Up in Smoke?

Up in Smoke?
Posted by CN Staff on June 28, 2005 at 20:41:26 PT
By Philip Dawdy
Source: Seattle Weekly
Seattle, WA -- Three weeks ago, it looked as though the hopes of medical marijuana users around the country would go up in smoke. On Monday, June 6, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that medical marijuana laws passed by 10 states, including Washington, didn't matter and that the federal government and federal law enforcement agencies could proceed with using federal drug laws to bust medical marijuana users. Now, it appears that medical marijuana users will receive different treatment depending on where they live—things have quickly gotten worse in California, but Washington is experiencing no change as yet.
So far, the feds have made a great show of going after so-called clubs selling pot to patients in California. On Wednesday, June 22, the feds busted 13 people in raids of three clubs in Northern California.But in Washington there are no clubs and there is no official distribution network for getting pot to medical marijuana patients. Neither is there a state-operated medical marijuana registry as in Oregon. Oddly, because Washington's system is underground, that may work to medical marijuana patients' advantage, even though it clouds the issue in other respects. Both U.S. Attorney for Western Washington John McKay and the local outpost of the federal Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) would have to get very interested in busting small-time users, who also happen to be people enduring cancer or AIDS or chronic pain, in order to get at medical marijuana.For now, it looks as though that won't happen."Our view is that this [court ruling] does not change the way we do our job," says Emily Langlie, a spokesperson for McKay. "The emphasis of this office is on complex drug organizations and organized crime dealing in drugs."In the past, local attorneys say that, in the Seattle area at least, the feds have not messed with medical marijuana users very much, if at all.The local DEA office did not return a request for comment.Nationwide, part of the response to the ruling has come from states' rights advocates, who see the Supreme Court justices operating like Big Brother and Big Sister. In Oregon, state Attorney General Hardy Myers issued an opinion that the state could continue to issue medical marijuana cards on the grounds that principles of states' rights weren't stripped from the U.S. Constitution by one court ruling.Rob McKenna, Washington state attorney general, has largely remained mute on the tension between Washington state statute and federal law. "The decision has no bearing on the operation of our statute," says Janelle Guthrie, his spokesperson.All of that sounds like reassurance that the winking and nodding given to medical marijuana in this state since the passage of Initiative 692 in 1998 will continue. Not everyone trusts leaving it to benign neglect, however, because there's nowhere to turn for aid and comfort now that the feds have been given full permission to go after medical marijuana users."For the court to say to us, 'Go to Congress,' is about like telling me to go to my closet and talk to my sports coats," says Jeffrey Steinborn, a local attorney who defends pot patients."What I'd like to see is a strong statement in support of the statute" from McKenna, says Andy Ko with the Washington chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union. "There are a lot of prosecutors' offices that could use some guidance."McKenna's office says there are no plans for McKenna to issue any opinion.Ko says the real worry isn't with the feds right now but with prosecuting attorneys in Thurston, Stevens, and other more rural counties where they've prosecuted medical marijuana users in disregard of the state's medical marijuana law.Note: Medical marijuana is now fair game in every state.Source: Seattle Weekly (WA)Author: Philip DawdyPublished: June 29 - July 5, 2005Copyright: 2005 Seattle WeeklyContact: letters seattleweekly.comWebsite: Medical Marijuana Archives
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Comment #6 posted by afterburner on June 29, 2005 at 14:20:31 PT
Sorry, If I missed the Joke, jose...
I'm just tired of our beautiful culture being the butt of the nudge-nudge, wink-wink, sneers and jeers. Even when we laugh at ourselves, as in Cheech and Chong movies, people like the Drugged Czar take it seriously and bleat about Cheech and Chong medicine and Operation Pipedreams. I have to work with some prohibitionists who would actually take the words expressed in "Marijuana use an un-Christian act" seriously and agree with them. Unfortunately, even well-intentioned humor can be easily mis-read and mis-used by those intent on demonizing cannabis and its supporters. I love humor, but the time for Frank Discussion is upon us.
