NORML's Weekly News Bulletin - November 21, 2006

NORML's Weekly News Bulletin - November 21, 2006
Posted by CN Staff on November 21, 2006 at 15:02:40 PT
Weekly Press Release
Source: NORML 
Judge Issues Tentative Ruling Rejecting Counties' Prop. 215 Challenge November 21, 2006 - San Diego, CA, USASan Diego, CA: A Superior Court judge has issued a tentative ruling rejecting a lawsuit filed by San Diego County supervisors which argued that the state's medical cannabis laws should be pre-empted by the federal Controlled Substances Act.
In his tentative opinion, Superior Court Judge William Nevitt, declared that California's medical marijuana laws could not be pre-empted by US Controlled Substances Act because they did not "require" state citizens to violate federal law. Nevitt further determined that California's statutes do not impede government officials from enforcing federal anti-drug laws. In 2004, the California legislature amended the state's ten-year-old medical marijuana law by requiring counties to issue identification cards to state-authorized patients. San Diego supervisors filed suit against the state of California and NORML's San Diego affiliate earlier this year rather than comply with the 2004 law. Local governments from San Bernardino and Merced Counties later joined the suit. "[R]equiring the counties to issue identification cards for the purpose of identifying those whom California chooses not to arrest and prosecute for certain activities involving marijuana does not create a 'positive conflict' [with federal law,]" Judge Nevitt wrote. Jeremy Blank, attorney for San Diego NORML, called the judge's tentative ruling encouraging. "If it is affirmed then I think it will be a great victory, not only for patients and doctors, but also for the voters of the state of California and the legislature of California," he said. Judge Nevitt has up to 90 days before issuing his final ruling. Prior to the passage of Prop. 215  which exempts authorized patients from state criminal prosecution for the possession and use of medicinal cannabis  California's Legislative Counsel determined that the measure would not be in conflict with federal law because it would only "declassify" pot possession "as a crime for the purpose of state law and would not affirmatively sanction [this] act." San Diego's lawsuit is the first-ever legal challenge to California's medical cannabis laws. For more information, please contact Keith Stroup, NORML Legal Counsel, at (202) 483-5500. Additional information on the San Diego lawsuit and Judge William Nevitt's tentative decision is available on the November 20, 2006 edition of NORML's Daily AudioStash.DL: More Patients Accessing Health Canada's Legal PotNovember 21, 2006 - Ottawa, ON, CanadaOttawa, Ontario: More than 20 percent of all patients authorized to possess medical cannabis under Canadian law are now purchasing pot from Health Canada, up from less than 10 percent in 2004 and fewer than 5 percent in 2003, according to statistics from the agency published in the current edition of the Harm Reduction Journal.Representatives from Health Canada speculate that more patients are now accessing government-grown cannabis because of improvements in the product's quality and THC content.According to the results of a recent randomized trial of authorized Canadian medical marijuana patients, over half of those reviewing Health Canada's various pot strains said they would use at least some of the varieties on a regular basis. Samples receiving the most favorable feedback from patients contained greater than 10 percent THC. Nationwide regulations allowing for authorized Canadian patients to possess and cultivate marijuana medicinally have been in place since 2001. For more information, please contact Paul Armentano, NORML Senior Policy Analyst, at (202) 483-5500.DL: Join NORML Next Week For The 23rd Annual Key West Legal SeminarNovember 21, 2006 - Washington, DC, USAWashington, DC: NORML's 23rd annual Key West Legal Seminar will take place next week. NORML is still accepting registrations from criminal defense attorneys to attend this year's event, which takes place Thursday, November 30, through Saturday December 2, at the Pier House Resort and Caribbean Spa in downtown Key West.Topics to be covered at this year's conference include: advanced DUI motions and practice; anti-terrorism laws and their impact on the war on drugs; remedies for wrongful prosecution; and many more. Conference agenda and speaker bios are available online. NORML's annual legal seminar, now in it's 23rd year, is fully accredited in every state that requires continuing legal education (CLE) for attorneys. For more details, or to register for the conference online, please visit: Director, NORML Advisory Board Member Robert Altman Dies November 21, 2006 - Los Angeles, CA, USALos Angeles, CA: Filmmaker Robert Altman, director of dozens of films and television dramas, passed away today. He was 81 years old. Altman's received critical accolades for much of his work, most notably the film "MASH," as well 1975's "Nashville" and the 1971 western "McCabe and Mrs. Miller." He was nominated as best director for "MASH," "Nashville," "The Player" (1992), "Short Cuts" (1993) and "Gosford Park" (2001). Earlier this year, Altman received a lifetime achievement award from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Robert Altman joined NORML's Advisory Board in 2002. NORML expresses its sincere condolences to the friends and family of Robert Altman.DL: NORML Foundation (DC)Published: November 21, 2006Copyright: 2006 NORML Contact: norml Website: NORML Archives 
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