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Michigan Medical Marijuana Patient Driving Wheelchair to White House

July 2nd

TAYLOR, MI – A Michigan man with cerebral palsy said he is rolling his wheelchair to Washington in the hopes of talking to President Obama about medical marijuana.

Curtis Kile

Curtis Kile

Curtis Kile, 52, said he left his Taylor, Michigan home June 14 on a mission to steer his motorized wheelchair to the White House for a chat with President Barack Obama about nationwide legalization of marijuana, which he said has been instrumental in his treatment, the Detroit Free Press reported Monday.

Kile said Saturday in Hagerstown, Md., he is hoping to roll up to the White House and meet with Obama July 4.

The man’s son, Curtis Kile Jr., 17, is serving as his support crew, driving a Ford Econoline van alongside his father’s wheelchair.

Kile said the White House hasn’t responded to any of his communication efforts, but he is hopeful that his journey will help his cause.

“The alcohol industry doesn’t want it legal, and the pharmaceutical and the tobacco companies don’t want that, because it’s going to bite into their profits,” he said. “It’s the money that’s stopping it, and that’s wrong.”

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Florida Bong Ban Takes Effect, But Is It Enforceable?

July 1st

TALLAHASSEE, FL —  As of today, the sale of most pipes, water pipes and bongs will be banned in Florida as a bill passed by lawmakers in April and signed by the Governor earlier this month takes effect.  But are they really banned?

Under the new law, it is now a first-degree misdemeanor for any retailer “to knowingly and willfully sell drug paraphernalia.”  Second and subsequent violations jump to a third-degree felony.

As initially drafted, House Bill 49 was intended to ban the sale of the following smoking devices:  metal, wooden, acrylic, glass, stone, plastic, or ceramic smoking pipes, with or without screens, permanent screens, hashish heads, or punctured metal bowls; water pipes; carburetion tubes and devices; chamber pipes; carburetor pipes; electric pipes; air-driven pipes; chillums; bongs; ice pipes or chillers.

The only pipes that the bill specifies will still be allowed for sale in Florida must be made of briar, meerschaum, clay or corn cob.

The bill establishes five new crimes: use or possession of drug paraphernalia, manufacture or delivery of drug paraphernalia, delivery of drug paraphernalia to a minor, transportation of drug paraphernalia, and advertisement of drug paraphernalia.

“Rather than just regulating them, let’s just ban them,” Darryl Rouson (D-St. Petersburg), a recovering crack addict turned lawmaker who authored the bill. “If we can make people drive to Georgia and Alabama and South Ca. . . . . READ MORE

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Michigan Cops Upset at Pot Grower’s Probation

June 27th

DETROIT, MI — Probation for a southeastern Michigan farmer caught growing more than 8,000 marijuana plants is not “logical or reasonable” and sends the wrong message to people considering similar schemes, the head of an anti-drug task force said Wednesday.

Detective Lt. Robert Sinclair of the state police reacted a day later to the sentencing of Edwin Schmieding, who got an extraordinary break from a federal judge in Detroit.

Edwin Schmieding

Edwin Schmieding

Instead of prison, the Lenawee County man was placed on supervised release, or probation, for two years. He was arrested in 2011 after an investigation by a police task force in Lenawee and Hillsdale counties. Federal agents subsequently took over the case.

“It does not seem logical or reasonable to sentence a person growing this much marijuana to two years of probation, especially when it obviously was not for personal use but for monetary gain,” said Sinclair, commander of the task force.

“We will continue to pursue all criminal activity including illegal marijuana growing . . . . . READ MORE

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NAACP Endorses Pennsylvania Marijuana Legalization Bill

June 27th

HARRISBURG, PA — A bill introduced in Harrisburg to legalize and regulate marijuana similar to alcohol received an endorsement by the Pennsylvania Chapter of the NAACP Tuesday.

Senate Bill 528, the Regulate Marijuana Act, was  was introduced earlier this year by State Senator Daylin Leach.

The bill would allow adults 21 and over to grow up to six plants and possess the resulting harvest. It would also allow adults to transfer up to an ounce to other adults.

The proposed bill would also direct the state to come up with a system to regulate and tax marijuana commerce.  The bill includes safeguards to protect against driving under the influence of cannabis, and youth awareness and prevention measures.

aclu report - minoritiesLeach and other sponsors of his bill hope to see a committee hearing on the measure in the fall.

Sen. Leach, who is currentlyREAD MORE

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Michigan Farmer Caught with 8,000 Marijuana Plants Gets Probation

June 26th

DETROIT, MI — A southeastern Michigan farmer recovering from throat cancer was sentenced to probation instead of prison Tuesday for growing thousands of marijuana plants, due partly to many handwritten letters from supporters who described him as a modest, selfless man who helps others at every turn.

“This is one that most screams out: This man deserves a break,” U.S. District Judge Bernard Friedman said.

Edwin Schmieding

Edwin Schmieding

Edwin Schmieding, 61, was caught growing 8,000 marijuana plants at his Lenawee County farm and greenhouse in 2011. His wife told police that they were trying to tap the state’s medical marijuana market, although production that large is illegal.

Schmieding’s attorney, Sanford Schulman, noted that most plants were small and of low quality.

“I take full responsibility for my actions,” Schmieding told the judge as relatives wept in the courtroom gallery. “I’ve lived a hard-working life. I give you my word: I’ll be a responsible citizen.”

