For Pot Laws, Things Are a Bit Too Hazy

For Pot Laws, Things Are a Bit Too Hazy
Posted by CN Staff on September 20, 2005 at 07:42:05 PT
By C.W. Nevius
Source: San Francisco Chronicle
California -- Want to try to understand California's medical marijuana laws? Better pack a lunch. And not just for the munchies. This is going to get confusing. Last week's federal appeals court hearing on the case of Ed Rosenthal of Oakland captures the dichotomy perfectly. Rosenthal -- whose credibility isn't helped by his nickname, "the Guru of Ganja'' -- was busted in 2003 for growing pot for a medical facility.
Under state law, the marijuana was basically legal as soon as it was bagged and ready to be sold in the clinic, but when he was growing it, it was prosecuted as a controlled substance under federal law. Does that make sense? "It is still a violation of federal drug laws to possess, distribute and cultivate marijuana" is all Drug Enforcement Administration spokeswoman Casey McEnry will say when asked about the case. OK, but is marijuana a menace to society, or has it been essentially legalized in California? As far as the DEA is concerned, the final word comes from the Supreme Court, which ruled in June that federal law trumps state voter-approved Proposition 215. So marijuana is illegal. But frankly, that's a joke on the street. Because right now, getting a medical card to buy marijuana is a snap. According to the 1996 California law, all it takes is a doctor's recommendation. Don't have one? No worries. When Alameda County Sheriff Charles Plummer toured the pot clubs in the unincorporated area of San Leandro, he says he found that there was no need to make that annoying trip all the way to the doctor's office. "They had one right in the place,'' Plummer says. "They showed me the office. And there's nothing in there unless he brings in a black satchel when he comes. You or I could walk in today with $100 or $200 and get a card.'' If you don't think the legal system is confused and conflicted, consider what happened in Rosenthal's case. He was convicted, but his sentence was for 24 hours. Both sides were outraged. Assistant U.S. Attorney Amber Rosen was upset because she felt the sentence was much too light, and Rosenthal complained that it was too harsh. A decision on the sentence is pending. There you have it. On the one hand, we have the federal DEA aggressively chasing down and arresting pot growers. In June, for example, "Operation Urban Harvest'' led to the seizure of more than 9,000 plants in 25 locations in the Bay Area. The DEA proudly touts the results on its Web site. Another victory in the war on drugs? Snipped:Complete Article: San Francisco Chronicle (CA)Author: C.W. NeviusPublished: Tuesday, September 20, 2005 - Page B - 1Copyright: 2005 San Francisco Chronicle Contact: letters sfchronicle.comWebsite: Related Articles & Web Site:Ed Rosenthal's Trial Pictures & Articles MMJ Legality Still Controversial in Berkeley, Jury Key Elements in Pot Case Appeal
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Comment #23 posted by OverwhelmSam on September 22, 2005 at 03:26:11 PT
Speaking Of Hurricanes and Budgets
Money spent by the federal goverment for Katrina and the prospect of more money needed to recover from Rita have federal politicians thinking seriously about programs to cut from the budget. May I suggest the Office of National Drug Control Policy and the Drug Enforcement Agency be added to the list of budget cuts? They're about worthless anyway. Perhaps the timing is perfect for a letter of suggestion to our Congressmen?
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Comment #22 posted by runruff on September 21, 2005 at 12:50:15 PT:
A falsehood or a lie?
A deliberate falsehood is a lie and that aticle on kids and insanity is a deliberate falsehood. Most people don't even believe such drivel anymore but boy do they keep trying.
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Comment #21 posted by FoM on September 21, 2005 at 11:37:01 PT
Just a Comment
I know we have a few people here from Texas. Rita is close to a Category 5. Here's a web cam of Galveston. Stay safe everyone. This is a very troubling storm like Katrina was.
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Comment #20 posted by runderwo on September 21, 2005 at 09:57:47 PT
"But it is the figure for children that will cause the greatest alarm. Addaction treated 1,575 cannabis users for psychotic problems between April 2004 and April 2005, of whom 181 were aged 15 or below -- a rise of 136 on the previous year."Ok, so how many of these children came over from other treatment centers that had proven ineffective?How many of these were court referrals?Do 181 people with a relatively minor problem justify the harms of prohibition for adults?How many people aged 15 or below are in treatment for alcoholism?
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Comment #19 posted by FoM on September 21, 2005 at 07:06:39 PT
Be careful. This hurricane is a category 4 now and nothing to treat lightly. Take important papers with you and let us know how you are when you can. I'll say a prayer for your safety too. 
