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American Judicial Success Stories

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Not being jingoistic or anything resembling that. It's just that I hear police state this, and police state that.

 

If this is a police state then I want more of it :smoke

 

I'm going to try and maintain some sort of record of judicial successes...we'll see.

 

 

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Judge dismisses Madison Heights couple's medical marijuana charges

Jennifer Chambers / The Detroit News

 

Madison Heights -- Declaring Michigan's medical marijuana act the "worst piece of legislation" he has ever seen, an Oakland County judge on Wednesday dismissed felony drug charges against a couple who say they grew pot for medical reasons.

 

Torey Clark and Bob Redden jubilantly walked out of the Madison Heights courtroom of 43rd District Court Judge Robert Turner . The judge had heard testimony from the physician who qualified the couple to use medical marijuana under the state's new law.

 

Clark and Redden were charged with growing marijuana after Madison Heights police raided their home March 30 -- days before the medical pot law took effect -- and found 21 plants. With prior drug convictions, they faced up to 14 years in prison.

 

After the dismissal, the couple hugged their lawyers and embraced supporters.

 

Clark, who has ovarian cancer, said the judge's decision brought her immense relief after weeks of stress over going to prison.

 

"They should leave the patients alone," Clark said outside court. Redden said he planned to move out of Madison Heights after living there for 35 years because police broke down his door with a battering ram.

 

"I no longer feel safe here," said Redden, who suffers from long-term hip pain.

 

Michigan's medical marijuana law was designed to protect qualified patients from arrest and prosecution, but many have criticized it as poorly written, vague and confusing.

 

Clark and Redden obtained a recommendation from a state-licensed physician, Dr. Eric Eisenbud, which stated each was qualified to use marijuana for medical purposes under the act. They did not receive state-issued ID cards for medical marijuana users until after the raid.

 

Eisenbud, an ophthalmologist who treated the couple at the Hemp and Cannabis Foundation clinic in Southfield, spent nearly two hours on the stand.

 

Prosecutors are reviewing the case to consider an appeal.

 

http://www.detnews.com/article/20090618/ME...rijuana-charges

 

Way to go Doctor and THCFoundation!!! Great work, indeed :tipshat:

 

Everyone is free to contribute?

 

Take care all :verrygood,

WHAB

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June 17th, 2009

Medical Marijuana Group Gets $139,000 in Attorneys Fees for Landmark Case

 

Garden Grove spends a quarter of a million dollars, loses federal preemption argument

 

Oakland, CA -- The national medical marijuana advocacy organization Americans for Safe Access (ASA) was paid yesterday by the City of Garden Grove $139,000 in attorneys fees for a settlement agreement in a landmark medical marijuana case. The fees awarded to ASA are in addition to more than $100,000 that Garden Grove spent fighting the state's medical marijuana law, likely totaling more than a quarter of a million dollars. The case City of Garden Grove v. Superior Court involved the wrongful seizure of medical marijuana from Garden Grove patient Felix Kha, and resulted in a landmark decision rejecting the city's argument that state law was preempted by federal law. Instead, California's Fourth Appellate District ruled that, "it is not the job of the local police to enforce the federal drug laws."

 

"It's unfortunate that the City of Garden Grove felt it necessary to challenge the rights of patients in California by spending more than a quarter of a million dollars to refuse to return medical marijuana worth approximately two hundred dollars," said Joe Elford, Chief Counsel with Americans for Safe Access. "Nevertheless, this should force local officials to better uphold medical marijuana patients' rights under the law." The 41-page landmark decision was appealed by Garden Grove, but was instead upheld after a denial of review by the California Supreme Court in November 2007 and, most recently, by the U.S. Supreme Court in December 2008.

 

The Kha case was the result of a wrongful seizure of medical marijuana by local police in June 2005. Kha was pulled over by the Garden Grove Police Department and cited for possession of marijuana, despite presenting officers with the proper documentation. The marijuana charge against Kha was subsequently dismissed, with the Superior Court of Orange County issuing an order to return Kha's wrongfully seized 8 grams of medical marijuana. The police, backed by the City of Garden Grove, refused to return Kha's medicine and the city appealed. While the case was before the appellate court, the California Attorney General filed a "friend of the court" brief on behalf of Kha's right to possess his medicine. This, in turn, prompted several statewide law enforcement associations to file briefs in support of Garden Grove, challenging the state's medical marijuana law.

