Monday, August 31, 2009

Marijuana Pop Culture Timeline

High points in recent pot culture history

August 30, 2009


Tommy Chong hires improv comedian Richard "Cheech" Marin to perform
between the bands and strippers at his family's Vancouver, Canada, night
club. Nine years later, the godfathers of the stoner flick give birth to
their first movie, "Up in Smoke."


Bill Clinton experiments with marijuana during this period while in
England, but doesn't manage to actually inhale, thus preserving himself
for a future stint as two-term occupant of the White House.


Tom Forcade founds High Times magazine to do for drugs what Playboy did
for sex -- complete with glossy pot-plant centerfolds.


Reggae musician Peter Tosh releases his solo debut album, "Legalize It."
The title track will become the de facto anthem of the marijuana
legalization movement.


"Fast Times at Ridgemont High" sets the Gen X stereotype in stoner with
Sean Penn's bong-smoking, wave-catching surf rat Jeff Spicoli. Aloha,
Mr. Hand!


John Hughes' recipe for a classic: Take five high school stereotypes
burning off a morning of detention, add one joint and mix well. The
result is "The Breakfast Club," a movie sunny-side up on the bonding
aspect of getting baked.


Dr. Dre releases his first solo hip-hop album, "The Chronic," which
takes its name from a slang term for high-quality weed and its cover art
from a package of Zig-Zag rolling papers. The album gets high on the
charts -- going triple platinum in its first year of release.


Set on the final day of high school in 1976, Richard Linklater's "Dazed
and Confused" was shamelessly pro-pot with tag lines that included "Weed
rules" and "See it with a bud." Coincidentally, it's one of the last
times anyone can remember seeing Matthew McConaughey wearing a shirt.


California voters pass Proposition 215, making the Golden State the
first state to allow the medical use of marijuana. By mid-2009, a dozen
other states have passed similar measures.


Showtime's "Weeds" gives the neighborhood drug dealer an extreme
makeover -- and more than a dime bag of sympathy -- by introducing
suburban soccer mom Nancy Botwin (Mary-Louise Parker), who turns to
peddling pot after her husband dies.

August 2008

Pot comedy "Pineapple Express" opens; America gets a pot dealer who
looks like James Franco. The movie goes on to make a smokin' $101.6
million at box offices worldwide.

November 2008

Michael Phelps, the most decorated gold medalist in Olympic history,
shatters the stoner-slacker stereotype by being photographed smoking out
of a water pipe at a party in South Carolina.

March 2009

At President Obama's webcast town hall meeting, the top-submitted
question was about legalizing marijuana to help end the recession. The
president's response against it crushes a collective buzz.

July 2009

Kalpen Modi, who as Kal Penn portrayed the stoner Kumar of "Harold &
Kumar Go to White Castle" fame, heads to the White House to serve as
associate director of the Office of Public Engagement. Minds can be
heard blowing on college campuses around the country.

-- Adam Tschorn

http://www.latimes. com/features/ image/la- ig-potside30- 2009aug30, 0,981958\

Colorado Medical Marijuana Patients Want Federal Action

Clear the haze on medical pot

Conflicting federal and state laws make it difficult, if not impossible,
for some to use doctor-prescribed marijuana.

By The Denver Post
Posted: 08/31/2009 01:00:00 AM MDT

Though Coloradans voted to legalize marijuana for medicinal use nine
years ago, certified medical-marijuana users, many of whom are battling
chronic pain, are being evicted from federal housing.

That's because federal law categorizes marijuana as an illegal drug.

Two Colorado men are fighting such evictions in court and similar
battles are taking place in 13 other states that allow medical-marijuana
use, according to The Post's Nancy Lofholm.

Given earlier court rulings, it's doubtful those battles will prevail
for the evicted. That's why we think elected officials in Washington
should correct the conflict between state and national law.

"It's safe to say this is a growing problem. We're going to encounter it
more," said Brian Vicente, an advocate for medical-marijuana users.

To get a more poignant take on the situation, consider Bill Hewitt, one
of the Colorado men fighting his eviction.

"It's disgusting," Hewitt told Lofholm. "Most disabled can't afford a
house, so they get assistance. These people should not be thrown in the
street because they use a medication that alleviates pain."

Hewitt suffers from muscular dystrophy. He claims smoking marijuana has
replaced prescription painkillers that produced negative side effects.

Pot, he says, allowed him to toss tranquilizers, muscle relaxers,
sleeping pills and other drugs in the trash. Hard — but legal —
drugs such as morphine and Oxycontin also are painkillers that
medical-marijuana advocates claim can be shelved in favor of pot.

Yes, we have concerns that a mushrooming use of medical marijuana by
young men in Colorado, as earlier stories have shown, signals a system
that is likely being abused.

Authorities ought to make sure certified users truly are deserving of
the treatment. But that is a separate issue.

We understand that there could be a perception problem regarding the
evictions. No one wants to think that their tax dollars are allowing
someone to live on the government dole while getting high.

But evicting victims of chronic pain from federal housing or federally
assisted housing seems cruel for exactly the reasons Hewitt articulated.
Many are in need of housing assistance because of their pain and

And what they are doing — smoking pot for medicinal purposes —
is legal under state law.

No doubt, many of those in federal housing also are getting government
money to buy prescription drugs, which comes at a cost to taxpayers.

If use of relatively inexpensive marijuana cuts a need for those
prescription medications, isn't that better for everyone?

The long and costly "war on drugs" creates these kinds of legal
headaches. It would be much easier if marijuana use were legalized and

Another solution would be for Congress to create a federal
medical-marijuana law like Colorado's that applies to all states and

Short of those measures, our representatives should create a federal
housing exemption for those states that allow for medical-marijuana use.

Otherwise the legal conflicts are sure to continue, further tying up
resources in our courts.

http://www.denverpo ci_13235931

Los Angeles Medical Marijuana Comedy News

Comedy mingles with cannabis

Stand-ups and smokers play it for laughs at a recently raided marijuana

By Yvonne Villarreal

August 31, 2009

It's not every night that a comedian peers down from the stage and
notices some of the audience smoking marijuana -- at least not legally.

But that's what Samson Crouppen saw at the Royal Temple of Zion, a
Rastafarian temple that also served as a medical marijuana dispensary
until it was raided less than two weeks ago and where on Saturday night
music and comedy mingled with cannabis.

"It's really not that different than going to a bar or a club," Crouppen
said. "Comedians perform in front of people who are drunk or buzzed all
the time. Here, there are a few people who get high. Big deal."

Roughly 65 people, a mix of people with prescriptions for medical
marijuana and those without, attended the gathering, part of a temple
effort to build better relations with the community. And though only a
small portion ingested the herbal remedy, the smell of marijuana was

Banners with Bob Marley's image hung from the rafters of the Echo Park
facility, a converted airplane hangar. Sheets of red, yellow and green
-- the colors of the Rasta flag -- served as a backdrop to the stage,
where five comedians rotated throughout the night. Beso Negro, a
three-piece band, offered musical interludes between acts.

"It was definitely interesting, " comedian John Corbett, 44, of West
Hollywood said after finishing his routine.

"I'd rather perform in front of a high audience than a drunk one because
there's less vomiting. And if no one's laughing it's not so damaging to
the ego, because you can just assume they're too relaxed to laugh."

The clinic-temple has also hosted jazz shows, chess matches and pingpong
tournaments. Saturday's event, which was billed as "Samson Goes Green,"
was the second comedy show held there.

"It's a great way to get the community together," said Patrick Duff, 33,
owner of the onetime dispensary that had been operating out of an Echo
Park location since June after switching locations.

"We're not doing anything illegal here. The patients who come to these
events don't want to be stuck at home, depressed about their ailments.
They just want to have fun."

But the night of humor and music almost never happened.

The Los Angeles Police Department raided the facility Aug. 20.
Authorities said Duff had not applied for a hardship permit to operate
the business, like other medical marijuana dispensaries in the city, so
selling the drug was illegal.

When the city adopted a marijuana dispensary moratorium in 2007 that
banned new herb storefronts until there was a better system to regulate
them, it included a provision that allowed dispensaries to file hardship
exemption applications with the Los Angeles City Council.

Three volunteers at the dispensary were arrested and charged with an
attempt to sell 25 pounds or more of marijuana, Duff said; about two
pounds of marijuana were seized during the raid.

Those associated with the temple say that as a Rastafarian ministry,
they have the legal right to sell marijuana to the sick. The temple
reopened Aug. 22, but the dispensary has not handed out marijuana since.
It's unclear whether they can continue to function as a dispensary.

As Saturday's late-night show unfolded, Crouppen looked on as the crowd
offered chuckles to comedian Eric Andre. "This is what it's all about,"
Crouppen said. "People aren't here to get high. They're here to laugh."


http://www.latimes. com/entertainmen t/news/la- et-pot-comedy31- 2009aug31, 0\

PA Medical Marijuana News

Marijuana's success in medical use explored

Bucks County Courier Times

August 30, 2009 02:21 AM

The words "marijuana" and "cannabis" can conjure up images of drug
addicts and criminal behavior.

That's why the eight people attending a seminar about the drug at the
Levittown branch of the Bucks County Public Library said they didn't
want to reveal their names to the newspaper.

But Saturday's two-hour seminar by the National Organization for the
Reform of Marijuana Laws, or NORML, was about the medical uses of
marijuana as well as its history in the U.S. and other countries.
Several people threw curious glances into the meeting room but did not

Those who gathered wanted to learn more about efforts in Pennsylvania to
legalize the drug for medical use. Just about everyone in the room knew
someone with an illness who either uses marijuana illegally to find
relief or who can't find relief using current treatments.

"It's so stigmatized. But getting sick would change your mind
overnight," said one man, who didn't want his name used. "It's like
prohibition of alcohol. That didn't work, and alcohol is more deadly."

