. This summer it sent out letters to several towns in states across America, including California, which have passed their own independent regulations permitting the medical use of the drug. Prosecutors pointed

Article source: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/nov/08/california-medical-marijuana-cannabis-crackdown?newsfeed=true

Medical Marijuana Caregivers hold first trade show

November 6th, 2011

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — Maine’s medical marijuana caregivers have held their first trade show and festival in the state.

Medicinal users with the proper legal documentation were allowed to use marijuana in a tent outside the city-owned Augusta Civic Center on Saturday thanks to an agreement by police, the District Attorney’s Office and organizers of Home Grown Maine. The Kennebec Journal in Augusta (http://bit.ly/vGnhSc ) says it was the first time medical marijuana users were able to legally medicate in public.

Chris Kenoyer of Portland, a patients’ advocate and activist who uses marijuana for severe, chronic back pain caused by a degenerative spinal injury, used a vaporizer to inhale marijuana during the Home Grown Maine trade show. Kenoyer calls medical marijuana a step forward for all Maine patients.

___

Information from: Kennebec Journal, http://www.kjonline.com/

Article source: http://www.chron.com/news/article/Medical-Marijuana-Caregivers-hold-first-trade-show-2255191.php

Permission to medicate in Augusta

November 6th, 2011

AUGUSTA

Posted: November 6
Updated: Today at 8:57 PM

Permission to medicate in Augusta

Medical marijuana users turn out for Civic Center event

By Keith Edwards kedwards@centralmaine.com
Staff Writer

AUGUSTA — Medical marijuana users shared hits off a vaporizer and compared buds of their home-grown efforts Saturday, separated by just the thin vinyl wall of a tent and several feet of Augusta Civic Center parking lot from Augusta Police Sgt. Christopher Shaw.

HIGH TECH MACHINE: Jake McClure, of the Medical Marijuana Caregivers of Maine, talks about indoor growing equipment in the Maine Hydroponics Supply booth during the Home Grown Maine trade show Saturday at the Augusta Civic Center.

Staff photo by Joe Phelan

VAPORIZER AT WORK: Chris Kenoyer uses a Happy Vappy vaporizer to inhale marijuana in a tent in the parking lot during the Medical Marijuana Caregivers’ Home Grown Maine trade show Saturday at the Augusta Civic Center.

Staff photo by Joe Phelan

Additional Photos Below

The marijuana use taking place inside the tent was not why Shaw was there.

Police, Civic Center staff, the District Attorney’s Office and organizers of the first Home Grown Maine — the Medical Marijuana Caregivers of Maine’s first ever trade show and festival — had agreed beforehand medicinal users with the proper legal

Article source: http://www.kjonline.com/news/permissionto-medicate_2011-11-05.html

Protesters march peacefully Saturday to credit unions, banks

November 5th, 2011

PORTLAND, Ore. — Portland police reported no problems with Saturday morning’s Occupy Portland’s march to several banks and credit unions.

Police did, however, release a bevy of information to the public, including fights, drug use and two recent arrests that have taken place at the Occupy Portland encampment.

Police said on Nov. 3, officers monitoring the Occupy Portland encampments at Chapman and Lownsdale Square Parks issued a citation and park exclusion to James Michael Lopes, 36, for marijuana in the park. They also cited and excluded Joseph Michael Gugliucci, 28, for alcohol in the park and did the same for Christopher Mulder, 25, for drugs in the park (heroin). Police also and arrested and excluded Angel Miriles, 19, for fourth-degree attempted assault and harassment. Miriles reportedly entered the encampments and began assaulting random people, police said.

On Nov. 4, officers responded to the report of a fight at Southwest 3rd Avenue and Salmon Street. When officers arrived, the people involved in the fight had been separated. Several people in the park wanted one of the participants removed, but nobody provided details of the fight to officers and refused to press charges. During the afternoon, there were several other fights reported to officers but no victims or witnesses came forward to cooperate with police.

Officers, who also said they’ve noticed the sanitary condition “continue to decline in the encampment,” later arrested Chad Robinson, 20, for second-degree criminal trespass. Robinson had been excluded from the park Nov. 3 after officers saw him smoking marijuana

Article source: http://www.katu.com/news/local/133301893.html

Maine slaps 7% tax on pot brownies sold to medical marijuana patients

November 4th, 2011

AUGUSTA, Maine — Baked or smoked? How patients use their medical marijuana determines their tax rate, according to a recent opinion from Maine Revenue Services.

After Mainers approved medical marijuana, lawmakers decided that marijuana sold for medicinal purposes would be subject to the 5 percent state sales tax. Now Maine Revenue Services has issued an opinion that prepared foods such as brownies that include medical marijuana will be taxed at the higher 7 percent rate. This has many questioning the ruling.

“It again shows how disconnected some people in the taxing department are from the general will of Maine people,” said Paul McCarrier, board member of Medical Marijuana Caregivers of Maine. He said medical marijuana is just what it says it is — a medicine — and should not be taxed at all.

McCarrier said for some individuals, eating foods that contain medical marijuana is the best way for them to use the medicine. He said smoking or using vaporizers does not work for everyone and patients should not have to pay an extra tax in order to use medicinal marijuana.

“Sometimes it is the best delivery method for people,” he said. “They can ingest it and it helps with their various pains and afflictions. For some people it is their only delivery means.”

In 2009, Mainers passed a referendum allowing medical marijuana dispensaries with nearly 60 percent of the vote. The bill was reworked by a task force named by then-Gov. John Baldacci and became law in 2010,

Article source: http://bangordailynews.com/2011/11/03/politics/maine-slaps-7-tax-on-pot-brownies-sold-to-medical-marijuana-patients/