Posts Tagged ‘medical marijuana dispensaries’

Who Benefits From Obama’s Reefer Maddness?

Defending its crack-down on legal medical marijuana dealers, the DEA has disingenuously declared that pot is an ineffective treatment for pain. But over at the FDA, the first painkiller made from cannabis is sailing toward approval.
Obama seems to want to have it both ways: Weed has medical benefits, but then again it doesn’t; it’s as dangerous as heroin, but safe enough to give to sick patients in medical experiments. Whose interests are being served here, and who’s getting the shaft?
It’s hard to deny claims by critics that the president has largely given the shaft to advocates of medical marijuana. Hitting the re-election trail this week, Obama had to duck a question about his record on pot-for-pain at a Minnesota town hall meeting, leaving unresolved—after more than two and a half years—his campaign promise to respect the right of patients to make decisions about their own care. Instead his administration has pursued a confused two-pronged policy: allowing Big Pharma unimpeded license to pursue the profitable medical marijuana market, while threatening thousands of patients using state-licensed cannabis with federal intervention and even arrest.
Critics liken Obama’s cannabis conundrum to the way he dealt with the financial crisis—bailing out Wall Street while leaving millions of homes on Main Street to fall into foreclosure. If this sounds like too harsh a condemnation of a president that rabid Republicans have done nothing but hate on, try making sense of recent developments in federal medical-marijuana policy.
Back in March, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) exercised its emergency authority to outlaw the use of five “fake” marijuana products like Spice and K2. “These products consist of plant materials that have been coated with research chemicals that claim to mimic THC, the active ingredient in marijuana, and are sold at a variety of retail outlets, in head shops and over the Internet,” the DEA said in a prepared statement.
(Read more) http://www.thefix.com

World Famous Cannabis Cafe Celebrates First Anniversary

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Photo: Larry Kirk
A year passes like nothing at The World Famous Cannabis Cafe!
By Charlie Bott
Special to Toke of the Town

Portland, Oregon’s World Famous Cannabis Cafe celebrated the first anniversary at its current location on July 29 and 30. The Cafe officially opened its doors at 322 SE 82nd Avenue in Portland, Oregon, on July 31, 2010.
“When the café opened in November 2009, my dream to create a safe and welcoming place for cardholders to consume their medicine out of public view was realized,” said Madeline Martinez, founder and proprietress of the private club. “Celebrating this anniversary means that we also provide stability for those we serve, and that is important.”

The celebration officially started at 4:20 on Friday afternoon, and the entertainment began around 6:00. Local guitarists and songwriters Ken Johnson, Steamboat Mike, D Vincent Black and Danny Hay Davis opened the evening with a mix of classic rock remakes and original material, with Hawk Marsden, entertainment manager at the Cafe, playing some hand drums and doing a little singing.
Photo: Larry Kirk
Medicating with a glass hookah and enjoying the music and the evening at the World Famous Cannabis Cafe.
As the first performance ended, Hawk thanked the musicians and kicked off that night’s Ustream simulcast. After making sure the crowd gave a big hand to the Cafe’s volunteer staff, he got a huge response when he quipped,  “We’ve been open here for a year, and the only time the cops have been here was to come in and get a tour.”
Indeed, throughout the weekend several patients commented on how well people tend to get along at the Cafe, and how easily things can be peacefully resolved when a rare dispute does arise.
A patient named Bette, who describes herself as “an old lady,” said, “Everybody I know who comes here who has ever worked in a bar always comments on how safe it feels here compared to a bar. Since there’s no alcohol, you don’t have to worry so much about fights breaking out.”
Before the music started up again, Martinez herself took the stage to thank everyone, especially the volunteers. She choked up just for a moment as she said, “Thanks for being a part of my dream, helping me to make this community work. We’re self-sustaining, we give plants away.  Thank you to all of you volunteers — without you we wouldn’t have been able to make this dream come true!”
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Photo: Larry Kirk
Partygoers Friday night at the WFCC anniversary party.
Martinez is not exaggerating when she says that the World Famous Cannabis Cafe would not exist without its volunteers, and the good will among its community is an essential part of the Cafe experience. Everyone on the Cafe staff, including Madeline, are volunteers, and all of the medicine available for patients to use during their visit comes in through donations.
Even the musicians and comedians volunteer their time and talent.
Hawk says that performers from all over the country contact him for a chance to perform for free for patients on the small, but well-equipped, stage. Musicians carry all their own gear, and often help set up the show along with Hawk’s small crew. The performances are definitely uplifting to the patients, many of whose conditions made them virtual shut-ins before the Cafe opened.
As Hawk puts it, “The healing power of music and laughter come together with the healing power of cannabis. Something magic happens on that stage that I have never seen in all my years as a musician.”
On Friday night, Seattle reggae and roots band Northwest Sons, with guest bassist Kenny Goldstein, lit the place up with their infectious reggae/roots grooves to start the webcast.
Portland’s own Everybody Gets High followed up with a couple of sets that rocked the house, and the evening concluded with a big jam that lasted until after midnight.
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Photo: Larry Kirk
Northwest Sons wowed the crowd with guest bassist, Kenny Goldstein.