A woman and her son came to the meeting from Lancaster because they know
people who they believe would benefit from medical marijuana use. One is
an AIDS patient and another suffers detrimental side-effects from the
drugs he takes for manic-depression.

"When you buy marijuana illegally, you don't know what you're getting,"
the woman said.

This year, state Rep. Mark Cohen and six co-sponsors introduced House
Bill 1393 to make the medical use of the marijuana legal. If passed, the
Barry Busch Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act of 2009 would allow
patients who get clearance from their doctors and the state to possess
and cultivate cannabis for therapeutic purposes. The measure also seeks
to allow the state-licensed distribution and sale of medical marijuana
by authorized "compassion centers."

Currently, 13 other states have medical marijuana laws: Alaska,
California, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, New
Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington.

"This year has seen the most movement toward the end of prohibition, "
said Chris Goldstein, a spokesperson for NORML. He's on the board of
directors for the New Jersey chapter of the national organization,
founded in 1970. New Jersey is also considering a medical marijuana

By legalizing the drug, patients would be ensured of the highest quality
and wouldn't have to worry about contaminants, fungus or toxic
substances on the marijuana, said Goldstein.

NORML reports that something like 14 million people use marijuana
regularly, according to federal government surveys.

A March 2001 Pew Research Center poll reported that 73 percent of
Americans support making marijuana legally available for doctors to
prescribe. In a 2004 AARP poll, 72 percent of respondents said they
agree that "Adults should be allowed to legally use marijuana for
medical purposes if a physician recommends it."

The National Institutes of Health and The National Institutes of Drug
Abuse are funding research into medical marijuana applications,
Goldstein said.

Studies and actual use have proven effective in treating symptoms and
treatment side-effects of serious illnesses such as AIDS, cancer and
neurological disorders including Lou Gehrig's Disease and multiple
sclerosis. Details about these studies as well as endorsements by health
organizations and state programs are posted on NORML's Web site, at

"This is not some sort of underground issue. It's a mainstream topic,"
said Goldstein.

The organization advocates responsible use of the drug. It's active in
trying to get marijuana off the federal Drug Enforcement
Administration' s Schedule I drug classification, which defines a drug as
having no accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse.

However, marijuana has been used in the United States and around the
world for generations, said Goldstein. Until the Marijuana Tax Stamp Act
of 1937, the substance was legal in this country, and doctors used it to
relieve a variety of ailments, he said.

Derek Rosenzweig, co-chairman of the Philadelphia chapter of NORML, is
looking forward to the passage of House Bill 1393, which has been
referred to the House Committee on Health and Human Services.

"We've talked to almost every member of the committee. We're hoping this
bill gets passed in two years," said Rosenzweig. He and Goldstein are
also members of Pennsylvanians For Medical Marijuana.

To people with debilitating diseases or chronic pain, marijuana can be
the only agent of relief, Rosenzweig said.

He is a passionate advocate and joined NORML after his father was
diagnosed with Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy Syndrome, a chronic pain

"It's 24-7 pain," said Rosenzweig's mother, Faith Rosenzweig of Bristol
Township. She petitions legislators to consider the advantages of
marijuana as medicine.

http://www.phillybu news_details/ article/28/ 2009/august/ 30/m\
arijuanas-success- in-medical- use-explored. html

Friday, August 28, 2009

Fresno Medical Marijuana Victory

Medical Marijuana Victory in Fresno

Thursday, August 27, 2009 | 8:25 PM

By Andres Araiza

Watch video story (1:25) - http://abclocal. video?id= 6986971

Fresno, CA (KFSN) -- A judge did not issue an emergency restraining
order against a medical marijuana dispensary.

Medmar is the first medical marijuana dispensary in Fresno. It is also
the first to be sued by city attorneys. On Thursday, a judge said the
dispensary did not appear to pose an immediate threat to public safety.
William Logan represents the dispensary's owner. Logan said, "He is not
violation of any law, ordinance or regulation. He is completely in
compliance with state law, and he is not doing anything wrong."

The City of Fresno is trying to shut down Medmar partly because it is
not in compliance with federal law. Federal law bars the use of
marijuana under any circumstance. City Attorney Charlotte Konczal asked
a judge to issue an emergency restraining order. Konczal said, "We had
two undercover officers actually purchase marijuana in an illegal
manner, so we feel that is sufficient enough to show there's illegal at
this particular dispensary."

In the end, Judge Alan Simpson delayed making a decision saying he is
unclear how to move forward. That means Medmar can stay open until at
least next month when another hearing is scheduled.

http://abclocal. story?section= news/local& id=6986959

Medical Marijuana Patient Can Smoke, Not Grow in New Mexico

Pot patient told to smoke, not grow

Reporter: Alex Tomlin
Web Producer: Bill Diven

August 27, 2009

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - An Albuquerque woman says she's doesn't know what
to do now that police have seized her medical marijuana plants.

She has a permit to possess the drug, but not grow it.

"I'm devastated." Alana Bonaccorsi told News 13. "I am
anorexic, and I only have a little bit at night to help me eat."

She told KRQE News 13 she thought she could grow it too. But Wednesday
officers ripped up her plants after she called to report that some
teenagers tried to steal the plants from her backyard.

"I don't have the money to buy it, and I thought I was able to grow
my own," Bonaccoris said.

But she doesn't have a grower's permit. Now investigators are trying to
determine if she should be charged.

Vashti Lowe with the district attorney's office said this isn't a
typical drug case.

"We are going to look at the law very carefully," Lowe said. "We are
going to prosecute those people who are in violation of the law and
attempt to safeguard the rights of those individuals who have legitimate
illnesses and a valid license to either possess or grow marijuana."

Debra Busemeyer with the state Department of Health said the number of
medical marijuana permits has increased in the last few months.

"We have 540 active patients in our program, and of those a little
over a 100 have a license to produce for themselves," she said. Patients
are informed from the beginning of the limits of their permits, she

The permits limit possession to no more than 6 ounces, and growers can
only have 12 plants.

For those not allowed to grown their own, there is a non-profit group
permitted to distribute in the state. But Bonaccorsi said it's too
expensive for her.

"Seven grams will be close to $90, and there's 28 grams in an
ounce." Bonaccorsi said.

The health department said it is fairly easy to upgrade someone with a
user's permit to allow them to grow marijuana. The DOH said it's
happy to help with that.

The district attorney's office said it expects review Bonaccorsi's case
in the next few weeks.

Growing marijuana for personal use is a misdemeanor while growing enough
for distribution can draw 18 months in jail.

http://www.krqe. com/dpp/news/ health/health_ krqe_albuquerque _pot_patient_ \
told_to_smoke_ not_grow_ 200908272235

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

OC Robbery of Medical Marijuana Dispensary Owner

Marijuana dispensary owner robbed at gunpoint

Police seek two men after Saturday night incident in Costa Mesa.

The Orange County Register
Tuesday, August 25, 2009

COSTA MESA – Police are looking for two men who robbed a South
County marijuana dispensary owner at gunpoint over the weekend.

The dispensary owner and another resident of the same house came home
Saturday night to find two robbers coming out of the house, police said.

Police did not name the victims.

The two residents of the house in the 600 block of Whitney Way came home
around 10 p.m. and stumbled on two robbers who took them inside and tied
them up, police said.

At first, the robbers tried to get inside a safe inside the house, but
couldn't, Sgt. Bryan Glass of the Costa Mesa police said. One of the
robbers, who had a gun, forced the victim to open the safe.

The robbers left the victims tied up, but they managed to get free by
around 3 a.m. Sunday and called the police.

Contact the writer: jcassidy@ocregister .com or 714-704-3782

http://www.ocregist police-robbers- house-2540693- inside-v\

Washington Medical Patient Bothered in Oregon

Medical marijuana seller busted during buying trip

Oregon doesn't recognize pot permits from other states

Meghann M. Cuniff
meghannc@spokesman. com, (509) 459-5534
August 26, 2009 in City

More than a thousand medical marijuana patients have purchased the drug
at a small dispensary on Northwest Boulevard in Spokane in the nearly
five months it's been open.

Business is booming, and Scott Q. Shupe, co-owner of the dispensary,
intended to keep it that way when he set out for Oregon with thousands
of dollars and a lead on several pounds of marijuana.

Shupe, 54, was driving back from Bend, Ore., on Friday afternoon when an
Oregon State Police trooper pulled him over for crossing the centerline.

That trooper found 4 pounds of marijuana and more than $18,000 in
Shupe's 1993 Chevrolet Cavalier station wagon – supplies
destined for his dispensary, he said.

Shupe's status as a medical marijuana patient in Washington
didn't matter. Oregon doesn't recognize medical marijuana
permits from other states.

Even if it did, patients and caregivers are limited to 1.5 pounds at

Shupe is back in Spokane after posting $7,500 bond.

His arrest underscores the dichotomy between medical marijuana patients
and police and prosecutors charged with enforcing drug laws.

Washington's medical marijuana law, approved by voters in 1998 and
adjusted later by the Legislature, doesn't specify how card-carrying
medical marijuana users can obtain fresh bud or how caretakers can
legally obtain seeds to grow their own. The law also doesn't address
how dispensaries such as Shupe's can obtain their supplies.

Spokane County prosecutors have said they believe dispensaries such as
Change, which Shupe owns with Christopher Stevens, violate the medical
marijuana laws because they provide marijuana to more than one person.

But how they'll address that remains to be seen.

Federal law prohibits marijuana use, even for medicinal purposes, but
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder has said he won't target medical
marijuana users.

Locally, police and prosecutors work together to decide who to target
and how.

