Archive for May, 2011

Pot center technically outside federal law

May 31st, 2011

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ASHLAND — More than 150 medical marijuana cardholders are now getting their pot at a resource center that opened last month in town.

The Greenery, 1746 Ashland St., offers several types of marijuana to cardholders on a donation basis. While many people give nothing or $1, others have given up to $200 to the nonprofit, allowing it to stay in the black so far, said co-founder Andrea Adams.

“Our job is to help people connect with medicine,” she said. “Before this, if you couldn’t grow your own, you had to try to do exchanges using the Internet and you didn’t always know if it was safe or legal.”

The nonprofit has consulted with lawyers and believes it is operating legally under Oregon’s 1998 Medical Marijuana Act, Adams said. Similar centers operate in Portland and elsewhere in the state, she said.

However, the nonprofit and medical marijuana centers in every state are technically in violation of federal law, which views marijuana as an illegal drug, not a medicine.

“Within the state Medical Marijuana Act, we are legal, but federally it is illegal,” Adams said.

Ashland police have met with The Greenery founders and don’t believe the nonprofit has violated any state laws at this time, said Deputy Chief Corey Falls.

“Based on our conversation, it sounded like there weren’t any laws that I could see that they were going to violate,” he said Friday.

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Buzz Kill: Federal Warnings Hit Medical Pot Boom

May 28th, 2011

A client enters Sunset Junction medical marijuana dispensary on May 11, 2010 in Los Angeles, California.
Enlarge Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

A client enters Sunset Junction medical marijuana dispensary on May 11, 2010 in Los Angeles, California.


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Sensible Portland responds to Bob Higgins column

May 28th, 2011

Sensible Portland seeks to redirect limited city resources from Marijuana offenses and to violent offenses; Sensible Portland seeks to protect vulnerable medical Marijuana patients.

Dear Portland Daily Sun,

Over the past five years, voters in municipalities from Montana to Colorado and beyond have instructed their police forces to focus on violent crimes and substance abuse and away from the non-violent crime of adult Marijuana possession. The reasoning is simple: cities only have so much time and money to protect themselves, and voters and policymakers have largely agreed that possession of Marijuana should be the lowest priority.

Likewise, Maine voters have overwhelmingly supported other citizen initiatives to allow for the legal use of Marijuana for medicinal purposes. Our city council voted unanimously to allow dispensaries in Portland as well.

Bob Higgins fundamentally misunderstands the intent of the lowest priority initiative currently being circulated. Higgins wrote that restaurant code enforcement and texting while driving are big problems. We agree. A quick look at the police log for May 9-15 shows that arrests for ‘scheduled drugs,’ i.e. illegal possession of prescribed medicine, are quite common in our city. We, Sensible Portland, want to release the city from hassling those patients needing medical marijuana and turn to ridding our community of much more pressing problems.

Bob Higgins is also correct that our community still has not figured out the new medical marijuana law. We view this as more important reason to redirect resources away from punishing patients who have been unable to obtain their medication through the new

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East Coast Marijuana Update: May 2011

May 27th, 2011

Elected officials on the East Coast continue a period of intense activity working on marijuana reform bills. From Maine to Florida legislators are considering medical access, decriminalization and full legalization of cannabis for recreational use. Some bills have passed or remain active while others have been stalled or killed in committees.  Here are some details of the notable actions along with a quick-reference list that includes activism links.

Delaware passed a medical marijuana bill that Governor Jack Markell signed on May 14th. The law allows qualifying patients to access up to 6 ounces of cannabis per month.  Yet patients will not be allowed to cultivate at home or form collective gardens. A centralized production and distribution system will be created in each county…unless federal interference prevents them.

Vermont has passed a bill, SB 17, to legalize and regulate medical cannabis dispensaries. Governor Pete Schumlin has not yet signed it into law. The state already allows seriously ill residents access to cannabis. The new legislation would require patients to choose whether to cultivate or access a dispensary.

Maryland passed and signed into law a concept that is referred to as an “affirmative medical necessity defense.” The provisions signed on May 10th allow those who are arrested or minor marijuana possession to present medical records when they go to court. If the resident is deemed to suffer from a serious condition then they pay a $100 fine. A bill that would

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State’s First Storefront Marijuana Dispensary Opens In Auburn

May 26th, 2011

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Passing Puffing Police Prohibitions

May 26th, 2011

With some amusement, I read a story in Tuesdays Sun regarding a group called “Sensible Portland” which is seeking to have a blind eye toward marijuana possession attitude codified into Portland statutes.

