District Judge Daniel Kaup ruled today that the three medical marijuana dispensaries in Loveland suing the city and state because of a citywide ban have not proved they are entitled to an injunction allowing them to remain open.
Kaup said granting the injunction would be against the will of the voters and be a disservice to the public.
Attorneys representing the city of Loveland and state of Colorado presented closing arguments today, along with the plaintiffs' attorney, Rob Corry.
The defendants are Rocky Mountain Kind, Magic's Emporium and Colorado Canna Care, plus John and Jane Doe, medical marijuana patients. During Corry's closing argument, Kaup told him Amendment 20, which Colorado voters passed to legalize medical marijuana, does not apply to everyone.
Check back at LovelandConnection.com for more on this story.
Shouts of protest filled the streets of downtown Missoula on Saturday as medical marijuana advocates, angered by the raids of cannabis facilities across Montana last week, rallied in support of their right to use marijuana for medical purposes.
"DEA, go away!"
It was a line repeated over and over as more than a hundred people wielding signs that read "No Plant Left Behind," "We are not criminals" and "Feds Hands Off My Meds" marched from Caras Park to the Missoula County Courthouse and back. There were families, veterans, college students and medical marijuana caregivers. At times, a faint scent of marijuana drifted through the crowd.
Doug Chyatte, founder of Montanans for Responsible Legislation and one of the rally organizers, used a bullhorn to encourage people to "come out of the shadows and into the streets" - a message of standing up in support of medical marijuana.
The rally was in response to federal agents on Monday issuing 26 search warrants on medical marijuana shops and producers in a handful of cities across Montana, seizing cash and plants. The raids generated fear and anger in an industry that's under the microscope of state lawmakers working to regulate the industry.
Montana legalized the medical use of marijuana in 2004, and the number of cannabis patients and providers soared after U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder issued a memo in 2009 stating that the prosecution of medical marijuana programs in states where it's legal is not an effective use of the use of federal resources.
Dozens of medical marijuana caregivers destroyed their plants in a panic following last week's raids, said Chyatte, who called the raids a "political move" and a "scare tactic" - the most vocal medical cannabis distributors were the ones targeted, he said.
The rally aimed to send a message to state and federal officials that medical marijuana advocates are not backing down and they're not scared.
Drawing guns on people watering plants is wrong, said Katrina Farnum, of Garden Mother Herbs and an MRL member. "It's not a time to divide; it's a time to stand together," she said.
Chyatte referred to the raids as "a war that we didn't choose but a war that no doubt ended up at our front doors."
"I know many of you are angry," Chyatte said. "I'm angry, too. But today, we stand united ... Without embarrassment or shame, we will demand equal rights. This community has had enough of the hatred and bigotry."
Last week's raids coincided with state lawmakers in Helena taking executive action on House Speaker Mike Milburn's bill to repeal Montana's medical marijuana law passed as a referendum by voters in 2004. There are other bills circulating through the Legislature that would regulate the industry.
One of the places targeted last week was Montana Cannabis, which is where retiree Bob Wolf of the Plains area used to shop. Now, he has to search for another provider. That's one of the reasons he decided to join the rally on Saturday.
"Believe me, it's not dope," said Wolf, who says he suffers from spinal arthritis. "It's medicine."
Chyatte encouraged the crowd to come out about their medical marijuana use to family, friends and employers and register to vote. The rally generated a large number of honks from supporters driving by on Higgins and Broadway avenues.
MRL is calling for the resignation of Missoula Police Chief Mark Muir for testifying as a Missoula city representative in support of the bill to repeal Montana's medical marijuana law - a move that later drew criticism from Missoula City Council members. His testimony was "incredibly inappropriate," Chyatte said.
Subsequently, the City Council on Monday will vote on a resolution that would show the city's opposition to House Bill 161 to repeal the state's medical marijuana law. Currently the bill remains stuck in the Senate Judiciary committee on a tie vote.
Reporter Chelsi Moy can be reached at 523-5260 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thought from the editor: In this country, if you want to work, potential employees have to pass a drug test, but if you want to collect welfare, unemployment or housing assistance, just sign on up....WTF?!.....
Wal-Mart employee fired for medical pot loses case
Fri Feb 11, 2011 11:51pm EST
Reporting by Clare Baldwin, additional reporting by Jonathan Stempel; Editing by Ron Popeski)
* Wal-Mart justified in firing employee for positive test
(Reuters) - A federal judge in Michigan on Friday upheld Wal-Mart Stores Inc's dismissal of an employee for testing positive for marijuana, even though he was using the drug under the state's medical marijuana law.
Judge Robert Jonker wrote that while the state law was meant to provide some limited protection for medical marijuana users from state arrest and prosecution, it does not regulate private employers.
