Man Disputes Law, Marijuana Conviction 

Man Disputes Law, Marijuana Conviction 
Posted by CN Staff on February 27, 2007 at 07:48:06 PT
By Kevin Graman, Staff Writer
Source: Spokesman-Review
Spokane, WA -- A 64-year-old Whitman County man with glaucoma is challenging not only his conviction for growing marijuana, but the validity of the Washington state law that has rendered him a felon.Attorneys for Pullman motel owner Loren R. Hanson, whose case is pending in Washington state Court of Appeals for District 3, contends the law under which he was convicted "has been effectively repealed" by the 1998 medical marijuana initiative.
Hanson's attorneys also contend their client was denied a medical marijuana defense in the case that led to his conviction, and a penalty of $1,700 and 40 hours of community service.Nine years after the passage of Initiative 692, many Washington patients for whom it is believed marijuana would be a help are not seeking or getting that help because of confusion over a state law the federal government continues to oppose."It sure would be nice if the sick patients could get their medication," said Hanson, who is allergic to other medications that relieve eye pressure, which causes blindness."I can't take any of the medications on the market," he said. In summer 2004, after discussions with his doctor, Hanson began growing his own marijuana, which he took externally, allowing the smoke to waft around his face. "The smoke just getting in my eyes relieves pressure and keeps me from losing eyesight," he said. Glaucoma is one of the few conditions specified in the medical marijuana law.On Aug. 24, 2004, the Quad Cities Drug Task Force raided his business, the Manor Lodge Motel, while Hanson was away. Detectives found 34 mature plants, which they seized along with grow lights and other items used for cultivation.The next day, Hanson obtained written authorization for medical marijuana from his doctor – who, coincidentally, also was the doctor of Whitman County Superior Court Judge David Frazier, who would hear Hanson's case.Hanson then turned himself in to the Whitman County Sheriff's Office. Despite his doctor's letter, Hanson was charged with manufacturing marijuana, a felony.Hanson's Spokane attorney, Frank Cikutovich, moved to have the case dismissed in November 2005, saying the state's medical marijuana law effectively repealed the drug law under which he was charged.For marijuana to be an illegal Schedule I substance, Cikutovich argued, it cannot have a medical use. Yet by initiative, the people of Washington accepted that it does.Whitman County Deputy Prosecutor Byron Bedirian was unavailable for comment Monday, but his arguments are spelled out in a brief filed with the appeals court.Bedirian argued that the medical marijuana act states that it is not intended to supersede existing law. In addition, Bedirian said, marijuana is controlled under Schedule I of the federal Controlled Substance Act.Cikutovich said that should make no difference. "Our argument is the state can determine what the schedule is, and by enacting medical marijuana, they're changing it," Cikutovich said. "It should not be considered a Schedule I drug." Also at the November hearing, Frazier denied admission of Hanson's after-the-fact marijuana prescription from his doctor, effectively denying him a medical marijuana defense."He wouldn't allow us to present our defense," Cikutovich said of the judge.Bedirian wrote that it wasn't the medical marijuana defense that was thrown out, but the evidence, "which had no bearing on the defendant's status at the time of the search warrant."The defense contends that the medical marijuana law was intended to be a "compassionate law" interpreted leniently for the benefit of the patient. Cikutovich's law partner, Patrick Stiley, wrote in an appeals court brief that the court "seemed to be laboring under the impression" that the law requires written documentation to be posted where the marijuana is growing."There was no discussion of the potential value" of Hanson's medical records, which show he is a "qualifying patient."Bedirian wrote that when a criminal statute is clear, a "literal and strict interpretation must be given." But Cikutovich contends there is nothing clear about the medical marijuana statute. In fact, he said, it is unclear on many different levels from "valid documentation" of a patient's right to use marijuana to what constitutes a legal 60-day supply of plants that are still growing."The law was intended to help people" like Hanson, not make him a felon, Cikutovich said.Hanson's case was heard last week in Spokane by a panel of the State Appeals Court. Its decision is pending.Note: He claims he's protected under Initiative 692.Source: Spokesman-Review (Spokane, WA)Author: Kevin Graman, Staff WriterPublished: February 27, 2007Copyright: 2007 The Spokesman-ReviewContact: editor spokesman.comWebsite: Medical Marijuana Archives
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Comment #21 posted by FoM on February 28, 2007 at 20:39:30 PT
I think if this vote was during a Presidential election year then the vote would have been way higher. The Bob Woodruff special was so good. He is lucky he is alive and able to communicate at all. Thursday's Show
His first live prime time interview: A year after nearly being killed on assignment in Iraq, Bob Woodruff and his wife talk about the day that changed their lives. Tune in Thursday at 9 p.m. ET.• E-mail your questions to "Larry King Live" I hope Jack sells many copies too.