On Saturday, festivities picked up much earlier, and the afternoon’s entertainment really got off the ground when local recording artists J Mack and Big Dub and their whole band opened up with a live 4:20 performance of their song, “Meet Me at the Cafe.” They played a lot of material from their album Heavily Medicated, and pumped up the crowd to an even higher level.
A guitar and drum combo called Tripod Canary kept the musical bar high with an amazing musical conversation before comedy portion of the evening began.
Comic Todd Armstrong served as host and MC for the The High Court of Comedy, the Cafe’s weekly standup comedy show, which goes out live on Ustream every Saturday at 8:00 PM.  Armstrong got a huge laugh with the line, “Oregon: it’s like Amsterdam and Texas had a baby.”
The lineup for the evening included Nathan Brannon, Paul Cardosi, Iris Gorman, Christian Manville, Jen Allen, Manuel Hall, Jon Green, Belinda Jiles, Lonnie Bruhn, and Jacob Christopher.
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Photo: Larry Kirk
Budtender Nickie Gates prepares a bag of vapor, Friday, July 29 at the World Famous Cannabis Cafe’s 1st Anniversary Celebration.

It was a great evening of comedy, and none of the comics were afraid to deal with dangerous subjects. Cafe volunteer Belinda Jiles got a strong reaction from her home crowd, and Portland standup staple Lonnie Bruhn – an extremely funny and unapologetically dirty comic who happens to have cerebral palsy–was frankly hilarious. Hawk called it the funniest performance he’d seen on the stage this year.
Bruhn ended his time with a very moving story about his own experience as a disabled person standing up to bullies, a story that felt very relevant to the continuing struggle against cannabis prohibition.
The weekend concluded with a musical jam that included guitarist Tim Simpson, bassist Wade Weekly and many others. Only a small group including Madeline herself and Anna Diaz, NORML’s 2011 Pauline Sabin Award winner, were present to celebrate the official anniversary at the stroke of midnight, July 31.
About 350 people came through the World Famous Cannabis Cafe over the course of the anniversary celebration weekend.  The Ustream simulcast had 4,700 views on Friday and 5,900 Saturday, with a big spike during Lonnie Bruhn’s comedy set.
The Cafe is open to Oregon Medical Marijuana Program registrants Tuesday through Saturday from 10:00 a.m. until 10:00 p.m. and Mondays from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.  It is closed on Sundays.
For more information, please visit www.worldfamouscannabiscafe.com or call 503-208-3395.
You can also find the World Famous Cannabis Cafe on Facebook and Twitter.
Live streaming and archived broadcasts (including those from the anniversary celebration) are available at www.ustream.tv/channel/world-famous-cannabis-cafe.

2011 CA Atty. Gen. Marijuana Guidelines Leaked; Read ‘Em Here

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Photo: Office of the Attorney General
California Attorney General Kamala Harris
​ A draft copy of the new 2011 California Attorney General’s guidelines on medical marijuana have been leaked. They are reproduced below in their entirety.
An official release of these guidelines is expected sometime between now and the end of August.
The section on collectives and dispensaries, among others, doesn’t seem to be good news for patients as far as affordable access is concerned; the section seems to limit individual patient options.
“While many advocates argue for ‘safe access’ I want not only ‘safe access’ but ‘affordable access’ and at times I get the impression that ‘affordable access’ is lost in the discussion among many,” commented Brett Stone, who manages the Medical Marijuana News group on Yahoo!, through which he released the draft guidelines.
“A special thanks to Shona Gochenaur of San Francisco’s Axis of Love for uncovering and forwarding this copy to me,” Stone said.
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Rick Simpson: Run From The Cure

Rick Simpson: Run From The Cure

 http://www.theweedblog.com/rick-simpson-run-from-the-cure/

Rick Simpson

Rick Simpson has been providing people with Hemp Oil medicines, at no cost, for about years. The results have been nothing short of amazing. Watch the documentary Run From The Cure to understand more about using cannabis as a cure for cancer and other medical problems!

