cannabisnews.com: Calif. AG: Don't Panic Over Pot Ruling





Calif. AG: Don't Panic Over Pot Ruling
Posted by CN Staff on June 06, 2005 at 15:15:10 PT
By Kim Curtis, Associated Press Writer
Source: Associated Press
San Francisco, Calif. -- Oregon stopped issuing medical marijuana cards after Monday's Supreme Court ruling, but people could apparently still get pot with a doctor's prescription there and in nine other states, and nobody in law enforcement appeared eager to make headlines arresting ailing patients."People shouldn't panic. There aren't going to be many changes," California Attorney General Bill Lockyer said. "Nothing is different today than it was two days ago, in terms of real-world impact."
The high court ruled 6-3 that people who smoke marijuana because their doctors recommend it to ease pain can be prosecuted for violating federal drug laws.The ruling does not strike down medical marijuana laws in California, Alaska, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Vermont or Washington state. In many places over the past years, local authorities have shown no interest in arresting people who smoke pot for medical reasons.It remains to be seen whether the federal Drug Enforcement Administration is planning a crackdown. The Justice Department was not commenting.In Colorado, where 668 people hold a certificate allowing them to use and grow marijuana for pain relief under a constitutional amendment voters approved in 2000, federal prosecutors plan to keep their focus on large-scale drug rings, but if investigators come across marijuana in possession of certified state users, they will seize it  just as they have always done, said Jeff Dorschner, a U.S. Attorney's spokesman.In Oregon, state officials said they would temporarily stop issuing medical marijuana cards to sick people."We want to proceed cautiously until we understand the ramifications of this ruling," said Grant Higginson, a public health officer who oversees Oregon's medical marijuana program.California in 1996 became the first state to allow medical marijuana. On Monday, Gov. Arnold Schwarznegger, who has previously supported the use of pot by sick people, said only: "It is now up to Congress to provide clarity for not only California, but the other states that already have laws recognizing the use of marijuana for medical purposes."Medical marijuana dispensaries have proliferated despite a 2001 Supreme Court ruling that rejected the "medical necessity" defense in marijuana cases.Nationally, federal arrests of ailing patients who smoke pot have been rare, said Paul Armentano of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws. NORML said the government has arrested more than 60 people in medical marijuana raids since September 2001.Still, the ruling makes Valerie Corral nervous. Corral operates a 150-plant pot farm in Santa Cruz County, providing marijuana for free to about 165 seriously ill members. The high court's decision "leaves us protecting ourselves from a government that should be protecting us," she said.It was "business as usual" at the San Francisco health department, spokeswoman Eileen Shields said. The county issues medical marijuana identification cards, valid for two years, to residents with a doctor's prescription.The city has at least 43 medical cannabis dispensaries, far more than any other city in California, and makes no effort to collect data that federal authorities could use against them. "No one wants to create a nice, neat database" of pot users, she said.Source: Associated Press (Wire)Author: Kim Curtis, Associated Press WriterPublished: Monday, June 6, 2005Copyright: 2005 The Associated Press Related Articles & Web Sites:NORMLhttp://www.norml.org/WAMMhttp://www.wamm.org/Angel Raich v. Ashcroft Newshttp://freedomtoexhale.com/raich.htm'No' On Medical Marijuana Usehttp://cannabisnews.com/news/thread20775.shtmlCourt Rules Against Pot for Sick Peoplehttp://cannabisnews.com/news/thread20774.shtmlMarijuana Plaintiff To Defy Court Rulinghttp://cannabisnews.com/news/thread20773.shtml 
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Comment #17 posted by The GCW on June 06, 2005 at 21:09:25 PT
2 POLLS
Vote here http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/8118359/ Should the federal government prosecute medical marijuana users, now that it has been given the OK by the Supreme Court? * 69575 responses Yes 
10% No 
88% I'm not sure 
2%&&&&LOU DOBBS TONIGHT QUICKVOTE Do you believe the federal government should prosecute doctors who prescribe medical marijuana? Current Results: Yes -- 7% No -- 93% Total: 3264 votes http://www.cnn.com/CNN/Programs/lou.dobbs.tonight/
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Comment #16 posted by Hope on June 06, 2005 at 20:06:03 PT
I can't imagine what they could do...
