Patient advocates back three medical bills introduced in Congress

Posted on May 25th, 2011 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , .

Three medical marijuana bills were introduced in Congress May 25 with support from patient advocates. The most significant of the three bills is one introduced by Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA), which would reclassify marijuana from its current status as a dangerous drug with no medical value. Another bill, introduced by Rep. Jared Polis (D-CO), will allow banks and other financial institutions to provide services to medical marijuana businesses without being subject to "suspicious activity" reporting requirements. The third bill, introduced by Rep. Pete Stark (D-CA), changes the federal tax code "to allow a deduction for expenses in connection with the trade or business of selling marijuana intended for patients for medical purposes pursuant to State law."

Medical advocates sue federal government over rescheduling delay

Posted on May 25th, 2011 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , .

cannabisA coalition of advocacy groups and patients filed suit in the DC Circuit Court on May 23 to compel the Obama administration to answer a nine-year-old petition to reclassify medical marijuana. The Coalition for Rescheduling Cannabis (CRC) has never received an answer to its 2002 petition, despite a formal recommendation in 2006 from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the final arbiter in the rescheduling process.

Restrictive medical bill advances in Oregon

Posted on May 25th, 2011 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , .

Former state troopers in the Oregon legislature have revived a bill that would make it harder for people to qualify for a medical marijuana card and tighten controls on the those growing it. The Omnibus Cannabis bill, or House Bill 3664, got a hearing last week in the House Rules Committee at Salem. Under the bill, cannabis caregivers must be over 21 years of age, and must submit to a national background check each time they re-apply for a permit.

High court upholds order to reduce California prison population

Posted on May 24th, 2011 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , .

CaliforniaThe US Supreme Court ruled on May 23 to uphold an order requiring California to release up to 46,000 prisoners to remedy overcrowding in the state's prisons. The ruling in Brown v. Plata calls on California to reduce its prison population from more than 200% of design capacity to 137.5% of capacity within two years. The 5-4 decision written by Justice Anthony Kennedy finds that the extreme overcrowding of the California prison system is causing inmates to receive inadequate medical care in violation of the Eighth Amendment.

Brazil: Military Police attack pro-cannabis protesters

Posted on May 23rd, 2011 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , .

Prohibited from holding a "March for Marijuana," cannabis advocates in São Paulo had agreed with police to instead hold a generic protest in defense of freedom of expression. But minutes after the march began May 21, the Military Police attacked the some 1,000 unarmed demonstrators with stun bombs, tear gas and rubber bullets.  Television images showed riot troops charging toward the protesters when they tried to march down the busy Paulista Avenue. By-standers and journalists covering the event as well as protesters were caught up in the violence, reports Último Segundo.

Guatemala: "Comandante Bruja" arrested in Zeta massacre

Posted on May 20th, 2011 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , .

A combined unit of the Guatemalan army and national police arrested a presumed leader of the Zetas narco-paramilitary network May 18, who authorities believe to be commander of the assassination squad that carried out this week's grisly massacre of 27 farmworkers at a ranch in the northern jungle department of Petén. The detained man is named as Hugo Álvaro Gómez Vásquez, who also goes by "Comandante Bruja" or simply "La Bruja" (The Witch).

Fresno County bans outdoor growing after shooting incident

Posted on May 18th, 2011 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , .

CaliforniaCalifornia's Fresno County has banned outdoor medical marijuana growing following the case of Phayvanh Dydouanghphan, who shot to death an intruder who tried to steal his crop. Dydouangphan, a licensed medical grower, was sentenced to life in prison for the crime, AP informs us May 16. County Judge Arlan Harrell, imposing the sentence, said that Dydouangphan "apparently valued his pot more than human life," in AP's paraphrase. A story from Sept. 8 of last year on Fresno's KFSN provides more details on the case:

Montana caregivers sue feds over raids

Posted on May 14th, 2011 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , .

cannabisOn May 10, two Montana medical cannabis providers—Montana Caregivers Association and MCM Caregivers—filed suit against the federal Department of Justice, Attorney General Eric Holder, and the US Attorney for Montana Michael Cotter in US District Court in Missoula. At issue are the federal raids that occurred across the state in March. The plaintiffs say the feds both violated their constitutional rights in the raids, and attempted to improperly abrogate Montana's medical marijuana law. "The federal government has made clear its intent to threaten and eventually eliminate any business or enterprise related to the medical use of marijuana," they charged in a prepared statement. (420 Times, AP, May 12)

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