Marijuana: More States, More Bills, More Hearings

It’s becoming difficult to keep up with all the marijuana bills being filed at statehouses around the county.

In addition to the bills in Washington state (see related story here), in the past 10 days we saw a medical marijuana bill introduced in Missouri, another in Alabama, and another in Virginia. There was also a decriminalization bill introduced in Virginia, and in New Hampshire a decrim bill and a “tax and regulate” legalization bill got hearings.

In Missouri, Rep. Kate Meiners (D-Kansas City) and 16 cosponsors introduced HB 1670, which would allow patients with debilitating diseases to use marijuana upon a physician’s recommendation. Patients or caregivers could possess up to one ounce of usable marijuana and three mature and four immature plants. Previous bills have failed to move in the Republican-dominated legislature, but the presence of a Republican cosponsor this year could make a difference.

In Alabama, Rep. Patricia Todd (D-Birmingham) has introduced HB 207, which would allow patients with specified debilitating conditions to use marijuana. The bill has been referred to the House Judiciary Committee. Previous medical marijuana bills died in 2007 and 2008.

In Virginia, Delegate Harvey Morgan, a 79-year-old Republican, filed HB 1136, a medical marijuana bill that would protect from prosecution patients who have “a valid prescription issued by a medical doctor.” The bill’s prospects are uncertain. Morgan is a senior Republican and committee chair, but the measure also faces opposition.

Another bill introduced by Morgan, HB 1134, would make small-time marijuana possession a civil offense rather than a criminal one and mandates a maximum $500 fine. It would also create a rebuttable presumption that anyone growing five plants or less is growing for personal consumption, and treats small grows like small amounts of marijuana. The bill would also do away with a two-year mandatory minimum sentence for selling less than an ounce and a five-year mandatory minimum for selling more than an ounce. Like Morgan’s medical bill, the prospects for the decrim bill are uncertain.

In New Hampshire, the House Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee Wednesday held public hearings on two bills, HB 1653, which would decriminalize the possession of less than an ounce of marijuana, and HB 1652, which would legalize the possession of up to one ounce and three plants, and provide for the regulated and taxed sale of marijuana to adults. The decrim bill is sponsored by Rep. Steven Lindsey (D-Keene), while the tax and regulate bill is sponsored by Reps. Calvin Pratt (R-Goffstown), Joel Winters (D-Manchester), Carla Skinder (D-Cornish), and Timothy Comerford (R-Fremont).

– Article from Stop the Drug War (DRCNet).

Comments

6 Comments

  1. jeffery w Kennedy on

    Hello, My name is Jeffrey w Kennedy, I am Disabled and I live in South Florida, Palm Beach County, I was recently arrested for trying to grow my own Medical Marijuana, I have hired Attorney Michael c Minardi To Defend my rights to use Medical Marijuana to treat my Chronic Pain that has consumed my life, On June 28th 2010 we will be seeking the Medical Necessity Defense, If allowed we will be in search of expert witnesess and Publicnuituie support to help in my Defense, if you or anyone you know can help, Please contact me at [email protected]
    Thank you,
    Jeffrey w Kennedy

  2. freethehumans on

    the united states > the queen > the pope. the popes laws are unobjectable dont ya know. these people hide our existence and make a horrible slave based one for us. fuck you, all of you who continue to live by your corporate entities

  3. freethehumans on

    The only way to put an end to these fools is to stop being who they told you you were, which you arent. YOU ARE NOT A PERSON, thats how they get you. They make you believe that you are the entity on your ‘birth certificate’, but you aren’t. They fooled you in school when they said “knowledge is power”, when even that is quite false. Not knowing and enjoying ourselves is what we are supposed to be doing. Why do we think we can even comprehend what is going on in the world when we only process 15 bits of the 11billion bits that come into your head every second. Seems quite rediculous that we should even try to comprehend knowledge. We should allow a higher power to handle those matters, we already know everything, its inside us, you just have to find it again. Stop operating on such low vibrations.

