Judge Rules Against Alaska Marijuana Law 

Judge Rules Against Alaska Marijuana Law 
Posted by CN Staff on July 10, 2006 at 19:15:29 PT
By Matt Volz, Associated Press Writer 
Source: Associated Press
Juneau, Alaska -- A judge on Monday struck down part of a new Alaska law criminalizing possession of small amounts of marijuana, saying it conflicts with past constitutional decisions made by the Alaska Supreme Court.That means the police won't be able charge people with a misdemeanor under the new law for possessing less than 1 ounce of marijuana in their homes.
The state Department of Law was expected to quickly file an appeal with the high court.Superior Court Judge Patricia Collins said a lower court can't reverse the state Supreme Court's 1975 decision in Ravin v. State. In that case, the Supreme Court ruled the right to privacy in one's home included the possession of small amounts of marijuana for personal use."Unless and until the Supreme Court directs otherwise, Ravin is the law in this state and this court is duty bound to follow that law," Collins wrote in her decision.Collins granted a summary judgment to the American Civil Liberties Union of Alaska, which sued the state when the law took effect in June.Collins limited her decision to possession of less than 1 ounce of marijuana, even though the new law increases penalties for possession of more than that amount. Before the law took effect in June, it had been legal in Alaska to possess up to 4 ounces of the drug.Collins said she limited her decision because the ACLU argued that the only issue in this case is the Legislature's power to regulate possession of small amounts of marijuana."No specific argument has been advanced in this case that possession of more than 1 ounce of marijuana, even within the privacy of the home, is constitutionally protected conduct under Ravin or that any plaintiff or ACLU of Alaska member actually possesses more than 1 ounce of marijuana in their homes," Collins wrote.The new law makes possession of 4 ounces or more a felony. Possession of 1 to 4 ounces is a misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail. The part the court ruled against was that less than 1 ounce would be a misdemeanor punishable by up to 90 days in jail."Our initial interpretation of this case at this point is that Judge Collins' decision makes it clear that the state has the ability to regulate marijuana uses in amounts greater that 1 ounce," Department of Law spokesman Mark Morones said.The state Department of Law argued that new findings of marijuana's increased potency since the 1975 decision justify reconsidering the issue.ACLU of Alaska executive director Michael Macleod-Ball lauded the reasoning behind Collins' decision."If a lower court could just overturn a higher court's opinion at any time, our court system would be in disarray," he said. "The notion of privacy in one's home is upheld. That's what we've been saying all along."Newshawk: MikeCSource: Associated Press (Wire)Author: Matt Volz, Associated Press Writer Published: July 10, 2006 Copyright: 2006 Associated Press Related Articles & Web Site:ACLU To Rule Monday On New Marijuana Law Hears Arguments Over New State MJ Law
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Comment #24 posted by Hope on July 12, 2006 at 05:15:14 PT
Major X
It's so good to hear from you.
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Comment #23 posted by Major X on July 11, 2006 at 16:41:03 PT
Ther's one judge...
that the bush administration is going to target for sure. I wish there were more judges like this one; we might retain our personal liberty in this country if there were more judges willing to fight the "American Taliban"
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Comment #22 posted by unkat27 on July 11, 2006 at 08:09:03 PT
Smart Decision
Collins should be commended for doing the right thing. I'm sure that after she reviewed all the BS propaganda and lies that the prohibitionists tried to sell her on she realized just how much BS they push and how little actual reality there is to all that exaggeration and hype.If every judge was smart and conscientious enough to research the cannabis reality and make decisions based upon the facts, then the prohibitionists wouldn't have a chance.