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Comment #20 posted by ekim on February 28, 2007 at 20:20:03 PT
FoM i think that Larry King is having Bob on thur
makes me wonder how many can be releived from a little of the pain with cannabis.i guess the number will be small -----i still can not get over the fact that 3000 people in Flint MI home of GM and Michale Moore were the only ones to Mr Nader says you have to earn every vote --how many of Flint MI 90,000 residents know up front and personel.
and just 3K showed up to do battle -- in what Lou calles the war within that we are spending billions on.I do hope that Jacks book will be read all over.
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Comment #19 posted by FoM on February 28, 2007 at 16:44:41 PT
Yes that is who he is. It was superbly done. It was tasteful and touching. My heart goes out to him and the soldiers that were on the program and all those who were not but have suffered brain trauma or anything else.
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Comment #18 posted by Hope on February 28, 2007 at 16:13:49 PT
Bob Woodruff
The name Bob Woodruff seemed familiar...but I didn't realize that he was that reporter that was injured so badly in Iraq a couple of years ago, but that must be who he is. Right?
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Comment #17 posted by FoM on February 28, 2007 at 13:46:12 PT
Bob Woodruff
He had the one side of his head that didn't have the skull. It was sunken in. They seemed to have fixed it as he got better. He is very concerned about the troops that have suffered brain trauma. He will probably become an advocate for our veterans. 
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Comment #16 posted by FoM on February 28, 2007 at 13:42:24 PT
We had stockpiles of weapons for war in our country that were making it so no more weapons had to be made I think. War is a money maker and peace talks just don't make anyone any money. That's why war is so hard to stop. I don't think twice about guns because I was never exposed to them but if a person wants a gun I don't mind. Many people don't care about guns but know that people should have the right to have them if they want them. I sometimes think that people think that people who don't care about guns want to take the guns away from those who do. I don't think that is true at all. The only way any war can be stopped is by talking to the enemy and negotiating with them.
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Comment #15 posted by Hope on February 28, 2007 at 13:03:58 PT
Bob Woodruff's special documentary
I didn't see it. I'm already so horrified at what is happening to our and their people because of this war that the grief of it is often overwhelming. We knew this would happen even before they started, but somewhere, on some level there are enough people that support wars and their death and destruction, that more reasonable people have been unable to stop them getting what they want...war and all it's hideous results.I believe wholeheartedly in self defense. But sending our children, our people, to foreign lands to be killed, ruined and maimed doesn't seem like the brightest way to negotiate a problem with another country, to me.Perhaps the Woodruff special will wake some people up to reality of what is happening over there, but I doubt it. The war lovers and war mongers will just say it's traitorous to report the truth and undermine the (false) confidence of our troops. They want the troops and us in the dark as much as possible so there won't be any glitches in the monetary windfalls of the war economy machinery.
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Comment #14 posted by FoM on February 28, 2007 at 11:24:11 PT
I'm sorry that insurance got in the way of the doctor's recommendation. It's so wrong. I had 5 major surgeries before I was 30 and I remember everything being ok with the insurance and the care. Things aren't like they were anymore. Bob Woodruff's special was great. We have up to 10% of our soldiers returning with head trauma. They aren't getting proper care and they are our soldiers! Those poor young men and women.Did you miss Bob Woodruff's exceptional ABC special Tuesday night? "To Iraq and Back: Bob Woodruff Reports" will stand as one of the TV season's finest programs. This compassionate, unsettling documentary pushes viewers to think about our injured veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan. If you missed it, you can see it at:
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Comment #13 posted by Hope on February 28, 2007 at 10:57:34 PT
Treatment for depression...
