Articles Tagged: doj

Five men indicted in Spokane for providing safe medicine to qualified patients

July 21st, 2011 | By Pirate

It is sad when a government will repress a people, and criminalize a safe and natural plant solely for their own pissing match.
I am personally acquainted with some of the people in this list, and I am appalled that anyone could consider them criminals for their compassion and determination to help people who are sick. The two that I knew played by the books and conducted business very professionally.

I will be placing calls to the District Attorney’s office to voice my disgust in these cases!

http://www.justice.gov/usao/wae/

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2015674977_apwamarijuanaindictments.html
A few things that are fishy.  Why only Spokane?  Why were Spokane police ignoring state law that authorizes medical cannabis?   Why only these 5 out of over 40 other dispensers in Spokane?

One more item for thought.  When will all medical cannabis patients, growers and dispensers start standing up for full legalization?   Standing united is the only what this will be successful!

NJWeedman on Jury Nullification

April 21st, 2011 | By Pirate

I am glad to hear so much about this.  As of recently two people that I highly respect, Barry Cooper of Kopbusters, and NJWeedman (Edward Forcion) are talking about – jury nullification -.

Jury nullification occurs in a trial when a jury reaches a verdict contrary to the weight of the evidence and contrary to the letter of the law (an official rule, and especially a legislative enactment). A jury exercising its power of nullification need not disagree with the judge’s instructions themselves—which concern what the law is—but may rule contrary to the instruction in light of the actual evidence admitted in the case.

A jury verdict contrary to the letter of the law pertains only to the particular case before it; however, if a pattern of identical verdicts develops in response to repeated attempts to prosecute a statutory offense, it can have the de facto effect of invalidating the statute. A pattern of jury nullification may indicate public opposition to an unwanted legislative enactment.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jury_nullification

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Heres the thing about MMJ in WA. We have of the most progressive MMJ laws and culture in the country. We are doing fine with exception to the letter from the DOJ about dispensaries. But I think now that these dispensaries have a great clientele lined up, and contact info for their patients. They could call each patient and tell them “We offer cannabis delivery” and take care of patients like that.
Sure it wouldn’t be as economical, but they would also be saving the overhead of the commercial space and utilities, etc..
Our MMJ laws are strong, and though the police get tricky and the prosecutors use their experience to sway the jury the wrong way from time to time, over all Washington has some great protection (comparatively) for patients.

From the purpose and intent of 69.51a (RCW)
http://apps.leg.wa.gov/rcw/default.aspx?cite=69.51A

The people of Washington state find that some patients with terminal or debilitating illnesses, under their health care professional’s care, may benefit from the medical use of marijuana. Some of the illnesses for which marijuana appears to be beneficial include chemotherapy-related nausea and vomiting in cancer patients; AIDS wasting syndrome; severe muscle spasms associated with multiple sclerosis and other spasticity disorders; epilepsy; acute or chronic glaucoma; and some forms of intractable pain.

The people find that humanitarian compassion necessitates that the decision to authorize the medical use of marijuana by patients with terminal or debilitating illnesses is a personal, individual decision, based upon their health care professional’s professional medical judgment and discretion.

Therefore, the people of the state of Washington intend that:

Qualifying patients with terminal or debilitating illnesses who, in the judgment of their health care professionals, may benefit from the medical use of marijuana, shall not be found guilty of a crime under state law for their possession and limited use of marijuana;

Persons who act as designated providers to such patients shall also not be found guilty of a crime under state law for assisting with the medical use of marijuana; and

Health care professionals also be excepted from liability and prosecution for the authorization of marijuana use to qualifying patients for whom, in the health care professional’s professional judgment, medical marijuana may prove beneficial.
——

In the purpose and intent of our current laws, patients should not be arrested or charged, neither should doctors, and providers.
This is something that most lawyers can work with rather well, even in cases of 133 plants in a very conservative county in WA. 

What we need now is to see hemp spread from sea to sea. Rebuild our infrastructure with hemp (fuel, food, medicine, etc), and let all of the pot convicts out of prison.
Everyone can get social pot, or medical pot or whatever, now we need to employ hemp in our society to balance the environmental toxicity, and to balance the scale of wealth in this country. Give it back to we the people.

I recommend that we continue to employ people’s initiatives, both locally and nationally.  If we don’t change this law within our community, then the feds will mess it all up, or give it to Pfizer.

www.i1149.com
www.sensiblewashington.org
www.vote.org

SB 5073 as passed in the house

April 12th, 2011 | By Pirate

Well a lot of the things that I feared about this bill passed.
I had hoped that the dispensary system would remain strong in competition in hopes that we would eventually see the effects of the free market.  But before the free market was able to balance itself out, the lawmakers started making laws, the DOJ started getting worried, and the landlords of dispensary owners were notified of some possible recourse by the state if dispensary owners do not evict their tenants.
So once again these shops are abandoned, people are competing for less jobs now, and the black market just absorbed a huge amount of business.

