Medical Marijuana in the News: 1/18

Date: Tue, 22 Jan 2008 14:57:19 -0800
Subject: OPN: [asa] Medical Marijuana in the News: 1/18

ASA’s Weekly Media Summary

NEW MEXICO: Patient Suing Sheriff, County over Federal Raid

Within weeks of New Mexico implementing its medical cannabis law, federal agents, with the help of local sheriff’s deputies, raided the home of a paraplegic and seized his medicine. The raid outraged the state’s governor Bill Richardson, who sent an angry letter to Washington demanding that the federal government stop interfering in New Mexico’s efforts to care for its citizens. Now the man who was victimized is suing the county and local officers for their part in subverting the state law.
Lawsuit says deputies targeted man for medical marijuana
Associated Press
A paraplegic man from Malaga has sued Eddy County sheriff’s deputies. Leonard French alleges they seized marijuana plants and equipment to grow them last summer despite the fact he has a license under New Mexico’s medical marijuana law.
N.M. man sues deputies over pot seizure
A wheelchair-bound man is suing Eddy County deputies for seizing marijuana that he says he was using for medical purposes.
ACLU files suit over raid
by Tom Moody, Current-Argus (NM)
A paraplegic Malaga man who holds a medical marijuana permit from the state of New Mexico filed a lawsuit Thursday against Eddy County and several county law officers for their part in a drug raid that seized his marijuana plants and growing equipment, attorneys announced.

COLORADO: Police Pursued for Damaged Cannabis

The landmark court order for the return of medical marijuana to a Colorado couple got them their plants back, but in unusable condition. With the help of attorney Brian Vicente, director of the Colorado Campaign for Safe Access, the couple is now pursuing damages based on federal estimates of the plants’ value. State law has a provision that requires law enforcement to return wrongfully seized medical marijuana in good condition.
Couple seeks compensation for pot
by Trevor Hughes, The Coloradoan
In what is believed to be a first-of-its-kind request for Colorado, a Fort Collins couple is demanding police pay them more than $200,000 for improperly confiscating and destroying 39 marijuana plants.
Couple to ask police to pay for dead marijuana
by Jeffrey Wolf, KUSA 9News TV (CO)
A couple plans to file for compensation after they say police destroyed their medical marijuana.
Fort Collins couple to ask city for reimbursement for dead marijuana plants
The Coloradoan
The attorney for James and Lisa Masters, whose 39 medical marijuana plants were seized by Fort Collins police and later destroyed, plans to file a motion this afternoon asking the city pay the couple for the destroyed plants.
Couple Wants Police To Pay For Damaged Marijuana Plants
by Lance Hernandez, KMGH TV News7 – Denver
James and Lisa Masters said they want to send a message to police departments all across Colorado. The couple and one of their attorneys filed a motion late Thursday seeking compensation for 39 damaged medical marijuana plants.
Medical Marijuana Users Seek $200K For Lost Stash
by Emil Steiner, Columnist, Washington Post
Today in Fort Collins, Colo., a lawyer will walk into a court house and ask the city to pay his clients for destroying their marijuana. The motion for compensation asks Fort Collins to fork over $202,800, the most money ever sought for the destruction of a drug.

CANADA: Court Ruling Allows Patient Choice

Medical marijuana patients in Canada have been complaining about the quality of the government-provided medicine for some time. But they should soon have more choices, thanks to a court ruling that has tossed out government limitations on who can grow medical marijuana for patients. The government contractor who currently supplies medical cannabis is trying to scare patients about safety, but it was the discovery of dangerous heavy metals in the government’s cannabis (which is grown in an abandoned mine) that spurred many patients to call for alternatives. Growers are already coming forward to offer more variety to patients.
Be compassionate
by Colby Cosh, OpEd, National Post (Canada)
Once again a Canadian court has spoken up and said it’s time for the federal government to stop choking off supplies of medical marijuana to the more than 2,000 users it licenses. And once again, the government is expected to seek every conceivable obstacle, use every possible loophole and exhaust every avenue of appeal that might help delay the adoption of a logical, humane medical marijuana policy.
Medical pot users can choose supplier: court
by Anne Kyle, Saskatchewan News Network, Regina Leader-Post (Canada)
Medical marijuana users such as Tom Shapiro will now have more choices when it comes to finding a supplier as a result of a Federal Court ruling striking down a key government regulation governing the controversial program.
New Pot Ruling Not A Concern For Local Police
by Craig Huckerby, SooNews (Canada)
Last week’s decision to challenge the federal government and its controversial medical marijuana program means more growers of the weed will be allowed to administer the drug to approved patients meaning an end to the government’s monopoly on pot.
Ruling disappoints medical pot producer
by Darren Bernhardt, Saskatoon Star-Phoenix (Canada)
Health Canada’s contract producer for medicinal marijuana fears patient safety and product quality will suffer as a result of a federal court ruling that relaxes government restrictions and allows other growers to become suppliers.
Medical marijuana grower ready to expand after ruling
CanWest News Service
A company in Duncan on Vancouver Island is gearing up to supply nearly 300 customers with medical marijuana in the wake of a federal court ruling striking down a key restriction on sales of the drug.