LA Court Rules MMJ Patients Must Have Specified Dosage

Marijuana Bottle

The Ruling is important mainly because of the words in the message.

In an unprecedented ruling, a Los Angeles court denied a motion by plaintiff & DPFCA member Susan Soares to return her medical marijuana on the grounds that her doctor had not specified a dosage amount or frequency in her recommendation.   Soares, who was growing for a local collective, had her medicine seized by hostile police last March, and had petitioned the court for it to be returned after charges against her were dropped.

It is generally the practice of most medical cannabis specialists never to prescribe a dosage quantity.  The California Medical Association recommends that physicians never do so, because no dosage guidelines for cannabis have ever been established.  Effective dosage varies greatly according to the potency and delivery form of the medication.  Patients regularly control their own dosage through self-titration.

In the court’s decision, Judge Antonio Barreto, Jr. declared that “as a matter of law” any recommendation that Soares’ doctor  made that does “not involve frequency and dosage both is insufficient, period, and does not lead to any lawful possession of any amount of marijuana.”     The judge mysteriously  stated that his ruling was based on the Tripett decision.   Soares had been growing for several patients, but the court declined to return even six plants for her own individual use.

Soares is seeking legal aid to appeal Barreto’s unprecedented decision.

Norml

- D. Gieringer, Cal NORML

Susan Soares wrote:

I was denied my motion to return yesterday based on People v. Trippett. The judge said that because my doctor didn’t give me dosages or frequency of use, that my rec was invalid and therefore he couldn’t even give me the SB420 limits back. My attorney then asked him to preserve the evidence until we have time to appeal and he refused. The case that he referred to was pre 215 and later the convictions were vacated when 215 passed! The DA and the cop started cheering. Now the cops are going to wrongly believe that there has to be dosages on people’s recs! What can I do?

Susan Soares
susan@vibenationmultimedia.com

http://www.theweedblog.com/la-court-rules-medical-marijuana-patients-must-have-specified-dosage/

Washing Medical Marijuana Dispensaries Confused…

Thanks, tokeofthetown.com!
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Graphic: Sodahead

​​Changes to Washington state’s medical marijuana laws kick in today, Friday, July 22. But cities, counties, providers and patients are still trying to make sense of the new guidelines, a patchwork of confusing and often contradictory rules left by Governor Christine Gregoire’s hen-hearted line-item veto of legislation which would have regulated the shops.

The dispensaries have popped up all over the state in the past couple years, reports Liz Jones at KUOW. But the changes in Washington’s medical marijuana law make dispensaries illegal, while authorizing “collective gardens” of up to 45 plants for up to 10 patients.

“You know, I’m getting phone calls constantly from people saying, what do I do, what do I do, what I do?” said Philip Dawdy, who worked with the Washington Cannabis Association during the past legislative session. He helped push for legislation that would have created a statewide system to regulate medical marijuana.
Gov. Gregoire’s partial veto of the bill has created a gigantic mess, according to Dawdy and practically every other person who is familiar with the issue. Cities and counties are interpreting the law differently, with some taking a lenient approach while others are banning the gardens.
“It’s going to depend on what jurisdiction you’re in, and what county you’re in, and what attitude your county prosecutor has,” Dawdy said. “We may have 39 different versions of this for each county. It’s frustrating. It’s very frustrating.”
Kent, Shoreline and Everett are among the cities that have already put a moratorium on the collective gardens.
Meanwhile, the Seattle City Council this week approved a measure to allow and regulate dispensaries and collective gardens, clarifying the city’s approach.
“All we’ve tried to say is that as long as you’re in compliance with all city licensing and code requirements, we’re not going to bother you,” said Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes.
Holmes said his talks with federal prosecutors lead him to believe patients will be safe if they’re seriously ill, have a medical authorization and grow their own small amounts. However, he’ll have to forgive some members of the patient community if they don’t feel particularly reassured learning that law enforcement, not medical personnel, will be deciding who is “seriously ill.”
Part of the change from dispensaries to collective gardens means providers will now need to track where the cannabis is grow and the patients who get it.
Liz Jones of KUOW asked Washington Attorney General Rob McKenna’s office for clarification on the state’s medical marijuana laws — but a spokesman responded that his office “is not involved in this issue.”
That’s what we’re facing in Washington, folks. Thanks to our hen-hearted Governor, we have a confusing and unclear medical marijuana law (which will result in lots of needless arrests), and meanwhile our spineless attorney general — who is supposed to be the top law enforcement officer in the state – doesn’t have the balls to even address the issue.

