USA: Cities Can Ban Marijuana Dispensaries, CA Court Rules

USA: Cities Can Ban Marijuana Dispensaries, CA Court Rules, while there is legal action ongoing by advocates of medical cannabis use against crackdown on cannabis dispensaries in California

- In a decision that is already having an impact on medical marijuana access, a California appeals court ruled November 9 that cities and counties can lawfully ban medical marijuana dispensaries. In the days since the ruling was announced, a number of localities have already either moved to enact bans or halted plans to regulate dispensaries.

USA: Cities Can Ban Marijuana Dispensaries, CA Court Rules.

California laws "do not provide individuals with inalienable rights to establish, operate or use" dispensaries, nor do they say that dispensaries "shall be permitted within every city and county," wrote Justice Carol Codrington for a unanimous court in City of Riverside v. Inland Empire Patients Health and Wellness Center. California law expressly allows localities to regulate dispensaries and restrict their locations, Codrington wrote, adding that a total ban is "simply a means of regulation or restriction."

But the association“Attorneys for medical cannabis” advocates on 7 November sought a temporary restraining order to put a stop to a federal crackdown on California cannabis dispensaries, claiming the effort by the state's four U.S. attorneys is unconstitutional. Plaintiffs asked U.S. District Court Judge Donna Ryu in Oakland to issue an order barring the government from arresting or prosecuting patients, dispensary owners or landlords of properties housing dispensaries.

USA: Michigan AG Says Cops Can Seize Medical Marijuana

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette (R) has opened another front in his battle against medical marijuana. In an official opinion released last week, Schuette said police are not required to return medical marijuana seized from patients in compliance with state, even though the state's voter-approved Michigan Medical Marijuana Act demands they do so.

Police risk running afoul of the federal Controlled Substances Act if they comply with state law by returning marijuana to patients lawfully in possession of it under state law, Schuette wrote. "By returning marijuana to a registered patient or caregiver, a law enforcement officer is exposing himself or herself to potential criminal and civil penalties under the (federal law) for the distribution of marijuana or for aiding or abetting the possession or distribution of marijuana," the opinion stated.

USA/Washington: On 15 November federal agents and police raided state-sanctioned medical cannabis dispensaries in the Seattle area in the state of Washington.

The Cannabis Defense Coalition, a non-profit advocacy group for cannabis, said on its website that 15 cannabis dispensaries in at least six western Washington cities were raided.

Norway: Medicinal use

Cannabis as medicine is a controversial issue in Norway. Several 
Norwegian doctors prescribe cannabis preparations to their patients on medical grounds, although it is not approved in the Norwegian market.

The Health Ministry must approve the treatment, while a number of criteria must be met. In addition, patients must pay for 
drugs, which they can import from other European countries. Dr. Nils Olav Aanonsen, chief physician at Ullevål University Hospital in Oslo is one of the doctors who have prescribed cannabis preparations to their patients.

Aanonsen believes the Norwegian regulations on cannabis preparations are too strict. He welcomes a new debate to approve cannabis preparations on the Norwegian market. Aanonsen estimates that about 500 Norwegians had need of cannabis preparations.

Science: Intelligence

According to researchers of Cardiff University, UK, intelligence is a risk factor for cannabis use.

In a group of 7904 British citizens who were followed since birth in 1970, in participants with a higher IQ at age 5 and 10, cannabis use at age 30 was twice as high as in participants with lower IQ.

Brought to you by The Greenish Warbler

November 22nd 2011

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