But in the mean time in Olympia there has been a lot of new changes and proposals and discussion about how patients are going to be treated in this state.

Some groups are satisfied with just about anything different than what we currently have. But I haven’t been so convinced that we are getting what is best for us.

I honestly believe Washington Medical Marijuana laws are lacking. There is no doubt that things need to be improved. But we don’t need any kind of change, we need specific protections.

We have objected mostly to the problems with section 301 creating a heap of new worries for doctors and patients in regards to misconduct etc. But some of that was changed by Rep. Cody’s amendment.

There are some good and bad things about Rep. Cody’s amendment. It is good that doctors can now see a patient for the first time to be able to recommend cannabis. But there is still some lingo about the continuation of the relationship with that patient.

But in Rep. Cody’s amendment there is provisions to limit dispensaries, limit competition and destroy all of the benefits we can get from a free market. So there will be a limit of one dispensary for every 20,000 people in city.
The way that this will effect our current market is that Spokane is going to decrease from having 40+ dispensaries to having less than 25 dispensaries.

This is bad in relationship to sharing the cost of the very expensive registry system between dispensaries which they have set the number of around 11 million dollars to start, plus the ongoing salary of 45+ new state employees.

Certainly there are some good things and some bad things about it.
Requiring patients to pay for the salaries of over 45 new state employees, and to pay for a registry that costs 10s of millions o f dollars, totally paid for by patients not the state.
Colorado and Nevada pay one person to do the same job. Why 45+?

Some of the important good and bad are below.

5073-S2.E AMH CODY H2591.2

Specifies that, prior to January 1, 2016, the maximum number of
licensed dispensers in a county shall be based upon a ratio of 1
dispenser for every 20,000 residents. Provides that, on or after
January 1, 2016, the Secretary of Health may adopt rules to adjust the
method of determining the ratio to consider other factors.

http://apps.leg.wa.gov/documents/billdocs/2011-12/Pdf/Amendments/House/5073-S2.E%20AMH%20CODY%20H2591.2.pdf

EFFECT: Specifies that the documented relationship between a
qualifying patient and health care professional may either be newly
initiated or existing and in the capacity of either a primary care
provider or a specialist.

http://apps.leg.wa.gov/documents/billdocs/2011-12/Pdf/Amendments/House/5073-S2.E%20AMH%20CODY%20H2591.2.pdf

EFFECT: Removes the protections from searches for qualifying
patients registered with the Department of Health (DOH). Removes
the protections from being taken into custody or booked into jail
for qualifying patients with valid documentation, but who are not
registered with DOH (retains the affirmative defense).

http://apps.leg.wa.gov/documents/billdocs/2011-12/Pdf/Amendments/House/5073-S2.E%20AMH%20HURS%20BLAC%20073.pdf

http://apps.leg.wa.gov/billinfo/summary.aspx?bill=5073&year=2011

Spokane will go from having over 40 dispensaries to have less than 25.

Less competition, less good for patients

I have heard we still have a chance to kill it as it goes back to the senate. We at least need to change it, and offer search protections for patients, and to offer patients who are not on the registry protection if the have valid documentation. I also think that Washington does not need any more supervision of our medical marijuana laws than Colorado or Nevada do. One person in this position is sufficient. As a programmer and software designer I do not agree to the enormous costs of the registry. I would be happy to bid a much lower amount!

Local shout outs Spokane for April 2011

April 11th, 2011 | By Pirate

Local shout outs Spokane  for April 2011

 

1. Scott Shupe’s trial coming up April 12th, its on the calendar
http://www.spokesman.com/blogs/sirens/tags/scott-shupe/
(we love what Scott did for this community!)

2. Reggae Festival 4/20, its on the calendar  (signatures!!)
Wednesday, Apr 20, 2011
Where: 1107 W. Main Spokane WA
Description-Heads U Knighted- HIP HOP- REGGAE- DUBSTEP- An All Ages community event brining together all elements of music and Art to Spokane connecting all Vibes of great people in this town. 5 rooms of Great Music with the best Producers and Dj’s/Bands- U name it-U need it- U got it- ONE LOVE-

3. MHP’s first and last birthday celebration. This is what may be MHP’s last birthday celebration since the letter that recently came to their landlord from the DOJ.
This is also on the calendar

http://xcannabis.com/calendar
We are moving to California at the end of the month.   We will be back eventually, but it has been good to be here and to get to know people in Spokane.  We typically stay in the rural areas, but we have been in Spokane because we decided last year to move from Loon Lake into Spokane to help with Sensible Washington.

We have been blessed to meet people at the city council meetings.   People like Tim and Gina deserve our support and they are fighting a tough battle right now.
Scott Shupe, Chris Stevens, and so many who helped get Spokane rolling in the right direction deserve our support.

Please update yourself about local events at our calendar, and if you haven’t yet, sign up as a volunteer at  http://sensiblewashington.org/hq