“I Don’t Want You To Smoke; I Just Want You To Understand Why I Do”

My name is No Inhale. I am 20 years old and I live in Portland, Oregon. I am part-owner and administrator for The Weed Blog. I don’t have a criminal record and I’m attending school full-time, but still people don’t think I am capable of leading a healthy and productive life. I’m not here to endorse smoking marijuana, nor am I here to convince anyone to try it. I am only asking those around me to, not only understand why I smoke cannabis, but accept it, as well.

I first smoked when I was a freshman in high school; I was 14 years old and just as blissfully unaware of my own ignorance as I am now. I didn’t like how it made me feel then, so I only did it a handful of times before quitting for the remainder of my high school career. I was approached by Johnny Green and Ninja Smoker in May of last year. They knew I supported those who used marijuana, but did not smoke it myself. This gave me enough credibility (and relevance) to start writing for the website. It’s a year later, and a few things have changed; mainly, that now I am, once again, a marijuana consumer.

I remember the petty judgments and shallow reception the “stoners” got in high school, but I always thought the animosity stemmed from 1,200 insecure teenagers forced to be around each other five days a week. Unfortunately, the adult world can be just as judgmental and closed-minded as a pack of 16 year old girls. Both sides of this issue are tired of the opposition’s repetitive rhetoric. Stoners, bible thumpers, rednecks, liberals, conservatives, hippies have all been beating their dead horses since June, 1971. It’s gotten so ridiculous that both sides are stretching the truth to serve their causes.

My time around cannabis culture has exposed me to hundreds of claims and “facts” about marijuana; many contradicting. What I have extrapolated from my experiences is much less dramatic than a painful death or a cure to all ailments. Marijuana is a plant; it grows naturally in the dirt. The fact that we have made nature illegal should show you how out of hand this has gotten. My father recently passed away from esophageal cancer. It was a three year battle of hell, but marijuana helped him enjoy his last years alive. I can’t imagine anyone would want to throw him in jail for trying to make his last years livable. Marijuana is not the cause of, nor the cure for, cancer, it’s just a plant that amplifies the positive emotions a person feels. Food tastes better, movies are more enjoyable, people are friendlier. Marijuana gives me a certain lucidity, a certain intimacy with everything around me, including myself. Sounds super stoney, right? So, who gives a shit?? Let me be a stoner. Let me laugh at Jay and Silent Bob, let me appreciate every-day objects as divine creation, let me see the beauty and symmetry this world has to offer. Why do you care? Let me enrich my life the way I want to. Let me roll my spliff and sink into my own subconscious, I promise you will come to see that marijuana is just another consumable this earth offers. No different from an apple, no different from chocolate cake, no different than salt and pepper. I don’t want you to join me (although you are always welcome), I just want you to understand and leave me to my happiness.

Medical Marijuana food truck hits Lakers’ victory parade in LA

Marijuana lollipops for sale on Lakers parade route

June 21, 2010 | 10:52 am
  • Lakers' fans cheered Monday during the victory parade in downtown Los Angeles, as a marijuana truck made the rounds on the parade route.
Lakers’ fans cheered Monday during the victory parade in downtown… (Vogel/AP)

In addition to the sales of Lakers paraphernalia and water, some surprising entrepreneurs took to the parade route to sell their wares.

Among them was a mobile truck, Weed World Candies.com, selling marijuana lollipops in hues of orange and blue. (The truck itself is green with a photo mural of young women in bikinis sorting marijuana leaves.)

The assortment included brands of marijuana such as OG Kush and Grand Daddy Perp. The truck’s owner, Bilal Muhammad, said he was recently forced to shut down his store in West Hollywood and had taken his business on the road.

Customers approaching his truck were asked if they had a prescription card allowing them to purchase marijuana and then were handed a free lollipop.

“It’s been working out very well,” he said of business before driving away as police became visible in the distance.

So far, Muhammad was able to work without interruption from police.

– Gale Holland http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2010/06/marijuana-lollipops-for-sale-on-lakers-parade-route.html

Seattle Committee Passes Bill to License Cannabis Dispensaries

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Photo: Steve Elliott ~alapoet~

​A Seattle City Council panel on Wednesday unanimously passed a measure licensing and regulating medical marijuana dispensaries in the city.

