Friday, April 24, 2009
Sentencing delayed in medical marijuana case
April 24, 2009
“If I could find a way out, I would,” U.S. District Judge George H. Wu said. He gave lawyers in the case until June 2 to file briefs regarding the impending sentence of Charles Lynch.
At the hearing Thursday, Wu heard from several character witnesses, including one of Lynch’s patients and the young man’s father.
“I stand before you today because I believe a man is being punished for reasons that don’t make much sense,” said Owen Beck, whose parents took him to Lynch’s Central Coast Compassionate Caregivers when he was battling bone cancer at age 17. “I believe a great injustice is being done.”
“He could not eat. He could not sleep. His personality became dark and angry,” the elder Beck said. He told the judge they decided to try medical marijuana on the advice of their son’s Stanford University oncologist. He said Lynch usually gave them marijuana for free or at deeply discounted rates.
“I never felt as though Charlie was there for the money,” Beck said.
Such testimony was not allowed at Lynch’s trial because the Supreme Court has ruled that a claim of medical necessity is not a valid defense.
Janice Peters, the mayor of Morro Bay, described Lynch as a “polite, compassionate” man who did everything the city asked of him with respect to his business.
Rob Schultz, the town’s city attorney said he received only one complaint about Lynch the whole time he was in business “and that had to do with the quality of the medical marijuana.”
The comment drew loud laughter from Lynch’s supporters, who packed the courtroom, many of them wearing green ribbons with the word “compassion” printed on them.
Cultivating, using and selling doctor-recommended medical marijuana is allowed under some circumstances in California and a dozen other states, but federal law bans the drug altogether.
Though Lynch was not charged with violating state law, prosecutors contend that he broke the law because he was not truly a “primary caregiver” entitled to dispense marijuana to patients and that he profited from the operation of his business.
Much of the discussion Thursday dealt with whether Wu was required to sentence Lynch to a mandatory minimum of five years or whether the defendant was entitled to a lesser sentence under a so-called safety valve.
The next hearing in the case, which the judge said would be the last, is scheduled for June 11.
Thursday, April 23, 2009
Here’s how you can help make these efforts a reality.
Illinois: This week the Marijuana Policy Project began running targeted ads in support of House Bill 2514 andSenate Bill 1381, the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Acts.Both bills have already passed various legislative committees and are expected to receive floor votes imminently. If you live in Illinois and have not yet contacted your House and Senate members in support of these measures, please do so now by going here.
Minnesota: A pair of bills (SF 97 and HF 292) seeking to allow for the use and distribution of medicinal cannabis have cleared committee and are expected to be voted on shortly by members of the full House and Senate. One potential hurdle: Governor Tim Pawlenty, who has voiced opposition to the measures. Tell the Governor that “it is unconscionable to deny this effective medicine to sick and dying patients” by going here.
New Hampshire: Members of the Senate Health and Human Services Committee are expected to take action on HB 648later this week. The bill will then go before the full Senate. (The House previously passed the measure in March.) Last week the state’s largest newspaper endorsed medical marijuana. Make sure that your senator and the Governor do too. Contact information for the New Hampshire state senate and Gov. John Lynch is available here.
New Jersey: In February, members of the state Senateapproved the New Jersey Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act by a vote of 22 to 16. Yet months later, leadership in the Assembly has still not taken any action on this measure, which has received the support of theGovernor and the Attorney General. Please contact your member of the Assembly here, and urge him or her demand that their colleagues hold hearings on medical marijuana.
New York: Lawmakers in the state Senate and Assembly introduced legislation this week to legalize the state-sanctioned use and distribution of medicinal marijuana. The bills’ sponsors are confident that they have the necessary votes to pass medical marijuana law reform in both chambers. Further, according to news reports, Gov. Patterson is also privately supportive of medical marijuana law reform. If you reside in New York, please consider assisting this campaign by going here and by contacting your elected officials here.
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Montpelier, VT — April 21, 2009
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The Senate has passed Senator Maynard's Joint Resolution on Hemp! It has now gone over to the House and is in the Agriculture Committee. The resolution, JRS 26, can be found on the Vote Hemp Vermont State page. Once the resolution passes in both the House and the Senate, it will be sent on to the decision makers in Washington, DC.
If you haven't done so yet, please write a thank you note to the Senators who cosponsored the resolution! Please send a hand-written note to the Senators (their email is really clogged up with the "big" issues this year). This is a great chance to use the Rural Vermont notecards (please click here to order some).