Darren McCrea, founder of the medical-marijuana advocacy group
SpoCannabis, was charged Aug. 4 in an investigation that began in
October 2007 and culminated with a police raid in June 2008 on his north
Spokane home, where detectives found more than 5 pounds of marijuana,
according to a probable cause affidavit.

McCrea faces charges of possession of a controlled substance with intent
to deliver, manufacture of a controlled substance and five counts of
distribution of a controlled substance.

McCrea's situation is similar to Shupe's. Court papers show
police heard McCrea was "selling marijuana to anyone with a medical

The shelves at Change were nearly empty Tuesday. Two jars of fresh
marijuana sat where Shupe said at least six usually do.

Shupe is hopeful he'll get his marijuana and money returned, but
Wasco County (Ore.) District Attorney Eric Nisley said the law isn't
in his favor.

"It's going to be a tough one for him," Nisley said.
"He's probably looking at prison if he's convicted."

http://www.spokesma 2009/aug/ 26/medical- marijuana- seller-bu\
sted-during- buying-trip/

Mexican Drug Decriminalization May Set Example

In Decriminalizing Much Drug Use, Mexico May Be Setting an Example

By Ioan Grillo / Mexico City
Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2009

No dreadlocked revelers smoked celebratory reefers in the streets, no
armies of conservatives protested, the Mexican media raised no
hullabaloo. Quietly and with little ado, Mexico last week enacted a law
to decriminalize possession of small amounts of all major narcotics,
including marijuana, cocaine, heroin, ecstasy and crystal meth. Anyone
caught in Mexico with two or three joints or about four lines of cocaine
can no longer be arrested, fined or imprisoned. However, police will
give them the address of the nearest rehab clinic and advise them to get

Most surprising was how easily and painlessly the reform slipped into
Mexican law. The bill was originally filed in October by President
Felipe Calderón, a social conservative who is waging a bloody
military crackdown on drug cartels. Congress then approved the bill in
April — as Mexico's swine-flu outbreak dominated media attention.
And finally the law went into the books without any major protests
either in Mexico or north of the border.

Washington's silence on the issue is telling. In 2006, Mexico's Congress
approved a bill with almost exactly the same provisions. However, the
Administration of George W. Bush immediately complained about the
measure and then President Vicente Fox refused to sign it into law. In
contrast, officials of the Obama Administration have been decidedly
guarded in commenting on the new legislation. When asked about it in his
visit to Mexico last month, drug czar Gil Kerlikowske said he would
"wait and see." Many view such a change as evidence that Washington is
finally reconsidering its confrontational war on drugs, four decades
after Richard Nixon declared it. "There is a growing opinion that the
use of force has simply failed to destroy the drug trade and other
measures are needed," says Mexican political analyst José Antonio
Crespo. "It appears that the White House may be starting to adjust its

Another reason for the ambivalence is that the new law is predicted to
have little effect on the Mexican street. Police officers would rarely
arrest people caught with small amounts of drugs anyway, although they
would often use it as an opportunity to extract handsome bribes.

Mexican officials argue the legislation is designed less to change the
situation than to clarify the law and go after the traffickers harder.
Indeed, while using small amounts of drugs may now be fine, selling
drugs is still illegal. The law clearly states any person dealing
narcotics will be sent to prison. Any place that sells drugs will be
liable for punishment, a provision that is likely to prevent the opening
of any Amsterdam-style "coffee shops" in the country. The new law also
empowers city and state police to investigate dealers, which was
formerly the reserve of the federales. Street-corner pushers have
exploded across Mexico in recent years while the number of hard-drug
addicts has shot up to 460,000, according to a survey last year.

Still, groups pushing to legalize marijuana north of the Rio Grande see
Mexico's change as an encouraging sign for their own struggle. Allen St.
Pierre, head of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana
Laws, says the Mexican law is part of changing global attitudes to the
issue. "Cultural social norms are shifting around the world and in the
United States. There will likely come a point when the majority see that
prohibition is expensive and simply doesn't work," he says. St. Pierre
points out that 13 U.S. states have already decriminalized marijuana and
California has legalized it for limited medical use.

Mexico's example could also influence other developing countries in
their drug policies, St. Pierre says. "Governments seeing that
Washington did not condemn Mexico for its law may be bolder in their own
legislation. Countries are becoming aware that the United States with
its millions of drug users should not be judging them on their
policies," he says. In February, the former presidents of Brazil,
Colombia and Mexico signed a statement calling for decriminalization of
several narcotics. "Current drug-repression policies are firmly rooted
in prejudices, fears and ideological visions," it said. (On Aug. 25, the
Argentine supreme court essentially legalized the private use of small
amounts of marijuana.)

But some see the Mexican laws as a step back rather than forward.
Critics in Mexico say that decriminalizing users but not sellers will
only strengthen the trafficking mafias that are waging a bloody turf war
in Mexico. More than 12,000 people have been killed in drug-related
violence in the past three years. The cartels make an estimated $30
billion smuggling narcotics north to American users and some $5 billion
more selling to the Mexican market. "It is illogical to have a law that
allows drug consumption but does not control where it is coming from,"
says Representative Enrique Cardenas, who voted against the bill. "It
will only fuel corruption and dealing."

http://www.time. com/time/ world/article/ 0,8599,1918725, 00.html

Monday, August 24, 2009

Rhode Island Marijuana News

Hearing set on `compassion centers'

By Cynthia Needham

Journal State House Bureau

PROVIDENCE — The Rhode Island Department of Health is moving forward
with plans to create the state's first medical marijuana clinic
where patients who use the drug for medicinal purposes can legally
purchase it.

Officials have released a draft version of the regulations regarding
operation of such clinics and have scheduled "an informal community
review meeting" Tuesday, inviting the public to share its thoughts.

In June, lawmakers closed a loophole in the state's medical
marijuana law, approving the creation of up to three so-called
"compassion centers" where they say authorized patients will be
able to safely buy affordable marijuana.

With passage of that law, Rhode Island became the third state to allow
the sale of marijuana for medicinal purposes.

New Mexico earlier this year passed a statute licensing nonprofit
producers of medical marijuana. California, meanwhile, allows marijuana
clinics to operate, but plays no role in regulating the centers.

Since Rhode Island changed its law, some have questioned the particulars
of how such centers will function, and what role the Health Department
will play in regulating them.

The new regulations provide some answers on topics from security and
licensing, to personnel requirements and dispensing rules.

Compassion centers are to be operated as independent nonprofit entities
overseen by boards or principal officers, to be regulated by the Health
Department, much like a hospital or a nursing home. The state will not
play a role in the day-to-day operations, but it will check to ensure
that protocol is followed.

Centers must have "a fully operational security alarm system"
with marijuana to be stored in locked areas within the clinics,
according to the regulations. If clinics elect to grow marijuana at a
second site, that location too must be equipped with proper security.

Staff and board members may not have felony drug convictions and must
undergo background checks to be conducted by the attorney general's
office. They must also participate in training sessions at the facility.

But the rules remain silent on many specifics. For example, who is
expected to train employees, or what constitutes an adequate security

Health Director David Gifford said many of those details can only be
worked out once the regulations are in place and a group is selected to
run the first center.

Gifford cautioned that while health officials will give the public a
chance to ask questions and learn more about the centers at
Tuesday's meeting, they don't have the power to substantively
change the statute. Only the General Assembly can do that through a
formal vote. The draft regulations are simply a reflection of what the
legislature required.

"I am already guessing people pro and con will ask us to change the
language here, but we don't have the authority to do that,"
Gifford said.

Stephen Hogan, executive director of the Rhode Island Patient Advocacy
Coalition, estimates that about 30 individuals have thus far signaled an
interest in applying to open the first center. That group recently held
an information session to help those interested learn more about the
center. But it says it will not endorse any one applicant.

Applications will not be distributed until the regulations are signed
and in place.

Asked how he would describe an ideal applicant for the state's first
compassion center, Gifford hesitated.

"We'll have to weigh the whole picture," he said. "To a
degree it will end up being subjective, but we will try to make it as
fair and transparent as possible."

Hogan said he hopes the first center will open as early as May, at which
point the application process will begin anew for groups interested in
operating the second center.

Gifford declined to commit to a specific time frame, given that the
state has never before embarked on such a process, but he did not reject
Hogan's estimate.

Tuesday's meeting will be at 2 p.m. in the auditorium of the Cannon
Building, 3 Capitol Hill, on the lower level.

cneedham@projo. com

http://www.projo. com/news/ content/MARIJUAN A_MEETING_ 08-24-09_ BPFFO9U_v16\

Oregon Marijuana News

High times for an Oregon business: pot growing

Posted by Richard Cockle, The Oregonian
August 23, 2009 20:45PM

LA GRANDE -- The accidental death of a U.S. Forest Service worker last
week in the Monument Rock Wilderness underscores the seriousness of an
unusually active marijuana-growing season across Oregon this summer.

Steven A. Uptegrove, 52, died Thursday when he was hit by a falling snag
while helping the Baker County Narcotics Enforcement Team eradicate
2,156 marijuana plants.

The same day, Baker County authorities took down a marijuana garden with
12,023 plants about three miles away, Baker County Sheriff Mitch
Southwick said Friday.

"That makes 27,000 plants in Baker County this year" in four raids, the
sheriff said, estimating the street value at maturity of each plant at
as much as $3,500.

Statewide, law enforcement officers have shut down roughly 80 marijuana
gardens so far this summer, said Harney County Sheriff Dave Glerup of
Burns. Mexican drug gangs are suspected to be behind the big operations.

Glerup used helicopters last Tuesday to take down a 5,250-plant
marijuana garden at almost 6,000-feet elevation on rugged Steens
Mountain south of Burns, he said. His deputies arrested 11 Latino men.

"We believe they are all Mexican cartel grows, and these are hired
people," Glerup said.