Her "treatment" was taking prescription pills. She wasn't hospitalized at all and only saw her regular physician. She felt bad and her doctor thought it might be a bit of depression. Single mother of child support...that's enough to get anyone down. It was a "Here, try could help you." thing and it led to this denial of the right surgery.
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Comment #12 posted by Hope on February 28, 2007 at 10:52:29 PT
Yes, it is a long recovery...longer than it would have been had her insurance company been willing to pay for the better more modern surgery that one recovers from considerably more quickly.It was very major surgery. They went in through her stomach...with someone stationed specifically to hold her innards out of the way. They took out the degenerated disk and put a steel one in then used a long metal clamp that grasped the ball and two vertebra and screwed that clamp into two vertebra. Doc said essentially that two bones in her back are broken and have big screws in them.He said it well take three months for the bones to "set"...and three years to heal completely!The recovery time with the artificial disk...not the steel one and the fusion by metal clamp....would have been about half the recovery time at least.Big insurance ignored her doctor's wishes for the better more expensive surgery because she has a "history" of smoking and was once treated for depression! Being treated for depression apparently means you haven't got the sense to know how bad you are hurting or something.I wish doctors could afford to go back to normal reasonable fees for seeing and helping people...and people would join them in resisting the power of the insurance companies in medicine..and just put them out of business. It's just wrong that business people make the decisions to not spend the money for the treatment the doctor thinks is best. You think you have insurance so that you can get the best treatment available...but that's not true. It's really just to get the treatment that the insurance company will allow you to have.Medicine is in such a mess in this country...and the insurance companies are a huge nasty "fly in the ointment", for sure.Medical care is so expensive now that none but the wealthy can afford it and the costs even to them could lead them to a situation of being "un"wealthy so, naturally, insurance looks like the answer...but when the insurance companies intefere with the doctor's decisions in order to keep the insurance company's profits bizarrely high...something needs to be corrected. Insurance companies have gone from being a good idea...with reasonable profits to having the final say in healthcare and maintaining ungodly profits being the reason.(And of course, my daughter is in pain and misery and can't be allowed by the state to use anything but the killer pharmeceuticals to try and find relief...which they aren't doing a very good job of.)FoM, I hope you are steadily feeling better these days. Some insurance, at this point, is better than none...for sure. 
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Comment #11 posted by doc james on February 28, 2007 at 06:41:43 PT
freedom for Mr Hanson
Let me see if I have read this correctly...Mr Hanson has a debilitating illness, glaucoma, that is helped by whole cannabis, which he was growing to treat his illness. Cannabis as a medicine has been approved by the voters of the state of washington. The state of Wa needs to step up to the plate and tell the federal government to f*** off. The prosecutors should be removed from office immediately as they don't have the best interests of the people in mind.
relegalize it.
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Comment #10 posted by FoM on February 28, 2007 at 06:15:46 PT
That is a long recovery. At least your daughter has you to be with her during this time. That's a good thing.
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Comment #9 posted by Hope on February 27, 2007 at 21:52:15 PT
Went to the doctor today. She can't go back to work for at least five more weeks. She can't lift any thing even five to ten pounds for at least three months. But she seems to be doing very well under the circumstances. 
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Comment #8 posted by Toker00 on February 27, 2007 at 15:02:14 PT
Peace! Good God y'all!
What is it Good for? Absolutely ALL!Say it again!Toke.
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Comment #7 posted by FoM on February 27, 2007 at 09:52:22 PT
Off Topic But Amazing Pictures
What a rude awakening to this landslide in San Francisco.
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Comment #6 posted by FoM on February 27, 2007 at 09:47:52 PT
I'm glad you have time to comment. I hope everything is going well for your daughter. 
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Comment #5 posted by Hope on February 27, 2007 at 09:46:22 PT
Being here...
It's good to be here! It's good to have a minute to check the news and comments. 
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Comment #4 posted by FoM on February 27, 2007 at 09:36:21 PT
I found this on the Rust List. The top of the 2 videos was really good. War what is it good for? Absolutely nothing.Hope it's good to see you!
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Comment #3 posted by Toker00 on February 27, 2007 at 09:23:33 PT
Remind the Senate with photos of War Cost.
