Medicinal Pot Caregivers Can Be Prosecuted 

Medicinal Pot Caregivers Can Be Prosecuted 
Posted by CN Staff on November 24, 2008 at 20:31:27 PT
By Jennifer Squires, Sentinel Staff Writer
Source: Santa Cruz Sentinel
Santa Cruz, CA -- Medicinal marijuana caregivers may be prosecuted as drug dealers, according to a state Supreme Court ruling issued Monday.The ruling upholds a Santa Cruz County Superior Court jury decision that found medicinal marijuana user Roger Mentch, 53, guilty of cultivating and possessing marijuana for sale.
Mentch, who was arrested by sheriff's deputies in 2003, claimed he was a caregiver for five medicinal marijuana patients. He also opened the Hemporium, a medicinal marijuana collective in Felton, where he sometimes sold the pot he grew."I was a caregiver with honest intent," Mentch said. When jurors found him guilty and he was sentenced to three years probation, Mentch appealed the decision on several points, including that jurors were not properly instructed about medicinal marijuana caregivers. The three-member 6th District Court of Appeals agreed with him and overturned the jury's ruling.However, the seven justices on the state Supreme Court reached a different conclusion. The court ruled primary caregivers must have an established care-giving relationship with the patient prior to providing that patient with medicinal marijuana, according to the decision.Also, primary caregivers can only provide pot to those patients, not sell the drug to other medicinal users or collectives.Therefore, Mentch's sales to the Hemporium and another collective in the county amounted to dealing drugs on a street corner, according to the court ruling.The court stated that those acts "do nothing to insulate from prosecution for his cultivation of and sale of marijuana for those for whom he did not provide shelter or nonmarijuana-based health care... nor would it protect him from prosecution for cultivating marijuana and providing it to cannabis clubs."Santa Cruz attorney Ben Rice, who is representing Mentch in a 2006 marijuana cultivation and sales case, said the court ruling is unfortunate because it makes it harder for medicinal marijuana patients who have a valid medical recommendation to obtain pot.California voters approved Proposition 215 in 1996, giving ill people the right to use marijuana legally as long as they have a prescription from a doctor. However, the law did not outline how medicinal marijuana could be distributed."There's no direction in the law, no explanation as to how people are supposed to get their medicine if they can't grow it themselves," Rice said. "It's an unworkable situation."The Mentch decision narrowly defines the role of caregiver, but does not affect cooperatives, including the Hemporium and the Wo/Men's Alliance for Medical Marijuana in Santa Cruz, according to local medicinal marijuana advocates.Valerie Corral, one of the co-founders of WAMM, supported the court decision."It further defines the role of caregivers and makes it clear. It's a great way for people to understand our roles as caregivers and how we have to assume something more," Corral said.WAMM, a collective of patients and caregivers, provides medicinal marijuana to ill patients. But Corral said WAMM goes beyond picking up a patient's medicine by providing a community of support for ill members."We're at people's bedsides," she said.Mentch, who continues to operate the Hemporium, said he still has hope his case will turn out differently. The court system apparently only addressed three of 10 issues brought up on appeal and he believes the case will be returned to a lower court for further analysis.Complete Title: Medicinal Pot Caregivers Can Be Prosecuted for Selling Drugs, Court RulesSource: Santa Cruz Sentinel (CA)Author: Jennifer Squires, Sentinel Staff WriterPublished: November 24, 2008Copyright: 2008 Santa Cruz SentinelContact: editorial santa-cruz.comWebsite: Medical Marijuana Archives
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Comment #14 posted by Hope on November 26, 2008 at 06:33:58 PT
Thanks Dankhank
I hope you, and yours, and all of us, have a very nice Thanksgiving.Sweet Thanksgiving to all C-Newsers!Grace, Mercy, Joy, Peace, and Love to all of us and all of ours!
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Comment #13 posted by dankhank on November 25, 2008 at 19:38:38 PT
Colbert christmas
on Comedy Central Now.  replaying later ...
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #12 posted by FoM on November 25, 2008 at 17:15:33 PT
Paul McCartney
One of the songs made me think of Hippie Beads, Lava Lights and things like that. It reminded me of the time of LSD.
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Comment #11 posted by E_Johnson on November 25, 2008 at 15:02:53 PT
FoM he isn't trapped by his fame
He's kept his natural creativity alive. Not everyone can do that in the music business. But then he's a Beatle. The Beatles were and still are the best band in the world.
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Comment #10 posted by FoM on November 25, 2008 at 13:17:02 PT
EJ It's Sounds So Free
It's beautiful.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #9 posted by FoM on November 25, 2008 at 12:47:28 PT
I went and found the songs. I'm listening now. Thanks.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #8 posted by E_Johnson on November 25, 2008 at 12:26:36 PT
Has anyone heard Sir Paul's new album
He's released it under the name The Fireman. He's been working with a trance group in his spare time and during his tabloid divorce hell from the harridan who made him give up weed, he and his crew put together this amazing album that's like the White Album almost in its scope and rawness and prettiness and cool.It's called Electric Arguments.
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Comment #7 posted by HempWorld on November 25, 2008 at 12:22:49 PT
Don't you love it? 1st it's legal then it's not!
It is amazing what a supreme court can do; take your rights away!I'm sure all the prosecutors in California are throwing a party tonight after being hung over from last night. At this party they can celebrate another huge opportunity for career adancement over the backs of sick and dying people!
On a mission from God!
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Comment #6 posted by FoM on November 25, 2008 at 12:05:42 PT
I know what the word caregiver means and it never made sense to me.
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Comment #5 posted by FoM on November 25, 2008 at 11:52:44 PT
Related Article
Court Clarifies Medical Marijuana Caregiver Defense
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Comment #4 posted by OverwhelmSam on November 25, 2008 at 11:38:24 PT
Okay, This Is Just Cool!
FDA Gets Slammed by Congress! Serious shake up and prosecutions coming soon:! Unbelievable.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #3 posted by Hope on November 25, 2008 at 08:33:51 PT
From the very beginning,
when I heard the term "caregiver" applied to the medicine producer... the grower, dispenser, provider, supplier, holder, finder, or whatever... I feared this could happen. Caregiver seemed way too inclusive a term for what the job was. It should have been a more exclusive term.Shouda, woulda, coulda. None of it matters now. But... all the same. I'd like to have seen a better term used way back then.It's all so stupid that we have to fight this way for rights to a plant, anyway. I'm so glad I'm not God... I'd be a bit mean, probably. When reason was coming out of the mouths of my truth tellers and they weren't being believed, I fear I'd be pinching some little, hateful, pointy, prohibitionists' heads a bit. Pinch. Pinch. Wake up!
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Comment #2 posted by OverwhelmSam on November 25, 2008 at 07:23:57 PT
Marijuana As An Ecomonic Stimulus
Ideas abound on how to ease our economic situation:
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #1 posted by OverwhelmSam on November 25, 2008 at 04:04:46 PT
Bong Hits 4 Jesus A Winner
In Case You Missed It: really like this high school student. A full court press, in the courts. LOL
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