They probably just want to make sure the intimidation factor is on their side.You get some rest and be smart tomorrow.
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Comment #15 posted by Hope on June 06, 2005 at 20:03:33 PT
I'll be away from the computer most of tomorrow
but you'll be on my mind all day...very much.More power to you, Jose. 
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Comment #14 posted by jose melendez on June 06, 2005 at 19:58:57 PT
they want me to come alone
I think they are worried about security more than anything, so I agreed to come alone. NORML says when I get there to call from the reps office, we'll see.I'm half tempted to call the FBI and tell them I am going there to report a federal crime just in case they try to pull some stunt.(Redundant parenthetical comment by way of explanation: It's a federal crime to threaten or harm someone who is trying to report a federal crime.)But then I figured if anyone is going to pull some stunt it's going to be the feds. So I can't trust anyone but y'all, NORML, D'Alliance, LEAP, ACLU and several thousand skydiving buddies.Wow, I feel better! :)
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Comment #13 posted by GreenJoy on June 06, 2005 at 19:46:35 PT
Bingo on my typo
 Yes, Breathe. My 2 cents stand. I know. Good luck to you. Don't go alone.   GJ
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Comment #12 posted by Hope on June 06, 2005 at 19:33:32 PT
It would be nice
if a friend could go with you and document the meeting on film.
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Comment #11 posted by Hope on June 06, 2005 at 19:19:13 PT
What's the time of the appointment again?
Of course that will be eastern standard time. But I want to be thinking about you.
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Comment #10 posted by jose melendez on June 06, 2005 at 19:12:44 PT
breathe
I'm actually hoping the Congressman's aide will sit down with me in front of a computer so I can determine if they intentionally omit from their rhetoric evidence that would tend to exonerate us.Thank you all here on cannabisnews.com, for your friendship and patience over the years.
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Comment #9 posted by Hope on June 06, 2005 at 18:48:54 PT
Jose...GreenJoy is right.
You have as much knowledge as anyone and more than most. Perhaps you should take written material to leave with them. I just don't understand why they should ask that you come alone. That's strange.
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Comment #8 posted by GreenJoy on June 06, 2005 at 18:17:28 PT
Jose
 From way down on the list of your many posts. You ARE armed to the teeth. On the morning of...sit in a chair, clear your mind, breath, and know that you are right, and trust that you can go with the flow. GJ
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Comment #7 posted by Shishaldin on June 06, 2005 at 16:10:37 PT
Sam, you're correct...
...Lockyer, while not being the worst D.A. California has had, has shown that he's *not* willing to tell the Feds to butt out of California and leave the MMJ patients, caregivers, and dispensaries alone. I believe he's been playing it safe so as to not jeopardize his future career prospects. Lockyer's a JELLYFISH...