A Less Fashionable War
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Comment #21 posted by Hope on July 11, 2006 at 06:50:21 PT
Wouldn't that be like a pharmacist denying
a customer's prescription to be filled because they didn't look sick enough to him?"Prosecutor Dana Greisen told a San Diego Superior Court judge yesterday the defendants were owners, operators and/or customers of the dispensaries, which provided marijuana to anyone with a recommendation signed by a doctor or caregiver.""However, an investigation revealed the dispensary operators made thousands of dollars a day, often selling to people with no apparent medical conditions, the prosecutor said."More of those "practitioners" out there in California that can diagnose people by looking at them. There must be a proliferation of those talented guys out there. What about getting better, too? That's not allowed? When you're better look like it and you'd better not dare get better and try to maintain staying better. Nope. Better not. One of those miraculous diagnosticians disguised as cops and politicians won't like it and will take your medicine away.Patients, I guess are going to have to get crutches, wheelchairs, bloody bandages, and carry puke cans and buckets with them whenever they go out to please those little monsters who know better than the doctor that made the recommendation.People that sick need to be home in bed and let someone else pick up their medicines.We also need to get some "help" for those people suffering under the delusion that they are medical doctors when they are really just cops, politicians, and nuts.God help us. 
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Comment #20 posted by mayan on July 11, 2006 at 04:49:22 PT
Could Be Worse
The state Department of Law was expected to quickly file an appeal with the high court.The high court will spank them also. Haven't the fascists already wasted enough of the taxpayer's money trying to ram Murkowski's "must pass" bill down everyone's throat? Now they're going to waste more money? I hope all Alaskans demand the immediate resignation of those who are attempting to stifle the liberties guaranteed by the Alaska State Constitution!As far as I'm concerned, if Ravin remains the law in Alaska then up to four ounces of cannabis remains legal in one's home. At least cops can't just say they smell weed and barge into people's houses now. Other news...Six men plead not guilty after marijuana dispensary sweep: trial to investigate effects of cannabinoids on progression of multiple sclerosis: eyes limits on pot: 
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Comment #19 posted by WolfgangWylde on July 11, 2006 at 03:00:37 PT
So let me get this straight...
...The Legislature can't overturn Ravin, but the Judge can? Let's hope the ACLU continues the fight.
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Comment #18 posted by afterburner on July 10, 2006 at 23:59:56 PT
Canadian Support for Rec- and Med-Cannabis Grows 
(Jul 4 2006) Maclean's Poll 2006: What we believe
[Paragraph 10] "When it comes to marijuana, that most contentious of plants, Canadians are, if anything, more in favour of legalization now than ever. Sixty-three per cent of us say we accept recreational pot use in general (including 29 per cent who wholly approve of the practice). Support jumps even higher -- to a whopping 93 per cent acceptance rate -- when it comes to the legal use of marijuana for medicinal purposes. By contrast, only about a third of Americans say they would support legalization." 
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Comment #17 posted by BGreen on July 10, 2006 at 23:31:12 PT
There's no limit on amounts for booze and cigs
There shouldn't be any restrictions put on the quantity because similar limits don't exist on other allowed recreational substances.It's not uncommon to find a fatal quantity of booze in liquor cabinets around the world and there's no law forbidding buying cigarettes a case of cartons at a time at any Sam's Club or Cosco across the country.It takes at least three months to turn a seed into a plant, and the only way to keep supplied without buying on the black market is to grow your own. That means that you'll have a lot right after harvest and it'll dwindle down until your next harvest. However, these fools want to include the weight of the growing plants as part of the ounce allowed, making it completely impossible to obey the law.Why don't they understand that it is ludicrous to allow possession of an ounce of anything when procurement by any feasible means is illegal?They know this very well, and that's why they do it.The Reverend Bud Green
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Comment #16 posted by afterburner on July 10, 2006 at 22:09:51 PT
Canadian AIDS Society Calls for Better MM Access
CN BC: Ease Pot Restrictions - CAS, Xtra West, (06 Jul 2006)
Excerpt: "A new study from the Canadian AIDS Society ( CAS ) says Canadians living with HIV/AIDS and other serious illnesses need better access to medical marijuana. ..."Today, those needing medicinal weed can get it legally only from very limited sources: buying cannabis grown by a government contractor, buying seeds from the government and growing plants on their own, or designating a person to grow plants only for them. "But with 58,000 Canadians living with HIV/AIDS, only 1,399 people are authorized by Health Canada to possess cannabis. ... And the government has expressed its intention to phase out growers licences, which will further force users to either go without the benefits of medical marijuana or to break the law for the sake of their health and quality of life."
