Another Arizona Medical Marijuana Lawsuit

Will Humble, Director of the Arizona Department of Health Services said on May 30, 2013:

“We got sued again this week regarding our Medical Marijuana Program.  This time we’re getting sued because the Plaintiffs think that our 1-year deadline for getting a dispensary up and running is too restrictive.  Basically, the Plaintiffs allege that the legal issues that have arisen in response to the White Mountain Health Center, Inc. (a prospective dispensary) case have made it unreasonably difficult for the Plaintiffs to be able to get their dispensaries up and running in the 1-year timeframe allowed under our regulations.

We have a court hearing on Friday morning (May 31, 2013) in which the Plaintiffs are asking for a Temporary Restraining Order delaying at least the June 7 deadline for submitting their application for an Approval to Operate.  Ultimately, they’re looking to extend our final deadline for actually getting their Approval to Operate past our August 7 deadline (after which their Registration Certificate expires).

BTW…  We have about 20 or so dispensaries already up and running across the state and another dozen or so have already filed their request for an Approval to Operate.  Also, you can see links to the other 12 lawsuits that have been filed on our website.”

By |2013-08-27T08:06:13-07:00May 30th, 2013|AZ Marijuana Law Lawsuits, Stories & Articles, Will Humble Speaks|Comments Off on Another Arizona Medical Marijuana Lawsuit

IRS Targets Medical Marijuana Businesses In Government’s Ongoing War On Pot

Huffington Post:  “the Internal Revenue Service has been systematically targeting medical marijuana establishments, relying on an obscure statute that gives the taxing agency unintended power. The IRS has been functioning as an arm of justice, employing the U.S. tax code as a weapon in the federal government’s ongoing war against legal cannabis.  The majority of Americans favor legalization of marijuana, while 18 states and the District of Columbia have already legalized medical marijuana. But pot businesses in those states are vulnerable to the federal government’s strategic application of IRS Code Section 280E, a law enacted in 1982 after a drug dealer claimed his yacht and weapons purchases as legitimate business expenses — and long before medical marijuana was first legalized in California in 1996.  Now the IRS is applying a rule originally aimed at illegal (and often violent) drug trafficking to businesses that are entirely legal under their states’ laws. Medical marijuana dispensaries are facing audits and heavy tax bills that could force them out of business.

By |2014-05-20T10:34:20-07:00May 29th, 2013|Stories & Articles, Tax Issues|Comments Off on IRS Targets Medical Marijuana Businesses In Government’s Ongoing War On Pot

Arizona Medical Marijuana Going to Young, Healthy

CBS5AZ:  “Data from the state Department of Health Services show nearly half of the recipients of medical marijuana cards in Arizona are younger than 40. . . . ‘About 90 percent of our qualifying patients have cards because of severe and chronic pain,’ said Will Humble, the director of the Arizona Department of Health Services.”

In this video a reporter for CBS5AZ goes undercover and visits a chiropractor and a doctor and obtains a medical marijuana patient card from the Arizona Department of Health Services.

CBS 5 – KPHO

By |2019-06-14T08:26:17-07:00May 16th, 2013|Stories & Articles, Video|Comments Off on Arizona Medical Marijuana Going to Young, Healthy

Former U.S. Attorney Assists Arizona Medical Marijuana Dispensary

The Daily Courier: “Chino Valley’s new medical marijuana growing facility would be hard-pressed to find a better lawyer and adviser than a former U.S. Attorney for Arizona. . . . ‘I’m of the belief that the feds aren’t going to do anything to an operation that’s legitimate, that follows the rules,’ [Mel] McDonald said. He knows current U.S. Attorney for Arizona John Leonardo well, since Leonardo used to work for him.”

By |2017-02-12T07:40:00-07:00May 14th, 2013|Stories & Articles|Comments Off on Former U.S. Attorney Assists Arizona Medical Marijuana Dispensary

Feds File Forfeiture Lawsuit Against Owner of Berkley’s Largest Medical Marijuana Dispensary

The following is the contents of a press release issued by Americans for Safe Access on May 8, 2013.  Note to Owners of real estate who lease land to licensed Arizona medical  marijuana dispensaries:  Are you paying attention?

One of California’s oldest medical marijuana dispensaries, Berkeley Patients Group (BPG), was served with a lawsuit Friday in an attempt to seize the property in which it operates and to ultimately shut the facility down. In the forfeiture complaint, which is similar to one filed against Oakland’s Harborside Health Center last July, U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag makes no mention of local or state law violations. Several elected officials have come out in staunch opposition to the Justice Department’s legal action and at least four Berkeley City Council members will be speaking alongside medical marijuana advocates at a press conference scheduled for Wednesday at Noon.