Schmieding began growing marijuana in 2010 after years of growing cut flowers and other plants. He and wife Linda lived in a home built with their own hands and warmed. . . . . READ MORE

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City of Oakland Back in Court to Fight Closure of Harborside Medical Marijuana Dispensary

June 21st

SAN FRANCISCO — The City of Oakland’s fight against the federal government’s attempt to close the largest medical marijuana dispensary in the United States — and one of Oakland’s top tax paying retailers– was renewed Thursday when attorneys for the city asked a federal judge to postpone court proceedings in the case.

The request for postponement comes after a federal judge ruled in February that the city does not have legal rights in a forfeiture case against the owners of the building that contains Oakland’s Harborside Health Center.

In February, Judge Maria-Elena James wrote in a 10-page ruling that a local U.S. attorney had successfully argued the federal government was immune from Oakland’s lawsuit under the Administrative Procedures Act, which sets out how U.S. agencies develop and issue regulations.

On Thursday, attorneys from the city asked James to postpone all actions in the case until an appeals court can review her ruling, which could take up to a year before the case is heard.

The city of Oakland has been attempting to kill an attempt by U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag to close Harborside Health Care, which is one of the largest and most respected medical marijuana dispensaries in the country, and has been called a model business by city officials.

Harborside employs ov. . . . . READ MORE

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Study: State Medical Marijuana Laws Do Not Cause Increase in Teen Use

June 18th

GAINESVILLE, FL — The legalization of marijuana for medical purposes does not lead to an increase in teen marijuana use, according to a new study by researchers at the University of Florida College of Medicine in Gainseville.

The study, published in the American Journal of Public Health, used data collected from the Youth Risk Behavior Survey for the states of Montana, Rhode Island, Michigan, and Delaware compiled over an eight year period.

“Our results suggest that, in the states assessed here, MMLs [medical marijuana laws] have not measurably affected adolescent marijuana use in the first few years after their enactment,” researchers wrote in their conclusion.  ”Longer-term results, after MMLs are more fully implemented, might be different.”

The study confirms the results of a similar studies conducted in years past, while contradicting public statements made by Drug Czar Gil Kerlikowske and other medical marijuana opponents, who repeatedly allege that the passage of medical marijuana laws is directly responsible for higher levels of self-reported marijuana consumption among U.S. teenagers.

A study conducted last year by researchers from Montana State University, the University of Oregon, and the University of Colorado, Denver examined the relationship between st. . . . . READ MORE

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Florida to Outlaw Sale of Most Pipes as ‘Bong Bill’ Takes Effect July 1

June 16th

TALLAHASSEE, FL —  In just two weeks, the sale of most pipes, water pipes and bongs will be outlawed in Florida as a bill passed by lawmakers in April and signed by the Governor earlier this month takes effect.

Florida lawmakers took the step in the wrong direction in April, with the Florida Senate passing House Bill 49 by a 31-2 vote just two days after the bill was passed in the House by a vote of 112-3, while continuing to ignore legislation to allow medical marijuana for the state’s sick and elderly.

Under the bill, which takes effect on July 1, 2013, the sale of virtually any type of smoking device will be outlawed, with criminal penalties imposed on offenders.

The only pipes — tobacco or otherwise — that will be allowed for sale in Florida must be made of briar, meerschaum, clay or corn cob. Any type of water-pipe would be prohibited.

Any retailer caught selling pipes made of other materials, including glass, would be charged with a first-degree misdemeanor.   Second and subsequent violations would jump to a third-degree felony.

The vague law does not specify if the ban applies to internet or mail order sales.

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Long Island Patients Rally in Support of NY Medical Marijuana Bill

June 16th

HEMPSTEAD, NY — With the end of New York’s legislative session less than a week away, patients and community members from across Long Island gathered at the Garden City, Long Island Rail Road station Friday to mobilize supporters of New York’s medical marijuana bill.

They collected signatures and handed out flyers urging their neighbors to contact senate leadership and demand a vote on the Compassionate Care Act by the Senate before the end of the legislative session on June 20th. The bill, which would create one of the nation’s most tightly regulated medical marijuana programs, would allow seriously ill patients access to a small amount of marijuana under the supervision of their healthcare provider.

A recent poll by Siena College founds that an astonishing 82% of New York voters, including 81% of both Democrats and Republicans support medical marijuana for seriously ill patients.

Earlier this month, the Assembly passed the bill with bipartisan vote of 99-41, the widest margin of the four times the bill has been passed in that chamber.

“We hit the streets of Long Island today to urge our neighbors to support the bi. . . . . READ MORE

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Medical Marijuana Patients In DC: Enroll Now

June 15th

WASHINGTON, DC — After a nearly fifteen legal and political odyssey–Washington DC voters like me voted at the nearly 69% level for medical access to cannabis in 1998!–the DC city government has finally issued the last of the necessary forms to in effect allow medical cannabis to finally be employed by sick, dying and sense-threatened medical patients.

With three medical cannabis dispensaries up and running, the only thing they lack are legally compliant patients.

Residents of D.C. that need medical cannabis, who possess a physician’s recommendation, can download the necessary forms here.

Medical Marijuana Patients In DC: Enroll Now was written by and appears in full on The Daily Chronic.

. . . . . READ MORE

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