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Comment #5 posted by Richard Zuckerman on June 29, 2005 at 14:15:33 PT:
I hope the U.S. Supreme Court decision does not adversely affect this year's Seattle Hemp Fest on August 20, 2005!My appellate briefing schedule requires that I keep a close eye on the time to submit a Reply Brief and, if any, a Petition for Direct Certification to the New Jersey Supreme Court asking them to recognize a cause of action for Retaliatory Prosecution under the New Jersey Constitution. Although the federal courts recognize Retaliatory Prosecution lawsuits, the New Jersey state courts seem to be somewhat slow to recognize such violations under the New Jersey Constitution! My favorite Retaliation lawsuit was those Pennsylvania State Narcotics Officers who were demoted and fired for reporting that a particular Dominican politician is involved in C.I.A. drug smuggling, about three years ago! Isn't it a shame that people do not seem to realize that whenever they vote for Republicans and Democrats [except perhaps members of the U.S. House of Representatives "Liberty Caucus"] they support the United States Central Intelligence Agency laundering over $600 billion of drug money thru Wall Street, every year, with impunity, according to and, while Americans are arrested every 40 seconds for small amounts of Cannabis! What an awful hypocrisy!!I received an e-mail about a week and a half ago stating that the Council on Foreign Relations put together an elected group planning to eliminate the United States-Canada and United States-Mexico borders, by the year 2010. This means no more States, no more State Constitutions, and perhaps no more U.S. Constitution, no more constitutional freedoms!
Richard Paul Zuckerman, Box 159, Metuchen, New Jersey, 08840-0159, richardzuckerman2002
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Comment #4 posted by FoM on June 29, 2005 at 08:32:41 PT
Here's the link that seems to believe it will be a gospel type album.
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Comment #3 posted by FoM on June 29, 2005 at 08:29:32 PT
I think almost everyone is on vacation this week because of it being the 4th of July weekend so I'm getting work done around home and getting ready for Live 8. They will be airing 8 hours on Saturday on MTV and or VHI. I doubt we will get much of the one from Canada but Neil will be closing the show in Barrie. Isn't Barrie ' come for the beauty stay for the bud?' He is going to play with a group called the Frisk Singers I've read. People think Neil's new album will be like Gospel Neil! Hey why not! LOL!
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Comment #2 posted by jose melendez on June 29, 2005 at 02:33:41 PT
believably brilliant
afterburner, I think it's satire:" If you are sick and there is treatment that is not illicit and you can afford it, use it; that is what God intended.However, no one is permitted to do anything illegal just because it makes them feel better or live longer.Stealing food when you're starving to death is illegal.So if you're dying and marijuana would help, go to church instead. Find your Mother Teresa for comfort and die.Or do drugs, go to jail without comfort or marijuana, and die. This is a Christian nation. It's God's rules. Quit complaining." - - - "The common-law defense of necessity, . . . generally "is available to one who intentionally causes a harm or evil contemplated by an offense, provided that the justifying circumstances result in a lesser net harm or evil as intended by the actor." Milhizer, Necessity and the Military Justice System: A Proposed Special Defense, 121 Mil. L. Rev. 95 (1988)(footnote omitted). "" . . . the common-law defense of necessity "has been recognized in numerous state courts and has gained general acceptance in federal law." 47 MJ at 549."from: 
Even as Angel Raich bravely faced today's most cynical and unethical opponents to her federal lawsuit demanding to be allowed the use of cannabis, the resulting decision in denial of her prayer for relief and even omitting outright any consideration of a common law necessity argument did in fact concede that Congress is not telling the truth about the safety and efficacy issues of cannabis, and further deemed the herb an item in commerce.
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Comment #1 posted by afterburner on June 28, 2005 at 22:31:53 PT
Unbelievable Prejudice Below
Marijuana use an un-Christian act. 
Jun. 13, 2005 12:00 AM.
OPINIONS online print edition.
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