Also this month:

-- The Grant County Sheriff's Office last Wednesday, took down a
23,000-plant marijuana grow south of Dale, the biggest in county
history. Three men and a woman, all Mexican nationals, were arrested,
Sheriff Glenn Palmer said.

-- On Aug. 14, police seized 1,630 marijuana plants on the Warm Springs
Indian Reservation. It was the fourth time since July 2007 that police
had raided pot-growing operations on the reservation, all believed
linked to Mexican drug gangs.

-- In an Aug. 4 raid, Grant County deputies shut down a 1,530-plant
growing operation and arrested five Latino men, Palmer said.

In nearby Malheur County, deputies in early August seized more than
30,000 marijuana plants in three raids in the White Horse Creek drainage
north of the Nevada border. Eight "garden tenders" were arrested.

Police say Mexico-based criminal organizations are finding it easier to
grow marijuana in the United States than to smuggle it across the
border. Glerup has found intricate irrigation systems of PVC pipe,
hand-dug water reservoirs at natural springs filled with fertilizer to
provide nutrients to the marijuana plants, and camouflaged drying racks.

Palmer said most of the growers he's encountered are in their 20s and
entered the country illegally. "They run like the wind, and they don't
like police," he said.

Michael Lloyd/The OregonianMore than 1,600 plants were seized in the
Warm Springs raid. So far this summer, authorities have shut down about
80 marijuana-growing operations across Oregon.

Uptegrove was killed at a growing operation dangerously sited about 2
1/2 miles from the nearest road in an area that was swept by wildfires
in the late 1980s.

"Snags are all over the place, rotting," said Southwick, the Baker
County sheriff, of the site along the West Fork of Bull Run Creek south
of Unity. "They are everywhere up there."

Uptegrove was a career Forest Service employee who spent more than 30
years in the agency's wildfire program. He had been assigned to Unity
for three years as an engine foreman and station lead, and worked on the
Wallowa-Whitman, Malheur, Payette, Willamette and Deschutes national
forests, said Judy Wing, a Forest Service spokeswoman in Baker City. He
is survived by his wife, Hope.

To the public, the biggest danger of stumbling across a growing
operation comes not from snags but growers with guns, sheriffs across
the region said.

With archery season beginning Aug. 29, black bear season already under
way and people hitting the woods to cut firewood and pick huckleberries
and blackberries, the potential for encounters is rising, they said.

Palmer, the Grant County sheriff, seized two semiautomatic rifles and a
stolen .40-caliber handgun in a raid on a remote marijuana garden
earlier this month, he said.

"These people are armed," Palmer said. "They probably are not going to
take lightly anybody coming into their grows."

Anyone accidentally wandering into a marijuana grow should "just leave
and notify the authorities, " Southwick said. "A GPS reading would be
great if they have one with them."

The season still has weeks to go. Lt. John Gautney of the Bend Police
Department and a member of the Central Oregon Drug Enforcement Team said
his officers have already confiscated more marijuana this year than all
of last year, and the raids may just be getting started.

"I would anticipate you are going to see quite a few more between now
and the end of September," he said.

-- Richard Cockle, rcockle@oregonwirel

http://www.oregonli index.ssf/ 2009/08/police_ across_oregon_ fi\

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Santa Barbara Marijuana Arrest

Santa Barbara Police Arrest Man in Sales of Marijuana

Police serve a search warrant at a trailer on Cacique Street after
neighbors suspect drug trafficking

By Sgt. Lorenzo Duarte
Published on 08.20.2009

For the past year, Santa Barbara Police Department narcotics detectives
have received numerous complaints about marijuana being sold from a
trailer at the Flamingo Trailer Park, 1210 Cacique St.

Those who complained were concerned that the occupants of the trailer in
space No. 49 were using the trailer as a marijuana dispensary. The
occupants advertised their business on the Internet. After several weeks
of surveillance and further complaints by neighbors, narcotics
detectives conducted undercover operations in the area.

In a news release, Santa Barbara public information officer Sgt. Lorenzo
Duarte said the trailer’s occupant, Jeff Michael Wood, 32, and
its owner, David James Dani, 55, subsequently made sales of marijuana to
undercover officers. Based on the investigation, a search warrant for
1210 Cacique St., No. 49, and arrest warrant for Wood were issued.

About 11:45 a.m. Wednesday, detectives served the warrant at the
trailer. Wood and Dani would both present.

The inside of the trailer was set up like a store, in which marijuana,
marijuana edibles and other marijuana paraphernalia were sold. Two to 3
ounces of marijuana, 40 marijuana plants, $1,000 and other evidence were

While the detectives were still on scene, two people wanting to buy
marijuana arrived at the trailer. Detectives spoke to both individuals
and determined that neither of them had a medical marijuana
recommendation to purchase the drug, officials said.

The investigation led detectives to believe that a majority of the
individuals who purchased marijuana at this location did not have or
present a medical marijuana card or recommendation.

Wood was booked into the Santa Barbara County Jail for sales of
marijuana, possession for sales of marijuana and cultivation of
marijuana. Detectives are also recommending that the District
Attorney’s Office review the case and charge Dani with sales of

â€" Sgt. Lorenzo Duarte is a public information officer for the
Santa Barbara Police Department.

http://www.noozhawk .com/local_ news/article/ 082009_man_ arrested_ in_sale_o\

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Walnut Creek Passes Medical Marijuana Moratorium

Walnut Creek passes emergency moratorium on medical medical marijuana

By Elisabeth Nardi
Contra Costa Times
Posted: 08/18/2009 11:17:53 AM PDT

The Walnut Creek City Council in an emergency meeting Tuesday morning
passed a moratorium on medical marijuana dispensaries.

The 45-day ban on pot clubs stems from the city's first request for a

The application to open a dispensary at 1291 Oakland Blvd brought the
realization there are no laws or regulations in Walnut Creek on such an

A group called C3 Collective says it is already operating a yoga,
pilates and acupuncture wellness center at the Oakland Boulevard
address. Members of the nonprofit say they counsel patients about
medical marijuana, and that pot is given as donations. City staff said
the business, which opened sometime in the last few weeks, is in
violation because though they have a business license, they do not have
a conditional use permit required for a wellness center. As of Tuesday
morning, C3 Collective is also in violation because of the moratorium on

Many spoke at the meeting saying how medical marijuana has helped them.
Councilman Bob Simmons voted against the moratorium, saying he has a son
who survived cancer and that as a father he would have done anything to
ease his son's pain. To not allow dispensaries is "inexcusable, " he
said. He, along with other council members, asked that a draft ordinance
be ready by the council's Sept. 15 meeting.

Check back for updates. Reach Elisabeth Nardi at 925-952-2617.

http://www.contraco statimes. com/news/ ci_13151195

Brett adds - A copy of the city report and ordinance (7 pages) is posted
at -
http://walnutcreek. granicus. com/MetaViewer. php?view_ id=2&event_ id=65&met\

Operation Green Rx Suppressing San Diego Medical Clinincs

From: Eugene Davidovich
Date: Tue, Aug 18, 2009 at 11:52 AM



Operation Green Rx is an ongoing investigation part of San Diego
District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis' "fierce fight" against medical
marijuana. As part of the operation our San Diego police detectives went
to a local doctor, lied about their symptoms, condition, identity and
obtained recommendations for medical cannabis. They then proceeded to
join all the medical cannabis collectives and coops listed on the CA
NORML website with the intent of shutting them down. In February of this
year approximately a dozen houses were raided and people arrested, then
lumped in with other drug cases which had nothing to do with medical
cannabis, and the operation titled "Endless Summer" and
announced as a success in eradicating drug dealing from Navy bases.

Less than a month ago, as a part of this continuing "Operation Green
Rx", more detectives trained by the California Narcotic Officers
Association that marijuana is not medicine, went to a local doctor, lied
about their symptoms, condition, and obtained medical cannabis

In response the continued attack and harassment of medical cannabis
patients in San Diego, patients, are organizing a campaign to Stop
Operation Green Rx.

Help stop the illegal operation and join the campaign. We are looking
for volunteers to fill the following positions:

* Public Relations / Outreach
* Legal Coordinator
* Fundraising Coordinator
* IT Specialist

Please reply with your name, phone number, a brief description of your
skill set, and hours per week able to contribute.

Join the cause on Facebook at http://www.causes. com/operationgre enrx

Read the Operation Green Rx blog for the latest
http://www.operatio ngreenrx. blogspot. com

http://sandiego. craigslist. org/csd/pol/ 1329722743. html

Medical Marijuana Garden Saved from Lockheed Fire

WAMM pot garden threatened by Lockheed blaze

By Alia Wilson
Posted: 08/15/2009 08:10:42 PM PDT
Updated: 08/15/2009 08:49:36 PM PDT

http://extras. mnginteractive. com/live/ media/site6/ 2009/0815/ 20090815_ 091\
512_16Bfire5_ VIEWER.gif

A worker in the WAMM garden salutes the work of a helicopter pilot
after... (Bill Lovejoy/Sentinel)

SWANTON - Between the raining ash and lack of sleep, Valerie Corral
struggled to keep her eyes open Saturday afternoon, as she watched
flames continue to burn on her Swanton Road property.

"I haven't slept since Thursday," Corral said.

All the food in her home is depleted, but even if she had any there
would be no way to cook it because all of the propane tanks have been
removed from her property. She and her husband, Mike, cooked their
breakfast on a dual-sided hot plate.

Priorities such as eating and sleeping have been shifted drastically.
Instead the Corrals are staking out to protect their 106-acre property,
including a nearly mature pot garden planted earlier this year to
benefit members of the Wo/Men's Alliance for Medical Marijuana.

"One hundred percent of this garden goes to our 150 members," Corral
said. "If this were to go, it would affect them all."