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Comment #15 posted by Hope on July 10, 2006 at 22:02:37 PT
The momentum we lost in the Seventies.
Joyce Nalepka likes to take credit for that. I'll let her have it.Our grass roots growth...stimulated her grass roots phenomonenal attack against politicians who where moving our way and attorney/housewives with lots of cash and time can do amazing things when they put their mind to it. I give her that. Along with her victory she can accept responsibility for the thousands of lives lost to prohibition, including children, and multiple thousands of incarcerated parents and destroyed families. So many might have lived, and led happy lives, so many families might not have been ripped asunder, had she not been so successful.She can take responsibility for prison rapes and sending so many young people to "Criminal College".So I give her and her pals all the credit they want for that.They need to be wearing proudly the bloody red dripping medals they earned for that.
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Comment #14 posted by afterburner on July 10, 2006 at 21:32:30 PT
Cincinnati Has Already Returned to the Dark Ages, 
Rebelling against Ohio's decrim Law, Just Like Some Cities and Counties Have against California's Compassionate Use Act. The Ontario Court of Appeal started this judges writing laws monstrosity when they re-wrote the Medical Marijuana Access Regulations in October, 2003. The Ontario Court of Appeal re-write has not been honored by the Canadian federal government. Health Canada continues to negotiate in bad faith. Now, we must take the rest of the new marijuana prohibition in Alaska's new bogus law all the way to the Alaskan Supreme Court for another ruling.Obladee-oblada, live goes on, bra, lala how the life goes on. Neil is signing Let's Impeach the president now. It's all good, to paraphrase museman, all things work for good. We keep soldiering on. The beat goes on. The fight continues. We will not back down. We will not quit until love and sanity are restored to the nations of the world. Cannabis for the Healing of the Nations!
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Comment #13 posted by FoM on July 10, 2006 at 20:53:35 PT
I wish that the momentum that was generated back in the 70s had not lost it's way. One state after another was thinking about changing the law. I don't want to see us return to those days long ago before the first laws were changed.
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Comment #12 posted by FoM on July 10, 2006 at 20:50:50 PT
It isn't simple at least the way I see it. The Decisions made back in the 70s was put in the state constitution. I don't know what that means but how do they change a law like that so easily?That makes my state's law, which I thought also had the law put in the state constitution, could be overturned if they wanted to do it. I am not up on the law but something doesn't settle well with me about this.
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Comment #11 posted by Hope on July 10, 2006 at 20:48:47 PT
I don't guess there's much chance the rest
of the States might have as much right to privacy as Alaskans seem to enjoy?
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Comment #10 posted by Hope on July 10, 2006 at 20:43:24 PT
It was four....
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Comment #9 posted by Hope on July 10, 2006 at 20:42:11 PT
I think...
Oh, darn!It's not so simple. Is it?
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Comment #8 posted by Hope on July 10, 2006 at 20:40:32 PT
Yaaaaaaay!!! Yaaaaaay!!!!
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Comment #7 posted by FoM on July 10, 2006 at 19:33:43 PT
It's Good
I'm glad but I really want to understand how it could be modified. 
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Comment #6 posted by MikeC on July 10, 2006 at 19:32:08 PT
In any event...
I'm glad that they tossed the new law, although the changes to the original law should be appealed. 
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Comment #5 posted by FoM on July 10, 2006 at 19:31:54 PT
It's ok that two theads are going. We can talk on this one now I think.
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Comment #4 posted by MikeC on July 10, 2006 at 19:26:02 PT
You either throw it out or you keep the new ruling but I don't understand how you overrule and at the same time change the original ruling. I'm confused.
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Comment #3 posted by FoM on July 10, 2006 at 19:22:47 PT
I just commented on the other thread but it does appear they changed the amount.
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Comment #2 posted by MikeC on July 10, 2006 at 19:22:30 PT
Darn it...
FoM... you can delete my first post. I see you answred it already in the other thread.Thank you.
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Comment #1 posted by MikeC on July 10, 2006 at 19:20:50 PT
I asked this in the previous thread but I'll ask it here where it belongs.Weren't people allowed to have four ounces before? It says that you can legally possess an ounce but I thought that it was four previously.
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