Former Wal-Mart employee Joseph Casias said he was using the marijuana to treat pain from an inoperable brain tumor and sinus cancer, and was doing so legally, with a medical marijuana registry card.
After twisting his knee at work, Casias submitted to a drug test, administered under a Wal-Mart policy requiring tests for all employees injured on the job. When he tested positive, he was fired.
Casias worked at a Wal-Mart store in Battle Creek, Michigan from 2004 to 2009. (Reporting by Clare Baldwin, additional reporting by Jonathan Stempel; Editing by Ron Popeski)
Second person to recieve medical marijuana speaks at NORML event
By Kendall Bierer, Central Florida Future
Published: Monday, February 21, 2011
The 58-year-old stockbroker has smoked 10-12 cannabis sativa cigarettes every day for more than 28 years.
Rosenfeld, who was the second person to get medical marijuana ever and NORML's third speaker for Medical Marijuana Month, spoke to the UCF community on Feb. 16 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. in the Key West Ballroom.
In 1971, his first year of college, Rosenfeld was introduced to marijuana for the first time. As a young man who'd had numerous surgeries and chemical drugs to treat his rare bone disease, Rosenfeld did not understand why a healthy person would need to use illegal drugs. He admitted that he had been an advocate against it.
At that time, Rosenfeld was prescribed to take more than 30 pills a day including but not limited to morphine, Quaalude and Valium to treat his multiple congenital cartilaginous exostoses, which he's had since he was 10 years old. His body had more than 200 tumors in it and even after his growth plates had halted, a second rare disease, pseudopseudohypoparathyroidism, developed. His doctors told him it was a death sentence.
Before using marijuana medically, his use was purely social even though he didn't agree with it.
"It was a way of making friends, and even though I thought it was garbage, I liked being able to make friends through the use of it," Rosenfeld said.
The tenth time he smoked was the first time he'd sat for more than 10 minutes without discomfort and medication.
"Once I discovered that cannabis was the medicine I needed, I knew I would be arrested and I would be sunk if caught with it," Rosenfeld said. "I am not a criminal, I am a patient."
Since age 21 Rosenfeld has not had another tumor form. His doctors were astounded and couldn't figure out why, but Rosenfeld knew it was because of his recently discovered medication.
He decided to drop out of college after his third semester and move back to Virginia to take on the Federal government. He gained support from his family and doctor and started the persistent fight to gain access to his medicine, a battle that would last 10 years.
In 1982, Rosenfeld, who has the Federal right to smoke his cannabis sativa cigarettes wherever smoking is permitted, received his first tin canister of 320 cigarettes. The government refers to his medication as an experimental new drug that only four patients currently have access to.
When it came time for his doctor to write a report on the success of his use, Rosenfeld knew how it'd be received.
"I told him the truth," Rosenfeld said of the conversation with his doctor. "Any positive report was going to be buried because the government has no interest in the positive aspects of cannabis."
On the report written after that, his doctor decided to write on every page in big red letters "it's working."
The government said nothing.
"The truth is that the government only gave me medicinal cannabis because I backed them in a corner," Rosenfeld said. "They have no interest in continuing this program once the patients are gone."
As stated in his book, My Medicine, the program will terminate when the patients do. He realized four years ago that he needed to share his story; otherwise, it would die with him.
"I know I am taking a risk with the Federal government and my book, but I need to educate people," said Rosenfeld. "The government doesn't want to know and that's what we are up against. I went public so I could be the face of the medical marijuana movement."
Rosenfeld made sure to distinguish between the words ‘cannabis' and ‘marijuana.'
"What I get every 25 days is cannabis sativa, not marijuana," he said. "By using the word ‘marijuana' or ‘pot' you demonize the drug. Every time we use the word ‘pot', we are playing into their hands."
Rosenfeld is creating a new company, Medical Cannabis Solutions, which is going to attempt to achieve something never done before, write its own state law. As the face of the movement, Rosenfeld has credibility when speaking about the battle for his medicine and the necessity to make it available to all patients. He estimates that it will take about six months to a year to complete the project.
Music education junior Chelsey Sprouse can personally attest to the benefits of marijuana used as medicine. Sprouse, who suffers from inflammatory bowel disease, was prescribed eight pills a day by her doctor, but has opted to use marijuana instead.
"Now I get home and I take one hit of cannabis and instantly I am better," said Sprouse. "It helps me eat. It is almost a miracle because it is something nothing else has been able to do. Cannabis is a better choice."
Rosenfeld hopes his work will make cannabis a choice for others.
"This battle is a lot longer and harder than any of us realized, but we are a step closer than we were before."