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Comment #6 posted by jose melendez on June 06, 2005 at 15:57:29 PT
flip flop yes man, admit prohibition harms not pot
http://www.ag.ca.gov/newsalerts/2005/05-040.htm (SACRAMENTO) - Attorney General Bill Lockyer today issued the following statement on today's ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court in Gonzales v. Raich, which holds that federal laws prohibiting the use of medical marijuana remain in effect regardless of state laws that permit its use: "Today's ruling does not overturn California law permitting the use of medical marijuana, but it does uphold a federal regulatory scheme that contradicts the will of California voters and limits the right of states to provide appropriate medical care for its citizens. Although I am disappointed in the outcome of today's decision, legitimate medical marijuana patients in California must know that state and federal laws are no different today than they were yesterday. "Californians spoke overwhelmingly in favor of medical marijuana by passing Proposition 215, the Compassionate Use Initiative, and that law still stands in our state. Unfortunately, federal law continues to criminalize the use of physician-recommended marijuana medicine. This conflict between state and federal law means that seriously ill Californians will continue to run the risk of arrest and prosecution under federal law when grow and or they use marijuana as medicine. "Today's ruling shows the vast philosophical difference between the federal government and Californians on the rights of patients to have access to the medicine they need to survive and lead healthier lives. Taking medicine on the recommendation of a doctor for a legitimate illness should not be a crime. "There is something very wrong with a federal law that treats medical marijuana the same as heroin. The United States Congress and the President have the power to reform and modernize federal law in order to bring relief to medical patients and still punish those who illegally traffic in substances. Patients, physicians and the public that support medicinal marijuana should tell their Congressional Representatives and Senators to take a fresh look at the federal laws that ban its use." http://caag.state.ca.us/newsalerts/2002/02-125.htm October 29, 2002 02-125FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE(916) 227-3882(FRESNO)  Attorney General Bill Lockyer today announced that the 2002 California Campaign Against Marijuana Planting (CAMP) seized a record 354,164 illegal marijuana plants worth more than $1.4 billion."This record-breaking season highlights our resolve to rid the state of large criminal drug operations that use public and private lands to illegally cultivate millions of illegal marijuana plants," Lockyer said. "Thanks to the cooperation of local, state and federal law enforcement agencies, CAMP is ensuring the disruption of large criminal enterprises, stopping drugs from being distributed on our streets and keeping our public forests and national parks safe for hikers, outdoor enthusiasts and environmentalists to enjoy."
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Comment #5 posted by Toker00 on June 06, 2005 at 15:46:49 PT
Every pot smoker in America
who does nothing to liberate Cannabis is guilty of riding the backs of sick people who fight for the right to use! We stick them out front on this War on Cannabis, hoping somehow someone in the federal government will have mercy on them and allow an exception to use! The Supremist Court continues to knock them down! We need to stop the BS and stand up! Every single person who uses Cannabis for what ever reason they claim, should be ashamed to see these sick people fight while we sit on the sidelines and wring our hands and rah rah them on! There is no communicating with the federal government except with what they understand! The civil rights marchers knew what it took! They knew they would face violence and arrest and thought, no knew, the movement was worth it! When are cannabists going to unite and say enough is enough! When a few hundred thousand more lives are ruined because we don't have the balls to take it to the limit?! The time to act is NOW! No more lies or bullsh*t! No more hoping they will listen! They won't! I volunteer to be on the point of any march headed to Washington! Law makers don't change laws, they make them! People change laws! And not by whining or begging for mercy! By fighting! What ever it takes!NO more Peace! Stand up for what you believe in, or get out of the way!
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Comment #4 posted by Sam Adams on June 06, 2005 at 15:43:15 PT
Jose
I thought Lockyer had already "rolled over" by being complicit as the Feds raided his state repeatedly, and by failing to protect patients that were being raided by state & local cops. I could be wrong though, any from California want to comment? For instance, why doesn't he fly to DC to testify before Congress, instead of saying, "don't panic everyone, the feds can come crashing through your door to attack & rob you just as easily as they could yesterday. No worries!"
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Comment #3 posted by jose melendez on June 06, 2005 at 15:38:57 PT
oh by the way
I did actually fax several key offices at DOJ and DEA with proof they are breaking the law.It will be interesting when they break radio silence on this if they use terms that my published and faxed affidavits show to be false.
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Comment #2 posted by jose melendez on June 06, 2005 at 15:33:42 PT
coward?
I don't know the guy, correct me if I'm wrong Sam Adams, but is it not true that Lockyer could have rolled over, but instead he is speaking out . . . for you?
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Comment #1 posted by Sam Adams on June 06, 2005 at 15:29:27 PT
business as usual
"People shouldn't panic. There aren't going to be many changes," California Attorney General Bill Lockyer said. "Nothing is different today than it was two days ago, in terms of real-world impact." Yup, you're still a coward.
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