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Comment #18 posted by Toker00 on September 21, 2005 at 06:59:15 PT
Yeah I know
CANNABIS, TOO.Peace, guys.
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Comment #17 posted by Toker00 on September 21, 2005 at 06:57:34 PT
Hope to see you guys after this storm. We are evacuating today. Texas City is 15 miles north of Galveston Island on the mainland. This may blow me all the way to Canada, or at least Colorado. Then again, I may be at home and at work by Monday morning! Hope so! Wage peace on war. END CANABIS PROHIBITION NOW!
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Comment #16 posted by FoM on September 21, 2005 at 06:42:01 PT
It's good to see you. I hope the storm passed you down in Fla.
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Comment #15 posted by WolfgangWylde on September 21, 2005 at 06:33:16 PT
The Brits are putting our Prhoibitionists to shame
MENTAL PROBLEMS SOAR AMONG CHILDREN USING CANNABIS The number of children treated for mental disorders caused by smoking cannabis has quadrupled since the government downgraded the legal status of the drug, according to a leading drug charity. Since April last year, three months after police stopped arresting anyone found in possession of small amounts of the drug, the overall number of users treated for such conditions rose 42%, according to data from Addaction. But it is the figure for children that will cause the greatest alarm. Addaction treated 1,575 cannabis users for psychotic problems between April 2004 and April 2005, of whom 181 were aged 15 or below -- a rise of 136 on the previous year. Many experts blame the relaxation of the law and the wider use of skunk, a high-strength variant of cannabis. "A minority of people who take it repeatedly and over a long period, particularly people who take it as adolescents, will suffer psychotic episodes. They may ultimately suffer schizophrenia," said Robin Murray, professor of psychiatry at King's College London. Addaction's findings are backed up by recent government figures that reveal a 22% leap in hospital admissions attributed directly to cannabis. They show that 710 people were sent to hospital with mental illness caused by cannabis in the 12 months to April 2004, up from 580 in the two previous years. The Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs is meeting next weekend to decide whether there should be a full review of the working of the cannabis law. It was set up by Charles Clarke, the home secretary, after research released earlier this year suggested cannabis may cause mental illness. A New Zealand research project involving 1,000 people born in 1977 found that cannabis could double the risk of mental illnesses such as schizophrenia. A Dutch study by Professor Jim van Os also discovered that frequent cannabis use during adolescence increased the risk of psychotic symptoms later in life, especially among those genetically vulnerable to mental illness. A member of the committee said this weekend, however, that the panel was unlikely to recommend any revision of the law because there was still insufficient evidence to show any increased risk. One option it is considering is upgrading skunk but leaving "ordinary" cannabis as a class C drug. Jonathan McDonnell, project manager for the Buckinghamshire branch of Young Addaction, said that last year 250 cannabis users under 19 were referred to his unit for treatment; 85% of those were skunk users. He said that the higher street price of skunk -- UKP 20 for an eighth of an ounce rather than UKP 12 for normal cannabis -- meant that many users were now involved in "junkie crimes" such as burglary and robbery, traditionally the preserve of hard-drug users.  
Mental Problems Soar Among Children Using Cannabis
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Comment #14 posted by OverwhelmSam on September 21, 2005 at 04:14:44 PT
We Don't Even Have To Protest
We just have to convince The People to STOP VOTING FOR THE SAME JERKS OVER AND OVER. Vote someone new into office every election. With no chance of tenure, and no reson to stand on a platform of drug prohibition, there's much less of chance for corruption, and more of a reason to do the job the Representatives were elected for -- represent The People. That's the way the system was designed to work. Electing the same idiots time after time is malignantly ignorant. Vote for someone else next election and send the career (corrupt) politicians home.
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Comment #13 posted by Jim Lunsford on September 20, 2005 at 23:00:34 PT
Hey everyone
Hey everyone, just thought I'd pop a quick note in to let ya know I'm still kicking. I remember the study on personality types in Corporate Amerika. They were sociopaths, and are popular in the upper echelons because they love attention, are ingratiating, and have no remorse. Usually they are also extremely charismatic. Unfortunately, they tend to be short=sided in their decisions and so think on short term, rather than long term results. If you think about the insanity of the entire oil/chem/timber/capitalistic system, then it helps to explain a lot. It's the enevitable self destruction of pure capitalism. But only as long as we, the people, allow this type of government to rule. When people everywhere start marching in the streets, then the govt will change. When the environmental/scientific/cannabis/civil rights/etc/ groups unite, then the govt will change. It is then that perhaps we can get some of these sociopaths to chill out with some spiritually prescribed cannabis. Rev Jim LunsfordFirst Cannabis ChurchCompassion: It's just a choice
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Comment #12 posted by John Tyler on September 20, 2005 at 19:46:05 PT
Re: functional psychopaths
Waite it gets worse. Last week or so in the Washington Post there was an article about a study of criminals and CEOs. (Think Bernie Ebbers and Ken Lay) They discovered they both have a Narcissistic personality disorder. It starts to makes sense now. 
