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US: Federal court could allow city to create medical marijuana shop

  1. robin_himself
    www.ukcia.org

    US: Federal court could allow city to create medical marijuana shop


    Shanna McCord

    Santa Cruz Sentinel


    Friday 23 Jun 2006


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    Federal court could allow city to create medical marijuana shop

    SANTA CRUZ — A federal judge will decide if medical marijuana patients
    and a proposed city-owned dispensary should be protected from federal
    prosecution.

    American Civil Liberties Union attorneys and other lawyers presented
    arguments to a San Jose federal court Friday in a case aimed at forcing
    the U.S. government to recognize California's 10-year-old medical
    marijuana law and to allow Santa Cruz to establish an Office of
    Compassionate Use — the nation's first government-owned medical pot shop.

    The lawsuit against U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and the Drug
    Enforcement Administration began after a federal raid of the Wo/Men's
    Alliance for Medical Marijuana in 2002. The case since has grown to
    include the city and county of Santa Cruz.

    Justice Department attorney Mark Quinlevin asked the court to dismiss
    the case, which would leave the state's medical marijuana law intact but
    leave users and providers vulnerable to arrest by federal agents.

    No decision was made Friday by federal Judge Jeremy Fogel. His verdict
    could come in several months to a year.

    "The federal government seeks to limit access to medical marijuana,"
    said Graham Boyd, director of the ACLU Drug Law Reform Project. "The
    government needs to accept that, at least for some people, this is the
    only medicine keeping them alive."

    City leaders voted in October to create a new department to distribute
    marijuana to seriously ill patients, but only if the federal government
    guaranteed the operation would be allowed to run without federal
    interference.

    The city's effort to form a compassionate-use office tests the state's
    right to enact the medical marijuana law that voters passed in 1996,
    Proposition 215, which allows some patients to use marijuana. Santa Cruz
    aims to provide the drug to qualified patients at a reasonable price,
    proponents say, in a safe environment.

    "If it were legal we might contract with Longs pharmacy," Councilman
    Mike Rotkin said. "They provide morphine, why not marijuana? This is not
    a recreational issue, and we wish the government would see that."

    Marijuana co-op founders Mike and Val Corral were taken to federal
    holding cells in San Jose after the raid in 2002 and released later that
    day.

    They contend some patients, such as those undergoing chemotherapy or
    treatment for HIV and AIDS, should be able to use marijuana to ease
    pain, reduce nausea and stimulate appetite.

    "If people are dying, they have enough to worry about," Mike Corral
    said. "This case is really important for America in general. It has far
    reaching and broad impacts for life in America."

    The federal government has been steadfast in viewing marijuana as a
    dangerous and illegal drug, and has challenged its use and distribution,
    shutting down medical co-ops and confiscating marijuana.

    In June 2005, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that medical marijuana users
    can be prosecuted by the federal government.

Comments

  1. rocco_blitz
    Well that was a good article thanks for posting it for others robin.But its the same old story,uncle sam has always got his hands on everything,making statments to the public that marry jane is a dangerous drug and in some cases it may be.Swim thinks that uncle sam is worried that he will lose money cause this may be passed on other states,what swim is saying about the lose of money is that when a swiy say gets caught with possesion gets arrested jailed and then the big one =court cost of the person caught,plus the fine and in some casses they take youre house car this list goes on and on.That to uncle sam would be a lose of money,Swim thinks that if would save the tax payers money,money that could be spent on the hunger problem in the states not to mention the homeless.
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