Momentum to End the War is Buiding
Remind the Senate of the True Cost of IraqDear You,Tell the Senate not to fail again on Iraq. Remind them about the true cost of war – American lives.We're making progress to end the war, but we've still got lots of work to do.Support the Accountability Project to keep these efforts going.This was supposed to be the week the Senate got real about winding down the Iraq war. They were *supposed* to vote on taking back the war authorization1 which allowed this whole thing to get started back in 2002. Instead, they're delaying2. Again. So we're bringing back our "Faces of War" memorials to remind the Senate what the true cost of this war is -- the lives of American men and women. After 47 Senators blocked the last anti-escalation vote, thousands of TrueMajority members flooded them with over 40,000 printed memorials of fallen soldiers. Now the entire Senate has another chance to take a stand, so we’re going to remind them all week long to do the right thing this time. Click here to download and print a photo memorial and send it to your Senators' district offices today. Americans across the country have been rising up to push for an end to the war, and TrueMajority members have pulled together to keep Congress accountable week after week. It hasn’t been easy, and we’ve still got lots to do to end the war -- but we ARE seeing progress. The House passed a resolution against escalation in Iraq , and we brought you every word of that debate so you could see where your Rep stood and let them know how you feel. And, thanks to your emails to state legislators, states including Vermont , Iowa and California have passed similar resolutions, adding much needed momentum to this fight. Last week, TrueMajority members sat down with their Representatives to talk about the next steps in Iraq and urge them to do more to end the war. We gave you the tools to set up and hold these meetings, and you put them into action in a great way. Here's how a couple of them went in your own words:  "I felt heard and that my input was valued and would get to [Rep.] Udall. I was concerned before I went that this was just a meeting that would not go past the staff person. I left feeling very differently."  "There were eight of us at yesterday's meeting...and I am really grateful that they were so well prepared....Thank you again for making such creative use of the internet!"We even received a call from Rep. Lloyd Doggett's (TX) office, inviting TrueMajority members in Austin to meet with him about Iraq . And, of course, they did. Our elected officials are listening, and it's important that they hear from us. So, while the Senate continues to stall on Iraq, be sure to remind them about the true cost of war and let them know where you stand. We must hold Congress accountable to Iraq , and we won't let up until we've made real progress to end this war and bring our troops home. Matt HollandTrueMajority Online Director 1 - "Democrats Seek to Repeal 2002 War Authorization", Washington Post, February 23, 2007. 2 - "Dems grasp for Iraq strategy while public stews",, February 27, 2007.Toke.
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Comment #2 posted by Hope on February 27, 2007 at 09:18:12 PT
Fight them Mr. Hanson!
They've been getting away with murder for far too long now.
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Comment #1 posted by ekim on February 27, 2007 at 09:02:04 PT
book and see a Leap speaker at your event
Mar 1 07 North Shore Rotary 12:00 PM Jim Byron Kenmore Washington USA 
 Web: Mar 1 07 Economics of Contemporary Public Policy Issues Class 11:40 AM Peter Christ Cortland New York USA 
 Economics Dept, SUNY Cortland Mar 1 07 "Can America End Its Drug War?" 07:00 PM Jim Doherty Helena Montana USA 
 Students for Sensible Drug Policy, UM Students for Peace & Justice and Citizens for Responsible Crime Policy Mar 1 07 KBOW 540 AM Coffee Talk 01:30 PM Jim Doherty Butte Montana USA 
 Listen live locally on 540am Mar 1 07 Discussion group: University of Montana ACLU 03:20 PM Jim Doherty Missoula Montana USA 
 Discussion group: University of Montana ACLU Mar 2 07 KUFM Radio Western Montana PBS: Host Edward O'Brien 09:00 AM Jim Doherty Helena Montana USA 
 Listen live online Mar 3 07 Montana ACLU Annual Meeting 02:00 PM Jim Doherty Helena Montana USA 
 Open to registared guests. EVENT WEBSITE:  Mar 3 07 Encore Presentation of Damage Done: The Drug War Odyssey 07:00 PM  Canada 
 Find out what changed them from ordinary cops who enforced the laws as written, into conscientious objectors to the War on Drugs. Watch Damage Done: The Drug War Odyssey on Global Currents Saturday at 7pm.
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