You can see who the cosponsors of the resolution are here and if you don't know who your Senator is you can find that information here. If your senator did not cosponsor the resolution, please send your thank you note to Senator Maynard.
You can send your card or note to (fill in the blank with the Senator's last name):
115 State Street
Montpelier, VT 05633.
Thanks you for taking the time to write!
More information on the hemp issue in general and the history of hemp legislation in the state can be found on the Rural Vermont Hemp page and on the Vote Hemp Vermont State page.
Please stay informed on agricultural policy and related legislation in Vermont. Join Rural Vermont's Farm Policy Network and receive regular email updates.
About Vote Hemp
Vote Hemp is a national, single-issue, non-profit organization dedicated to the acceptance of and a free market for low-THC industrial hemp and to changes in current law to allow U.S. farmers to once again grow the crop.
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|Vote Hemp, Inc.|
National Outreach Coordinator
Friday, April 17, 2009
Friday, April 17, 2009
Some Factoids (Hemptoids)
1. At least 2/3's of American Marijuana Consumption (both legal and illegal) is grown right here in America, and we could easily grow 100 percent of our consumption if Cannabis and Hemp were legalized.
2. The Drug Cartel's and their war is not really about Marijuana, but instead is about Heroin and Cocaine and the routes needed to get their products into America.
On 420, have fun, CELEBRATE OUR DAY, but I would ask each and every one of my fellow Budsters out there in 420 land to remember the goal of Legalization, and consider signing up to do some volunteer work for the cause. We need state and city bloggers ourselves. ASA (Americans for Safe Access) and NORML probably have lots of volunteer work waiting for a set of hands that wants to pitch in.
We cannot realize our dream without every Cannabis Friendly American doing their part for the cause, and while we are on the subject, lets not forget that our friends in Canada are dealing with many of the same issues and harrassments we ourselves face.
Hemptoids-small, sometimes rarely known facts about Hemp and Cannabis.
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
From the Medical Marijuana Blog
Studies have shown that medical marijuana can aid in reducing symptoms of terminal illnesses such as AIDS and cancer, by helping pain and nausea from treatment and also increasing appetite. Some doctors and researchers also believe that cannabidol can help anxiety, glaucoma, depression, arthritis, convulsion and inflammation. Each new study that comes out finds new possible ways medicinal cannabis can help those who need it.
If you would like to be evaluated by a doctor to see if medical marijuana would help you, ask your current doctor for an evaluation. If you have a condition where this medicine has been used as a treatment, your doctor may give you a recommendation to try medical cannabis.
In the states that have laws deeming this practice legal, there may also be medical marijuana doctors who have a specialty in seeing patients interested in obtaining treatment. Many argue that these doctors are the best ones to go to, if this treatment is what you seek. When researching doctors, look for those that are medical cannabis specialists though before you go see one, you should already have a diagnosis and medical records from your regular doctor.
To find the best medical marijuana doctor in your area, look to a trusted source for recommendations. The WeedMaps.com website has a list of trustworthy cannabis doctors in California. The Marijuana Medicine Evaluation Center also has a list of doctors at their seven Southern California locations.
If you do not have a Marijuana Medicine Evaluation Center clinic in your area, specialty wellness clinics may also have medical cannabis specialists at their offices. Look for the words holistic, wellness, or natural care in the office name. These types of clinics often participate in non-traditional treatments for their patients and may be able to help you with a consultation.
The patient card is becoming the favored form of identification for medical marijuana patients, as it is much smaller and easier to carry around than the recommendation letter. This more discreet form of ID can be shown at medicinal clinics to obtain medicine and has all the information necessary on it, including your photo and an expiration date.
To obtain a patient card from somewhere other than a clinic, you can go through the state. You will need to fill out an application in most cases and pay a fee check with your local county office to see what kind of identification is needed to fill out the application and obtain the medical marijuana card. Usually you will want to contact the local Public Health office in your county.
As more scientific studies keep being published, we will most likely see more and more doctors recommending the use of medical cannabis to reduce symptoms of many painful diseases. The controversy of medical marijuana as a treatment will decrease with time, as it often does with new treatments.
Using the internet to find a medical marijuana doctor is still the most common way. Directory listings may not give much information, but seeing which doctors trusted cannabis foundations like the Marijuana Medicine Evaluation Center recommend can narrow the list down. Call to make your consultation appointment, and you can be on your way to receiving treatment.
Please let us know your thoughts on having a specialist medical marijuana doctor, treat your medical conditions.