    “You just ain’t a-gonna find it on yer ticket stub, No, and it ain’t in the rumors people’re tellin’ you, And it ain’t in the pimple-lotion people are sellin’ you, And it ain’t in no cardboard-box house, Or down any movie star’s blouse
    And you can’t find it on the golf course, And Uncle Remus can’t tell you and neither can Santa Claus, And it ain’t in the cream puff hair-do or cotton candy clothes, And it ain’t in the dime store dummies or bubblegum goons, And it ain’t in the marshmallow noises of the chocolate cake voices, That come knockin’ and tappin’ in Christmas wrappin’, Sayin’ ain’t I pretty and ain’t I cute and look at my skin, Look at my skin shine, look at my skin glow
    Look at my skin laugh, look at my skin cry, When you can’t even sense if they got any insides, These people so pretty in their ribbons and bows, No you’ll not now or no other day
    Find it on the doorsteps made out-a paper mache¥, And inside it the people made of molasses, That every other day buy a new pair of sunglasses, And it ain’t in the fifty-star generals and flipped-out phonies, Who’d turn yuh in for a tenth of a penny, Who breathe and burp and bend and crack, And before you can count from one to ten, Do it all over again but this time behind yer back, My friend.”
    -Bob Dylan

  4. Anonymous on

    Since all you non- americans always try to talk like you know all the laws of the states, when you dont even know the laws of your own country? take Marc, and his mouthpiece, kurt? Kurt even as a lawyer in his county, he did NOT know all the laws that applyed to MARC?? Strange? a lawyer who does NOT know how to do a law review?? Strange indeed!! The ruling in Cali is great, But was not needed Laws protecting this are ON THE FEDERAL BOOKS FOR OVER A YEAR!!! But all you so-called lawyers and you so-called cannabis experts didnt KNOW A THING ABOUT IT!?! Now, whos NOT! well INFORMED!! Heres all the up-to date ruling for the states at federal level that applies to the med states only!! look listen and most of all? LEARN!! Damm, limeys always have to do things twice,and the hard way always!!, dont think so?? answer world war one, and two??twice and still fuck it up!, enough said! rulings………….
    State of California Medical Cannabis Rulings
    Criminal

    People v. Trippet
    (1997): The ruling applies retroactively to persons fitting the medical use requirements who were charged before the statute was put into effect. Under Compassionate Use Act, even with physician’s recommendation or approval, patient may not possess an unlimited quantity of marijuana. The act can provide implied defense for transportation if the quantity transported, method, time and distance of transportation are reasonably related to patient’s medical needs. Click to view the ruling.

    People v. Rigo
    (1999): A person arrested for possession or cultivation of cannabis before obtaining a recommendation from a physician for the medical use of cannabis may not use this defense retroactively if a physician’s recommendation is obtained after the arrest, unless there is a spectacular explanation. Click to view the ruling.

    People v. Young
    (2001): In a ruling in direct conflict with the above People v. Trippet ruling, the court ruled that the Compassionate Use Act does not protect transportation of medical cannabis. This means that the state now has two conflicting precedents on this issue. Click to view the ruling. Click to view the ruling.

    People v. Fisher
    (2002): Law enforcement officers are not required to abandon a search for marijuana authorized by a search warrant when a resident of the premises produces documents that suggest he has a physician’s permission to possess the cannabis. Click to view the ruling.

    People v. Mower
    (2002): This unanimous CA Supreme Court ruling declared that patients and their care providers are entitled to a pre-trial hearing to determine the legitimacy of their medical cannabis defense. If this is established through a preponderance of evidence, the case should be dismissed before going to trial. In addition, the Court ruled that the state must show proof of guilt “beyond a reasonable doubt” in any criminal case. In powerful language, it declared that “possession and cultivation of marijuana is no more criminal – so long as its conditions are satisfied – than the possession and acquisition of any prescription drug with a doctor’s prescription.” Click to view the ruling.

    People v. Jones
    (2003): This CA Appellate Court ruling holds that a defendant’s testimony, confirming an “approval” or “recommendation” by a doctor to use medical marijuana, is sufficient, without verification from the doctor, to establish for a jury the defendant.s status as a medical marijuana patient. Click to view the ruling.

