Medical Marijuana Advocates Get Victory 

Medical Marijuana Advocates Get Victory 
Posted by CN Staff on October 20, 2006 at 07:12:26 PT
By Genevieve Bookwalter, Sentinel Staff Writer
Source: Santa Cruz Sentinel
Santa Cruz, CA -- Medical marijuana advocates say this week's state appeals court ruling broadens the scope of who can legally sell marijuana and will make it easier for those who need the drug to get it.California's 6th District Court of Appeal on Wednesday overturned the conviction of Roger Mentch. The Felton man found guilty last year of cultivation of marijuana and possession of the drug for sale because he was not considered a "caregiver."
Santa Cruz attorney Ben Rice said in the past, caregivers have had to prove they had regular contact with a patient and provided services beyond drug delivery. But now, "all you have to do is show some evidence of helping in some fashion with a person's health," Rice said. That help includes providing medical marijuana, and could apply to a distributor or collective.California voters in 1996 approved Proposition 215, legalizing the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes and allowing designated "caregivers" to provide the drug. It is still illegal under federal law.In the 31-page ruling, Justice Franklin Elia wrote that a jury should have been allowed to hear evidence that Mentch, who runs the Hemporium LLC, a caregiving service and pot collective in Felton, was a legal caregiver of the clients for whom he grew and delivered marijuana. That evidence was not permitted in court and Mentch was found guilty. District Attorney Bob Lee, whose office prosecuted the case, did not return phone calls to comment.Mentch's troubles began in 2003, when he was arrested after a bank teller reported his cash deposits consistently reeked of marijuana. He had started the business a year earlier after being laid off by his Silicon Valley employer.When arrested, Mentch said he grew marijuana for himself and five other people, all of whom had medical marijuana prescriptions. His defense team wanted to argue that service defined him as a caregiver. The court, however, would not allow it.Appellate court justices agreed with the defense.Mentch, "by consistently growing and supplying physician-approved or prescribed medicinal marijuana ... was meeting an important health need of several medical marijuana patients," Elia wrote.Ken Sampson, president of the Santa Cruz Patients Collective in Santa Cruz, said the ruling helped legitimize those who provide medical marijuana."We pay sales tax, we do everything by the book," said Sampson, whose collective sells medical marijuana in the Harvey West neighborhood.While Santa Cruz has agreed that collective workers qualify as caregivers, Sampson said he hopes the ruling will give credence to those operating outside city limits."This new decision adds weight to that countywide," Sampson said. "It just legitimizes what we're doing here."Complete Title: Medical Marijuana Advocates Get Victory in State Appeals CourtSource: Santa Cruz Sentinel (CA)Author: Genevieve Bookwalter, Sentinel Staff WriterPublished: October 20, 2006 Copyright: 2006 Santa Cruz SentinelContact: editorial santa-cruz.comWebsite: Medical Marijuana Archives
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Comment #13 posted by FoM on October 23, 2006 at 08:38:33 PT
More Medicinal Cannabis News
Cannabis Chemicals May Alleviate Post-Eating Stomach Cramps***By American College of Gastroenterology (ACG) Published: Oct 23, 2006
 A chemical component extracted from the cannabis, or marijuana, plant may relax the colon and reduce stomach cramping after eating, according to a study presented at the 71st Annual Scientific Meeting of the American College of Gastroenterology. The study compared the effects of dronabinol and placebo on colonic motility and sensation in healthy adults.Doctors at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota conducted a double-blind, parallel-group study of 52 volunteers who were randomly assigned placebo or a single dose of dronabinol, a synthetic THC and a naturally-occurring compound in marijuana, known as a non-selective cannabinoid agonist.The researchers found that dronabinol relaxes the colon and reduces post-eating contractions and cramping. Further, the effects were most pronounced in females. "The potential for cannabinoids to modulate colonic motor function in disease deserves a further look," said study leader Tuba Esfandyari, M.D., MSc of the Mayo Clinic.About the American College of Gastroenterology
The ACG was formed in 1932 to advance the scientific study and medical treatment of disorders of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. The College promotes the highest standards in medical education and is guided by its commitment to meeting the needs of clinical gastroenterology practitioners. Consumers can get more information on GI diseases through the following ACG-sponsored programs:• 1-800-978-7666 (free brochures on common GI disorders, including ulcer, colon cancer, gallstones, and liver disease)
• 1-866-IBS-RELIEF and (free educational materials)
• 1-800-HRT-BURN (free brochure and video on heartburn and GERD)
• (ACG's Web site)
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Comment #12 posted by whig on October 23, 2006 at 01:00:40 PT
Max Flowers
Antifreeze (ethylene glycol) is sweet, too.
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Comment #11 posted by Max Flowers on October 23, 2006 at 00:30:47 PT
whig #6
NutraSweet is aspartame, which has a growing reputation for suspected neurotoxicity. Research shows that it turns into methanol when exposed to warmer temperatures (like in the thousands upon thousands of cans of Diet Coke stored in the hot sun in Iraq and Saudi Arabia for troops to drink) and maybe even turns into methanol in the liver. I think it's probably dangerous, and I think it has no place in the food supply. It even has a spooky history with Donald Rumsfeld (may he rot in the brig)... Rumsfeld was on the board at Searle and pulled strings with friends in the FDA to get it approved when tests were showing it as toxic. But why let the health and safety of millions of Americans get in the way when there are millions of dollars to be made, right Rummy?
