United States

Governors petition for cannabis reclassification

Posted on December 1st, 2011 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , , , , , .

medical marijuanaGovernors Christine Gregoire (D-WA) and Lincoln Chafee (I-RI) announced at a press conference in Olympia Nov. 30 that they are jointly filing a federal petition to reclassify cannabis for medical use. Under the Controlled Substances Act, the federal government considers cannabis a Schedule I substance, a dangerous drug with no medical value. The rescheduling petition filed by governors Gregoire and Chafee comes after their administrations were sent letters threatening medical marijuana producers and distributors and the implementation of state laws.

Secret Justice Department memo on California crackdown leaked

Posted on November 30th, 2011 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , .

CaliforniaAn internal Justice Department memo containing guidelines for federal cannabis enforcement in California, issued in February, has been leaked to California NORML, and is now on the website of the California Cannabis Coalition. It was issued jointly by the four California US attorneys to DEA agents in the state, the High-Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) task-forces, and "Federal task force partners in California." Marked "Not for public use or circulation," it outlines criteria for federal involvement in cannabis cases, such as "Distribution of significant quantities," "Provable ties to an international drug cartel," "Marijuana 'inventory' obtained from cultivation on federal or tribal land," "Store operations in conjunction with other federal crimes," etc.

San Diego canna-biz contracts under fed pressure

Posted on November 30th, 2011 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , , .

California Scores of cannabis dispensaries in San Diego County have closed following the federal crackdown announced in October. As of the end of November, 139 of 222 medical cannabis outlets—or 62%—have shut down since the US Attorney's office in San Diego began sending letters to the dispensaries and their landlords. About a third of those targeted are still operating, but some 20 more outlets are expected to close within the next two weeks, according to federal authorities. Another round of letters from the US Attorney's Office—some hand-delivered by DEA agents—were sent within the past week to dispensaries that remain open.

Montana cannabis industry wants clarity on fed guidelines

Posted on November 30th, 2011 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , , .

cannabisThe Montana Cannabis Industry Association (MTCIA) says it has received information that the Justice Department has issued a memo with guidelines for the acceptable operation of dispensaries in California, and wants to know if similar guidelines were issued for their own state. Said MTCIA spokesman Ed Docter: "If the federal government wants to propose guidelines fine, we're all for that, we would really enjoy that, we would invite the help but basically we would just like to know what our US Attorney get. What did [Montana US Attorney Michael] Cotter get? I mean we don't know if he got a similar memo." The MTCIA says it will write to Gov. Brain Schweitzer seeking clarification on the guidelines, and what the Montana industry needs to do to prevent more raids. (KPAX, Missoula, Nov. 29)

Colorado cannabis boom sparks fear of "green rush"

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

medical marijuanaThe 2011 Hempcon medical marijuana convention in Denver in October prompted local fears of a "green rush" in the Centennial State. Sixteen states now allow some form of legalized medical marijuana, but only Colorado explicitly allows cannabis businesses to operate as such—making it the first for-profit marijuana marketplace in the United States. Between 2000—when voters approved the state's medical marijuana initiative—and 2008, Colorado issued roughly 2,000 medical marijuana cards to patients living in the state. By 2011, that number had jumped to more than 127,000 paying customers, according to the Colorado Medical Marijuana Registry—with at least 25,000 more have applications pending.

Advocates appeal conviction of San Diego dispensary operator

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

CaliforniaMedical marijuana patient advocacy group Americans for Safe Access (ASA) on Nov. 22 appealed the September 2010 conviction of San Diego dispensary operator Jovan Jackson in a case that has become a symbol of the effort by District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis to criminalize storefront dispensaries. California Attorney General Kamala Harris—who served as San Francisco DA when that city established the state's first dispensaries—will now defend Jackson's appeal rather than Dumanis, who originally tried him. The ASA appeal contests Jackson's denial of a medical defense, and challenges the prosecution's assertion that "sales" of medical marijuana are illegal under state law.

Nebraska DMV ditches 420 license plate, ACLU sues

Posted on November 19th, 2011 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , .

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is suing Nebraska's motor vehicle department for refusing to issue the personalized license plate  "NE 420"—promoting the unofficial holiday National Pot Smoking Day, April 20. Frank Shoemaker, a lawyer from Holbrook, Neb., who requested the plate, is the sponsor of a petition drive for a state ballot measure next year to legalize cannabis.

LA cancer clinic denies liver transplant to medical marijuana patient

Posted on November 18th, 2011 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , .

medical marijuanaAdvocacy group Americans for Safe Access (ASA) issued a letter Nov. 17 urging that Los Angeles' prestigious Cedars-Sinai Medical Center promptly re-list 63-year-old patient Norman B. Smith for a liver transplant. Smith was diagnosed with inoperable liver cancer in 2009 and became eligible for a transplant at Cedars-Sinai the following year. Smith's oncologist at Cedars-Sinai, Dr. Steven Miles, approved of his cannabis use to deal with the effects of chemotherapy and pain from an unrelated back surgery. But in February he was removed from the transplant list after testing positive for cannabis use.

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