 

"Medical marijuana advocates are hailing this landmark decision and today's settlement for attorneys fees as a huge victory that underscores law enforcement's obligation to uphold state law," continued Elford. "Better adherence to state medical marijuana laws by local police will result in fewer needless arrests and seizures, and will allow for better implementation of those laws not only in California, but in all medical marijuana states."

 

Further information:

Attorneys fees settlement agreement & check: http://www.AmericansForSafeAccess.org/down..._Settlement.pdf

Landmark decision by California's Fourth District Court of Appeal: http://AmericansForSafeAccess.org/download...oveDecision.pdf

Felix Kha's return of property case: http://AmericansForSafeAccess.org/article.php?id=4412

 

http://www.safeaccessnow.org/article.php?id=5760

 

 

That's back to back success stories.

 

Very well done!!!, each and every one of you. Congratulations!!!

 

:verrygood,

WHAB

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July 1st, 2009

Landmark Ruling Issued on Collective Cultivation of Medical Marijuana

 

Appellate court protects collective cultivation and affirms civil actions by patients

 

Sacramento, CA -- The California Third District Court of Appeal issued a landmark ruling today on the right under state law of patients to collectively cultivate. The 2-1 appellate court decision stems from the case County of Butte v. Superior Court involving a private medical marijuana collective of 7 patients in Paradise, California. The nationwide advocacy group Americans for Safe Access (ASA) filed a lawsuit in May 2006 on behalf of 56-year-old David Williams and six other collective members after a 2005 warrantless search of his home. Williams was forced by the Butte County Sheriff to uproot more than two-dozen plants or face arrest and prosecution. Contrary to state law, which allows for collective cultivation, Williams was told by the Sheriff that it was not lawful to grow collectively for multiple patients.

 

"This ruling by the California Courts sends yet another strong message to state law enforcement that they must abide by the medical marijuana laws of the state and not the competing federal laws," said Joe Elford, ASA Chief Counsel and the attorney that litigated the case on behalf of Williams. Today's appellate court ruling affirmed this position by concluding that, "the deputy was acting under color of California law, not federal law. Accordingly, the propriety of his conduct is measured by California law."

 

The appellate court also stated that to deny patients protection from warrantless intrusions and seizures by law enforcement "would surely shock the sensibilities of the voters who approved [Proposition 215]." Especially worthy of note is the appellate court's assertion that the Compassionate Use Act of 1996 is not simply an affirmative defense to criminal sanctions, but "...we see an opportunity for an individual to request the same constitutional guarantee of due process available to all individuals, no matter what their status, under the state Constitution. The fact that this case involves medical marijuana and a qualified medical marijuana patient does not change these fundamental constitutional rights or an individual's right to assert them."

 

Today's appellate court decision upholds Butte County Superior Court Judge Barbara Roberts' ruling from September 2007, in which she states that seriously ill patients cultivating collectively "should not be required to risk criminal penalties and the stress and expense of a criminal trial in order to assert their rights." Judge Roberts' ruling also rejected Butte County's policy of requiring all members to physically participate in the cultivation, thereby allowing collective members to "contribute financially."

 

Even in his dissenting opinion, Court of Appeal Judge James Morrison stated that, "the United States Congress should reconsider its refusal to amend the federal drug laws to make reasonable accommodation for the 13 states that have enacted some form of compassionate use exception to their penal codes."

 

ASA was compelled to file the Williams lawsuit after receiving repeated reports of unlawful behavior by Butte County law enforcement, as well as by other police agencies throughout the state. After uncovering Butte County's de facto ban on medical marijuana patient collectives, ASA decided to pursue the case to show that collectives and cooperatives are protected under state law. "In addition to protecting patients' right to collectively cultivate, the Court has reaffirmed that medical marijuana patients enjoy the same constitutional rights as everyone else, including the ability to file civil rights actions when those rights are violated," continued Elford.

 

Further information:

Today's ruling by the California Third District Court of Appeal: http://AmericansForSafeAccess.org/download...te_Decision.pdf

Information on Butte Case: ASA*:*Butte County

 

Landmark Ruling Issued on Collective Cultivation of Medical Marijuana

 

Americans for Safe Access

 

:D :spliff:

 

:D,

WHAB

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Fontana man gets pot back after unjust bust

 

Sandra Emerson, Staff Writer

07/07/2009 04:20:42 PM PDT

 

RANCHO CUCAMONGA - Jason Monroe on Monday night walked out of the San Bernardino County sheriff's station in Rancho Cucamonga with seven ounces of medical marijuana secured safely in a brown evidence bag.

