Decisions Force New Look at Medical Marijuana

Decisions Force New Look at Medical Marijuana
Posted by CN Staff on August 18, 2008 at 09:00:32 PT
By The Ukiah Daily Journal Staff
Source: Ukiah Daily Journal
California -- We understand why a local judge struck down the provisions of voter-approved Measure B limiting the number of plants a medical marijuana patient can grow. The California Appeals Court ruled in May that the six mature, 12 immature plant limit and the eight ounce dried marijuana possession limit were unconstitutional because the California Legislature had set the limits by legislation not voter initiative. Measure B's limits were based on the California state law.
(The California Supreme Court has now decided to take up the question of the legality of these limits which were rejected a second time in another Appeals Court ruling in July.)Now, medical marijuana growing and possession goes back to the confusing and varied interpretations that existed before the state passed its regulations - regulations that were fervently sought by true medical marijuana patients in order to bring some order and protection to the 1996 initiative that was unfortunately very poorly worded. As of this moment, there are technically no limits on the number of medical marijuana plants a person can grow - but anything they grow has to be strictly for their own personal medical needs.That is the important distinction and one that local marijuana growers need to pay attention to.Unfortunately this ruling may encourage more of the commercial backyard growing we've seen from people who will assume that "no limits" means they can get away with anything.We hope that our Sheriff Tom Allman and District Attorney Meredith Lintott will make it clear in their actions that this local court ruling - and the ruling it stems from in People v. Kelly in the State Court of Appeals - still makes it clear that medical marijuana growing must be for personal medical use - and lacking any regulatory direction, not some conglomerate in San Francisco or dispensary in Ukiah.The courts ruled that the Compassionate Use Act does not limit a medical marijuana patient's growing allowance based on a doctor's recommendation. But it is also clear that those needs must be approved by a doctor and clearly defines "caregiver" as a person "designated by the person exempted under this section who has consistently assumed responsibility for the housing, health, or safety of that person." We have long argued that the definition of caregiver from the CUA had been twisted out of all proportion and made mockery of the compassion California voters tried to extend to the truly sick and dying.We will see if the California Supreme Court agrees that regulating the CUA by legislation is constitutional. If not, the CUA will likely be scrutinized and perhaps amended by another voter initiative. If that happens, we believe it is time to set constitutional limits on the number of plants a medical marijuana patient can have, and provide a strict definition of caregiver, limiting that to one person, someone who is personally caring for the patient on a regular basis, not someone in Mendocino County growing 100 plants in their name.The Kelly decision - and the local decision based on it - should not be construed as an open door to more pot growing. These decisions should be viewed as restating the limits envisioned on medical marijuana when the voters passed the CUA, limits that have been ignored up and down the state and which have led voters even in this Emerald Triangle, to reject marijuana growing as greedy and dangerous to their communities.Source: Ukiah Daily Journal (CA)Published: August 18, 2008Copyright: 2008 Ukiah Daily JournalContact: udjrb pacific.netWebsite: Articles: Measure B Plant Limits Can't Be Enforced Top Court To Review Medical Pot Limit County Won't Enforce Pot Measure
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Comment #3 posted by OverwhelmSam on August 19, 2008 at 12:13:42 PT
We're getting there. Prohibition is costing them lots of (the magic word) MONEY! They will soon be faced with insolvency, failure of schools, institutions, programs, and actual lost government positions(gasp!), or the legalization of marijuana to reduce law enforcement costs and increase tax income. It's almost a no brainer. I say almost because a "no brainer" implies the previous existense of a "BRAIN." A quality unavailable among our drug law enforcement officials. And no, brainwashed brains do not count.
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Comment #2 posted by dongenero on August 18, 2008 at 09:29:35 PT
OT- driving and anti-depressants
You don't hear much about driving under the influence of pharmaceuticals. It's sort of wink, wink, nudge, nudge. 
On the other hand, it is a subject that often seems to come up in discussions about medical cannabis Well, here is a finding about anti-depressants and driving.;_ylt=AoZMh_E.SYdJsVmy6pDtZhgR.3QA Antidepressant Use Tied to Poorer DrivingPeople taking antidepressants who were highly depressed registered markedly worse scores on some driving skills than those not taking antidepressants, the team found. This appeared tied to poorer concentration and a weakened ability to react well to situations that divided their attention and relied on memory skills.More research needs to be done, of course," she said. "And I wouldn't want to instill fear in drivers. But I think that perhaps individuals who are taking these medications should just be aware of the fact that they may cause concentration problems and impair reaction time."Dannewitz also stressed that, "this issue is not just a question for drivers, because the cognitive skills needed for driving are also needed for a lot of other skills."
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Comment #1 posted by Sam Adams on August 18, 2008 at 09:15:55 PT
they see the problem as not enough laws, I see the problem as too much law! They could fix everything for everyone by repealing silly prohibition.
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