BPG has been operating in Berkeley since 1999 and, according to a resolution that City Council member Darryl Moore filed Monday, “BPG has served as a national model of the not-for-profit, services-based medical cannabis dispensary.” The resolution goes on to state that BPG has “contributed significantly to our local community, providing good jobs and paying millions of dollars in taxes. They have improved the lives and assisted the end-of-life transitions of thousands of patients; been significant donors to dozens of other organizations in our city; [and] shaped local, state and national policies around medical cannabis.” The resolution is scheduled to be heard by full City Council on May 21st.BPG Chief Operations Officer Sean Luse defended his dispensary as a necessary service for the patients of Berkeley. “Berkeley Patients Group intends to vigorously defend the rights of its patients to be able to obtain medical cannabis from a responsible, city-licensed dispensary,” said Luse. In addition to several city officials who will be speaking later today at the press conference, additional elected officials have also made written statements in support of BPG, including Congressmember Barbara Lee, State Assemblymember Tom Ammiano, and Board of Equalization member Betty Yee.

Despite pledges by the Obama Administration to not use Justice Department funds to circumvent state medical marijuana laws, and public proclamations by the President and Attorney General Eric Holder that the Justice Department is only targeting those in violation of state law, this action and other recent legal actions strongly indicate otherwise. After receiving a previous letter from U.S. Attorney Haag in November 2011, BPG reluctantly and at great expense moved its operation in order to stay more than 1,000 feet from a school even though there is no such requirement in local or state law.

“The Obama Administration’s ongoing war against patients is despicable and has to stop,” said Steph Sherer, Executive Director of Americans for Safe Access (ASA), the country’s leading medical marijuana advocacy group. Sherer will also be speaking at today’s press conference. “This lawsuit is not about profiteering or violating state law; it’s a mean, vindictive move aimed at shutting down one of the oldest and well-respected dispensaries in the country.”

The Justice Department lawsuit comes as Congress is deliberating on a number of medical marijuana bills. One bill in particular, H.R. 689, the “States’ Medical Marijuana Patient Protection Act,” authored by Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) and introduced in February, would reclassify marijuana for medical use and allow states to establish production and distribution laws without interference by the federal government. However, even without the passage of H.R. 689, the Obama Administration can still exercise restraint in medical marijuana states, something it has so far refused to do.

Further information:

  • DOJ asset forfeiture complaint against BPG: http://safeaccessnow.org/downloads/BPG_Forfeiture_Complaint.pdf
  • Draft resolution filed by Berkeley Council member Darryl Moore: http://safeaccessnow.org/downloads/Berkeley_Resolution_BPG.pdf
  • Statement from Congressmember Barbara Lee: http://safeaccessnow.org/downloads/Lee_Statement_BPG.pdf
  • Statement from State Assemblymember Tom Ammiano: http://safeaccessnow.org/downloads/Ammiano_Statement_BPG.pdf
  • Statement from Board of Equalization member Betty Yee: http://safeaccessnow.org/downloads/Yee_Statement_BPG.pdf – See more at: http://americansforsafeaccess.org/doj-files-forfeiture-lawsuit-against-one-of-californias-oldest-medical-marijuana-dispensaries#sthash.SvXOWL8r.dpuf
By |2015-04-06T18:56:52-07:00May 10th, 2013|California News, Federal Dispensary Attacks, Stories & Articles|Comments Off on Feds File Forfeiture Lawsuit Against Owner of Berkley’s Largest Medical Marijuana Dispensary

San Bernardino Raids Marijuana Dispensaries, Aims to Shut Down All

The Sun:  “Years of levying but not collecting fines on medical marijuana dispensaries and fielding impatient calls from neighbors upset the shops stay open are rapidly ending now that the California Supreme Court says cities may ban them, San Bernardino officials say.  The message was taken seriously by at least 18 of the 33 dispensaries in the city, who have stopped operating since they were ordered to close Tuesday – the day after the court’s ruling

By |2017-10-07T09:56:01-07:00May 10th, 2013|California News, Stories & Articles|Comments Off on San Bernardino Raids Marijuana Dispensaries, Aims to Shut Down All

Arizona University’s May Engage in Marijuana Research

East Vally Tribune:  “Gov. Jan Brewer has cleared one hurdle for new research on the possible medical benefits of marijuana.  Without comment the governor on Tuesday signed legislation to permit possession of the drug on college and university campuses. The measure takes effect later this year.”

By |2013-05-10T07:17:40-07:00May 10th, 2013|AZ Legislation, Stories & Articles|Comments Off on Arizona University’s May Engage in Marijuana Research

Payson Officers Bust Medical Marijuana Cardholders for Violating Grow Laws

Payson Roundup:  “Medical marijuana patients with visible plants facing drug charges. . . . All three medical marijuana gardens triggered raids and arrests by Payson Police, when people with medical marijuana cards allegedly violated the strict limits on growing your own marijuana set by state law. Violators end up facing the same penalties as people without medical marijuana cards who grow pot. . . . The state’s voter-approved law stipulates that all medical-marijuana plants must be grown in enclosed, locked facilities. This can be inside or outside, so long as they’re not visible. #If grown outdoors, a wall at least 10 feet high, made of metal, concrete or stone, must block the view. The yard must also have a 1-inch thick metal gate.”