    People v. Tilehkooh
    (2003): This ruling criticizes the decision in People v. Bianco (2001) which held that it is within the trial court’s discretion to impose a probation condition prohibiting all marijuana use for the offense of marijuana cultivation where defendant was a long-time marijuana user and his marijuana use was found to have contributed to his offense. Instead, the court sided with statutes enacted by SB 420 which expressly authorizes qualified patients to request that the trial court confirm that they may use marijuana for medical use while on probation or released on bail. The court ruled in Tilehkooh that no rehabilitative purpose is served by such probation condition in cases where there is no claim of diversion or violent behavior by defendant). Even if the court imposes a probation condition forbidding all marijuana use, defense counsel should assert the CUA as a defense in any probation revocation proceedings brought against a qualified patient. Tilekooh explicitly rejected the proposition that state courts could enforce federal prohibitions on medical marijuana use for qualified patients as a probation condition. Click to view the ruling.

    People v. Konow
    (2004): The California Supreme Court held that a defendant may “informally suggest” that the magistrate or superior court dismiss the information or complaint “in the interests of justice.” Counsel may do this at any time, even as early as the arraignment, or in connection with a demurrer to the complaint, when the evidentiary foundation is laid through the submission of the doctor’s recommendation. Click to view the ruling.

    People v. Urziceanu
    (2005): The Third District Court of Appeal issued a positive decision affirming the legality of collectives and cooperatives, and held that SB 420, otherwise referred to as the Medical Marijuana Program Act, provides for a defense to marijuana distribution for collectives and cooperatives. Drawing from the Compassionate Use Act’s encouragement of the state and federal governments to implement a plan for the safe and affordable distribution of medical marijuana to those patients who need it, the court found that the Medical Marijuana Program Act and its legalization of collectives and cooperatives represented the state government’s initial response to this directive. By expressly providing that medical marijuana patients are not subject to criminal penalties for cultivation and distribution of marijuana solely by virtue of doing so collectively, the Legislature has abrogated cases such as Trippet, Peron and Young, and established a new defense to those who form and operate collectives and cooperatives to dispense marijuana. Click here to view the ruling.

    People v. Wright
    (2006): The California Supreme Court reaffirmed that the Medical Marijuana Program Act (SB 420) specifically provides an affirmative defense to the crime of transporting marijuana to a qualified patient or a person with a state identification card who transports or processes marijuana for his or her own personal medical use. In addition, the Court found that the amounts of marijuana described in SB420 (8 ounces of dried marijuana and 6 mature or 12 immature plants) constitute a floor, not a ceiling, on the amount of marijuana a qualified patient may possess. Click here to view the ruling.

    People v. Mentch
    (2006): After several courts of appeal very narrowly construed what is meant by a “primary caregiver,” the Court of Appeal for the Sixth Appellate District found that it was erroneous for the trial court to refuse to give a jury instruction on this issue where there was evidence that the defendant, in addition to providing marijuana, drove several of the patients to their doctors’ appointments and counseled them about the relative merits of different strains of marijuana.Click here to view the ruling.

    The case is under review by the California Supreme Court and ASA has filed an amicus brief on behalf of the defendant.Click here to view the amicus brief.

    People v. Strasburg
    (2007): On March 22, 2007, the California Court of Appeal for the First Appellate District issued a published decision in People v. Strasburg, holding that the Compassionate Use Act does not provide immunity from an otherwise justifiable search, such as when an officer smells marijuana. In its words, “[a]n officer with probable cause to search is not prevented from doing so by someone presenting a medical marijuana card or a marijuana prescription.” This decision flies in the face of People v. Mower, wherein the California Supreme Court held that probable cause depends on all of the facts and circumstances, including one’s status as a qualified patient. Click here to view the ruling

    Garden Grove v. Superior Court
    (2007): In a 41-page published decision that strongly affirms the right of medical marijuana patients to possess their medicine without law enforcement harassment, the Court of Appeal for the Fourth Appellate District required trial courts to order the return of medical marijuana that was improperly seized by the police. The court stated that medical marijuana patients are not criminals and, like other aggrieved citizens, are entitled to the return of their lawfully possessed property.Furthermore, the court reminded the police that it is not their job to enforce the federal drug laws.Click here to view the ruling.