Five fire crews came in Friday to help battle flames alongside Valerie
and Mike Corral, founders of the Wo/Men's Alliance for Medical
Marijuana. By that point, the blaze already rushed down the upper
portion of their property in the mountains, destroying about half of it.
Nearly three-fourths of their property, mostly trees and a small cabin,
was lost in the fire by Saturday afternoon. Two homes, one for the
volunteers and one for the Corrals, and the pot garden, with plants up
to 4 feet tall, were left standing.

Since Friday afternoon, fire crews have been of assistance, with
helicopters constantly emerging from the smoky air, dropping water
overhead around Valerie's home, a few hundred feet away from the garden.
Fire crews acknowledged the legal status of the garden and said their
objective was not to protect the garden but to protect the structures
and put out the burning mountainside.

"The flames are closest to Val's house," WAMM board member Suzanne Pfeil
said. "Valerie and Mike and some other volunteers have been out there,
doing their best to defend the houses and garden with hoses and shovels.
So far so good."

As fire crews arrived on Saturday,

The only thing lost in the fire was a small cabin that was used for
meditation located on the upper half of the property, Corral said.

Mike Corral tended the pot garden Saturday, watering and trimming the
plants, as helicopters flew overhead.

"I've never been so happy to see helicopters, " Mike Corral said
referring to what in the past might have been a DEA raid instead of a
helping hand. "Now whenever I don't hear them I start to worry."

On a ridge above the garden, a strike team comprised of firefighters
from Zayante, UC Santa Cruz, Branciforte, Scotts Valley and Cal Fire
established a fire line. Crews pulled from a 10,000-gallon water tank on
the property.

"I was doing better until the firefighters told me they can save my
house again," Corral said after a perimeter had already been safely
established around her home. New flames sparked in different locations
on the ridge above the garden. Within seconds a small flame shot up a
full grown pine tree but helicopters and fire crews quickly doused them.

"It's an uncanny thing to witness," Corral said. "We've been taking
shifts every half-hour to keep an eye on the perimeter. I figure if I
can do something I will, but I would have nothing if it weren't for the
firefighters. They are incredible."

Prayer flags waved in the breeze above a special memorial garden on the
property dedicated to WAMM members who have died. The garden was left
completely untouched by the flames.

"There are grave stones up there and special rocks to remember them by
and it didn't burn at all," Pfeil said. "We're amazed, it went right
around it."

The Corral's have plans to expand the pot garden in the near future as
membership increases, but the project has been put on hold until the
property is back to normal.

"I can't even imagine what my winter is going to be like," Corral said.

http://www.mercuryn oast/ci_13127746

Iowa Medical Marijuana News

IA board to hear from public on medical marijuana

By AMY LORENTZEN Associated Press Writer

2:37 p.m. CDT, August 18, 2009

DES MOINES, Iowa - State drug regulators will begin hearing from the
public this week as they gather scientific information in deciding
whether to legalize the use of marijuana for medical treatment.

The Iowa Pharmacy Board plans to examine current science and medical
findings and hear testimony from doctors and patients. It also will
review federal and state drug laws, including those in states that allow
marijuana use for medical treatment, said Lloyd Jessen, the board's
executive director.

The board has scheduled four public hearings: Wednesday in Des Moines;
Sept. 2 in Mason City; Oct. 7 in Iowa City; and Nov. 4 in Council

"There is a lot of interest," Jessen said. "We are hearing from a lot of
people both for the idea and against it."

He notes that the board doesn't have the power to legalize marijuana for
medical use, but it could suggest lawmakers move it to the Schedule II
category for drugs that have accepted medical uses in the United States.

The board's findings would be a recommendation to the Legislature on how
the drug should be treated. Lawmakers would have to pass a new law or
approve new administrative rules to legalize medical marijuana.

"Most of the legislators are glad (the review) is occurring and
interested in seeing what results we come up with," Jessen said.

The review comes after the pharmacy board last month again rejected a
petition to reclassify marijuana. A Polk County judge ordered the board
in April to reconsider the petition to remove marijuana as a Schedule I
drug under the Iowa Uniform Controlled Substances Act. Schedule I drugs
have no safe medical use within the United States and are a high risk
for abuse.

Carl Olsen, with Iowans for Medical Marijuana, filed the petition. He
says marijuana no longer meets that Schedule I definition because more
than a dozen other states allow medical use of the drug.

The pharmacy board said the drug would have to be used for treatment in
all states for Iowa to reclassify it. However, it agreed to a scientific
review and to accept public comment on the drug's use.

Olsen expects a large turnout at the hearings and "quite a lot" of
information to be submitted by medical marijuana proponents from across
the country. He praised the board for its scientific review.

"They are looking for people who say they need this," Olsen said.

Dr. Alan Koslow, a Des Moines-area vascular surgeon, plans to speak at
Wednesday's meeting in support of medical marijuana.

When he sends his patients to a pain specialist, he said they are
essentially disabled "not because of the pain, but because of the
medication they receive for the pain treatment." He added that patients
who have obtained marijuana on their own often have been able to stop
taking narcotics and antidepressants and have returned to work.

Marijuana "is much more effective in coping with the pain and at the
same time it is safer," he said.

Dale Woolery, with the Governor's Office of Drug Control Policy, said
his office doesn't plan to offer oral testimony at the hearings, but
will submit a written statement. The office's stance, according to its
Web site, is that science so far doesn't support using marijuana as

"Unless, or until, the consensus of medical evidence changes, ODCP
opposes any proposal to legalize marijuana smoking for medical
purposes," the Web site says.

Sen. Joe Bolkcom, D-Iowa City, presented a bill to legalize medical
marijuana that stalled during the last legislative session. He plans to
introduce new legislation next session.


On the Net:

Iowa Board of Pharmacy: http://www.iowa. gov/ibpe/

Iowans for Medical Marijuana: http://www.iowamedi calmarijuana. org/

http://www.chicagot news/chi- ap-ia-iowa- medicalmarij, 0,2451486\

New Orleans Might Make Marijuana a Misdemeanor

Marijuana case management debate divides DA, judges

by Gwen Filosa, The Times-Picayune
Monday August 17, 2009, 8:45 PM

Hoping to streamline clogged criminal dockets, Orleans Parish District
Attorney Leon Cannizzaro is trying to build support for his plan to move
misdemeanor marijuana possession cases from Criminal District Court to
Municipal Court.

Cannizzaro says the change would reduce by one-third the 2,100 cases
pending at the court, allowing his prosecutors to focus on more serious
crimes. Municipal Court cases are typically handled by the city
attorney's office.

But judges at the Tulane Avenue courthouse, where all sections now
handle first-possession marijuana cases alongside murders, rapes and
robberies, aren't buying the DA's argument that shedding the
misdemeanors would improve the criminal justice system. They deny that
their dockets are clogged by marijuana cases.

Immediately after Cannizzaro floated his proposal before the City
Council two weeks ago, the judges at Tulane and Broad put out a news
release saying they oppose the idea "for public safety and
constitutional reasons."

City Councilman James Carter met privately Monday with a band of
criminal justice players, including judges, the sheriff and Cannizzaro,
over the issue. Carter has asked the city attorney's office, which would
be responsible for taking over the cases, to review the proposal before
proceeding further.

"The city attorney is gathering all the information and she's going to
give me some recommendations, " Carter said.

Magistrate Judge Gerard Hansen, speaking for the judges, said removing
the marijuana cases from criminal court would only create more hassles
in the system, including delay of treatment for drug abusers.

Many times, Hansen said, a first-time marijuana bust is combined with a
more serious charge. Judges in the state court can keep better track of
those defendants than their counterparts in Municipal Court, he said.

"People don't come back to court" if given only a summons by police to
appear, Hansen added.

The maximum penalty for first-time possession of marijuana, regardless
of where the case is heard, is six months in jail and a $500 fine.
Offenders can do their time after appearing at Municipal Court instead
of at Tulane and Broad, Cannizzaro says.

In New Orleans, police officers arrest first-time marijuana possession
suspects and cart them to Central Lockup for booking into jail.

Cannizzaro calls that longtime practice a strain on the parish's prison

That's an issue Cannizzaro should take up with the Police Department,
several judges said, dismissing the idea that the marijuana misdemeanors
prevent them from getting on with murder trials.

"They don't clog up the docket, " said veteran defense attorney Jeffrey
Smith, who snapped his fingers to describe how long it takes to resolve
a typical first-time marijuana possession case. "It helps move cases, I

Smith said that if a defendant has a so-called "marijuana first" along
with a felony charge, prosecutors have more leeway to cut a plea deal.
"You get your conviction and you get rid of the marijuana first, " he

Marijuana firsts are known as consistent moneymakers for the judicial
coffers, since most defendants charged with the crime plead guilty,
agreeing to pay fines and fees rather than serving jail time.

A defendant charged with marijuana possession has only a right to trial
before a judge, not by jury. Most convicts seek expungements of their
record, another steady flow of income for Criminal District Court.

Several sections of court have "drug courts, " which are diversion
programs for first- and second-time offenders. Instead of prison time,
the offenders plead guilty and appear in court weekly for drug
screenings and progress reports.

"There is always revenue at stake, but that is not the main issue, "
said Hansen, a 30-year veteran of the bench. "We're not going to do
battle with the DA. We are happy to work with him. We don't have to
agree with him."

One prosecutor said "marijuana firsts" represent "about 20 percent of
the dockets, " but noted that several judges don't even hear the cases.

Keva Landrum-Johnson and Karen Herman are among the criminal court
judges who send the marijuana cases to the court's magistrate section if
the defendant chooses to fight the charge rather than plead guilty.

