Case Stirs The Pot on Medical Law

Case Stirs The Pot on Medical Law
Posted by CN Staff on January 30, 2006 at 06:58:00 PT
By Nancy Lofholm, Denver Post Staff Writer 
Source: Denver Post 
Colorado -- The acquittal of a car-crash victim who used marijuana to ease his pain has people on both sides wondering if the rules are flawed. A fire at Ryan Margenau's Gunnison townhouse last spring ignited a court case that made him an unwitting pioneer for medical marijuana in Colorado. Out of town at the time of the fire, Margenau directed officers by phone to his garage, where combustibles were stored.
The officers also found Margenau's medication for chronic back pain stemming from a car accident - four marijuana plants thriving under a grow light in a cupboard, as well as less than an ounce of dried and concentrated marijuana.Margenau, who used marijuana under a doctor's order but wasn't on the state registry, was arrested upon his return and charged with four felony counts of possession and cultivation. A costly nine-month legal ordeal ensued. In Colorado's first medical-marijuana trial, Margenau was acquitted last month by a jury in conservative, ranching-based Gunnison County. Medical-marijuana advocates called it a landmark victory. Law enforcement labeled it a good example of why the medical-marijuana initiative approved by voters in 2000 is flawed. "This should put a pall on prosecutors and law enforcement for pursuing these cases," said Allen St. Pierre, executive director of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws. "One of the lessons that came out of this trial was, in my opinion, how poorly drafted the medical-marijuana initiative was," said the prosecutor in the case, Deputy District Attorney Geoff Nims. The state doesn't require that a person be on the registry. A verifiable disability or illness and a physician's recommendation are enough to be within the law. The measure also attempts to limit patients to no more than six marijuana plants at varying levels of maturity. Nims said the issue could be simplified if marijuana were prescribed by doctors in the same manner as other drugs. Snipped:Complete Article: Denver Post (CO) Author: Nancy Lofholm, Denver Post Staff Writer Published: January 30, 2006Copyright: 2006 The Denver Post Website: openforum denverpost.comNORML Medical Marijuana Archives
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Comment #5 posted by whig on January 30, 2006 at 16:23:40 PT
"According to the THC Ministry Web site, the organization helps to protect its members from 'arrest, prosecution and/or conviction of `marijuana' charges -- wherever you live -- starting as soon as you sign-up, become ordained and receive your ministry documents. We provide a legitimate religious 'defense to prosecution' for sincere people over 21 years old.'"I've always been uncomfortable with this, because "signing up" to some organization does not have anything to do with sincere religious belief, and I think these guys could really mess up a genuine religious defense.
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Comment #4 posted by Sukoi on January 30, 2006 at 15:26:08 PT
Something to keep an eye on
Religious defense:
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Comment #3 posted by Sam Adams on January 30, 2006 at 08:34:49 PT
Something not right here
from the complete article:"It's an ambiguous law at best. It seems to be the trend that marijuana is in the same position now that alcohol was in during Prohibition," said Gunnison County Sheriff Rick Murdie, who said Margenau would not have been arrested if he had been on the registry - or possibly if he had immediately made it clear that he was using marijuana under a doctor's order.OK, so the compassionate LEO would have left him alone if he'd merely mentioned that he was a medical patient?  I guess he doesn't talk to the DA much - they continued with 9-month long prosecution, going all the way to a full trial in front of a jury, LONG after knowing his medical situation.A more accurate assessment of the situation might be that LEOs and DAs are doing everything they possibly can to nail sick people with cannabis. And once they catch someone, they'll penalize them with 10 grand or more in legal fees. Surely that punishment was the only intent of the prosecution. I'm sure when the DA sat down to read the exact law, it was quite clear that the patient would eventually be acquitted.
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Comment #2 posted by mayan on January 30, 2006 at 07:26:33 PT
NRA and Pot Smoker Pact? Grover Norquist, Drug Policy Reformer - By FRED GARDNER: are a few interesting stories...Cindy Sheehan May Challenge Calif. Senator: IN TECHNICAL DEFAULT: Around the Bush By the Bourse: of new "Osama" propaganda: sign of increasing Bush administration desperation: WAY OUT IS THE WAY IN...Getting Naked For 9/11 Truth: Ray Griffin lecture on WTC Collapse: THE WORLD TRADE CENTER COLLAPSED: world can't wait...
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Comment #1 posted by FoM on January 30, 2006 at 07:14:45 PT
Promotion for Tommy Chong's New Movie
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