    People v. Chakos
    (2007): The Court of Appeal for the Fourth Appellate District reversed appellant’s convictions for possessing six ounces of marijuana for distribution based on the “expert” testimony of a police officer that a scale, baggies, and small sum of cash evidenced marijuana distribution. The court found that such testimony evinced a lack of understanding of the patterns of use of marijuana by qualified patients, which rendered the police officer unqualified to testify as an expert and required that his testimony be stricken. Click here to view the ruling.

    People v. Hua
    (2008): The Court of Appeal for the First Appellate District found that the police violated the defendant’s right against unreasonable searches and seizures when they entered his home without a warrant based only on their observation that someone inside was smoking marijuana. Click here to view the ruling.

    People v. Windus
    (2008): The Court of Appeal for the Second Appellate District held that the trial court improperly denied a medical marijuana defense to the defendant. The court held that the defendant’s medical marijuana recommendation did not expire, even though the doctor who issued it required yearly evaluations. The court further held that patients are not bound by the quantities specified in SB 420, but may possess an amount of marijuana that is consistent with their personal medical use. Click here to view the ruling.

    People v. Phomphakdy
    (2008): The Court of Appeal for the Third Appellate District (Sacramento) held that the quantities of marijuana specified in the Medical Marijuana Program Act (SB 420) constitute an unconstitutional legislative amendment of a voter-approved initiative. Click here to view the ruling.

    Civil

    Lungren v. Peron
    (1997): This case holds that the Compassionate Use Act does not provide a defense for selling marijuana or possessing marijuana for sale. However, bona fide primary caregivers may receive reimbursement for their actual expense of cultivating and furnishing cannabis for the patient.s approved medical treatment. A buyers club that is open to the public cannot be considered the primary caregiver of thousands of patients simply by a declaration on the part of the patient. The definition of “primary caregiver” in the statute is explicit, and it states that a caregiver must be an individual. Click to view the ruling.

    Bearman v. Superior Court of Los Angeles
    (2004): The California Superior Court refused to review an appellate decision blocking the California Medical Board from searching the medical records of Dr. David Bearman and his patient who he prescribed medical marijuana for. The doctor was being investigated for negligence in prescribing marijuana for the patient. The decision protects doctors and patients in possession of medical marijuana from violations of their privacy rights. Click to view the ruling.

    Ross v. RagingWire Telecommunications
    (2008): On January 24, 2008, the California Supreme Court issued a published decision denying qualified medical marijuana patients any remedy for being terminated from their employment for testing positive for marijuana for using their medicine off-duty. ASA is currently sponsoring legislation in the California Legislature that will overturn the Ross decision and provide employment protections for medical marijuana patients. Click here to view the ruling.

    San Diego v. NORML, et al.
    (2008): In 2006, the Counties of San Diego and San Bernardino challenged California’s medical marijuana laws as preempted by federal law. In a published decision, the Court of Appeal for the Fourth Appellate District held that federal law does not preempt the state medical marijuana card program, nor does it constitute an unconstitutional amendment of Proposition 215. Click here to view the ruling

  5. Anonymous on

    By Nov. 5th 2010, Cannabis will be legal in the state of California, besides this info one week old. So why whould we blink over redneck looking just to save there jobs and ass, why care what there doing.They make noise fail, then say, stoners vote for me!! Why not put up this news and NOT give theses leaders any press until there bill becomes law? Then give them props!, but you stupid subjects still dont get it? When weeds legal here in the states and NOT in canada we dont want you pussies here at all, vist or other wise go play at your games?? corp. world sponders isnt that what you all up there are? fuck your crown and all who lives under its slavely!,bitches.

  6. Rebel in America on

    South Dakota’s Medical Cannabis supporters collected twice as many signatures as needed for the Safe Access Act. Next week they will be going to the state legislature to hand in the signatures. Days later, they will be headed to the State House of Reps. in an attempt to make the Safe Access Act a reality long before voting season begins.