Still, it's clear that "marijuana first" cases dot the dockets of every
section of court. On a recent day, for instance, Judge Laurie White's
Section A had five such cases on a 17-page docket. In two of them, the
defendants faced additional drug charges, including possession of

Judge Frank Marullo's Section D docket had four "marijuana first" cases
on a 12-page docket, including one of a man additionally charged with
carrying a concealed weapon and being a felon in possession of a gun.

. . . . . . .

Gwen Filosa can be reached at gfilosa@timespicayu or 504.

http://www.nola. com/news/ index.ssf/ 2009/08/marijuan a_case_managemen t_deb\

Marijuana and Cancer Prevention

If Pot Prevented Cancer You Would Have Read About It, Right?

Paul Armentano
Posted: August 17, 2009 06:31 PM

Two just published studies assessing adults' risk of cancer have
reported wildly divergent, and fairly extraordinary, outcomes. One study
you may have read about. The other has been ignored entirely by the
mainstream media. But no doubt the results of both will surprise you.

First, the study you may have heard of. Writing August 3 in the journal
Cancer Epidemiology, investigators at McGill University in Montreal
reported that moderate alcohol consumption -- defined as six drinks or
fewer per week -- by adults is positively associated with an elevated
risk of various cancers, including stomach cancer, rectal cancer, and
bladder cancer.

And now for the study you haven't heard of. Writing in the August issue
of the journal Cancer Prevention Research, investigators from Rhode
Island's Brown University, along with researchers at Boston University,
Louisiana State University, and the University of Minnesota reported
that lifetime marijuana use is associated with a "significantly reduced
risk" of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma.

Authors reported, "after adjusting for potential confounders (including
smoking and alcohol drinking), 10 to 20 years of marijuana use was
associated with a significantly reduced risk of head and neck squamous
cell carcinoma (HNDCC)."

Perhaps even more notably, subjects who smoked marijuana and consumed
alcohol and tobacco (two known high risk factors for head and neck
cancers) also experienced a reduced risk of cancer, the study found.

"Our study suggests that moderate marijuana use is associated with
reduced risk of HNSCC," investigators concluded. "This association was
consistent across different measures of marijuana use (marijuana use
status, duration, and frequency of use)....Further, we observed that
marijuana use modified the interaction between alcohol and cigarette
smoking, resulting in a decreased HNSCC risk among moderate smokers and
light drinkers, and attenuated risk among the heaviest smokers and

This isn't the first time that U.S. investigators have documented an
inverse association between pot use and cancer. A separate 2006
population case-control study, funded by the U.S. National Institutes of
Health and conducted by the University of California at Los Angeles,
also reported that lifetime use of cannabis was not positively
associated with cancers of the lung or aerodigestive tract, and further
noted that certain moderate users of the drug experienced a reduced
cancer risk compared to non-using controls.

Predictably, the federal government's goal when green-lighting the UCLA
study was to conclusively establish just the opposite result, as
explained recently by its lead researcher Dr. Donald Tashkin.

In an interview with the McClatchy newspaper chain in June, Dr. Tashkin
admitted that he expected his study would find that pot was associated
with "increased health effects." Instead, he summarized, "What we found
instead was no association (between marijuana smoking and cancer) and
even a suggestion of some protective effect."

Tashkin added, "[A]t this point, I'd be in favor of (marijuana)
legalization. I wouldn't encourage anybody to smoke any substances. But
I don't think it should be stigmatized as an illegal substance. Tobacco
smoking causes far more harm. And in terms of an intoxicant, alcohol
causes far more harm (than marijuana)."

Despite these findings, which to date inexplicably remain under-reported
by the mainstream press, many so-called experts persist with claims that
marijuana smoking is causally linked to cancer. In fact, in June the
California Environmental Protection Agency with great fanfare added
marijuana smoke to its list of chemicals that possess potential
carcinogenic properties and/or are associated with reproductive
toxicity. You know what other commonly indulged in substance also
appears on this list? That would be alcohol. Of course that conclusion,
much like the reports of marijuana's anti-cancer prowess, apparently
went up in smoke.

Paul Armentano is the Deputy Director of the National Organization for
the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) and is the co-author
of the new book Marijuana Is Safer: So Why Are We Driving People to
Drink? (Chelsea Green Publishing).

http://www.huffingt paul-armentano/ if-pot-prevented -cancer-y_ b\

Monday, August 17, 2009

Napa Could Prohibit Medical Marijuana at City Council Meeting

Napa could prohibit pot dispensary

Growing demand for medical pot stores concerns police

Monday, August 17, 2009

By KERANA TODOROV, Register Staff Writer

The Napa City Council on Tuesday may consider a temporary ban on the
establishment of medical marijuana dispensaries in town.

The City Council will consider the ban as city officials have received
several queries this year from people wanting to open medical marijuana
stores locally. City staff will recommend supporting the ordinance, Napa
City Manager Mike Parness said. The ordinance, which could be introduced
Tuesday, would expire on Oct. 4, 2011.

The city has no specific ordinance or standards for such stores, Parness
said. State law allows for the use of medicinal marijuana, but federal
law does not.

In his report to the City Council, Peter Spoerl, deputy city attorney
for the city of Napa, said that the Napa Police Department recommends
the proposed ordinance in order to protect the public.

Napa Police Cmdr. Jeff Troendly said one concern is that patrons of
medical marijuana dispensaries may be assaulted and owners robbed as
stores are predominantly cash businesses. Another concern is that
underage teens may access marijuana from adults who redistribute the
drug, he said.

State law, he said, does not take into account how marijuana is being
Vice Mayor Juliana Inman said she first wants to know more about what
other cities have done before making a decision.

City Councilman Peter Mott said he has an employee who takes medicinal
marijuana because she has cancer. While Mott understands its benefits as
a drug, he also wonders about the impact of such stores on the
community. He also questions how the drug is currently distributed.

"We're going to look at the bigger picture," he said.

A suite on the 600 block of Soscol Avenue is a medical marijuana
dispensary, according to a man who opened the door of the office suite
at the two-level office building. The store has attracted the attention
of city officials.

Kim Pelham of American Canyon on Aug. 4 submitted a zoning clearance for
the dispensary, according to her letter to the city of Napa. In a brief
phone conversation Friday, Pelham said she did not want publicity. She
also said she could not talk because she was driving.

The medical marijuana dispensary needs zoning clearance in order to have
a business license, according to the city.

Napa Development Director Tambri Heyden said Pelham's request is
under review. Earlier in the week, Parness said the store does not have
a business license.

Pelham tried to open a similar business in American Canyon earlier this
year. Her request prompted the American Canyon City Council to place a
temporary ban on the establishment of medical marijuana stores there.
The City Council soon after passed an ordinance prohibiting any use
illegal under either state or federal law.

Emmanuel Donval, a Napa Parks and Recreation Advisory Commission member,
said he has approached city officials regarding opening a medical
marijuana dispensary in Napa, similar to a healing center he knows in
Sebastopol called Peace in Medicine.

Donval, who has a prescription for medical marijuana, said he will take
his request to the Napa City Council. The dispensary, he said, would be
a center where medical marijuana users could be educated on the use of
the drug. All profits, he said, would sponsor local organizations, city
events and marijuana users support groups. The center would also offer
free yoga classes, acupuncture and counseling sessions, he said.

"I want it to be something different than the traditional pot
club," he said.

So far, 85 California cities have adopted ordinances that prohibit
medical marijuana altogether, according to Spoerl's report.

If you go

• What: Napa City Council

• When: 6:30 p.m. Tuesday

• Where: City Council Chambers, 955 School St.

http://www.napavall eyregister. com/articles/ 2009/08/17/ news/local/ doc4a88\
ec140f7be286469121. txt

Another Note - A copy of the Napa city council meeting agenda for August
18, 2009 is posted
at http://napacity. granicus. com/AgendaViewer .php?view_ id=2&event_ id=33

The proposed medical marijuana ordinance is item 16(A) on the agenda -

16. PUBLIC HEARINGS/APPEALS For public hearing items, applicants
appellants) will be allowed 10 minutes to present testimony at the
of the public hearing, and will be allowed 5 minutes to present rebuttal
the end of the public hearing. All other members of the public will be
limited to 5 minutes each, in compliance with the city's rules of order
city council

A. Ordinance prohibiting the establishment and operation of
marijuana dispensaries: Approve the first reading and introduction of
ordinance adding a new Chapter 5.82 to Title 5 of the Napa Municipal
prohibiting the establishment, maintenance and operation of medical
marijuana dispensaries.

A copy of the city report (210 pages) is posted at
http://napacity. granicus. com/MetaViewer. php?view_ id=2&event_ id=33&meta_ i\

La Brea Fire Started by Illegal Mexican Cultivation Cartel

Fire Investigators Suspect La Brea Fire Caused By Marijuana Cultivation

Evidence Points to Illegal Cooking Fire As Cause of the 84,000-Acre

By Ray Ford

Saturday, August 15, 2009

A week-long investigation by U.S. Forest Service Special Agents, Santa
Barbara County Sheriff's Narcotics Unit, and Fire Investigators
revealed that the origin of the La Brea fire is the result of a
marijuana drug trafficking operation. Specifically, officials believe
the fire started from flames or sparks from a campfire used for cooking.

The Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Narcotics Unit has confirmed that
the camp at the origin of the fire was an illegal marijuana operation
believed to be headed by a Mexican National drug organization.

At the intersection of Owl Canyon and the south fork of La Brea Canyon,
near a backpacker's campground known as Cuchadas, the fire began in
one of the most remote and overgrown sections of the San Rafael
Wilderness. The camp is several miles inside the area and approximately
two air miles south of the Sierra Madre Ridge.

Evidence of the garden, which did not burn during the fire, was
discovered in the past few days. The Santa Barbara Sheriff's
Narcotics Unit, which has been working to eradicate other cultivation
sites in nearby parts of the back country, believes the suspects are
still within the San Rafael Wilderness and may be trying to leave the
area on foot.