The ordinance now moves to the full City Council for consideration on Monday, July 18, reports Chris Grygiel at the Seattle P.I. But prior to the vote by the Housing, Human Services, Health and Culture Committee, one attorney told the council members that the ordinance won’t stand up in court.
“I want to applaud the City Council for taking a look at this matter … unfortunately I must urge you to reconsider your proposal,” said activist/attorney Douglas Hiatt, who said he represents medical marijuana patients. “Go back to the drawing board. I do not believe there is any way you can pass your ordinance will stand under the law. The state’s controlled substances act pre-empts the field … Marijuana is still illegal … It’s illegal for all purposes, you cannot regulate an illegal business without a specific authority.”

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Photo: Douglas Hiatt
Attorney Douglas Hiatt: “If you pass this, I will take you to court and do my very best to knock it out”
​ When Gov. Chris Gregoire line-item vetoed a bill earlier this year which would have allowed medical marijuana dispensaries statewide, she nixed language that would have allowed the Council to pass its own regulations, according to Hiatt.
“If you pass this, I will take you to court and do my very best to knock it out,” Hiatt told the Council.
Earlier this year, the Washington Legislature passed a medical marijuana bill, but Gregoire vetoed most of it, claiming she was worried the law would put state workers at risk of federal prosecution, even though that’s never happened in any medical marijuana state.
Washington has allowed patients with qualifying conditions to use medical marijuana since voters approved it in 1998, but the federal government doesn’t recognize any medicinal use for cannabis. The bill that passed in the Legislature was intended to set clearer regulations on dispensaries, establish a licensing system, and institute a patient registry with arrest protection.
Gregoire vetoed provisions which would have licensed and regulated marijuana dispensaries. She also vetoed the provision which would have created a patient registry under the Department of Health.
Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn, along with the city attorney and King County’s executive and prosecutor had all supported establishing a legal framework for medical marijuana.
The ordinance before the Seattle City Council, sponsored by Councilman Nick Licata, would require medical marijuana dispensaries to get business licenses, pay taxes and fees and meet city land use codes. The shops would also be subject to the city’s Chronic Nuisance Property Law, which means if there were repeated complaints about their activity, they could be fined or shut down.
The “open use and display of cannabis” would be prohibited at the dispensaries.
Not all people testifying before the Council on Wednesday thought the effort was in vain. A University District resident urged the Council to come up with zoning rules so that neighborhoods like his aren’t “overrun” with dispensaries.
To read medical marijuana documents presented to the Council, click here and here.

Federal government says marijuana has no accepted medical use

LA-Marijuana has been approved by California, many other states and the nation’s capital to treat a range of illnesses, but in a decision announced Friday the federal government ruled that it has no accepted medical use and should remain classified as a dangerous drug like heroin.

The decision comes almost nine years after medical marijuana supporters asked the government to reclassify cannabis to take into account a growing body of worldwide research that shows its effectiveness in treating certain diseases, such as glaucoma and multiple sclerosis.

Advocates for the medical use of the drug criticized the ruling but were elated that the Obama administration had finally acted, which allows them to appeal to the federal courts, where they believe they can get a fairer hearing. The decision to deny the request was made by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and comes less than two months after advocates asked the U.S. Court of Appeals to force the administration to respond to their petition.

“We have foiled the government’s strategy of delay, and we can now go head-to-head on the merits, that marijuana really does have therapeutic value,” said Joe Elford, the chief counsel for Americans for Safe Access and the lead counsel on the recently filed lawsuit. Elford said he was not surprised by the decision, which comes just after the Obama administration announced it would not tolerate large-scale commercial marijuana cultivation. “It is clearly motivated by a political decision that is anti-marijuana,” he said. He noted that studies demonstrate pot has beneficial effects, including appetite stimulation for people undergoing chemotherapy. “One of the things people say about marijuana is that it gives you the munchies and the truth is that it does, and for some people that’s a very positive thing.”

DEA Administrator Michele M. Leonhart sent a letter dated June 21 to the organizations that filed a petition for the change. The letter and the documentation that she used to back up her decision were published Friday in the Federal Register. Leonhart said she rejected the request because marijuana “has a high potential for abuse,” “has no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States” and “lacks accepted safety for use under medical supervision.”

This is the third time that petitions to reclassify marijuana have been spurned. The first was filed in 1972 and denied 17 years later. The second was filed in 1995 and denied in 2001. Both decisions were appealed, but the courts sided with the federal government.

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