Ruling Bans Sale of Medical Marijuana in Michigan
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Ruling Bans Sale of Medical Marijuana in Michigan
Posted by CN Staff on August 24, 2011 at 19:52:30 PT
By Tom Moor, South Bend Tribune Staff Writer
Source: South Bend Tribune
Michigan -- The days of selling medical marijuana in Michigan appear to have gone up in smoke.Local prosecutors lauded a Michigan appeals court decision today ruling that medical marijuana cannot be sold through private shops, essentially banning all sales of pot and the businesses trying to make a profit from it.
The three-judge panel ruled on a case from Isabella County, where medical marijuana cardholders sold pot to each other through a dispensary called Compassionate Apothecary in Mount Pleasant. The court ruled that dispensaries violate the state's public health code of not allowing for such places, as well as the 2008 medical marijuana law passed by the voters.Only cardholders or their registered primary caregiver will be allowed to grow marijuana. The court held that the law allowed for delivery and transfer of marijuana, but not the sale of it."This is good news," Cass County Prosecutor Victor Fitz said. "It supports the intent of the voters and the intent of the statute. Nowhere in the statute does it provide for dispensaries.""It's a significant step."Neither Berrien or Cass counties have dispensaries.However, Geoff Hurst, former president and current member of the Southwest Michigan Compassion Club, estimates 25 percent to 50 percent of locals with cards drive to dispensaries. The closest ones are in South Haven, Kalamazoo and Battle Creek, he said.He said closing dispensaries would hurt someone approved for a card tomorrow, as it takes about four months to grow marijuana."An 80-year-old woman could be diagnosed with cancer today; what does she do tomorrow?" Hurst said. "Their access has just been denied. And they don't know anyone else that can supply them."Both Fitz and Berrien County Prosecutor Art Cotter said they have been adamant about not allowing dispensaries to open in their counties, and would shut them down if they had."I've made it very clear that I don't believe dispensaries are legal," Cotter said.Cotter said the dispensaries have turned into a money-making operation."What they found is when you permit things like dispensaries, what you find is a lot of drug dealers making a lot of money," he said.Hurt, one of about 300 people in the Southwest Michigan Compassion Club, said the law will hurt many."This is probably the worst thing that can happen to somebody that is diagnosed with cancer today," he said. "One thing I've been consistently told by cancer patients is it helps them eat."Cotter, though, argues how often cards are being used by cancer patients. He said of the last 63,000 people who were issued cards, only 1,400 had cancer.It is the first time, meanwhile, the appeals court has ruled in a case involving commercial pot sales. The Michigan Supreme Court has agreed to hear appeals on other aspects of the medical marijuana law, while legislators are looking at possible changes to the law.Compassionate Apothecary, which can be shut down immediately, allowed certain people to sell marijuana to each other, with the owners taking as much as a 20 percent cut. The business earned $21,000 in less than three months.Matthew Abel, a Detroit attorney who specialized in medical marijuana law, estimates there are 200 to 300 such shops in Michigan.The decision comes as law enforcement and prosecutors across the state have blasted the vagueness of the law. Cotter says it has become a "joke" to obtain medical marijuana cards in the state. Almost 100,000 people are registered cardholders.Medical marijuana cardholders are allowed to possess up to 2.5 ounces of pot and keep up to 12 plants in a locked place.The Associated Press Contributed to this report.Source: South Bend Tribune (IN)Author: Tom Moor, South Bend Tribune Staff Writer Published: August 24, 2011Copyright: 2011 South Bend TribuneContact: tmoor sbtinfo.comURL: Medical Marijuana Archives
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Comment #8 posted by josephlacerenza on August 26, 2011 at 15:38:53 PT
O.T. Montana PBS Special
Clearing the Smoke: The Science of Cannabis. This was a GREAT program produced locally!
Clearing the Smoke: The Science of Cannabis
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Comment #7 posted by FoM on August 25, 2011 at 14:50:26 PT
'Clearing the Smoke': The Benefits, Limits of MMJ
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Comment #6 posted by ekim on August 25, 2011 at 12:12:13 PT
Howard Wooldridge asking for help
Need your help on 2306: Please send an email to your Congressman, asking for their support for the Frank-Paul Repeal Federal Prohibition Act of 2011 (HR 2306).  They will answer. Then send their reply to me. We have an 8 person working group which is dedicated to passing 2306. We need to learn where each of the 435 Members stand on this and why they oppose. For you over-achievers, ask your friends outside your District to do the same.  This is how regular citizens can help pass legislation.  Thanks in advance.COPs 2nd year stats to date:206 presentations to Congressional staffers: 9 this weekTV appearances: 14 … this week (ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, etc) Newspaper stories: 7 dailies, 3 weekliesRadio appearances: 13 - this weekPublished LTE: 20 (1 this week) –see belowOther media (bloggers, cable TV, minor publications, etc): 12  (this week) 12 (Member of Congress) contacts:   this week6 other VIP ( state Senators & Reps):  Published in the Baltimore Sun: Aug 3TIME TO END FAILED WAR ON DRUGS Speaking as a retired police detective and member of LEAP (Law Enforcement Against Prohibition), I heartily concur with the NAACP that it is past time to terminate our failed war on drugs also known as the war on people -- mostly of color (“The NAACP is calling for an end to the drug war; what about you?" July 31). My profession, which is shrinking all over America, must return to its true mission of public safety. If you have a drug problem, see an addiction clinic. Howard Wooldridge, COPPOB 772Buckeystown, MD 21717
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Comment #5 posted by ekim on August 25, 2011 at 10:02:53 PT
NASCAR Again Shows Bias Against Marijuana By Suspending Driver Who Legally Uses Medical Cannabis
Wed, 24 Aug 2011 17:12:34 By: Allen St. Pierre, NORML Executive Director
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Comment #4 posted by runruff on August 25, 2011 at 08:32:33 PT
I need treatment!
Except for hypochondria, I have had every malady known to man!
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Comment #3 posted by schmeff on August 25, 2011 at 08:06:10 PT
"What they found is when you permit things like dispensaries, what you find is a lot of drug dealers making a lot of money," he said.
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Comment #2 posted by runruff on August 25, 2011 at 06:55:37 PT
What are they happy about?
They must know that cannabis is the largest cash crop in 'merika! Everyone legit will be prosecuted, black market will flourish!But here's the subtext: DAs get to keep their jobs.
Asset forfeiture is alive and well in Michigan! The prison industrial complex has won another victory. And once again, sick people get the brown end of the stick.There must be a time in our future when this kind of blatant tyranny is abolished! It is a remake of the laws, Jim Crow!
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Comment #1 posted by FoM on August 25, 2011 at 05:23:56 PT
Mich. AG Pleased with Decision on Pot Dispensaries
August 25, 2011 Mount Pleasant, Mich. (AP) -- Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette says he'll inform the state's 83 county prosecutors about a court decision that bans the commercial sale of medical marijuana.URL:
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