DISPENSARIES: Access Important for Patients

ASA’s study of dispensaries in California has found that a majority of patients in urban areas have come to rely on them for safe, consistent access. But the role of dispensaries in meeting patient needs is seen most clearly in the case of elderly patients who would otherwise have no access to either medical marijuana or information about using it. A UC Berkeley researcher has also found that many dispensaries offer critical social support services to the most seriously ill. More on how dispensaries meet the needs of patients and communities can be seen at
First marijuana clinic in Riverside to open Thursday
by Gregor McGavin, Press-Enterprise (CA)
An 80-year-old great-grandmother from Temecula could be the first person to get a legal recommendation in the city of Riverside to use marijuana for medicinal reasons.
Business-license refusal for med-pot shops upheld
by Roger Phelps, El Dorado Hills Telegraph (CA)
County supervisors Jan. 8 denied an appeal of a business-license refusal for the Medical Marijuana Caregivers Association of El Dorado County.
County moves toward a ban on pot clubs
by Ryan Huff, Contra Costa Times (CA)
Contra Costa supervisors took the first step toward prohibiting medical marijuana dispensaries in unincorporated areas of the county on Tuesday, aiming to pass a new ban by March.
Santa Clarita Planners Pass On Grass
by Katherine Geyer, The Signal (Santa Clarita, CA)
Santa Clarita Planning Commissioners just said no to marijuana Tuesday night when they unanimously approved a city code change that prohibits the establishment of medical marijuana dispensaries within the city.
Buellton council bans marijuana dispensaries
by Julian J. Ramos, Lompoc Record (CA)
With no public opposition, the Buellton City Council has moved to permanently ban medical marijuana dispensaries in the city.

IDAHO: City Advised to Ignore Will of Voters

When voters approved an initiative that grants medical marijuana patients an exemption from the enforcement of criminal statutes they no doubt expected local officials and law enforcement to comply. But the city attorney is trying to circumvent the will of the voters.
Attorney tells Hailey to slash marijuana reforms
by Cassidy Friedman, Twin Falls Times-News (ID)
Strip the teeth from three Hailey marijuana reform initiatives – right down to the gums. That’s what Hailey City Attorney Ned Williamson proposed Monday night to a city council that has already voiced considerable reluctance about the initiatives passed by voters in November.

MONTANA: Attempt to Limit State Law Condemned

Corrections officials in Montana are trying to prevent anyone on parole or probation from being part of the state’s medical marijuana program, even though they do not similarly forbid the use of other prescription medications. And why would they? Medical treatment is something we trust doctors to determine in consultation with their patients. Prison guards are in no position to second-guess physicians’ prescriptions or treatment recommendations.
Guest Opinion: DOC policy would violate medical marijuana law
by Edwin Stickney, OpEd, Billings Gazette (MT)
The Montana Department of Corrections is trying to ban the use of medical marijuana by anyone on parole or probation. This proposal is almost certainly illegal for numerous reasons. Among these is the fact that Montana’s medical marijuana law clearly allows anyone suffering from certain medical conditions, with a doctor’s recommendation, to use medical marijuana.

ASA BLOG: Comments from ASA Staff and Guests

ASA’s blog is helping keep activists informed on the issues and events affecting medical marijuana patients and providers.
California Weekly Round Up
by Sonnet Seeborg Gabbard
Medical Marijuana and the 2008 Presidential Candidates


Find out about ASA at More medical marijuana news summaries can be seen at

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Executive Director
Ohio Patient Action Network
President Ohio Patient Network

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