Officials warn not to approach anyone who looks suspicious but to
instead contact the nearest law enforcement agency. Anyone with further
information is urged to contact U.S. Forest Service, Santa Barbara
County Sheriff's Department or local law enforcement agencies.

The La Brea Fire Tip Line is still open, and anyone with additional
information helpful to this ongoing investigation is urged to contact
investigators at (805) 686-5074; your call can remain anonymous.

http://www.independ 2009/aug/ 15/fire-investig ators-determine\
-la-brea-fire- caused-m/

Walnut Creek to Vote on Medical Marijuana Moratorium Tuesday Morning @ 8am!

Walnut Creek council to discuss medical pot club moratorium

By Elisabeth Nardi
Staff writer

Posted: 08/17/2009 01:36:31 PM PDT

The Walnut Creek City Council will have a special meeting 8 a.m. Tuesday
to discuss passing a temporary moratorium on the opening and operation
of medical marijuana dispensaries.

The meeting takes place at City Hall, 1666 N. Main St.

According to a city staff report, the city has received a building
permit and business license request from a medical marijuana dispensary

The city has no laws or regulations to deal with the location or
operation of medical marijuana dispensaries. The staff report says the
moratorium would give city staff time to investigate the regulations
needed for such a business.

The moratorium, if approved, would last for 45 days, but the council has
the option to renew the moratorium to last almost two years. City staff
estimates it will take 12 to 18 months to study the issue.

For more information go to http://www.walnut- and click on
"upcoming events" or call Scott Harriman, interim assistant planning
manager, at 925-943-5899, ext. 2212.

http://www.mercuryn news/ci_13145287

The Walnut Creek council agenda is posted at
http://walnutcreek. granicus. com/AgendaViewer .php?view_ id=2&event_ id=65



City ordinances do not currently specifically regulate the
location or operation of medical marijuana dispensaries. Recently staff
has received a number of inquiries about establishing medical marijuana
dispensaries within the City. The Council is being asked to adopt an
interim urgency ordinance placing a moratorium on the establishment and
operation of medical marijuana dispensaries in order to provide the City
with time to determine whether to adopt an ordinance regulating the
location or operation of medical marijuana dispensaries. Staff Contact:
Scott Harriman, Interim Assistant Planning Manager, (925) 943-5899, ext.

A copy of the city report and proposed ordinance (7 pages) is posted at
http://walnutcreek. granicus. com/MetaViewer. php?view_ id=2&event_ id=65&met\

Cal Med 420 In Chino is Legal, According to Officials

Medical marijuana referral site apparently not violating moratorium

Lori Consalvo, Staff Writer
Created: 08/14/2009 05:22:39 PM PDT

CHINO - A medical marijuana referral business in the unincorporated area
near the city has caught the eye of a local anti-drug coalition.

But officials in San Bernardino County said as long as the business is
not dispensing medical marijuana, it is not breaking any laws.

The Inland Valley Drug Free Community Coalition received an anonymous
tip about CalMed 420 at 3757 Riverside Drive, and alerted Chino
officials after a number of medical marijuana dispensaries popped up in
local areas lately, Roger Anderson, volunteer coalition chairman, said.

Their goal, Anderson said, is to "clean out San Bernardino and Riverside
counties of those rogue dispensaries. "

He added, "Cities don't always know what's operating in their city."

Chino officials informed the coalition that, based on the location, the
county is responsible for it.

A moratorium on any new pot dispensaries within the county was put into
place about 45 days ago, David Wert, the county's public information
officer, said. However, the business appears to be a referral site.

"The moratorium would be on a business that actually has marijuana (on
site)," he said. "Referrals don't pose the same kind of threat. If it's
just a guy that sends out referrals, answers calls and talks to people,
those kind of problems aren't there."

Wert said code enforcement and the Sheriff's Department will check on
the business to see what they are doing.

CalMed 420 is only open for six hours Monday and Thursday. The internal
medicine clinic advertises medical marijuana evaluations, addiction
treatment, detoxification and alternative medicine.

lori.consalvo@ inlandnewspapers .com
(909) 483-9378

Washington Medical Marijuana Patient Granted Re-Trial for Medical Defense

Joyce man to get retrial in medical marijuana case

By Tom Callis
Peninsula Daily News

Article published Aug 14, 2009

In a move his attorney called precedent-setting, a medical marijuana
provider who lived near Joyce will get a new trial after the state Court
of Appeals overturned his conviction for growing marijuana and ordered a
new trial.

Earl Gordon Otis Jr., 45, was sentenced in Clallam County Superior Court
on May 1, 2008, to four months in prison for growing 75 marijuana plants
at his home at 3070 Eden Valley Road.

No retrial date has been set.

The issue the appeals court addressed in its Tuesday ruling was whether
Otis could use his status as a man's medical marijuana provider as a
defense argument, according to court documents.

The argument was not allowed during the trial due to the large amount of
marijuana grown -- state law only allows a 60-day supply to be produced
-- and because the court felt a doctor's letter authorizing the patient
Otis supplied to use the drug was not sufficient, since it didn't refer
directly to state law.

The appeals court determined that the letter was sufficient and that the
amount of marijuana grown shouldn't restrict a defendant from using the
role as a provider of medical marijuana, known as a caregiver, as a

Clarifies law

Attorneys specializing in marijuana law say the decision will affect
medical marijuana cases by clarifying a vague 10-year-old law,
especially when it comes to what a doctor needs to write in an letter
authorizing the use of the drug.

"This is a really big deal," said Otis' attorney, Jodi Backlund of
Olympia, adding that it will set a precedent.

"The state before has been really nitpicking and arguing consistently"
that a letter had to refer directly to the law."

Seattle attorney Jeff Steinborn, who has 40 years of experience in
marijuana-related cases, agreed.

"Well, it's the first time that the Court of Appeals actually read the
preamble to the medical marijuana statute and given it any meaning,"
said Steinborn, who is also a board member of the National Organization
for the Reform of Marijuana Laws.

"Individual caregivers can now be a bit more confident . . . that the
paperwork is going to work."

The trial and appeal did not address the legitimacy of the use of
marijuana for medical purposes for the man Otis was supplying.

The doctor authorized the use of marijuana to increase the man's

Clallam County Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Brian Wendt said the
prosecution may not have challenged the doctor's letter if the law had
been more clear on what needs to be written.

"We could have done it differently, " he said.

Prior to the higher court's opinion, Wendt said, "The affirmed defense
did not seem appropriate or relevant."

How much supply

Steinborn said the state's medical marijuana law, passed by citizens
initiative in 1998, remains vague on how much marijuana is considered a
60-day supply.

Typically, the rule of thumb is 15 plants, he said.

Otis was growing five times that amount.

If convicted again for the growing operation, he would receive credit
for the previous sentence, which he has served already.

Another marijuana law attorney, Kurt Boehl of Seattle, said it's typical
for medical marijuana users to buy the drug from growers if they are too
sick to grow it themselves.

All it takes is a letter from the user that authorizes another person to
grow it for them for such a transaction to become legal, he said.

"They don't need to notify the state," Boehl said, adding that a
provider needs to be able to provide the letter to law enforcement if

"If the state was a little more progressive thinking, they could
legalize some sort of dispensary and tax it."

Another stipulation in the law says that a provider can grow marijuana
only for one person, he said.

Otis' roommate, Leann McCarty, 42, was also convicted for the marijuana
growing operation. Her appeal is pending.


Reporter Tom Callis can be reached at 360-417-3532 or at
tom.callis@peninsul adailynews. com.

http://www.peninsul adailynews. com/article/ 20090814/ news/308149988

Even Grandma Wants To Use Medical Marijuana

Weed making inroads among retirees

Tom BarlowTom Barlow

Aug 15th 2009 at 3:00PM

Although California has a huge population of residents carrying
prescriptions for medical marijuana, the social stigma attached to the
drug has led the elderly to be very hesitant about adopting it as a
palliative for age-related problems such as loss of appetite, nausea and
chronic pain.

Now a luxury retirement community in Orange County, Laguna Woods
Village, whose residents have discovered pot's benefits, has made weed
easier to obtain by establishing its own pot collective.

The community set up its collective because, although there are
thousands of clinics in the state selling marijuana, none were
convenient to the residents, some of whom have very limited mobility.

For the greatest generation, taught to believe that marijuana was as
addictive and deadly as drugs such as heroin, the reality has come as a
pleasant surprise to many. NPR reports on the epiphany of a 73-year-old
Leisure World resident and synchronized swimmer who found it effective
in countering her nausea.

The fact that the retirees are receiving recommendations to try pot for
their ills from their peers leads me to believe that the use of it on
the West Coast has reached a critical mass. We could well see demand for
legalization, at least for medical reasons, swell among the retiree
community across the country.

As a boomer, I expect that when our generation retires, many may choose
to pull out the E-Z wides, fire up a blunt, order a pizza, and crank up
Dark Side of the Moon once again, and not just for medical reasons.

A national columnist (name escapes me) recently wrote a tongue-in-cheek
column in which he offered to voluntarily give up his driver's license
on his 80th birthday in return for the right to all the drugs he wants.

Medical or recreational, is there a good reason why those who have
worked a lifetime should be denied the opportunity to spend their golden
years in a haze if they so choose?

Reference - NPR story on seniors in Laguna Woods, Ca using medical
marijuana -
http://www.npr. org/templates/ story/story. php?storyId= 111783991

http://www.walletpo 2009/08/15/ weed-making- inroads-among- retir\

Maine Judge Rules Against Sacramental Marijuana Use

Judge rules against man claiming sacramental marijuana use

By M. Dirk Langeveld, Staff Writer
Published: Aug 14, 2009 1:05 am

PORTLAND — A federal judge has ruled in favor of the state of Maine
and two law enforcement agencies in the case of a man claiming to use
marijuana for religious purposes.