Monroe is the first person in San Bernardino County to get marijuana returned to him after it was confiscated by police.

 

"Here, let it be told, in San Bernardino County, things have changed and it's legal now," said Monroe, who has been a medical marijuana recipient for the past three years.

 

The county, along with San Diego County, had been fighting the state law requiring counties to issue medical marijuana identification cards to patients.

 

When the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear their case in May, the counties had no choice but to adhere to state law.

 

Monroe was pulled over in November by sheriff's officers in Rancho Cucamonga. They searched his car and confiscated $430 cash and the marijuana, which Monroe uses to combat chronic back pain resulting from a off-road motorcycle accident.

 

With the help of a public defender, Monroe's case was dismissed.

 

"I had literally three years of medical marijuana prescriptions. . . I had all my medical records to present to (the court) - everything I needed to legally show that I was in legal possession of my marijuana, and they dismissed my case," Monroe said.

 

A judge ruled at a later hearing for the police to return Monroe's money and marijuana.

 

"Hey, I don't want this problem," Monroe said. "I know in this there wasn't anything that counted on my permanent record. I wasn't on probation for it, but I still don't want to have problems. I'm trying to be compliant with the law. I'm trying to legally possess this."

 

The state adopted the I.D. Card program in 2004 as part of the Medical Marijuana Program Act. The cards are meant to protect patients by helping law enforcement officers discern protected medical marijuana from illegal recreational use.

 

The county is working to implement a medical marijuana card program for residents.

 

"We're in the process of training our deputies on the guidelines on medical marijuana and about the laws and so the board of supervisors in San Bernardino County are still in the process of discussing guidelines for the medical marijuana I.D. Cards," said sheriff's spokeswoman Arden Wiltshire.

 

The medical marijuana card program ordinance will have a second reading Tuesday, but applications and appointments for those applying for medical marijuana cards is expected to begin Aug. 14, said Jim Lindley, director of public health for the county.

 

Whether dispensaries are opened in the county depends on the different jurisdictions within the county, he said.

 

Fontana man gets pot back after unjust bust

 

 

Congratulations Jason :D :)

 

Take care, everyone B),

WHAB

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It took an override, but you got it done ;)

 

State Medical Marijuana Centers Get Green Light

 

Published: Sunday, July 19, 2009

Updated: Sunday, July 19, 2009

Anish Gonchigar

Staff Writer

 

 

The Rhode Island General Assembly passed a bill last month to allow the creation of up to three state-licensed medical marijuana dispensaries, becoming the third state in the country to legalize so-called “compassion centers” after both the House and Senate voted to override the veto of Gov. Donald Carcieri ’65.

 

The use of medical marijuana for gravely ill patients was legalized by the General Assembly in 2006. But without a legal means to obtain marijuana, patients have to grow it themselves or buy it illegally.

“It’s an opportunity for people to live out their lives in a more peaceful way,” said State Rep. Thomas Slater, D-Dist. 10, who sponsored the bill in the House. “The only people who seem to be prevented from getting marijuana are the people who need it for their diseases.”

 

Stephen Hogan, executive director of the Rhode Island Patient Advocacy Coalition, also praised the bill. “Rhode Island now has the best law throughout the country for medical marijuana,” Hogan said. Unlike in California, he said, “these are state-regulated, non-profit organizations. All you need in California is a license.”

 

According to Hogan, there should be three dispensaries statewide by 2011.

 

Amy Kempe, a spokeswoman for Carcieri, said the governor continues to oppose the bill.

 

“First and foremost, it tends to weaken the laws governing and the perceptions of illicit drugs,” Kempe said, adding that Rhode Island has one of the highest rates of drug use among teenagers.

 

She added that California has seen an increase in crime in the areas surrounding compassion centers, as patients leaving the centers are vulnerable to muggers.

 

Dan Bernath, spokesperson for the Marijuana Policy Project in Washington, D.C., said that evidence of increased crime in areas around dispensaries in California is merely “anecdotal.” The bill, he said, is “a reflection of the understanding that these compassion centers have worked very well” in other states.

 

“I think it is an acknowledgement that the mood is changing,” Bernath said. “Obama and his attorney general have shown that they’re not interested in using federal law enforcement resources against people operating within the laws of the state.”

 

State Medical Marijuana Centers Get Green Light

 

 

Great way to show everyone how democracy can work for you ;)

 

Great work, everyone!!! ;)

 

Thank you!

 

Take care all :tu,

WHAB

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