By |2017-02-12T07:40:00-07:00May 8th, 2013|Marijuana Crimes, Stories & Articles|Comments Off on Payson Officers Bust Medical Marijuana Cardholders for Violating Grow Laws

California Supreme Court Upholds City’s Rights to Use Zoning to Ban Medical Marijuana Dispensaries

Long Beach Post:  “The California Supreme Court ruled Monday morning that local governments have the right to ban medical marijuana dispensary storefronts, a decision that for now upholds the nearly 200 bans in effect statewide . . . . In a unanimous decision on the case City of Riverside v. Inland Empire Patients Health and Wellness Center, Inc., et al., the state’s high court said that cities and counties have the right to restrict dispensaries, rejecting multiple lower-court rulings that sided with marijuana advocates”

By |2013-05-07T06:30:49-07:00May 7th, 2013|California News, Stories & Articles|Comments Off on California Supreme Court Upholds City’s Rights to Use Zoning to Ban Medical Marijuana Dispensaries

How to Avoid a Marijuana DUI in Zero-Tolerance Arizona

Phoenix New Times:  “For the millions of people who now use marijuana legally under their states’ laws, driving in Arizona is technically a crime.  Motorists with pot metabolites in their bloodstreams who want to avoid a marijuana DUI — which comes with nasty fines and a one-year suspension of driving privileges, instead of the regular 90 days for booze DUIs — may want to consult our quick primer below.”

By |2013-05-07T06:48:28-07:00May 7th, 2013|Stories & Articles|Comments Off on How to Avoid a Marijuana DUI in Zero-Tolerance Arizona

War on Marijuana Returns with Federal Crackdown on Seattle Dispensaries

The Daily Chronic:  “After a several month long cease-fire, the War on Marijuana has reignited in Washington, with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) ordering 11 Seattle-area medical marijuana dispensaries to shut down within 30 days.  Despite November’s voter-approved Initiative 502, which legalized marijuana for all adults 21 or over in the state of Washington, and 1998′s voter-approved Measure 692, which legalized medical marijuana in the state, the 11 dispensaries received letters from the DEA advising them that distribution of marijuana was illegal under federal law, and they were to cease operations within 30 days or risk having their properties seized under federal drug trafficking laws.”

By |2013-05-06T06:44:50-07:00May 6th, 2013|Federal Dispensary Attacks, Stories & Articles|Comments Off on War on Marijuana Returns with Federal Crackdown on Seattle Dispensaries

Obama’s War on Medical Marijuana

The Daily Beast:  “While a high school student at Honolulu’s elite Punahou School, Barack Obama was a high-flying member of a pot-smoking, party-hearty crew that called itself ‘the Choom Gang. . . . I inhaled frequently . . . that was the whole point.’ In 2008, he said that he wouldn’t use federal resources to target medical marijuana providers and users in states that had made the stuff legal . . . . Obama has governed not merely as a standard-issue White House drug warrior but as a particularly hard-headed and hard-hearted one. Eighteen states and the District of Columbia have legalized medical marijuana and polls routinely show 70 percent to 80 percent of Americans support the stuff, but the Obama administration has actually outpaced the Bush administration when it comes to dispensary raids.

By |2013-05-05T10:09:04-07:00May 5th, 2013|Federal Dispensary Attacks, Stories & Articles|Comments Off on Obama’s War on Medical Marijuana

How to Avoid a Marijuana DUI in Zero-Tolerance Arizona

Phoenix New Times:  “For the millions of people who now use marijuana legally under their states’ laws, driving in Arizona is technically a crime.  Motorists with pot metabolites in their bloodstreams who want to avoid a marijuana DUI — which comes with nasty fines and a one-year suspension of driving privileges, instead of the regular 90 days for booze DUIs — may want to consult our quick primer below.”

By |2013-08-29T08:06:27-07:00May 2nd, 2013|Legal Issues, Marijuana Crimes, Stories & Articles|Comments Off on How to Avoid a Marijuana DUI in Zero-Tolerance Arizona

Public Opinion Favors Pot Legalization but Federal Raids Continue across California

Kitsap Sun:  “More than 60 percent of those surveyed also said that the federal government should not enforce federal laws against marijuana in states where it’s legal for medicinal or recreational use. Almost 80 percent of respondents said they believe that marijuana has valuable medicinal uses as well. . . . Possession and distribution of medical marijuana is still a federal offense, regardless of whether state laws allow the use or sale of marijuana for recreational or medicinal purposes. Because marijuana is federally classified as a Schedule I drug, dispensaries throughout the country are vulnerable to raids and government action. . . . Raids are also continuing statewide. Last week, Drug Enforcement Agency agents raided One on One Patient Association, a downtown San Diego dispensary.”

By |2015-04-06T18:56:51-07:00May 2nd, 2013|California News, Federal Dispensary Attacks, Stories & Articles|Comments Off on Public Opinion Favors Pot Legalization but Federal Raids Continue across California