U.S. District Court Judge George Z. Singal agreed with a recommendation
by U.S. Magistrate Judge Margaret Kravchuk to find in favor of the
state, Maine Drug Enforcement Agency and Mexico Police Department.
Mexico resident Norman Hutchinson had charged the government and police
with violation of his constitutional rights in the seizure of 55
marijuana plants in 2004.

Hutchinson appealed the decision with a one-sentence document demanding
a jury trial.

In August 2004, police searched Hutchinson's home on Granite Street
after finding an ATV registered to him near a marijuana growing
operation in Dixfield. The search uncovered marijuana plants as well as
cultivating equipment. Hutchinson later pleaded guilty to marijuana
cultivation and admitted the criminal forfeiture of the ATV.

In the civil complaint he filed earlier this year, Hutchinson said he is
a member of the Hawaii-based Religion of Jesus Church. Founded in 1969,
the Religion of Jesus Church mandates the smoking of marijuana based on
12 tenets, including the increased ability to feel God and amplification
of worship of God.

Hutchinson charged the state and police with violation of his rights
under the state and federal constitutions, violation of the United
States Code and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993, false
imprisonment, trespass, conversion, invasion of privacy, and negligent
and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

Hutchinson, who is representing himself, later sought a judgment in his
favor and asked for $75 million from the state and MDEA. He also asked
for hundreds of thousands of dollars in damages from the Mexico Police

Attorney General Janet Mills, arguing on behalf of the state and MDEA,
previously said that a federal court had rejected an argument similar to
Hutchinson's 25 years ago. In that case, 15 members of the Ethiopian
Zion Coptic Church unsuccessfully tried to appeal their drug trafficking
convictions after a raid at a remote Stockton Springs facility seized 20
tons of marijuana that was being offloaded from a ship. The Ethiopian
Zion Coptic Church also mandates the use of marijuana for religious

In her recommendation, Kravchuk said Hutchinson did not demonstrate that
his case was different from prior court decisions upholding marijuana
convictions of people claiming religious use of marijuana. She also said
the Freedom of Religion Restoration Act does not apply to the states,
and that Hutchinson did not file a statement of facts with his motion
for judgment as required.

Singal said he agreed with Kravchuk's finding and affirmed her
recommendation. He also denied Hutchinson's motion for judgment and
approved motions for judgment filed by the state in favor of the MDEA
and Mexico Police Department.


Southern Oregon Medical Marijuana News

New Medford smoke shop serves medical marijuana patients

Store provides clinics, networking and supplies

By Teresa Thomas
For the Tidings
August 14, 2009

A local woman's struggle with arthritis and muscle spasms compelled her
to start a business that would educate others on the benefits, growth
and consumption of medical marijuana.

Cynthia Townsley Willis, 52, and two partners whom she declined to
identify opened the Medical Marijuana Patient Services Smoke Shop, 1252
W. McAndrews Road, Medford, in late February. The shop is one of seven
in Southern Oregon that caters to the needs of medical marijuana

"I kind of formed the shop in self-defense so patients could ask for
their smoke needs," said Willis, who has an Oregon Medical Marijuana
Program card and is a registered caregiver, which allows her to possess
marijuana for other card holders.

"It's a huge need and the need is for people to be educated enough
to be self-sufficient or to be able to find a provider," she said.

Willis' shop provides networking between patients and providers, books,
clinics, pipes (95 percent are locally made), bongs, vaporizers, rolling
paper and Bob Marley tapestries. The store is open to the public and she
cards only for age for retail products. The business has grown to more
than 400 members who pay $20 a year to receive discounts on clinics,
retail items and classes.

Prior to opening the shop, Willis volunteered for the THC Foundation and
VoterPower, an organization group that advocates reforming marijuana
laws. She also served as assistant manager at VoterPower for about two
years. Willis opened the shop after Puff's Smoke Shop moved to Ashland.

The shop is licensed for commercial use with the city of Medford, and it
is registered as a public benefit nonprofit with the Oregon Secretary of
State's Office.

Willis said the shop is staffed with volunteers who are OMMP
cardholders. She said she only works with cardholders because they are
able to better understand the needs of patients.

Willis has been a medical marijuana patient for seven years. Her health
problems were the result of being "the family rag doll," she
said. The marijuana alleviates her muscle spasms, and she often takes it
in capsule form before she goes to bed to help her sleep. Willis also
found that mixing it with rubbing alcohol and applying it to her joints
and muscles minimized the pain.

"Medical marijuana, if used responsibly, will not cut the pain but
cuts the edge off," she said.

People in business who use medical marijuana often prefer the capsule
form because it lets "your body be relaxed and out of pain but still
lets you use your mind," Willis said.

Willis said the patients who come to her shop range from 13 to 92 years
"In seven years, I have helped license 7,000 people" by helping
prepare their paperwork and teaching them how to navigate the system,
Willis said.

The shop hosts clinics about once a month. At the clinic a doctor is
available to review health history and sign the OMMP applications. Many
people don't feel comfortable going through their regular health-care
provider, so they visit the clinic, where they know they will find a
sympathetic physician, Willis said.

Willis said she is a caregiver for about five people. As a caregiver,
she said, she frequently house-sits for growers, helps bake marijuana
into foods if the cardholder is unable to and delivers marijuana when
needed. Caregivers also can be a patient's grower under the law. Willis'
husband, Larry, is registered as her caregiver.

"In case he takes my car and it has medicine (marijuana) in it, he's
covered," she said.

Willis said she is unable to grow her own plants because her backyard is
too small and she obtains marijuana through local growers.

Lt. Mike Dingeman of Oregon State Police's drug enforcement section said
there are 15,016 grow sites registered in the state. Willis' business
works closely with less than a dozen Southern Oregon providers, she
"I've kinda been a matchmaker so to speak," she said. "I
need to make sure the provider is someone I have faith and trust

Under Oregon law, each grower can provide marijuana only for four
cardholders, which may include himself. Only six mature plants and 18
seedlings or starts are allowed per patient, and they must be grown at
one location that has been registered with the state.

"The patient, caregiver and grower may possess in combination up to
24 ounces of medical marijuana (per patient)," said Medford police
Deputy Chief Tim George.

Prior to amendments made to the law in 2006, a cardholder was limited to
three ounces. Now Oregon has one of the highest possession limits of
states allowing medical marijuana use, Dingeman said.

Willis uses about one ounce a week, three and a half pounds a year. She
said the law makes it difficult for patients with more serious health
problems such as cancer, who need nine to 13 pounds of high-quality
marijuana a year.

"They spend every penny in a fight to live," she said. "They
also need someone who can bake for them because some can absolutely not
inhale. It must be edible or in a capsule."

An experienced outside grower will get eight to 13 pounds per plant, and
a top-notch inside grower can get up to two pounds from a plant, Willis
The purchasing and selling of marijuana is illegal, according to state
law. A patient may offer to pay for some of the growing costs, but not
for the time, labor or product.

"The electric bill for an inside provider can cost about $500 a
month," said Willis. "For a two-patient grow it costs about
$10,000 to have a successful grow."

Patients will pay about $200 to $250 an ounce to meet the grower's

"On the street you're looking at $400," Willis said. "Some
patients continue to get it on the black market because it's someone
they can trust."

Willis said she gives about 10 percent of her own marijuana to
cardholders who don't have immediate access to their own. Growers often
donate the bud trimmings to Willis, who sorts the trims and gives them
to patients in need.

Sometimes the shop serves as the middle ground between patient and
provider. Providers often will drop off the marijuana at the shop, and
the patient will pick it up there, she said.

"He (the provider) has my word that it gets to the patient
unadulterated, " Willis said.

Medical marijuana use is not easy for law enforcement to monitor because
of all the "fogginess" in the law, and some people take
advantage of the fogginess, said Dingeman. Any questionable situations
are resolved on a case-by-case basis, he said.

"It's hard to come up with black-and-white answers to the act,"
Dingeman said.

"There has been a huge frustration with all of us in law enforcement
when it comes to medical marijuana," George said in an e-mail.
"There is a lot more marijuana in the marketplace now, and there are
a number of individuals that are using it as a way to unlawfully grow
and sell weed. I can agree that there are folks that may benefit from it
as a medicine, but it needs to be controlled and dispensed as such and
not have the floodgates opened as now."

George said police have not been called to Willis' shop because of
marijuana or anything connected to it.

Willis said aspects of the law are frustrating for users, too, such as
having to pay $100 every year to renew a card. She also said users are
treated like second-class citizens, are unable to pass a urine analysis
and are considered illegal if they cross the border into a state that
doesn't allow medical marijuana.

"We are always having to justify ourselves," Willis said.

----------sidebar- --------- ---------

Oregon Medical Marijuana Act

Approved by voters in November 1998, the law permits people suffering
from debilitating medical conditions confirmed by a doctor to use small
amounts of marijuana without penalty. After completing the Oregon
Medical Marijuana program card application and providing proof of
ongoing illness and a doctor's signature, the patient, a caregiver and
the marijuana provider or grower are issued cards.

A quarterly survey done in July by the Department of Human Services
revealed that 20,300 patients are cardholders. Jackson County has the
third highest number of cardholders, 1,931, surpassed only by Lane and
Multnomah counties. Since January 2006, the number of cardholders has
doubled, said Lt. Mike Dingeman of Oregon State Police's drug
enforcement section.

---------end sidebar----- --------- --

Reach intern Teresa Thomas at 776-4464 or at intern1@mailtribune .com.

http://www.dailytid apps/pbcs. dll/article? AID=/20090814/ NEWS02/9\