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Comment #11 posted by mayan on September 20, 2005 at 18:22:18 PT
Thanks for that article to which I just commented on. 
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Comment #10 posted by mayan on September 20, 2005 at 18:20:37 PT
He added, "We really don't want to give the legitimate people problems; we just want to stop the profiteers using the 215 banner."Too late! You already gave them problems by stealing their medicine!!!THE WAY OUT IS THE WAY IN...
 9/11 relatives charge cover-up: LIES UNDER FIRE: TRUTH FINALLY EMERGING FROM DISASTER: Pentagon Tracking Mohamed Atta Just Days Before 9/11 Attack? Pushes to Hide 9/11 Mistakes: 9/11 Omission: Did the 9/11 Commission Get it Wrong? Harasses Informant of Former Agent John O'Neill: Fed Analyst Turned Whistleblower Asks: Was the Federal Reserve Warned about 9/11?
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Comment #9 posted by OverwhelmSam on September 20, 2005 at 16:02:38 PT
The Supreme Court Ruling was Clear
Marijuana is illegal under federal law, but it's LEGAL under state law. State police have to follow state law. If the federal government wants to waste their time busting medical marijuana users, that's their ordeal. Get the picture. Time to reign in state authorities.
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Comment #8 posted by AOLBites on September 20, 2005 at 13:14:22 PT
Deputies bust pot garden[Patient's Alliance]
Deputies bust pot garden Article Last Updated: Monday, September 19, 2005 - 11:30:32 PM PSTJohn Jensen - Record-Bee staffCLEARLAKE OAKS -- Unclear documentation and what authorities allege was lack of compliance with state law led to the recent seizure of hundreds of marijuana plants.The Lake County Sheriff's Office arrested one person and confiscated more than 500 marijuana plants from a hilltop marijuana growing operation known as the Patient's Alliance in Clearlake Oaks Sept. 7.Michael Nilsen of Patient's Alliance said LCSO acted outside the law by arresting him and pulling out the plants, which he said belonged to 90 medical marijuana patients both inside and outside the county. He claims to have been "robbed at badgepoint."The operation came to LCSO's attention during a "routine overflight mission," said Detective Steve Brooks.Based upon what he saw multiple rows of marijuana growing in plain sight Brooks obtained a search warrant to check out the plants.Sgt. Mike Morshed examined the operation's books. After spending a couple of hours engaged in that task, Morshed determined that Patient's Alliance was growing marijuana for multiple out-of-county residents, including individuals from San Francisco, Oakland and Sonoma Counties.And therein, according to California law, is the problem.Senate Bill 420, passed in 2003, allows "primary caregivers" to have multiple patients within the same city or county, but just one patient outside.Nilsen who leases the property used for Patient's Alliance presented doctors' referrals for multiple patients to account for the hundreds of marijuana plants being grown there, Brooks and Morshed reported.The number of out-of-area patients accounted for part of the decision to pull the plants, Brooks said. Another factor, he said, involved interviews with people at the scene. "Out of the statements that we took there were many inconsistencies," he said.Inconsistencies, Brooks said, involved how many plants each volunteer gardener was to have for their own. SB 420 allows for a specific number of plants for each person with a doctor's referral. Workers in the field, Morshed said, told detectives at the scene that they were there working in the field hoping for a jar or "whatever he (Nilsen) decides to give us," Morshed quoted."These people were not getting their five plants," Brooks said."This totally contradicts the statute," Morshed added.Nilsen contends that the rationale for removing the plants was based upon the statement of one person his girlfriend who told detectives she was sharing a mason jar of marijuana with Nilsen."They used that as their basis for eradicating 90-something people's medicine," he said. "That completely startles me."The people in the field, who Morshed said are Proposition 215 cardholders, should have had their specific plants allotted to them."It sounded like they were at the mercy of whatever Mike (Nilsen) decided to give them," Morshed said. "So right there, now you're getting marijuana for tending the garden."Nilsen said he is concerned that without the garden producing marijuana, some people will turn to cannabis clubs to obtain their medicine. "There's gonna be people out there who have to spend thousands of dollars on clubs," he said. "Club prices are insane."Morshed's position is that while there were probably people obtaining marijuana from the Patient's Alliance for legitimate medical reasons, enough warning signs existed to suggest the operation was not on the "up and up." "They're flying under the flag of the medical grow," he said. "There may have been some people needing it who are getting it I'm also sure they're not running the