First off, we haven’t got the MEDICAL marijuana thing straightened out yet. The alleged clinic for Cumberland County shows no signs of opening. They now promise to open “Late Spring,” according to their website. (I’m referring to it as “alleged” for a simple reason. The “FOR RENT” sign is still up in the location chosen, despite this city passing “emergency” zoning approval in June of LAST YEAR.)

Fix the sick folks first, folks.

Then, there is that whole sticky issue regarding federal law. Asking the city council to turn a blind eye to federal law is problematic, but the act of trying to get the city to put that position in wet ink for the police chief, his officers, and the COUNTY Sheriff’s office to “look the other way” is not only risky, but stupid. Say goodbye to any grant funding from the hinterlands of D.C. if this happens.

Essentially, this group is asking Portland Police officers and the County Sheriff’s office to look the other way, and risk a possible prison sentence in a FEDERAL poke-you-in-the-posterior penitentiary. Pretty sure not many of the officers in question are up for that, just so you can puff-’n’-pass in public.

If you don’t like the law, change it. If you can’t get the law changed due to an entrenched power structure, vote the knuckleheads

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Medical marijuana dispensary opens in Auburn

May 25th, 2011

Maine crime rate rises 3.6 percent in 2010

Maine lawmakers reject bill to raise minimum wage

Lighting blamed for fire that damaged Maine stable

Maine committee wants $250k for Acadian Congress

New medical marijuana dispensary opening in Maine

Maine town pleads for jobs of cop and firefighter

Maine woman who found boy to officiate at funeral

Maine given high grade for bicycling

Maine education chief continues ‘listening tour’

Maine police investigate apparent murder-suicide

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New medical marijuana dispensary opening in Maine

May 25th, 2011

Starting Wednesday, the Remedy Compassion Center will sell medical marijuana to patients by appointment only.

The opening comes despite a warning by Maine’s top federal prosecutor that regardless of Maine’s medical marijuana law, the dispensary can be prosecuted under federal law.

WGME-TV says the Auburn dispensary will offer non-smoking alternatives for patients, including foods.


Information from: WGME-TV,

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Medical marijuana dispensary opening Wednesday in Auburn

May 25th, 2011

Medical marijuana dispensary opening Wednesday in Auburn

A new medical marijuana dispensary is opening Wednesday, despite the U.S. Attorney’s Office recently ruling that it can prosecute for marijuana under federal law, regardless of Maine’s medical marijuana laws.

An official with the U.S. Attorney’s office re-affirmed over the phone Tuesday night with News 13, that under federal law, federal authorities can raid any location distributing marijuana, even if it’s happening legally under Maine law. A U.S. official also told lawmakers recently that federal marijuana laws can override Maine marijuana laws, if a federal official decides to prosecute.

But still, that’s not stopping a new dispensary from opening up in Auburn.  It’s called Remedy Compassion Center, and it will sell medical marijuana to patients by appointment only.    

The dispensary will offer non-smoking alternatives for patients, including foods.Medical marijuana dispensary opening Wednesday in Auburn

Wednesday, May 25 2011, 12:03 AM EDT

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US attorney: Growing, using medical pot still felony

May 23rd, 2011

May 19

US attorney: Growing, using medical pot still felony

By John Richardson
Staff Writer

Maine’s U.S. attorney has told state lawmakers that Maine’s medical marijuana law contradicts federal law, and that the U.S. Department of Justice reserves the right to prosecute Mainers who cultivate and distribute the drug, even if they have state approval.

U.S. Attorney Thomas E. Delahanty sent a letter, dated Monday, in response to a request from the Legislature’s Health and Human Services Committee, which recently endorsed changes to the Maine Medical Marijuana Act.

Committee members met briefly with Maine Attorney General William Schneider on Wednesday afternoon to discuss legal issues. They are expected to move forward with the amendments.

“It changes nothing. We’re still working on going forward with it,” said Rep. Deborah Sanderson, R-Chelsea, a committee member and the sponsor of the new medical marijuana bill.

The bill, which has not yet been considered by the Legislature, would make it optional for medical marijuana patients to register with the state, among other things. All patients must register under current law.

Delahanty said in his

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