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California: Residency Requirement For Medical Marijuana May Be A Myth


By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

The residency requirement for legally getting a medical marijuana authorization in California doesn't really exist, according to at least two Bay Area lawyers who say the industry is misinterpreting state law.

Veteran marijuana lawyer William Panzer on Thursday confirmed the contents of a talk given by another attorney, Lauren Vazquez, to a group of entrepreneurs on January 22, reports David Downs at SF Gate.

"No, there is no residency requirement," Panzer said. "It's just misinformation."

"Why not?" Panzer said. "My wife hurt her ankle in Florida and had to go to the doctor for pain pills. They didn't say, 'Sorry, you don't live in Florida.'"

Almost all authorizing physicians and dispensaries in California enforce the residency requirement, turning away tens of millions of dollars in business each year by enforcing what looks to be a non-existent rule.

One of every 20 California adults is estimated to have used cannabis medicinally for a "serious" condition, and 92 percent of them believe it was helpful, according to recent polls.

Vazquez, speaking to about 30 marijuana investors, said that the preface to the 1996 Compassionate Use Act mentions "Californians," but the preface has no legal weight. This was confirmed by the California Supreme Court in a split ruling in 2013, allowing cities and counties to ban medical marijuana activity.

New Study: Marijuana Fights Alzheimer's Disease


By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Yet another study is adding to the growing body of evidence for using cannabis to treat and prevent Alzheimer's disease. The study found that unlike conventional anti-inflammatory pharmaceuticals, THC has "no toxicity."

New research published in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease in September "strongly suggest[s] that THC could be a potential therapeutic treatment option for Alzheimer's disease through multiple functions and pathways," reports David Downs at SF Gate.

Alzheimer's is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States, with more than five million Americans diagnosed. One in three seniors will die with Alzheimer's or other dementia, and it cost the nation about $203 billion in 2013.

Researchers at the University of South Florida and Thomas Jefferson University wanted to look into the "potential therapeutic qualities of delta 9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) with respect to slowing or halting the hallmark characteristics of Alzheimer's disease."

U.S.: War On Marijuana Defies Science, Doctors Testify In Federal Court


By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Three medical experts on Friday, Monday and Tuesday testified in federal court that the federal government's war on marijuana defies science, and is thus unconstitutional.

Decades of medical studies prove cannabis isn't the danger the government has claimed it is, the experts told a federal judge, reports David Downs at SF Gate.

The epochal cultivation trial, U.S. v. Schweder in the Eastern District of California, in which U.S. District Court Judge Kimberly J. Mueller is allowing a hearing on a defense motion to declare marijuana's Schedule I classification as unconstitutional, has national implications.

Defense witnesses Gregory Carter, M.D., and Carl Hart, Ph.D., testified in Sacramento on Friday, and Philip Denny, M.D., testified on Monday and Tuesday. Government witness Bertha Madras, Ph.D., a former deputy drug czar under President George W. Bush, argued in that marijuana isn't medicine.

Madras compared cannabis to heroin, saying that humans no longer smoke opium poppies for pain relief. But while more than 22,000 Americans will die from prescription drug overdoses this year, with opioid pills killing more than any other prescription, cannabis has no lethal overdose level and zero recorded deaths from overdose in history.

California: Cops Wear 'FUCK THE GROWERS' Shirts During San Diego Pot Raids


By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Marijuana for medicinal purposes was legalized by California voters at the ballot box back in 1996 -- but some law enforcement types apparently still haven't gotten the message. Police routinely terrorize thousands of patient-cultivators every year with warrantless, no-knock raids, willfully ignoring established law, and now a San Diego narcotics officer has been photographed wearing a t-shirt reading "FUCK THE GROWERS... MARIJUANA'S STILL ILLEGAL -- while raiding patients.

Advocacy group Reform California on October 24 posted pictures of a San Diego Narcotics Task Force officer wearing the profane shirt during a Wednesday raid in Imperial Beach, reports David Downs at SF Gate. The photo was reportedly snapped by a 10News photojournalist.

While marijuana is still illegal under federal law for any purpose, state law enforcement officers are supposed uphold state laws. California residents with a doctor's authorization can possess or grow any amount of marijuana deemed medically necessary by their physician.

New York: Hypocritical Anti-Pot Republican Legislator Changes Course, Says Yes To Decrim


By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

A conservative New York Assemblyman who was busted for marijuana possession after voting against medical marijuana changed his course last week, voting for cannabis decriminalization.

Assemblyman Steve Katz on May 30 voted in favor of A. 6716, which would make small amounts of cannabis in public view a ticketable offense rather than an arrestable one. In 2011, Katz voted against a medical marijuana law in the Assembly.

Katz was stopped for speeding in March and ticketed for having a couple joints' worth of pot in the car. "At his court date, Katz got his case dismissed in an almost textbook instance of white privilege," writes David Downs at Smell the Truth.

The lawmaker had been going 80 miles per hour in a 65 mph zone on the New York State Thruway, according to the police report. It was the 59-year-old Putnam County lawmaker's first known pot bust.

Assemblyman Katz sits on committees for Alcoholism and Drug Abuse, as well as Higher Education.

Earlier this month, the hacktivist collective Anonymous Team Vendetta temporarily took down Katz's website for what the group called his hypocrisy.

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