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Comment #10 posted by whig on October 21, 2006 at 11:51:22 PT
John Tyler
Almost like people were being domesticated as animals, isn't it?
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Comment #9 posted by John Tyler on October 21, 2006 at 06:24:05 PT
kids and meds
Re comment #5 Over active preschoolers given meds to calm down. This is so weird. We now have to have kindergarten to prepared children for first grade. We have preschool classes to prepare children for kindergarten. Now I see that we are beginning to have tutors to prepare children for preschool. Kids are too cooped up. They don’t need meds. They need to burn off that energy by running around and playing. Kids learn a lot in play. Play is good exercise. Unstructured play should not be eliminated from childhood. I think it has gotten into our culture because of the two parent working families using it as daycare. Rather sad. 
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Comment #8 posted by whig on October 21, 2006 at 02:49:18 PT
One way of looking at the court
The chief justice is nominally the person who runs the court, he has a lot of administrative power, but if he does not have a governing majority of the court he cannot rule from the bench.John Bush (what I call George now) wants to put another authoritarian on the bench and make John Roberts the literal king of the bench. (Lotta Johns, aren't there?)But it hasn't happened yet. Right now there are two factions, and one swing voter. That swing voter is Anthony Kennedy. And even if it did happen that some vacancy were to be filled by appointment, then Kennedy would move to the left column and there would be a new swing voter. This is how the court is designed to work, how well it succeeds is a matter of some dispute.
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Comment #7 posted by whig on October 21, 2006 at 02:42:51 PT
I don't know if it will help Ed, not in the short run. It isn't going to stop his trial now. Next Wednesday is the first hearing before judge Charles Breyer, I'm planning to attend schedule permitting. This Charles Breyer is the same judge who previously sentenced Ed to one day of jail in the first trial. He is also the brother of Stephen Breyer who sits on the US supreme court.By the way, speaking of supreme court members, I saw a piece about Anthony Kennedy today that strongly suggests he's going to strike down the torture bill. As long as nothing bad happens to John Paul Stevens. God save him.
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Comment #6 posted by whig on October 20, 2006 at 17:28:39 PT
Max Flowers
What do you think of NutraSweet?
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Comment #5 posted by Max Flowers on October 20, 2006 at 16:25:30 PT
Another example of American ignorance
and bewilderment regarding drugs:Study warns of risks of preschool RitalinAssociated PressCHICAGO – Is it safe to give preschoolers Ritalin, the popular attention deficit disorder drug? The first long-term government study of that age group warns of side effects with the drug, which isn’t recommended for children younger than 6.(end excerpt)Can you believe that anyone even has to ask or wonder whether it is smart to give preschoolers Ritalin, which is nothing more or less than methamphetamine?! Is it any wonder that US drug policy is so schizophrenic and confused when they have to ask this question? Methamphetamine is, essentially, a neurotoxic compound. There should not be any doubt whatsoever that it is NOT something you would give to a child whose body, brain, nervous system and neurological function are still in a very fragile, developmental stage. Personally, I have no doubt that the pharmaceutical companies who produce Ritalin and the doctors who prescribe it know this fact very well, and the fact that anyone would prescribe it for kids or advocate its use for them is evidence of a deep and endemic corruption in the medical "industry," and sends chills down my spine.The hypocrisy shown by this, that people are willing to lock certain people up for growing cannabis for medical use by adults yet think it's okay to give Ritalin to children (and even pay these "medical professionals to do it!) is astonishing to me.
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Comment #4 posted by dongenero on October 20, 2006 at 11:57:56 PT
smells?...smells fishy
That aspect of this case is pretty strange I would say. It smells fishy to me. It sounds more like a drummed up "probable cause" for police investigation, when they were lacking evidence.This case smells alright, but not like bud.
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Comment #3 posted by Max Flowers on October 20, 2006 at 11:14:40 PT
Legal Darwinism?
Mentch's troubles began in 2003, when he was arrested after a bank teller reported his cash deposits consistently reeked of marijuana.I'm sorry if this sounds harsh, but to me it's stupid beyond all description to keep cash right next to smelly bud. I've read many stories like that (including one where a man went to bail out his son and the bail money was confiscated for the same reason), and they blow my mind every time.It's also worth asking: how does the bank teller know so intimately exactly what non-burning cannabis smells like? Only from personal experience, obviously. Therefore, she is probably a smoker herself, yet narc'ed out a fellow cannabis person. Pretty low, but in the end, the fault really lies with the moron who keeps his cash in the same Tupperware container with his bud.
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Comment #2 posted by dongenero on October 20, 2006 at 08:20:56 PT
significant ruling
This ruling should set a good precedent for dispenseries as far as state law. I wonder if this will lead to more state support in the face of federal meddling?I wonder if this legal precedent will be of any help to Ed Rosenthal. His fight is against the Feds though. They will certainly try to bar any California state legal precedents.
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Comment #1 posted by whig on October 20, 2006 at 08:04:33 PT
Big news
This protects dispensaries.
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