NORML's Weekly News Bulletin - August 21, 2008

NORML's Weekly News Bulletin - August 21, 2008
Posted by CN Staff on August 21, 2008 at 18:53:08 PT
Weekly Press Release
Source: NORML
Denver Advisory Panel Recommends No Arrests of Marijuana Smokers During Democratic Convention August 21, 2008 - Denver, CO, USDenver, CO: A city panel appointed by Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper has officially recommended that the Denver Police Department "refrain from arresting, detaining, or issuing a citation" to any adult for the possession of up to one ounce of marijuana during the 2008 Democratic National Convention in Denver next week.
The Denver Marijuana Policy Review Panel's recommendation comes in response to news reports in which a spokesman for the Denver Police Department said police would be arresting or citing adults for marijuana possession during the Democratic National Convention despite ballot measures approved by Denver voters calling on them to refrain from doing so. In 2005, Denver voters approved a ballot measure making possession of small amounts of marijuana legal for adults, and in 2007, voters approved a measure designating adult marijuana possession Denver's "lowest law enforcement priority.""If police expect the taxpayers to cover their $1.2 million in overtime during the Democratic National Convention, it is only fair that they respect the laws adopted by those taxpayers," said panel member Mason Tvert, who led the campaigns for the two ballot measures. "We hope police will not defy the people of this city or its mayor when the international spotlight hits the Mile High City next week." Tvert continued, "There will be plenty for police to do during the DNC aside from arresting or citing adults who are simply making the safer choice to use marijuana instead of alcohol."For more information, contact NORML Executive Director Allen St. Pierre or SAFER director Mason Tvert or call 303-861-0033. DL: Medical Marijuana Employment Rights Bill Passes Both California Houses; Awaits Governor's Signature August 21, 2008 - Sacramento, CA, USSacramento, CA: A medical marijuana employment rights bill, AB 2279, which would protect hundreds of thousands of medical marijuana patients in California from employment discrimination, passed the State Senate on August 20. The proposal had passed the State Assembly in May, and now heads to the Governor's desk for his signature or veto.Introduced in February by Assemblyman Mark Leno (D-San Francisco) and co-authored by Assembly members Patty Berg (D-Eureka), Loni Hancock (D-Berkeley) and Lori Saldaña (D-San Diego), this proposal is designed to reverse a January 24th decision of the California Supreme Court in the case of Ross v. RagingWire, in which the court held that an employer may fire someone solely because they use medical marijuana outside the workplace. The bill leaves intact existing state law prohibiting medical marijuana consumption at the workplace or during working hours and protects employers by carving out an exception for safety-sensitive positions. "AB 2279 is not about being under the influence while at work. That's against the law, and will remain so," said Assemblyman Leno. "It's about allowing patients who are able to work safely and who use their doctor-recommended medication in the privacy of their own home, not to be arbitrarily fired from their jobs. The voters who supported Proposition 215 did not intend for medical marijuana patients to be forced into unemployment in order to benefit from their medicine."If enacted, California would become the first of the 12 states that currently recognize the medical use of marijuana to protect authorized medical use patients from being fired based solely on a positive THC test.California NORML director Dale Gieringer had this to say about the measure. "The legislature was right to approve banning employment discrimination of medical marijuana patients. Marijuana is safer than many prescription drugs that workers are allowed to use, and urine testing has never been FDA tested as either safe or effective in improving workplace safety and productivity."The governor has not indicated his intentions regarding the measure.For more information, please contact California NORML director Dale Gieringer or call 415-563-5858DL: Attorney General Jerry Brown Privately Circulating Draft Medical Marijuana Guidelines; May Have Negative Impact on DispensariesAugust 21, 2008 - Sacramento, CA, USSacramento, CA: According to recent media reports, Attorney General Edmund G. (Jerry) Brown is currently privately circulating to top state and law enforcement officials the "final draft" of his long-awaited rules for ensuring "the security and non-diversion of marijuana grown for medical use." These, when finalized, will be the first definitive guidelines provided by the state of California in the decade plus since Prop. 215 was approved by the voters.According to the attorney general, these guidelines are intended to accomplish three objectives: to avoid diversion of marijuana grown for authorized patients; to help law enforcement understand and apply the law consistently throughout the state; and to "help patients and caregivers …cultivate, transport, possess, and use marijuana under California law."Brown, who earlier announced his intension to appeal the recent Kelly decision (People v. Kelly), holding SB 420, the act passed by the legislature that placed limits on the amount of medical marijuana a patient could legally possess, to be an unconstitutional infringement on the power of voters to adopt state policy via initiative. Brown has consistently indicated his opposition to private dispensaries, and his draft guidelines reportedly reflect that position, and may present a new challenge to dispensaries.Brown's draft guidelines reportedly have this to say about dispensaries: "Although medical marijuana 'dispensaries' have been operating in California for years, dispensaries, as such, are not recognized under the law." Individuals who operate dispensary establishments "that do substantially comply with [the] guidelines… may be subject to arrest and prosecution under California law."For patients who may possess more than the authorized amount, the guidelines also reportedly present a problem. "If a person has what appears to be valid medical marijuana documentation, but exceeds the applicable possession guidelines identified above, all marijuana may be seized. "On the positive side, patients would reportedly be entitled to the return of their authorized medical marijuana from law enforcement, once their authorization was verified, and state officers would be protected from liability for following this guideline.For more information, contact NORML Legal Counsel Keith Stroup or California NORML director Dale Gieringer or call 415-563-5858. DL: NORML Foundation (DC)Published: August 21, 2008Copyright: 2008 NORML Contact: norml Website: NORML Archives 
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Comment #1 posted by FoM on August 21, 2008 at 19:00:09 PT
Just a Comment
I was polled tonight by Quinnipiac. That's a first for me. It was fun and the questions were straight forward. I did get to chat a little with the person who conducted the poll. I could tell how he felt without him saying much. We had a happy talk. LOL! That's all for now.
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