operation the way Mike is telling us."Morshed said that while detectives were there to serve the warrant and inspect the operation, had it been clearly legitimate, they would have left without pulling a single plant.Morshed said from the air hundreds of legitimate marijuana grows can be seen. "You can tell right away if it looks like it's in compliance," Morshed said.Compliant grows typically are smaller, he said, with 10 or 11 well-tended plants and paperwork to clearly indicate who is responsible for them.Brooks investigates grows "as he can" and observed that legitimate growers are "quite open with it." But he hasn't seen them all, he said. "I don't have enough time in a day to run after these medical grows."Inconsistencies at the Patient's Alliance led LCSO to believe that the marijuana garden was questionably legitimate and for that reason they decided to remove the plants, Morshed and Brooks explained."We're not trying to target people," Morshed said. "We're just trying to make sure they're in compliance."He added, "We really don't want to give the legitimate people problems; we just want to stop the profiteers using the 215 banner."The story isn't over; Nilsen will be in court on Oct. 7.Contact John Jensen at jjensen,1413,255~26901~3062085,00.html
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Comment #7 posted by Dankhank on September 20, 2005 at 11:11:38 PT
Updated see my entry for the new possible "Rasta" strain ...Thanks to the info on this site ...Peace ...
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Comment #6 posted by Truth on September 20, 2005 at 09:34:03 PT
"$400,000 in a month. That's a lot of cancer patients"the author falsely implies that all patients are cancer patients and then later he complains about fraud....hmmmmm?????
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Comment #5 posted by FoM on September 20, 2005 at 09:31:59 PT
You Know What EJ?
I think I'm a captalist but I really don't know what one is. Oh I am so dumb in certain areas! LOL!
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Comment #4 posted by E_Johnson on September 20, 2005 at 09:19:26 PT
I think they mean stock trading FoM
I always thought the best stock market traders were a bit crazy. Now science confirms it.By the way, I don't believe capitalism is for psychos, that was tongue in cheek.
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Comment #3 posted by Sam Adams on September 20, 2005 at 09:07:28 PT
1) How much cash does the average Bay Area Walgreens "pull in" every month?2) Have you seen the backs of the phone books in San Fransisco? Last time I was out there, they had huge color ads with the phone number "1 -800-PAIN-DOC" which you could call to get an opiate prescription (opiates meaning Percocet, Vicodin, Oxy-Contin, etc, all products of the pharmaceutical industry)3) You're surprised by a "a lot of cancer patients" that must be accounting for all this revenue? How does 6 MILLION CHILDREN on Ritalin sound? That's "a lot of ADD" now, isn't it?Articles like this really anger me! They really show the total brainwashed state that most Americans reside in. There is terrible fraud, corruption, and greed permeating all facets of the business and medical industry, yet a few entrepenuers that try to provide mostly sick people with a medicinal herb are SATAN! They must be driven from the land! Poor little cops....waaaah! can't arrest the potheads anymore! Waaaah! I want Mommie!
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Comment #2 posted by FoM on September 20, 2005 at 08:11:50 PT
EJ Wow
I sure don't know. The only thing I believe in investing in is my home. Hopefully as my husband and I get older having a home and land will help us out. It's a tangible investment and that's the only way I look at where to put our money. 
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Comment #1 posted by E_Johnson on September 20, 2005 at 07:54:17 PT
OT: Science: Is capitalism for psychopaths?
New research into risk and investment behaviors of humans shows that the best financial investment decisions are made by "functional psychopaths" whose inability to feel normal human emotions enables them to maximize the benefits of taking financial risks.***************************************In a study of investors' behavior 41 people with normal IQs were asked to play a simple investment game. Fifteen of the group had suffered lesions on the areas of the brain that affect emotions.The result was those with brain damage outperformed those without.The scientists found emotions led some of the group to avoid risks even when the potential benefits far outweighed the losses, a phenomenon known as myopic loss aversion.One of the researchers, Antione Bechara, an associate professor of neurology at the University of Iowa, said the best stock market investors might plausibly be called "functional psychopaths."Fellow author, Baba Shiv of Stanford Graduate School of Business said many company chiefs and top lawyers may also show they share the same trait.
Is the free market for psychos?
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